Cultivating minds and hearts through the pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty
September 30, 2019
Table of Contents:
- HM Letter
- Faculty Spotlight
- CI Donor List
- Note from Nurse
- Scholar Spotlight
- Kinder Musings
- Q2 Clubs
- Family Picnic
- Lunch Committee
- Room Parent Committee
- Social Committee
- Teacher Appreciation Committee
- Fiesta Committee
- Care & Concern Com.
- Living the Curriculum
- Late Pick Up Fee
- How to find Previous Newsletters
- Important Dates
- Important Links
- School Contact Info
LETTER FROM THE HEADMASTER
Dear Spartan families,
Some things about kids…
I don’t recall where I originally heard these, but they seemed true, so I wrote them down.
- Children like to do what they think they can do.
- Children want to do what they think they can do.
- Children hate to do what they think they cannot do.
The first point is most clearly manifested in my household by the expression, “Dad, look at me!”
Whether it’s showing off a memorized poem, or doing tricks on their scooters, kids love to show off when they feel successful.
The second point is that not only do they like being successful, they want to be successful. As soon as they master tying their shoe laces, they can’t wait to show their siblings. As soon as they learn to make their bed, they can’t wait to show grandma and grandpa. Once they realize they can do something, they want to do that thing, and delight in doing it.
This third point reminded me of a very vivid memory. M oldest son was learning to swim (7 years old), but still clutched to the side of the pool. He didn’t think he could swim to me, 6 feet into the middle of the pool, and no amount of my enthusiasm could convince him otherwise.
This third point is so critical to remember as we interact with children, and why we have a “no tears” policy with math. It’s so much easier for teachers to re-teach a concept, than to have a student who has determined they cannot be successful.
This is a great way you can partner with us at home. At school, we work hard to always praise the student actions that lead to success… After a great quiz, we don’t say “well done, you’re very smart.” Instead, we tell the students we can see that they must have worked hard, and persevered in studying. These are actions that the student owns, and comes to understand are within their control.
For a brief description of growth mindset, follow the link:
Mrs. Kyla Absher, Assistant Headmaster: Grades K-2
I attended Angelo State University where I double majored in education and special education. I graduated with a Bachelors in Interdisciplinary Studies in Early Childhood Education. I have worked with children and in classrooms since I was in high school. I have previously taught kindergarten, second and fourth grade as well as spent time in special education. I joined Great Hearts last year as a second grade lead and am proud to be one of Western Hill’s founding faculty. I believe that the most compelling factor to a Great Hearts school is that we focus on the academics as well as moral development of our scholars. The most exciting thing for me, as a teacher and now an administrator, is to see the progress students make from the beginning of the year to the end. I find great joy every time I help a child foster a particular academic interest or nurture growth in personal interests. It's a beautiful privilege. My husband and I have two children, one Spartan first grader and one future Spartan who will enter GHWH in just a few short years! Outside of school I love spending time with my family, traveling, glamping, reading, and exploring restaurants and places in surrounding areas to where I have not yet been.
The Community Investment campaign at Great Hearts Western Hills is an annual fund which covers the gap between what we need to deliver the Great Hearts educational model to our students and what we receive from public funding. Gifts to the Community Investment campaign support virtually every aspect of school life and are vital to providing our scholars the education they deserve to become Great-Hearted leaders.
We are pleased to thank the following GHWH families who are generous supporters of our 2019-20 Community Investment campaign as of September 24, 2019.
