Principal’s Corner

Dear Families,

As you may know, we have been a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) campus for seven years. This year, I’ve become very passionate about proactive and effective ways to improve student relationships and promoting harmony on our campus through “Restorative Practices.” Strategies such as using responsive circles in the classroom for community building, celebrations, decision-making, curriculum focus (share/teach one another), or for conflict resolution, really connect to our SEL process. There is also evidence that a shift away from traditional discipline practices (punitive) toward a restorative school climate can empower our students with self-awareness and relational skills needed in life.

Earlier in January, the BWE staff was engaged in professional development to learn more about restorative practices based on a leadership training I attended in October and a book study, “Restorative Discipline Practices.” Ms. Gee, our wonderful school counselor, and I will be attending “Leading with Restorative Practices” training this week. I am excited to share this information at my Feb. 23rd Principal’s Coffee as we work together in raising caring, confident and capable children.

Bryker Woods Forever,
Jane Kronke

Posted in Principal's Corner

Principal’s Corner

Dear Families,
Welcome back to a new semester and a new year at BWE! I am so very proud of our Panthers’ efforts and accomplishments, and the staff’s dedication to empowering our young people in ways that inspire them to believe, think and do. We appreciate this community’s support as we prepare students for life success. Together, we celebrate the students’ academic achievements, social-emotional development, participation in service-learning projects, creativity and unique talents.

Now that everyone is settling into their 2018 groove, I want to express my excitement about the opportunities in the upcoming weeks. Science Fair, Jan. 25, is a wonderful opportunity for Panthers to use critical thinking, creativity, communication, reading, writing, math, technology, research and science process skills to explore their world and share their interests…GO SCIENCE!

On Friday, Feb. 2, we will welcome two visiting teachers from China at our morning assembly. For several weeks in February, the visiting teachers will observe some classrooms, provide mini-lessons, facilitate cultural workshops in some art and music classes and celebrate the Chinese New Year with community at our Feb. 16 morning assembly. This global learning opportunity is made possible through collaboration with Meggie Chinese Language School in Austin and AISD World Languages Department.
I hope to see you at morning assembly at “The Best School in Our Town!”

Bryker Woods Forever,
Jane Kronke, Principal

Posted in Principal's Corner

Principal’s Corner

Dear Families,

We began last week with a special assembly with Miss Texas 2017, Margana Wood, and ended the week with the after-school BW Shakespeare players and a snow day…just another week of enrichment and real world learning at “The Best School in our Town!”

Miss Wood presented her anti-bully campaign, “You Belong,” to share with all Panthers the importance of respect and inclusion. She also partners with The Little Words Project, a national organization whose mission is to spread kindness. In her words, she looks forward to continuing her message of respect by encouraging audiences to embrace the notion that we can live in a judgment free society where everyone belongs.

The season of giving to others is upon us. In modeling kindness and compassion toward others, 6th grade is sponsoring their traditional campus-wide food drive for the Capital Area Food Bank. The drive was to end on Friday, however, that has been extended a few days. I am so very proud of our Panthers for putting their caring values into action through community service. And many thanks to BW families who have donated to our sister school, Zavala, during the year and especially during the holiday season.

Thank you for the gift of your amazing children and your support as we work together to support Panthers’ dreams. I love this quote by Lady Bird Johnson, “Children are apt to live up to what you believe of them.” We believe in their dreams as hope for the future.
Have a safe and joyous holiday season!

Bryker Woods Forever,
Jane Kronke, Principal

Posted in Principal's Corner

Bryker Woods is “exemplary” across the board!

In a recent AISD evaluation “Campus Evaluation of Performance in Community and Student Engagement” Bryker Woods scored “exemplary” across the board. The nine Factors are: fine arts, wellness and physical education, community and parental involvement, 21st Century Workforce Development programs, second language acquisition programs, digital learning environment, dropout prevention strategies, educational programs for gifted and talented students, and compliance with statutory reporting requirements.

