Tiger Time News

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

January 11 - January 15, 2021

Dear O.C. Taylor Families,

As we start a new year, now is a good time to reinforce the good habit of reading with your children daily. For those of you new to O.C. Taylor, we do not have traditional homework. Our nightly expectation is that every child read. Studies reveal that hearing stories read aloud and talking about stories plays a significant role in the success of a child now and in their future.

If you have more than one child, taking the time to read with each one independently is important. Reading is not just about the actual reading. The experience must be a positive one. Use dramatic voices, point to different pictures on the page, and ask your child to predict what will happen next. MRI scans show increased brain activity in children whose parents read with them regularly. We should not stop reading with our children once they read independently.

Research shows that parental involvement in their children’s learning positively affects the child’s performance at school (Fan & Chen, 2001) in both primary and secondary schools (Feinstein & Symons, 1999), leading to higher academic achievement, greater cognitive competence, greater problem-solving skills, greater school enjoyment, better school attendance and fewer behavioral problems at school (Melhuish, Sylva, Sammons et al., 2001).

So, grab a good book, snuggle up beside your child, and read aloud with them! I promise there will be a day in the very near future when you will miss this special time and will long for it.

To the BEST of days,

Principal Pedevilla


Please Read Your Designated 3NW Plan Below

Please take a moment to review our newly revised Third Nine Weeks (3NW) Remote and In-Person Plans. We appreciate everyone following our procedures. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Thank you!

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.


Important Dates

January 11

Go Get 'Em Tiger Day! Wear your Go Get 'Em Tiger shirt!

January 12

8:00 - 9:00 Glamourcraft In-Person Make Up Pictures

9:00 - 11:00 Glamourcraft Remote Make Up Pictures (See Below)

January 13

National Take the Stairs Day.... We don't have stairs, but wear warm-ups or activewear and walk!

January 18

Student/Teacher Holiday, MLK Day

January 19

Go Get 'Em Tiger Day! Wear your Go Get 'Em Tiger shirt!

January 28

Play It Safe (In-Person Learners only)

February 1

First day of Black History Month

100th Day of School (Kinder)

February 5

National Go Red Day. Wear a red shirt!

February 15

Professional Development/No Students


Grade Level Newsletters

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










Assistant Principal Points from Mrs. Bailey

The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority. We ask that all of our parents help support us by adhering to the following guidelines when dropping off your child(ren) at school each morning:

  1. Students may begin entering the building at 7:25 am.
  2. Students need to remain in their vehicle until staff members are outside to monitor and greet them. Staff members who are on duty in the morning will be ready at 7:25 am.
  3. Do not drop off your child(ren) anytime before 7:25 am. This presents a safety concern, as no staff are outside before this time to monitor students.
  4. Students may not wait outside the front doors until they are open at 7:25 am. We are observing large groups of students who are much closer than 6 feet. We need to be proactive in continuing socially distanced practices at all times on campus.
  5. Both of our parking lots continue to remain closed to all visitors.
  6. Visitors are not allowed on campus during arrival and dismissal times. Please remain in your vehicle and staff members will safely escort your child(ren) to your vehicle. If your child walks or rides a bike to school, please say goodbye to them at the crosswalk on Pool Road. Only students and staff members are allowed on the campus grounds during arrival and dismissal.
  7. Parents dropping off and picking up students in the PreK and Kinder Bus Loop may get out of their vehicle to assist their child(ren) in and out of the vehicle. Parents must wear a mask and stay near your vehicle until a staff member escorts your child(ren) to your vehicle.
  8. Late arrivals - If your child arrives after the 7:40 tardy bell, we need you to park in the front Tiger Loop, escort your child(ren) to the front door, ring the bell by the far right door, and sign them in on the clipboard on the white table. Once you ring the bell, our office staff will open the door for your child(ren) to enter the building and walk to their classroom.

Thank you for supporting us with these safety measures. We love all of our Tigers and appreciate you partnering with us as we continue to navigate through this pandemic.


Make-Up and Remote Learners Picture Day - January 12th

On January 12th from 9:00 am - 11:00 am, Glamourcraft Photography will be set up in our Front Foyer. If your student missed Fall Picture Day due to being a remote learner and is still a remote learner, please click here to sign up.

If your student is in-person and missed the Fall Picture Day, make-up pictures will be taken prior to the remote learners from 8:00 am - 9:00 am and there is no need to sign up. The teachers will send them to the front foyer at that time.

If you have any questions, please call Gene Guinane at 817-305-4870.

Thank you!


