Dolphin Tales

A Newsletter for Dove Elementary Families

February 27-March 3

A Note from the principal...

Hello, Dove families!

Can you believe we only have TWO WEEKS until the end of the 3rd Nine Weeks and Spring Break?? Time flies when you're having fun! I encourage you to stay on top of your student's attendance and grades by accessing Skyward Family Access. I do that once a week for my own children!

Speaking of fun...we have a FUN FRIDAY planned at Dove...Friendship Day, Open House, and then Movie Night! You don't want to miss out on the FUN! Please RSVP for a Fast Pass to Open House and consider signing up to help with concessions at Movie Night!

We had an All-School Assembly last Friday, and we recognized our Students of the Month for Honesty, our Teacher of the Year and Paraprofessional of the Year, and I asked for students who had completed the 1,500 Minute Reading Challenge to please stand. Can you believe- we have FIVE students who have completed the challenge (two 4th graders, a 3rd grader, and a 2nd grader). I am so proud of these students! Let's keep reading and working on our challenge!!

There is a lot of information in this week's newsletter, and at the bottom of the newsletter is an "Upcoming Events" section. We have included dates for upcoming spring events through the end of the year. As a parent, I sat down today with my kiddos' newsletters and added things to my calendar. It's a great tip to stay organized!

Proud to be your principal,

Heather Landrum


Mrs. O'Rourke, Paraprofessional of the Year and Mrs. Moran, Teacher of the Year!

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Para of the Year and Teacher of the Year Recognized!

Every year, Dove staff nominate and vote on a paraprofessional and teacher of the year. We are proud to recognize Mrs. O'Rourke, our data secretary, as Paraprofessional of the Year and Mrs. Moran, a Special Services teacher, as Teacher of the Year. Here's what the staff members who nominated them had to say about them:

Mrs. Moran's job requires her to be extremely flexible and she constantly needs to adapt. Working with kids with disabilities is oftentimes unpredictable, and you need to be ready to meet the child where they are at. Mrs. Moran is friendly towards colleagues. I have seen her take new teachers under her wing and advocate for them when they need it. It doesn't matter what she's doing, if you walk into her room, she gives you her full attention. Her relationships with students are similar. When they succeed, it truly makes her happy. She is their biggest cheerleader. She treats all students with patience and kindness and always puts their needs first. Not only does she impact their academic learning, she makes a difference in their lives. Mrs. Moran is the kind of teacher kids will remember when they are grown. Mrs. Moran is a true team player and will help anyone. She will do whatever she can to help a student be successful.

Mrs. O'Rourke is amazing! She is wonderful with the parents and the staff. She has the ability to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable even when they may not be dealing with easy situations. She is always willing to help and can multitask like no other. She does not have an easy job, but she makes it look as if she does! We are so lucky to have her.

Grade Level Newsletters

Links to grade-level newsletters can also be found here:



1st grade

2nd grade

3rd grade

4th grade

5th grade

School Stats: Week of February 20-February 24, 2023

Total Enrollment: 455

Total tardies goal: 0

Tardies this week: 116

**Did you know?

  • There are other elementary schools that have ZERO tardies each day? What can you do differently to help our school reach our ZERO tardy goal!?!?!!?
  • EVERY DAY, we start instruction right at 7:40am. Your student is missing valuable learning time if they arrive after 7:40am.

Total Attendance Goal: 96.5%

Total Attendance Rate for last week: 92.48%

PK: 87.7%

Kinder: 89.6%

1st: 91.5%

2nd: 93.4%

3rd: 93.7%

4th: 94.8%

5th: 94.8%

Attendance Matters! Thank you for having your child at school on time every day!
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Can I eat lunch with my child?

YES! We welcome families to come eat lunch with their child!!

Due to limited visitor seating, we ask that families use the sign up below to ensure they have a space to sit when they come to lunch! Please review the available slots below and click on the button to sign up. We ask that you only choose one slot per week to allow for other families to also enjoy lunch with their students.

You are welcome to share this sign up with a family member that may not have received the newsletter.

Don't forget your ID when signing in to visit during lunch!

Please call the front office if you have any questions! Thank you!

February Lunch Sign Up

March Lunch Sign Up

New Information!

Class Picture Day TUESDAY!!


