Need Kolter Uniform Shirts?

The Kolter PTO School Store is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your convenience.  Shop online under the SHOP KOLTER menu, pay with a credit card, and have your merchandise delivered directly to you child’s class.  How easy is that!?!

Shop at the PTO Shed (red barn by the K playground)  this Friday, 8/29, from 7:30-8:30am.  We accept cash or check.

If your child needs an agenda, you may purchase one at the front office.

Questions? Contact our PTO School Store chair person, Kate Garcia at store@kolterpto.com

Attention NEW Kolter Families

THIS INFORMATION IS FOR NEW KOLTER FAMILIES ONLY

We are so happy to welcome you to our school!

Three very  important pieces of information to get you ready for the new school year:

  1. In order to volunteer at the school for any activity or event, you must follow the HISD VIPS process. It is very simple; first you register online at  http//prodnet.houstonisd.org/visit/en-us/loging.aspx  This process can take several weeks, so do not delay and register NOW!  You do not want to miss out on that first class field trip! Next,  present your Drivers License, ID, passport, or Resident Alien Card  at the front office.  They will scan it, and you will be ready for field trips, class parties, etc.
  2. ALL PTO communication will be sent out through the Kolter School Directory.  If you do not register your family in the directory, we have no way to share information with you about PTO and school events like Open House, Spirit Nites, IFest, class parties, Spring Carnival , etc. Please note that you can opt out   and we will not publish  your contact information  in the printed school directory.  Register at http//bit.ly/KolterDirectory  If you have questions or need help, contact Drew Shefman at directory@kolterpto.com.
  3. The School Directory is also used to capture your volunteer interests.  However, you must do this separately from your directory registration described above (sorry, but this is a limitation of the program and not our choice).  Please use the following link to register to volunteer and our committee chairs will contact you when your help is needed. http//bit.ly/KolterVolunteer

The PTO works very  hard to serve our  school, including YOUR child!!  Please support our efforts by giving of your time, talents, and/or treasures.

Attention Returning Kolter Families

THIS INFORMATION IS FOR RETURNING KOLTER FAMILIES ONLY

We are so happy to welcome you back for another great school year!

Three very  important pieces of information to get you ready for all  PTO and Kolter activities:

  1. In order to volunteer at the school for any activity or event, you must follow the HISD VIPS process.  It is very simple, just present your Drivers License or ID at the front office.  They will scan it, and you will be ready for field trips, class parties, etc.
  2. By now, you should have received an email from the Kolter Directory(My School Anywhere) to update your family information for the year. If you did not receive an email, please contact Drew Shefman at directory@kolterpto.com.  It is very important that you update your contact information AND your child’s homeroom teacher. ALL PTO communication will be sent out through the School Directory.  If you do not update your family info, we have no way to share information with you about PTO and school events like Open House, Spirit Nites, IFest, class parties, Spring Carnival , etc.
  3. PTO Manager is no longer being used.  We will be using the School Directory to capture your volunteer interests.  However, you must do this separately from your directory information described above (sorry,  but this is a limitation of the program and not our choice).  Please use the following link to register and our committee chairs will contact you when your help is needed. http//bit.ly/KolterVolunteer

The PTO works very  hard to serve our  school, including YOUR child!!  Please support our efforts by giving of your time, talents, and/or treasures.

 

 

 

Calling all Kolter Cougars….

The count down is ON!  Only 6 more days until school starts!!!!!

We are eager to get this year started.  Here is a quick run down of Back to School events at Kolter:

August 20, 9:00am  Kinder Play Date (Kinder Playground)
Great way to meet your teacher, fellow classmates, and make new friends!  Snacks will be provided. The School Store will be open so bring cash or checks to purchase your uniform shirts.

August 22, 9:00am Pre K Parents Only Meeting (Cafeteria)
Everything you ever wanted to know about PreK at Kolter!

August 22, 1:00pm  New Student Orientation (Cafeteria)
Everything you ever wanted to know about Kolter! New families will be able to register for their HISD background check in order to volunteer at the school and register for the PTO directory/volunteer database. The School Store will be open so bring cash or checks to purchase your uniform shirts.

August 22, 1:30pm  PreK Meet and Greet (Rm 1)
Come see the classroom and meet your classmates.

August 22, 2:00pm Meet the Teacher/Back to School Snow Cone Social
Check out your classroom, meet your teacher, then join the PTO on the covered blacktop for an icy treat.

August 25, 7:35am  First Day of School
Bell Schedule Reminder:     First bell 7:40am
Tardy bell 7:45am
Dismissal 3:00pm

August 25, 8:15am  Parents’ 1st Day Coffee (Cafeteria)
Join the PTO for a Boo hoo or a Yahoo! Reconnect with old friends and make new ones.

August 25, 4:40-5:30pm  Parents’ Afternoon Tea (Cafeteria)
Stop by before you pick up your kids from extended day and have a  refreshing, afternoon pick-me-up with the PTO.