Tuition-Based Pre-K Lottery

The Tuition-Based Pre-K lottery application window is now open and will close at 10:00 p.m. on Friday, January 15, 2021. Families interested in the District's tuition-based pre-kindergarten program need to complete this application. Students meeting criteria for the state-based program will still be able to apply and qualify in April 2021. For more information on tuition and pre-k qualifications visit GCISD.net/PreK or contact gcisd.pk@gcisd.net.


Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

We will not have school on Monday, January 18 in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Jan. 18, 2021, is the 26th anniversary of the day of service that celebrates the Civil Rights leader’s life and legacy. Observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.

Click here to read "MLK Day: 5 Ways to Help Your Kids Understand the Significance."

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Updates from the Clinic, Nurse Katy

Go Red Day: The American Heart Association’s signature women’s initiative, Go Red for Women, is a comprehensive platform designed to increase women’s heart health awareness. Please show your support by wearing RED on Friday, February 5th.

Lion's Club Recycle for Sight: Lions clubs around the World collect millions of eyeglasses each year to address the need for glasses, making eyeglass recycling one of their most popular and rewarding activities. If you have any eyeglasses or glasses cases you want to donate, send them with your child and have them drop them in the Lion's Club box in the front foyer for recycling.

Health Screening for Students

All of our in-person learners' parents must pre-screen their student for signs and symptoms associated with COVID-19 before bringing your student to school. The signs and symptoms are to screen for are:

  • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit

  • Loss of taste or smell

  • Cough

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Shortness of breath

  • Fatigue

  • Headache

  • Chills

  • Sore throat

  • Congestion or runny nose

  • Shaking or exaggerated shivering

  • Significant muscle pain or ache

  • Diarrhea

  • Nausea or vomiting

If your child demonstrates any of the above signs or symptoms, they must stay home, and you need to report to the campus nurse the signs or symptoms your child is exhibiting. In the event that your child has a fever, they must be kept home from school until they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. Please do not give fever-reducing medication and send your child to school. Additionally, please do not send your child to school if they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or are test-confirmed with COVID-19.


GCISD Reads!

Our Tigers read SO MUCH that some of them completed the GCISD Reads Challenge over the summer! If your child has completed one of the challenges please encourage them to continue to grow as readers by participating in another one.

Information about the GCISD Reads Challenge can be found HERE.

Tech Tired?

Are you looking for ways to balance the technology in your child’s life? Pressed for time? Check out this resource from Common Sense Media! You can receive quick text message tips to help balance the tech in your life.


Updates from the Counselor, Mrs. Whisman

Hello Tiger Families! Beginning in January, our Character Focus from PurposeFull People is PERSEVERANCE. My morning messages, classroom Circle-Ups, and bi-weekly guidance lessons will reinforce the definition of Perseverance: The ability to work through situations even when there are obstacles or challenges in the way. Students will be challenged to look at those obstacles not as stumbling blocks but instead as stepping stones.

If you would like more information about our monthly topic or for ways to get in contact with me, please click here for my newsletter.


Play it Safe - January 28

Play it Safe will be happening at OCT on Jan. 28... via ZOOM... presented by the Women's Center. This program will ONLY BE AVAILABLE for IN-PERSON learners. Remote students will NOT be able to participate.

This is the link to the parent information about a parent preview, OPT out form (in place of the permission slip that normally would go out), and the district guidelines. . If a parent does NOT fill out the OPT out form, their child WILL stay in the room while you have the ZOOM presentation that day.


Changing Instructional Model

(This section has been updated.)

As a reminder, parents are able to switch from in-person to remote learning at any point during the school year. In order to make this change, please contact our campus counselor.

For families that are wishing to change from remote to in-person learning, that may only be done at the end of a grading period. The process for changing to in-person learning requires parents to log in to Skyward Family Access and complete the changing instructional models form prior to the end of the nine-week grading period. Instructions on where to find the form and how to complete it can be found here.

Below is a schedule of when the form will become available, when the form must be received by the campus, and when the change will go into effect:

  • To change after the second nine weeks, parents must complete the form between November 16 and December 4. Your student would begin receiving in-person instruction on January 6.
  • To change after the third nine weeks, parents must complete the form between February 14 and February 26. Your student would begin receiving in-person instruction on March 22.

In accordance with the revised COVID-19 mandate issued by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) on November 5, a Local Education Agency may determine that a student’s attendance and/or academic performance in one or more classes puts them at significant risk of severe learning loss. The Local Education Agency may then request the student to return to in-person learning through the steps outlined by TEA.

If you have any questions regarding the timing of when parents may change the instructional model selected or the associated process, please contact our campus counselor, Stacy Whisman, stacy.whisman@gcisd.net.