✅ Cute outfit

✅ Smile ready to go

✅ Alarm set

  • **Pictures start before 8:00, so please make sure your child is on time tomorrow so they don't miss their class picture!
  • **Students will also take an individual spring picture on this day.
  • **Parents, proofs will be sent to your email and you order online and they ship to your house! No need to send money to school!

Open House and Family Movie Night- Friday, March 3

OPEN HOUSE IS 5:00-6:00.

Open House is a come-and-go event, and students will walk their families around the building to share what they've been learning and working on! In the classrooms, students will share their learning with their families.

All parents that plan to attend Open House and would like to skip the line at the kiosk, please RSVP by completing THIS FORM (one form for each visitor) by WEDNESDAY, March 1, so that we can create a Fast Pass for you! Please remember your ID!

FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT IS 6:00-7:30 on the blacktop.

At 6:00, Open House will end, and our Family Movie Night on the blacktop begins! This is a fun family event, so parents, please stay with your students and monitor them! The Dove Dads Club will be grilling, and PTA will have concessions for purchase. Bring your lawn chair and blankets and join us for this free movie night.

If you are able to volunteer and help with concessions during Movie Night, click HERE.

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Interim Assessment and TELPAS This Week

On Monday and Thursday, we will administer the TELPAS (Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment) to qualifying students. Parents of these students have already been informed.

  • Monday, February 27:2nd-5th grade- Listening and Speaking
  • Thursday, March 2: 2nd-5th grade- Reading

Interim Assessments are an important assessment where students will show what they know and have an opportunity to practice using the online testing tools and taking the assessment online. Teachers/ school staff will gain insight into areas where students are excelling and areas where students need targeted focus prior to STAAR later this spring. We will use Interim Assessment data to adjust intervention groups, tutoring groups, and plan for our Rockin' Review the two weeks before STAAR.

  • Wednesday, March 1: 5th grade- Science Interim Assessment

Parents, it is very important on Assessment days that your student:

  • is on time and ready to learn!!
  • eats a good breakfast with protein and not full of sugar to help fuel their brain!
  • bring their Chromebook fully charged, AND they need a set of headphones. Headphones were part of the school supply list this year, but many students are not bringing their headphones daily. Please check in with your student and purchase another pair, if needed. They will use them daily!!

All grade levels will follow their normal lunch, recess, and specials schedule this week.

Attendance Laws

There are two attendance laws in the state of Texas. We wanted to be sure that everyone was aware of both of these laws and how they could impact your child. Should you have questions regarding the laws, please feel free to reach out to Mrs. Landrum, Mrs. Diehl, or our school counselor, Jennifer Hill, for more information.

  • PK-12th grade-Attendance for Credit: This law addresses both excused and unexcused absences as well as tardiness occurring after 7:40 a.m. and early dismissals. Section 25.092 of the Texas Education Code conditions credit for a class on a student's attendance for at least 90 percent of the days a class is offered. Attendance for Credit continues throughout the school year, includes excused as well as unexcused absences and a total of 17 absences for the year would be less than 90% attendance. When students have more than 17 absences, they cannot be promoted to the next grade level. We are required to hold a Placement/Retention Meeting at the end of the year to determine if the child can be placed in the next grade level or need to be retained.

  • PK-12th grade- Failure to Attend: This law addresses unexcused absences and tardiness occurring after 7:40 a.m. and early dismissals. The Texas Education Code mandates that a child who is required to attend school do so each school day for the entire school year, per Section 25.085, Compulsory School Attendance from the Texas Education Agency. When a child fails to attend for 10 or more days or parts of days (includes being tardy after 7:40 a.m. and early dismissals) within a six-month period in the same school year, or on three or more days or parts of days within a four-week period then the parent is deemed as "contributing to non-attendance" (Sec. 25.093) and an offense under this section may be prosecuted in a justice court. The state mandates that it is the parent's duty to monitor the student's school attendance and require the student to attend school. The school is required to keep attendance and report daily to the state. We want to ensure that you are aware of this law because, should your child reach 10 unexcused absences, truancy prevention measures would automatically generate.

Please regularly check your child's attendance in Skyward Family Access so that you can ensure you are following both of these attendance laws!

Use of Cell Phones and Other Electronic Devices at School


We are seeing an increased number of students that bring a cell phone, smart watch, or other personal electronic device to school. We are also seeing an increase in students with these devices using them during the school day to text or make phone calls. This is not allowed. If an elementary student needs to communicate with a parent during the school day, they should call from the teacher's classroom phone or from the office.

