OCT Tiger Time News

News from the O.C. Taylor Principal, Lisa Pedevilla

November 10, 2019


Dear OCT Families,

We hope you can join us tomorrow, November 11 at 8:30 a.m. as we celebrate and honor our Veterans. Our third and fourth graders have been preparing for the program under the direction of Mrs. Vencill. It is going to be a beautiful program to honor those who serve and have served our country. You can read more about our special plans in the section below. We hope to see you there.

We are also excited about our upcoming PTA program, "Hey Dude, Nice Shoes." Please read the PTA section for more information!

To the BEST of days,

Principal Pedevilla

Stay Connected at O. C. Taylor Elementary School

We have a number of ways to keep in touch with our school. Be sure to read, subscribe to and join these resources to get all the latest news.

Facebook: If you’re a Facebook member be sure to join the O.C. Taylor Elementary Facebook Group to get updates in your feed. This group is meant to provide another way to get news and updates.

Website: The school’s website has the latest news, updates, and calendars, as well as general information about the school, resources for parents, volunteer opportunity information, event information and ways to donate.

Twitter: We regularly post events and upcoming news on Twitter. Follow me on Twitter: @OCTYoung and follow our hashtag #OCT4U.

OCT Vision: To empower our children today to create a better tomorrow.

OCT Mission: To create life-long learners and develop servant leaders through authentic, real-world experiences.


Upcoming Events

Monday, November 11

8:30 a.m. Veterans Day Program (All are invited to attend.)

Tuesday, November 12

Math STAAR Interim Assessment - 3rd/5th Grade (students need charged devices)

7:00 p.m. United in Song (Choir Performing) at White's Chapel

Wednesday, November 13

2:55 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. Yearbook

3:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. TTT

Thursday, November 14

1st Grade Field Trip to Dallas World Aquarium

2:55 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Choir

6:00 p.m. "Hey Dude, Nice Shoes" Program (See PTA section for more information.)

Friday, November 15

8:00 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. PreK- 2nd - "Hey Dude, Nice Shoes" Program

9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. 3rd - 5th - "Hey Dude, Nice Shoes" Program

2:00 p.m. - 5:00 Big Kahuna Product Deliver p.m.

2:55 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. Running Club

Monday, November 18

2nd Grade Field Trip to the Perot Museum

Tuesday, November 19

8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Makeup Picture Day (Individual, Clubs, etc)

3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. CEC

Wednesday, November 20

Turkey Drive

2:55 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. Yearbook

2:55 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. NEHS

3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. TTT - Dancing River

Thursday, November 21

10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. PreK Thanksgiving Feast

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Kindergarten Thanksgiving Feast

2:55 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. Choir

Friday, November 22

Inflatables during Specials (makeup from Fun Day)

November 25 - 29

Thanksgiving Break

Monday, December 2

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. PTA Executive Board Holiday Luncheon

Tuesday, December 3

9:00 p.m. CMS Band/Choir

Wednesday, December 4

2:55 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. Yearbook

2:55 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. TTT

Thursday, December 5

2:55 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. Choir

Grapevine Parade of Lights

Friday, December 6

2:55 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. Running Club

6:30 p.m. Colleyville Tree Lighting


Grade Level Newsletters

Parents, please click on the link below to read your child's grade level newsletter.










Important Links

OCT and GCISD Updates


Assistant Principal Points from Mrs. Bailey


Are you planning a family trip for the holidays? As you think about your arrangements, we want to stress the importance of sending your child to school every day possible. Every year, absences spike in the weeks before and after the winter holiday as families squeeze in a few more vacation days. It’s time to break that cycle. We know that just a few missed days here and there, even if they’re excused absences, can add up to too much lost learning time and put your child behind in school. This is as true in kindergarten as it is in high school. Put simply, too many absences at any age can affect a student’s chances for academic success and eventually for graduation.

