Hilcher Herald

GES Staff Update-Week of 9/19/16

Start your day off right...
Gerry never ceases to make us giggle...his silly thoughts on how to start your day off right are sure to bring a smile to your face. I hope you have a fantastic start to week FIVE!

Data Days

Data Days are this week! We will be meeting in the science lab. Please plan to have a working lunch with us if your grade level time conflicts with your regular lunch time. Be sure to bring your charged laptop, your data notebook (new teachers please see Nancy if you don’t have one that was left in your room), all student data that you’ve collected including BOY writing scores, reading text levels and fluency scores when applicable, unit assessment scores in math, etc. Nancy will provide iStation reports. If you have any students who have NOT completed both reading and math, please make every effort to have those completed by Monday. Nancy will be running reports after school on Monday.

Device Agreement Forms

Signed device agreement forms are due by Friday, 9/23. Please add this deadline to your newsletters and email correspondence with GES families.

A few things for you to know regarding these signed forms:

    • Any student who does NOT have a signed agreement on file by Friday, September 23rd will NOT be able to use a GCISD device at school. We all know how valuable this opportunity is for our students and don’t want them missing out on these awesome learning opportunities in your class. If you have a parent who has expressed to you that they will not sign, please let Liz know ASAP.

    • Copies of device agreements were placed in your boxes on Friday afternoon. Please double-check the spreadsheet to know exactly who still needs to turn in a form and send these home with students on Monday, 9/19. Again, you may always check the binders in the office, or call Gina if you have questions about a student who you think already turned a form in, but isn’t marked.

Grading Policy

As you know, we've adopted a new GCISD Elementary Grading Policy this year. One of the items we were missing when we reviewed the handbook was the grading policy pledge. Please print the student pledge, discuss it with your students and make copies for them to take home for parent signatures. A copy has been uploaded into our Grading folder in the GES Faculty and Staff folder, too.

Many questions have surfaced now that we've started implementing these new guidelines. I appreciate your efforts to stay consistent as a grade level and to follow these new policies! Please continue to ask your questions and provide feedback on a GES Grading Policy Feedback google doc so that Liz can share our campus perspective and questions with district leadership throughout the school year. Thanks!

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Book Study Opportunity

This semester the technology department is offering a book study on the book Amplify. Amplify provides ideas and resources for integrating technology in the K-6 classroom. This would be a great opportunity for anyone interested in technology integration as a PLC group. It would be great to have a few teachers read the book together with this book study and then continue the work through the spring semester! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask Nancy Hale or Erin Gerdes.

GES Clubs

A huge thank you goes to the following staff members for volunteering their talents & time to work with our students in an extracurricular club this year:

Nancy Hale, Angela Horn, Justin Burns, Gayle Lambert, McKenzie O'Briant, Michelle Basil, Ashley Allen, Kerri Hendrickson, Ciera Davis, Jennie Curnow, Erin Wahpekeche, Aaron Perez, Amy VanHook, Tricia Moore, Candy Dodd, Susan Stackfleth & Karen Redmon.


A few things that club sponsors have been asked to do to help our clubs run smoothly:

Notify students if they are members of a club; Notify classroom teachers of club participants; Create a master list of club members for front office reference
Please note that all club dismissal will be in the BACK car loop only. (walkers can go out front doors) We want to avoid any confusion with KidzU pick up and avoid giving unauthorized visitors entry to our building after 3:30pm.
**Homeroom teachers can help out by reminding students to walk straight to club locations at 2:55 and/or to check in with KidzU prior to going to any after school club meeting. Be sure to check the clubs location document in google drive if you need that information!

Giving Campaign for the GCISD Education Foundation

Our annual Employee Giving Campaign for the GCISD Education Foundation has officially kicked off! Time to give back to the foundation that has granted GES $43,596 in 49 different grants! We had 100% participation with a total of $1,548 from employees last year, and we can have 100% again this year! Here's how:

1. Complete the EMPLOYEE DONOR FORM found in your mailbox. You can give cash or a check donation with the donor form or complete & SIGN the form for payroll deduction. Your payroll deduction can be a one-time deduction, distributed across eight months, or distributed across three months. How easy is that?

