OCT Tiger Time News

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

February 10-14, 2020


Dear OCT Families,

Thank you to the OCT PTA for hosting our Sock Hop on Friday night! The children had a blast! Thank you to the parents who volunteered and decorated. Thank you to the parents who gave up a Friday night to be with your child at school. You will have that memory for a lifetime. As I say often, childhood is fleeting. You will not regret the time you pour into your relationship with them. I am here to cheer you on!

Valentine’s Day, this coming Friday, Feb. 14, will be celebrated with class parties, and class moms/dads have been working hard at planning on spreading the love among the children. All families are all invited to attend the parties on Friday at 2:00. If you would like to enter the building quickly, I invite each person visiting to complete a Fast Pass by clicking here. before Weds., Feb. 12 at 4:00 p.m. Then, just show your driver's license in the Fast Pass lane to get your preprinted name tag. Thank you for helping us to keep our students safe.

It does not take Valentine’s Day to remind the Tigers of the need to communicate kindness and love. We recognize and acknowledge the inherent goodness in each other on a daily basis. Being inclusive at our school can be as meaningless as the message on a candy heart if we don’t show it through our actions and words. We celebrate Valentine's Day every day by banishing bullying behavior, standing up for others who can't stand up for themselves, showing respect to each other, and being kind to others and ourselves. We show our affection for our school by keeping it free of litter, making safe choices at recess, and making a commitment to come to O.C. Taylor each day, on time, ready to learn and contribute.

It does not take long before being in the O.C. Taylor building to witness the supportive acts of staff, marvel at our daily volunteers, attend a PTA event, or participate in one of our many charitable drives to recognize that huge hearts are alive and well in our caring community.

I wish you all a happy Valentine’s Day and thank you for sharing your loving children with us. They are very much loved by me and the staff at O.C. Taylor!

To the BEST of days,

Principal Pedevilla

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.


Upcoming Events

Monday, February 10

Tigers, wear your Tiger shirt and jeans today!

Tuesday, February 11

Wednesday, February 12

2:55 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. Yearbook

2:55 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. TTT

3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. NEHS

4:00 Deadline for Valentine's Day Fast Pass

Thursday, February 13

2:55 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Choir

Friday, February 14

2:00 p.m. Valentine's Day Class Parties

Monday, February 17

Student Holiday - No School

Tuesday, February 18

Interim Assessment - 5th Grade Math

Wednesday, February 19

Interim Assessment - 5th Grade Reading

2:55 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.Yearbook

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Student-Led Conferences Grades 3, 4, 5

Thursday, February 20

2:55 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Choir

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Student-Led Conferences Grades K, 1, 2

Friday, February 21

7:50 a.m. - Kinder Rodeo Parade

2:00 p.m. - Kinder Rodeo Day

3:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. Running Club

Monday, February 24

Tigers, wear your Tiger shirt and jeans today!

Interim Assessment - 3rd/4th Grade Math

10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Carter Blood Drive

Tuesday, February 25

Interim Assessments - 3rd/4th grade Reading

Spring Individual/Group Pictures

Wednesday, February 26

2:55 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. Yearbook

3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. NEHS

Thursday, February 27

2:55 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Choir

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Game On - CMS South Gym

Friday, February 28

3:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. Running Club

7:30 p.m. Brahmas Hockey Game (OCT Choir Sings)


Grade Level Newsletters

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










Important Links


OCT and GCISD Updates

Assistant Principal Points from Mrs. Bailey

The heart of my role is fostering and promoting social and emotional wellness for all of our Tigers. As the facilitator of our GREAT Tiger Committee on campus, my goal is to bring together representatives from each campus team in order to collaborate on our OCT Student Care Plan. Our classroom teachers spend intentional, daily time in Circle Up with their classes. Students share common reflections, goals, and discuss conflicts as they arise within the class or groups. Teachers also facilitate Restorative Chats with individual students and small groups. They guide students through a conversation to get to the root of the problem. Students and teachers can then focus on how to use appropriate strategies to repair relationships with peers and/teachers after the conflict. We also focus on management strategies and techniques for self-regulating when emotions start to get the best of our brains. I highly encourage you to use the hand model to educate yourself and your child(ren) about the brain and emotions.

