Tiger Talk


A Word from Principal Melanie Beninga

I feel greatly blessed and honored to be working with so many fine educators, learners, parents, and administrators. The LTISD staff have been working around the clock to ensure that our learners will have the tools that they need in order to continue their learning from home.

As Assistant Principal, Leanna Pesta, and I "sat" in on learning sessions today, we were thrilled to see the smiling faces of our learners. The learners were engaged, chatting with each other and their teachers, and it looked like the first day of online learning was a great success.

If you found day one to be challenging, believe me when I say that I understand the challenges parents face. I have two elementary school students learning from my own home right along with your children. I and my children are also receiving instructions from educators, lessons to work through, and assignments to complete; thus, I am right in this with you as a parent, as well as, an educator and administrator.

Now that our first day of online learning is coming to an end, it may be helpful for you to have additional tips, instructions, and a "map." Please know that we are here to help you and your child(ren) in any way that we can. Please let me know how we may be of assistance to you.

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Schoology Online Learning Rolls Out

Today, we implemented our online learning through Schoology for all of our Online Learning Curriculum. We will begin with “Week 0” - Thursday and Friday of this week. Although Schoology is widely used in our District and in our older grade levels at WCHE, some of our students will be accessing Schoology for the first time today. The information being provided here will help to better acquaint you with Schoology. Please know that you may need to assist your child in navigating Schoology, as well as, help facilitate many of these activities with your child.

Students will begin assignments Thursday and Friday of this week that are intended to be "getting acquainted" activities. These are designed for students to complete at their own pace, on any day of choice, as long as they are completed by Thursday of the current week (Friday of this week.) This allows flexibility to you and your family with the understanding that some of you are still working, have multiple children in the household, etc.

Each week, students will be required to submit activities through Schoology for accountability purposes and grading. You can find these assignments under the MATERIALS tab and under each week’s folder. These will need to be submitted by the end of the day on Thursday (except this week - you will have until the end of the day on Friday.)

Logging in to Schoology:

Head to ClassLink: https://launchpad.classlink.com/ltisd#myapps

Username: Your student's ID starting with an S (Ex: S123456) - please email if you need your child’s student ID.

Password: Birth Date - YearMonthDay (Ex: 20120814)

Once you have logged in, click SAVE PASSWORD at the top right so that you do not have to continue typing in login information.

From here, you can click on Schoology and use/save the same login you used for ClassLink. FYI - The app is a white S with a blue circle around it.

Once you are logged into Schoology, click on your teacher's course. You will find the resources needed each week under the MATERIALS tab. Announcements may be posted on the UPDATES feed as the following week’s lessons are posted. Teachers are able to see who is accessing Schoology and can communicate through this avenue. They will be checking weekly for completion of assignments and will reach out if assignments are missing.

Teachers will have "office hours" daily, Mondays through Thursdays, in a standing Google Hangout where they can respond to questions, concerns, chats. Fridays will be used for grading, planning, and individual STUDENT meetings. The purpose of office hours is to connect with students, reteach content, and answer questions from students or parents in an effort to help their child. This is a great time for you to ask questions regarding the activities, Schoology, or anything that can be discussed with other parents. The link for your teacher's Google Hangout is on their Schoology page under UPDATES and/or under the MATERIALS tab. You just click on the link and it will bring you to a video conference call where your teacher will be “hanging out” during office hours.

At times, there may be several students on the hangout together, so I ask that you please click the small red mute button at the bottom of your screen. This will help to eliminate background noise, but don’t worry, teachers all have a chance to unmute students and talk directly to you!

Quick note: Once you have logged into ClassLink, you may have other online options available to you - BrainPop Jr., etc. These are optional apps to use if you’d like. They are not a part of the online learning curriculum.

If you are having trouble with Schoology, please let me know how I can help!

What is Online Learning?

