Cougar Champions

Community newsletter - November 19, 2020

A Message from Dr. Toni Hicks

Reflecting on a Season of Gratitude

Hello, Cougar Nation!

Thanksgiving is here! I invite you to take a moment and reflect on what you have to be thankful for -- whether large or small. Focusing on feelings of gratitude can help ease anxious minds.

Here are some things that I'm thankful for:

  • The Board of Trustees for providing a community stipend for all full-time employees, just in time for the holidays. (Don't forget to shop local and support independent businesses, especially those here in Jarrell, if you can.)
  • Staff members who have worked tirelessly to support our students and lift-up one another as we have navigated these uncharted waters.
  • Gretchen Matthys and the entire custodial staff for working so hard to keep our schools in tip-top shape for our students and staff.
  • The Thanksgiving meals our wonderful Food Service Department served our students this week.
  • The Thanksgiving break. I believe we all need some time to recharge.

During the upcoming holidays, please be mindful of health and safety precautions. If you go out, wear masks or face coverings that cover your nose and mouth. Wash your hands often and thoroughly, social distance, and use hand sanitizer. And please, do not go out if you feel sick (see the list of COVID-19 symptoms). Let's help keep each other safe and healthy!

I appreciate the staff and parents who completed the needs assessment survey. Results showed that teachers need more time to plan. Based on the responses we received, the Board approved providing two student holidays/staff planning days to the calendar (December 17 and March 12). Students will not have school on these days.

I've been in Jarrell ISD for almost three weeks, and I already feel like I'm home. Thank you again for the warm welcome and have a great Thanksgiving!

Dr. Toni Hicks

Celebrating Cougar Champions

JHS Cross-Country Heads to State

Good luck to Jasmine Benavidez! She will compete at the State Cross Country Meet on Tuesday, November 24!

Students and Staff Honored at Board Meeting

At the Nov. 18 meeting, the Board of Trustees honored students Macy Taber, Naomi Beserra, Alyssa Merrill and Brooklyn Daniel during Cougars Roar.

Campus staff members recognized were Jessica Murray, Ben Danner, Jennifer Rucker and Isabel McLemore.

Substitute Teachers Needed!

Jarrell ISD seeking substitutes to help serve our campuses. Rates start at $80/day. Interested applicants should apply today!

Board Approves Planning Days for Staff, Holidays for Students

At the November 18 meeting of the Board of Trustees, the Board approved amending the 2020-21 Academic Calendar by adding two planning days for staff.

To minimize disruption to students and families, the planning days will be scheduled for two dates already marked as early release - Thursday, December 17 and Friday, March 12. Students will not attend school on these days. Staff will use this time to collaborate and prepare.

"We know this is a challenging year for our teaching staff," Jarrell ISD Superintendent Dr. Toni Hicks said. "One of the top responses from staff in our needs assessment survey was in regard to needing more time to plan. I sincerely appreciate the Board responding to this need and adding these two planning days."

2020-21 Amended Academic Calendar

Window for Families to Choose In-Person or Virtual Learning Opens November 30

November 30 - December 4, parents of Jarrell ISD middle and high students have the opportunity to change their student from in-person to virtual learning, or from virtual to in-person learning. Middle school and high school parents will receive the survey through email.
Parents of elementary students will be contacted directly by their child's teacher regarding their choice for their students. Families will have another opportunity to change their choice at the next 9 week grading period.

Health and Safety Reminders

Jarrell ISD students and families are reminded to review the district's "Ready, Set, Learn!" plan and the self-screening procedures before coming to school.

Any of the following symptoms indicate a possible COVID-19 infection:

  • Temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher when taken by mouth;
  • Sore throat;
  • New uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing (or, for students with a chronic allergic/asthmatic cough, a change in their cough from baseline);
  • Diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal pain; or
  • New onset of severe headache, especially with a fever.

If you or your student begins experiencing any of these symptoms in a way that is not typical, we encourage you to contact your physician. If you or someone in your home is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19 to please notify our school immediately. See the district's COVID-19 webpage.

Message from Dr. Hicks Regarding County in Orange Phase

Athletic Ticket Information Available Online

The Jarrell ISD Athletics Department is posting game and ticket information online. Learn more!

Upcoming Events

  • Nov. 19 - School Health Advisory Committee meeting, JISD Administration, 5:30 p.m. Learn more.
  • Nov. 21 - City of Jarrell Fall Family Fun Day at Memorial Park, 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 23-24 - Student Holiday/Staff Comp Day
  • Nov. 25-27- Student/Staff Holiday
  • Nov. 30 - Dec. 4 - 3rd Nine Week Selection Window for Families
  • Dec. 17 - Student Holiday/Staff Planning Day
  • Dec. 18 - Jan. 4 Student/Staff Holiday
  • Jan. 5 - Student Holiday
  • Jan. 6 - First Day of School for Second Semester

Need Help?

Jarrell ISD Counseling Information

Jarrell ISD's counseling team is a powerful resource for students.

Technology Support for Students

Does your child need technical support? Use this infographic!

About Jarrell ISD

Jarrell ISD is located in northern Williamson County. The mascot is The Cougars. It has four campuses: Jarrell High School, Jarrell Middle School, Igo Elementary School and Jarrell Elementary. The district is home to more than 2,300 students. Enrollment is projected to double in the next 10 years.