February 5, 2016

Good Evening Pony Parents,

This week was filled with so many activities and we have many more to come. The outside weather continues to trick us into believing winter weather is no more. We certainly hope so as our calendar has no wiggle room for interruptions!

Hopefully you have viewed your student's progress report and are assisting them in staying updated on their assignments. Middle school is all about learning to manage time and unfortunately that is not usually an intrinsic characteristic of a teenager. Check their binders, planners, calendars, or whatever system you have developed that works for your family.

Our halls are filled with smiling middle schoolers and it truly is a joy to work at GMS. It takes a special breed to teach middle school students. Teens and preteens thrive on drama, struggle with hormones, and explode with emotions. To help us keep students motivated we celebrate their achievements and give them choice and voice. We know when students feel like the adults around them listen and care, they will be more motivated to engage in the learning. At GMS all students matter and seeing the daily random acts of kindness our students provide is encouraging. Thank you for partnering with us to carry on @gmsYOUMatter!


Rising 9th graders are encouraged to attend the presentations onFebruary 8th at the high school they plan to attend. Attached are flyers for both schools. Collegiate Academy will have their own Phoenix Night and more information will be coming for this event.


Our PTA Fundraiser Campaign, "Pony Up for PTA" began this past Monday. Emails have been sent providing you the form and instructions. The PTA has developed a campaign where you nor your child has to sell anything! All they are asking is that each family donate as they are able. You may send your form to the office with your student or the PTA will be outside at drop off time again on February 16 and 17. Thank you in advance for supporting all their efforts to make GMS a great place to learn.


This is where parents will hear presentations on the districts STEM and Dual Language Programs on February 16 @ CTMS 5:30 - 7:30. Here parents will hear presentations on the district's options and plans for next year. If you are currently in these programs and would like additional information, this is night to attend!


From 4:00 - 5:00 on February 17th GMS counselors and administrators will share the requirements for course selection in 7th grade. Parents will leave with information to assist their students in developing next's years schedule.


From 5:30 - 6:30 From 4:00 - 5:00 on February 17th GMS counselors and administrators will share the requirements for course selection in 8th grade. Parents will leave with information to assist their students in developing next's years schedule. As a 7th grade parent interested in getting a head start on planning for high school, please plan to attend the Mustang Nation and Panther Evenings at the respective high schools. We will share the dates as we get more information.


Because we are always seeking ways to ensure all students are working at their peak potential, GMS has chosen to screen our 7th grade PAP Math students for Algebra readiness. Currently students are assessed at 5th grade and make the choice to enter 6th Grade Accelerated Math or not. Maturity can play a big role in a student's ability to perform on assessments so we are going to assess one more time in 7th grade to ensure we are capturing all Algebra ready students. This is exciting for our school and our students and we look forward to seeing what the data uncovers. We will keep you updated. As always we welcome your questions and concerns and look forward to visiting with you at GMS events.

Have a great week and @gmsYOUMatter!

Linda Young, Principal


Thursday and Friday we were honored to have two teachers from other countries spend the days learning with our students. Both teachers are sponsored through GV Rotary and will be spending about a month in our area. Lucer Ovelar teachers in Paraguay and Gabriela Becattini teaches 7th - 12th grade in Argentina. Both ladies were a delight and having the opportunity to share with our staff and students the differences in education across the world was fascinating. Thank you to the Rotary for including us in this special time.

FIRST Committee Update

Below you will see information on our district FIRST committee. This facility planning team comprised of parents, community constituents, and campus and district staff has been brought together to consider the district’s financial position and strategic plan as it relates to programs for students, facilities, infrastructure, technology, security, etc. I am a part of this committee, which has been meeting twice monthly since July 28th.

We are into our final meetings and will soon be speaking with our local Board on our findings and what we suggest as we move forward with a possible Bond proposal. Please keep up with these discussions on the district website or call me and I will explain any questions you might have. This is a critical time for our district in planning and it's imperative that all citizens in our district have correct information.