Mr. and Mrs. Mohamed Abdel-Rehim
Mr. Carlos Acosta and Ms. Caroline Kuyumcuoglu
Mr. Hector Aguilar and Mrs. Lori Angles
Mr. and Mrs. Raymund Alcazar
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Alvarado
Mr. and Mrs. George Anquandah
Mr. and Mrs. Alfredo Apolinar
Mr. and Mrs. Victor Argumedo
Ms. Vanessa Arthur
Mr. and Ms. Richard Band
Mr. and Mrs. John Bean
Mr. Lawrence Beard and Ms. Dominique Saiz
Dr. and Mrs. Matthew Benesh
Mr. and Mrs. Scott Bilyeu
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Boles
Ms. Leslie Brewer
Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Bryand
Mr. and Mrs. Wade Burkett
Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Camacho
Mr. and Mrs. Juan Campos
Mr. and Mrs. Erick Cantu
Mr. and Mrs. Jaycy Castillo
Mr. and Mrs. Ean Cavazos
Mr. and Mrs. Bryon Cherepes
Mr. and Mrs. William Ceasar
Mr. and Mrs. Tony Cloud
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Copado
Mr. and Mrs. Gabriel Corona
Mr. Joshua Cortinas and Ms. Nicole Maldonado
Mr. and Mrs. Alessandro Cota
Mr. Darrell Cotterell and Dr. Christina Lumbreras
Mr. and Mrs. Conan Cummings
Mr. and Mrs. Adam Donato
Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Dove
Mr. and Mrs. Felix Eguavoen
Mr. and Mrs. Raul Esparza III
Mr. and Mrs. Jaime Ferrer
Mr. and Mrs. Jose Flores
Mr. and Mrs. Wiliam Alexander Folgar
Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Fox
Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Fuentes
Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Gamez
Ms. Raquenel Garcia
Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Garcia
Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Garcia
Mr. and Mrs. David Garcia
Mr. and Mrs. Juan Garcia - GHWH Staff
Mr. and Mrs. James Gipe
Mr. and Mrs. Chris Glowe
Mr. and Mrs. Adam Gonzales
Mr. and Mrs. Henry Gonzales
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Gonzalez Jr.
Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Gonzalez
Mr. and Mrs. Brandon Grable
Ms. Jennifer Greathouse
Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Gutierrez
Prof. and Prof. Qi Han
Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Hernandez
Mr. and Mrs. Paul Hernandez
Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Hjorth
Mr. and Mrs. Ben Hooke
Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Howell
Mr. and Mrs. Kristian Idell
Mrs. Priscilla Johnson
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Kendall
Mr. and Mrs. Octavio Larios
Ms. Shyronne Leath
Mr. Lupe Lopez Jr. and Ms. Erica Perez
Mr. and Mrs. Mihai Manta - GHWH Staff
Mr. and Mrs. Juan Pablo Martinez
Mr. David Martinez
Mr. and Mrs. Jason Masse
Mr. and Mrs. Mauricio Matehuala
Mr. and Mrs. William McCulley
Mr. Farris McGarity and Ms. Teira Eisele
Ms. Jo Ann Moreno
Mr. and Mrs. Ramon Murphy
Ms. Tyishia Murray
Ms. Anna Laura Navarro
Mr. and Mrs. Jeffery Nitschke
Mr. and Mrs. Norbert Nwoye
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Oliver
Mr. and Mrs. Agustin Orozco - GHWH Staff
Mr. and Mrs. Richard Poore
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ramirez
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Ramon III
Mr. Carlos Ramos and Ms. Ana Duenas
Mr. and Mrs. William Revill
Mr. Paul Risner and Ms. Amanda Reyna
Ms. Vivian Rivera
Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Rodriguez
Mr. and Mrs. Francisco Rodriguez - GHWH Staff
Mr. Ruben Rodriguez Jr. and Mrs. Lopez-Rodriguez
Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Rogers
Mr. and Mrs. David Ruch
Mr. and Mrs. Luke Scamardo
Mr. and Mrs. Tyler Sebastian
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Solis
Mr. and Mrs. Jeremy Stein
Mr. and Mrs. Reuben Thissen
Mr. and Mrs. Shinto Thomas
Ms. Tah-Nee Thompson
Mr. and Mrs. Justin Thurow
Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Tovar
Mr. and Mrs. Logan Underdown
Mr. John Van and Dr. Alexandra Van
Mr. and Mrs. Brett Van Hazel
Mr. and Mrs. Justin Vasquez
Mr. Larry Vaughn III and Ms. Charlotte Ellison
Mr. and Mrs. Steven Veloz
Mr. Jorge Vilchis and Ms. Amanda White
Mr. Harold Vives
Mr. Anthony Wallace and Ms. Leticia Moreno
Mr. and Mrs. Brian Walsh
Mr. and Mrs. Mike White
Mr. and Mrs. Devon Williams
Mr. and Mrs. David Wilson
Ms. Stefanie Winslow
Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Womble - GHWH Staff
We appreciate your generous support, and we want to recognize everyone accordingly with complete accuracy. If we have inadvertently made an error, please contact Johanna Garcia, Director of Community Engagement & Academy Giving, at
or (210) 888-9488 with concerns or corrections.
