News from the Principal and the PTA
AUGUST 26, 2016

CLICK HERE for our full calendar of events 

August 308:00
Volunteer Training
Room Parents Meeting
August 318:00
Volunteer Training
PTA Chairs Meeting
Fiddlers Violin Program Parent Meeting
Boy Scout Rally Night
Sept 2
First Day Packets Due 
Sept 5
Labor Day Holiday
Sept 89:00PTA Executive Board Meeting
Sept 9During Student Lunches
LUNCH WITH HEROES - wear red, white and blue
We invite our heroes to lunch - military, police, fire department and more.  Have a connection with one of these heroes -  be sure to bring them to eat lunch with our students. 
Sept 155:00-5:45 pm
K, 1 and 2 Curriculum Night for PARENTS
PTA Meeting in the Cafe
3, 4 and 5 Curriculum Night for PARENTS
Sept 23
Progress Reports go home - these will have a very limited number of grades this time of year as teachers are doing beginning of the year assessments and not doing many graded assignments.  
Sept 26
Playground Pictures taken for AUCTION item


The tardy bell rings at 7:55 am. Please try to arrive at school by 7:45 to give your child time to walk to class and not rush!   

Morning Parent Drive - the patrols and teachers come in at 7:55.  If you arrive after this time, you must park and come check your child into school late.  

Please do not leave children at school before 7:30 AM as no adults are on duty to monitor your children and it is not safe.  
Our up-to-date HCE Student Handbook is posted on our 

It's time 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:

Hunters Creek Elementary is a sister school to Woodview Elementary, on Bunker Hill right behind HEB.  Our PTA, parents and students help support them in many ways. Our PTA provides a Teacher Appreciation Luncheon for them as they don't have a functioning PTA. Our Class of 2016 5th graders raised money to buy them a Woodview Beagles entry rug.  We occasionally accept donations for things they need.  
Woodview Elementary is in DIRE NEED of underwear, socks and shorts in small sizes for PK, Kinder and 1st grade students, even gently used items will be appreciated.  You can send with your child to turn in at the front office or bring things to donate to the front office any day next week (Aug 29-Sept 2). 
All 4th Graders are invited to join the Hunters Creek Choir!
The Hunters Creek Choir is a non-auditioned choir, so it is open to all fourth graders. 

Rehearsals will be every Thursday morning at 7:25 in the Music Room.  The first rehearsal will be on Thursday, September 1.  

To join, students should come to the Music Room to get a choir packet the morning of September 1. 

Highlights for the year...
Veterans Day Program       Friday, November 11th     9:00 a.m.   school cafeteria     
Holiday Concert                 Thursday, December 8th  6:00 p.m.   school cafeteria
Tentative Trip to sing at a holiday concert at a retirement complex. 
Spring Branch Elementary Choir Festival (during school hours) in May
I hope you'll join us...choir is a wonderful way to start the day!       
                  Mary Sherman Willson

