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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 23, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas FIRST UAY Ot' SCHOOL: COMAL ISD a This is just an amazing building. We had the engineer come talic to use about an hour about aii the green f^res of the buliding.’ IUrt#k I iGnder lUnch Idnden^n teacherNEW YEAR, NEW SCHOOL Kinder Ranch Elementary student hops with silver shoes into second grade By Bftty Taylor The HerakJ-ZeHung By the time she arrived early to Kinder Ranch Elementarv Monday morning where her mother Melissa Bartek teaches kindergarten and where Made-Kn Bartek attends schcx)l, 7-\ear-old Madelvn was talkative. She was explaining that, in past \ears, her classmates enjoyed the alligator song and puppet in the kindergarten room where her mother taught. It seemed any jitters about entering second grade at Kinder Ranch Elementary. had disappeared. \o\\. she could talk like a seasoned pro about what incoming kmdergartners and tirst-graders might need to expect " Remember when we worked on puzzles tor a whole week?" WideK n asked her mom. "That helps us sec* how thev interact with each other," Melissa explained Earlier Mondav morning, Madelvn, like hundreds of other sch(K)l children, got up to an earlv start to begin her first*dav-()t-sch(X)l routine, being careful not to wake her little sister, i-vear-old Cra\ son. She posed for the camera on her front porch, holding the sign that read "2nd Grade' and then posed some more vsith her mom as Dad, Richie Bartek, took some more photos. Though most mornings she wears her hair in a ponvtail, \esterdav she sported a partial Frenc h side braid in her hair after Mom and daughter dec id-ecl the day deserved a special do. Both sported silver shoes, though Madelvn's were a bit more sparkly. Madelvn's shoes matched her rhinestone-trimmed, colorful print shirt and black tulle skirt, Melissa's sh(x*s matchc'd the silver "Kinder Ranch Elementarv" let- LAIWA McKENZlE | Herald-Zeitunq Melissa Bartek puts earrings in tier 7-year-old daughter Madeiyn's ears as they gel ready lor the first day of school at Kinder Ranch Elennentary on Monday morning Madelyn was starting the second grade and Bartek is a kindergarten teacher at the new campus terv, on her T-shirt, "All the teachers are wearing these in case anv of the kids get lost on their first day at the sc hcx)l," Melissa said. Unlike Timberwood Park Ele-mentar\, where there were between 700 and 800 students. Kinder Ranch Elementarv has about 400 students, Melissa said. Students just needed help finding their way around the new building. As Melissa walked into her classroom early Monday morning, she waved her hand in the air. "I'm still try ing to figure out exactly how this works," she said. About the same time she finished her sentence, the lights came on in her classroom. "This is just an amazing building/' she said. "We had the engineer come talk to us about an hour about all the green features of the building. If there is no one m the hall, the lights are off. But if you walk down the hall, the lights turn on. It has a green roof where plants will be growing. Water is collected from the condensation from the air conditioning units. That is located right next to the science labs." As Madelyn walked into the building with its color-coded classrcxjms — tangerine for kindergarten, red for first, lime grt'en for second and so on — she walked to her second-grade classroom and received an early-morning hug from her teacher Sharon Cumberland, Both will be charting new territory' this year in the new building, leaving more room for Madelyn to say next year, and the years to come, "Remember when?"COMAL ISD NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS CISD to offer PSAT/SAT academy Smithson Valley High will host an academv for the Pre-Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) and the Scholastic Aptitude Texas 'SAT), which IS being offered to all Comal ISD juniors and seniors during Saturdays in September. The academy is designed to prepare students for the PSAT and SAT as well as assist students in raising their s( (jres to the level required for national recognition, admission to the institution of their choice and/or scholarship opportunities. The academy prcjvides all of the benefits of a comprehensive PSAT/SAT preparation program Cost IS $250. Registration deadline is Aug. 26, Registration forms are available at each sch{x)l's college and career center or may be downloaded at The PSAT is a "practice" test for the SAT and IS the only way for juniors to participate in the prestigious National Merit Scholarship competition. All sophomores take the test at school free of charge. To register for the SAT, visit WWW, c ol legeboa rd. com. Upcoming SAT tests at Smithson Valley High are; Oct. 