Tiger Nation

November 2019

Happy Thanksgiving from Tiger Nation

As we all go our separate ways this week, let us remember why we celebrate this season. We give thanks to our students, their families, our staff, and our community for the blessings we receive each day by serving children.
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Veteran's Day

#Character #Service #Leadership
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On Monday, November 11th, Wills Point Junior High honored our local Veterans by hosting our annual Veterans Day Breakfast and Assembly. We kicked off the morning with a special breakfast for our veterans, put on by our WPJH Student Council and National Junior Honor Society members. The Veterans Day Assembly began immediately following the breakfast. During the assembly, the WPJH Wind Ensemble and Saxophone Ensemble performed multiple patriotic tunes, the WPJH Color Guard displayed the military flags as well as several members of the National Junior Honor Society spoke throughout the program. Our guest speaker was Staff Sergeant Kendal Allen. He gave an awesome message on why America is great, encouraging students to love our country. We had over 80 guests in attendance! WPJH students helped decorate our Honor Hallway, which held student artwork, flags, poppies and multiple pictures of veterans and active military personnel. We appreciate all the hard work displayed by our WPJH staff and students. Overall, it was an incredible experience to honor our local veterans and show our support for our country.

A special shout out is deserved for our Instructional Coach, Jamie Laney. Coach Laney takes the initiative each year to help head up this honorary program. This year, she worked many long days to ensure a successful assembly and we appreciate all her hard work!

Innovative Technology Brings Smiles to Classrooms!

Some very cool and new devices are coming to the district for our English Language Learners. Several of these students will hear teacher instruction in real time in their native languages for optimal learning along with immersion in learning English in context. The students are excited to open the lines of communication on their way to mastery with their classmates.

Mad Scientists!

What if we could get EVERY student in EVERY classroom to love to learn? It’s a tall order, but possible when we give our students a reason to get excited about learning!! We encouraged all teachers at the Primary to ROCK their classroom and create an outside-the-box educational experience for our students during Mad Scientist Day! It didn’t have to be expensive or fancy, but it had to be captivating!

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The science classes at WPHS have had some pretty cool experiments. In biology, students were learning about the concept of osmosis and how different solutions will change the density of the gummy bear. The students were engaged in the conversation discussing their results and comparing it to classmates.

Down the hall in the forensics science classroom, the students were their own special CSI unit! There was one fingerprint they were looking for and they each had to complete the fingerprinting process to find the culprit. The investigation included different ways fingerprints could be gathered using various materials. Some of the fingerprints were viewed underneath microscopes and others were enlarged by putting their prints in a balloon.

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Mr. and Mrs. Fields, two community members, volunteered their time to visit Mrs. Mixon and Mrs. Hurley’s third-grade classes at Woods Intermediate School on Monday, Nov. 18th. The Fields are both engineers. Mr. Fields is a Civil Engineer and Mrs. Fields is a Bridge Engineer. They discussed with the third-grade students whether a bridge was in tension or compression. They had student volunteers stand on an egg carton full of eggs to show compression or tension. Mrs. Fields was on the team that built the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas, Tx. Mr. Fields worked on the Clyde Warren Park project in Dallas, TX. They built and brought in a replica of the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge for the students to enjoy. Our GT students are studying about energy and motion.

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School Board Visits With Surprise!

On Friday morning, our school board members visited every staff member and awarded them a special surprise incentive check for their hard work and dedication to the students of WPISD. Our staff members are grateful for the work that our board gives selflessly to our community! A huge thanks goes to George Wilcoxson, Chuck Allen, Russell Hiler, Jason Groom, Philip McDonald, Tony Cooper, and Jim Lamb. Thank you for YOUR service!
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Future Farmers of America

#Leadership #Service

FFA students recently competed in the Mineola District Leadership Development Contest held at Winona High School. They competed in various contests ranging from; Greenhand Skills, Greenhand Creed, Senior Creed, Job Interview, Radio, Public Relations and Quiz. The Mineola District is considered one of the toughest districts in the State of Texas as far as Leadership Contest. They competed against schools from Smith, Van Zandt and Wood county.

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November Tiger Techs!

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We are so thankful for the many teachers in our district who are stretching themselves and pursuing innovative strategies and tools for our students to stretch themselves. We have 25 teachers within the district who have reached Level 1, 12 teachers have reached Level 2 and 5 have already reached the top level of Tiger Tech. These teachers are not only doing amazing things in their own classrooms but they are sharing experiences with their peers and growing a culture of collaboration on our campuses.

Below are the teachers who reached different levels of Tiger Tech over the past month.