We live in a premier district but that is because our community supports efforts to keep our facilities updated. This comes with a price as we give 25-26 million dollars each year back to the state of Texas in Robin Hood funds. That's 25 million dollars that we do not get to use on our own children; therefore, other means must be found to educate GCISD students. The FIRST Committee is committed to keeping GCISD in the forefront of education preparing our students for jobs which do not yet exist. Again I am passionate about our work and would love to answer your questions.


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Ponies in Action


On Friday, January 29th Pony band members competed in the GCISD District Ensemble Competition. We are very excited to announce that the Pony Band brought home 195 individual medals! This is a HUGE increase compared to last years 147 medals (still a great accomplishment) WAY TO GO PONIES! We are proud of you!

Thank you Mr. Williams and Ms.Fisher for always believing in our students and pushing them to excel! Don't believe us just watch!


Please remember to continue to turn in your Box Tops for Education to the GMS office. This is a great way for our PTA to earn money on items we need and use everyday in our homes. Just places the box tops in an envelope and Mrs. Bice or Mrs. Serrano will take them!


This year the PTA will be selling carnations to be delivered to students for Valentine’s Day. They have done this for the past several years, and the students seem to enjoy it. The carnations will be ordered by the students at lunch, and then delivered to their friend(s) during lunch on February 12. Last year, it was made available for parents to order carnations as well. You can come up during lunch on the dates listed below, or return the bottom half of this form with money in an envelope to the office.

The envelope needs to be marked with my name “Kandy Beese” or “carnation sales”. Each carnation is $1.00 and they come in a variety of colors. You do not get to pick your color.

Lunch Dates for Sales:

Monday, February 8

All money and forms must be turned into the office by Monday, February 8th at 3:25 pm.

If you have any questions, please email

Carnation Sales

Students Full Name: ________________________________________

Grade: ___________________________________________________

Lunch time (if known): _______________________________________

Number of carnations: ___________ Amount enclosed: ____________

From_____________________________Phone Number _______________________

Please place money and form in envelope and drop in office. Mark envelope with “Kandy Beese” or “carnation sales”. Checks can be made out to GMS PTA.


Please see the attached flyer for our district Rachel's Challenge event. We are encouraging all our extra-curricular groups to participate in the Fun Run as well as other planned activities. We hope to have a large crowd for GMS!

District Information


Please view the latest from our trustee Becky St. John.

Invitation for Community Conversation: State Board of Education representative, Pat Hardy would like to invite you and your staff to join her along with other SBOE members, Donna Bahorich, SBOE Chair, Ericka Beltran, and Tincy Miller on February 16, 2016 at the Region 11 Education Service Center from 6-8 p.m. to attend a community conversation on the next generation of assessments and accountability. The community dialogue will include parents, business leaders, educators, and students. The information gathered will be shared with the recently appointed state committee called The Next Generation of Assessments and Accountability. To register for this event, click here.


Facility Innovation and Readiness Stakeholder Team (FIRST) to study and prioritize ways to create the best possible learning environment forGCISD students. This facility planning team comprised of parents, community constituents, and campus and district staff will be brought together to consider the district’s financial position and strategic plan as it relates to programs for students, facilities, infrastructure, technology, security, etc. The membership structure of the FIRST is available under the tab marked TEAM.

GCISD has not called a bond election but is researching the possibility of a May 2016 referendum through this process.


Grapevine-Colleyville ISD is excited to offer Let's Talk!, a new way to engage the district in conversation for parents, staff and the community. In an effort to continually improve the district's communication with stakeholders, Let's Talk! streamlines the process for parents, staff and community members to submit a question, comment, suggestion, concern or compliment.


Students may not start 7th Grade until proof of these immunizations are received: tDap / Meningococcal/ Varicella. GMS Nurse Jansen is now accepting Immunization Records.