Update from GT, Kathy Griffin


  • GT Testing for K / 5th Grades: January 7 through January 22, 2021


  • Referral Window: Jan. 19 - 29, 2021

  • GT Testing Window: Feb. 8th through March 5, 2021

  • Referral for Testing Link: bit.ly/2NT0M0y


Update from Music, Mrs. Vencill

Happy New Year, Tigers! I hope everyone enjoyed a fun winter break and is rested and ready for lots of learning in the OCT music room.

January is the perfect month to practice what we've learned so far this year using music written to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. All grade levels will sing, play instruments, compose rhythm patterns, and listen to music connected to MLK and discuss the strong connection between music and important moments in American history.

2nd - 5th graders will also continue to practice reading notes from the treble clef staff and playing simple melodies on interactive Orff and piano apps.

Wishing you much happiness and GOOD HEALTH in the new year!

Mrs. Vencill

Updates from Art, Mrs. Morgan

Happy 2021!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Winter break and is ready to continue creating and learning about Art!

For the month of January, students will learn about space or depth and distance when creating an art piece.

Kindergarten and 1st Grade: Students will be learning about the parts of a landscape (foreground and background) to create a Fox Landscape.

2nd and 3rd Grade: Students will be reviewing the parts of a landscape (foreground and background) and learning about middle ground, as well as size variation. Students will then create a landscape of their choice.

4th and 5th Grade: Students will be learning about one-point perspective and the vanishing point to create a 3-dimensional looking cityscape.

Keep on Creating!

Mrs. Morgan

Updates from P.E., Coach Mester

Physical Education News:

I hope you had a wonderful holiday break! Wow, how the first semester flew by. We are going to kick the new year off with "Pickleball". This is an awesome activity to improve and sharpen skills needed to play tennis. After PTA generously purchased nets and paddles for us several years ago, it has quickly become a student favorite. We will of course continue working on our overall fitness during warm ups, jogging, and stretching. As a friendly reminder, please wear or bring tennis shoes on your PE days. With the cold weather, I am seeing a lot of boots worn to school.

Coach Mester


For GCISD Bus Riders

In GCISD, the safety of our students and staff is always our top priority. As we continue to improve our COVID-19 procedures, we will be making a slight modification to our routine for all secondary students riding a daily bus route or shuttle when we return from Thanksgiving Break.

In the event a bus rider or driver receives a test-confirmed positive COVID-19 test, we will be collecting real-time information that will speed up the process for the GCISD Health Services Department. This process will allow us to quickly and accurately identify and communicate with close contacts associated with the test-confirmed student or staff member.

All secondary students will be asked to use their device to scan a QR code upon entering a GCISD bus. This QR code will link to a form that requires students to enter their bus number, campus, name, student ID number and seat number. Once they submit the form, they will sit in their assigned seat. This process will need to be completed every time a secondary student rides a GCISD bus.

We appreciate your understanding, as well as your help in keeping our students, staff and community safe.

*If you do not have a QR reader on your phone, you may need to download a QR Reader app.


Free Meals Extension

The USDA has extended its nationwide waiver, allowing GCISD to now offer free meals through June 2021 at all elementary and middle school campuses and meal bundles at curbside locations. Complete information can be found here.

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Please be sure to visit the O.C. Taylor PTA website where you'll be able to fill out some important forms as well as pay your Homeroom Fund Fee (just $10), which helps pay for things during the year like Winter and Valentine's parties and an end of the year gift for the teachers. Our partnership with the PTA is critical for maintaining the exceptional culture we have here at O.C. Taylor!


Fall 2020 Council E-Connection Newsletter

Please read the Fall 2020 Council E-connection Newsletter to see some of what O.C. Taylor PTA has been doing on our campus.

Fall 2020 Council E-Connection Newsletter



Click here to see the happy birthday flyer!
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Helping Our Community

Every year, O.C. Taylor students and the PTA collect donations for GRACE Grapevine, a local

nonprofit serving the needy in our community. In the past, each grade participated during a

specific month of the school year. We want to maximize our impact in the community by

opening up donation collection to the entire school all year long!

For the month of December, we will be collecting unwrapped toys for children.

The grade that collects the most donations each month will win an extra recess!

Donation drop boxes will be placed in the school hallways and in the lobby.

January - Spaghetti Night (Dried pasta, jarred spaghetti sauce)

February - Breakfast (Cereal, oatmeal, or other hot cereals)

March - PBJ (Peanut/nut butter, jars of jelly)

April - Stock the Pantry (Canned tuna, meat, fruit, etc.)

May - Mac & Cheese(Packages of everyone's favorite!)

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Order A Go Get 'Em Tiger Shirt!

Order yourself or your child a Go Get 'Em Tiger Shirt to show your Tiger spirit! Our PTA has other items to purchase as well! Go to their site: tinyurl.com/octspirit

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