Bell Bulletin

February 24, 2018

Next Safety Steps - Arrival

Bell Elementary Families:

The last few weeks we have been monitoring all systems in and out of the building, looking for ways we can add to the safety of our students. One area that has stood out is arrival each morning. We ask for your help with the following:

1. Please do not drop your children off in any parking lots and have them walk across lanes to get to school. The parking lot is for those parking to walk their children in. Please remain in your car and in a drop off line so we can safely get students in the building.

2. The front of the school circle drive will remain the same. Two lanes of traffic will be moving, and staff will be directing traffic and helping students out of cars and across the two lanes of drop off. There is never a third lane open in the middle to pass cars in front of you - that is where our staff stand to direct traffic.

3. We will be monitoring the back drop-off area (cafeteria drop off) for students being dropped off to eat breakfast this week looking for ways this area can be safer. Changes may be put in place such as adding cones to make this a one lane drop off area. We will communicate any changes with you as soon as we can assess the cafeteria drop-off area more closely. Be on the lookout! Thank you to the parents who have reached out to us with ideas this week! We appreciate your help and feedback! Again, parking lot drop off is not safe and will not be allowed. *Note - If you arrive at 7:40 or later, you must walk your children in through the front entrance doors. The cafeteria doors are only open until 7:40.

4. When the 7:40 AM tardy bell rings, instruction is starting, and parents will not be able to access the building. Students that come in after this time will walk to class independently. The first 20 minutes after the 7:40 bell rings is critical for our building safety. As doors lock, administration spends this time each day day doing a security sweep of the building (checking all doors, ensuring students are in classrooms, and etcetera). At this time, parents arriving prior to 7:40 will continue to be allowed to walk their children to class if you choose. Once class time has begun, our sign-in system in the front office will continue to be used for family members who have planned conferences with teachers, are scheduled to volunteer, or are eating lunch with their children. Please make sure the visitor badges are visible on your shirt so staff and students know you are an approved visitor. Thank you, in advance, for your help in protecting our childrens' instructional time and allowing administration to ensure the safety and security of the building!

You are our greatest allies with ensuring student safety, and we thank you for partnering with us! Many, many families have reached out to me this week and expressed that they would rather be inconvenienced by a slightly slower system than something be unsafe for children, and we appreciate that you think about ALL our students.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at (972) 347-7200.


Lauren Shapiro

Principal, Bell Elementary

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Good Time for a Refresher: Dismissal Procedures and Map

Our student body is currently 810 students strong. This is a lot of students to get out of the building at the same time safely. We appreciate your continued patience!


The back parking lot by the cafeteria will be closed for dismissal. Parking will not be allowed for "walkers" on campus, and there will be no through traffic in this area for the safety of our students. 2nd Grade - 5th Grade students will walk out the cafeteria doors, along the sidewalk, and across the street with the appropriate crossing guard. If you walk with your child, you may walk and meet them at the crosswalk area! Kindergarten and 1st grade students will exit the building from the office, and walk to the grassy area by our school marquee and crosswalk. Kindergarten students will stay with a kindergarten teacher in this area so kinder parents or older siblings may come get their kindergarten child in this location and walk them home. Kindergarten students are not allowed to walk alone. 1st grade parents are welcome to meet their first grader here to walk home together, but that is not required as it is with our kindergarten walkers - 1st grade walkers may walk on their own. It is important that if you plan on walking with your child you are at the crosswalk area by 3:00, or you may miss your child walking home. Most of our families walk from home to meet their children, and then walk home. If you must drive to pick up your child(ren), please consider changing your child's dismissal to a car rider (car tag area), and we will get them safely to your car without you even having to get out! Please do not park directly across the street from the crosswalk to pick up your walker as it causes congestion on a tiny street and an unsafe street area for students. Please do not park in the front parking lot and expect your children to walk across traffic to get to you. This is not safe! Please help by following city laws including leaving distance from the stop sign, not blocking neighbor’s driveways, etc. Students will be led by staff to crosswalks and will not be allowed to run to the street to get inside a guardian’s passing car. Student walkers go out of the building as walkers rain or shine! If you need to change your child's dismissal procedures, please contact the Bell front office by 2:00 PM at (972) 347-7200 or

Car Riders/Car Tag Area:

All students that are “car tag” will be escorted by a teacher to the designated locations at 3:00. Parents will be issued a car tag to hang from their rearview mirror. All Kinder-5th grade students who are “car riders” will be picked up at the front of the school. Anyone who comes through the car line to pick up a child MUST have the school car tag and remain in their car. If they do not have the tag, they will have to park and to come into the front office of the school, show ID and sign the child out. Please know that your wait in the office will be until car dismissal is over and students not yet picked up come to the front office. This is to ensure safety and that mistakes are not made. Please do not get out of your vehicle in the pick up lane. If you need to buckle your child in a car seat, please pull up past the last cone; this will allow us to keep the line moving at a steady pace. Students remain safely inside the building, listening for their numbers. When their number is called, students walk to the colored square that corresponds to their car tag number. A Bell staff member helps students in their car. Our staff and families have this down to a science, and car tag dismissal ends by about 3:25 each day, just a few minutes behind our walker dismissal.

As a reminder, all visitors to Bell Elementary, even at dismissal time, need to go through the front office for a visitor's badge. Parents will not be allowed to enter the cafeteria doors into the building at dismissal time.

