Head U Gator News

October 28, 2022

A sad story to share

Saturday evening I arrived at a community event and while getting my stuff out of the car saw a man walking with his dog and a young girl of about 8 or 9 years of age. I started to say hello, but then saw the look on his face and decided against it. As they passed my car, he turned to the girl and said something like, "I'm so tired of your G**d*** behavior" in a very loud voice.

Initially, I just shook my head but then decided to watch and be sure he wasn't hitting her, because he was that mad. He didn't, but I watched him continue to yell and berate her, shaking his finger at her and gesturing angrily all the way across a large field to the road where I lost sight of them. The poor child's head couldn't have hung down any lower.

My first take away from the situation was, "it's no wonder kids use inappropriate language when that's what they are hearing" but my next thoughts were of how often she probably experiences this kind of abuse. I realize I'm making assumptions, but talking to a child like that even once is once too many. If it's a regular occurrence, just imagine the turmoil that goes on in that home. This man is creating a hurt human being, who will then hurt other people and possibly wind up damaged for the rest of her life.

If this is behavior that you've seen exhibited by someone before, I hope that you find a way to share with them the damage they are doing to a precious human being and the long term effects this kind of treatment can have on a child.

Our teachers have truly embraced the need to understand more about the child before jumping to conclusions about behaviors. I'm proud when they take time to ask "what could be going on?" before jumping to corrective action. As a parent, you might want a harsh punishment administered when someone has bothered your child, but we are trying to work on teaching students how to replace inappropriate behavior with more appropriate behavior, rather than just administering a consequence which is often ineffective.


Sky Ranch

Our fifth grade students had a wonderful trip to Sky Ranch. Well, 95% of them had a great time. We did have a bout of stomach issues that sent about 5 students home early, which was very sad.

For many years our 4th graders went in the spring, but after COVID we moved the trip to 5th grade and this year for the first time planned for a fall trip. Taking groups on trips like Sky Ranch builds memories and connections that can be very positive and helpful through the rest of the year, and we hope that our fifth graders benefit greatly from the academic and social learning that happened for the past few days.


Reflections entries due today!

  • Physical entries will be turned into a box in the art and music rooms. Electronic entries are to be emailed to reflections@glenhopepta.org. An entry form must accompany each submission.
  • Student can have as many entries as they would like.
  • Entries are individual creations.
  • At least one family member must be a member of PTA. You can join PTA at any time!



Monday and Tuesday- no school for students

Monday and Tuesday are professional learning days for staff in GCISD. We will be learning from district staff on Monday about a variety of content updates, and then on Tuesday our teachers will primarily be working with the new curriculum documents and writing lesson plans for our students.

Many of our teachers work on their own time to read blogs, watch videos and otherwise learn cutting edge strategies from educators around the state and country. When we have the opportunity for them to collaborate with team members in working with the curriculum and writing plans, they are able to share those new ideas and enhance everyone's experience. One of the things that our new teachers have remarked on is the collaborative atmosphere in our building. Our teachers support each other and will go out of their way to help their colleagues. Research says that schools where that happens are the most effective schools, and I see evidence of that on a regular basis.


Texts from students

Technology is a wonderful tool in all of our lives, but sometimes has unintended and unexpected consequences. One of those we are dealing with is elementary students who have watches with text features.

Several times recently we had parent show up in the office to take students home because the student had texted to say they didn't feel well. Please, please don't respond to a student request to come home in this manner. We are dealing with young children who are not equipped with the best judgement and need adults to help them in difficult situations. In the past, if a student said they didn't feel well, the teacher used their professional opinion about how to address it. Sometimes they recognize that a child really isn't feeling well, isn't acting normally and needs to be seen by the nurse. Sometimes, they know that the request is from a child who is trying to escape a situation and they will handle that differently.

If your child texts you and asks to come home, please call the school and ask us to check in on them. If you establish a pattern of letting them leave when it's not necessary, that can develop behavior issues that persist into the future and eventually negatively impact them. If you're concerned because they weren't feeling great in the morning, nurse Liz will be happy to assess and communicate with you her professional opinion.

