Roadrunner Rundown – 5/12/17

Roadrunner Rundown

lee roadrunner


for 2017-05-12 to 2017-06-12

News and Announcements

Roadrunner Rundown – Mother’s Day

Roadrunner Families,

It has been a long week and I am proud of how well our students did across all grade levels. Our Roadrunners who were testing in the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grades did an excellent job of taking their time and doing their best on the STAAR. Our students at the lower grade levels had an eventful week with a variety of fun field trips and outdoor opportunities. Thanks to our staff for making the most of a challenging week. I also want to congratulate all of our students who had their creative works accepted to the latest edition of Lee Creates. Thank you to Melanie Tolen, Mary Wendel, Alex Hubbard, Julie Brown, Jenny Day and all of our 6th Grade Leaders who made The Lee Creates Release Party the best one yet!

Congratulations to our Amigos de Russell Lee on a fantastico Noche Latino! It was a really fun night to be a part of and the turnout was great. Thanks to all of the volunteers who helped plan and make the event such a resounding success. Congratulations to 3rd Grade for winning the Spirit Stick. The Amigos have been the driving force behind our very successful homegrown Spanish Program and we appreciate all they have done to put a longterm program into place. Our CATCH Night was also a crowd pleaser. Congratulations to Coach Huff and his volunteers.

Next week we will have our final PTA Meeting of the year. The PTA will be voting on a revision of the bylaws, the budget that was presented in April and new membership for the PTA Executive Board.

With the last day of school right around the corner we will be starting our color theme days on Monday, the schedule is as follows:

Mon     5/15      red
Tues      5/16      orange
Wed      5/17      yellow
Thurs    5/18      green
Fri         5/19      purple

Mon      5/22      blue
Tues      5/23      white
Wed      5/24      black
Thurs    5/25      plaid ( in honor of Mr. McIntyre)

On Thursday night we hosted a FABPAC – (Facilities And Bond Planning Advisory Committee) meeting where the details of a future facilities bond were discussed by the FABPAC membership. I was able to give a tour to some members as well as district leaders and highlighted some of the areas of need on our campus. While I want to make sure that our school is represented in the discussion of future improvements, I feel that our need for additional classroom space is not something that can wait for another future bond that is years away. With the completion of new condo/apartment buildings in our attendance zone and the long waiting lists for transfers (close to fifty this year), we need to employ a proactive approach to meet the growing needs of our school. Through our CAC we are currently working on the details of the campus improvements that will take place as part of the bond that passed in 2013.

The district has decided not to pursue an initial proposal of an administrative addition to the front of the school, but there will need to be renovations to the administrative areas in accordance with the language of the bond. Without the addition to the front of the building, they will need to include the space that is currently Ms. Osborn’s classroom in order to meet the requirements for an updated Nurses Office. I am strongly advocating that we make up for that lost classroom space with an addition where the White House is currently located. I know that the White House is a longstanding fixture of our campus and the thought of losing a structure that has played a large role on our campus since 1952 is difficult. However, it is one of the only spaces on campus where new construction could take place because of the flood plain and our reluctance to encroach on our outdoor spaces. The possible options for additional classroom space and other details of the 2013 Bond work will be the primary topic at our upcoming CAC Meeting on Tuesday afternoon at 3:00. Please feel free to join the conversation. Also, more information went home today in the Friday Folders about community input for the upcoming bond proposals.

Lastly, I want to wish a very happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers in the Lee Family. Thanks for all you do to enrich the lives of our Roadrunners and make them such amazing young people. A very special thanks to my mother, who is an educator herself and has been instrumental in my long path to Lee Elementary School (and who reads my newsletter each week). Happy Mother’s Day!

Have a wonderful weekend,

John Hewlett
Proud Principal
Russell Lee Elementary School

Upcoming PTA Budget Vote

The Lee PTA membership will be asked to vote on the final Lee PTA 2017-2018 proposed budget at the upcoming PTA membership meeting on May 16 at 7:50am at Lee Elementary. A copy of the proposed budget can be found here.

Please note: In order to vote on the Lee PTA budget for 2017-2018 you must be a paid member of the PTA.

To determine if you have an active membership with the Lee PTA, you can check the membership list here.

If you are not a member and would like to purchase a membership for $6.50, please visit

If you have questions about the list or about membership, please contact Piper Stege Nelson at

Library Lines

Lee Creates:  Wow! What a turnout!  Thank you for your time, patience and encouragement.  The kids did a great job of sharing their work, and you parents were so gracious.  Thanks to Melanie Tolen and Mary Wendel who were our parent sponsors/volunteers.  Thanks to the 6th grade student leaders who put it together and Thanks to the students who submitted their work.   **  The turnout was so big, we may need a different venue next year. **  Thanks to Stephen Hood for photos…

Library Books:  My book carts runneth over! We received the vast majority of books this week!  Thank you.  If your child forgot his/her book, they may turn it in next week.  We can look for books on the shelves here in the library and in the classrooms.  I will be heading to New York next week (for my last child’s college graduation), but will keep in touch with teachers regarding overdues.  If you have to pay for a lost book – please wait until May 23rd.  You may also purchase a hardcover copy in good condition from half-price books or amazon for a replacement.

Now for a little levity…

Thank you for all your support.

Benefit Concert for Education in India

Enjoy an evening of entertainment and support education in rural and tribal India.

Ekal’s primary vehichle for achieving their vision & mission is through the support of 1 teacher schools (Ekal Vidyalayas) in rural and tribal India. The emphasis is one functional literacy and numeracy so that the people can eventually become self sufficient. One of the key aspects of the Ekal model is that of training the teachers, and directing over 90% to teacher training, student materials, etc and not to overhead costs.

Concert info:
When: Sat. 5-13-17 at 5:00 pm
Where: Texas School for the Deaf Auditorium (1102 S. Congress)
Cost: $20 general admission, $10 students (available online at<>)
Keynote address by 2016 Texas Teacher of the Year, Revathi Balakrishnan

Extending Deadline for Spanish Fundraiser

Extending Deadline for Amigos Photobook Fundraiser!!

New Deadline: Friday, May 19th  4 DAYS LEFT

Photobook Details

PARENTS, this is a great family time opportunity! One Lee parent shared this about her experience with her daughter, “Taking photos out and about in Austin was a blast.  Carlisle and I learned Spanish words together (espuma, calidad, el sabor de cuaresma…) AND we even got to speak some Spanish and eat some churros while we were at it.  Gracias, Amigos.”

~ Clayton Maxell, Russell Lee parent

Mindfulness PD EdBacker Campaign

One of our teachers has created an EdBacker campaign to raise funds that will provide training in mindfulness, character education, and other non-academic programs. This will benefit the campus as we expand our SEL skills and continue growing as a model SEL campus. Please help spread the word and contribute if this speaks to you.

Resilient Roadrunners’ Teacher PD

PTA Bylaw Amendments

Please see the attached worksheet that shows the amendments to the bylaws that the bylaw committee has developed and the executive board has approved. We will vote on these changes at our next membership meeting on Tuesday, May 16 at 7:50 am.

These changes bring our bylaws inline with our practices. Please send any questions or concerns to Sara Bircher (

Amigos meeting

The Amigos next meeting will be Thursday, May 18th @ 7:50a in the Library.