When I check-in or meet with students, I share a few of these self-regulating strategies to help them tame their emotions: deep breathing, drink water, palm squeeze and release, and calming kit fidgets or squishies. I tell students that as an adult, I strive to be mindful of my own emotions and also use many of the previously mentioned strategies to help myself when stressors are high. If you would like to learn more about brain science and conflict resolution, please check out this article. All of your children are precious, and it is so important for them to learn at an early age to identify and self-regulate their emotions. I am here to partner with you and collaborate in any way I can.

Please reach out with any questions or concerns,

Assistant Principal Bailey

(817) 305-4870




Updates from Counseling and Guidance, Mrs. Whisman

Please click here to see the Counselor Corner Newsletter.
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SAVE THE DATE - May 1, 2020

Would you like to come to O.C. Taylor and share with our students about your CAREER? We'd love to have you! On May 1, 2020 we will be observing Career Day! If you are interested in presenting or have a connection to someone who would like to join us, please fill out this form.


Updates from Learning Commons, Mrs. Bonacci

Hello O. C. Taylor Families!

The Learning Commons is humming with the sounds of engaged learners! We have so many wonderful options for our Tigers to explore. The Tiger Time Production Studio (green screen) provides students with the opportunity to create videos about topics they are studying and books they are reading. We appreciate all of the costumes and puppets you have donated! The 3D printers are being used to print things like cipher wheels, Mt. Rushmore, and even a tiny representation of the Alamo!

We need consumables such as markers, colored pencils, and glue sticks. Any crafty/creative items are greatly appreciated. Students of all ages love to use paper punches and fun foam.

Thank you for your continued support for our O. C. Taylor Tigers.


Updates from our Nurse Katy

  • Battle of the tabs: I want to continue collecting aluminum tabs for the Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth. Collecting tabs is a great way for all of us to really make a difference in the lives of families and children in need. The Battle of the Tabs is a competition between schools to see who can donate the most pounds of pop tabs to RMHFW. The winner will be announced on Earth Day, April 22, 2020. Please save all of your aluminum tabs and have your student bring them to school. I will have labeled jars for collection.
  • Lions Recycle for Sight: If you have any old glasses or sunglasses, please consider donating them. The Lions Club cleans them and sorts them by prescription and then gets them to people who need them around the world! There is a donation box located in the front office.
  • Donations: If you are doing Spring cleaning or shopping, I am needing a few items in the clinic. Size 4T, 5T, and 6 boys underwear. All sizes in girls shorts/pants/leggings. Thank you SO much for your help! :)
  • Re-screens: I am still working on re-screening any students who failed their vision and/or hearing tests. If you see envelopes in your student's folders or backpacks, these are the referral letters. These letters need to be taken with you to the appointment, signed by the appropriate physician, and then returned to me for my records.
  • If your child is sick: Please keep students at home until they are fever and/or symptom-free for at least 24 hours without any medication. In GCISD, a temperature of 100 degrees is considered to be a fever. Encourage healthy habits at home to help prevent the spread of illnesses. Washing hands with soap and water (sing Happy Birthday song or ABCs twice!) Coughing and sneezing into elbows or a Kleenex instead of hands. Not touching the face- especially the T-zone. Getting plenty of rest. Staying hydrated.


Updates from GT LEAD, Mrs. Griffin

Please click here to see the newsletter.


Kids Heart Challenge (Formerly Jump Rope for Heart)

Our students will be learning all about heart disease, exercise, and healthy eating over the next few weeks, and this Friday, February 14th we will have our Kids Heart Challenge event! We hope you will join us as we work to support the American Heart Association’s mission of saving lives. Sign up through the App – search Kids Heart Challenge or online at http://www2.heart.org/goto/OCTaylorElementary.

Last year we raised over $13,000; this year we have set a goal of $14,100 to help fight heart disease! To help us reach our goal, we are taking a SLIME CHALLENGE!!! Any student who raises $150 in donations will get to SLIME COACH MESTER OR COACH MAC!!!

Check out our Heart Hero Alexa explaining more about this fun experience: https://youtu.be/mJYbsNji1QA

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Valentine's Day Party FAST PASS!!

