Cultivating minds and hearts through the pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty
October 7, 2019

Table of Contents:  
  • HM Letter
  • Faculty Spotlight
  • Parent U - Singapore Night
  • CI Grade Level Readers
  • Yearbook Contest
  • Purchase Yearbook online link
  • Reading Group Volunteer Sign-Up
  • Order School Pictures
  • Attendance
  • 3rd Grade Musings
  • P/T Conferences
  • Q2 Clubs Options
  • Family Picnic
  • Concert Attire
  • Mother-Son Round-Up - Save the Date!
  • Lunch Volunteer Sign-up
  • Spirit Night
  • Living the Curriculum
  • Snowflake Meeting - all are welcome
  • Open Enrollment
  • Tours starting
  • Amazon Smile
  • Athenaeum
  • Note about Halloween
  • Important Dates
  • Important Links
  • School Contact Info

Dear Spartan families,

Last week, we the school sent communication out about our music concert coming up in November. We're reprinting the details here again for all of you to read. As we seek to adjust and adapt to the needs of our GHWH families, we will update our website calendar. Please remember to re-sync your digital calendars every couple of weeks so that your calendar reflects the latest calendar information (or simply go to our school website and view the calendar there). One additional note regarding the calendar, please print out and display in a place visible for your family, the Great Hearts district calendar . This calendar contains all the early release dates and days when there is not school. This is the place to reference to know when your child/children will be released.
Concert Update & Details:

Because of the size of the school, and space requirements, we’re getting creative this year. We will hold two concerts this year, generously hosted by the McAllister Fine Arts Center at San Antonio College. In tandem with the large concert, we will also hold a more intimate “recital” by grade level, showcasing not only the grade-level choir, but also a recitation of the poems memorized, and some of the art work produced by the scholars. The schedule will be as follows:

Fall Evening Concert (concert dress, per family handbook , p. 92)
3-6 th Grades: Friday November 22, San Antonio College
6:00 PM (call time for students only will be 5:30 PM)

Grade level recitals (in school uniform) here on campus: GHWH MPR
Kinder: Tuesday, November 19 at 4:15 PM
First Grade: Wednesday, November 20 at 4:15 PM
Second Grade: Thursday, November 21 at 4:15 PM

Concert and recital attendance do count toward your child's grade; so please make arrangements for your child to attend. During the designated grade level recitals, the respective grade will remain on campus after school. Parents who wish to attend the recital, will need to go through the car line, pick up any other siblings, then go and park and enter the school after 4:00 PM. We will send out more specific communication when the time nears. Because of dismissal for the rest of the school population, we will not allow any parents (or guests) to enter campus until car line and walk-up pick up are completed for the day. We do know that many families have already made holiday travel arrangements, so please reach out to the music teacher if your student is unable to attend the evening concert 11/22.

*** Spring Concert Series save-the-date: Wednesday May 20, evening concert K-2, 3-6 Grade level recitals: TBA

Matthew Vlahovich
Faculty Spotlight
Mrs. Heather Molder, Headmaster: Grades 3-6
I attended the University of Wyoming where I received my degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Early Childhood Education. I moved to Texas last year to teach third grade with the founding faculty of Great Hearts Western Hills. I am originally from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where I also taught third grade for four years at Jackson Hole Classical Academy. This Christian Classical school was established with Great Hearts principles, and I have been training and working with Great Hearts throughout my teaching career. During my time in Wyoming, I was also Spalding Coordinator for the school and led parent and faculty training. 
I was drawn to Great Hearts because of the rich curriculum that is offered. Having a degree in public education, I was fascinated to discover a school that fostered a love of learning and wonder alongside a morally sound and virtuous curriculum. Students at Great Hearts are exposed to History and Science that has been overlooked in the public setting. Classical literature is studied and appreciated for its timeless beauty. Students are taught to be proud of the work they are doing and to love their neighbor. This year, I am excited to share my love of teaching with our faculty through coaching and co-planning. Studying our wonderful curriculum alongside a like-minded faculty to create engaging and exciting lessons is something I look forward to each day. We have the responsibility to create a love of learning in each student, and this is a responsibility I take very seriously. 
My husband, Sam, is currently teaching art to kindergarten through third grade at Great Hearts Forest Heights. We have been married for 4 years, and we have just bought our first home here in San Antonio. We have one dog, our Border Collie/Australian Shepherd Mix, Liberty. We love to camp, hike, and travel. Moving to the city has been a big change for us, and we will take all of the suggestions we can get! 
Singapore Night for Parents
Tuesday, October 22
5:30-7:00 PM
(This is an adult only event.)
By participating in our Community Investment campaign, Great Hearts Western Hills is able to provide direct support in your child's classroom with wonderful assets like grade level readers! Look at what GHWH was able to purchase and provide for our individual classrooms!