We don't want to keep sick children at school when they need to go home, but we do need to teach our children the importance of persevering through difficulties when it's appropriate.


Lightspeed Relay Parent Portal

Parents should be receiving a weekly email for each of your students from Lightspeed Relay. This email contains a weekly report of your student’s internet activity. The body of the email contains the Top 10 websites visited. If you log in, you will have access to a more detailed, daily, time stamped web activity report. For more information, please visit the GCISD Lightspeed Parent Portal Website.

If you have not received an email from do_not_reply@lightspeedsystems.com please check your Spam.


Thanks to PTA!

Thanks to Glenhope PTA for planning and presenting the "Yes, You Can" program to the students on the morning of Thursday, October 27th .

Lloyd Bachrach was born with a congenital deficiency leaving him with unusually small legs. He became a Paralympian, champion gymnast, downhill skier, scuba diver, and worked on the trading floor at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He shared stories of competing in the Olympics and winning medals and how he never gave up even when things were impossibly difficult. Teachers and students were engaged throughout his presentation and I heard a lot of very positive feedback.


Intruder Detection Audits

Over the summer, school districts engaged in several initiatives to enhance school safety as directed by Governor Abbott on June 1. This work continues this fall with intruder detection audits for public K-12 and charter schools and the review of emergency operation plans for public K-12, charter, and junior college districts.

The Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) began intruder detection audits, in partnership with regional educational centers on September 12, 2022, and while the specific date or time that the audits will be conducted is not revealed to districts, GCISD expects audits of our campuses within the upcoming weeks. The purpose of these audits is to assess the access control measures of a campus during the school day. For example, inspectors will check to see if they are able to gain unauthorized access through exterior doors and if the campus is conducting required exterior weekly door sweeps.

Audits will be conducted by trained inspectors, in plain clothing, who if stopped by school personnel, will self-identify and proceed with the rest of the intruder audit. They will not be simulating an intrusion. Any findings will be provided to the district as soon as possible to enable districts to remedy findings. Please remember that we all play a critical role in keeping our schools safe, and we ask for your continued partnership and support of our security efforts.



Donation Bin

We have a bin in the parking lot for clothing, shoes and other fabric items. If you are beginning a fall clean out, you can drop off items at any time. We receive a donation for a portion of the funds that are generated.

Items to be placed in the World Wear donation bin include wearable shoes, clothing, purses, wallets, belts, hats/caps, backpacks, hard toys that fit into the bin, soft toys and stuffed animals. That’s it; that’s what we pay for by the pound.

We do not accept furniture, mattresses, bikes, strollers, car seats, food, trash, books, or any other items that are not on that list. We do remove those items from around the bin when we encounter them but it makes it difficult for our drivers to get in a full route if we pick up a lot of large stuff.

It's also nice to have someplace to drop items when Goodwill or GRACE are closed!


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Emergency drills information

GCISD partners with the I Love U Guys Foundation and uses the Standard Response Protocols (SRP) to respond to any situation or emergency that takes place at school or in the district.

  • Each campus will conduct drills throughout the school year. These drills are based on the Standard Response Protocols of Secure, Lockdown, Evacuate, Shelter, and Hold. GCISD developed one additional protocol known as Clear.

  • Completion of the drills is mandatory for each campus during the first two weeks of school, so that students and staff are prepared. Drills help us learn and know how to respond in the case of a real emergency at school. Our drills also help us to check certain equipment and responses. Our emergency management leaders on each campus will work with students and staff to complete our drills and document the results.

I have included the SRP Posters that are displayed in your student’s classrooms so that you can review with your student at home and discuss with them when they take part in the drills during the first two weeks. More information about Safety and Security in GCISD can be found at www.gcisd.net/our_district/safety_and_security.


Attendance procedures

Please remember to email the office (mailto:elizabeth.giblin@gcisd.net and mailto:tanya.hill@gcisd.net) if your child is ill and will be out. It would be helpful to include your child's teacher(s) as well.

Also, please try to call early in the day with changes to after school pick up arrangements. The later you call, the greater the chance that something might be missed due to the level of activity that occurs around dismissal.