Week of 1/8 - 1/11/19

Welcome back Panthers!
I can’t believe we are already at the halfway point of the school year. I hope you were able to enjoy the break, spend time with family in a positive way, and get a little rest to recharge for the new year.

We will somewhat ease back into the routine this week and will be going over student expectations for those that are new and those that might have “forgotten” over the break. Tomorrow I will send out the newest list of activities for parents that might have students in transition whether from 5th to 6th grade or 8th to 9th grade. This will be a separate tab in the blog. We will also have the dates posted on the “Upcoming Events” tab as they are approaching. We will be offering a few opportunities for 6th and 7th grade parents to join as well if they want to get a head start on what will be needed for high school.

Other Info
Coding Program (Spring Enrollment Open)
We want to prepare our students for the opportunities of a tech-driven future by providing them options to learn programming skills. Round Rock ISD and CodeWizardsHQ are partnering to offer a paid after-school coding program at Ridgeview Middle School.

Students will be learning real-world programming languages including Python, JavaScript, HTML/CSS and more. It is an opportunity to experience coding at a higher level.

Students who register for the program will attend classes once/week from our computer lab. Due to space/laptop restrictions, enrollment into the program is limited to 24 students on a first come, first serve basis.

For more information and to enroll, please visit
http://www.codewizardshq.com/rrisd/

(Fall students do not have to re-register)

Early College High School
If you or your student is interested in Early College High School, I have attached a flyer to help navigate and learn more about the process. The deadline for an application is January 31st.

23 Ways to Give Back to your Community
I have also attached a list of organizations in the community that are looking for volunteers or provide a resource that you might be in need of.

Gifted and Advanced Academic Parent/Student Conference
This conference is for both parents of students who are receiving gifted services, as well as high potential learners who are seeking advanced academic opportunities. The conference will be held at Walsh Middle School on February 2nd from 9 a.m. to noon. Registration

Vaping
     Over the holidays I noticed an abundance of literature surrounding the topic of teen vaping. RRISD is not immune to the rapid increase in use among teens. I did want to educate parents a little more on the topic and we as a school will be doing more education with students as well over the course of the semester about the dangers of vaping.
     The first form of education is in terminology. For some, you might be familiar with the term e-cigarette, but the words vaping, juuling, dab pens, juice, pods, mods, or toot, might not be familiar. I also encourage you to find out what these devices look like as many do not look like a cigarette and look more like a flash drive. 
     I found a pretty good video about Juuling that gives more information and statistics about vaping. Most of the liquid is flavored with candy or sweet flavors that give the impression that no nicotine is present or that vapes are not harmful to teens. Another aspect that parents might not be aware of is that they can be ordered online. Perhaps most alarming is that e-cigarettes can also contain THC or CBD, compounds from the cannabis plant commonly referred to as active ingredients in marijuana. 
     Parents and students should know that possession of a vape that contains these ingredients is a felony offense and will lead to removal to an alternative education placement. Vaping can be just as addicting as smoking and much harder to catch because of the lack of smell traditionally associated with smoking. The best defense against teens vaping is honest family conversations about the dangers and risks, expectations as a family, and consequences.

I hope you are off to a great start and have a great week! The choice is yours!

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