We publish this list every other month to honor our donors and to include those who chose to give later in the year. We appreciate every gift to support our students and teachers. Thank you!
Should you wish to set up your Community Investment for this school year, you may do so here:
: Notes from our Nurse
Clinic Hours for Scheduled Medications & Parent Visits
8:30 AM to 3:00 PM
(1:00 PM on half-days)*
*Given the need, any student with emergent medical needs (e.g. allergic reaction, asthma and diabetic students) will be administered to even outside of clinic hours.
Please plan any scheduled medication for your child accordingly
IMPORTANT - Please Note:
If you arrive on campus first thing in the morning and your child does not feel well, parents will need to assess their own child and decide accordingly if your child should attend school or you need to return back home with your child.
Maciella (Macy) Thurow from 2D &
Daniel Thurow from KA
Macy and Isaiah are doing service through an outreach with Urban Faith Missions where there are 3000 people living in apartment units in a 4 block radius. These Great-Hearts scholars serve the community by picking up trash the first week, baked and handed out cookies the second week- with the goal of brightening their days, inviting them to church and finding out what the community could most need. One of the needs we heard was that children are getting hurt on their bikes and don’t have helmets. So this week we did a helmet rally and bike raffle!
For this helmet handout event- Maciella and Daniel made signs, washed helmets, put stickers in helmets, bagged popcorn and helped fit the helmets to kids in need.
Spartans serving others!
Please note: we receive daily funding for
all students who are in their classrooms at 10:00 AM
we encourage parents to schedule doctor appointments 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 Kindergarten
“Real isn’t how you are made, it’s a thing that happens to you.”
The Velveteen Rabbit
by Margery Williams
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
Details for each club and which day of the week they are offered will be sent out on October 11.
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
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!
Room Parent Committee
- Adult volunteers needed! GHWH is in need of adult volunteers who can come on campus and listen to our scholars read aloud. The goal is for our GHWH scholars to become proficient out loud readers and we need listening ears! Tell your child's grandparent, tell a neighbor, tell a friend, tell a co-worker! This is a great way to help our community and obtain volunteer hours for anyone who may need such! (Must submit and pass a
.) Keep an eye out for the Sign-Up genius in the next newsletter. We are looking for volunteers toward the end of toward the end of the month to come on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 9-9:35 AM & 1-2 PM. If you have any questions regarding reading groups, please reach our to K-2 Assistant Headmaster, Mrs. Absher;
cial Committee needs you! We are looking for new faces to be a part of our social committee and help build our school community! Please come attend our next Social Committee meeting to hear about all the exciting events and ideas we have planned. Find out how you can participate!
Social Committee Meeting
Thursday Oct 3 at 8:30 AM (after AM drop-off)
all are welcome!
Panera Bread (around the corner from the school)
October's Spirit Night: Chick-Fil-A, Ingram Park Location
Thursday, October 10
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.
PSO's biggest fundraiser is our annual Spartan Fiesta! This year's Spartan Fiesta will be held on Saturday, April 4th! Save the date! The next Fiesta Committee meeting will be held on Saturday October 5 from 1-2 PM. If any parents are interested, they can email the Fiesta Committee Chair, Carmen Olivas at:
Care and Concern Committee
Our Care & Concern committee is looking for snack donations for scholars who aren't able to furnish their own snacks during the school day. If you would like to donate, please feel free to drop off snacks at the school front desk or for more information, please email Mrs. Kazia Estrada and Mrs. Vivian Jones at:
Living the Great Hearts Curriculum
Did you know that a
child's brain develops faster with exposure to music education
?! Here's a great
that delves into this topic!