Through this communication, LTISD Learning & Teaching Services hopes to give you the tools and guidance necessary to ensure that profound learning experiences take place as we begin LTISD Online Learning Thursday, March 26. We also want to assure you that LTISD understands the circumstances many of our families are going through right now, including the fact that many of our students may be responsible for watching their younger siblings. We pledge to be flexible and work with our families to ensure the exceptional education we are known for still takes place during this time. We encourage you to keep in touch with your child(ren)’s educator(s) throughout our Online Learning process to let them know how learning is happening in your home. Here is some information about Online Learning our families should know:

What is LTISD Online Learning?

LTISD Online Learning is an educational learning experience in which there is a physical separation of educators and learners during instruction. These learning experiences include the facilitation of educator to learner, as well as learner to learner communication opportunities.

What does Online Learning mean for my child?

This means your child will be working through daily learning experience in order to support all areas of their learning. Educators will design the self-paced experiences using online resources. Schoology (linked below) is the district adopted learning management platform which integrates with state-adopted online textbooks.

What will be taught during LTISD Online Learning?

We are working to ensure consistency within instruction across the district and adhering to our Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). We will be continuing with our 2019-2020 scope and sequence of coursework; however, the delivery will now be virtual. We will be prioritizing core classes (Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies) initially, and will begin incorporating electives into the weekly online learning experiences.

What if my learner receives specialized services through Special Education, 504, Dyslexia, English Language Learner, Dual Language or Gifted and Talented?

We are working to ensure access to instruction for learners with a variety of needs. We are continuing to take guidance from the state and federal government in meeting these needs. While the main instruction will be guided by the general education teacher, specialized services and support will be provided to each learner based on their individual needs. Along with instructional activities, we are designing ways to continue to provide therapies in Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) such as speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social skills, behavior consultation, parent training, and counseling as a related service. Each individual program will work in collaboration with educators and families to be sure that learning plans meet the needs of our learners in light of the current circumstances.

Course Assessments and Grading

These circumstances will require a modification in how assessments are designed and delivered. The type of assignments, the number of assignments, as well as the number of quizzes/tests and how they are delivered and assessed will necessarily be reduced to limit the amount of time required for students to prepare for and to complete them. We are striving to ensure a healthy balance of 1.) online and offline learning experiences, 2.) physical activities and mindfulness brain breaks, and 3.) academic and social-emotional needs of your child.

Online Learning Considerations

  • Accessibility - It will be important for you to assist, as needed, logging into your devices and ensuring your child is accessing the learning provided. Younger learners may need more support with logging into and navigating through the various applications for learning as they get started.

  • Monitoring and Discussing the Learning - It will be important for you to monitor your child’s learning as well as monitor them when they are using their devices.

  • Reading Communication from Educators and Reaching Out - It will be very important for you and your child to be knowledgeable of the communication happening with emails to parents as well as daily messages or agenda items for learners within their schedules. We are asking that you please reach out to your educator if you are having issues with accessing the learning experiences as well as to submit a LTISD Helpdesk Ticket if you are having issues with your device or wireless access.

Schoology How To’s and Access, Log-in, Navigation to Online Resources

To ensure we have given all of our families and learners the time to get acclimated with this new type of online learning, we encourage you to review the help resources to access the learning management system Schoology, as well as the online resources through our student learning portal necessary to help support their overall learning. If you need assistance logging in or working with Schoology, please email Schoology@ltisdschools.org, and we will assist you as soon as possible.

For information on additional topics including wireless accessibility/free internet access, library resources, updates from the Texas Education Agency, State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®), AP® courses and testing, UT OnRamps and Austin Community College Dual Credit, visit the Online Learning section at www.ltisdschools.org/covid19.

We ask for your patience, flexibility and support as we introduce a new era of learning and the exciting opportunities ahead for our teachers, students and families!

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Student Health Services

Monday, March 23, Lake Travis ISD staff began providing free meals to children 0-18 years of age. Packaged breakfast and lunch will be available for pickup together between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. at each of our three middle school campuses:

Meals will be provided in drive-through fashion at the bus drop-off location at each middle school campus. Parents will not need to exit their vehicle, but, according to federal guidelines, all children must be present in the vehicle to receive a meal. Please note, hot meals will not be provided. Instead, meals will consist of packaged cereals, sandwiches, fruit, vegetables, fruit juice, milk and/or water.

