Sunday, February 26, 2017

News from Mrs. Graves

Upcoming This Week

Flip Flop Fiesta Student Raffle Tickets On Sale at Lunch
Baseball @Meyerland, 4:00 p.m.

Flip Flop Fiesta Student Raffle Tickets On Sale at Lunch
8th grade Parent PGP Meeting and Coffee with the Principal, 8:30-9:00 a.m.
Softball @Second Baptist, 4:30 p.m.
Band Pancake Supper and Concert, 5:00-7:30 p.m.

NAEP Testing, Selected 8th graders
Flip Flop Fiesta Student Raffle Tickets On Sale at Lunch
Spring Musical Preview, Teachers & Students, 3:30 - 6:00 p.m.
8th Grade Parent PGP Meeting w/Special Guest HS Counselors, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Flip Flop Fiesta Student Raffle Tickets On Sale at Lunch
Flip Flop Fiesta Student Raffle, 3:25 p.m.
Tennis Practice
8th Grade Class Panoramic Photo, 8:15 a.m.
Baseball @Black MS 4:30 p.m.
Beginning Orchestra Festival, 5:00 p.m.
Boys' & Girls' Soccer @TH Rogers, 4:30 p.m.
Softball vs Hamilton, @Pin Oak, 4:30 p.m.

College T-Shirt Day
Flip Flip Fiesta-School Auction, 7:00 p.m.

Houston Public Library Book Sale @Pin Oak
Crowd Pleasers' Middle School Dance Contest, Woodlands College Park HS
Band Pre-UIL Clinic Day
Band Pre-UIL Concert and Lunch, 11:30 a.m.
Girls' 7th/8th gr Lacrosse Vs. Pearland, Friendswood Jr. High, 10:30 a.m.
Girls' 6th gr Lacrosse vs. Pearland, Friendswood Jr. High; 12:00 p.m.
Girls' 7th/8th gr Lacrosse vs Friendswood, Friendswood Jr. High, 12:00 p.m.

Boys' 6th gr Lacrosse vs Katy, @Pin Oak, 1:30 p.m.
Boys' 7th/8th gr Lacrosse vs Katy, 3:00 p.m.
Girls' 6th gr Lacrosse @Sienna, 1:30 p.m.
Girls' 7th/8th Lacrosse @ Sienna, 2:45 p.m.

Pin Oak Celebrates Teacher of the Year and 
Beginning Teacher of the Year!

Congratulations Ms. Slavin, Art Teacher for being selected by her colleagues as Pin Oak's Teacher of the Year.

Congratulations Mr. Neal, Special Education TREK Teacher for being selected by his colleagues as Pin Oak's Beginning Teacher of the Year.

Notice for 8th Grade Parents
There are several important pieces of information related to this week.  Please make note of the following:
  • Monday - 8th grade Activities Packets go home.  Sign and return the enclosed documents with the activities fee no later than 3/8/17.
  • Parent PGP Meetings - Please attend one of two meetings (see calendar above), or sign and return the purple form in the activities packet.
  • 8th gr Class Panoramic Picture - Thursday, 8:15 a.m. (no make-ups)

Flip Flop Fiesta
Don't miss the Pin Oak auction on Friday!  This is our single largest fundraising event, and helps our PTO put money directly back into classroom to enrich learning for your child. Haven't attended before, no problem!  There is a first time for everything.  This event will sell out, so get your tickets as soon as possible!

Not sure how PTO supports classrooms? This year alone, more than $70,000 in teacher grants have been funded to support innovative curriculum and new programs.  Your PTO supports academics, fine arts, athletics, and foreign language.  And don't miss the opportunity to learn first about this years' major improvement project during Paddles Up!

Buy your ticket on the Pin Oak PTO website at

Smartwatches with Cameras
In a recent conversation with teachers I was made aware that some students are wearing smartwatches to school.  In general, this can be a distraction, but more serious is the use of smartwatches with cameras in the locker rooms.  If your child has a smartwatch with a camera, as with all devices with a camera, they are strictly prohibited in the locker rooms. Taking a picture of another student in the locker room would be a serious offense that would have to be referred to law enforcement. Please protect your child and the other children at Pin Oak by not allowing your child to bring a swartwatch with a camera to school.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

News from Mrs. Graves

Upcoming This Week


Tennis Practice
Softball vs. Marshal @Pin Oak, 4:30 p.m.
Baseball vs Tanglewood, @Pin Oak, 4:30 p.m.
Choir Ensemble Concert, 6:00 p.m.


NJHS Meeting, Team Time
Tennis Practice
Beginning Band Rehearsal, 3:30 p.m.
Softball vs. Hogg, @Pin Oak, 4:30 p.m.
Baseball vs. St. Vincent dePaul, @Pin Oak, 4:30 p.m.
Beginning Orchestra Festival, 5:00 p.m.

Free Dress - No Missing Assignments
UIL Preparation: Woodwind & Brass, 3:40-5:40 p.m.
6th gr Boys' Lacrosse @Pershing, 7:30 p.m.

Westside Track Meet, Westside HS

Changes to the Dress Code
In January, Student Body President Tommy Lai and Vice President McHaley Ho addressed the SDMC with two proposals.  One of the two proposals included changes to the dress code.  The SDMC asked for input from parents and faculty.  A survey was sent out shortly after the January meeting, and the SDMC reviewed those results during the February meetings just last week.  The following changes to the dress code were recommended by the SDMC and will be adopted effective immediately:

  • We will official adopt dark gray as an allowable color for jackets and sweaters; and
  • We will now allow logos no larger than the ID badge.
Thank you to our student body leadership for bringing forward this important proposal. Additionally, the PTO has been hard at work looking for a more modern pull over sweatshirt and jacket, as well as an exciting new spirit shirt.  New items will be available for order in April for the 2017-18 school year.

Weather Updates
HISD sent a text alert this evening to parents and faculty regarding possible inclement weather tomorrow morning.  The District will be working closely with city officials to alert you if the weather will pose a problem with school beginning on time in the morning.  Otherwise, I look forward to seeing everyone in the morning!


$2 Raffle Tickets or $10 Raffle Books (6 tickets)

Tickets will be sold during lunch
Wednesday, February 22nd – Wednesday, March 1st
Raffle winners being drawn and announced by Ms. Graves on Thursday, March 2nd


Bose Bluetooth Speaker
Generously donated by the Courtney Family

Polaroid Zip Instant Mobile Printer
Generously donated by the Rephlo Family

Amazon Echo Dot
Generously donated by the Courtney Family

Ray Ban Aviator Sunglasses
Generously donated by Dr. Lai and Family

Apple Mini iPad
Generously donated by the Konicki Family

EP Beats by Dr. Dre Headphones
Generously donated by the Manning Family

Fujifilm Instax Mini Camera & Film
Generously donated by the Rephlo Family

LUSH Bella Fruta Gift Set
Generously donated by the Park Family

James Avery Heart Necklace
Generously donated by the Manning Family

Go Pro HERO Camera
Generously donated by the Konicki and Manning Families

Questions? Email (Felica Broadwell)

Rice University Summer Math Program
It is not too late to enroll in RUSMP's summer offerings for students although there are limited openings in many of them.

* RUSMP is offering two new and exciting three-week enrichment mathematics programs at Episcopal High School:

  1. For students entering 8th-grade in the fall of 2017:Through the lens of computational thinking, students will explore mathematics using technology to develop inductive and visual reasoning. Hands-on activities integrating mathematics and computer science will provide an innovative approach to learning mathematics.
  2. For students who have completed precalculus:  At the end of this program, students will be better equipped for the rigor of college-level mathematics and for success on A.P. Calculus and I.B. Mathematics exams. Proof, justification, and authentic problems will be explored using a variety of methods including graphing technology and other computing tools.

To learn more and to register, visit

* Register soon for the one-week activity-filled half-day math camps for students entering 2nd-grade through 7th-grade in the fall of 2017. These camps will engage students in fun, hands-on mathematics investigations and games with connections to science, technology, engineering, and the visual arts. Students will leave the camps more energized and enthusiastic about mathematics and the other STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) disciplines. Three of the nine sessions are already full, and the other sessions are nearing capacity!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

News from Mrs. Graves

Upcoming This Week


Teacher Appreciation Valentine's Dessert Buffet
Tennis Practice 
Softball vs Marshal, @POMS, 4:30 p.m.
Choir Ensemble Concert, 6:00 p.m.

Baseball vs St. John's, @POMS, 4:30 p.m.

PTO General Meeting, 8:30 a.m.
Tennis Practice
UIL Band Rehearsal, 3:30 p.m.
SDMC Meeting, 3:45 p.m.
Baseball vs Lanier, Linkwood Park, 4:30 p.m.
Girls' & Boys' Soccer @Lanier, 4:30 p.m.
Softball @Meyerland, 4:30 p.m.

Report Cards

Westbury Track Meet, Butler
Houston Hispanic Forum
Champions NW Houston Classic Dance Contest

SUNDAY, 2/19
Boy's Lacrosse @POMS, 1:00 & 2:30 p.m.

National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP)
Pin Oak students have been chosen to represent Houston ISD, Texas and our nation in the 2017 NAEP administration. NAEP is the largest nationally representative assessment of educational progress since 1969.  Results from NAEP are used to create the Nation's Report Card.  As a nationally representative sample, approximately 140 of our students were randomly selected and will have the opportunity to represent us on March 1st.  If your child was selected to participate, you will receive a letter on Monday.

Since 2014, I have had the opportunity to serve the U.S. Department of Education as a member of the NAEP Principals' Panel and have learned more about the important role NAEP plays in informing education policy across our country.  I travel to Washington, D.C. three times each year to serve on the panel, and among other things, have had the opportunity to provide feedback on the transition from a paper based assessment to the digital assessment being administered this year. I am thrilled to know our Pin Oak Chargers will have the opportunity to represent our nation.

You can learn more about NAEP at

Update on the Fitness Track
Last March we launched an $80,000 fundraising campaign to install a 1/2 mile concrete fitness track around our athletic facility.  We are closing in on funding the project, and are moving forward with planning.  We are expecting to receive information from the City of Bellaire next week with information on requirements for permitting, and will be able to get a final bid and move forward with construction.  We are planning construction for this summer. You will have another opportunity this spring at our Flip Flop Fiesta to purchase a fitness track paver with a personalized inscription. 

Cell Phones and Slime
I've always wanted to write something with this title!  Let me start with cell phones.  Please remind your student that cell phones should be stored in their lockers during the school day. Students are not allowed to have cell phones on their person, and should not be checking them during the day.  Cell phones may be used after school and only outside of the school building. If you need to reach your child during the school day, please feel free to call the school office.  A message can be taken for your child, and his/her name can be displayed on the monitor for a message in the office.  If your child needs to reach you, a phone is available in the main office for use during lunch.

And then the more exciting of the two...slime.  Evidently we have a slime explosion, and some of our children are stretching their entrepreneurial wings to launch slime sales. Teachers have asked that I reach out to you and ask for your help.  We have had slime stuck in computer keyboards, books, and even hair in the last week.  We love that they are practicing their chemistry at home, but please keep the slime at home.

POMS Yearbook
We are quickly approaching our final order deadline.  If you have not already ordered your child's yearbook, now is the time!  You may order today at   

Flip Flop Fiesta Just Around the Corner
Have you purchased your tickets for Flip Flop Fiesta?  This is our largest fundraiser each year, and is a really great time to get to know other parents and work toward the goal of funding improvements for Pin Oak. Sponsorships are still available if you are interested in underwriting this event.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

News from Mrs. Graves

Upcoming This Week

8th Grade Meeting, Team Time

Tennis Practice 
7th Grade District Swim Meet, Lamar H.S., 4:30 p.m.
Softball vs Pilgrim @POMS, 4:30 p.m.
Baseball Parent Meeting, Gym, 6:00 p.m.
Band Dinner Concert, Bellaire HS, 5:00 p.m.

Swim Team Pictures, 3:40-4:00 p.m.

Tennis Practice
Girls' & Boys' Soccer @Pilgrim, 4:30 p.m.
8th Grade District Swim Meet, Lamar HS, 4:30 p.m.
Spirit Night at Berryhill, 5:00-9:00 p.m.

Go Red for Heart Disease Prevention - Students/Faculty invited to wear red shirt
Girls' & Boys' Soccer Team Pictures, 3:45 p.m.
Valentine's Dance, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

HISD MS Dance Contest, Waltrip HS
Charger Cheer Team Performs at Houston Rockets Halftime, 7:00 p.m.

Friday, February 10th
POMS Valentine's Dance
6th & 7th Grade
6:00-8:00 p.m.

8th Grade Meeting
On Monday during Team Time, we will meet with all 8th graders to highlight end-of-year 8th grade activities and the eligibility requirements under 3-2-1.  We are still confirming the details on these events, but here is what we know so far:

  • Yearbook Signing Party
  • 8th grade Dance, Tuesday, May 23rd
  • Schlitterbahn, Wednesday, May 24th
  • Promotion Ceremony, Thursday, May 25th, Butler Stadium Fieldhouse at 12:00 p.m.

What is 3-2-1?

3   school wide detentions
2   in-school suspensions
1   out of school suspension

Whenever any one of these criteria is met, the student is excluded from all end-of-year activities.

·       walking at promotion
·       the 8th grade dance
·       Schlitterbahn
·       yearbook signing party
·       All eighth grade activities, whether during school hours or not

3-2-1 Starts Now!  
No prior discipline history is considered under 3-2-1.

POMS Spirit Night at Berryhill

Join us Thursday, February 9th from 5:00-9:00 p.m.  Families need to request their itemized receipt and write "Pin Oak" on it for 20% of the proceeds to be contributed to the school.  

Pin Oak Press
Have you read our school newspaper, Pin Oak Press?  You can read it online at

HISD Dyslexia Awareness Family Night - February 7th
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center
4400 West 18th Street