1, with a registration deadline of Sept. 9, and Nov. 5, with a registration deadline of Oct. 7. Canyon Lake feeder schools accept Rachel’s Challenge With the goal of "starting a chain reaction of kindness and compassion/' the Canyon Lake Community Coalition (CLCC) will be participate NEW BRAUNFELS FIREFIGHTERS _ PIPES & DRUMS WHAT: BBQ Plate Fundraiser (Door prizes and Silent Auction) WHEN; Saturday, August 27th 1 Oani-ópm WHERE: Bubba's Big Deck in Gruene, Tx $5 minimum donation per plote This event seeks to support our efforts in paying tributé to fallen Firefighters, EMS, Police arid our Armed Forces both Ideally and regionally Our "not-for profit" organization's core values are to play traditional bagpipe and drum musiG at funerals for civil servants as v/ell as celebratory events througfKXit the community Contact Mike Hayes at 830.491.2404 [email protected] ing in Rachel's Challenge on Sept. 12-13 at various schools, culminating with a community'-wide event on the evening of Sept. 13. Rachel Scott was the first person killed at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. Her acts of kindness and compassion coupled with the contents of her six diaries have become the foundation for one of the most powerful anti-bullying programs in the country. Students who participate view vidcxj footage of her life and the Columbine tragedy designed to motivate them to making positive change in the way they treat others. Presentations will be held at Startzville and Rebecca Creek elementary schools and Mountain Valley Middle School on Monday, Sept. 12. On Tuesday, Sept. 13, the presentations will be at Canyon Lake High. Approximately 100 students from both Mountain Valley and Canyon Lake will go through leadership training to kt^ep the "challenge" moving forward at tneir schools. A community event is planned for Sept. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Resource & Recreation Center of Canyon Lake. Parents, students and community members are invited to attend. For more information, contact Mountain Valley Middle School counselor Kate O'Reilly at [email protected] Comal Education Foundation awards funds to campuses Representatives from the Comal Education Foundation (CEF) Board of Directors joined in the fanfare of the annual employee Back-to-School picnics in mid-August by creating a little fanfare of their own. They awarded funds to every single campus. "As a result of direct feedback from teachers and principals, new this year, funds will be available for all Comal ISO schcx)ls based on a set criteria, available amount of funding and revised grant application," said julie Whitaker, president of the CEF. So, rolling with the theme, "It's in Your Hands," and joining in the tradition honored "Roll Call" theme of cheering, the CEF representatives handed each principal a commitment note based on the school's projected enrollment. More than $45,000 was divided among the campuses. Teachers will continue to go through a formal grant application process. to be awarded by the principal based on a set criteria. Annual College and Career Fair slated for Sept. 28 Comal ISD will host its annual College and Career Fair from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, at Smithson Valley High. Representatives from over TOO universities, colleges, trade schools and businesses will answer c]ues-tions regarding admissions, financial aid and career opportunities. The fair is open to all students, but is a huge resource for seniors and juniors who are seeking more information on specific schools and careers. For more information, contact Smithson Valley High Academic and Career Advisor Dean Hofer at [email protected] CISD tax rate, budget forum Wednesday From staff reports Graduation ceremonies for five students, four from Comal Academy and one from Canyon Lake High School, will l^in at 5 p.m. Wednesday in advance of the Comal ISD school board meeting at the CISD Support Services Building, 1404 Interstate 35 North in New Braunfels. The 6 p.m. regular board meeting will include a public hearing on the proposc^d budget and tax rate for 2011-12. The school board will consider a budget of $137.1 million, which translates into an operating budget of $126.2 million after Chapter 41 expenses are sent to the state. Administration is recommending an interest and sinking (l&S) rate of 39 cents per $ 100 assessed property valuation, an increase of six cents over last year's tax rate, and a maintenance and operations rate (M&O) of $1.04 per $100 vaIuation, unchanged from last year. The pro(K)sc‘d increase in the l&S tax rate is necessary to meet the district's bond payoff schedule. Also during Wednesday's meeting, the school board wi 11 consider naming the elementary school in the Indian Springs subdivision, which is sch(.*duled to open for the 2011-12 school year. ;