Level 1 (NEW)

Lonnie Sanders (HS Science)

Norma Balderas (2nd grade)

Misty Hoedebeck (2nd grade)

Robert Gail (HS Eco)

Chasity Mixon (3rd grade)

Ashley Weed (Primary Asst Principal)

Jami Wilkinson (MS Tech)

Level 2 (NEW)

Amy Spurger (5th ELA)

Jennifer Brannon (HS ELA)

Brandy Pearson (Primary IC)

Lisa Valentine (5th ELA)

Tiera Homer (HS Math)

Level 3 (NEW)
Typhanie Hill (7th ELA)

High School Achievements

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What an amazing fall it has been for WPHS Athletics! Fall Tennis competed at the State Tournament placing third in 4A Team Tennis. Cross Country advanced both Girls and Boys Teams to Regionals. Football won a District Championship and played a great game in the Bi-District round of the playoffs. Basketball has started for the girls and they are off to a 2-0 start for the year. Boys basketball will get their season started on Nov. 22nd.

Giving Thanks

#Service #Leadership

WPJH celebrated Turkey Day a week early with a yummy Thanksgiving Lunch. Administrators helped serve, teachers ate alongside their students & tons of smiles happened all around our cafeteria. It’s a great day to be a Tiger!

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WPMS invited families to share in their Thanksgiving Feast on Monday, November 18. Over 200 guests joined middle schoolers for the traditional turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, hot rolls, dressing, and green beans. A huge thank you to the Food Service managers, Susan Pace and Juanita Keltner, for helping make this possible.
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Manna Food Drive

#Service #Leadership

At Woods, November means it is time for the Manna Food drive. This year, our 4th-grade students have done an excellent job of promoting and organizing this event. Our 4th graders made posters and daily announcements to encourage our students and staff to bring in food items to support the food drive and the families in the surrounding area that the drive will benefit. They also help pick up all of the donations form the class around the school. Because of the students’ hard work and the support of our Woods parents and the Wills Point community we were able to donate thousands of items.

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VR Headsets

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It is so great to see so many of our students benefiting from the amazing tools at our disposal in the district. With every changing scene in the Virtual Reality headsets, the gasps of wonder and awe will never grow old with me. Over the past month, all our 5th graders got to see volcanoes in Indonesia, Russia, Hawaii and erupting volcanoes from a helicopter and experience a tornado and earthquake simulations. Our 2nd graders got to compare Urban to Rural by seeing Time Square, downtown Dallas, the suburbs of Terrell and Forney and the rural county roads in Wills Point.

Science Vocabulary Parade -

Our annual Science Vocabulary Parade showcased our students’ creativity and inventiveness through their interpretations of their science vocabulary terms. Students designed costumes that represented each word, and we had school board members and various district staff serve as judges. Our students did an outstanding job!

Filling the "Blank Space" at WPJH


Based on her students’ feedback that music could help them remember information more easily, Ms. Lott wrote a song about Native Tribes of Texas to the tune of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Spaces.” She and her students performed the song together throughout the day to review what they have learned during this unit.
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7th grade math students worked together to create real world problems that were then applied to tables, graphs, and solutions from their own equations. They ended with a gallery walk where they learned about each others' examples.

Middle School Instruction Soars to New Heights!

Our 5th grade students have been learning about the 13 original colonies in Social Studies. They are doing collaborative research to create persuasive commercials based on an assigned state. The purpose of their commercial is to educate others about natural resources, important facts, artisans and how they affect the community, food supply, etc., and persuade visitors to move there. Students will also be integrating technology with the use of a green screen during production.

In language arts, they have been learning about moving west and the pioneers with their reading selections. In Ms. England’s classes completed Google slide presentations with partners over four different topics: basket weaving in the 1800s, pioneer children toys and games, how to build sod houses (they had to insert a video clip), plus facts about the wagon train on the Oregon Trail with a video to support their knowledge. The students then wove baskets and quickly realized that they prefer modern conveniences!

Stop Drop and Roll!

#Service #Leadership

Mr. Shawn Davis, a Wills Point community member, and Balch Springs Fire Marshal, recently visited with the students at Woods to talk about fire safety. The students learned about the importance of having a family fire evacuation plan and a predetermined place for the family to meet in case of a house fire. Students were taught to stay low and find the nearest exit, which could be a window or a door. It was emphasized to the students the importance of getting out of the house and leaving belongs behind and not to go back into the house for any reason. They also learned that fire alarms need to be checked monthly and that the batteries need to be changed twice a year. Mr. Davis suggested to the students that this be done at the same time we adjust the clocks during time changes.

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Get Your Yearbook Today!