If you plan to attend your child's Valentine's Day Party this coming Friday, February 14th from 2:00 p.m.-2:55 p.m., consider completing a FAST PASS. A FAST PASS allows you to skip the line at the Kiosk. All you will have to do is show your driver's license to get your pre-printed sticker and go to the party. Click here and submit the form PRIOR to Weds., Feb. 12 at 4:00 p.m. for each person who is attending.
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Parent Tech Academy

The next Parent Tech Academy will be Hour of Code: Parent Addition. It will be hosted on February 12th from 6:15 PM to 7:30 PM at the Professional Development Education Center at 5800 Colleyville Boulevard.

Come experience hands-on coding as the GCISD Instructional team brings the hour of code activities to our parents and community.

Please pre-register here so we can have enough materials for hands-on activities for everyone.


CMS Information Night - February 18

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You can also find information on our website cmscoltspta.org

In addition to these links the school also has a Facebook account, Twitter, an Instagram. It’s under Colleyville Middle School. The PTA and the school are big on communication, so like both the schools links and the PTAs links.

Jennifer Bargy

CMS PTA President



Transportation Services Survey

Transportation Services wants to hear from our student bus riders! A student survey will be available through Classlink this week in order to gather feedback regarding their experience riding GCISD buses. If they are a bus rider, they can click on the bus icon in Classlink to complete the survey. This information will help the transportation team plan for the future and identify any trends. If your student is a bus rider, please encourage them to complete the online survey from their student device.


Spring Interim Assessment Window February 18 - March 6

The Spring Interim Assessment Window is nearing. The window is

  • February 18- March 6

    • English I

    • English II

    • Grades 3-8 Math and Reading

    • Algebra I

    • Bio, Grade 5/8 Science - OPTIONAL

    • US HISTORY, Grade 8 Social Studies - OPTIONAL

During the window, February 18- March 6, all district-issued student CHROMEBOOKS (grades 5-8) will be placed in KIOSK mode for test security purposes. To exit KIOSK mode, students will need to hold down the CTRL-ALT-S key combination.

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Yearbook Order Information

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Doodle 4 Google 2020

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O.C. Taylor Staff Shout-Outs

If you would like to send a positive shout-out to a staff member, please complete this brief form. Staff members will be recognized each month during our faculty meetings.


You're Invited! Thursday, February 13th

GES PTA invites you to a presentation by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an adults only PTA program on Thursday, February 13 at Grapevine Elementary from 6:30pm-8pm.

This presentation is for parents, educators, and any professionals working with children discussing the apps and websites kids are using, how to identify warning signs of kids engaged in risky behaviors online, and how to discuss appropriate online behavior with kids. Topics include cyberbullying, sexting, sharing too much information online, online privacy, and abduction prevention.

Please RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/internet-safety-for-parents-grapevine-pta-tickets-86943730037.



Take Care of Texas Art Contest, by March 6th

2020 Take Care of Texas Kids Art Contest (Elementary Only)

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Texas Chemical Council are excited to kick off the 2020 Take Care of Texas Kids Art Contest. Sixteen students—and one lucky teacher—will win a tablet or laptop! Prizes are provided by Texas Chemical Council.

To enter, K-5th grade students should create a unique piece of artwork portraying the positive ways people can Take Care of Texas by keeping the air and water clean, conserving water and energy, and reducing waste. You can see the winning artwork from previous years.

All entries must be postmarked on or before March 6, 2020 to be eligible. Please read our contest rules and complete the entry form to return with the artwork. Winners will be announced on April 15, 2020.

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Math Telescoping Exams (Elementary and Middle School), opens February 14th

Testing opportunities for telescoping in math for the 2020-2021 school year are available in the spring and summer for GCISD students who are completing Grades K - 7.

The Math Telescoping Information Packet will be available on the district website under the For Parents and Students Directory by selecting the link for Acceleration Exams, Math Telescoping, Grades K - 7.

Parents will find information about the requirements to qualify for Math Telescoping and instructions about the TWO STEP Online Registration Process. There will be links to print the Information Packet, begin the TWO STEP Online Registration Process to register for the spring exams, view the TEKS on the TEA website, and download Study Guides for the exams purchased from UT-Austin.

The online registration form will go live on February 14th for the April 18th test administration.

The online registration form will go live on May 4th for the June 17th test administration.