While some of you may be eager to volunteer your time and services during our meal pickup, we must keep in mind and adhere to local and state restrictions limiting public gatherings. Our outstanding food service department has this under control. We sincerely appreciate your concern and willingness to help.

For more information, visit the Coronavirus section on the Lake Travis ISD website, or email foodservice@ltisdschools.org.

Counseling Services

School Counselors remain available to support our students and families during this time of remote learning. Please reach out as needed.

For Young Students: Children take their cues for how to feel and how to act from their parents and caregivers. The following link gives simple ideas for staying calm and resilient.

How you and your children can de-stress during corona virus

For All Students: Boredom may be a new experience for many of our children who are usually busy and scheduled with many activities. Take advantage of the boredom and increased down time to learn more about each other, ourselves and how we respond to new events. Try some of the activities listed on this link to enhance this self learning.

Simple Activities for Children and Adolescents

For Parents: When parents are OK, kids are OK. Parents have many worries and concerns right now. This link can help with ideas about how to care for yourself during this challenging time.

New and Exciting Tiger Online Learning Began Thursday, March 26

Teachers will have “office hours” twice daily, Mondays through Thursdays. Office Hours (shown below) are scheduled according to grade level. The purpose of these office hours is to connect with students, reteach content, and answer students' questions. These must be done using Google Hangout. Teachers will be in a live Hangout for the duration of the hour and respond to emails that have come in from students. Parents are welcome to send an email to the teacher in the event that the parent has questions or concerns. The teacher will respond as soon as possible. Parents and students will access office hours through a permanent Google Hangout/Meets link posted in your Schoology Course. Calendar invites will not be used to facilitate office hours.

Teachers will use Fridays to provide feedback to students and hold private conferences, as needed.

Things to consider when participating in a Google Hangout:

  • We will follow these Video Conferencing Etiquette Rules.

  • Quick tip #1: Ctrl-D will mute your microphone. You can also turn off your camera. Students should mute their microphones unless they are talking.

  • Quick tip #2: You can turn on “captions” at the bottom of the screen. This helps when the internet cuts a bit and you miss what folks are saying for some reason. “Captions” captures it!

  • Quick tip #3: Students should use the chat feature to post questions. This helps the teacher to see when similar questions keep popping up that need to be addressed, to control the order in which questions are asked, and to control the amount of potential talking over each other that can happen in an online meeting format. Meeting on a laptop or Chromebook will allow students to use the chat feature.

  • Be sure that you are on time.

More information about our online learning is available here.

Teacher Office Hour Schedule

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WCHE PTO Canceled March 27 Parent Mixer

In view of the current situation, our March 27 Parent Mixer at Blissful Hill is canceled.

The silent auction planned for the Parent Mixer will be held at a later date to raise funds in support of West Cypress Hills Elementary and Rough Hollow Elementary.

The PTO appreciates your support and wishes everyone a safe and happy extended break.

Exciting News from our Tiger Mathletes!

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From left to right: Coach Abhi Raghavan, Logan Gramling, Aayan Cheema, Joanna Koshy, Ellen Suh, Ashton Goodsell, Aaron Seung, and Coach Muriel Ramírez-Salas. Inserts from left to right: Caleb Winoto and Sanjana Raj.

Tiger Mathletes Advance to State Championship!

Tiger Mathletes competed online for the first time in the Math League Central Texas District Championship on Sunday, March 15. Out of seven schools in the Austin metro area, the “Math-L-YEEETS” took third place in the Overall Sweepstakes and second place among Division 5 schools.

Individual and team honors also include:

3rd Grade Overall: Caleb Winoto (2nd Place) and Sanjana Raj (3rd Place)

4th Grade Overall: Aayan Cheema (1st Place) and Ellen Suh (3rd Place)

3rd Grade Sprint Round: Caleb Winoto (2nd Place)

4th Grade Sprint Round: Aayan Cheema (1st Place), Ellen Suh (2nd Place) and Ashton Goodsell (3rd Place).