Help for a Kolter Family

As some of you may know, one of our Kolter families, The Cohens (Blake-2nd Grade, Drew-5th Grade),  suffered a terrible loss when their home was struck by lightening and burned down.  Luckily, everyone in the family, including their dog, escaped unharmed.  However, they lost almost everything!   At this time, everything is tied up with insurance. The boys have gotten a ton of clothes already from donations, but we are collecting gift cards for groceries such as HEB and Kroger, restaurants and adult clothing stores such as Target, JC Penney, Old Navy, Stein Mart, etc. We have also set up an online funding account. If you have a gift card to donate, please drop it off at Staci Beinart’s house.  Her house is just around the block from Kolter at:  5210 Valkeith Dr (between Cedarhurst and Moonlight)

This family has been a very involved family at Kolter during the last 5 years. Tamara has served on the Executive Board over the last 2 years as Volunteer Coordinator and has had many other volunteer positions as well! All donations are greatly appreciated by the family!

If you would like to help in a different way, please consider visiting the website below.  It was created by their family and friends in an effort to consolidate donations and give the the Cohens the help they need at this time.  Thank you for your support Cougars!

https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/47f5/the-cohen-family-fire-recovery-fund

It Is Not Too Late for School Supply Orders

Don’t fight the back-to-school crowds and save time by ordering your child’s school supplies online.  It’s not too late to order! Go to www.epipacks.com, school code: KOL004 to order.

The deadline is August 15th and you will be charged a late fee.

Supplies ordered now will be delivered the first week of school.  How easy and convenient is that?

Please contact Kim Taylor at kimtaylor26@outlook.com if you have any questions.

Trustee letter/email template

Dear Trustee,

I am aware of the proposed HISD magnet funding allocations to be voted on by the board on June 19, 2014. As a tax payer, home owner, and Houstonian, I am alarmed at how carelessly this proposal was determined; there are no known metrics or research behind the proposed allocations. And the fact that the proposal has changed numerous times also indicates a lack of due diligence.

After reviewing the latest iteration of the proposal, the biggest question I have is what does the PUA have to do with Magnet allocations? Either there is a PUA returned to the district schools district-wide or there is not. The PUA is irrelevant and should not be factored into this inequitable redistribution of magnet funds. The determination of magnet funding was done without regard to the programs or funding required to provide those programs. The District is releasing information about other budget items as if the magnet funding changes are part of the reason why they can fund other programs, and in reality the magnet issue is simply a redistribution of the same moneys to different places.

At a recent town hall meeting hosted by Trustee Lunceford, it was specifically stated by a district representative that the allocations were based on “simple Algebra and Politics.” This is unacceptable and alarming.

I recommend delaying any changes to magnet funding for the next year and to work with each of the principals to provide their budgets for their magnet programs, along with the performance of those programs. This will provide a true cost/benefits analysis that can be used to fund the programs that are working and replicate successful programs in under-served sections of the district so that each student in HISD will have the opportunity to be close to a successful magnet program. Equity is not mediocrity spread among all; equity is providing opportunity to excel throughout the district.

I appreciate your commitment to our schools. The underlying issue is that no one in the administration took the current programs into consideration before making these changes and that will result in damaging many of our best schools and advocates. Please vote NO on the magnet funding proposal, Let me know how I can help resolve this issue.

Sincerely,
YOUR NAME
YOUR PHONE

The fight for Magnet funding continues!

Dear Kolter Families,

We had a good turnout of Kolter supporters at the 6/12 HISD School Board meeting. Thank you to those families who took the time to represent our school. The meeting ended at about 8:30pm. Although our agenda item was moved to the 19th, I think it was a great learning
experience for those of us who had never attended a board meeting. I’d like to share some of the lessons learned so that we can all benefit and be prepared for THE BIG ONE(6/19 Board meeting).
1. It is a very long meeting and not suitable for young children(**see the note about The Zone below).
2. Bring water and maybe a snack since it will run past dinner time.
3. Arrive at 4:30 to secure a seat in the board room. Latecomers will be seated in the overflow rooms. The boardroom will be filled to capacity for this meeting!
4. Less is more – a few well-rehearsed speakers with a clear message is better than 50 speakers. There were so many parents and kids speaking after the meeting last night. I noticed the board members were talking among themselves while parents/kids were addressing the board. At one point, Dr. Grier even stepped out of the room!

Our big moment is drawing nearer. This week, the HISD school board will vote on the magnet funding reallocation. This proposal reduces our magnet funding significantly which will result in losing 1-2 of our language teachers and thus losing our language programs! We only have a few days to stop this proposal, so the time is NOW to take action. To ensure that this proposed budget does NOT get approved, we need you to do two very important things:

First, we urge you to lobby for our cause and contact any and all elected officials like the board trustees, Dr. Grier, city council members, the mayor, state representatives, etc. Write a letter, make a phone call, or send an email. We have listed sample letters and emails you can use on the PTO website. If you need help, please contact Rysse Goldfarb.

Secondly, attend the HISD School Board meeting on

Thursday, June 19th at 5:00pm Hattie Mae White – 4400 W 18th St. Houston, TX 77092

The Board is currently expected to vote on the magnet funding allocation issue at this meeting. The agenda with a specific time has not been released. Again, plan to be there at 4:30 if possible. If you can’t make it that early, come anyway! Better late than never!