Great Hearts scholars are exposed to music in formal music classes, not just once a week but every other day! The foundation of a Great Hearts classical education includes art and music. The main focus of our music education is choral music and we teach Solfege as part of our music curriculum.
What is Solfege?
Have you ever tried to sing a melody to which you didn’t know the words, or that had no words? You probably used a syllable like “la,” “da,” or “ma” for every pitch; we call these “neutral syllables,” and while they can be useful, they can also make it pretty tricky to sing melodies correctly. Many musicians use a system called “solfege” to make the task of singing and understanding melodic lines a little bit easier. Solfege is used in conservatories and schools all over the world to teach music students to sing and hear effectively.
Solfege, also called “solfeggio” or “solfa,” is a system where every note of a scale is given its own unique syllable, which is used to sing that note every time it appears. A major or a minor scale (the most common scales in Western classical music) has seven notes, and so the solfege system has seven basic syllables:
do, re, mi, fa, sol, la,
Let’s look at solfege in practice. A C Major scale, for example, is made up of these seven notes: C, D, E, F, G, A, and B (often continuing on to a C an octave above the first one). If we were to sing this major scale on solfege, the C would always be sung as
the D would always be sung as
and so on. The whole scale looks like this in solfege:
C D E F G A B
do re mi fa sol la ti
In other octaves – for example, an octave above or below – the solfege syllables stay the same. That means that any C we sing is always sung on the syllable
– the same goes for the other notes and their syllables. That’s all there is to it!
There are two kinds of solfege systems: “fixed
” and “movable
”. In a movable-
system, the note to which assign the syllable
is the main note, or “tonic,” of the key and scale that we’re in. For example, if we were in D Major (instead of C major like before), D would be sung as
with E being sung as
F# being sung as
and so on. This system is most common in the United States and Canada, although it can be found in conservatories in other countries as well.
Most common in Europe and Asia is “fixed
” In fixed-
systems, every note has a solfege syllable associated with it all the time, regardless of the key or scale. Each note’s solfege is pulled from the C Major scale, so they are sung using the syllables in the scale shown above. It doesn’t matter whether the melody is in F major, B minor, or any other key; C is always sung as
and B as
The original solfege system was a fixed-
system, and many musicians still believe strongly that it is a more effective system than the movable-
School Calendar - Late Pick-Up Fee Reminder
Keep the school calendar handy! Click
to download and print! (The calendar is also available on our school website:
This calendar lists all the early release days and the corresponding dismissal times as well as school holidays
. Nearly every Friday has a 1:25 PM dismissal.
Share this calendar with all those who pick-up your children
. Remember, scholars not picked up by 4:00 PM (2:00 PM on early dismissal days),
will accrue $1.00 per minute late pick-up fee
(as stated in our
). So , make sure you mark these dates down on your own family calendar.
Registration for Athenaeum for the 2019-20 school year is currently open for all grades except 4th grade. Please go
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.
Previous School Newsletters
Need to refer to a previous school newsletter? Archived newsletters can be found by clicking
- Monday, September 30, No School for students (Professional Development Day for Faculty)
- Thursday, October 3, 8:30 AM. Social Committee Meeting, Panera Bread
- Saturday, October 5, 1-2 PM Fiesta Committee Meeting
- Thursday, October 10, Spirit Night at CFA, Ingram Park
- Friday, October 11, Spirit Day, R &R Weekend, Dismissal at 1:25 PM
- Monday & Tuesday, October 14 & 15, Parent-Teacher Conferences
- October 13-18 - Fall Break, no school for students
- Tuesday, October 22, Singapore Math Night for Parents
- Thursday, October 24, PSO Quarterly Meeting
- Friday, October 25, Dismissal at 1:25 PM
- Saturday, October 26, 5-8 PM. GHWH Fall Family Picnic
- Monday, October 28, - School (Individual) Picture Day
Don't forget to re-sync your digital calendars!
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