We really need more families to participate in our Community Investment campaign. We are looking to increase the percentage of participating families. Please keep in mind, even a small donation of $20/month is treasured and helps to grow our wonderful academy. Please click here right now and schedule your donation. When you sign up, you can select which day of the month works best for your family and schedule in advance when the money is donated.
Our CI campaign is the #1 way to support your school. 100% of your donation stays at GHWH and directly impacts your child's classroom. Please contact Johanna Garcia, Director of Community Engagement & Academy Giving, at  or (210) 888-9488 with concerns or corrections. 
Yearbook Contest Open to all GHWH 5th & 6th Graders
GHWH is inviting all 5th & 6th grade students to submit a design for the front cover of our 19-20 school yearbook! The design will serve as the inspiration for the final digitized yearbook cover.-

Contest Rules
1.         Your original design should embody the characteristics of GHWH. 
2.         Your design should be done on an 8.5” x 11” white sheet of paper in portrait orientation. 
3.         All of your line work should be done with a dark black pencil, pen or marker.
4.         All designs must be submitted with the submission form below to your teacher or the front desk no later than October 28, 2019

Click here to download the contest flyer.

Buy your yearbook today!

To reserve a copy of your yearbook, click here to purchase!
Yearbook sales will be online only! Hurry and purchase your copy today! Yearbooks will be delivered to your child the last week of school.
Reading Group Volunteers Needed
We need you! Do you have 1 hour a week to come listen to our scholars practice reading aloud? Please come share your gift of time with a child and soak up the joy of listening to small voices grow into blooming readers! Click here to sign up for a slot (or two or more)! This is part of GHWH's initiative to create improved readers over the course of the 2019-2020 school year! Please choose to be a part of opening the door to the world of books and independent reading and greater reading fluency. Share this vounteer opportunity with a co-worker, a friend, a grandparent, and/or a neighbor! All are welcome as long as they submit a background check and are cleared. If you have any questions regarding reading groups, please reach our to K-2 AHM, Mrs. Absher; .
Individual School Photos

Monday, October 28 is school picture day.
Online purchases may be made by clicking here .

School code: XY409113Q0

(Wednesday, December 4 are re-takes should your child be sick or you are unhappy with the photos taken on the 28th of October. We do not offer spring individual photos)
Please note: we receive daily funding for   all students who are in their classrooms at 10:00 AM   . Therefore,   we encourage parents to schedule doctor aneed you!ppointments before or after that time so that students can be in their seats at 9:55 AM   . Please bring a doctor's note for all doctor appointments or they can fax it directly to us at 210-888-9484. (Please specify GHWH on all faxes.) With a doctor's note, we are able to mark your student as "present" and not lose much-needed funding!
Musings from Third Grade

“The world is full of talkers, but it is rare to find anyone who listens. And I assure you that you can pick up more information when you are listening than when you are talking.” 

~ The Trumpet of the Swan~
Parent-Teacher Conferences

Refer to your scholar's classroom newsletter for the sign-up for your child's parent-teacher conference. If you have any questions about the sign-ups, please email your scholar's teacher. Conferences are Monday & Tuesday, October 14 & 15. There is no school the entire week of October 14-18, 2019. These are student Fall Break holidays.
Second Quarter After School Clubs

2nd Quarter club information will go out on Friday, October 11.

  • Clubs are held once a week from 3:50-4:50 PM
  • Cost is $45.00/quarter per club
  • Limited space is available for each club
  • Age/Grade of the club depends on the club that is offered

Below are the clubs being offered for the 2nd quarter. Sign-ups are on a first come, first serve basis. Once the club is full, the club will no longer be displayed. Club registration will be made live on Friday at noon. Click here for the club registration link.
Fall Family Picnic

We are proud to announce that GHWH will be hosting our first ever Fall Family Picnic on Saturday, October 26th from 5:00-8:00 PM.

