Tiger Time News

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

Young@Heart, September 9, 2018

Dear O.C. Taylor Parents,

For those of you who attended our grade level Curriculum Nights, you heard the message from me about the importance of reading each night. We do not have "traditional" homework at O.C. Taylor, but we require reading each night. As humans, we seek pleasure. We do things over and over if we like it. We go to restaurants we like and order the food and beverages we like, not the things we hate. So, if you want your child to visit "reading" more often and in their lives in the future, make sure they "like it" more than they "hate it." How do we get children to like reading?

Read TO your child. The sound of your voice is a "beacon of calmness, conditioning the child to associate you and the book with security." Children will associate the time of reading with you to comfort and safety. You may ask, "I see how reading to young children is beneficial, but I thought my 1st grader was supposed to come home and read to me? How can he get better at reading if I am doing the reading?" We will discuss the specifics of this next week. For now, focus on creating a special, cozy time for the child to develop good feelings around the idea of reading. Remember, your goal is a long-term goal, not just for this school year. You want your child to develop into a young adult who likes to read and continues reading well into middle school, high school, and adulthood. Our vision at OCT is to empower our children today to create a better tomorrow. We want to give them the tools today to continue reading and leading in their future.

For now, try and find a regular place in your home you can create that comfortable, snug feeling you and your child enjoy being. I promise you will love this time with your child and miss it one day; I sure do!

To the BEST of days,

Principal Young

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.


Back To School Events

Monday, September 10

8:15 PTA Executive Board Meeting

9:30 Homeroom Parent Meeting

3:00 - 5:00 Tiger Mascot Auditions

Tuesday, September 11

9:00 Volunteer Orientation - Cafeteria (read more in the PTA section below)

6:30 Volunteer Orientation - Learning Commons (read more in the PTA section below)

7:00 Dad of the Day (formerly WATCH D.O.G.S) Pizza Kick Off (cafeteria)

Wednesday, September 12

Thursday, September 13

2:55 - 4:00 Choir

6:30 PTA Rock Out

Friday, September 14

DOT DAY!!! Wear dots to school to express creativity!

Monday, September 17

Tuesday, September 18

3:10-4:30 Campus Excellence Committee Meeting

Wednesday, September 19

Thursday, September 20

2:55 - 4:00 Choir

Friday, September 21


Grade Level Newsletters

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









OCT and GCISD Updates


Standards Based Report Cards

Click here to read more about Standards-Based Report Cards.


Parent Tech Tip of the Week: Tech Inventory

Now is a prefect time to take a “Tech Inventory” at home. Sit down with your kids, ask about the sites, apps, social networking accounts they have, ask for user names and passwords to keep in a log book. Knowing where they are online helps us understand how they use the technology….allowing us to parent it with better understanding.

(http://www.janellburleyhofmann.com/parenttechtips/tech-inventory/#.W5UpaZNKjR0) Janell Burley Hofmann ©2013


Volunteer Background Check Required Each Year

Please read the PTA section about volunteering at the bottom of this newsletter. We sincerely appreciate the investment of your time as a volunteer! Whether it is just volunteering with your child's classroom, our field day, or in any capacity in connection with our partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters, you must complete the following Volunteer Background Authorization form online. Click here to see the district website.

For the protection of students and staff, all volunteer applicants must read the Volunteer Handbook and are asked to complete the online form authorizing the district to obtain a criminal history background check. All volunteers are required to reapply each year.

To avoid a delay in processing your online volunteer background check application, note the most common volunteer errors when completing the form:

  • not using the proper date format of mm/dd/yyyy
    Incorrect Date of Birth: 11-3-70
    Correct Date of Birth: 11/03/1970

  • if providing a maiden name, it should not be hyphenated
    Incorrect Maiden Name: Smith-Garcia
    Correct Last Name: Garcia
    Correct Maiden Name: Smith

  • if providing a maiden name, it should not include first name in the same text box
    Incorrect Maiden Name: Jennifer Farris Stevens
    Correct First Name: Jennifer
    Correct Last Name: Stevens
    Correct Maiden Name: Farris

Download the Application Form

The school district pays for the actual background check. Due to the large number of applicants, we will not notify you of your volunteer status. To get your status, check with your school office for this information before you volunteer.


Dad of the Day (formerly Watch D.O.G.S) Pizza Kick Off

Calling all dads! Please join us on Tuesday, September 11th at 7:00 p.m. (right after the volunteer orientation) in the cafeteria. We will provide pizza for you and your child while we share information about our Dad of the Day program (formerly the Watch D.O.G.S program). We will have opportunities for you to buy a Dads Club shirt, fill out the Dad of the Day registration form, and sign up for a day to spend on campus with your child!