Elementary Strings Program Information
Overview- Parents enter their child in this program only if they agree to the main component: to attend the lessons and guide their child's home practice. The program is open to SBISD students at the campus in which they are enrolled in kindergarten through third grade at the beginning level and to returning students through fifth grade. This Suzuki-based program teaches a specific, cumulative curriculum through large and small group experiences, rote instruction, and multiple performance opportunities. The Suzuki literature is compiled utilizing a step-by-step approach and thus no step can be skipped.
COST- Tuition for enrollment of one child for one year is $775 payable in a lump sum on or before September 15th. Returning students must enroll in May for the following year ($100 first payment). Enrollment  represents  a commitment  to pay full tuition. An individual program  may assess an  activity  fee to cover refreshments,  sashes, or other  options.
TEACHER OBLIGATIONS- Teachers are trained string specialists with a working knowledge of Suzuki literature and pedagogy. They organize large and small group classes and plan performances. A minimum of one parent orientation meeting will acquaint parents with the Suzuki design and its value to the student. There are no makeups for missed lessons caused by student absence, field trips or other campus conflicts. Makeups will be scheduled if there is a school closure due to weather or if a teacher must miss for personal reasons.
COURSE CONTENT-  This  22 week program  includes  a weekly  45 minute  after  school  group class in which students are assigned according to playing level. A second weekly lesson may be either a 15 minute individual lesson or a small homogeneous group,  either of which  will provide opportunity for the student to be taught and heard individually.
This program is performance oriented and students meeting the qualifications may perform several times throughout the year. Some of these events may combine with Elementary String programs from other schools:
  • A fall event  (Freaky Friday), usually  around  Halloween
  • Winter concert
  • Spring Solo Festival
  • Celebration  Concert
  • Spring Concert
  • Running  for the Arts
End-of-semester performances in December and May are held at the home school and feature the progress of students within that school's program. Other events, such as a workshop or some special performance  are often added to the five standard  events and may vary from year    to year.
PARENT OBLIGATIONS- Parents will provide the students with an instrument, the appropriate Suzuki books, and coordinated reference recordings. At home, the student will need a cd player in order to listen to the recordings. In addition, the parent must help the student organize practice time.
This is an instructional program worthy of the child's involvement  and the parents'  investment.  A  key concept of Suzuki study is parental involvement  in which the teacher  and parent  work together  to ensure student's success. While it is the obligation of the teacher to involve the parent, it is a reciprocal obligation of the parent  to function as teacher at home. In order for this to occur, the parent  must remain informed and involved.
The way  to assure  a student's  success  is for  the parent  to attend  weekly lessons and group classes at school, take notes, and guide home practice. If parental attendance at a lesson is not possible, the teacher and parent need to make a special plan so that the student is not left to manage alone. If this cannot be done, do not  enter into this program. 



Our counselor, Andrea Chvatal (pronouced Qua-tall), will be sharing some helpful articles and information in the Counselor's Corner occasionally.  She is always available to support students and parents when you are worried about an upsetting event at home or at school, trouble with friends or any other worries you have about your child's social/emotional well-being.  

Ways to Create a Thriving Home Environment

1.  Get clear about what you want for your home

How would you describe a thriving home environment in one word? 
Peaceful, positive, safe, warm, respectful, fun, loving, connected, playful, organized, relaxing.

2. Have a No Drama Policy

The foundation of a Thriving Home Environment is emotional and physical safety. When there are constant screaming, threats, belittling or shaming words, no one can thrive. This is why everyone in your family needs to agree to a No Drama Policy

Establish a No Drama Policy.
Drama is when one or more persons gets emotionally flooded and loses control. This lack of control comes in the form of yelling, raising your voice, throwing things, slamming doors, pushing, threatening, shaming, name calling, and throwing out obscenities. It is crucial that you get your partner on board with this.

In order to implement a No Drama Policy your family needs a "Calm Down" strategy.
A key factor in the "Calm Down" strategy is giving each other space. You need space to calm down. After you calm down, then you can have conversations with other family members. But the first step is to calm down.

For example if your daughter comes home from school upset, don't pry right away. Let her find her own ways to calm down. She may calm down by listening to her iPod, Facebook, TV, exercising, and chatting with her friends.

But this needs to happen for everyone in the family, not just your daughter. Everyone in the home needs to identify their strategy for calming down. This could be listening to music, praying, meditating, talking to friends, going for a run, going to the gym, or reading a book. "Calm Down" strategy is finding something that will distract you, so you are physically able to calm down.
3. Be a stress buster by cultivating downtime

Stress is the big enemy. It robs your family of joy, love, and laughter. 90 percent of all conflict in your home is caused by stress. Because of this you need to intentionally and systematically decrease stress.

There are many ways to decrease stress in the home but one huge way is by cultivating downtime in your home. A healthy family is not just a productive family. It's a family who can chill, relax and rest. This is where the Kodak memories come from. They sure don't come when you're stressed.

