News from the Principal and the PTA
OCTOBER 28,  2016
                        VISIT OUR SCHOOL WEBSITE            VISIT OUR PTA WEBSITE 
CLICK HERE for our full calendar of events  

Oct 31 8:30 am 2nd Grade Storybook Character Parade
Nov 1
2nd Grade to the Altheretta Yeargin Art Museum
Nov 4 NOON DISMISSAL Students will get out at noon today to allow professional learning time for our faculty. 
Nov 7 8:15 am Social Media Class for parents - a HOW-TO for parents. Don't miss learning from our Memorial High School Future Teachers! 
Nov 8 7:00am - 7:00pm HCE is an election site.  Please try to stay away from school today as parking will be difficult. Please have students ride the bus or bring them to the parent drive in the morning.  
Nov 11 9:00am VETERANS' DAY PROGRAM - please invite veterans to attend. There will be rows saved in the front half of the audience for families who bring veterans. 

Progress Reports Go Home

At the last PTA General Meeting I shared that there is a hold on changes or alterations done to campus grounds or buildings while the District Wide Facilities Assessment is being conducted.  I have further information about this... 

Due to SBISD starting the District Wide Facilities Assessment, the Operations Department is requesting to place a "temporary hold" on the current CV Process. As a reminder, the assessment will include the physical condition, as well as the educational suitability of the facility. This "temporary hold" will include all alterations or changes to campuses/facilities requested by the campus, PTO/PTA, Booster Clubs and/or outside organizations effective November 1, 2016. Please note that changes or alterations to campuses/facilities needed due to district wide program changes, maintenance needs and code compliance would not be included in this "temporary hold".

The reasons for the request of a "temporary hold" is that changes or alterations done to the  campuses/facilities during the assessment period may not allow for a true assessment of the current  conditions of the campus/facility. In addition, depending upon the findings of the assessment, it is  possible that changes or alterations funded by the campus, PTO/PTA and Booster Club and/or outside organizations may need to be undone. Finally, during this time, it is important to allow for the Operations Department staff to fully concentrate on the District Wide Facility Assessment.

T his District Wide Facility Assessment process is scheduled to be completed by the end of April 2017,  with the Board making a decision on a Long Range Facility Plan by August 2017. Therefore, the  Operations Department is requesting that the "temporary hold" on the CV Process remain in place until August 2017.

1.    District staff will arrive at HCE by about 4 am to put up directional signs and instructions for voters. There will be district staff on site from early morning, until the polls close to handle any voting issues that may disturb school. 

2.    Each staff member will be given a parking sign to tape to the inside back window of their car to designate them as HCE STAFF.  No one should visit the school that day except in case of emergency to pick up a sick child.  No volunteers that day please.

3.    Voter parking will be on the Wade Hampton (west) side of school in those places close to Beinhorn and in the bus drive parking lot. Staff parking will be along the front on Beinhorn and in the parent drive parking lot on the Flint River (east) side of school. 

4.  Voting will be in the cafeteria and voters will enter from the door in the southwest corner of the cafĂ©.  There will be no public restrooms for voters and no voters will enter any part of the campus except the cafeteria in and out that one door in the southwest corner of the cafeteria. 

5 .    Students will go straight to their class that morning when they arrive to school either from bus, parent drive or walking.  

6.   Breakfast will be delivered to the DC so students will go there if they need to eat breakfast.

7.   Sack lunches will be delivered to classrooms and eaten in classrooms. Students will still go to recess.  

8.  iKids will be held in the gym that day so parents will need to pick up iKids children from the gym that afternoon.

9.    Kindergarten will dismiss walkers from the library gate in the front to avoid the cafeteria. Parents should meet their Kinder walkers at the front library gate. 

10.  The HCE staff will all be leaving early that day and the office will close early to allow our staff time to go and vote.  