See https://www.austinisd.org/sites/default/files/dept/cda/docs/hb5/2016-2017/227901110.pdf

Posted in awards, Uncategorized

Principal’s Corner

Dear Families,
Although it may not quite appear to be fall yet, with warm weather still lingering, we are quickly nearing the holiday season. In celebration, this Thursday, Nov. 16, the cafeteria will host our traditional Thanksgiving lunch at Bryker Woods. Pre-paid tickets can be purchased from the cafeteria until Wednesday, Nov. 15, from 7:15 -1:30.

I am always inspired by our community spirit of putting compassion into action–we appreciate your donations of winter clothing to our sister school, Zavala (cooler weather is coming soon!). Donations (collection location in the main hallway) are being accepted through Friday, Nov. 17. Many thanks to parent volunteer, Brenna Randolph, for organizing the collection efforts.

This year, the AISD Thanksgiving holiday break will span the entire week, with no classes being held November 20-24. I hope you all will be able to enjoy this special time filled with great food, fun, family, and friends. In the spirit of reflection for what we are grateful, I would like to convey how thankful I am to the amazing students, dedicated staff, and supportive parents for making Bryker Woods “The Best School in our Town!”

Happy Thanksgiving!
Bryker Woods Forever,
Jane Kronke, Principal

Posted in Principal's Corner

Principal’s Corner

Dear Families,
It was great to see so many parents (and students at the student-led conferences in upper grades) for Parent Conference Day today and over the past week. We value our partnership and appreciate your input as we work together to support the academic, social and emotional development of your child.

The social and emotional learning (SEL) competency for the month of October is “Responsibility.” At last Friday’s assembly, our third graders did a wonderful job of singing about what being responsible learners looks and sounds like. Throughout this month, Panthers who demonstrate being responsible, as acknowledged by staff, will be recognized at our Friday morning assemblies. Speaking of assembly, due to the student holiday on Monday, we will hold morning assembly on Tues., Oct. 10.

Later on Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 5:30, we will have a PTA Executive Board meeting in the library with special guest, Amber Elenz, AISD Board of Trustee, District 5. Ms. Elenz, also a former parent of BW, will share information about the AISD long-term Facility Master Plan and the 2017 Bond Proposal. For more information on recommendations for BW, visit: www.aisdfuture.com. If you are unable to attend the PTA meeting, Ms. Elenz will also be my guest at my Principal’s Coffee on Oct. 27 in the library immediately following morning assembly.

Also, be sure to mark your calendars for our traditional Fall Carnival on Oct. 28, from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. The first BW Fall Carnival was held in 1939 and among the food items served were tuna fish sandwiches! The menu has changed, but so much remains the same: the Bryker Woods community spirit!

Bryker Woods Forever,
Jane Kronke, Principal

Posted in Principal's Corner, Uncategorized

Principal’s Corner

We have had a super start to the 2017-18 school year! At Bryker Woods, our staff is dedicated to providing a safe, nurturing, challenging, empowering and engaging learning environment for all Panthers.

It is a great joy to be a member of this strong community that has such a rich sense of history, tradition, school spirit and a shared commitment to high-quality education. I am proud that we focus on the development of the whole child through Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), mindfulness, and building on students’ strengths and interests. We also promote a growth mindset—that it’s okay to make mistakes and experience struggles—as a process of learning.

We value the opportunities to connect with families and celebrate our community spirit. One of those opportunities is Morning Assembly, held on Mondays and Fridays in the cafeteria. As assemblies begin at 7:45 and are part of the instructional day, students not present will be counted as tardy. If Monday is a student holiday, we will have assembly on Tuesday. As an added treat to begin the week, our wonderful PTA sponsors a Monday Morning Coffee—please join us–it’s a great way to start our day together!

I hope to see you at the traditional All-School Picnic on Sept. 22, from 5:30 – 7:30 in our “backyard!” Celebrate the new school year and bring in the fall season with food, fun and family at the “Best School in Our Town!”

Bryker Woods Forever,
Jane Kronke, Principal

Posted in Principal's Corner