2nd Annual March for Peace and Fun Run!!

It is time for Zilker’s 2nd Annual March for Peace and Fun Run, an important school-wide movement toward more peace and respect while promoting healthy lifestyle choices and raising money to improve our school.

The Peace March supports Zilker’s No Place for Hate® initiative. The students will also participate in the PTA sponsored Fun Run to support our school’s programs and enrichment. Last year, Zilker families raised over $40,000, which enabled PTA to fund things like having a lead instructor in Jabo’s Garden, a Maker Space in the library, and a climbing wall for the gym.

Register your child now @ www.thegetmovincrew.com

You will be able to quickly create an encrypted fundraising page for your child that is easy to share on social media or via email.

Please help Zilker by helping your child aim for a goal of $100 in pledge donations.
The pledge Drive runs from Feb 13th- March 10th.

For more detailed information click: Information flyer

For the Get Movin’ packet click: Pledge Packet

Here is the FUN RUN schedule:
* 8:45-9:15 Pre-K (immediately following the Peace March)
* 9:15-9:40 K-Caroline, White, Wolden, 2nd-Dailey, Garland, Morales
* 9:40-10:00 4th Grade (Munroe, Peters, Brosko, Thompson, Devore)
* 10:00-10:20 K-McCumber
* 10:20-11:00 OPEN
* 11:05-11:25 2nd-Balic/McNitt
* 11:25-11:45 3rd Grade (Nic Ruairi, Booth, Cooper, Day, Yates)
* 11:45- 12:00 1st Grade Avant, McLendon, Ramirez, Shapiro
* 12:10- 12:30 5th Grade (Phillips, Russell, J. Thompson)

Winter Edition of Mrs. Vreeland’s Counseling Newsletter

Hi all!

Please check out the Winter Counseling Newsletter to find out what has been happening in the classrooms and who is taking over for Mrs. Vreeland when she goes on maternity leave!  Hope everyone has a great winter break!



Parent Training – Bystander Power

Join us December 6th at 8am in the cafeteria for a special parent workshop on Bystander Power by Lynne Unruh.   We will have a conversation about conflict behavior versus bullying and how to help promote ally behaviors in children. This parent workshop is hosted by the Zilker PTA.


Season of Giving Bulletin Board

Please turn in your wrapped gifts to Mrs. Vreeland’s room by this Friday, December 2nd!winter-giving-text

Parent Workshop: Bystander Power


Zilker PTA aims to provide more parenting programs like this as we continue to support every child at our school through Spanish, gardening, tutoring, field trips, teacher education, community events and much more. We can’t do this without your support. Please make a gift you can afford to the Zilker Fund today so PTA can keep building our community!

Check out Mrs. Vreeland’s September Newsletter

In the month of September, I will meet and visit with every child in every classroom. This month is my introduction lesson where I remind the students of who I am, what I do, and how they can find me if they ever need to talk, calm down, or problem solve. I also bring some fun icebreakers/feelings games to the lesson. I love getting into the classrooms because I am able to remind the kiddos of the many reasons why they might want to come chat and I get to see how much everyone grew over the summer! Below are some pictures from the lessons. Read more…


Mrs. Vreeland and Cash’s Introduction Letter for 2016

I hope your first 2 weeks back at Zilker have been smooth sailing!  Please read my introduction letter and FAQs to learn more about Cash, Zilker’s very own Therapy Dog.


-Mrs. Elizabeth Vreeland

Mrs. Vreeland’s intro letter

FAQs about Cash

Supporting SEL Over Summer Vacation!

Dear Zilker Families,

Happy summer!  I hope you are having an enjoyable and memorable summer with your families… can you believe we have been out of school for 1 month?!  I wanted to send some tools home that might come in handy this summer.  If you haven’t already, I’d like to encourage you to help your child practice some of the social-emotional skills we worked on this year. Without regular reinforcement, children can lose some of the ground we’ve gained, much like they can lose ground in reading or math. The good news is that we use these skills all the time in day-to-day life, so there will be a lot of opportunities to help your child practice! Here are some ideas:


*Identifying and Communicating Feelings: Encourage your child to tell you how he/she is feeling (and why!). Basic feeling words like mad, sad, happy, or worried are important of course, but I also want them to learn degrees of feelings like annoyed<angry< furious. Ask him/her to pay special attention to things, people, or events that often bring up strong feelings. If we know what our “triggers” are, we can plan for potential problems ahead of time.

*Noticing Feelings of Others: Can your child read body language? Can he or she tell when someone is happy or upset or bored? If so, can he or she make a smart guess about what happened to make the person feel that way? What can he/she do to help? They can practice these skills in real life or when watching TV or a movie. Here we are laying the groundwork for empathy—the ability to truly understand other people’s feelings and points of view.

*Recognizing the Size of the Problem: Should we yell at someone because they are using our soccer ball? NO… that’s a small problem (We call them “watermelon seeds”)! The size of our reaction should match the size of the problem. Sometimes we need reminding that a problem that seems huge is really not very big at all. (“watermelon slice” = medium problem and “BIG Watermelon problem” = BIG, serious problem that needs adult help). The STEP model from our SEL lessons helps us problem solve in this order: Say the problem without blame, Think of respectful solutions, Explore consequences and ask “What could happen if”, Pick the best solution and make a plan.

*Self-Calming: This is very important, especially for children who are easily upset, angered, or worried. We spent a lot of time this year learning strategies for calming our bodies. It’s great to be able to calm down when really upset. And when we have several favorite tools to choose from, we can even use them to prevent upsets. Our number one tool? Belly breathing!! Encourage your child to Stop, Name his/her feeling, and Use a calm down strategy (count, belly breathe, use positive self-talk).

Watch for opportunities throughout the summer to talk about these skills with your children!  I also attached some posters for your home. Thank you so much for your support throughout the year and have a wonderful vacation!


Elizabeth Vreeland

School Counselor

Calm Down Poster
Problem Solving Poster
Empathy Poster

SEL Presentation at Tuesday’s PTA Meeting!

This Tuesday, March 22nd at 7:50am, Ms. Vreeland will be speaking to our community about anxiety and how to help our children manage through times of stress.  Her presentation, Overwhelmed Children: Let’s Talk About Anxiety, is for all ages. Please join us in the cafeteria after drop off for this special presentation during our next PTA meeting. If you would like to see this session offered after school, please email Rachel Elder at rachelreit@hotmail.com.

This discussion timely follows research recently published from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that analyzed answers from the 2011-2012 National Survey of Children’s Health and found that one in seven children experiences a psychological disorder, which is classified as a mental, behavioral or development problem.

The data — based on more than 35,000 children ages 2 to 8 — looks at parents’ responses about their child’s language problems, learning disabilities, reported ADHD, anxiety, depression and more.