The exam dates and registration deadlines for each exam date are listed below:

Spring Exam Date: Saturday, April 18, 2020 at 9:00 am | Colleyville Middle School

Online Registration Opens – Spring Exam Date: February 14, 2020

Online Registration Deadline – Spring Exam Date: March 2, 2020

The online registration form will not be available on March 3, 2020

Exam Fee Payment Deadline – Spring Exam Date: March 3, 2020

Summer Exam Date: Wednesday, June 17, 2020 at 9:00 am | Colleyville Middle School

Online Registration Opens – Summer Exam Date: May 4, 2020

Online Registration Closes – Summer Exam Date: May 18, 2020

The online registration form will not be available on May 19, 2020

Exam Fee Payment Deadline – Summer Exam Date: May 19, 2020

Spanish version


LEAP into Wellness, Feb. 29

Join us for a Safety, Health and Wellness Conference geared towards students of all ages and families on February 29. Please view the flyer for more information.

LEAP into Wellness Flyer


GCISD Walk of Honor, by Apr. 30

The GCISD Walk of Honor seeks to identify and recognize individuals who have become an important part of the GCISD story. Anyone may complete a nomination form and submit the required documents to the Walk of Honor Selection Committee. Each fall, new honorees are honored at a recognition event, and a permanent display of all honorees is housed at Mustang Panther Stadium in the Walk of Honor area. Nominations for next year’s class of honorees are now being accepted. The deadline to submit a nomination for consideration is April 30, 2020. Please visit the Nominate page for details.



OCT 2nd Grade Team

Jessica Martin, Ashley Pettit, Chloe Rodenberger, Julie Lee, Kim Knudson
Jessica Martin, Ashley Pettit, Chloe Rodenberger, Julie Lee, Kim Knudson

Miss Chloe Rodenberger (Miss R)

Miss Rodenberger graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Grand Valley State University in Michigan, very close to Lake Michigan. She is certified Early Childhood-6th General Education and Early Childhood-12th Grade Special Education.

She lives in Grapevine with her dog Jimmy Dean; however, most of her family lives in Michigan. She has one older brother who is a military veteran, a younger sister who just graduated from Grand Valley State University, and a niece who is in 2nd grade.

She loves learning which drives her to inspire a love for learning in all of her students. Her favorite part about teaching is getting to know each student and being able to make learning fun.

In her spare time, she likes reading. She is currently reading Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. She also enjoys hiking with her dog, kayaking, skiing, and relaxing at home.

An interesting fact about her is she has played 11 different sports and 2 different instruments (piano and violin) in her life. Her favorite sports were ballet and track.

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Mrs. Julie Lee

Mrs. Lee graduated with an Associates of Arts Degree from New Mexico Junior College and a Bachelor of Science degree from West Texas State University. She is certified to teach Grades 1-8 and Physical Education. She also has an English Second Language certification and a Kindergarten Endorsement.

Her greatest strength as a teacher is Making Math Workshop FUN!!! (She makes life more fun!) Her greatest career accomplishments are being named Friend of Children (two times @ Glenhope Elementary School), being named "Everyday is a Friday Award," and she is a GCISD Valor Graduate.

Her favorite food is mashed potatoes. Blue is her favorite color. It reminds her of water, which is very calming to her, especially waterfalls.

Her advice to parents is to slow down and enjoy these days with your children. "Your kids will be driving and in college before you know it. So, play the games, let them crawl into bed with you, read the book, do whatever it is that your child asks you to do with them. Make those memories. You will never ever regret it."

A cool and interesting fact about Mrs. Lee is she was the country and western singer Maren Morris' 1st grade teacher. Mrs. Lee, could you get her to come sing for us???

If she could eat any one thing for the rest of her life, it would be Taco Villa Bean Burritos with mild sauce.

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United States 2020 Census

The 2020 Census is closer than you think! The census counts every person living in the U.S. once, only once and in the right place. It's mandated by the U.S. Constitution in Article 1, Section 2: The U.S. has counted its population every 10 years since 1790. For more information and how to complete the census, visit 2020census.gov.



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.

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

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1st Annual Sock Hop was a Success!

Thank you to ALL of our families who showed up for our 1st Annual Sock Hop! We love our Tiger school and community, and we are so happy to be O.C. Taylor Tigers!

