Celebration of Life Festival at Maplewood

By Erin Magrath

Maplewood Elementary will be participating in a Celebration of Life festival the week of 10/29/17 and with CLI (Creative Learning Initiative) inspired performances on November 3rd, 2017 starting a 1 p.m. We are celebrating different cultural traditions throughout the world that celebrate an end to a natural cycle.

These traditions were created as a way to explain natural phenomena; and bringing in an SEL element, a way to honor, remember, and respect those that have died in our families and communities. Some traditions which will be studied by Maplewood students are Celtic Samhain (Halloween) with the seasonal cycle, Mexico’s Day of the Dead and the Monarch Butterfly Migration cycle, and the Hungry Ghost festival of Southeast Asia in relation to the lunar cycle.

In addition, we have a community partner, Mayra Sotelo, who will be giving a Mexican cultural read aloud in traditional Dia de los Muertos costume in our library, November 2nd in the morning. Please feel free to come and celebrate with the Maplewood community on either of these dates.

Dia de los Muertos altar at Maplewood. Photo by Elizabeth McQueen.

Photo by Elizabeth McQueen.


News from the Maplewood Gardens

Hello, Mustangs! Some of you may have noticed some changes outside and wondered, “What happened to our entries on Maplewood and Ashwood last Friday?”

Our very own Ms. Kirk applied with the nonprofit Austin Partners in Education for corporate-sponsored assistance with landscaping and painting improvements for our campus. Within a week, Maplewood had been chosen by Ernst & Young LLC as the recipient of a $2,000.00 grant for supplies and a team of 80 employee volunteers ready to help. After meeting with Ms. Jacobson to develop a plan, the work was completed last Friday, October 6. Ernst & Young’s wonderful team of hard-working volunteers repainted the restrooms across from the gym, installed new landscaping at the front and Ashwood entries, mulched trees, added soil and compost to classroom raised beds, and powerwashed the front exterior of the school.

With donations of time and funding, Urban Patchwork has been working with the Maplewood Gardens group to develop a sustainable master landscaping plan, and these plants were chosen with our campus needs in mind. Keep Austin Beautiful loaned us the tools needed for the job, and Organics by Gosh donated half of the mulch. Please note that all resources, time, and effort are in-kind donations from our community; no funds have been spent on this project from Maplewood PTA or the school. We are so grateful for the gifts and hope you enjoy the results!

Now it is our time, Mustangs, to nurture the gifts we’ve received! Maplewood Gardens would like to host an informal chat and watering/care planning session this Friday, Oct. 13, right after drop off at the front entry. Please join us!! If you’re interested in volunteering but can’t attend this Friday, please email Periwinkle.

A big THANK YOU to Ms. Kirk, Ms. Jacobson, Ernst & Young LLC, and the volunteer Maplewood Gardeners that made this happen!! Also, a special THANK YOU to Kristen and Cayden for repairing, repainting, and installing the Mustang blue arch in the courtyard! It is welcoming and beautiful!!

Peace and Plants,
Maplewood Garden Team

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Photos by J. Potter-Miller.
More photos on the Maplewood PTA’s Flickr page.

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PTA Proposes Peace Sign Sculpture by Chris Levack for Maplewood

East Austin-based sculptor Chris Levack presented a proposal for a peace sign sculpture to welcome students, families, teachers and staff to Maplewood at the May PTA Board Meeting.  Our school is proud to teach students to be Peacemakers, and this sculpture would reinforce our community values.

Chris is the father of two recent Maplewood grads, and  specializes in large-scale outdoor artwork inspired by the Texas landscape. You can see lots of examples of his work at http://texassculpture.com, and may already be familiar with the pollen and rocket ship sculptures on the Mueller Southwest Greenbelt.