Downtime just doesn't happen, it's being eaten up by over packed schedules. Today, you have to move mountains of activities to get it in your schedule.

Downtime can transform your family for 2 big reasons. It decreases pressure which allows your body to relax, and it cultivates positive connections and experiences in your family.

When you are relaxed you are more present to the people around you. I saw this all the time when I was a youth minister in the 80's. Kids would entertain themselves doing absolutely nothing and they were hilarious. They would do stupid human tricks. You know the girl who can put her leg behind her head. They would throw ice on each other.

Though this looks like a complete waste of time to parents, the kids were de-stressing, relaxing and having positive experiences with each other.
To read the rest of the article click here.

Colleen O'Grady is a licensed marriage and family therapist, life coach, speaker, writer, and a mother of a teenage daughter. She specializes in helping moms of teenage daughters. Colleen rejects the message, "of just making it through the teenage years." She believes the teenage years can be the most gratifying and enjoyable years with your daughter. Yes there are challenges but when you understand how teenage girls are wired you can avoid countless hours of drama and needless suffering. Sign up for Colleen's FRE*E subscription to the Power Your Parenting E-zine to get practical tips and encouragement. 

Dan Yaccarino - Visiting Author
Blue Willow Bookshop is sponsoring an author visit by Dan Yaccarino for 2nd grade students on Thursday, September 8th, in the HCE Library.  

He will talk about the writing process as well as his marvelous new book I AM A STORY. "From cave drawings to the invention of the printing press to our digital age, discover how a story has been told in many different ways from the past to today. It's always been around, making us happy, sad, excited, or scared and bringing people together."
Use this link to order a personalized copy for your student of I AM A STORY,
The deadline to order from Blue Willow is Thursday, September 1st. Thank you, Blue Willow Bookshop for sponsoring this awesome author visit!

PTA President's Perspective
I hope everyone has enjoyed the first week back to school!   I wanted to welcome all the new families and faculty to HCE.  We are so excited you are here! 
Our first order of business is to get all the back-to-school to-do's completed!  There are so many important things you need to do.  Please visit the HCE PTA website and check out the PTA Back-To-School Checklist we have created to help you get everything done. 
I want to thank all of the volunteers who have worked so hard over the summer to get ready for this school year!   Robyn Canterbury and Jenny Robertson coordinated our huge school supply order.  Ashley Goforth and Paige Green introduced some cool new Spirit Gear, which is now on sale.   April Peavy is coordinating the order for our HCE Spirit Shirts for all the students and faculty!  Ketti Collins and Gena Rush worked this summer to promote and keep track of our PTA Annual Fund.  Kathy Deffebach, Ashley Landers, Kelly Adams, Kendle Dardis, Jan Ingersoll and Jamie Ratliff have worked tirelessly to plan the upcoming Rock On! HCE Auction.  Jen Moss and Katherine Strange have been updating our website and creating our new PTA Store. Charlotte Moore has created and organized our library volunteers.  Jimmy Hickman and Laura Mafrige have cleaned up our landscaping to make our school beautiful. Caroline Hawkins and Kelly Murphy have been working on the directory - both online and in print.  Jennifer Daly drafted, copied, collated and put together your FDPs with a dedicated crew of helpers!  Katie Wall, April Eschweiler and Farrell Saunders have been pouring over the financial records to conduct our annual reconciliation.  Carrye Krouse and Katrina Hudson put on a fun back-to-school luncheon for our faculty after meet-the-teacher.  And for the first day of school, Deneige Dooley and Ann Staley planned our Beginning Bonanza.  Thank you to everyone for all the effort and dedication you put into our school!  


Mark your calendars with the following dates for Back to School Coffees.  There is a separate coffee for each grade level.  This is the perfect way to meet new friends, catch up with old friends, and sign up to help in your child's classroom.  

