Friday, December 31, 2010

Sami reminds us fireworks can be scary for dogs

This article is from Please share:

The Holiday fireworks and other fanfare are often frightful experiences for dogs. The loud noises can hurt their sensitive ears.

Frightened dogs have different reactions: some tremble at their owners' feet, others retreat to a hiding place, some try to run off (traveling for miles), and others display bizarre behavior. According to behavior specialist Dr. Elizabeth Shull, low-frequency, percussive noises such as fireworks and summer thunderstorms trigger wild fear in about 20% of dogs. Under such circumstances, ordinarily well-behaved pets may become aggressive, destructive and/or unpredictable.

Here are some precautions you can take to help your pets:

* Exercise utmost caution when taking a dog into new environments.

* Make sure all pets always are wearing well-fitted collars and securely fastened ID tags. Microchips and tattoos are great ID techniques, too. Even a back-firing car or shot in the woods can be enough to incite a dog to run off, so avoid taking any chances.

* Don't take pets to events with fireworks.

* If fireworks are being set off nearby, or if you're having guests over for a holiday celebration, find a quiet, secure place to keep your pets. Darkening the room can help. Crating is also a good idea -- place the crate in the quietest part of the home. Make sure you put safe chew toys in the crate to occupy and distract the pet during the event. You can close the curtains and turn up the radio, CD player or TV to drown out noise.

* Do not leave pets outside, even in a fenced yard, anytime when fireworks might be set off in the distance.

* Rather than cuddle a frightened dog, try to distract the dog from the disturbing noises with physical activity such as playing ball.

* Remember that scolding or coddling a scared dog will not help. Scolding will scare and confuse the animal, and coddling serves to reinforce fearful behaviors. Instead, assume your pack leader role and act confident and unbothered by the noise and activity outside. You can give your pet a gentle massage, or use Tellington Touch techniques (see the T-Touch Dog Tip on the PAW website) or even just place your hand calmly on the pet's head.

* If the sounds and lights of fireworks frighten your dog, here's an innovative technique from the most recent issue of "Unleashed! The Pet Care Forum's Newsletter for Dog Lovers" ( Make an "anxiety wrap" using an adult or children's T-shirt. Put the dog's front legs through the arm holes, then knot the hem over the dog's back. This technique is related to the massage and Tellington Touch therapy approaches. Wrapping fabric around an animal can give the pet a feeling of greater security.

* Vets can prescribe tranquilizers for frightened dogs. Also, some people find that non-prescription remedies such as Rescue Remedy or Serene-um calm their dogs.

* If you're going out of town for the holidays, entrust the care and feeding of pets to an adult friend or a boarding kennel you know very well.

* If you know someone whose pet escaped, advise that they call their veterinarian and other local veterinarians, local emergency animal clinics, the local shelters and animal control offices. The owner can post a description and picture of the lost pet or search the Pets 911 database at (or call toll-free 1-888-PETS911). Another good resource is

Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Holidays - See you in 2011!

I am delighted that the holidays and end of the fall semester are upon us. It was fast, but what a wonderful semester we had! We started in August as a recognized campus and that put such a positive atmosphere around SES. We have worked hard at raising our level again and 2011 is going to prove that we truly are the best at what we do. We are proud of our kids and their efforts—we will continue to strive to be successful in everything we do.

Have a safe and joyous holiday and we look forward to seeing everyone in the new year!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Planting complete!

Thank you to Mrs. Medrano for orchestrating the planting in the Outdoor Learning Center with teachers and students. The plants add a beautiful touch to the area and will benefit student learning opportunities throughout the years to come.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Excitement at SES

As usual we had a great week at Smithville Elementary. Below is a recap of the week and a preview of what's planned for next week.

All this week you could find students in the hallway with more books than normal due to the Scholastic Book Fair. Students shopped from 7:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. everyday. The book fair was even busy until 6:00 p.m. Thursday evening. It's always great to see kids excited about reading.

Mrs. Medrano had students of all ages planting in the Outdoor Learning Center. Students have learned so much about soil prep, handling of plants, and watering that they could probably teach their parents a thing or two.

3rd graders are putting the finishing touches on their Christmas Music Program scheduled for next Thursday at 2:45 p.m. A lot of hard work and patience has gone into preparation for the big show.

Mrs. Middleton's classes have been working hard on their annual Christmas Play scheduled for this coming Tuesday. The shows will be on Dec. 14 at 8:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. in the Red Brick Auditorium. The shows are always fantastic.

