Longer days and warmer weather give us the chance to get outside and focus on creative ways to bond with loved ones and selflessly serve others. Menchaca Staff, students, family members, and other volunteers helped put together raised garden beds, cleaned and painted tires, moved soil, and planted bare root plants, seeds, and bulbs. We’re so grateful to Nurse Heather Siebert for spearheading this outdoor learning environment update and gardening opportunity for students. Help was provided by Nurse Stephanie Guerra, Receptionist Meranda Zapata and her daughter MECC student Arya, Receptionist Rebecca Llamas, Principal’s Secretary Veronica Davalos, Pre-K teacher Adrienne Ortiz, student Jonah Huerta and his mom. Dual Language teacher, Mrs. Vanessa Guerra-Ledesma and her husband spent the day carefully sanding and then painting the wooden spools to become tables.
The goal of the area is to enhance the outdoor learning environment for our students. Students will still be allowed and encouraged to play in the area, but are learning to be mindful and respect the gardens and plants. Menchaca ECC will have vegetables, grapes, raspberries (thornless), blackberries (thornless), and all kinds, colors, shapes, and sizes of flowers. Phase 1 was just completed. There’s a dinosaur garden, a pollinator’s garden, a Dr. Seuss garden, and Gabby Del Angel‘s garden are all underway.
Additionally, just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes many to help maintain our outdoor learning area. ECSE teacher Katrisha Arocha and para Wendy Villarreal took out their students to help water and tend to the garden beds. Experiential learning in a garden teaches children memorable and valuable lessons as they learn how to plant, tend to, harvest, and taste their very own fruits and vegetables. This opportunity equips our students with the very skills they can then take home to help their parents learn. The opportunity for our students to learn and then teach others about it is an opportunity many their age do not receive.
This wouldn’t be such a success without the generosity of many! The Bexar County Extension Office provided several plants. Burning Bush Landscaping provided soil. Menchaca students, Alessandro and Xenovia Hernandez (and family) donated tires. Robert’s Tree Service provided tree stump stools. The family of MECC student Ivan Martinez Villeda and Head Start Monitor and MECC parent, Laura Turrubiates, also gave wooden spools for outdoor tables. The San Antonio Chapter of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association generously volunteered their time and gardening tools.
After hearing about a similar program in a district near Houston, Nurse Heather Siebert, RN, BSN, NBCSN knew she had to bring something similar to Southside Independent School District and the young Cardinals at Menchaca Early Childhood Center. She applied for an innovation grant to have a teddy bear clinic. This teddy bear clinic will help our littlest Cardinals learn more about their bodies, how to keep their bodies safe and healthy, and what to do in case they (or a friend or family member) gets hurt. Remaining calm is key to responding to potential emergencies and the best way to keep calm is to have the knowledge and tools needed to respond.
Nurse Siebert says, “Emergency response in the Southside area can take precious minutes and anyone at any age can do something to help in those situations. Just because our students are young does not mean that they should be discounted to help themself or someone else. Age appropriate first aid can be the difference for our families.”
Superintendent Rolando Ramirez and Director of Communications and SISD Educational Foundation Executive Director Sylvia Rincon, presented Nurse Siebert with the check for $1,837! We are immensely proud of Nurse Siebert and all she does for MECC!
Southside ISD is committed to all safety and security protocols and solutions. Cardinals CARE (C- Compassionate, A- Accepting, R – Respectful, and Empowered) is an initiative inspired by parents, community members, students, security experts, and staff input. Southside ISD recently held a Safety and Security committee meeting where ideas and critiques were shared. Although we have many programs, protocols, and procedures in place, one of the district’s numerous efforts includes communicating ways to prevent harmful activities to all staff and students. The Cardinals CARE Campaign includes a robust marketing initiative of posters, videos, banners, and incentives to encourage our community to “See Something, Say Something.” The entire program falls under the Stay Alert reporting and detection system the district already has. For more on the direct numbers and website for Stay Alert, Click here.
Cardinals Care also includes a dress code policy that encourages unity and good behavior. The Cardinal VIP program is also part of the family of incentives that celebrates our outstanding and best-behaved cardinals. In the coming days, be on the lookout for messages from our cardinals on how you can help us all stay alert and safe.
(San Antonio, TX) – It is official! On behalf of our Board of Trustees and administration, congratulations to all staff for your hard work and dedication! Superintendent Rolando Ramirez told the staff today, “The STAAR/EOC scores reflect your tireless efforts and commitment to providing the best academic setting for our students. WE ARE SO PROUD OF ALL STAFF! Keep up the great work!! ” Staff and students have celebrated their hard work all over the district. Let’s keep Soaring to Excellence.
Parents/Guardians: Please make sure Nurse Siebert has your child’s most updated shot record. Students we do not have up-to-date records for won’t be able to start school and class placement is dependent on these. You can email the record to Nurse Siebert at Heather.Siebert@nullSouthsideISD.org but please include a student name and date of birth on them.