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2017 Bell School Report Card and Academic Performance Report

Dear Bell Families,

Each year, the Texas Education Agency publishes a school report card and an academic performance report for each campus in the state. These reports for Bell can be found at the links below.

2017 Bell School Report Card

2017 Bell Academic Performance Report

The reports provide information concerning student performance on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR), as well as information on student enrollment, attendance rates, class size averages, and financial information.

2017 SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITY RATING: In 2017, Bell Elementary earned a Met Standard rating from the state of Texas for excellence in academic achievement. This rating was earned because of the hard work of our teachers and students and is based on four performance measures that are identified in the 2017 Performance Index section on the school report card.

While we do not measure our students’ success at Bell based solely on performance on the STAAR test, we celebrate the dedication of our teachers and students which lead to student growth. Because we believe in continuous improvement, we are constantly seeking ways to improve in our ability to help all students learn and achieve at high levels. The collaboration and support of our parents is essential to our success, so we thank you for partnering with us. Should you have any questions about our school report card, please contact me at 972-347-7200.


Lauren Shapiro

Principal, Bell Elementary

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Volunteers Are Welcome

Plan on volunteering? Helping on a field trip? Please complete your volunteer application/background check! A new one is needed each school year and must be completed before you can volunteer with students. Information is provided on the link below. We can't wait to see you on campus!

Accepting Responsibility

Building character is important to us at Bell Elementary! We believe in our students and want them to have the opportunity to grow in their character as well as in their academics. This includes helping students learn about their strengths and how they contribute to their classroom and school with those strengths, building problem solving skills, and practicing skills such as kindness, conflict resolution, forgiveness, resilience, goal setting, leading by example, helpfulness, and more!

Our fifth core value is "Accepting Responsibility". During the month of February we will learn about taking responsibility for our words and actions before we act as well as taking ownership for mistakes after they happen.

3 steps to accepting responsibility:

1. Confession - Announce what you did wrong

2. Ownership - Accept TOTAL responsibility for your actions. Don't worry about what others think about you because you are owning the situation. No blaming others!

3. Change - Desire to do something different and not repeat. Plan of action.

This conversation will start on daily morning announcements with a quote about character and a daily challenge to staff and students given by Mrs. Shapiro. Please help us at home by sharing ways you have, and continue to, take responsibility for your actions and mistakes, and how this has impacted your life!

A few quotes we will use to help spring conversation with students include:

- Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out.

- A mistake repeated more than once is a decision. -Paulo Coelho

- You are always responsible for how you act, no matter how you feel. Remember that.

- More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them.

- Blowing out someone else's candle doesn't make yours shine any brighter.

- What would happen if I could think consequences before I act?

- You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequence of your choice.

- Leadership is about taking responsibility, not making excuses. -Mitt Romney

- Complaining is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere. -Glenn Turner

- If you hang out with chickens, you're going to cluck, and if you hand out with eagles, you're going to fly. -Dr. Steve Maraboli

We will continue to focus on being 212 throughout the school year and how our core values feed into this.

"At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. And with boiling water, comes steam. And with steam, you can power a train. Just one extra degree makes all the difference." -Sam Parker, 212 the extra degree

Are You Connected?

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Not a PTA member yet? It's not too late! Stop by the office and we can get you set up!

Dates to Remember

March 1st: Spring Picture Day

Only for students that want pictures and bring back their picture day sheet (not all students will take pictures). Picture Day sheets coming home soon!

March 2nd: Read Across America Day/Dr. Seuss Day

Students will enjoy a wonderful day of celebrating reading! *Dress Like Your Favorite Dr. Seuss Character! Note - students will be having a great day in class whether they are dressed up or not! :)

March 12th - March 16th: No School

Spring Break - Have an amazing time with your friends and family!

March 19th: No School - Staff Development Day

March 23rd: Pastries with Parents Sponsored by Bell PTA

More info to come!

April 6th: Bell Spring Fine Arts Show

Bell Elem, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Come and go event, Last entry at 7:40 PM

Come stroll through Bell to enjoy student art work displays and listen to 4th/5th grade choir as they sing on stage in the cafeteria. The Bell Tones take the stage at 6:30 PM!

April 10th: STAAR Testing

4th Grade Writing, 5th Grade Math

*Campus Closed to Visitors on STAAR Testing Days

April 11th: STAAR Testing

5th Grade Reading

*Campus Closed to Visitors on STAAR Testing Days

April 14th: Bobcat Bash hosted by PTA

More info to come!

4:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Bell outdoors

April 30th: General PTA Meeting

Bell Cafeteria 6 PM

May 14th: STAAR Testing

3rd & 4th Grade Math

5th Grade Math (retest)

*Campus Closed to Visitors on STAAR Testing Days

May 15th: STAAR Testing

3rd & 4th Grade Reading

5th Grade Reading (retest)

*Campus Closed to Visitors on STAAR Testing Days

May 16th: STAAR Testing

5th Grade Science

*Campus Closed to Visitors on STAAR Testing Days

May 18th: Bell Field Day

More info to come!

May 23rd: Early Release Day @ 12:00 noon

Please make sure you communicate any dismissal changes with the school!

May 24th: Early Release Day @ 12:00 noon

Please make sure you communicate any dismissal changes with the school!

May 24th: Last Day of School