As you may know, Spring Branch ISD continues to face challenges due to the ongoing negative impact of the State's school finance model on the district's bottom line. The Texas Legislature chose not to take substantive action in its recent session to address the public school finance issue, and the Texas Supreme Court is deliberating the constitutionality of the school-finance system following oral arguments last week in a related lawsuit to which we are a party. In the meantime, SBISD remains particularly affected due to our status as a Chapter 41, or "Robin Hood" high-property wealth school district. The result is that SBISD will send approximately $66 million in locally generated tax revenue to the State this year. Thus, the staffing model we put into place in 2011 remains in place again this year.
Despite on-going issues relative to the state's funding model, the Texas Legislature has not fully relaxed the required 22:1 student teacher ratio requirement in Kindergarten through 4th grade Texas classrooms.  Texas school districts are required by law to review class size enrollments to determine if Kindergarten through 4th grade classes meet the mandated requirement of 22:1 student teacher ratio.
As a result of the reduction in state funding, it is not possible for many Texas school districts, including Spring Branch ISD, to meet the 22:1 mandate in all classrooms.  Texas public school districts are required to submit to the Texas Education Agency a Maximum Class Size Exception Request for each K-4 classroom that exceeds 22 students per class.  HCE currently has 6 K-4 classrooms that exceed the 22:1 ratio with either 23 or 24 students; therefore, we are required by law to notify the parents of children in those classes that a Maximum Class Size Exception Request was approved for those classes. Those letters went home Friday, Oct.28. 

Additionally, we have three classes with 22 that may go over if/when new students enroll.  
I encourage you to contact your state legislators and ask them to fix the school finance system for public schools, including SBISD classrooms, in the next Legislative session.  

Great website to learn more about how this effects SBISD:

General PTA Meeting 
November 17 @ 6:00 pm
The Del ( directions)
SBISD Board Members and a representative from the SB Education Foundation will present information about school finances and how it impacts our children. The Del will serve appetizers. 
Counselor's Corner
By Andrea Chvatal

The last two weeks' guidance lessons have been focused on accepting physical differences in others.  We read  I am Helen Keller by Brad Meltzer and discussed how much Helen did in her lifetime in spite of her physical challenges.  The kids were able to compare their hands to their classmates and see the different finger shapes, skin color and sizes.  We looked at pictures of a child golfer who has one arm, a girl who uses a wheelchair, a girl who uses prosthetic legs, and a cute puppy with one eye.  

We agreed that we, as people, are more alike than different.  Most kids love to play, hear music, eat yummy food and feel accepted by others.  Most adults I know love those things too!  Some other books to read with your child to prompt a conversation about physical differences are What if the Zebras Lost Their Stripes? by John Reitano, Nugget & Fang by Sauer and Slack, and Don't laugh at Me by Steve Seskin.  Happy reading!


Our Sister School, Woodview Elementary, would love to have donations of board games to add to their classrooms.  

Ideas for donations: Boy or Girl Scout troop collections, in lieu of birthday party gifts, or a family may decide to "adopt" a classroom and donate.  

There are 2 Pre-K classrooms, 5 Kinder, first and second grade classrooms, 6 third grade classrooms, and 4 fourth and fifth grade classrooms each.   

Thank you, in advance, for supplying these resources for our Sister School! You can drop them off at Woodview (behind the HEB on Bunker Hill) or at our front office and we will deliver. 
Our Tuesday afternoon 
Cursive Handwriting Club 
is full!  

Mrs. Kostelnik will begin teaching a Tuesday afternoon group, 3:00-3:30 in room 23 on Nov 8, for 6 weeks - through Dec 13. 