We recognize that holidays are an important time for reconnecting with families far away. The costs of plane tickets often influence when you want to travel. But keep in mind the costs to your children’s education if they miss too much school— and the message you will be sending about the importance of attendance. Even if you’ve got a homework packet from the teacher, it doesn’t make up for the interaction and learning that happens in the classroom. Our teachers will be teaching, and our students will be learning, right up until vacation starts and the first day back. You can help us convey that message. This holiday season, give your children the gift of an education and the habit of attendance.


Students in grades 3-8 will take Math Interim Assessments this fall. The testing window runs from November 4th - November 22nd. Our 4th grade students are scheduled to take this assessment on the morning of Thursday, November 7th. Grades 3 and 5 will take the assessment on the morning of Tuesday, November 12th.

As these assessments are administered online, please make sure that your child brings their charged device (iPad or Chromebook) with them on these dates.

Please reach out with any questions or concerns. I am here to listen and my door is always open.

Allison Bailey

(817) 305-4870




Veterans Day Celebration, Mon. Nov. 11

Please join us tomorrow, Monday, Nov. 11 at 8:30 a.m. in the OCT cafeteria for our Veterans Day celebration. The 3rd and 4th grade students will perform patriotic music to honor the brave men and women who serve to protect our country. Friends, family and beloved veterans are invited to attend! Veterans and their families are also invited to a reception in the OCT Learning Commons immediately following the program.

Wall of Honor: If you have a picture of a veteran (or someone currently serving in the military) you would like to add to our Wall of Honor, please label your picture with the name of the veteran, the branch of the military they serve(d) in and your student's name. You can turn pictures in to your teacher or Mrs. Vencill. Pictures will be returned to you after Veterans Day.

Support Our Troops: The OCT National Elementary Honor Society is collecting supplies to send to current military troops. As we prepare for Veterans Day, this is a great way to show our support and appreciation to those who are currently serving to protect our country. Donations can be dropped off with Mrs. Vencill, Mrs. Watkins or Mrs. Fiffik. You can see the list of needed supplies here.

Big picture


New Vestibule Check-In System

Last spring, I shared information with you regarding the safety and security upgrades that our campus would be receiving as part of the 2016 bond program. Thank you for your patience as construction teams worked to complete the renovation of our building for the controlled vestibule. We are excited to be able to begin using the new check-in system starting Monday, December 2. In an effort to help parents know more about the new visitor process and how to operate the new check-in kiosks, the Director of Emergency Management and School Security has made a video with instructions. Please contact myself, or Allen Smith (allen.smith@gcisd.net), if you have any questions.
Big picture


Chipotle Fundraiser

Thank you for attending the OCT Chipotle School Spirit Night! Chipotle will be donating $346.27 to O.C. Taylor Elementary.


Big Kahuna Fundraiser Delivery of Items

Thank you to all who participated in our Teacher Professional Development O.C. Taylor Elementary Fundraiser! They will deliver items on Nov. 15.
  • Delivery time: 2:00 - 5:00 in the cafeteria
  • All orders must be picked up on the day of delivery. We appreciate your support and thank you for helping our school! (If you have an emergency and are unable to pick up items at this time, let your teacher know. We will try to make accommodations for you.)
  • Please note: Orders with 5 items or less will be sent home with your student.
  • Please call Arthur Franzke with any questions at (817)366-2276.


Updates from Counseling and Guidance, Mrs. Whisman

Please click here to see the Counselor Corner Newsletter.

Classroom Guidance: November's guidance lessons will focus on gratitude and having a positive attitude.


Updates from Learning Commons, Mrs. Bonacci

You’ve probably heard your child mention the Epic e-book app. It is a great resource that provides free access to e-books, audiobooks, read-a-longs, and educational videos while students are at schools. Home access is available by subscription.

While I cannot endorse this product I do want you to know your options. I have used many e-book apps and Epic for Kids is superior to all of them. It’s easy to use and completely kid-friendly. It offers the latest titles, and students can earn badges for various achievements.

If you would like to preview Epic you can sign up for a free month of home access. Email me at dawn.bonacci@gcisd.net if I can assist you.