Have you ordered your yearbook yet (www.balfour.com) ? The Tiger is $55 through Thanksgiving day. Here is a sneak peek at a couple of pages.
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Technology Upgrades!

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The Technology Team (with the help of the High School Chrome Crew) is working diligently to get new technology ordered, enrolled and distributed to the students and staff of WPISD. Recently, the School Board allowed additional expenditures for technology devices. The Primary campus had been previously identified for upgrades for instructional technology and was the recipient of most of the hardware.

The majority of the iPads in the district were end of life. Three hundred and fifty new Android tablets have been purchased exclusively for the students at Wills Point Primary. Additionally, twenty Aver wireless interactive panels were acquired for teachers to aid in the facilitation of instruction. Interactive panels will eventually take the place of projectors, they are placed on a mobile cart and provide the teacher with effortless collaboration and engagement. iPads in the Intermediate school will be replaced with versatile 2-in-1 Chromebooks. With this transitional device in second grade, students will be able to adapt easily from Primary school tablets to using a Chromebook by third grade. It provides the ability to interact with its screen the way they’re used to interacting with most devices – through touch.

Teacher grants distributed through the Wills Point ISD Education Foundation added about 60 Chromebooks to the district’s fleet. Because of the influx of technology, the School Board allowed the Technology Department to purchase upgrades for the wireless infrastructure. The district is currently assessing the wireless coverage and identifying areas in need of enhancement. It is expected that most of the improvements will be in place by spring of 2020.

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Paraprofessional of the Month

Teacher of the Month

Department Recognition

District Raises Funds to Fight Juvenile Diabetes


WPHS and WPJH Tigerettes participated in the JDRF One Walk on Saturday, November 16th. Our district is proud of these ladies and their service to others. WPISD staff and students raised $620 in ONE DAY to donate to the cause.
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Rocket Launch!

In our WPMS Rocketry Club, we have had five students complete their first Mercury level of National Association of Rocketry requirements. Each member had to complete the following requirements: (1) Do one of the following - Fly and successfully recover a ready-to-fly rocket two times and assemble a rocket with single or multi-piece plastic fins and fly successfully two times; or assemble a rocket with balsa or stiff card stock fins and fly successfully two times. (2) Assemble a rocket at least 24” long and fly successfully two times.

Upon completion of flights, each member was required to complete a verification document and attach a picture for each section they completed. These documents have been sent to the National Association of Rocketry for approval. These students will receive a certificate of completion along with a level 1 pin. Congratulations to Panha Phay, Eli Brewer, Micah Barnes, Rheann Shaw, and Bryant Fritchman on their accomplishment!

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Safety and Security with Chief Wilhelm

WPISDPD is now fully licensed and a functional police department. We will continue to utilize Officer Jones with the City of WP until our current contract expires with the city. Chief Wilhelm is finalizing some procedures and policies for our district police department.

During last months newsletter, Chief Wilhelm stated “We are working towards streamlining and centralizing our security technologies, to include surveillance, and access control.” He is happy to report that we have received approval from the board of trustees to move forward with upgrades to our surveillance systems, access control (key cards), and install a new district wide radio system. Things are definitely moving in the right direction, says Chief Wilhelm.

The WPISDPD entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Child Advocacy Center (CAC) of Van Zandt County. This agreement will allow district personnel to refer students to the CAC during times of need and when children are involved with sexual assaults, family violence, abuse, and family related issues. This is a huge resource that benefits our students who are in crisis. they are a strategic partner in keeping our students safe, providing preventative educational programs, as well as cooperating with investigation where children are harmed.

Our district wide E-cig program for students with be deployed in December. Stay tuned for further details...

The last implementation phase of the Raptor visitor management system is being completed this month. We hope to be fully functional by Dec. 1st. We ask that all staff where their ID badges and assist those who are not. This system will help ensure visitors on campuses are accounted for and in the right place on our campuses.

Community Events

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Wills Point is gearing up for a busy season! There are plenty of ways to enjoy the Christmas season here in Tiger Nation.

Dec 4 White Gift Service

Dec 9 Kindergarten Christmas Musical

Dec 11 Band performs for Elementary Campuses (Christmas carol concert)

Dec 12 MS Christmas Musical

Dec 16 4th grade Christmas Musical

Dec 17 JH Band Concert

Christmas on the Bricks

Please join us for Wills Point's Annual Christmas on the Bricks on December 7, 2019. Many WPISD organizations and campuses will be participating in the parade and festival. Come out to support these young people and their efforts!