Updates from the Learning Commons, Mrs. Bonacci

Green Screen

Did you know that O. C. Taylor students have their very own Green Screen Production Studio? Students are encouraged to create videos that reflect their passions and learning experiences. If you have costumes that you would like to donate now, after Halloween, or after the 3rd grade Living Wax Museum we would be happy to add them to our collection!

GCISD Reads!

Hey Tigers! Remember to continue to document all of the books you are reading at home and at school! Information and recording forms can be found here.


Wear Your Dots!!!

On Fri., Sept. 14th, O.C. Taylor will be celebrating International Dot Day! The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds is about celebrating creativity, making a mark and seeing where it takes you. So, get creative and wear your dots to school on Fri., Sept. 14!

Big picture


Trinity River Authority of Texas

It’s that time of year again! The Trinity River Authority of Texas’ 4th Annual Art Contest is in full swing. We are calling all 1st through 8th graders from the counties listed below to get creative and send in their artwork. This year’s theme is “Protect the Source.” We will be accepting entries until Friday, Sept. 28 at 5p.m.

Winners will receive prizes and be invited to attend a public meeting at TRA. Attached are details regarding theme, prizes and the rules. If you have any questions, please email brownr@trinityra.org or call (817) 467-4343. Check our Facebook page for all the up-to-date information! CLICK HERE

Big picture


Updates from Counseling and Guidance, Mrs. Whisman

Please click here to see the September Counselor Corner Newsletter.


Updates from Gifted and Talented, Mrs. Griffin

Please click here to see her newsletter.


Updates from Literacy Specialists/Dyslexia Teachers, Mrs. Griffith & Mrs. Honeycutt

Why we teach cursive?

1. The continuous line emphasizes left to right directionality.

2. Cursive letter shapes are not reversible.

3. Connected letters present fewer opportunities for the writer to reverse direction.

4. Flowing, rhythmical movements are more easily executed then short straight lines and curved arcs.


Updates from the Clinic, Nurse Katy

  • Screening at OCT: Our GCISD Screen Team will be at OCT for vision/hearing/AN screening on Wednesday October 3rd. They will screen PPCD, PK, KG, 1st, 3rd, and 5th graders. They will also screen ALL students who are new to the district. PK, KG, 1st, 3rd, and 5th graders will be screened during their Specials period. If your student wears glasses or hearing aids, please make sure they have them on this day.

  • Scoliosis Screening: Another district nurse and myself will screen 5th grade girls ONLY for scoliosis on Wednesday November 28th during their Specials time (1020-1110). The law changed over the Summer and we now have to screen for scoliosis in the Fall instead of the Spring. **Parents of 5th grade girls: I will send home the spinal screening notification letters approximately 2 weeks in advance. Please make sure your student wears a bra, sports bra, tube top, or bikini top underneath their clothes on this day.**

  • If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know!
  • - Nurse Katy :)
  • _____________________________________________

    LEAD 2.0 Community Input Sessions

    GCISD invites you to the district-wide open sessions held on September 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. This session will be held at the Professional Development Education Center (PDEC) located at 5800 Colleyville Blvd, Colleyville, Texas 76034. If you are interested in sharing your experience in this session, please sign up using this RSVP Form.


    Community Champions

    Want to learn more about Grapevine-Colleyville ISD? Here’s a great opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the inner workings of GCISD, while building relationships with principals, teachers, administrators and fellow participants. GCISD Community Champions is recruiting its class for the 2018-2019 school year. We are looking for parents, business leaders, organizational leaders and other members of the community for this interactive program. This is a free service to the community, but there is a limit of 40 participants accepted, so apply now.

    Community Champions is made up of six 90 minute meetings at various district locations, beginning in September and concluding in April. All Community Champions meetings begin at 8:30 a.m. Meeting dates are:

    • September 27
    • November 1
    • December 6
    • January 24
    • March 28
    • April 25

    It is an expectation that participants in Community Champions are able to attend all six sessions. Community Champions is not only for participants to learn more about GCISD, it’s also a chance for members of the community to share their thoughts and ideas about GCISD with district leaders, face-to-face. All applications must be received by September 14, 2018.


    Cafeteria and Menu Updates

    Attached is a copy of the calendar menu, it may also be viewed on the district's website. Nutrition information may be viewed through the nutrition services website or by downloading the new Meal Viewer app through the apple or android store.