Per the 22-23 GCISD Student Parent Handbook (pages 66-68), in elementary, use of a cell phone or other personal electronic device at school is not allowed, unless an administrator has given special permission.

Moving forward, cell phones should remain off and in backpacks at all times during the school day. Smart watches can be worn, but in airplane mode so that they are only used as a watch. We will begin assigning consequences, as outlined on page 67 of the GCISD Student Parent Handbook.

**Important Note** During STAAR Testing, cell phones and smart watches are not allowed in the testing room and will be collected and stored in another location during the test administration.

Thank you for helping us protect instructional time and minimize the distraction use of these devices is causing in our classrooms. If you have questions, please contact Mrs. Landrum or Mrs. Diehl.

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Repeated Information (But worth reading again!)



Click this button to view a Google Doc with information about Middle School Transition Information! Check back as more dates/ info will be added!

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GCISD 2023-2024 Instructional Calendar Approved

GCISD will begin the 2023-2024 school year on Tuesday, August 15, 2023. The calendar for the upcoming school year was approved by GCISD’s Board of Trustees at their December 19 meeting.

A few additional holidays and important dates on the calendar include:
-District holidays are on September 4, October 9, January 15, March 29, May 27 and June 19
- Six professional development days (no school for students), which are scheduled for September 18, November 6 and 7 (Election Day), January 2-3 and February 19
- Thanksgiving Break runs November 20-24
- Winter Break for students runs December 18-January 3
- Spring Break runs March 11-15
- The calendar includes flexible minutes which will be used before the two bad weather days scheduled for on February 16 and April 15
- The last day of school is on Thursday, May 23

Click here to view or download the final 2023-2024 calendar. Please note the start date in August and save this calendar and use it when planning upcoming trips and vacations next year!

The Dove Yearbook is proud to celebrate Dove Elementary's 50th anniversary!

There are so many amazing teachers, students, clubs and events at Dove, and we can't wait to showcase them all in this 2022 - 2023 yearbook.

If you haven't already, be sure to create an account with, our online yearbook service. Signing up is free, and you'll have full access to view the yearbook. Use the link and school code below to create an account:

TreeRing Link:

School Code: 101285613713880

Watch your inbox for future Yearbook updates!

1,500 Minute Reading Challenge

We are so excited to partner with our PTA and the community to present the Dove Dolphin 1,500 Minute Reading Challenge to our students! We'll be sending the challenge worksheet home this week! Students should have their parents initial in a box for every 20 minutes that they read or are read to at home.

DID YOU KNOW?: It would take 75 days of reading 20 minutes per day to conquer reading 1,500 minutes, and there are 99 weekdays left of the school year!?

As students earn prizes on the worksheet, they should present their worksheet that's been initialed by their parents to their homeroom teacher in order to collect their prizes. We are so excited to do this as a school and can't wait to see our students reach those prize milestones!!!

Dove Elementary Helps Students Find Their Love of Reading

Check out the article GCISD put out to share more about our 1,500 Minute Reading Challenge!! How's the challenge going for your student!?!? We LOVE that our students are motivated to read, read, read!!

Link to the article HERE:

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Grade Level Calendars

If you've been looking for a way to more easily stay on top of all of the events, activities, and deadlines for school, these calendars should really help you!

1st Grade:
2nd Grade:
3rd Grade:
4th Grade:
5th Grade:

If you have any questions or issues with the calendars or integration, feel free to reach out to for more assistance.
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New STAAR Item Types

3rd-5th grade families, take a look at this!!

The State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) has undergone a redesign starting with the 2022 - 2023 school year. Students will experience new item response types, as well as, additional opportunities for free response and writing.

Families and students can preview and practice with the new item types by visiting the Texas Education Agency (TEA) resource at this link.

You do not need a login or password to access the site. Leave both options set to Guest and click the green login button at the bottom of the page. After selecting a STAAR-tested grade level, you will have a variety of options including information about the new item types and practice tests.

3rd-5th grade students will take Interim Assessments (STAAR Benchmark Assessments) on December 14 and 15!! Please make sure you log in at home and talk with your student about these new question types!

Celebrating Birthdays at Dove!

Celebrate your Dolphin’s birthday in a BIG way by having their name and birthday flash on our marquee (Pro Tip- this is a great photo opp)!! Fill out the form below and drop your money by the front office!