In the spirit of giving our students continue to bring in their loose coins for Change for Pete. Teachers are also adding to the contributions by paying to wear jeans on Thursday for Jeans for Pete.

Our 5th graders participated in their D.A.R.E. Graduation this afternoon in front of parents, teachers, and community members. It was nice having Dr. McNulty, Mrs. Burns, Mr. Trousdale, Chief Supak, and Judge Jones in the crowd. Officer Stewart did a great job this semester and we are looking forward to many years of D.A.R.E. to come.

Next week is sure to bring smiles, excitement, and good nights of sleep for all the activities leading up to the holiday break.

Monday: 5th grade listens to the 6th grade band concert.
Tuesday: 4th grade Christmas Plays
Thursday: 3rd grade Music Program
Friday: Winter Parties & Early Release at 1:25 p.m.

Planting in the Outdoor Learning Center continues next week as well.

We hope you will enjoy our festivities with us next week. There are plenty to choose from.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Planting Day in the Outdoor Learning Center

4th grade watches the Electric Junction

Johnny Saunders demonstrating what happens when people touch downed power lines. Bluebonnet Electric visits Smithville Elementary each year to talk electricity safety with our 4th grade students.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Safe Routes to School Bike Maintenance Workshop this Saturday

Safe Routes To School Bicycle Repair and Maintenance Workshop is this Saturday, December 11, 2010 from 10AM-NOON at the Smithville Recreation Center. Email to register. Or you can call 237-3282 ext. 2109

Registration deadline is December 8th.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Shopping this weekend?

Anyone who goes to Borders this weekend (Saturday or Sunday) and buys ANYTHING will get a $15 gift card for the school of their choice. If you also buy the book “Waiting for Superman…” you get a SECOND $15 gift card for your school.

Borders Link

Kermit keeping Mrs. Gutierrez warm this morning!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is such a great time of year. The weather gets cooler, there's time off from work, and time with family and friends.
It's also a time to reflect on what we are thankful for. I am thankful for so much but will simply note that I am thankful for the people that make up our great community. It's the people that love, support, and honor each other that make this community stand out above and beyond others.

With that, I hope that everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday wherever you spend it.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Change for Pete donation today at 3PM!

This awesome bag of change was donated late this afternoon by a kindergarten student. He said he and his family read about Pete in the newspaper and he emptied his piggy bank and his dad donated the money he's been saving to put toward an F250. Just in case you can't tell the bag is a gallon size and it's full!

This is just one story about the wonderful people in this community that are coming together to support the Luna family.

Pete and his mother came by for a visit at school today and it was wonderful seeing them. Pete visited his teachers, Mrs. Sweeny and Mrs. Tiroff, and his classmates. We're not sure who was more excited about having Pete visit - Pete or his classmates.

Pete's mother is very appreciative of the love and support that has been shown to her son and family.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mrs. Hanna sporting her attire for the 60 mile Cancer Walk in California

Mrs. Hanna is sporting her beautiful attire made by Mrs. Mathis and Mrs. C. Vinklarek to be worn during her 3 day 60 mile walk to raise money for Cancer Research. Mrs. Hanna will be in California this weekend participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure. This 3 day event is a 60 Mile walk supporting cancer research, sharing stories, and celebrating the lives of those affected by cancer. This is the second years Mrs. Hanna has participated in this event.

Have a great time Mrs. Hanna - we are proud of you!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Plymoth Plantation Live Video Webcast

3rd grade classes enjoyed a free webcast from Scholastic today about the first Thanksgiving Day. Very interesting webinar with an interview of the Colonists and Native Americans from the time period of the first settlers.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Change for Pete

Smithville Elementary will be collecting 'change for Pete' throughout the remainder of this semester. Staff is also encouraged to purchase special Thursday 'Jeans for
Pete' day passes for $5 for each Thursday until Christmas.

All proceeds will be donated to Pete's family to help wiu medical bills. Pete is a 3rd grader in Mrs. Sweeny's class and has been diagnosed with cancer. Other campuses are also raising money to help the Luna family.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Completion of Phase 1

Volunteers showed up eager to work even in 39* temperature. Amazing work by amazing people. We truly do have a great community.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Smithville is the best community!

