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Happy Presidents’ Day, Brentwood families!

Read on for a spotlight on educational equity issues that affect all of us, brought to you by Brentwood’s Diversity Committee, as well as upcoming events that may interest you, links to summer camp options, easy ways to teach your kids about Black history, and more.

Our Tax Dollars

Have you ever wondered why Austin ISD struggles with budget issues despite rising property values and taxes? The answer lies in how recapture and school funding works in the state of Texas. It's confusing, but here are some helpful resources: 

  • This article highlights issues with recapture specifically related to AISD. 
  • Read here for a more in-depth look at how recapture creates inequitable funding throughout the state. 
  • Prefer a video? Watch this one to understand recapture.  

Ready to advocate for change? Visit this site to get involved.

Black History In Our Own Backyard

February is in full swing, and our Brentwood community is busy celebrating Black History Month. Our students are learning about important figures and events in Black history, and we’re excited to keep the learning going—with opportunities to experience Black heritage right here in our fair city:  

  1. Lace up your sneakers (or fire up your laptops) and check out these local Black history tours:
  • Take a Racial Geography Tour of the University of Texas at Austin campus, which explores how ideas of race and gender are cemented in the architecture, landscape, and layout of campus. Learn more about the UT professor who created the tour and why he did so, along with the people and places he addresses on the tour. 
  • Take a self-guided walking tour of Huston-Tillotson University, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) that plays a big part in Austin’s Black heritage. 
  • Check out Black Austin Tours. Founder Javier Wallace says his tours “explore how race, class, gender, and migration impact educational access, attainment, and outcomes in different communities across the globe.” Get a taste of his tours here
  • Civil Righteousness offers virtual tours of Austin’s Black History; follow the group on social media for upcoming dates.

2. Plan a visit to ATX Black History landmarks: 

  • Texas African American History Memorial
    Installed on the state capitol grounds in 2016, this memorial, though long overdue, honors, acknowledges, and commemorates Texas’s African Americans and their culture. Sculptor Ed Dwight sought to converge African American history from the 1500s to the present, featuring depictions of Hendrick Arnold and Barbara Jordan, along with elements venerating Juneteenth (June 19, 1865), the day enslaved African Americans received news of their emancipation, which occurred more than 3 years before.  
  • Barbara Jordan statues
    You may have heard of this towering figure in Black history. As the first African American to serve in the Texas Senate since Reconstruction (1966-72), the first African-American woman elected to the U.S. Congress from the South (1972-78), and the first woman to deliver the keynote address at a national party convention (Democratic Convention of 1976 and again in 1992), Barbara Jordan was truly groundbreaking. Look for a statue of this powerful orator and force of nature at Austin’s airport as well as one built in 2009 on the UT campus, where she had taught after retiring from politics in 1979. This monument, on West 24th Street, just one block east of Guadalupe, became the first statue of a woman on the school’s grounds—it only took 126 years!  
  • Downs-Mabson Field
    This field in Austin holds a significant place in baseball history. As the home of the Black Senators, one of the earliest Black baseball teams to play in the region, Downs-Mabson Field hosted Hall of Fame players from the professional Negro League, which existed for nearly 50 years during the pre-integration era. Willie Wells, the most famous of the Senators, appears in portraits around town, especially in the art of painter/musician Tim Kerr. Other notable players of the time who graced the field were Satchel Paige, Smokey Joe Williams, Willie Mays, and Buck O’Neil. Downs-Mabson was also the home ballpark of Samuel Huston College (before it combined with Tillotson College, in 1952), and the Huston-Tillotson University Rams continue to play there to this day.

3. Read, watch, and learn more: 

  • If you thought transportation boycotts occurred only in other southern states, check this out.  
  • Review this timeline to learn more about Desegregation in Austin (1940s to 1980s).  
  • The PBS Austin Revealed History Documentary features interviews with Austin citizens about their experience during Austin’s civil rights era and the impacts of segregation and gentrification on the city. 
  • Learn more about decades-long desegregation efforts in AISD
  • Watch the film High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America.

 What is one of the most important take-aways from Black History Month? To keep it going—honor and celebrate Black people, history, and contributions all year long!

Babysitting Night Is Back!

Need a way to wear your child out and help support Brentwood’s Girl Scouts? Well, you're in luck! Fifth Grade Troop 42625 is hosting a babysitting night on February 23rd. Drop your kindergarten through fourth-grade students off from 6-8:30 p.m. at Brentwood Elementary for a fun evening, including dinner. The event is capped at 30 kids, so sign up today. Thank you for supporting Girl Scouts!