This event will be open to all GHWH families and relatives.

  • Bring your blankets, lawn chairs, canopies
  • Bring any yard games you would like to share with other GHWH families
  • Pack your own food and drinks or better yet, buy dinner from an on-site food truck!
  • Brisket Boys Food Truck and Tacos Los Hermanos Food Trucks
  • Snoopy’s Snow Cones & More dessert food truck

This is going to be a fun, relaxing evening to allow GHWH families to get to know one another.
Petco has generously offered use of their parking lot for families to park.

Food Truck Menus
Concert Attire

3rd-6th Graders are required to wear concert attire for the Winter Concert held on Friday, November 22. Participation in the concert by the 3rd-6th graders counts for 30% of your scholar's music grade. (K, 1st & 2nd on campus winter recitals will wear their regular school uniforms.) Concert attire is as follows:


• Black dress pants
• White dress shirt
• Black necktie
• Black dress socks
• Black dress shoes
• Hair needs to be combed and out of the eyes and cut according to the family handbook stipulations
• Black belts are optional; no suspenders

• Black modest-length skirt with white blouse or black modest-length dress with a white cardigan (No spaghetti-straps)
• Girls may choose but not required to wear black or nude tights
• Black dress shoes or black dress sandals (no flipflops)
• Hair should be neat and not distracting to the scholar nor the audience. No distracting hair accessories (no "cheer" size bows). If using one, bows or hairbands should be solid white or solid black
Save the Date! Mother & Son Round-Up!
Early Bird Tickets purchased October 18-November 1
$30 per mom/son
$5 for each additional son

Regular Price Tickets: November 2-November 10 
$40 per mom/son
$5 for each additional son
A Note from the PSO

Lunch Room Committee
We need your help! Come share the joy of serving our GHWH scholars! Click here to sign-up to volunteer for help during the scholars' lunch periods. We need people every day!

October's Spirit Night: Chick-Fil-A, Ingram Park Location
Thursday, October 10 
4-7 PM

Teacher Appreciation Committee
The October Luncheon will be provided by the First Grade Parents . Let's show our Spartan Spirit and give our teachers a well deserved delicious lunch! Please bring your food donations at pickup (1:00) to the front office in a disposable container ready to serve. Crockpots must be labeled and used with a liner. Pick up crockpots at 4PM after the luncheon. We appreciate all donations. First Grade parents will be asked to help set up at 1:00 and clean up at approximately 3:00.
The theme is Team Spartan Tailgate. Sign Up here:

The November Luncheon on 11/15 will be a Thankful Brunch by K/2nd Parents. 
Living the Great Hearts Curriculum
Singapore math is the math curriculum used in our primary grades at Great Hearts."The Singapore math method is focused on mastery, which is achieved through intentional sequencing of concepts. Some of the key features of the approach include the CPA (Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract) progression, number bonds, bar modeling, and mental math. Instead of pushing through rote memorization, students learn to think mathematically and rely on the depth of knowledge gained in previous lessons. An attitude that math is important and approachable is also essential. Students perform at a higher level when their potential for understanding and success is assumed."
The country of Singapore consistently tests the highest in the world when it comes to math based on the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)--an international assessment of 60 participating countries.

Here are some of the benefits to Singapore math:

  1. Foundational learning/Deep Mastery
  2. A culture of growth mindset
  3. Emphasis on visual learning
  4. Mental math as a core principle

Here's one article that explains more about this approach.
Parent Organized Snowflake Fund
Committee Meeting

We invite all GHWH parents and grandparents to a Snowflake Fund Committee meeting on Friday, October 25th, 11:00 AM at Panera Bread, around the corner from school (8531 TX-151, San Antonio, TX 78245).

We will be working on fundraising to raise donations to give our GHWH teachers, admin and support staff a cash gift before the winter holiday break! All help and ideas, big or small, will be appreciated!
We have fun activities in the works like 'snowflake your favorite teachers and staff' and more!
Come find out how you can help GHWH staff feel some love! Get to know some other great parents!