This picture was taken early Friday morning as a concrete barrier was being built to secure the patio pave stones for the Outdoor Learning Center. We also received the delivery of granite and materials from Lowe's. With help from staff and students the site is prepped for the volunteers on Saturday.

Volunteers are welcome to join us spread the crushed granite, set the pave stones for the patio, and set the fence posts during Phase 1 of the construction. The fun begins Saturday at 8AM. Volunteers will be treated to lunch by the SES Booster Club.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mrs. Mathis' GT Class

Sent from my iPhoneAs I was walking through the 3rd grade hallway today I saw students carrying laptops. I had to find out what was going on. So I followed them to Mrs. Mathis' classroom where they explained their activity of creating a slideshow about their family history. The students were so excited to be working on the computers and I know they will do a great job.
I can't wait to see the finished products where I can learn more about their families.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

SES Music Program Recieves Grant for Xylophones

The Governor's Texas Music Office awarded Smithville Elementary Music a $1500 grant. The grant was used to purchase more Xylophones seen in the photo above. Students are enjoying the instruments and are making wonderful strides in learning notes and making music. The smiles on the kids faces were only matched in size by our Music teacher, Cathy Sherrill. She has a great rapport with the students and loves her classes. She was giddy when she found out they won the grant for the instruments and couldn't wait to get the Xylophones ordered.

Students use these instruments in class as well as the morning program Tiger Tones. Be watching our website, blog, facebook page, twitter and the Parent Communication for upcoming performances.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Another Great Fall Festival Saturday

The Elementary campus was full of goblins, fairies, superheros, and multiple other costumed children and their families scurrying around trying to get from one booth to the next on Saturday as they enjoyed the Annual Fall Festival. Children young and old were enjoying the train ride, ring toss, face painting, treasure chest, shooting baskets, and so much more. The lines were long but moved quickly as kiddos were playing games and gathering their winnings.

Sami was a big hit at the picture booth and we're not sure what she loved more, the couch where pictures were being taken or the close proximity of the concession stand. Either way she received lots of loving and plenty of treats. Another bigbhit was the costume contest This year's costume contest was very hard on the judges. There were so many entrants and great costumes that the judges had to make two categories - little kids and big kids.

Our silent auction was a success with folks gathering for last minute bidding as time ran out. It's always fun watching everyone get in position to try and make the last bid to win a basket or donated item. We appreciate the contributions from individuals and businesses of our great community that donated items for the silent auction. The silent auction is always our most successful fundraising portion of the Fall Festival.

It was also exciting to learn we had visitors as far away as Livingston, Coldspring, and Houston. We even had a guest appearance from the seamstress for Little Bo Peep! Word on the street is that costume plans are already being made for 2011.

Thank you again to everyone for supporting our Annual Fall Festival - hope to see you again next year.

Jack and Sami enjoying the Fall Festival

Friday, October 29, 2010

Being a responsible pet owner...

Means that sometimes you must take your pets home. Here Josh's Golden Retriever Maddie is being taken home after trying to attend school for the day.

Of course all the other students loved Maddie and she may want to come back because of all the extra love she received.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fall Festival this Saturday

This Saturday the Elementary Booster Club will host it's Annual Fall Festival on the elementary campus. Activities will take place in the cafetorium, gym, and surrounding area outside the cafetorium.

Classes host theme based baskets that will be a part of the silent auction and businesses within our community have donated some nice items for the auction as well. Along with the auction there will be games and activities for all ages. Sami will be in attendance to take photos with the kids.

This is always an exciting day of fun you would not want to miss out on. Come on out after your child's games too - we'll be here until 2PM!

All proceeds go to the Elementary Campus to support the students and staff. Our Booster Club has helped fund activities, school projects, and technology upgrades over the past 5 years.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bing Contest ... We are rated at 4.0...can we get higher?

Bing has extended the deadline for rating projects. We now have until October 26th to increase our rating....please Help Our School.

Help Our School by clicking here

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Author's Perspective in Mrs. Pipkin's class

Mrs. Pipkin's class has been reading Old Yeller. In the writing below one of her students wrote from the bear's perspective. Enjoy...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Congratulations to Mrs. Myers

Mrs. Myers, one of our 4th grade teachers, completed the Harbor Half Marathon in Corpus Christi this past weekend. That's 13.1 miles over some really tall bridges! Mrs. Myers' husband also completed the half marathon and their oldest son completed the Corpus Christi Marathon Kids.

Mrs. Myers competes often in races and can be seen in the early mornings training on the roads around town.

