Monday, November 6, 2017

Bear News - Nov. 6, 2017

PTA Meeting - November
The next PTA Meeting is Tuesday, November 14 at 6:00 p.m. Please make plans to join us!

Immediately following the PTA Meeting is the Book Swap and Character Costume Parade. The Book Swap is so much FUN! Use the form that was sent home to turn in up to 5 books. For every book that your child turns in, he or she can receive a book from the Swap. Fifth Graders swap five minutes before the other grades. Tickets will be sent home the day of the Book Swap. Deadline for turning in books is Monday, November 13. No preschool or activity books – books for ages 6-12 please.

All inventory of Bear Wear will be available for purchase at the PTA meeting. Come with your cash, check or charge!

Free Money
Way to GO, Partners!  We collected over 15,000 Box Tops from August to October.  The top classes for the month of October were:

Kindergarten -  Mrs. Barton
First Grade -  Mrs. Roy
Second Grade - Mrs. Scoggan
Third Grade  - Ms. Francis
Fourth Grade - Mrs. Marshall
Fifth Grade -  Ms. Forster

Bear Bucks for the months of November, December, and January will be distributed on January 11, 2017.

Specialist Spotlight
This month’s Specialist Spotlight is Mrs. Bonikowski, our talented art teacher. Mrs. Bonikowski has requested colored markers, electric pencil sharpeners (2 or 3), and black sharpies.  Mrs. Bonikowski can also use baby wipes, AA batteries and flash drives. The box to collect the items and the sign-in sheet for students is located in Mrs. Bonikowski’s room.

Special Thanks
Our first month of Specialist Spotlight was a big success for Mrs. Harrison. Thank you to the following students who brought in school supplies for our reading specialist… Jack Leathers, Natalie Ulmet, Zane ??, Sullivan Gamble, Kenneth Laneaux, and Fritz Peifer. The winner of the drawing - a Nancy’s Italian ice and a Bear Buck - is Zane! Unfortunately, we are not sure which Zane this is, but as soon as we figure it out, he will get his reward!

Spirit Night – November
Our next Spirit Night will be at Chappy’s - Peppertree location on Thursday, November 16 from 5:00-8:00 p.m.
Reflections Art Contest

Reflections entries are due Thursday, November 16. The theme is Within Reach - that is very important when entries are judged. For more information, visit Alabama PTA Reflections. For questions, email Mrs. Bonikowski or Kelley Phelps.

Please let us know if you would not like to receive our emails any longer. Thanks!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Bear News - Oct. 20, 2017

Jamari Williams
Funeral arrangements have been announced for Jamari. Saturday, October 21 at Mobile Heights Baptist Church at noon. Bear students who attend the funeral are asked to wear a navy Bear polo. It was Jamari's favorite shirt.

A celebration of Jamari's life, including a performance by his dance group, will be held tonight - Friday evening at the Bellingrath Community Center from 5:30-7:00. Jamari's mother, Monique Davis, invites all to come and remember Jamari fondly by sharing happy and funny stories about him.

G.E.M. Day Postponed
G.E.M. (Gardening Education Maintenance) Day for this Saturday has been cancelled so that students and parents can attend Jamari’s funeral. We will reschedule soon.

Bear Wear
Bear Wear orders are due today. The web store will be open until 5:00 p.m. tonight. Orders will be delivered in 2-3 weeks.

Fall Festival
Thank you to EVERYONE who came to the Fall Festival this year. It was so much fun! We raised lots of money for the PTA through ticket sales, raffle baskets, t-shirts, bake sale items, food sales, and sponsorships. A huge thank you to Traci Schell and Victoria Little for organizing a great afternoon. And thank you to all the parents, student volunteers, and grandparents who helped everything run so smoothly. It was an awesome team effort!

We still have some t-shirts available so contact Traci to inquire about sizes. FF t-shirts can be worn on Fridays.

Specialist Spotlight
Don’t forget to purchase something for our October’s specialist – Mrs. Harrison. So far, she hasn’t received ANYTHING. Don’t make her sad… bring in a used book for her today and don’t forget to sign the log so that your child might win the drawing.

Her wish list…
· New Books
· Used Books
· Rubber Bands
· Gallon Ziploc bags
· AA Batteries
· Office Depot Gift Cards (for ink)

Next week (October 23-27) is National Red Ribbon Week.
This is a week where children learn about the importance of being drug-free. To encourage our kids to make good choices, we have some fun spirit days planned.