**these funds are an additional cash gift blessing and should not replace our critical
Community Investment Fund donations**
Open Enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year coming up in November!
Tours of GHWH
As the gear up for open enrollment for the 2020-2021 academic school year, GHWH will be offering tours for interested families. Please help spread the news about our classical academy by telling your friends to apply to enroll their child for next year. Potential 2020-2021 families are encouraged to tour our school Click here to visit our academy website and interested parents can find the tour link on the lower right menu. Current families are asked to attend grade level Headmaster Coffees and reserve tours for families not yet attending our academy. For more information, feel free to reach out to Johanna Garcia, Director of Community Engagement at (210) 888-9488 or .
Don't t to use Amazon Smile & Give Back to GHWH

Donate to the school at the same time by using Amazon Smile!

Use this  link  to log into your normal Amazon account but through A mazon Smile. Find "Great Hearts Texas" and a percent of your purchases will be given to GHWH. Important Note: Use Amazon through your desktop - Amazon Smile does not work with phone apps.
Registration for Athenaeum for the 2019-20 school year is currently open for all grades except 4th grade. Please go here to read more about our options and pricing schedules or to put yourself on the wait list for 4th grade. Registration is on a first-come first-serve basis, so please make sure that you put your student on the wait-list if you are desiring a spot.

Sarah Solombrino (Co-Curricular Campus Coordinator)
A Special Note about Celebrating our Curriculum
Instead of Secular Holidays

In keep ing with the Great Hearts policy of no pop-culture, GHWH does not celebrate Halloween on campus. We do not allow goodie bags, candy, treats or anything related to Halloween on our campus. Scholars are required to wear their regular school uniform on October 31st. The same applies to other secular holidays (e.g. Valentine's Day) that are not part of our historical curriculum.

Great Hearts does have celebrations to honor our curriculum which covers our classical literature and our historical curriculum. Keep an eye out for specifics regarding our Literary Character Day on Friday, November 8. Details will be published in upcoming newsletters.
Important Dates

  • Wednesday, October 9, 8:30 AM, Tour for potential families start
  • Thursday, October 10, Spirit Night at CFA, Ingram Park
  • Friday, October 11, Spirit Day, R &R Weekend, Dismissal at 1:25 PM
  • Friday, October 11, Teacher Appreciation Luncheon sponsored by First Grade
  • Friday, October 12, 12:00 PM, Quarter 2 Club Sign-Ups open
  • Monday & Tuesday, October 14 & 15, Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • October 13-18 - Fall Break, no school for students
  • Tuesday, October 22, 5:30-7:00 PM, Singapore Math Night for Parents
  • Thursday, October 24, PSO Quarterly Meeting
  • Friday, October 25, Dismissal at 1:25 PM
  • Friday, October 25, 11:00 AM, Snowflake Fund Committee Meeting (all are welcome)
  • Saturday, October 26, 5-8 PM. GHWH Fall Family Picnic
  • Monday, October 28, - School (Individual) Picture Day
  • Monday, October 28, Yearbook Cover Contest Deadline
  • Friday, November 8, Literary Character Day (more details to come)
  • Wednesday, November 13, Open Enrollment for potential families for the 2020-2021 school year starts
  • Saturday, November 16, 6:00-8:00 PM, Mother-Son Round-Up, MPR
  • Tuesday, November 19, 4:15 PM, Kinder Winter Recital @ GHWH MPR
  • Wednesday, November 20, 4:15 PM, 1st Grade Winter Recital @ GHWH MPR
  • Thursday, November 21, 4:15 PM, 2nd Grade Winter Recital @ GHWH MPR
  • Friday, November 22, 6 PM (5:30 PM Student call back), Winter Concert for 3rd-6th grades @ SAC, McAllister Fine Arts Center

Don't forget to re-sync your digital calendars!
Important Links

Lunch Payment Website:
Lunch Menu Website: GHWH Lunch Menu
Background Check Form: click here
Media Release Form: click here
Archived Newsletters: click here
Faculty and Staff Phone/E-Mail Reference

To speak to anyone at Great Hearts Western Hills, please call the school at (210) 888-9488 and listen for the extension of the party you are wanting to reach.
SPED & Interventionists :
Parent Service Organization:
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