Brentwood Rocks!

The school is once again hosting a fun-for-all-ages afternoon rock concert and fundraiser near the end of March. This year’s event will feature live performances by Moving Panoramas, Lamar Dance Company, Samba Knights from the McCallum Fine Arts Academy, and School of Rock Austin. Ms. Beck, 5th grade teacher extraordinaire, will emcee the event.Bring the whole family and rock out for a good cause. Click here for more details. Online tickets will be available beginning February 20.

Summer Camp Registration Starts, Already?!?

It’s hard to believe, but summer will be here before we know it (and we’re not just talking about the temperature at the end of next week). Thus, it’s time to register—and apply for scholarships! See below for a small sampling of what’s available around Austin. 
The Thinkery
Zach Theater
Austin Sunshine Camp
(free with qualifications) 
Creative Action
Film Kids
Austin Parks & Recreation
Fantastic Magic
Camp Vamanos!
Girl Scouts summer camps
Boy Scouts TechLab
The Art Garage Austin 
My Coding Place 
ATX Kids Club 
Camp 512
Austin School of Fashion and Design sewing and fashion camp
Girl Start summer camps 
Mad Science Camps 

Attention, Gifted and Talented Students

All GT students are encouraged to submit a single project for the upcoming 2024 Virtual Student Showcase. Entries must meet specific requirements and can be done independently, with a partner, or as part of a small group. This year’s theme is the Olympic motto: “Faster, Higher, Stronger—Together,” and categories include the humanities, STEM, and creativity. Note that GT students can submit only one project.

Roses Are Red...

Poetry Café will wrap up this week, so be sure to join us for some incredible performances by our student poets and fresh complimentary coffee, courtesy of Starbucks Coffee (thank you to the Rockwood and Anderson Lane location for this essential!). Here’s the schedule. As always, make sure to allow extra time to park and check in at the front office so you don’t miss a performance or disturb the readings. See you soon!

Feeling the Love

Thank you to the many folks who donated to the staff on Valentine’s Day. Each and every person who puts their all into making our school special felt the love of the Brentwood community, truly a win-win for everyone. If you are interested in donating something in the future, Teacher Appreciation Week will be in early May—stay tuned!

Looking for Volunteer Opportunities?

Every day, we appreciate all kinds of volunteer work at Brentwood. Currently, there’s a need for more lunch , PreK recess, and art teacher helpers (note that this is a volunteer to assist with prep and clean-up). If you find yourself with a spare 30 minutes or so, consider spending it here. If you’ve never received a sign-up link, simply submit this volunteer interest survey and register with Austin Partners In Education to undergo a quick background check. You’ll see lots of students’ smiles on campus (as well as the staff)!

Lost and Found Is FULL

Check out Lost and Found to find your students missing favorite mittens (or jacket, hat, sweatshirt, or [fill in the blank].

We ❤️ Brentwood

The Brentwood PTA runs a one-time per year, no-hassle fundraiser called the Bulldog Fund, used for important programming like literacy and math software, library books, music, art, and more. Donate today.

Calendar Items

Feb 21: STAAR Interim Testing (3rd-5th: ELA)

Feb 22: STAAR Interim Testing (3rd-5th: Math)

Feb 23 & 26: Makeup Testing (STAAR ELA and Math)

Mar 4-8: Brentwood Used Book Sale (drop off donations in community room through March 1)

Mar 6: 2nd Grade Annual Market Day 

Mar 7: Brentwood Night (more info to come)

Mar 8: Incoming Families of Brentwood Campus Tour (8:30 a.m.)

Mar 11-15: Spring Break

Mar 18-22: AISD PRIDE Week

Mar 19-27: BOOSTER Bulldog Bolt Fun Run FUNdraiser (details coming soon)

Mar 23: Brentwood Elementary PRIDE Parade 
Brentwood ROCKS

Remember to subscribe to our new Brentwood Elementary Google Calendar to stay up-to-date on upcoming school events, holidays, and PTA activities.

Put It Here

Have a program, event, or volunteer need that you want published in the Bulldog Bark, PTA website, or social channels? Email

PTA Website:

PTA Instagram: @BrentwoodPTA

PTA Facebook: Brentwood Elementary PTA

Brentwood Elementary Twitter: @BrentwoodAISD

Brentwood Elementary Instagram/Threads: @BrentwoodBulldogs_AISD

Brentwood Elementary Website: