Blue Jay Bulletin

September 21, 2017

Barton Creek Elementary



Compassion, acceptance, kindness, bravery, resiliency…all of these words flood my mind as I reflect on an incredible story that I have the privilege of sharing with you.  September 13th wasn't just a "normal" day for one of our first grade students.  This was the day that Olivia was reunited with her classmates after undergoing extensive surgery on both of her ears. 

Olivia was born with a condition called Microtia and Atresia.  In layman's terms, Olivia's ears did not have holes and the outer parts were not formed.  The surgical process to correct this is lengthy and requires multiple surgeries.  Fortunately, San Antonio is home to the only exclusively pediatric Microtia surgeons; Dr. Bonilla.  People travel from all over the world to see him. 

Olivia's parents have graciously continued to share their journey with the staff at BCE.  Nurse Sansom has been so touched by their story that she wanted to ensure that Olivia's transition back to school was as smooth and as special as possible.  She knew exactly what to do.  She scoured several stores for the perfect combination of products to resemble the ear cups Olivia would be wearing when she returned to school.  She thought of everything; headbands, paper bowls, and a variety of fun decorations.  Mrs. Ryan's class was thrilled to begin decorating their very own version of ear cups.  They wanted nothing more than to make Olivia feel supported and cared for.  That's what made September 13th so special.  I watched as a class full of 1st graders put on their ear cups, turned off the lights, hid behind their desks and anxiously awaited Olivia's entry back into their classroom. It was one of those moments you want to store away in your memory forever.  Olivia's mother, Kate Brown, said it best, "I have to say, the kids at BCE are like no other.  These kids are kind even in their curiosity.  Kudos to parents that raise their kids to accept differences."  I couldn't agree more! 

Thank you Kate and James Brown for allowing me to share this story and thank you Nurse Sansom for your continued benevolence.  Good luck, Olivia.  You're well on your way to getting your wish to share earrings with your mom!


Shout Out

Senior Webelos aka Dragon Slayers Patrol from Pack 29 are helping out this month by pulling weeds from the front landscaping beds at BCE.  Next month, the Jr. Webelos will continue this hard work by adding some plants. Huge THANK YOU to the Cub Scout dens for all their hard work and sticking to the motto of "Do your Best"!

Rawley got dirty and had fun helping keep our school in tip top shape.  Thank you, Keith and Kyle, for continuing the great work that was started. 



Early Release day is on September 26th. School ends at 12:50.


Our first book study session was a great success.  Ms. Wager and I really enjoyed the opportunity to share and collaborate with the parents of BCE.  Remember, it's never too late to join.  Even if you're not reading the book, we think you'll still get a lot out of the discussion.  We will meet again on Monday, September 25th after the morning assembly. 

A few parents have asked me to share out some of the highlights in these newsletters, so here's a few "nuggets of knowledge" that the group pulled from the first two chapters.


"The Gift of Failure" by Jessica Lahey (Chapters 1-2)


  • "The setbacks, mistakes, miscalculations, and failures we have shoved out of our children's way are the very experiences that teach them how to be resourceful, persistent, innovative, and resilient citizens of this world."   (p.xii)
  • Parent for tomorrow, not just for today.  "Let their lives be just a little bit harder today so they will know how to face hardships tomorrow." (p.22)
  • "The less we push our kids toward educational success, the more they will learn.  The less we use external, or extrinsic, rewards on our children, the more they will engage in their education for the sake and love of learning.  If there's any trick to parenting, it is to keep our children from losing that internal drive." (p.22)
  • "Goals work well for students because they are rewards that remain squarely under the kid's control." (p.33)  
  • "For a goal to work, the child has to own it". (p.34)
  • "Foster autonomy and competence, and connectedness will follow." (p.37)
  •  "If kids are terrified of making mistakes, they will shy away from taking chances to the detriment of their learning and personal growth." (p.41)


Approval will lower District's total tax rate by 1.25 cents and increase amount of local tax revenue that stays in the community

​Wednesday, September 27th 8:00 - Stryker & Merritt 8:20 - Poole & Kutchman 8:40 - O'Neil & Cowhig 9:00 - Druart & Burk 9:20 - Lunsford & Ryan 9:40 - Garner & Alleman​ ​Thursday, September 28th 8:00 - Knox & Abbott 8:20 - Hanley & Stover 8:40 - Roberson & Lain 9:00 - Murray & Shapiro 9:20 - Browder & Vogel/Knape 9:40 - Georgakis & Spaits


Your BCE Counselors, Karen Wager and Amy Ashorn, are thrilled that the district has made Social Emotional Learning (SEL) a priority again this year. The district is supporting the SEL initiative by adding Second Step, an SEL curriculum, to all grade levels and classrooms.  In addition to our counselor-led classroom lessons, teachers will use the Second Step Curriculum to teach and embed SEL skills in their classrooms. We are optimistic about the growth our students will experience in 5 SEL Competencies: Self Awareness, Self Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills and Responsible Decision Making.

To further build on the SEL Competencies and Skills, all students are signing a Resolution of Respect.  The Resolution of Respect is the first step to BCE becoming a No Place for Hate® recognized school.  The No Place for Hate® initiative through the ADL provides a framework for schools to build a positive and inclusive community where respect is the norm.  Read more about: No Place for Hate 




Our Veterans Day Assembly is right around the corner and we need your help! We are looking for a parent volunteer who would create our Veterans Day video. If you are interested in creating the video for the assembly or know of someone who may be interested, please contact Cindy McNicholas, Veterans Day Assembly Chair.

We are looking forward to seeing all of our BCE community at the Veterans Day Assembly on Friday, November 10th at 9:00am.

Thanks so much!
BCE Veterans Day Committee
Cindy McNicholas email:

State of the District

Click on the picture below for more information on Teacher Parties:


Unusual Library Reading Spot Contest

Participants will submit a picture taken while they are reading in an unusual place or in a special pose. Students might be found reading in a famous landmark, an iconic Austin site, or in their own backyard. All photos will be posted on a library bulletin board throughout the 2017-2018 school year. Five entries will be chosen to be printed on the front of a school-wide bookmark.


When: NOW until Friday, September 29th

For more information, specific directions, and the entry form...





Destination Imagination






Tuesday - September 26, 2017
All day
Wednesday - September 27, 2017
All day
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Thursday - September 28, 2017
All day
Thursday - October 5, 2017
7:45 AM - 8:45 AM
Monday - October 9, 2017
All day

1314 Patterson Road, Austin, Texas 78746

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