To join this group, first-come-first-served, email

   Bruce Coville - Visiting Author   
Blue Willow Bookshop is sponsoring an author visit by Bruce Coville
f or  3rd grade and 4th grade students on Tuesday, November 15th , in the
HCE Library.  He will talk about the writing process as well as his marvelous new book HATCHED, the newest in his  ENCHANTED FILES series.
"Meet Gerald. Gerald is a griffin-a creature with the body of a lion and the head of an eagle. According to the Code of the Griffins, that means he should be:
1. Brave and fierce in all situations!
2. A guardian of a great treasure!
3. Completely and totally hidden from the human realm!
But what if a Griffin ISN'T brave or fierce? What if he's NEVER found a great treasure (or ANY treasure for that matter)? What if he feels like such an embarrassment that the only thing left to do is run away? And what if the only place no one will look for him is the human world? This laugh-out-loud adventure, full of humor and heart ."
Use this link to order a personalized copy for your student of Hatched and Cursed:
The deadline to order from Blue Willow is  Tuesday, November 8th . Thank you, Blue Willow Bookshop for sponsoring this awesome author visit!

(click on link to view)
Brought to you by the creative, inspired, 
and exceptional readers at HCE!


NOVEMBER 7, 2016       8:15-9:00 in the library

Our Future Teachers from Memorial High School will be guest instructors to teach you about Snapchat. 

Also learn...How To Use:  Instagram, Twitter, Facebook 

This will be a working session.  Bring your own device - BYOD!  

This is not a session to learn about internet safety for your children, which we will do later. This session is to teach YOU how to keep up with your children on social media - and to let you know if your children should be on these social media sites.  
3rd and 4th Grade Veterans' Day Salute!
On November 11th the third and fourth grades will perform a program of patriotic songs to celebrate Veterans' Day.
Please invite family members who are veterans so we can show them our appreciation. We love when they come in uniform. We will have special seating in the front section for families who bring veterans as guests. 

Friday, November 11 th
Hunters Creek Cafeteria
                    9:00 a.m                       

This week a large number of our HCE teachers benefited from two bodaciously fantastic (sorry for the over the top adjectives) learning experiences.  

Eight of us traveled to Providence, Rhode Island for three days for the Literacy For All Conference with literacy gurus: Lucy Calkins, Irene Fountas and Gay Sue Pinnell and more.  I know you don't want to read too much about them so click on their names for more information. We were literacy nerds and had such a great time learning and laughing together to bring back great ways to refine our instruction at HCE. 

Experiencing Fall in Providence, Rhode Island: L to R - Sarah Giese, Rosie Cantu, Laura Clark, Omi Ford, Robye Snyder, Rachel Scott, Delia Dunavin & Jenny Sheets. 

With Lucy Calkins

With Irene Fountas and Gay Sue Pinnell

Then, yesterday, this group of teachers learned together with mathematics guru, Greg Tang.  They are ready to bring back engaging and challenging math learning to help our students gain a strong foundation in mathematical concepts such as number sense, place value and mental math.  

Top Row: Michelle Coan, Mac Rozzell, Greg Tang, Rosie Cantu, Lauren Early, Tracey McCall, Ashley Johnson. 
Front Row: Kirstyn Duncan, Blaire Howard, Deana Ratnala, 
Laura Jackson,  Julie Boyd. 


Cougar Football Parents,
Thank you for supporting our school-wide effort to attend the Memorial High School Homecoming game. Our students would not have been able to participate in this fun, field trip without the help of committed parents and willing volunteers like you. Your continued dedication to provide rich, meaningful, experiences and memories to our Cougar girls and boys is priceless. 
Thank you,
Coach Thompson
Robye Snyder

Thank you Field Day Volunteers, Teachers and Staff!
What a beautiful and fun-filled day all the children had at this year's 
Olympic Field Day!

It was great to see the boys and girls having so much fun playing creative games and representing different countries through colorful attire while enjoying their classmates and teachers.  This field day tradition would not be possible without the tremendous commitment of our parent volunteers.

This year's PTA Field Day Chairpersons, Erin Lanier and Emily Voorhees were incredible. They coordinated the setting up, manning and cleaning up of 20 plus stations. Erin and Emily even got their husbands to paint the lines for the 50 yard dash. These ladies are amazing!

We were so lucky to have so many dad helpers early this morning to help with set up!  Thanks to the HCE Dads Club. 