Congratulations Mrs. Myers - well done!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Accomplished but not finished....

Saturday I attempted my first 50 mile trail run. The year of training and excitement leading up to the event on Saturday was an incredible experience. I came short of my goal of running 50 miles stopping at 37.81 miles. I may not have finished the race but I gave everything I had. The heat of the West Texas Canyons and hills were more than I expected. I feel that I could have completed the 50 miles, I simply ran out of time.
I attempted the Palo Duro Canyon 50 Mile Trail Run which has a 12 hour cutoff. Upon my third loop (of which it takes four to finish), I only had 3 hours to complete 12.5 miles. I can typically do this distance without much concern, however, the combination of heat and hills had taken their toll on me. I would not have been able to complete the last loop in the allotted time. Therefore I, along with the race director, felt the best decision was to stop. It would be getting dark and cold within a few hours. Stopping was the smart choice....
I wanted to continue but knew my day was done. Strangely for me I was not sad or disappointed because I knew I gave my best effort. Will I attempt another 50 miler? Good question. I have plenty of questions that I must work through following this race as I've never had to stop short of my goal.
I am blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful people that are supportive of me. No one does anything alone...and this race was no exception.
Thank you. - Ana

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thanks for the support and well wishes

Thursday I leave for Canyon, Texas and more specifically Palo Duro Canyon State Park to participate in the Palo Duro 50 Mile Trail Race. I am excited, anxious, and humbled. I am excited to embark on a journey of 50 miles which I have been preparing for since December of last year. I am anxious about the distance and ability of my body and mind to endure the task. I am humbled by the love of the people who have wished me good luck and even wondered if I am a little crazy.

I have run a couple of marathons and 50K trail races but this 50 mile adventure is a new test - one that I am excited about and feel well prepared. I have endured alone the long training runs as well as the brutal heat of the summer. I am more reflective and patient as I feel more in tune with who I am and what I can do. I have learned that in time I will complete my task and by pacing myself I will succeed.

We face these kinds of challenges in education all the time - always preparing for a test that determines our success. We hope that the hours we put in will help us reach our goals, all the while keeping our focus on the true purpose of our profession - loving kids and watching them grow and reach their potential. In the end success comes in many forms not solely measured by a single accomplishment.

Here too, with a 50 mile race ahead of me, I know I will be successful. I have the spirit of each of you with me as well as love and support. No matter what my finishing time is, I know that I have prepared well and will do my best.

Thank you all for your kind words, well wishes, and love. Each of you will be with me in my heart...

Have a great week and I'll see you all on Monday!

Our School Needs Help Contest through Bing

We need your help - please go to Our School Needs Help supported by Bing and find project #493 (Smithville Elementary, Texas) and rate our project.  The link is listed below. The top 5 rated projects will advance to the finals where a vote will take place. Please rate us as high as you'd like and share with all your friends. Our goal is to reach the voting level.

We need your help to get the word's really easy.  You will need to create a Bing account, then confirm the email you will receive in a matter of minutes, then you can access the site and rate our project.

This is an exciting project that was put together by parents and students from our campus.  How awesome is that?

Thanks in advance for your support!


Our School Needs Smithville Elementary Project #493

Look at this!

Our maintenance guys hung our banner today - what an awesome job!

Thanks Marshall and Hoyt

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

4th Grade Student Work

4th Grade students are studying Native Americans...

Science Mixtures....

4th Grade classes enjoyed an experiment in Ms. Swearingen's class last week. The experiment called for taking a hamburger and fries and blending them together. Once that part was completed, the items were strained, boiled, and then chilled. Students then wrote about the processes in their journals.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Save for America article in the Smithville Times

Thank you to Amanda Sena for the article on the Save for America Program. Teacher Melissa Hanna has spearheaded our involvement in the program sponsored by First National Bank.

You can view the article at

Sent from my iPhone

Mobile Dairy to visit 3rd Grade

The Mobile Dairy Classroom is a traveling milking parlor, featuring a live cow and an oral presentation. The trained instructors will demonstrate how to milk a cow, describe how milk goes from the farm to the consumer, and then answer questions from the audience. This is an innovative program that brings the dairy experience directly to children. At schools, students and teachers share an experience that includes math, science, health (nutrition), and agriculture, all presented in an outdoor classroom format.