Everything about the night was so much fun, and we have a GREAT group of ladies who worked tirelessly this week to make sure all of the details were covered! Thank you to every single one of you who volunteered!

A HUGE thank you to our VP of Programs, Tamaron Hunt, who has been working for months, to ensure that when this week arrived, everything would be ready for the PTA volunteers to carry out her vision! It was idyllic, from the sundae balloon perfection to the delicious ice cream floats! If you see Tamaron this week, please thank her for the hours she poured into this night to make it such a fun family night for us all!

Thank you again for bringing your children to the event so that all of our kids could share in such a fun night together! We also thank the many teachers who came to twist and do the hand jive with our Tigers! That was the icing on the cake!

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Show Some LOVE - February 13th - Staff Appreciation Event!

Happy February, O.C. Taylor parents!

Help us show our OCT teachers and staff some LOVE with some delicious treats!

This is one of the staff's favorite events, as we treat them to a buffet of yummy chocolates and other sweets and treats to enjoy throughout the day.

Please sign up to bring an item for our wonderful staff. Also, please list what your item will be so that we have a variety.


Please drop off your treats between 7:15 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 13, 2020 in the front office.

Thank you,

Juanita Priesand


New Online Directory!

The PTA is very excited to launch our NEW online class directory and app. We are using the software from Membership Toolkit. Parents are asked to create an account and enter your information for your children. You are allowed to designate what information is seen by others (address, phone numbers, emails), and you can edit your own information at any time. Information on setting up an account is included in the below link, and printed directions will go home next week.


Sara Stricherz, Paw Prints Directory Chair

Grace Food Drive - Second Graders!





GRACE is in need of some good ole Mac-n-Cheese. As soon as these boxes hit the shelves, it is gone. Collection baskets will be outside the 2nd Grade Classrooms and will stay there until the end of February! The next time you are in the grocery store, please consider supporting your community by picking up a box of Macaroni and Cheese. Thank you in advance for your support.

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Dads' Club Golf Tournament February 28th!

The 3rd annual Dads' Club Golf Tournament is Friday February 28th. We will start the day at 7:15 a.m. opening car doors and reading to kids at O.C. Taylor. Shotgun start 11 a.m. at Texas Star Golf Course.

Registration is open - $400 per foursome or $100 for individual player.

Holes are available to purchase for sponsorship! For more information, please contact Brad Haga, Dads' Club Golf Tournament Chair at brad.carlton.haga@gmail.com.

Registration includes cart rental, lunch, dinner, raffle tickets. Signup link here.

Game On - Thursday February 27th

Game On is Thursday, February 27th from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. in the CMS South Gym! This is such a fun event! Purchase your child’s spot to play in the Second Chance Auction. Students in PreK through 2nd grade will play fun games of Trash Your Neighbor's Yard, and the 3rd through 5th graders will face off in games of Newcomb! Do you have a 6th-8th grade student who wants to come back and challenge their favorite OCT teacher?!?! Purchase a spot for them in the alumni game! We hope to see you there.

Box Tops

It's a new semester, so we're starting a new Racing to Recess Challenge. New collection bags will be sent home this week. Keep clipping those Box Tops when you see them. If you haven't already, be sure to download the Box Tops App so that you can scan your receipts and earn money for our school instantly! We're only a little more than $250 away from raising $1000 in Box Tops this year!!


Be sure to shop smileamazon.com so that .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 amazingly easy way to earn money for our school!! Remember, you must log on to smileamazon.com every time you shop Amazon to ensure that your purchases earn money for our school.

Tom Thumb Good Neighbor Program

You can now earn money for our school simply by shopping for groceries at Tom Thumb or Albertson's! Designate O.C. Taylor PTA as your organization by completing a Reward Application at any courtesy booth. Fill in the top portion and the "Good Neighbor Program" section, indicating account number 8332 to link your grocery purchases to O.C. Taylor. If you already have a Rewards Card, simply stop by a courtesy desk to link our school to your existing account. Pharmacy, fuel, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco products do not count toward the purchase amount credited to the Good Neighbor Program accounts. 1% of all eligible purchases made at Tom Thumb & Albertson's will be given back to our school! So far this year we've raised over $70 for our school just by shopping for groceries!


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.

Thank you!

Berri O'Neal Gormley

PTA President



Lissa Critz

PTA President-Elect