White Gift Service

#Character #Service #Leadership

December 4, 2019. WPHS Cafetorium. 7:00pm

Each year, students across all campuses bring the Nativity story to WPHS. This has been a time honored tradition here in Tiger Nation since. Seniors have the honor of portraying the angels, Wise Men, Kings, Mary, and Joseph. Young Tigers from elementary campuses are chosen to be the "Children of the World", and Middle School students perform in a choir. Participation in the White Gift Service quite an honor. Admission is one canned good per person, wrapped in white paper. Donations of canned goods are given to to our community food pantry to help those in need. White Gift Service is one of the many service projects that our students participate in throughout the year.

Enjoy images from previous performances throughout the years.

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Calendar of Events

Primary School

Dec 2nd - 20th Themed Dress Up Days

Dec. 6th PTO Hospitality

Dec. 7th Christmas Parade

Dec. 9th Kindergarten Musical

Dec. 20th Class Parties (9:30 a.m - 10:30 a.m.)

Dec. 20th Early Release at (11:00 a.m.)

Dec. 20th - Jan. 7th Winter Break

Jan. 8th Back to School

Woods Intermediate

Nov. 25th- 29th - Thanksgiving Break

Dec. 6th - PTO Hospitality

Dec. 7th - Wills Point Christmas Parade

Dec. 9th- 3rd Grade Field Trip to Dallas Children’s Theater

Dec. 16th - 4th Grade Music Program

Dec. 19th- 2nd 9 Weeks Attendance Reward Party

Dec. 20th - Class Christmas Parties (9:15-10:00)

Dec. 20th- Early Dismissal (11:00 a.m.)?

Dec. 20th- Jan. 7th Christmas Break

Jan. 10th - Academic Pep-Rally

Middle School

Dec. 4th - Progress reports sent home

Dec. 5th - Kona Ice

Dec. 7th - Christmas on the Bricks Parade

Dec. 12th - Middle School Music Night 6:30 @ HS main gym

Dec. 13th - 6th grade band concert for student body 2:45

Dec. 20th - Christmas parties and early dismissal (11:10)

Dec. 20th - Jan. 7th - Christmas Break

Jan. 8th - Report cards go home

Jan. 10th - Academic Assembly 2:45

Junior High

Dec. 2 Girls BB @ Home

Dec. 2 Boys BB vs. Brownsboro

Dec.9th- Boys BB @ Home

Dec. 9th- Girls BB vs. Mabank

Dec. 12th- Parent Night 5:30-7:00

Dec. 20th- Early Dismissal

High School

Dec. 2nd - Balfour Ring Delivery Lunches

Dec. 3rd- Balfour Ring Delivery Lunches

Dec. 3rd- Boys BB @ Caddo Mills

Dec. 3rd- Girls BB vs. Eustace

Dec. 4th - White Gift Service 7pm

Dec.5th- Girls BB Wills Point Tournament

Dec.5th- Boys BB @ Edgewood Tournament

Dec. 5th- GAP Graduation Ceremony 6:30pm

Dec.6th- Girls BB Wills Point Tournament

Dec.6th- Boys BB @ Edgewood Tournament

Dec.7th- Girls BB Wills Point Tournament

Dec.7th- Boys BB @ Edgewood Tournament

Dec 10th- STAAR EOC Retesting

Dec. 10th- Girls BB vs. Community

Dec. 10th- Boys BB @ Ferris

Dec. 11th- STAAR EOC Testing

Dec. 12th- STAAR EOC Retesting

Dec.12th- Girls BB @ Edgewood Tournament

Dec.12th- Boys BB Wills Point Tournament

Dec.12th- Girls BB @ Edgewood Tournament

Dec.12th- Boys BB Wills Point Tournament

Dec. 13th- STAAR EOC Retesting

Dec.13th- Girls BB @ Edgewood Tournament

Dec.13th- Boys BB Wills Point Tournament

Dec.14th- Girls BB @ Edgewood Tournament

Dec.14th- Boys BB Wills Point Tournament

Dec. 17th - Girls BB @ Saltillo

Dec. 17th - Boys BB @ Waxahachie Life

Dec. 18th - Mid-Term Exams Periods

Dec. 19th - Mid-Term Exams Periods

Dec. 20th - Mid-Term Exams Periods

Dec. 20th- Early Dismissal 11:30am

Dec. 27th - Girls BB @ Kaufman Tournament

Dec. 27th - Boys BB @ Holiday Tournament Allen

Dec. 28th - Girls BB @ Kaufman Tournament

Dec. 28th - Boys BB @ Holiday Tournament Allen

Dec. 31st - Boys BB vs. Eustace

Jan. 6th - Student Holiday

Jan7th - Student Holiday

Jan. 8th - Spring Semester Starts

Jan. 8th - Girls BB vs. Grand Saline

Jan. 8th - Boys BB @ Grand Saline