The program is scheduled to begin at 9AM. For more information the website is:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday's Activities

Today has a busy and exciting schedule for such a short day. This morning our staff is being treated to a pancake breakfast as our students go banking and join the book club before school.

Once school begins, we will have adjusted Specials schedules, and ultimately an early release day. The purpose of our shortened day is to allow Teachers and Parents time to have good conversations about our students.

During Specials, Officer Stewart will be on hand to talk with our students about bicycle safety, which is a nice lead-in to the Bicycle Rodeo scheduled for this Saturday. The Rodeo will take place in the parking lot of the Elementary.

Enjoy the day and all of it's excitement!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Happy World Teachers' Day

World Teachers Day is celebrated every year on October 5th, since from the year 1994 which commemorates the organizations of the teachers in the entire world. The aim of this special World Teachers Dayis to activate the support for the teachers and also to ensure the requirement of the coming age group will go on to met by the teachers.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Understanding, Acceptance, and Love

I was moved this weekend by a blog post I read by a principal in Canada who wrote about one of his students. He wrote about a little girl named Emily. Emily has Autism and her parents were concerned about Emily's acceptance at this new school.

When the mother finished asking her questions the principal reassured her the school would take care of Emily. Apparently the mother was more use to resistance and didn't know how to respond when the principal was so welcoming and helpful. He jokingly even stated the parent asked if he really was the principal. That made me laugh.

I was moved by the blog post by the love the principal showed for this child he hadn't even met, but mostly I was moved to find an example of our school. As I was reading the blog post I thought of the staff of Smithville Elementary. Every child that walks through the door of our school is treated with kindness, acceptance, and love. No matter the story each child walks in the door with, we welcome them. Even when we know we won't have them with us for very long.

Each day is a new day, a new smile, and a renewed sense of why we are in education. There can be no greater calling than to work with children. Sometimes I wonder who is getting the education - the children or the adults...I think both! Each day we all grow in our understanding, acceptance, and hopefully love of one another.

Have a great day!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Academic Family Fun Night Success

Tuesday night Smithville Elementary hosted it's first Academic Family Fun Night. Preparation for the event began in March and the committee's hard work paid off. The cafeteria was packed with smiling kids and their families were eager to move from one activity to another. This event was designed to be hands-on, and it was. Elementary students were pulling their families from one station to the next challenging them to play the next game or participate in the next activity.

Little brothers and sisters were also participating and having a great time. The event began at 6PM and was scheduled to run through 7:30PM. The only problem, we couldn't get people to stop playing! The energy in the cafeteria was contagious and at a constant buzz. Families got a hands-on sampling of what their children learn in school and how to extend the learning process at home. The stations included organizing a backpack, planting seeds, using a microscope, skip counting, making paint, estimation jars, using context clues, finding the main idea, and many others.

Once students and their families checked in, they were given a map of the activities and a binder ring. At the completion of each station, participants received an index card with the game information to place on their binder ring for use at home. The Academic Family Fun Night committee wanted students and their families to have an opportunity to continue learning and playing the games even after the actual event. Each child also turned in their maps for a prize packet at the conclusion of the event. The prize packet included pencils, erasers, pencil sharpeners, and small notepads.

We were excited to have others from within the school system and community helping out as well. Jill Strube with Safe Routes to School, and the Recycling Grant attended, as did Chris, Misha, and Stacy of First National Bank with the Save for America Program. The SHS Pals group was on hand supporting the Child Nutrition Department and helping at various booths. Candy Beihle with the Child Nutrition Department was on hand providing samples to families as was Starr Waneck with the S.H.A.C. (School Health Advisory Committee), providing handouts to families promoting health and safety.

A huge thank you goes out to The SES Booster Club for supporting the event and also for providing a concession stand.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Having a great time!

Braden at Academic Family Fun Night

Elsie came to Academic Family Fun Night

Great Fun at Lunch Bunch

Getting warmed up for the big match!

Putting her all into the hit.

Two-handed is the best approach....I've studied this.

Complete focus....

The ultimate standoff.....who won?

I just love Lunch Bunch. The challenge of playing tetherball, catching up on what is going on in our student's lives outside of school, and just having some great fun. Students are chosen randomly for Lunch Bunch based on the previous week's perfect attendance list. The challenge them becomes - beat Ms. Murray at tetherball. Ms. Murray is the 3rd Grade Champion from 1977! Don't do the math!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Drainage work on Bishop St.