A very big thank you is also due to Coach Norris, Coach Roberson, Ms. Snyder and the dedicated teachers/staff at Hunters Creek.
Cougars Rock!
PTA President's Perspective

Wow!  We sure did have a busy week!  Thanks to Kourtney Cyrus for organizing a great Red Ribbon week!  Science Fair kicked off Monday and classroom spelling bees and field day were today!  Thanks to Erin Lanier and Emily Voorhess for coordinating Field Day!  It sure was a fun Olympic event!  

Also, our 2nd Annual Halloween party is tonight and you don't want to miss it!  There are still tickets left and they can be purchased at the online PTA Store.  Hope to see you there!

I would like to send a HUGE THANK YOU to Pamela Thompson, Robye Snyder and Jackie Roberson and parent chaperones who took over 140 HCE students to the Memorial High School Homecoming Football game!  All the kids really enjoyed it!  My kids came home with so many fun stories about the night to tell me.  They even asked if I could sign them up to go again next year!  Maybe this will become an HCE tradition!

Our RockOn! HCE Auction is coming up! Make sure you get your tickets so you don't miss a fun event to support our wonderful school. It will be a Rockin' night filled with bidding, food, music from an HCE Dad's band and much more!! Don't forget to purchase your Raffle tickets for a chance to win a Golf Cart! Thanks to our amazing Auction Chairs for all the hard work they have put into planning this event!

I hope everyone has a great weekend and a Happy Halloween!

Katrina Stephenson
HCE PTA President 

HCE...the Best Place to "BEE"!!

Classroom Bee winners will be announced soon! 
School Bee - Thursday, December 8th @ 8:30 am
Contact persons for further information or questions:
Jenny Robertson at
Meg Bissinger at
Denise Campbell at


Let's ROCK ON and support our school! Buy your auction tickets today!
LIVE Band, featuring HCE Dads Blake Ratliff and Travis Landers
Saturday, November 12th
Click HERE
 to buy your Auction Tickets


Click  HERE to buy your raffle tickets to win a . . .

Custom Gunmeta l Gray E-Z-GO!

4-Passenger Electric Golf Cart
6" Factory Lift Kit
All Terrain Tires
48Volt (Six-8 Volt Batteries)
18 MPH
Foldable Rear Seat
Headlights, Taillights, and Brake Lights
Brush Guard
Includes Charger and 2 Sets of Keys
12 Month Warranty
*Additional features can be added at winner's expense (seat belts, stereo and speakers)
*Winner is responsible for payment of all taxes due on the fair market value of the prize
*Winner does not need to be present to win
Winner will be drawn at the Auction on November 12th!


The PTA is looking for interested volunteers to help out in the Teacher Workroom.   Ideally, each volunteer will work once a month in the workroom making copies, cutting, pasting and laminating for our HCE teachers.   Most likely the commitment is not longer than a couple of hours a month.  
The time spent in the workroom helps our faculty and staff so much and allows them to spend more time focused on the classroom.  Please contact Kelly Siblik at  to volunteer today.  Thanks in advance!
Are bedtimes and vegetables a struggle in your household?  How about getting homework completed peacefully?  Discover tools and techniques for effectively dealing with these issues and more...

Join us Thursday mornings for a nine-week book study of  Parenting with Love & Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay.  The first meeting was Oct 6 but join us at any time during the book study.  

All meetings are 8:05-8:55 in room 7 at Hunters Creek.  UPDATED TIME!!! 
Mark your calendars for these remaining dates:
November 3 rd, 10 th, & 17 th
December 1st & 7th

You may purchase a copy of the book at:  OR  OR through your local bookshop
For more information, contact Andrea Chvatal, M.Ed., Counselor, Hunters Creek Elementary or Sarah Eixmann