Volunteers Needed

The O. C. Taylor Scholastic Book Fair is right around the corner! This is always a fun time for our students. If you would like to volunteer for this event please email the librarian at dawn.bonacci@gcisd.net We will need help setting up after school on December 5th and then throughout the week of December 9-13. Thank you for all you do to promote reading in your families.

Big picture


Updates from Art, Mrs. Morgan

2019 Holiday Greeting Card Art Contest. Please click here for the entry form.
Big picture
Big picture


Menu Advisory Committee Meeting

Parents - Want to learn more about the federally funded school lunch program? Ever wonder how the menus are planned? The Parent Menu Advisory meeting includes parents and staff who review the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) to provide greater knowledge of the regulations. During the meeting, parents will learn how the menus are planned and student promotions are developed. In addition, we will sample recipes and discuss the techniques used to encourage students to take a complete meal.

The meeting will be held on December 4th, 2019 from 5-6 pm.

Meeting location: GCISD Professional Developement Education Center: Panther Den | 5800 Colleyville Blvd #A108 Colleyville, Texas 76034


O.C. Taylor Staff Shout-Outs

Students and parents can now recognize staff members for the great work that they do at O.C. Taylor Elementary! If you would like to send a positive shout-out to a staff member, please complete this brief form. Staff members will be recognized each month during our faculty meetings.


Updates from our Nurse Katy

  • 5th grade Growth and Development: The growth and development program will be presented to the 5th graders at OCT on Friday November 22nd. Notification letters are being sent home with all 5th grade students, so be on the look out! Boys and girls will view the videos separately and then be able to discuss and ask any questions afterwards. If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email me.
  • Flu Season: Did you know that everyone 6 months and older can receive a yearly flu vaccination? Adults aged 65 and older, pregnant women, young children, and people with chronic medical conditions are highly encouraged to get one. There have been positive flu tests out in the community already, so BE WISE- IMMUNIZE!
  • If your child is sick: Please keep students at home until they are fever and/or symptom-free for at least 24 hours without any medication. In GCISD, a temperature of 100 degrees is considered to be a fever. Encourage healthy habits at home to help prevent the spread of illnesses. Washing hands with soap and water (sing Happy Birthday song or ABCs twice!) Coughing and sneezing into elbows or a Kleenex instead of hands. Not touching the face- especially the T-zone. Getting plenty of rest. Staying hydrated.


Updates from GT LEAD, Mrs. Griffin

Please click here to see the newsletter.



OCT PPCD and Pre-K team

Our Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD) works closely with our Pre-K program. From left to right back row:

Heather Potter, Pre-K teacher

Bri Conte, Pre-K paraprofesional

Sara Stricherz, PPCD teacher

Rhonda Schafer, PPCD teacher

Gabriela Haynes, Pre-K teacher

Front row:

Amy Richardson, PPCD paraprofessional

Allora Khan, Pre-K paraprofessional

Lorrine Evans, PPCD paraprofessional

Big picture

Mrs. Lorrine Evans, PPCD Paraprofessional

Mrs. Lorrine Evans is an instructional paraprofessional in our Preschool Program of Children with Disabilities (PPCD). She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources. She was pre-Veterinary Medicine her first two years. She graduated with a Wildlife Management degree.

She met her husband on a backpacking trip. She and her husband have a 17-year-old son, 2 dogs (Elvis & Jazzie), and 2 cats (Ralphie & Roger).

Mrs. Evans is patient and quick to forgive. She has great balance! She once received a Balance Beam award in gymnastics. Not because she was some great gymnast on the beam. She just fell off less than her teammates. Thus, the "balance" beam award. Her hobby is Genealogy research. She says, “I love the challenge of tracing my ancestors and of finding where they originated.”

Her favorite color is royal blue because it is a happy, bright color. She has always liked different shades of blue because she is a daydreamer who spent a lot of time looking at clouds as a kid.

Her advice to parents is to hug or say ‘I love you’ to your kids every day, even when they push you away.