Jack Page, with the City of Smithville, met with Ms. Murray and SISD Maintenance Director Zack Harris recently about concerns with the drainage on Bishop St.
Recognizing the need to improve drainage, workers were out on Bishop St. Thursday afternoon widening the opening of the drain. Concrete was also poured to improve the area leading into the drain at the north end of Bishop St. as well as the crosswalk located at the Elementary nurse's station.
Our parents were wonderfully patient as students were rerouted due to the prep work and concrete truck at dismissal time.
The construction work is greatly appreciated and we know it will be a nice improvement on rainy days.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mrs. Lewis' students write persuasive paragraphs

Mrs. Lewis gave her 5th grade students a writing assignment to persuade Ms. Murray they should be able to keep Sami, her golden retriever, for the weekend. Here is a sample of one student S. Halleck:

Sami walks down a fourth grade hallway. Everyone gathers around Sami ans she lays on the floor. She loves having attention. "You like this don't you Sami?" asks a short girl. "Woof!" as if to say "you bet!"

Sami is a Golden Retriever, who visits Smithville Elementary School. Her owner is Ana Murray. Sami loves attention. Her fur is a golden-orange color. She loves everyone at Smithville Elementary.

Dear Ms. Murray,

Please let me take Sami home for the weekend! I absolutely love dogs! I would feed her, bathe her, groom her, play with her, and most importantly love her! I vow to have her back by Monday.

S. Halleck

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Friday is Run @ Work Day

For the 5th year Smithville Elementary students, staff, parents, and commune members join together for 35-40 minutes of walking and running on Barry Field. The event was organized 5 years ago in conjunction with the Road Runners Club of America. The event was created to encourage adults to engage in at least 35 minutes of exercise daily. The idea was that this behavior would help individuals improve their heath and general well being while also influencing younger people to make healthy choices as well.
Smithville Elementary believes that physical fitness and healthy eating habits are key to a positive and productive life. So we find it fitting to end the Texas Obesity Awareness Week with a morning on the track.

Some of the most recent research proves that exercise is directly related to improvement in academics. The results of an experiment with 9&10 year old's show that a 20 minute walk before sitting down to take a test raised their scores. You can read the entire article in the New York Times Health section. We here at SES have long believed in the positive relationship between physical fitness and successful academics. We will continue to provide opportunities and motivation for your child to improve their physical fitness.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Smithville Elementary joins Marathon Kids

Thanks to Coach Kristynik, our students will be able to join MarathonKids. MarathonKids is a free running and nutritional program that promotes the development of a healthy lifestyle in our children. According to the flyer provided by, the program challenges kids to run/walk 26.2 miles over six months, in quarter or half mile increments. Children will feel a sense of accomplishment and pride by tracking progress on a mileage and food intake log, while earning rewards along the way.

Students learned about the MarthonKids program last week during P.E. class and were given registration forms to complete and return to school. One of the amazing parts about this program is that it is free!

MarathonKids has been around for 15 years and has expanded to many cities across Texas and other states. You can find more information at The program is free due to generous donations from sponsors. We are excited about joining MarathonKids in encouraging healthy habits in our students.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Smithville Elementary is on Facebook

Smithville Elementary now has a Facebook Page. You can find us at and search for Smithville Elementary. There are a couple of Smithville Elementary's but we are the one with the cute tiger!

In our attempt to be better communicators to our community we have explored the many ways to get information to our families. We hope that our website, blog, AlertNow (phones calls), twitter, and now facebook will help us get the word out on upcoming events and exciting news concerning our school. We will continue to send our Parent Communication Folders home on Thursdays as well.

SES will not post student pictures on facebook. We will post pictures of activities and events as long as no student can be identified to protect their identity. The use of facebook is primarily to post event dates and information. We hope that you will 'like' us and help spread the word about our page.

President Obama's 2nd Annual Back to School Speech

Smithville Elementary School will be recording President Obama's 2nd Annual Back to School Speech at 12:00 PM Tuesday, September 14, 2010. A copy of the speech will be made available in the SES Library for teachers use in the academic setting. Any student wishing to view it may do so before or after school. If you would like more information you may find it at

Sunday, September 12, 2010

This week is Texas Obesity Awareness Week

How fitting it is that our annual Run @ Work Day this Friday will mark the end of the Texas Obesity Awareness Week. This is SES's 5th year with the run at work day event. We have been involved with this event for five years of its existence because of our commitment to the whole child and the influence of good physical fitness habits. Smithville Elementary engages in many additional physical activities throughout the year beyond the regular physical education times. Our students participate in the Walk for Diabetes, Hoops for Hearts, Friday track days, our annual Fun Run, and now our students will have an opportunity to join Marathon Kids.