Daniel Colimon and Jennifer Rappoport have generously offered to sponsor the sculpture in honor of the six years their son Nicolas spent at Maplewood, and the entire 2017 6th grade graduating class. The board voted in favor of the proposal, and Chris will present it at the PTA General Meeting for approval on May 18th at 6 p.m.  If approved, the sculpture will be installed before the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

Peace Sculpture Proposal Chris Levack









Spring Fling is May 13

Please join us for some free family fun to celebrate Spring on the lovely grounds of Maplewood Elementary! Watch performances from Maplewood Mustangs and the epic premier of the Dad Band! Test your throwing skills at the Dunk Tank. Get your bounce on in the ‘wrecking ball’ for big kids an the bouncy house for gentle jumpers. Meet some fuzzy friends from Tiny Tails petting zoo. Get a spiffy new look at the Mustang Makeover Salon. Enjoy free hot dogs and drinks, and bring a side or individually wrapped sweet treats to share. And even more fun, including a photo booth, and a Thank-You Card station where you can make a lovely card to share with the mamas in your life! Don’t forget to bring a blanket or lawn chairs to watch the music. Hope to see you there!!

Special thanks to our sponsor Austin Vet Hospital!

SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER: https://utexas.givepulse.com/event/50202-The-Maplewood-Elementary-Spring-Fling


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Maplewood Spring Fling 2014

PTA Board Meeting Agenda, May 3, 2017

Maplewood Elementary School Library, 5-6 p.m.

  1. Treasure’s Report
  2. Discussion and possible Action: Presentation by Chris Levack, sculptor
  3. Discussion and possible Action: Creating a Financial Reconciliation Committee –three people who are not signers and not the treasurer
  4. Discussion and possible action: Review of Potential Budget for Next Year
  5. Spring Fling Updates/ Call for volunteers
  6. Committee Updates
  • Teacher Appreciation
    Membership/Volunteer Appreciation
    Parent Prom
    Landscaping Gardens
    General PTA Meetings
    Volunteer Coordination
    Grant writing

7. Items Not on Agenda

For more information, email maplewoodptapres@gmail.com.


Maplewood Kindergarten Roundup is April 4

Join incoming Kindergartners, their families, and Maplewood teachers and staff at the 2017 Kindergarten Roundup on April 4! At this orientation, parents and caregivers will receive information about the Austin School District’s full-day kindergarten program, including curriculum, daily schedules, attendance requirements, the school year calendar, how to help a child prepare for school, and information specific to the individual campus.

WHEN: Tuesday, April 4, 9-10 a.m.
WHERE: Maplewood Elementary School Cafeteria

Early kindergarten registration assists the District in determining enrollments, assigning staff, and meeting individual school needs. Accurate enrollment projections reduce the need to reorganize classes and teachers after school has started.

Enrollment Information:

* Kindergarten students must be five years old on or before September 1, 2017.

* All students new to Austin ISD must provide a birth certificate, current record of immunizations, child’s last report card, proof of address (rental contract or utility bill with valid address), parent photo identification or driver’s license, and the child’s Social Security Card (optional).

For more information, call Maplewood Elementary School at (512) 414-4402 or visit the austinisd.org.

Connect with other new Maplewood parents at the Facebook event.


RESCHEDULED FOR 4/8! Service Sunday: Volunteer at Maplewood, Patterson, Cherrywood Green, Willowbrook Reach, and Servant Church on April 2

UPDATE: Unfortunately there was a tornado warning on Sunday morning, so we rescheduled the volunteer day for next Saturday, 9-11 a.m. We hope to see you at one of the sites!

Our friends at Servant Church are organizing a neighborhood-wide service day, and invite the Maplewood community to join them! There are five places to volunteer this Sunday, April 2 from 10:30-12:30. There is professional childcare available at Servant Church if you prefer, but kids welcome at most of the work sites. We are grateful to Servant Church for being such fantastic neighbors, and for bringing willing hands to help out at our school!

Let’s get together on Sunday morning to make our neighborhood environment beautiful, fun, and life-giving! There will be work for people of all skill levels, interests, and ages at ALL sites but childcare is provided at Servant Church if that’s wanted/needed. Sign up below for a site or for childcare. You don’t have to sign up to join in any of the fun but it WILL help us prepare and have enough supplies, food, and childcare workers.

Also, Servant Church is having a short outdoor service of prayer and communion at 10am if you’d like to start your day that way.

OK, enough info. Time to sign up:
1) I want to play with mulch: We’ll be working at Patterson Park with 30 of our closest new friends to provide some TLC to the trees. Volunteers will move nutrient-rich mulch to trees and spread it under the tree canopy and the critical root zone of Heritage trees on the western edge of the park, off Cherrywood Rd. We will also do some light trash pick up, as needed.