    In accordance with program guidelines, the Free and Reduced application will be available online as part of skyward registration. The free and reduced application should be filled out electronically atwww.schoollunchapp.com. For those parents that still would like to complete a paper application, they may download an application on the website www.gcisd.net or stop by the Nutrition Services office at 5800 Colleyville Blvd. Paper copies will not be distributed to the campuses this year, please allow families to apply online on a computer on campus or have them come to the Nutrition Services department for assistance.

    If you have questions about the Nutrition Services program, please call ext. 5615 or email julie.telesca@gcisd.net.



    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-k12.org


    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.

    GCISD - Building Excellent Schools Together


    The mission of Grapevine-Colleyville ISD is to be THE BEST and through the district’s strategic plan, called LEAD 2021, we continue building on the foundation started in 2011-2012. LEAD stands for Leading Excellence – Action Driven. For more information about LEAD 2021, please visit the district website. We are excited about the new LEAD 2.0 and hearing from all parents! There are some exciting educational experiences going on in GCISD!

    GCISD’s WHY?

    Redefining Education because your future matters today!

    GCISD’s Portrait of a Graduate

    Skilled Problem Solvers


    Global Citizens

    Self-regulated Learners


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

    Big picture

    Join the PTA!

    Thank you to all our parents and staff that joined the PTA already! We truly appreciate your support!

    If you did not join the PTA at Meet the Teacher, we encourage you to do so. The annual dues are only $7.50 per membership. That's the lowest price in town for PTA memberships and its the BEST, in my opinion! Membership in the PTA allows you to improve the education and opportunities for our students. When you join the PTA, you become a member of the Texas PTA and you will receive a copy of our 2018-2019 Paw Prints student directory! This valuable directory contains classroom lists, phone numbers, addresses and other vital information you will use all year! To join the PTA it's so simple, visit http://www.joinPTA.org.

    Please feel free to contact me with any questions. Liz Payne- VP Memberships scottlizpayne@yahoo.com

    Paw Prints Student Directory

    Be a part of the Student Directory! The Paw Prints student directory includes names and contact info for every student in the school. It is a GREAT resource for birthday parties, play dates, etc. Make sure YOUR child is included! The deadline is rapidly approaching.

    PTA members ( https://www.joinpta.org ) will receive a Paw Prints directory when it is available.

    Click here to enter your information. Contact Sara Stricherz for additional information.

    Rock Out at OC Taylor!

    Bring your blanket and chairs to the blacktop area behind the school this Thursday September 13th from 6:30pm to 8:00pm and enjoy an evening of music, dancing and fun... and no cooking! Bring your picnic dinner OR order yummy box dinners from McAlister's Deli to support 5th Grade Continuation and skip dinner prep entirely for the night!

    DJ AA will be playing some great tunes, and we will have a dance party and a limbo contest. Come learn classic dances including Macarena and the Electric Slide and new dances such as the Floss and the Hype. Don't miss out on this favorite evening of fun and friendship!

    We look forward to seeing everyone there!

    Box dinner order forms are due by September 11.

    Walk to School Days

    Thank you all for getting greener and healthier with us! It was wonderful to see so many kids walking/biking to school last Friday. Huge Thanks to our awesome Volunteers and participants. Let’s keep it up! Mark your calendars for the following months:

    10/03/2018 (International walk to school day)





    No walk to school in March



    Florencia Razeto (469) 618-9695

    Big picture

    OCT Dads' Club

    Dads, come join us for another exciting year!

    Important Dates for Dads Club:

    Tuesday, September 11th - Dads Club Volunteer Orientation / Dad of the Day (formerly Watch DOGS) Pizza Kick-off at 7:00 pm.

    Thursday, September 27th - Dads Club meeting and social

    Saturday, September 29th - Dads Club Golf Tournament.

    Sign up for the Dads Club email list here. Like Our Facebook Page and follow us on Twitter @OCTDadsClub

    Dads Club Golf Tournament

    Please join the OC Taylor Dads Club for our 2nd Annual Dads Club Golf Tournament benefiting the OC Taylor Elementary PTA on September 29th. Shotgun start at 1:30pm. The event includes a 4-person scramble, dinner immediately following the fun on the course. Fun on the course includes but is not limited to: long drive contest, closest to the pin, drink stations every four holes, and amazing raffle packages. Raffle prizes and more contests will be announced closer to the tournament.