3rd Grade Target Round: Sanjana Raj (2nd Place) and Caleb Winoto (3rd Place)

4th Grade Target Round: Aayan Cheema (3rd Place)

3rd Grade Number Sense: Sanjana Raj (2nd Place) and Caleb Winoto (3rd Place)

4th Grade Number Sense: Aayan Cheema (1st Place) and Ellen Suh (2nd Place)

3rd Grade Team Round: Sanjana Raj (1st Place) and Caleb Winoto (3rd Place).

NOTE: Students competed as a 1-person team.

4th Grade Team Round: Aayan Cheema, Ashton Goodsell, Aaron Seung and Ellen Suh (1st Place)

5th Grade Team Round: Joanna Koshy and Logan Gramling (3rd Place)

All Tiger Mathletes’ qualified to advance to the Math League State Championship to be held online on Saturday, May 9. This is the fifth consecutive year that WCHE students have qualified for the State Championship.

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2020-2021 West Cypress School Supply Kits and Supply Lists

Thanks to our fabulous PTO, supplies can be ordered online from schoolkidz at your convenience! The online prepackaged grade level supplies can be ordered until June 12, 2020. If you purchase your student school supplies online, the supplies will be delivered to the school before the first day of school. Grade appropriate kits are available to order online now. Click here and use account #79519 to view the kits.

We also have lists of the school supplies for 2020-2021 so that, if you prefer, you can purchase the supplies on your own from any source convenient to you. Feel free to drop off the school supplies that you've purchased at our Meet the Teacher event in August.

*3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade Students also need to have student planners for the 2020-2021 school year. These are sold separately from the prepackaged supply kits. Planners cost $6 each. We can accept cash or checks payable to WCHE. Planners can be purchased at the school during the Meet the Teacher Event or from the front desk any time on or after the first day of school.

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WCHE Spring Book Fair Coming Soon!

Upcoming Events

By 06/12/20..........2020-2021 School Supply Kits Available for Order Online

03/01 - 03/31/20......Celebrating Music in our Schools Month

03/01 - 03/31/20......Celebrating Women's History Month

03/26/20..................Online Learning Begins! Learn More Info - Group Learning Etiquette

03/27/20..................Deadline for Student Artwork Submissions to FANS Info Here

04/06 - 04/10/29......Celebrating National Assistant Principals' Week

04/09/20..................Six Flags Reading Program Ends Today

04/14/20..................Students Return to School

04/17/20..................Wear Tiger Spirit Wear to KG - 2nd Grade Assembly @ 7:40 am RSVP

04/19 - 04/25/20......National Library Week & Public School Volunteer Week

04/22/20..................Administrative Professionals' Day

04/22 - 04/24/20.....Jungle Book Fair Student Preview Days - Shopping Days Begin 4/27!

04/23/20..................3rd Grade Field Trip to Johnson City Science Mill Volunteer RSVP

04/23/20..................1st Grade Music Performance in the Tiger's Den @ 1:30 pm RSVP

04/24/20..................Wear Tiger Spirit Wear to 3rd-5th Grade Assembly @ 7:40 am RSVP

04/24/20..................Kindergarten Music Performance in the Tiger's Den @ 1:30 pm RSVP

04/27/20..................Jungle Book Fair Shopping Day 7 am to 4 pm

04/28/20..................Jungle Book Fair Shopping Day 7 am to 6:30 pm KONA ICE 3:15 - 6:30!

04/29/20..................Jungle Book Fair Shopping Day 7 am to 4 pm

04/29/20..................General PTO Meeting in the Tiger's Den @ 9 am RSVP

04/30/20..................Jungle Book Fair Shopping Day 7 am to 4 pm

05/01/20..................Last Day of Jungle Book Fair Shopping 7 am to 12:30 pm!

School Dismissal Manager

Please log in to School Dismissal Manager to report student absences and/or dismissal transportation changes no later than 1:45 pm on the day of the occurrence.