Happy Birthday to all our Dolphins!

Please Bring Your ID!

ALL visitors must present a photo ID upon entering Dove EACH TIME THEY VISIT. Any visitor without a photo ID will not be allowed to sign in to our school. Thank you for understanding and for keeping the safety of our students and staff a priority!

Attendance Matters!!!

Please click HERE to view the 22-23 GCISD Instructional Calendar. This is a helpful resource to consult when planning family vacations and trips! Thank you for planning trips and vacations around the Instructional Calendar to ensure your student is in attendance every day that we have school!

Of course, we know that there will be a day when your child has a fever or is vomiting. We ask that in these cases, you keep them home and email or call the school to let us know.

Thank you for making sure your student is at school learning every day!!

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From Dove PTA

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Dove Apple Tree

The Dove Apple Tree has been updated! We invite you to take a look at the list to see what items teachers are needing! This list will continue to be updated, so check back to see what needs we can fill for our amazing teachers! Email with any questions!

Volunteers Needed!

At Dove, we believe in the partnership between the classroom teacher, student, and parents, and we want you to be a part of our Dove community! Volunteers are needed for a variety of reasons throughout the year. Whether you will be working with a small group of students, reshelving books in the library, helping at Field Day, or chaperoning a field trip, all volunteers must view the GCISD Volunteer handbook and complete a background check every year. More information can be found on the Volunteer page on the GCISD Website. We look forward to seeing you around Dove soon!

District Information

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Curriculum Site

The community may access an overview to curriculum for core courses at the following website: The site may also be accessed from under the Parent pull-down menu.

Paying for Meals

GCISD will begin charging for meals this year. To see if your child qualifies for Free or Reduced Meal Pricing, please click HERE and complete the form.

To add money to your child's meal account, please send a check to school with them or drop it by the front office. **Pro Tip** Download the My School Bucks App from your App Store. You can add money directly to your child's meal account, track their spending, and receive notifications when their meal account runs low!

Lunch Menus

Click the button to be redirected to the GCISD Nutrition Services Page!

Upcoming Events

February 27-March 3: Read Across America Week

February 27: TELPAS Listening and Speaking (2nd-5th)

February 28: Class Pictures and Spring Pictures

March 1: SCIENCE IA #1 (5th grade: 8:00am start)

March 2:

  • TELPAS Reading (2nd-5th)
  • CEC Meeting 3:30-4:45 in the Learning Commons

March 3:

  • Friendship Day (During Specials)
  • Open House (5:00-6:00) / PTA Movie Night (6:00-7:30)
March 13-17: Spring Break

March 20: Phase 2 Tutorials begins

March 27-30: PiPE (Partners in PE Week)

March 31:

  • All School Assembly
  • Play it Safe During Specials (rescheduled due to Bad Weather days in January)
  • Spirit Shop Open During Lunches!

April 6: Spirit Shop Open During Lunches!

April 7: Bad Weather Day- No School

April 10: Bad Weather Day- No School

April 19: Early Release (11:45am)

April 20: OSOB (One School One Book) REVEAL and Kick Off!!

April 25: STAAR Reading (3rd-5th grade) *Campus CLOSED to visitors

April 27: STAAR Science (5th grade) *Campus CLOSED to visitors

April 28: All School Assembly

May 9: STAAR Math (3rd-5th grade)*Campus CLOSED for visitors

May 12: Spirit Shop Open During Lunches!

May 19: Field Day

May 15: Career Day

May 22-24: Success Ceremonies

May 25: 5th grade Success Ceremony and Last Day of School! Early Release @ 11:45am

Contact Us

The mission of Dove Elementary:

In a partnership with parents, students, teachers, and community, Dove Elementary provides a safe and supportive environment in which students develop an understanding and respect for self and others. We cultivate learning through encouragement of inquiry and empower students to make a difference in our ever-changing world.

Follow our story on Twitter at #DESisBEST

Friendship Day, Friday March 3 During Specials

The 10th Annual Dove Elementary World Friendship Day is Friday, March 3 during students' Specials times in the gym. During Friendship Day, students visiting the gym will receive a passport and will travel to different countries represented in our school community. Families have volunteered to represent their heritage and present to student groups.

If you would like to attend Friendship Day, please RSVP and we will print a Fast Pass for you!

If you are interested in volunteering and/or presenting to students about your country, please email Mrs. Mery at