Roadrunner Rundown – 1/25/19

Roadrunner Rundown

lee roadrunner


for 2019-01-25 to 2019-02-25

News and Announcements

Roadrunner Rundown – Science Fair

I want to start by congratulating our Teacher of the Year, Celina Abrego! Ms. Abrego was identified by her colleagues for the outstanding work she does with her Roadrunners in 1st grade. This is her fourth year as a teacher at Russell Lee Elementary School, and Celina attended our school as a young Roadrunner from Kindergarten to 6th grade. Please join us all in celebrating Ms. Abrego and all of her amazing work at our school.

Next Tuesday is our wildly popular Science Fair. I am excited to see all the creative experiments that our Roadrunners have been working on. If any students (or parents) need any last minute assistance, we will be holding our final Science Fair Sunday this Sunday from 2:00-4:00 in the library. Thank you to Jenny Day, Wolfgang Frey and all the volunteers who have assisted in the lead up to Science Fair. Tuesday afternoon. we will hold our monthly CAC meeting to discuss recent budget updates and student safety efforts. As a reminder, the week after next is Counselor Appreciation Week.

Lee Live tickets will go on sale February 1st. This year’s event will sell out and we want to make sure that all of our families have the opportunity to attend and support all of the important programs and staffing at our school. As I shared last week, Lee Live will be headlined by White Denim and will feature the silent and live auction. This year we will be celebrating at Springdale Station on Saturday March 2nd and look forward to seeing all of you there!

Lastly, I want to share the following message from our Health Team:
We have several confirmed cases of flu. Please make sure if your child has a fever that they stay home until they are fever free without medication for 24 hours.  Please do not bring sick siblings into the school.The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. There also are flu antiviral drugs that can be used to treat and prevent flu. The tips and resources below will help you learn about steps you can take to protect yourself and others from flu and help stop the spread of germs.

Get Vaccinated

The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. There are several flu vaccine options for the 2018-2019 flu season.

Avoid close contact

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

Stay home when you are sick

If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.

Cover your mouth and nose

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), are spread by cough, sneezing, or unclean hands.

Clean your hands

Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth

Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

Practice other good health habits

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

Thank you for your continued support.

Have a wonderful weekend,

John Hewlett
Principal – Russell Lee Elementary School

Library Lines

Lots happening in the Library!!!

We’ve sponsored the Science Fair Saturday and Sunday – last one on January 27th 2-4pm.

We will participate in the BookSpring Read-a-thon to raise funds to get books into the homes of kids in Austin who don’t have books at home.  Info flyer and envelopes will be coming home this week.  If your child wants to participate, sign up at, get your sponsors and start reading.  Keep track of minutes or pages read between Jan. 28th and Feb. 8th.  Collect any money donated (donations can go through the website, too) and turn it all in to your teacher by February 25.

We will have the Mobile Planetarium in the library during Science Fair week.  All students will visit it during their class library visit.  We will keep the library open on Tuesday, January 28th until 6:00, so everyone can come check out the Planetarium after viewing the Science Fair.

Bluebonnet Book Readers 3rd – 6th.  If your child is doing the Bluebonnet Book Challenge, please remind them that the forms are due by February 14th.  If they are trying to read all 20 books, then the forms are due March 25th. 

Finally, HiLo author, Judd Winik, will be visiting our 2nd -6th grades on Wed. Feb 6th.   His visit is sponsored by BookPeople.  If you would like to purchase any autographed copies of books please look for the order form coming home soon.

Have a great weekend.


Student Council News

Student Council had a big semester in the Fall with our service projects.

Thanks to you, for your support.

We took off running –  in socks  –  with Socktober and collected more than 100 pairs of socks for the needy in Austin.  Mrs. Gilbert delivered them to the homeless shelter in November – just before the big cold spell hit.

In November, we recognized the needs of our 4-footed friends, as well as kids spending the holidays in the hospital.  We had a bake sale during evening performance of the 1st grade “Mu -SEL-cal” program.  We raised $128 and split the donation between Austin Pets Alive and Dell Children’s Hospital.

Finally in December, we participated in a Christmas Cheer drive to send some cheer to kids in detention centers at the border.   All the students who wanted to participated, and we sent them off just before school let out.  Good feelings all around.

Keep an eye out for our Spring Semester events.


Lee Equity in Action Programs (LEAP) Meeting

Lee Equity in Action Programs (LEAP) meets on Friday, February 1, 8 AM in the Lee Cafeteria and again at 6 PM at Central Market on Lamar (bring the kids!):
This group promotes equitable educational opportunities for all students and awareness and recognition of the value of students of diverse backgrounds. Join us to discuss our agenda for the Spring, based on ideas suggested by members in our Fall meetings, including our next school community event, a second movie screening and potluck, plans for an upcoming panel on race and representation, global awareness days, and more. All are welcome.

GT Nomination Window Jan 14 – Feb 1

Welcome Back to the Spring Semester 2018 – 2019 School Year!

The Spring identification process for the Gifted and Talented (GT) program at Lee Elementary School is beginning on Monday, January 14th.  The nomination window is January 14 – February 1, 2019.  We will test students in grades K – 2 this spring semester.  However, if you have a child in grades 3 – 6 and feel you would like to nominate them this semester, please return the form as well. Note: if you have already nominated your child this school year, you must wait a complete full year to nominate them again.

The GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) screening process includes several steps:  nomination, screening, selection, online testing (which is timed), teacher input, and the common assessment.

Timeline of Events:

January 14 – February 1Nomination Window
February 4 – February 8Home Parent Observation Surveys – letter to follow 2/1
February 25 – March 29CogAt Testing, In-class District assignments
April 8 – April 18GT Decision-Making Committee reviews student profiles
April 26Parent notification letters

I want to remind you of the new terminology in the Gifted and Talented program.

  • GT STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) for students identified gifted in math and/or science
  • GT Humanities for students identified gifted in language arts and/or social studies.

Talent Exploration STEM and Talent Exploration Humanities supports high-ability students who did not reach the full AISD GT qualifications, but are still are grouped with the identified GT students.  Therefore, activities are available to these high-ability students who are identified through the GATE screening process.

If you are interested in nominating your child for the GT program, please inform your child’s teacher by returning this letter with your child’s name and Student ID, or email them directly.  After the nomination window has been closed, we will be sending home a Parent GT Observation Survey to be completed.

Complete and return forms to your child’s teacher.  The teacher will give the forms to Mr. D’Erasmo, 3rd Grade Teacher/GT Advocate.

The deadline to submit a nomination to your child’s teacher is Friday, February 1, 2019.  No late nominations will be accepted due to the tight deadline for requesting the CogAT online assessments.

After the GT identification process is completed, parent letters will be sent home by Friday, April 26, 2019, to inform you of the selection committee’s decision.  GT services for the newly identified students will begin in 2019-2020 school year.

Thank you for your interest and support of the Gifted and Talented program at Lee Elementary School.

Mr. D’Erasmo
3rd Grade Teacher
GT Advocate