    Register now, remember to invite your friends to play and thank you for supporting Dads Club

    OC Taylor PTA Presents Moms Night Out

    Moms' Night Out - Monday, October 15th from 5-9pm. Join us at Sloan and Williams Winery in Grapevine for a Moms' Night Out. Sloan and Williams will donate 30% of all food and wine purchased back to the OCT PTA. It's a great chance to visit with old friends and meet some new ones! We'll have a Gift Card Grab and Games of Heads or Tails as well. And the best part?!?! Childcare is taken care of! The OCT Dads' Club will be watching the kids at school from 6-8pm while the moms enjoy a night out. There will be pizza, games, movies, and more! Please complete the google form to register your students for childcare. Reservations are not required, but will give us an estimate of how much food we'll need. We are requesting a $10 donation per child at the door to help cover the cost of food, drinks, and fun for the evening. Unfortunately, we can only accomodate current OCT students - no tiny tigers. It's a night you and your kids won't want to miss! We hope to see you there!!

    Fall Festival November 3rd 2p - 6p

    Save the date Saturday November 3rd for the OCT Fall Festival from 2-6 pm. There will be tons of friends, food, and fun including new inflatables like Human Whack-A-Mole, and our First Annual Chili Cook Off. You don't want to miss the fun! Be on the look out for more details coming soon!

    Would you or your business like to help sponsor our fall festival? See the attached packet to learn more about how you can become a “Paws”itively “Tiger”ific Sponsor!

    O.C. Taylor PTA Invites You to Support GRACE!

    In the past, O.C. Taylor has donated cereal boxes to help stock the GRACE pantry; however, this year we will be donating a variety of different items that are needed the most. Each month, we will assign a different grade level an item or two and ask them for donations. Donation baskets will be in the hallway just outside the classroom doors. It is our goal to collect at least one item from every student in that grade. The Grade that comes closest to or succeeds meeting this goal will receive a special treat at the end of the school year.


    ITEMS IN NEED: Canned Tuna and/or Mayonnaise

    Collection baskets are located right outside the 5th Grade Classrooms and

    will be there for the duration of the month.

    Please consider picking up an extra can of tuna and some mayo on your next grocery store visit.

    Thank you for your help and support in serving our community!

    Questions? Concerns?

    Please contact: Dawn Hall at ddahall74@gmail.com


    Box Tops and Amazon Smile

    This year, we will be increasing donations to the OC Taylor PTA thru Box Tops for Education and Amazon Smile! It's a simple way to donate to our school! Here's how you can help:

    #1 Clip out Box Tops for Education and place them on the Box Top collection sheet or in a Ziploc bag. Be sure to place your child's grade level on the bag or collection sheet! We will be counting box tops for our Racing to Recess Challenge. The grade level with the highest level of Box Tops each semester will earn an extra recess and Popsicle party!

    After 3 laps, our current race standings are: 1st Place: 3rd Grade (242), 2nd Place: 4th Grade (211), and 3rd Place: 5th grade (74).

    #2 - Be sure to shop smileamazon.com. .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 amazoningly easy way to earn money for our school!! Remember, you must log on to smileamazon.com every time you shop to ensure your purchases earn money for our school!

    Become a Volunteer!

    Thank you to everyone who has completed the volunteer interest form. We are excited to meet you and work with you this year! If your form got lost between school and home, please just email me that you are interested and I will e-mail you a form. PLEASE REMEMBER: In order to volunteer at the school, YOU MUST complete the steps below:

    1) Complete the District's Volunteer Background Check Application for the 2018-2019 school year. Also, please read and sign the Volunteer Handbook included in the link as well. As a reminder, all volunteers are required to reapply each year.

    2) Complete the PTA Committee Interest form so we can contact you when volunteer opportunities arise that you may be interested in.

    3) If you are new to O.C. Taylor, or have not had the opportunity to volunteer in the past, you will need to attend one of our Volunteer Orientation sessions. These sessions will review the policies and procedures to follow when volunteering, and more information about the PTA at our school.


    Tuesday, Sept. 11th, 2018 – 9:00 AM (in Cafeteria)

    Tuesday, Sept. 11th, 2018 – 6:30 PM (in Library)

    I look forward to meeting you at one of these Volunteer Orientations. If you are unable to attend at these times, please contact me at JHBU99@aol.com


    Jill Tate

    4th VP – Volunteer Coordinator

    Jill Tate



    Thank you!

    Kristin McElroy

    PTA President



    Berri O'Neal

    PTA President Elect