Well the Summer of 2016 just flew by, didn’t it?!? I hope your summer was fun and relaxing for your family like it was for mine. As August 22 quickly approaches, I wanted to wish all of our new and old Brinker families and wonderful Brinker staff a sincere “Welcome Back!”
I am Julie Pascuzzi, the 2016-17 Brinker PTA President. I’m starting my 8th year as a Brinker parent (and 2nd year as a Renner Middle School one). Serving this 2nd year as PTA President, I love remembering all the fun activities, programs and opportunities we provided to the students, staff and families of our Brinker Community in 2015-16 - Author Visits, Scientists Visits, Field Day, Color Fun Run & Fall Family Picnic - to name just a “few” from a school year “bursting” with events. Let’s get ready to have another great year!
As we start this new school year, I urge you to be an active part of our Brinker Community. The community around you and your children at this school will provide you with so much knowledge and support to make the years at Brinker great ones if you get involved.
One of the easiest ways to be “In the Know” is to join the Brinker PTA. We won’t make you serve on committees and attend a ton of meetings, but we will provide you with regular communications on the awesome events and activities that are sponsored by the Brinker PTA all year long and ways you can volunteer or provide support in other ways. I will also guarantee that you will increase your circle of friends and community by being a member of the Brinker PTA!
Please join us at our first PTA events of the school year, “Back to Brinker” which will be held in the Brinker Gym on August 17 from 5-7 pm. At Back to Brinker you can order Brinker Spirit Wear, 2016-17 yearbooks, join the PTA, and learn about the many other activities sponsored by the PTA, such as Tuesday Tunes, Young Rembrandts, Chess Club and others. It is a great time to see old friends and meet some new ones. Brinker PTA also has arranged for a Kona Ice truck to be in the parking lot, so bring your cash and get a cool ice treat and socialize with other families at the Brinker Park - it will be a fun evening!
Looking forward to seeing all of you soon!
Letter from our Principal: Barbara Lange
Dear Brinker Families,
Welcome to a new school year! As always, the summer seems to fly by, and before we know it, we are back in action again! It is hard to tell whether it is the teachers or the kids who are the most excited about a new start to a new year. We will be welcoming new staff this year to Brinker. There have also been grade level changes, so all of the teams have been busily planning together this summer. I want to welcome our Assistant Principal, Lindsey Girlinghouse, who has been an AP at both Carlisle Elementary and Aldridge Elementary in PISD. Lindsey is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She has taught both elementary and middle school before coming to Plano.
We also welcome to Brinker the following new staff members: Jamie Eaheart, First Grade; Blake King, Second Grade; Carolyn Acri, Fourth Grade; Christine Mason, Fifth Grade; Vanessa Shaw, Fifth Grade; Rachael Green, Special Education Teacher.
Staff changes: Kelley Wewerka, Kg. Team Leader; Sidney Minter, First Grade Team Leader; Maureen Macaulay, Second Grade Team Leader; Haley Kim, Fourth Grade Team Leader; Carmelita Villalobos Jimison, PE; Suzy Stergios, Secretary.
Congratulations to these two ladies who got married this summer - Kris Hinds, who is now Kris Enck; Carmelita Villalobos, who is now Carmelita Jimison. We are so happy for them and wish them the very best!
I encourage you to join PTA. However you can support our campus, we want you to feel like you are a part of our Brinker family. Joining PTA helps us to better communicate with you about our campus and offers opportunities for you to participate in our activities and events. We also very much need volunteers – whether you can only give a little of your time or a lot, we can use the extra hands! We have so many ways to volunteer – we have a wonderful VIP program for those who can give an hour or so to tutor a student during the day. We have a real need for extra help in the library during school hours. We will also need help with larger events such as parties, Book Fairs, family picnic, Field Day, Watchdog Dads, field trips, etc. We also need volunteers working the teacher workroom running copies, stapling, cutting out things, and just those general items that are time consuming for the teachers. A little help goes a long way to support the students at Brinker! Thank you in advance for helping to make all of these things possible for our children.
I look forward to seeing all of the returning families and to welcome the new incoming ones. Be sure to attend the Back to Brinker event, Meet the Teacher, and the Parent Information Nights. All of these are so important!
BACK TO SCHOOL DATES
School starts this year on August 22. In the meantime, please remember to calendar these important dates to help you and your Bears get ready for school:
July 1: PISD security clearance for all volunteers opens for the 2015-16 school year. Plano ISD policy requires all volunteers to complete a security clearance application every school year. Clickhereto access the PISD page for volunteer clearance.
July 15: Brinker PTA Membership Toolkit opens. Order Spirit Wear, pay membership dues or sign up to volunteer. Please remember to update your Parent and Student Information Form on the Toolkit in order to access all of the order and volunteer forms for the new school year.
August 3 - 14: Complete your Plano ISD Student Information and Emergency forms on the PISD parent portal. (You must complete these forms in order to access your child's teacher assignment on August 17.)
August 17: Teacher assignments posted in the PISD parent portal (only for families who completed their Student Information and Emergency forms).
August 17:Back to Brinker from 5:00 to 7:00 pm in the Brinker Gym (Kona Ice will be there!)