2. Turn it into Angela Horn by October 5th! (You can also donate via the North Texas Giving Day on SEPTEMBER 22ND between 6:00 a.m. and midnight. Please see NorthTexasGivingDay.org for more information. PLEASE BE SURE TO DESIGNATE YOUR DONATION TO GRAPEVINE COLLEYVILLE ISD EDUCATION FOUNDATION.)

But, it gets better...

* Turn in your signed donor form by next Tuesday, September 20th for a JEANS PASS!

* Become a member of the Cornerstone Club with the Education Foundation by donating $100 ($12.50 per month over 8 months) for a SONIC BEVERAGE!

* Encourage every GES employee to donate for 100% participation and enjoy BREAKFAST in October!

Let Angela Horn know if you have any questions or comments between now and October 5th regarding our Giving Campaign! We appreciate your generosity!!

Standards Based Report Cards

The following SBRC information was sent to teachers last week: We would like to ask that no marking of standards (3, 2, 1) take place until Monday, September 19. This way, if any errors are found during teachers' initial review of the new platform, these can be fixed before data entry begins. Please refer to the google SBRC presentation as a reference.

Think Central Information

The following Think Central information came from Jennifer Hylemon last week:
    • While I had hoped we would be able to use ThinkCentral system wide by the end of this week, we may not be at that point yet. Laura has identified an error that has 5,000 students listed with one elementary, and it will take some time to fix it. Thank you so much for your patience, and know that we are working to get your teachers and students access to their resources as soon as possible.

Things to Know...

  • This Tuesday, we will gather in the Learning Commons at 3:15 for PLP Work Time. We will be discussing how we will work as Professional Learning Communities this year. 3rd, 4th and 5th grade Science teachers will work with their science PLC at Bransford Elementary instead. In order to get to BES, our teachers will be asking team members to assist them in dismissing students on Tuesday afternoon.

  • T-TESS goal setting conferences will be scheduled with either Heather or Liz in the next two weeks. Watch for an email to sign up for a time that is convenient for your schedule. Goal setting forms have been changed and will be housed in Eduphoria. Heather & Liz will show you how to cut and paste what you created in August and paste it into the form. We look forward to discussing your goals for the 16-17 school year!

  • Heather and Liz appreciate all of the efforts you all have made to make our classrooms so inviting. We are seeing classroom walls fill up with anchor charts, student work and other evidence of shared writings with students. Thank you for surrounding our students with colorful and meaningful tools and displays of their hard work!

  • The window for dyslexia screening is open from 9/12-10/14. If you have any kiddos that you’re concerned about or questions about the dyslexia screening process, please reach out to Amanda Vasquez or Cindy Kunkel. They are more than happy to answer your questions and help you gather info.

  • We are in need of a NEHS sponsor for this year. This is a great opportunity to get involved at the campus level and to support one of our many student programs. If you are interested, please see Liz or Heather.

STEMScopes Information

If you have not had an opportunity yet, please take a moment this week to try and access STEMscopes online. You will login to ARMS through the teacher/staff resources page with your district network information and then click on "applications." You should see an icon for STEMscopes. This is where you will access your science curriculum throughout the year. Students will also have accounts that they can log into via ARMS. Please try to sign-in and check your class lists.
If you have any issues with STEMscopes, please email Cristi Strang with your specific concerns. You can also copy Nancy, as she may be able to troubleshoot some things for you. Some common problems seem to be…
  • unable to login

  • student rosters incorrect or incomplete

  • students missing

  • unable to build classes

  • unable to assign work

STEMscopes question/answer time with Cristi Strang will be held on 9/26 in the GES Science Lab. All classroom teachers, as well as special ed teachers, are encouraged to attend. Attendees will get 1 hour of credit in Eduphoria as well!

Learning Commons

Hello friends, it's survey time!

Please take a moment to fill out our GES Learning Commons survey. Dr. Newell created this survey as a tool for librarians to gauge how our libraries/learning commons are currently doing and how we can best support you. I value this survey for growth and direction when making future plans for our library.

This survey is anonymous, and only benefits me if you take your time and answer honestly. Please elaborate at the end of the survey if you give a low score so I can improve, and celebrate what we're doing right, too!