MONDAY - I Pledge to be Drug Free
Wear your BLUE RIBBON SHIRT AND BLUE JEANS (or your uniform)

TUESDAY - “Red”-Y to Live a Drug Free Life

WEDNESDAY - Don’t Let Drugs Mix You Up

THURSDAY - These Paws Don’t Touch Drugs
Bring a small bag of dry puppy, dog, kitten, or cat food for the Montgomery Humane Society

FRIDAY - Give Drugs the Boot
Wear your 2017-2018 blue theme shirt (or other approved Friday shirts) and your FAVORITE BOOTS

DID YOU KNOW? Children of parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs are 42% less likely to use drugs than those who don't, yet only a quarter of teens report having these conversations. Talk to your kids about drugs!

Reflections is a national PTA-sponsored arts competition. Students from around the country are asked to create original works of art in the categories of dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts. Students can enter more than one category. The theme is VERY IMPORTANT!

The Bear PTA will give away CASH PRIZES for the winners (1st-3rd places) at our school. Cash prizes will be given out in all categories for entries from K-2 and Grades 3-5. We have had several of our students win awards at the county and state levels the last couple years. We hope to see some great pieces in November to maintain our reputation.

Reflections is a great program that allows our kids to express themselves by being creative! Please see the rules at Reflections Rules and/or email Kelley Phelps with questions. For more inspiration, watch this video .

DISCOUNT CARD FIELD TRIP - CHUCK E. CHEESE’S Field trip forms went home this past week for the Chuck E. Cheese’s field trip to reward our top sellers. If your child sold more than 25 discount cards, you should have received this form. If you have not, then please contact Traci Schell.

Friday, October 13, 2017

A Message from Principal Elizabeth Hill

October 13, 2017

A Message to the Bear Family

Our hearts are broken. It is with great sadness that I inform you of the loss of one of our fifth-grade students on Wednesday night. On Thursday morning, we made the difficult decision to inform our fourth- and fifth-grade students to prevent the spread of piecemeal information that they may have heard from other sources. Our counselor, Carlos Booker, informed those students that the young man had passed away, but given their young ages and out of sensitivity, did not give them additional details. Our students wrote letters and made cards for the student’s family, and we had counselors available to them from across the district. I also notified fourth- and fifth-grade parents by phone yesterday and have informed all parents today so you may decide whether it is appropriate to talk with your child this evening.

It is natural for children to have questions and fears. The following may be helpful:

  • Tell the truth. 
  • Allow your child to talk about his or her feelings. If this is the first loss your child has experienced, your child may not know how to respond and will be looking for your guidance. 
  • Affirm all expressions. It is okay to express feelings honestly. Tolerate the expressions rather than dismissing them or discouraging the expression of feelings. 
  • Encourage written expressions such as notes, letters, or drawings. 
  • Reaffirm that your child is safe and that your child is loved. 
  • Affirm that your child’s reaction is normal and you understand the way the child feels. 
  • Watch for signs of trouble such as aggression, anger, withdrawal, etc. 
  • Help the child return to as normal a routine as possible. 
In addition, if you feel that your child needs additional support, please call the school office at 284-8014.

A few words of caution regarding social media: We are aware of the rumors that are circulating and understand that many are struggling to understand why this happened to such a wonderful child. Do not believe everything you read, and out of respect for the family, please do not post rumors or speculation. We encourage you to post positive thoughts or memories and offer words of encouragement and support to the child’s family.

Most Sincerely,
Elizabeth R. Hill

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Bear News - Oct 4, 2017

Happy October, everyone!

PARENT VISITATION DAYIt’s time for a… Parent Round-Up!
WHERE: Bear Exploration Center
WHEN: Friday, October 6, 9:00 – 3:00

·         Tour the outdoor classroom
·         Tour the Science Lab 
·         Learn about Accelerated Reader (AR) (Kindergarten, 1st, & 2nd grades)
·         Make & Take Math Games (3rd grade)
·         Produce artwork for your child (3rd grade)
·         Conference with the teachers (All grade levels)
·         Visit the Library/Media Center
·         Visit the Technology Lab
·         Take a “selfie” in our Jail!

FALL FESTIVALWe need raffle basket items for our Fall Festival. Please continue to send items to school with your child until next Wednesday. There will be a table set up at the school on Parent Visitation day. If you are planning to attend, you can drop your items off there. Please get these items in soon so we can display the baskets before the Fall Festival.
Basket themes are as follows:

Kindergarten - Family Fun
First Grade - Pamper Me
Second Grade - Arts and Crafts
Third Grade - Taste of the River Region
Fourth Grade - Roll Tide/War Eagle
Fifth Grade - Gift Card Basket

The last day to purchase wristbands for $12 is Monday, October 16. Wristbands will be $15 on the day of the event. Purchase them today at the Bear PTA web store.