Big picture


Join Us for a Special Screening of Angst

Angst is an IndieFlix Original, documentary designed to raise awareness around anxiety. The film includes interviews with kids, teens, educators, experts, parents and a very special interview with Michael Phelps.

November 13 at CHHS Auditorium at 6:30 p.m.

Appropriate for ages 10+ | Video length: 55 minutes

For more information, view this flyer.


Follow OCT on Twitter

If you are not on Twitter, we invite you to join and follow your teacher and O.C. Taylor Elementary! This will give you a glimpse inside your child's classroom and school. We want you to see the many educational experiences our teachers provide our students. @OCTaylorTigers #OCT4U
Big picture


GCISD is Now Hiring! Join the GCISD TEAM!

Many opportunities are available in our auxiliary departments:

  • Nutrition Specialists -PT w/ benefits – work while your students are in school!
  • Kidzu Site Aide – PT w/benefits – this schedule works well for local college students!
  • Night Custodians
  • Bus Drivers & Monitors
  • Maintenance Engineers

Apply online at: www.gcisd.net


School Health Advisory Council (SHAC)

School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) is the perfect place for parents to make contributions and recommendations on health initiatives that influence your child. Find out how you can join SHAC.

We think your kids are..... G-G-G-G-reat!

Big picture

O.C. Taylor Tigers Salute our Veterans!

Our 3rd and 4th graders are working hard with Mrs. Vencill to prepare our annual Veteran's Day program, performed on Monday, November 11th at 8:30 a.m. in the OCT Cafeteria. We hope that you will invite all veterans along to enjoy and be honored during this time! There will be a reception in the Learning Commons immediately following the program for all veterans, honored guests, and their families.

The front parking lot will be reserved for veterans, active military and special guests. Please help us reserve these spaces on Monday by using the side front lot for those who need to park and walk children up to school during drop-off time for school.

We thank you all for helping us honor our veterans, and can't wait to see you there!

Kindness Block Party - This Thursday!

Big picture

Hey Dude, Nice Shoes!


70.6% of young people say they have seen bullying in their schools
When bystanders intervene, bullying stops within 10 seconds 57% of the time!

O.C. Taylor is excited to be the FIRST GCISD school to host Carolyn Brown with her pro-kindness/anti-bullying presentation, "Hey Dude, Nice Shoes." Carolyn Brown reached 20,000 students in Texas last year with her Anti-Bullying and Pro-Kindness workshop Hey Dude Nice Shoes. Carolyn is an expert on how the word “bullying” has changed over the past several decades and what we can do about it. www.heydudeniceshoes.com

At 6:00 p.m., Thursday, November 14th, O.C. Taylor and Bransford Elementary Schools will be co-hosting Carolyn for a parents' presentation in the O.C. Taylor cafeteria. During that time, all O.C. Taylor students are invited to participate in our "Acts of Kindness" night where we will have our kiddos engaged in a kindness block party!

On Friday, November 15th, all Pre-K through 5th grade students will hear "Hey Dude, Nice Shoes" at O.C. Taylor in the morning!

Thanksgiving Pies for our O.C. Taylor Staff

Each year we treat our wonderful teachers and staff at O.C. Taylor Elementary to a delicious pie baked by Celebrity Bakery.

Pies are $16 each and will be delivered the Friday before Thanksgiving Break. You can sponsor one (or more!) by signing up below. Please make checks payable to OCT PTA. In the memo line please write, "holiday pies" AND the name of the person you are sponsoring. Turn in your check to the front office before Friday, November 15th.


You are also welcome to include a personal note of thanks that we will deliver with the pie.

Many Thanks!

Juanita Priesand, Staff Appreciation Events Chair

World Wear Donation Bin

There is a new donation bin on campus so that you can donate your clothing, toys, shoes, stuffed animals and other items. O.C. Taylor will receive a portion of the profits, so that money will go straight back into our school. Thank you so much to our PTA Environmental Science Vice President, Marisa Livingston, for organizing this project!
Big picture

FUN DAY PART 2 November 22nd

FUN DAY Part 2 is scheduled for Friday, November 22nd. Fingers crossed for nice weather so that our Tigers can enjoy a day of fun inflatables in the OCT Field! Please sign up for a time to help out and join in the FUN!