You will find the survey here: https://goo.gl/forms/sTkVTHkpmuDoC8a93

Thank you!

Friendly Reminders

  • As we enter the fifth week of school, don't forget that you should be scheduling a face to face conference with as many parents as possible. Phone conferences are an option if you cannot find a date/time that works for your families to come to GES.
  • All volunteers, including classroom readers, must complete both volunteer requirements prior to volunteering. Please see Gina or Jessica prior to inviting volunteers into your classrooms to be sure all steps are completed. We've had to turn away a few volunteers lately and would like to prevent that from happening!
  • FLEX requirements are due on October 19th.

Student Voice

As you know, one of Dr. Ryan's superintendent goals is to implement a process for inviting and utilizing student voice in our schools. Last year, GCISD had a group of teachers who participated in a pilot with this initiative and the results were promising. Students responded extremely positively when given the opportunity to become partners in educational decision making. Voice can happen through formal, schoolwide means AND through informal means of teachers simply inviting students into frequent conversations about what works best for them in classroom contexts.


Interested in implementing student voice into your classroom? Please take a few moments to review the Student Voice in GCISD smore that describes this powerful, and free concept. It summarizes the concept of "voice" in GCISD, provides some options for teachers who want to join the movement and shares additional resources. I can't wait to see all the ways that #GCISDVoice impacts GES this year!

Our Character Quality for September is KINDNESS!

Throughout the month of September, information will be shared on our campus announcements regarding what kindness is and what it is not. Circle Up can also be a perfect opportunity to discuss character qualities throughout the year. For this month, feel free to propose a situation and allow students to share a wide variety of kind acts in regards to the proposal. By Tuesday, September 27th, one student from each homeroom classroom can be nominated on the spreadsheet included here. Star Student of the Month 2016-2017 If you feel compelled to nominate a student for a monthly character quality and you are not a classroom teacher, please pass the student name to his or her homeroom teacher. On Friday, September 30th, each star student of the month will be announced on our morning announcements and will come to the office immediately following. Once a group picture is taken, students will return to class. Each month's picture of star students will be displayed on our bulletin board in the front foyer for the remainder of the school year. Please let Mrs. Horn know if you have any questions or considerations. Go Team Kindness!

Upcoming Dates

Monday, 9/19-Friday 9/23 Texas Constitution Week

Monday, 9/19-Thursday 9/22 Half days-Data days (schedule above)

Tuesday, 9/20 Science teachers(3rd-5th) meet with Cristi Strang at 3:00pm at Bransford

Tuesday, 9/20 PLC work time (3:15-4pm in the Learning Commons)

Thursday, 9/22 Cheer Club (2:55-3:30pm); GES Bank training (3-4:30-Learning Commons)

Friday, 9/23 GCISD device agreement forms due

Monday, 9/26 National Pancake Day-come enjoy pancakes in the lounge at 7:10am

Monday, 9/26 STEMscopes training during conference times (Science lab)

Tuesday, 9/27 Campus Excellence Committee meeting (3:10pm)

Wednesday, 9/28 Art Club (2:55-3:55pm)

Thursday, 9/29 Humanities meetings during conference times

Thursday, 9/29 Cheer Club (2:55-3:30pm); GES Bank training (3-4:30 Learning Commons)

Friday, 9/30 T-TESS goal setting form due in Eduphoria

Wednesday, 10/19 Flu shots in the science lab (7 am-10 am)

Where We Will Be...

  • Thursday, 9/22 - Horn at PDEC all day; Liz leaves at noon for Houston; Gina and Jessica at RX class 2p-4p (Amanda Martinez will help at front desk)
  • Friday, 9/23 - Hilcher in Houston at Writer’s Workshop training w/Dr. Newell; Hale at Liaisons/Coaches meeting all day

Monday Message to Parents

The following link will take you to the parent newsletter that will be sent out Monday morning: https://www.smore.com/1d08y
Disclaimer: It will be a work in progress until late Sunday night!

Google Links

  • Lesson plans, or links to your plans, should be saved to our Google drive folder in the GES Faculty and Staff folder: http://bit.ly/2buFsfQ
  • Newsletters, or links to newsletters, should be saved to the Google drive folder in GES Faculty and Staff: http://bit.ly/1MAJbWP