WE NEED ALL PARENTS AT THIS MEETING!!!

In addition to our group of speakers, we need as BIG of a presence as we can muster. Please wear a Kolter Tshirt. Shirts are available FREE of charge from Lorena (832-443-9432) and Rysse before 6/19.

Our school administrators (Dr. Shetzer, Ms. Dickinson and Mr. Anderson) plan on attending the June 19th meeting.

***We have set up childcare at The Zone (10371 Stella Link Rd Houston, TX 77025 (281)317-7529) from 4:30-8:30pm. The cost is $25 per child and this includes pizza, drink and a snow cone.***

Here is the bottom line:

We have no interest in entertaining any change to our current program.

With Cougar Pride,
Lorena Estrada
Kolter PTO President

(Original available here)

Call to action: Magnet budget cuts still going ahead!

Hello Kolter Family,

It has become increasingly apparent that HISD Superintendent Dr. Terry Grier will not listen even to his own Board of Education. He is determined to cut funding to several HISD Magnet Schools which will devastate those schools. In light of this we are asking all parents, neighbors, family and friends to contact your local and state elected officials, including council members, state representatives and state senators and urge them to directly contact Dr. Grier and ask him to stop the proposed cuts. It is our belief Dr. Grier will only listen to elected officials prompted by their constituents.

Below (at bottom of this post) is a draft email you may use to contact any and all officials you personally know or who serve you (and need your vote). NOW (this weekend) is the time to talk to your trustees, to the press, to your city council members…to anyone who may be in a position to affect change. We need Grier’s email to be flooded with messages from elected officials ASAP as critical meetings will be held Monday and Thursday.

Find your state rep here: 
http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/find-your-representative/

List of State Committee on Education, headed by Senator Dan Patrick (Harris a County)
http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/Senate/commit/c530/c530.htm

Search here to find your reps by address/zip (when link opens scroll to bottom):
http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/Senate/Members.htm#FYI

Search here to find your Houston City Council Member:
http://www.houstontx.gov/council/whoismycm.html

TIP: If clicking their name doesn’t lead you to find their email, you should be able to Google them to find websites for your reps which should have their email. Sometimes typing in their name plus the word ‘email’ will usually find it.

Please continue to express to our community (not only school families, but our greater Houston community) that this threat to our funding is very real and very serious. If at all possible, please show up at these two meetings and show your support for your school! We need to show them our strength with our numbers! While it is not necessary that you speak at the meeting, you are certainly invited to give them a piece of your mind! Should you wish to speak before the board, please email: president@kolterpto.com so that you can be walked through the process.

Monday, June 9th at 3:00pm – Board Meeting Agenda setting meeting

Thursday, June 12th at 5:00pm – Regular Board Meeting (Childcare available at The Zone: see email from room parents for detail)

Location for both meetings: Hattie Mae White HISD Building at 4400 West 18th Street, Houston, Texas 77092.

And now…please write your representatives! THANK YOU for standing up for Kolter!

Be sure to convey to each of your reps, your outrage at the lack of due diligence by Grier and his gross disregard of the impact these cuts would have on our schools, neighborhoods and commerce. Please be sure to send each official the attached list of schools slated for funding cuts as well as the attached letter they can use to draft a memo to Dr. Grier.

Please click HERE to open an email template with the following message (may not work in all browsers/email clients). The attachments you’ll need are at the bottom of this post.

–DRAFT EMAIL BODY FOR YOU TO SEND TO YOUR ELECTED OFFICIAL(S) FOLLOWS–

Dear NAME OF OFFICIAL,

I wanted to make you aware of an issue coming before the Houston ISD Board of Trustees next week that I am extremely concerned about. HISD Superintendent Dr. Terry Grier has decided that he does not want specialty “Magnet” Schools funded at the same levels as previous years. Incredibly, there has been no investigation or systematic planning with regards to the proposed cuts. The school programs being cut have had no review or critique; they have just re-allocated funding to projects of Dr. Grier’s choosing. I have attached a list of the schools being cut and they are some of the top schools in our area.

Also attached is a draft letter for your use if you would like to send a letter to Houston ISD Superintendent Dr. Terry Grier. Any help you can provide to stop these budget cuts would be greatly appreciated!

Had the district done their due diligence and provided valid documentation as to why these programs or dollars should be reallocated then we would not have a problem. However, these cuts will be devastating to many of the schools (home values, and communities) and irreparable harm will be done if this is allowed to continue. Education is a key factor in businesses moving to Houston.

Thank you and I am available on my cell.

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME

YOUR CELL

–END OF DRAFT EMAIL BODY–

HERE IS THE FIRST ATTACHMENT YOU WILL NEED FOR THE EMAIL MESSAGE.

HERE IS THE SECOND ATTACHMENT YOU WILL NEED FOR THE EMAIL MESSAGE.

5th grade letters to HISD

Kolter’s 5th grade students wrote letters to the HISD School Board in response to the proposed budget cuts for language magnet programs.

You can read them directly below, or use this link to share them on your favorite social media platform:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/226141473/Kolter-5th-Grade-Letters-to-School-Board

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