2) I want to prune and weed: We need about 8-10 people at Cherrywood Green who like to cut some plants and give others room to grow. Bring supplies if you have them but we do have some tools to loan if needed.

3) I want to help Maplewood Elementary School: We’ll be mulching with about 20 people at Maplewood. https://givepul.se/l1a6b

4) I want to pick up trash: Willowbrook Reach needs some love, y’all. It’s got trash to clean from Airport Boulevard to Cherrywood Road. If you and 20 other people don’t mind getting down in the creek and using trash grabbers, this is a great job for you. Wear pants and long sleeves because there is some poison ivy at the reach! Meet at the red swing at the corner of E. 40th St. and Willowbrook Dr.

5) I want to feed the hungry/work inside: We’ll be baking cookies and packing “survival kits” at Servant Church for the homeless to hand out and donate to Mobile Loaves and Fishes.

I want FREE childcare: https://goo.gl/ forms/zRiQFeRqRKEk468x1 Servant Church is providing professional, quality childcare from 10am-12:30. The children will participate in service activities at the church as able and do projects about caring for the environment.

For more info, email Ashley Croswell or Pastor Abigail Parker-Herrera.


Maplewood Garden Work Day, Saturday March 23

Join the Maplewood community on Saturday morning to refresh our school’s vegetable garden boxes for the spring 2017 growing season, and do some general cleanup of the grounds. Bring your kids, gloves, and garden tools. We’ll have water, snacks, and a truck load of supplies courtesy of the Sustainable Food Center’s resource giveaway on Thursday, including compost, seeds, and seedlings. There are several projects that need tackling, including overgrown flower beds outside portables. Come help us dig in the dirt and beautify the school!

WHEN: Saturday, March 25, 9am–12pm
WHERE: Maplewood Greenhouse

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October Garden Work Day at Maplewood. Photos by Jennifer Potter-Miller.



Students Fundraising for School at Mustang Stampede

It’s time for the 2017 Mustang Stampede! The 1K fun run will take place on April 2 at Mueller Lake Park, and students can register at The Get Moving Crew. It’s easy, and you can even do it on your phone! Then you can invite your family and friends to help support our school.

The PTA has a couple of goals this year. First, we want to involve every kid who wants to be involved in the run. Every child who signs up will get a pedometer immediately, 15 tickets for the teacher experience raffle, and a t-shirt on the day of the run. If you know of a kiddo who needs help signing up please email maplewoodptapres@gmail.com.

We’re also raising funds for the PE department as well as money to get us started moving towards our Big Goal of providing a 1:1 ratio of Chromebooks to kids in Grades 3-6, a mobile computing lab for grades Pre-k-2 and a 3:1 ratio of mobile devices to kids for the whole school.

Go Mustangs!


Mustangs March for Peace to Patterson Park

On Friday, March 10, the last day before Spring Break, the entire student body marched from campus to Patterson Park in the first Maplewood March for Kindness. Teachers, parents and staff joined them, as did members of the McCallum marching band and cheerleading squad. The band led the way down Maplewood Ave., and younger students walked hand in hand with students from older grades. Parent volunteers were stationed along the road to keep traffic away.

The theme of the march was “No Place for Hate,” and there were songs, chants and guest speakers after everyone gathered at the park. Officer Kelly from Austin Police Department spoke to the students about being a No Place for Hate school and had all students recite our Resolution of Respect together. Jared Lindauer, Maplewood parent and board member of the Anti-Defamation League (Austin) talked to them about the importance and power of spreading kindness at every opportunity, and Lauren Rizzo from the Refugee Services of Texas spoke about how our values as a No Place for Hate school make ours a welcoming community for ALL families!

The march was covered by the Austin American Statesman, KEYE TV (CBS Austin), and Fox 7 News. Many thanks to the amazing Ms. Kelli Kirk and Social Emotional Learning committee for organizing this outstanding event! For more information on the March for Kindness, contact Maplewood School Counselor Kelli Kirk at kelli.kirk@austinisd.org.

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Photos by Jennifer Potter-Miller

Video by Sunshine Mathon