From engineering challenges to advanced academics to language immersion and early childhood education, GCISD offers a world of opportunities for students. Families are invited to learn more about these opportunities at the Special Programs Expo on Tuesday, February 16 from 5:30 - 8:00 p.m. at Cross Timbers Middle School. The expo will feature stations showcasing our STEM programs, ASPIRE Academy and Dual Language programs. New to the Expo this year, families may also learn about the proposed tuition-based Pre-Kindergarten program, iUniversity Prep and Collegiate Academy. In addition to program stations, presentations focusing on the instructional components and benefits of these programs will be delivered in the lecture hall and Student Activity Center (SAC).

The applications for dual language, STEM academies and tuition-based pre-kindergarten will be available online beginning Friday, Feb. 17 and are due by Friday, March 25. If more applications are submitted than the maximum number of students each campus may accept, then a lottery will be conducted on Friday, April 1, and streamed live on the district’s website. More information will be available on the website after the Expo.


In Grapevine-Colleyville ISD, our number one priority is student safety. The entire counseling department has worked to foster and develop a climate where students feel comfortable speaking to a campus counselor not only about future college and career plans, but also to address issues or situations that are not representative of the positive culture we are striving to create. We understand that while many students take advantage of our services, not everyone feels comfortable coming forward and reporting an incident to a counselor for a multitude of reasons.

In an effort to provide students with an additional outlet to report behavior that detracts from our positive culture, GCISD has partnered with Speak Up! for the first partnership of its kind in the United States. Speak Up! is an app that students download on their smartphone, from which they may anonymously report bullying, theft, suspected drug use, etc. The report is then sent to a counselor so that they may investigate the claim and take appropriate action. The app is of no cost to students and will be available for all students in grades sixth through twelfth.

We wanted to make you aware of the new app before your student is sent registration information. On Friday, February 5, your student will receive an email from Speak Up! that gives step-by-step instructions on how they can register and download the app on their smartphone. From there, they may begin to use the app to report suspicious behavior and help promote good citizenship by assisting counselors and campus administrators in maintaining a positive learning environment for all students.

If you have any questions about the Speak Up! app, please feel free to contact myself or your campus counselor.

The 2016-2017 GCISD Student Staff Calendar is available for viewing at:

Should further updates come from state decisions our Board will continue to provide parent this information.

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Next Weeks Events

Monday February 8

Girls Basketball @ CMS 7th & 8th 5:00

Mustang Nation and CHHS Parent University

PTA Executive Board 8:15 in Lecture Hall

Tuesday February 9

Symphonic and Honors Band Clinic 9:00 - 10:30

@gm YOU Matter Assembly - Conrad Streeter and Dave Denning

Guest Speakers

Boys Basketball 5:00 @ Coppell W

Cheer Parent Try Out meeting 6:30 - 8:00 Cafeteria

Choir Booster Parent Meeting 5:00 - 7:00 Lecture Hall

Wednesday February 10

High School Counselors visit 8th Graders for Course Advisement

Thursday February 11

One Act Play Performance for Families 6:00 p.m. cafeteria

Friday February 12

Girls Choir After School Practice 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Cotillion 7:00 - 9:00 cafeteria

Saturday February 13

Math / Science District Meet @ Franklin MS 7:30 - 1:30

Pony Pride MS Regional Competition @ GHS

Monday February 15

No School for Students

Tuesday February 16

8th Grade Field Trip to Dallas Museums 1/2 of the grade

Boys Basketball @ CMS 5:00 7th & 8th

GCISD Programs Expo @ CTMS 5:30 - 8:30

Wednesday February 17

8th Grade Field Trip to Dallas Museums 1/2 of the grade

GCISD MS Choir Pre-UIL Benchmark 9:00 - 2:00 @ CHHS

Course Selection Information Night

6th Grade 4:00 - 5:00 cafeteria

7th Grade 5:30 - 6:30 cafeteria

Future Events:

February 18 Synphonic I Band GCISD MS Pre-UIL Benchmark 8:30 - 12:00 CHHS

February 19 5th Grade Fine Arts Tour Elective Showcase 9:20 - 11:20

Progress Report

Cheer Tryout forms due in front office by 3:30 p.m.

February 20 GMS Math Science Club to Long MS in Dallas

STEM to Visioneering Event @ SMU 6:45 - 1:30

February 21 Engineering Week!