For parent convenience, all coffees take place after drop off, 8:15-9:45 a.m.
Kindergarten - Monday, Aug. 29th - Robyn Canterbury - 507 Fall River Rd.
1st grade - Wednesday, Sept. 7th - Ketti Collins - 851 Country Lane.
2nd grade - Friday, Sept. 9th - Kendle Dardis - 727 Storywood Dr.
3rd grade - Friday, Sept. 2nd - Nesi Andrews - 27 Willowend
4th grade - Thursday, Sept. 1st - Karoline Carlson - 10602 Tarrington
5th grade - Thursday, Sept. 8th- Rebecca Jackson - 1212 Drury Lane
P.S.  Please bring a gift card(s) to your coffee for the HCE Auction!  Any area store or restaurant will do!  Any amount is appreciated!  Also, bring your wallet/checkbook as spirit items will be available for purchase!
Thank you for your support of our great school!  

Dad's Club General Meeting
Thursday, September 1st
Fuzzy's Pizza   7:00pm

Join us for the kickoff to 2016-2017 HCE Dads Club.

So come out to spend some time with us and watch some football as well.  
The Texans are playing the Cowboys.  Food will be provided.

For those interested, Principal Snyder and Asst Principal Ratnala will be stopping by the meeting and conducting a short volunteer training session as well. (allows us to help with on campus events)

We are looking for volunteers to help our amazing librarian, Ms. Moore, keep our school library running smoothly. Each year, we ask parent volunteers to help with special projects in the library through our Core Volunteer Group or to volunteer during your child's classroom time.
you to all parents who have already signed-up.

If you missed it at Beginning Bonanza, you can email the Library Chair, Charlotte Sherwood-Moore, at and provide your child's teacher name and grade level. A Sign-up Genius will then be sent out where you can choose times that work best for you.
Please email any questions to We hope to hear from you soon!
Lets kick off the school year, say goodbye to summer and catch up 
with friends, old and new!  

Join us for the Back to School Bash on Saturday evening, October 1st, 2016!
Where: Canterbury Residence
507 Fall River Rd.
Hosted by: Canterbury, Chenoweth, Conrad,
Dardis, Kimmel, Moss, and Oliver Families
** Tickets will go on sale Monday, August 29th in the Auction Section of **

DON'T MISS OUT!!  Only 70 tickets will be sold!
Individual: $75 or Couple: $150

All proceeds go towards HCE!

Auction Catalog Photos

Purchase a full-page or a half-page print ad for this year's Auction catalog and receive a FREE professional photo session!  Ads may contain a business logo OR a personal message.
Please note that certain HCE PTA Annual Fund underwriting packages come with a free Auction Catalog Ad and photo session.
Pay now and contact Brooke Marquart at or 
713-232-0036 to schedule your Images by Kristy photo session this summer!
Deadline for Auction Catalog Ads is SEPTEMBER 15th!

All available for purchase in the Auction Section of the PTA Online store NOW!


Playground Pictures

Get a professional black & white photo of your child mounted 
on a 16 x 20 canvas for only $175!
  • Our photographer will be on campus for one day capturing special moments while the kids are at play.
  • These shots will be taken on Monday, September 26th.
  • K, 1st and 2nd in the morning and 3rd, 4th, 5th during recess
  • No parent involvement is needed.
  • The photo will be a 1620 canvas textured B&W image mounted on masonite.
This is a $400 value for $175 - all proceeds will support our school auction 
and HCE PTA!

If you have any questions please email
Deadline to purchase is SEPTEMBER 21st!

Available for purchase in the Auction Section of the PTA Online store NOW!  

2016-2017  HCE PTA ANNUAL FUND          Are you ALL IN for HCE?  

Show your "Cougar Pride"

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.

Without the "Cougar Pride" Annual Fund, our students' experiences would be dramatically different.