To support the Texas Obesity Awareness Week at Smithville Elementary we will begin the week with stretches and exercises during Rise & Shine led by Coach Kristynik. Our Specials staff will then reveal the latest P.E. Coke Rewards package we received last week. Each day this week the PE Department will provide students and staff healthy tips. Coach Kristynik will also talk with the entire school about Marathon Kids. Marathon Kids is in it's 15th year and Smithville Elementary students will have a chance to participate for the first time. We are extremely excited about this opportunity and hope that our students take advantage of this great experience.

As you can tell we have many activities that promote healthy and active lifestyles. Please feel free to join us at any or all of our events this year and show your commitment to healthy living.

Grandparent's Day a Huge Success

It was wonderful once again to have the special people in our lives join us on Friday for Grandparent's Day. Thank you to all of our visitors for taking time to spend lunch with us. There were close to 250 total guests that joined us and made our Friday so great.

The picture below doesn't do justice to the turnout and energy in our cafeteria. The food was great as usual and the atmosphere was one I look forward to each year. Grandparent's Day is one of my favorite days of the school year.

Thank you to everyone that helped us celebrate the special people in our lives - grandparent's.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Grandparent's Day 2010

Today is Grandparent's Day at Smithville Elementary. The official Grandparent's day is this Sunday, but today is our day to celebrate our special members of the family.

Brief History:
Grandparents Day was officially recognized in 1978 by President Jimmy Carter. This day has a threefold purpose:
1. To honor grandparents
2. To give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children.
3. To help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer.

It is our honor to celebrate these special people in our lives on this day.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

SES is on Twitter

Smithville Elementary is now on Twitter. You can sign up to receive 'tweets' about SES. The 'tweets' will be sent out for reminders of upcoming events, celebrations, and general news about SES. Last Friday I even 'tweeted' about the football game, which was really exciting. Twitter is an easy way to receive text messages from your school. It's also free! Who doesn't love free?

Click on the "I'm on Twitter" link on the right side of this blog to sign up. You can also follow the tweets in the conversation block further down on the right side.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Good Morning Rain or Shine!

Many people know that I spend a lot of time on the beautiful park trails in our area on the weekends. I have run the trails of Bastrop County for over 15 years and it's pretty safe for me to say that I know the trails very well. I know when the park system makes the slightest change and when mother nature decides to make a change.

The trail allows time for reflection and meditation. It is a place where so many connections to life can be made. Such as the diversity in the forest with the trees, plants, wildlife, and terrain. Anywhere you look there are tall trees, old trees, young trees, fallen trees, and trees of many species.

I am constantly amazed at how one day to the next as much as the trail remains the same, it also changes. An overnight rain can change the path in which one travels due to debris or a fallen tree.

No matter if the rain, wind, or park system changes the trail - it always stays the same. The beauty of the forest is still there, the trail is still there, and the peacefulness of nature remains in the end.

Education is much the same. Each day we work with children to improve their lives as well as our own. Each year educators adjust to the needs of the local, state, and federal regulations and expectations. Yet, each day and each year, we still have the same expectation from year to year no matter what changes in education.

Yet, each day and each year, we have the same expectation no matter what changes are made in education. That expectation is to love students and guide them to be the best they can be.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Rain brings out the best in people!

Today we were greeted with an early morning cleansing through heavy rain. Of course it began right before kids began getting to school and stopped when the bell rang for school to start.

The rain fell so hard that it couldn't run-off so kids, parents, and staff were wading through lots of water. The rain also brought out extra help attempting to get kids from buses and cars with limit success under umbrellas. Our help came from staff, parents, and maintenance. I wanted to thank all of those that I saw - Mr. Spicer a parent, Mr. Mounts another parent, Mr. Young in maintenance, Mrs. Waneck from the nurse's office, and numerous staff. Thank you also to those I didn't see.

Our 5th grade made an adjustment in their meeting location which was very energizing for them and the entire building. Lots of excitement and wet feet this morning but we are on track as usual. There's not much that gets Smithville Elementary 'off-track'.

Enjoy the 3-day Labor Day Weekend.