Even though it is still 90 degrees, it will be COLD before you know it. Do you know where your child’s school jacket is? Bear Wear order forms will be available on Parent Visitation Day for you to fill out. You can pay in person or send money in with your child the following week. We will have some items on hand (magnets, caps) for sale on Friday. You can buy Bear Wear at the Bear PTA web store.

For each month of the school year, we will choose a Bear Specialist to shower with some extra love. Please have your child bring in items from this teacher’s wish list. When your child brings in an item, make sure that he/she signs the Gift Log. At the end of the month, one student from the Gift Log (chosen at random) will win a Nancy’s gift card and a Bear Buck (good at the school supply cart and the Book Fair).

Mrs. Harrison will have a box and a Gift Log sheet on a table near the Third Grade classrooms.

·         New Books
·         Used Books
·         Rubber Bands
·         Gallon Ziploc bags
·         AA Batteries
·         Office Depot Gift Cards (for ink)

Discount Cards will be available for purchase on Parent Visitation Day. They make great tokens of appreciation for your mail carrier, UPS/FedEx delivery people, sanitation workers, etc. We are close to hitting a BIG number (a record!!), and we’d love to sell just a few more cards…

Friday, September 22, 2017

Bear News - Sept 22, 2017


The FF packets went home this week, including a sheet to order wristbands (due 10/16), FF t-shirts (due 9/29), and Sponsorship forms (due 9/29). You can find all the forms here on our Bear PTA blog - Keep sending in those order forms as well as the commitment for baked good or raffle basket items.

The deadline to turn in a Sponsorship form has been extended to Friday, September 29. For $100, your company will be recognized on a sign that hangs at the school year-round. For $250, your company will be on the sign and on the FF t-shirt. You can find a Sponsorship form here.


The Discount Card campaign was a HUGE success! We had two students who went over and beyond expectations. Both of these third-graders won the grand prize of an iPad Mini.

Lynn Nguyen – SOLD 360 cards!!!
McKenzie Craymer – sold 350 cards

For every 10 cards sold, a student had a chance to win $100. The winner of the drawing was Luke Collum-Jones.

We will be taking 2 school buses of children to Chuck E. Cheese’s! If you haven’t turned in your money or your cards, please do so immediately. If you would still like to sell more cards, please send a note in to the PTA. We will keep sending them to you as long as you want to sell them!


Thank you to everyone who joined the PTA! We have a total of 726 members. All classes got 100% membership! The popsicle parties were held today during the students’ lunchtime.

The class that has the most membership and has won the pizza party and 1/2 day teacher pass is Mrs. Gulsby's class with 53 memberships.

The student with the overall most memberships is Donovan Patton in Mrs. Norred's class with 23 memberships! He will receive $50.

The winning students per grade level that receive $20 each are:

Kindergarten: Logan Broderick
First grade: Aubrey Smith
Second grade: McKenzie Kim
Third grade: Ryan Broderick
Fourth grade: Anna Gleason
Fifth grade: Erin-Michael Tyler

Don't forget our first Spirit Night on Thursday, September 28 at Rockin' Jump. Drop in any time between 3:30 and 8:00. Be sure to put your receipt in the bucket for Bear.


The Bear logo for embroidery is available in four different formats and is now available on the Bear blog here.


Spirit Night - Rockin' Jump - 9/28
FF T-Shirt Deadline – 9/29
FF Sponsorship Deadline – 9/29
GLOW (Teacher Lunch) - 10/11
Wristband Pre-Order Deadline - 10/16
Fall Festival – 10/17
GEM Day (Gardening, Education, Maintenance) - 10/21
Chuck E. Cheese Reward Field Trip - 10/26

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Fall Festival 2017

Please see the attached forms for the 2017 Fall Festival.

(Rain date: Thursday, October 19)
3:40 PM UNTIL 6:00 PM
All students must be accompanied by an adult

Come join us for this wild ride at the Bear Fall Festival.  Bring the whole family on Tuesday, October 17 from 3:40 until 6:00 pm for a ROPIN good time!  We’ll keep the tradition of awesome inflatables, yummy bake sale items, games for all ages, concessions, pony rides, a hayride, face painting, the basket raffle, and more!  You won’t want to miss this night of fun with your Bear friends and family!


Room coordinators will be contacting parents to recruit volunteers to help us work at the booths and activities.  Please consider working a 30 min. shift.  
A successful event like ours needs lots of hands on deck!


If you know of a family or business that may be interested in sponsoring the Fall Festival, information is attached explaining all the benefits of sponsorship.  Fall Festival sponsors will be Bear’s Partners in Education for the 2017-2018 school year.  In order to be listed on the Fall Festival t-shirts, the sponsorship information must be returned no later than September 29th.


We are in need of prizes for our games.  If you or your business would like to donate these items (like candy, toys, restaurant coupons, pencils, Oriental Trading prizes), please drop them off at the school by Friday, October 13th.


We ask each Bear family to donate either to the bake sale or the basket raffle.  Basket items are due by Friday, October 6th.  Please submit the items by the due date so we will have time to put them together and get them displayed.  Bake sale items are due the day of the event.  PTA volunteers will be in the carpool line to accept your donations so you don’t have to park and come in!  
Additional information is attached.


Our t-shirts for the Fall Festival will be fantastic, and you won’t want to miss out on getting one.  As in the past, students will be able to wear the shirts on the day of the event and is approved to wear on Fridays.  An order form is attached – order deadline is Friday, September 29th.


Pre-paid wristbands are $12 each and must be ordered by Monday, October 16th.  Wristbands will be $15 the night of the event.  PARENTS AND NON-SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN ARE FREE.  The wristband allows the child to play on all inflatables and play all games, and also includes 3 activity tickets.  Activity tickets can be used for the hayride, pony ride, face painting, and the dunking booth.  
Additional activity tickets can be purchased for $2 each.  

Questions? Please call Traci Schell at (334) 477-2092 or Victoria Little at (334) 320-6788.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Bear News - Sept. 11, 2017

Dear Parents,

Due to school being closed today and tomorrow, the September PTA Meeting has been rescheduled for Thursday, September 14 at 6:00 p.m. at Bear. We hope you will join us!

The Parking Spot Super Silent Auction has also been postponed. Don't miss this chance to have a  stress-free afternoon carpool for the year! The new deadline for bids is Tuesday, September 19 at 4:00 p.m. The winner will be announced during Pizza Dinner before Math Night.

Don't miss a fun and educational time for the entire family in our Outdoor Classroom on Saturday, September 16 from 9:00-10:30.

The Discount Card deadline is Monday, September 18, Please turn in all money or unsold cards at this time. To be eligible for prizes, money must be turned in by 9:00 a.m.

Math Night Pizza money is due Monday, September 18. All dinners must be pre-ordered by Monday. You can order online here Order Pizza Online.

Join us for our first Spirit Night at Rockin' Jump on Thursday, September 28 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. A portion of the proceeds from the day come back to our school.

Stay safe and dry!
Bear PTA

PTA Meeting - 9/14
Garden Education Day - 9/16
Pizza Money Due - 9/18
Discount Card Money Due - 9/18
Spirit Night - 9/28

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Bear News - Sept. 7, 2017

Hello Bear Parents,

Please join us for our first PTA meeting of the school year on Tuesday, September 12 at 6:00 p.m. in Bear’s Lunchroom. We have a lot of great information that we want to share with you. You don’t want to miss this jam-packed meeting!

·         Discount Card Fundraiser Update
·         Fall Festival News
·         Garden Education & Maintenance Days
·         Spirit Nights
·         Reflections Art Program

How would you like to drive up to Bear and have your very own reserved front row parking space? We have two reserved parking spaces that will be awarded to the highest bidders through a “super silent” auction. Bids will be accepted Friday, September 8 – Tuesday, September 12 at 4:00 p.m. Place your bid in the Super Silent Bid Box by the front door of the school. Rules and an entry form can be found here - Parking Spot Bid Form.

The PTA is thrilled to have Bear parent Ashleigh Livingston as our Garden/Outdoor Classroom committee chair this year. Ashleigh is ​a​ ​holistic​ ​health​ ​and​ ​nutrition​ ​counselor,​ ​Interactive Metronome​ ​Clinician​ ,​ ​an​ ​ADHD​ ​coach, and owner of​​ ​Integrated-Wellness.​ Please join Ashleigh as she leads our first Garden Education Day for children and parents on Saturday, September 16 at 9:00 a.m. in the Bear Garden. The topic is “The Food and Mood Connection,” and the goal is to have lots of FUN with kids in our awesome garden! The education segment will last about 45 minutes, and then we invite you to stay for another 30 minutes to help in the garden. We promise you will be home in time for football! 

Learn more about Ashleigh and see our 2017 Garden Education Dates in 2017 here - Garden Information 2017.

In an effort to fellowship throughout the year and raise funds for Bear, several Spirit Nights have been arranged. Participating in the Spirit Nights is easy. Simply visit each business during the specified date and time, make a purchase, and place your receipt in the box next to the register labeled Bear Spirit Night. It’s just that easy! Our first Spirit Night is at Rockin’ Jump Trampoline Park on Thursday, September 28 from 3:30 – 8:00 p.m. The schedule for the year can be found here - Spirit Night Schedule 2017-18

Fall is a wonderfully busy time around Bear. We have so much to tell you about, so we hope to see you on Tuesday at our first PTA Meeting!


Bear PTA

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Mark Your Calendars for These Back to School Events

Kindergarten Orientation – Thursday, August 3 @ 6:15
1st grade – Thursday, August 3 @ 5:00
2nd grade – Monday, August 7 @ 6:15
3rd grade – Monday, August 7 @ 5:00
4th grade – Tuesday, August 8 @ 6:15
5th grade – Tuesday, August 8 @ 5:00

Parents and students only, please.
 Due to space limitations we ask that you refrain from bringing siblings, younger or older.
Thank you for understanding.

Please join the PTA for our annual Parent "Boo-Hoo Yahoo!" Breakfast 

Thursday, August 10th 
8:40 a.m. Bear Cafeteria 

Picnic in the Park 
Tuesday, August 22nd 
Vaughn Road Park 
5:30 p.m. 

Pack a picnic supper, gather your blanket/chairs 
and get ready for a rootin’ tootin’ good time! 
Nancy's Italian Ice will be there to help you cool off, so be sure to bring a couple of dollars!  

PTA Back to School Packet

Howdy Partners! 

Welcome to the new school year! Thank you for taking the time to review this packet of information. Although all this paperwork may seem overwhelming, we want to make sure that you have all the information that you will need for a successful school year from the very first day.

We encourage you to get involved with the PTA. Parental involvement is what makes Bear such a special and successful place. There is always something exciting going on! Joining the PTA only costs $7 per person and will get you access to all our PTA informational emails throughout the year. You can also find a lot of great information on Facebook in the group "Bear Exploration Center PTA."

We request that you complete and return most of the information in this packet by Friday, August 18. We accept cash and checks. Please write a separate check for each form or send exact cash. Please DO NOT staple checks or cash to the forms. Paper clip each payment to the appropriate form and place everything back in the large envelope and return it to school with your student.  Below is a checklist of the forms and corresponding due dates.

□  Fundraising Participation Form - 8/18
□  Volunteer Form - 8/18
□  Communication Form - 8/18
□  Bear Wear Order Form - 8/31
□  PTA Membership Form -  9/15 
□  Brick Order Form - 9/15

We also have a Bear PTA Web Store which allows you to pay with credit card for the following items - PTA Membership, Bear Wear, Golden Bear Membership, and Partners in Education. All online purchases are subject to a 3% fee. 

Please contact anyone on the Executive Board if you have any questions.
Bear PTA Executive Board 2017-2018

Edris Davis, President

Jill Sexton, 1st Vice President

Traci Schell, 2nd Vice President

Victoria Little, Treasurer

Kelly Stanton, Secretary

Lisa Stevens, Communications Coordinator

Summer Skills Review Packets

Hi Parents!

On May 25 students at Bear put on their tool belts and hard hats for the last time for the 2016-17 school year. To make sure that the foundation built over the last nine months remained firm, the PTA, along with the help and guidance of our wonderful teachers, put together summer skill review packets.

Completing the packet over summer break will keep skills sharp and ensure that students are ready for the new learning adventure that awaits them next school year.You will find the grade-level packets in PDF form here. Choose the grade level that your child was in LAST year (the 2016-17 school year).

Participation is OPTIONAL. Students who complete their packet and return it to school by Friday, August 11, 2017, will be rewarded with a prize from the PTA.

Thank you for making 2016-17 a most constructive school year!

Kindergarten English

Kindergarten Math

First Grade English

First Grade Math

Second Grade English

Second Grade Math

Third Grade English

Third Grade Math

Fourth Grade English

Fourth Grade Math

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Teacher Appreciation Week - Specialists and Office Staff

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 1-5, 2017 at Bear Exploration. We love to shower our teachers and staff with notes and treats throughout the week. We have had several parents ask to see the "Favorites" sheets from our specialists and office staff. Participation in Teacher Appreciation Week is a great way to show we care, and, as always, it is completely optional.