Your contribution and our PTA help provide the following:
  • $175,000+ in Teacher Salaries supporting specialists in Reading and Math
  • $35,000+ in Curriculum Support including grade level field trips, in-class technology, staff development, literacy library, and Teacher Basics & Beyond (annual allowance for each teacher for classroom supplies)
  • $25,000+ in Enrichment Programs such as Spelling Bee, DARE, Winds of Time, Reflections art recognition, science enrichment lab, Hands on Science, Science Fair, Space Maker Lab, Book Fair, Talent Show, and class parties
  • $30,000+ in Campus and Community activities such as Lunch with Heroes, Red Ribbon Week, Parent Education, Field Day, Health Fair, Bike Rodeo, Fifth Grade track meet and graduation celebration, Teacher Appreciation luncheons, grounds maintenance, Buddy Family program, Summer Reading, crossing guard officers and Spirit t-shirts for all students
  • $5,000+ in Campus Communication such as directory, newsletter, website and yearbook
  • $20,000+ in Professional Development Teacher Conferences including Rigor, Relevance and Relationships, Capturing Kids Hearts, Creative Mathematics seminars, as well as the Literacy for All conference to bring best practices in education back to our campus!
Your participation is important and every gift, regardless of amount, is vital!

Because of you, HCE continues its proud tradition of inspiring minds and shaping lives!

We strive for 100% parent participation!


Name printed on Spirit and Family Fair t-shirt
Full-page ad in Directory and Auction catalog
Professional photo session
2 Auction tickets with reserved table and unlimited drinks
Child's appearance as guest anchor on announcements

COUGAR PRIDE - $5,000+
Name printed on Spirit and Family Fair t-shirt
Full-page ad in Directory and Auction catalog
Professional photo session
2 Auction tickets with reserved table 

PAW POWER - $2,500+
Name printed on Spirit t-shirt
Full-page ad in Directory and Auction catalog
Professional photo session

AWESOME HCE - $1,250+
Name printed on Spirit t-shirt
Full-page ad in Directory

COUGAR FAN - $100+

(Ads may contain a business logo OR a personal message) 

Directory Ads:
Full-page ad - $250
Half-page ad - $150

Auction Catalog Ads:
(Includes professional photo session - PAY NOW AND CONTACT ANGIE KINSEL: ANGIE.KINSEL@YAHOO.COM or  (512) 919-6336
Full-page ad  - $250
Half-page ad - $150

Donations for Teachers:
Auction ticket - $100
Auction t-shirt - $15

Deadline for Directory Ads - September 3rd

Deadline for name printed on Spirit T-Shirt - Sept 9th

Deadline for Auction Catalog Ads - September 15th
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

iKids U After-School Program

iKids U registration is going on now for the 2016-2017 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 


SBISD and our school has launched Peachjar, a new electronic flyer communication tool. To view school-approved eflyers, simply click the Peachjar button on our school's website or access Peachjar in the SBISD app. 

Be sure to download the SBISD app for quick access to district information and this electronic flyer program - PEACHJAR.  

You will get email notifications once eflyers are posted and can choose to opt out of email delivery if you prefer. This system is used exclusively for distribution of district- and school-approved flyers. Your email address will not be shared or used for any other purpose. 

We are excited about going green and thank you for supporting our efforts to ensure parents are well informed about school programs, activities, and events.
Rallying All Cub Scouts!
Interested in camp outs?  S'mores?  Fishing?  Scout Wars?      

Then, Hunters Creek Cub Scout Pack 704 is for YOU!

Join us for RALLY NIGHT to learn more about what we do and how you can sign up.

What:   Rally Night
When:  Wednesday, August 31st, 5:30 pm
Where: HCE Cafeteria

Amanda Vavilala,
Jenny Robertson,

Hunters Creek Elementary | School & PTA | 713-251-6000| Email | Website

If you have something you would like published in Cougar Express, email your WORD DOCUMENT or JPEG to           

Deadline is Wednesday by 10:00 am