Do you STILL have lots of leftover Halloween Candy? Looking for a healthy & helpful way to get rid of it? Then look no further and donate it all to GRACE.

GRACE would greatly appreciated any leftover Halloween Candy to use at their Christmas Cottage.

Please look for the Decorated Pumpkin Bag in the lobby area and leave your donations there.

Donations will be accepted from Nov 4th - Dec 13th! Thank you for supporting your community.



NOVEMBER is your month, THIRD GRADE!

ITEMS IN NEED: CANNED FRUIT (16 oz or smaller cans preferred)

GRACE is in need of canned fruit. As soon as this stuff hits the shelves, it is gone. Collection baskets will be outside the 3rd Grade Classrooms beginning Monday, November 4th and will stay there until December 6th. The next time you are in the grocery store, please consider supporting your community by picking up a can of their favorite fruit, Peaches & Fruit Cocktail! Thank you in advance for your support.


Many nice items need to be reunited with their owners. If your child missing their jacket and/or hoodie, please have them stop by the Lost and Found to claim their item that is patiently waiting to be worn again.


Birthday TigerGrams

Does your child have a birthday in November or December? Would you like to see their "Name in Lights" on the school marquee or surprise them with a TigerGram? Typically, these fun items are only available for purchase during our Silent Auction. However, because our Silent Auction is not until December 1st through December 9th this year, we are pre-selling these items ONLY for those students with birthdays in November and December. All other students will be able to purchase these items (along with TONS of other fun items) during the Silent Auciton for the 2020 calendar year. If you are interested in purchasing a "Name in Lights" or "TigerGram" for your child this November or December, please contact Stephanie Williams at octsilentauction@gmail.com.

Box Tops

Wow! We counted, bundled, and mailed off $564.30 of Box Tops! Combined with our earnings via the Box Top App, we have raised $630.60 in Box Tops this year. Currently, 4th grade is in the lead in our Racing to Recess Challenge. The winning class will receive an extra recess. Continue to send in those Box Tops still found on participating products. If you haven't already, be sure to download the Box Tops App so that you can scan your receipts and earn money for our school instantly!


Be sure to shop smileamazon.com so that .5% of all your purchases will go to the OC Taylor PTA. Log on to smileamazon.com and select PTA Texas Congress 1610 O C Taylor Elementary as your preferred charity. It's an amazingly easy way to earn money for our school!! Remember, you must log on to smileamazon.com every time you shop Amazon to ensure that your purchases earn money for our school.

Tom Thumb Good Neighbor Program

You can now earn money for our school, simply by shopping for groceries at Tom Thumb! Designate O.C. Taylor PTA as your organization by completing a Reward Application at any courtesy booth. Fill in the top portion and the "Good Neighbor Program" section, indicating account number 8332 to link your grocery purchases to O.C. Taylor. If you already have a Rewards Card, simply stop by a courtesy desk to link our school to your existing account. Pharmacy, fuel, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco products do not count toward the purchase amount credited to the Good Neighbor Program accounts. 1% of all eligible purchases made at Tom Thumb will be given back to our school!


Stay Connected at O. C. Taylor Elementary School

We have a number of ways to keep in touch with our school. Be sure to read, subscribe to and join these resources to get all the latest news.

Facebook: If you’re a Facebook member be sure to join the O.C. Taylor Elementary Facebook Group to get updates in your feed. This group is meant to provide another way to get news and updates.

Website: The school’s website has the latest news, updates, and calendars, as well as general information about the school, resources for parents, volunteer opportunity information, event information and ways to donate.

Twitter: We regularly post events and upcoming news on Twitter. Follow me on Twitter: @OCTYoung and follow our hashtag #OCT4U.

Thank you!

Berri O'Neal Gormley

PTA President



Lissa Critz

PTA President-Elect