                4 Easy Ways To Help Hunters Creek Elementary!!
Box Tops for Education -
* Simply clip Box Top$ from hundreds of participating brands.
* Please, put Box Top$ in a plastic bag (or envelope) labeled with the child's and teacher's name and current grade.
* Send only valid coupons, the coupons EXPIRE after 3 years.
* The top 5 classrooms from the entire school with the most Box Top$ submitted during the entire school year will enjoy an ice cream treat in the month of May.
Labels for Education -
* Simply Clip and save UPCs and beverage/ sauce caps from participating products. Check out the complete list at .
* Please, put Labels for Education in a plastic bag (or envelope) labeled with the child's and teacher's name and current grade.
Kroger's "Neighbor to Neighbor" Program -  
* Link your Kroger Card to HCE online at .  Organization #83363.  HCE receives 1% of every purchase made with your Kroger Plus Card.    
* Important: You have to RE-LINK your card each school year so don't forget to do this ASAP!!
Amazon Smile

*Direct link that will contribute to HCE is: 
*Visit (same account as ) and select  
HCE as charitable organization; this will donate 0.5% of your purchase!
On your first visit, you select a charitable organization to receive donation before
You begin shopping Go to: "or pick your charitable organization" and type  
Hunters Creek Elementary and select Houston, Texas. It will show up as PTA
Texas Congress 4932, or you can also look for the school with EIN number: EIN-74-6086197 
These are all easy ways to earn money for HCE! Contact Marilu Kurtz for more information or with questions at  
Please make sure you submit all the Box Tops by October 20, 2016- they are due on November 1, 2016
Please be sure to write the Grade, Student and Teacher names on your bag/envelope of official coupons.


Please support our school by purchasing a membership to the HCE PTA.  Although we welcome your volunteer time, there is no requirement.  Memberships are only $15 and you will receive a FREE school directory!  
The membership funds go to support many enriching opportunities for HCE students.
We are so close to last year's membership, but need you help to get there by the end of October so HCE can be recognized by the Texas PTA!  Please help and join today!!

("PTA Store" then "PTA Membership)
If you have any questions, please contact Amy Miers at or 713-557-6443.

Community support is what allows HCE to be an exceptional school with unique programs, terrific teachers, and an innovative curriculum. HCE relies upon the generosity of parents, grandparents, alumni, parents of alumni, faculty, staff and friends like you to keep our school flourishing.  


CLICK HERE to donate today or complete the contribution form (form can be found here) and write a check to HCE PTA, memo: Annual Fund.  Drop off to the front office, send through your child's backpack or mail to:  Ketti Collins, 851 Country Lane, Houston, TX 77024

COUGAR PRIDE - $5,000+  
  PAW POWER - $2,500+
AWESOME HCE - $1,250+
COUGAR FAN - $100+ 


Donations for Teachers:
Auction ticket - $100
ALL donors will be recognized in the HCE Directory, Yearbook, Auction catalog, 
Newsletter and Website.

Remember to check with your company for their Corporate Matching Program. 

For questions about the annual fund, please contact Ketti Collins at: or (989) 506-8634



The Collins Family
Dr. Salimah Cumber & Aziz Hussain Foundation
The Nini Family
Reina Ramos & Reagan Ramos
The Turner Family
HCE Family - Anonymous
The Badar Family 
Kim & Joe Dang
The Kimmel Family
Elliott & Wells Wagner
Laura & Ryan Zehl
HCE Family - Anonymous
HCE Family - Anonymous
The Adams Family
The Campbell Family
The Carlson Family
The D'Agostino Family
The Daik Family
The Daly Family
The Kelley Family
The Krouse Family
The Oldham Family
Amanda & Trevor Parsons
The Sparks Family

The Annino Family
The Armitage Family
The Chaffin Family
The Chenoweth Family
David & Brianna Cisarik
Meaghan & Charles Conrad
The Cyrus family
 The Donnelly Family
Andrea and John Ferruzzo
The Goforth Family
The Green Family
The Gross Family
The Hudson Family
The Ingersoll Boys
The Le Family
The Ratliff Family
Lexington Smith & Family
The Staley Family
The Steeg Family
The Stephenson Family
The Thibaut Family
The Weekley Family
The Wolcott Family
The Zarr Family
HCE Family - Anonymous