August 19:Meet the Teacher from 7:30 to 8:30 am
August 22: First Day of School! Doors open at 7:30 am. Classes start at 7:45 am.
August 23:Welcome Back Coffee and General PTA Membership Meeting from 7:45 to 8:30 am
August 23:Parent Information Night (Grades 1-5) at 6:00 & 7:00 pm
August 30: Parent Information Night (Kindergarten) at 6-7
SPIRIT WEAR ON SALE NOW
Get your Bears ready to show their Brinker pride by checking out our new 2016-17 Spirit Wear apparel on sale now through Toolkit. Orders placed August 1-31 will be delivered to your oldest child's classroom by September 30. If you have already purchased your Spirit Wear during our tax-free pre-sale (July 15-31), your items will be delivered to you on Parent Information Night onAugust 23. There will be an additional day to purchase your Spirit Wear tax-free (online as well as in-person) during our Back To Brinker Night on August 17.
To purchase your Spirit Wear now, log into the the Toolkit, go to the Orders/Volunteering tab and look for the 2016-2017 Spirit Wear form.
Have you completed your Volunteer Application for the 2016-17 school year? PISD requires all volunteers to complete this application EVERY school year. We encourage ALL parents to complete and submit an application for security clearance - if you are one of our volunteers or just planning to attend a classroom party. Please visit the PISD Volunteer Application page to access the online application - it takes about 5 minutes to complete.
Clickhereto go to the PISD Volunteer Application page orhere to go to directly to the application.
Thanks for volunteering!
2016-2017 PTA MEMBERSHIP DRIVE
PTA membership is now open for the 2016-2017 school year. For those new to our school, every dollar the PTA takes in goes directly back to programs for all students at the school. Just a few of the programs paid for and organized by the PTA include:
Author and Storyteller Visits
High Tech High Touch Science Visits
Heroes in History Visits
Chess Enrichment Program
Young Rembrandts Art Enrichment Program
Color Fun Run
Cultural Diversity Day
2x2 and Bluebonnet Reading List Parties
Fall Family Picnic
Brinker Bash - Year End Student Party
Class Field Trips
Being a member of the PTA does not require that you volunteer your time. But your membership and support of the PTA ensures that we have the funds to continue providing excellent programs that supplement the education teachers provide to our students.
To become a member of the PTA for the 2016-2017 school year, log in to the Membership Toolkit, go to the Account Login page and select the "2016-2017 PTA Membership Dues" form.
DIRECTORY INFORMATION DEADLINE - SEPTEMBER 9
All PTA members will receive a complimentary copy of the 2016-17 Brinker PTA Membership Directory but please note that only PTA members can receive a copy of this directory. To ensure your information is included within the directory, please join our PTA by Friday, 9/9.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
Come One, Come All ~ Full Time Working Parents & Staying At Home Volunteers Alike, Join Community Outreach and Make a Difference!
Share community outreach with your Brinker Bear by signing up with community outreach as a volunteer and mark this area of interest on the volunteer form. We need volunteers that work full time, part time and stay at home to help our programs be a success. From baking goods and creating treat bags at home for our partner school program with Meadows Elementary School to helping wash and sort lost and found items for children in need in our community, your support in countless ways is greatly appreciated. We will be holding our Annual Canned Food Drive and holding a Halloween Candy Donation as well. Join community outreach to receive the emails on how you and your family can make a difference in our community at Brinker and in our home town of Plano. For questions on how you can help and get your family involved, please email community firstname.lastname@example.org.
WORKROOM HELPERS NEEDED
If you can count to 28, use a paper cutter, tear out pages from a workbook, and staple, then the Brinker Work Room needs you! The Teacher Work Room need at least 4-5 volunteers each week to help our teachers with all the behind the scenes work it takes to ensure our kids have a successful school year. Your time in the Teacher Work Room will be spent on work assignments and projects for all grade levels, including PACE and Special Education. All instructions and supplies for each assignment / project will be readily available, each week, for your use.
The Brinker Work Room is located inside of the library and is available to volunteers each week, Tuesday through Friday (7:30am- 2:45pm). To volunteer, please go to the Orders/Volunteering tab on the Toolkit and look for the Teacher Workroom volunteer form.
This is a great opportunity to see what the Brinker Bear children are learning. Please give the teachers a helping hand by volunteering your time in the Work Room. Let’s make this a GREAT school year! If you have any questions, please contact Cherline Pierre and/or Hema Kalyandurg at email@example.com.
The Brinker PTA will once again be sponsoring an after-school chess enrichment program starting September 6. This 8 week program takes place on Tuesdays from 4-5:15pm at the Brinker Library. All skill and grade levels are welcome! Learn more about the program at Back to Brinker. Registration is $180 per student and will be available once school starts on the PTA Membership Toolkit.
If you are looking for ways to entertain your Brinker Bear during the summer, reading books from the Texas 2x2 Reading List and Texas Bluebonnet Awards are a great way to keep students engaged and get ahead for the next school year. These award-winning books can be found at our local public libraries. Click on the links below for each reading list:
We are excited to have Young Rembrandts again offer their after school art classes at Brinker beginning this September. Please stop by the Young Rembrandts table at Back to Brinker to learn more about this program. Watch for updates in upcoming Bear Facts newsletters!