Ashley & CL Baskin
Alonso I. Benavides
The Ben-Yaacov Family
Tim & Nicole Blaine
The Gores
The Kinsel Family
The Loeffler Family
The Lowy Family
Robert J. Magner
Matthew & Shelley McCain
Jill and Chris Oliver
The Parkan Family
Addison Rappold
Fred Ghabriel & Phoebe Rourke-Ghabriel
Watler Family
The Werme Family
The S. Yang Family
Friends of HCE

The Bissinger Family
The Deffebach Girls
The Eixmann Family
The French Family
The Hausmann Family
The Hilgert Family
Mindy and Chris Jones
The Lanier Family
The Lunsford Family
The Mendez Family
The Mousoudakis Family
The Robertson Family
The Rush Family
The Siblik Family
Thalie & Alexia Simeonidis
Twinkie Snyder
The Witte Family
The Zarich Family
Cougar Fans
HCE Family - Anonymous

Brian & Cherish Bradshaw
The Castellanos Family
Camila Gracia
The Giudici Family
Kathie Grabstald
Huy & Julie Nguyen
The Peeples Family

Azael De la Cruz/Sherry Salomon
Amanda Janicek
The Masunaga-Bonzelet Family
Go online to or drop off a check to front office,
send through your child's backpack or mail to:
Ketti Collins, 851 Country Ln, Houston, TX 77024


The Gala will be on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at the Omni Riverway Hotel (4 Riverway, Houston 77056).  This promises to be an extraordinary Gala.  Please join help in supporting the Foundation, and attend this fun event.

If you cannot attend the Winter Wonderland Gala, support SBEF by taking a memorable vacation for 2 on us! You can enter for your chance to take a vacation on us by purchasing raffle tickets ($100/ticket).  This year we are selling only 150 raffle tickets.   
When you purchase your raffle tickets ($100/ticket), you enter for a chance to choose your vacation destination (airfare included) for two (2) from the following three (3) options:
1)     Jamaica All-Inclusive:  5-night stay at Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall (family friendly) or Hyatt Rose Hall (adults-only)
2)     Canadian Fairmont Stay:  4-night stay in a Junior Suite at Select Canadian Fairmonts located in Alberta, British Colombia, Quebec, or Ontario
3)     U.S. Open Tennis Championship:  3-night stay in New York with 2 tickets (Promenade level 300, upgrade optional) to the Men's and Women's Finals, as well as a $150 American Express gift card.
Raffle tickets are $100 each, and they are selling very quickly!  Contact Dmel Tatum to purchase your raffle ticket today!
You do not need to be present to win your choice of a remarkable vacation destination.
For more information about this years Winter Wonderland Gala, and the Spring Branch Education Foundation, please click the Gala link above or go to
Thank you for your support of SBEF.  Your support helps us sustain our vision of partnership with Spring Branch ISD and our community to enable all SBISD students to achieve post-secondary education and reach their full potential.
Don't forget to complete your ANNUAL VOLUNTEER REGISTRATION. 

You need to do 2 things to complete your annual volunteer registration. 
1.  Register with SBISD at
2.  View the HCE Volunteer Training video and sign the google form.  Or, attend a training at school the first day or first few weeks of school.  

Video of HCE Volunteer Training:
iKids U After-School Program

iKids U registration is going on now for the 201 6 -201 7  School Year!  

Turn in registrations at the HCE front office, visit iKids online at, or register by phone at 713-665-5200.  iKids U offers a variety of onsite after-school opportunities at HCE including Stay & Play, Enrichment classes, and One on One services.  Customize your child's after-school schedule with part-time and full-time options available!  iKids U starts on the first day of school and classes are filling-up fast so enroll today!
Please CLICK HERE to download a registration form  
Hunters Creek Elementary | School & PTA | 713-251-6000| Email | Website

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