Hilcher Herald

GES Staff Update-Week of 10/19/15

Reflective Practices

Thank you for your attention and open mindedness at last Monday's Professional Learning day! As a staff, we are truly experiencing the positive impact of a growth mindset in welcoming our peers into our classrooms. Reflection is key to this process and I appreciate how you've embraced our new PLC structure for the days we visit GES classrooms. Your willingness to try something new doesn't go unnoticed! We are creating a new culture here at GES and our growth will ultimately have a positive impact on our students. Phillip, Nancy, Kim and I have been bragging all over GCISD about your attitudes and positivity about these new practices! Throughout the planning process, we discussed our desire to drop the name learning "walk". To us, this still implied evaluation rather then an opportunity to reflect and share. Hence our leaning towards Shared Reflective Practices. The tricky part was, that didn't roll off the tongue very easily. That being said, we would like to call them CORE visits. CORE stands for: Collaborative Observation & Reflection Experiences. Thank you for embracing a new opportunity to grow and to learn from your peers!
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Twitter Expectations

As you know, improving parent communication is one of our campus goals for this year. Parent survey results from the end of the '14-'15 school year showed we had room to grow in this area. This goal is even captured in our Campus Improvement Plan. One of our efforts for communicating with our community is "telling the GES story" via Twitter. Please remember the following guidelines when you Tweet from your classroom
  • NO face shots of students should be posted...action pictures and side views only!
  • NO identifiable information should be shared or captured in pictures (names with student faces)

Remember that our goal is to Tweet once a week so that our families have a sneak peek into your classroom. Thank you for capturing a few of the wonderful things you all are doing with your students!!

FLEX is DUE!

Flex courses need to be completed by all employees within 60 days (by October 19) after the start of their contract. Flex training for all district employees can be found at the following website: https://sites.google.com/a/gcisd.net/gcisdflex/home I hope you saw that one of our very own teachers was featured on the communications video! Way to go, Rian!


As I watched the FERPA presentation this weekend, I was reminded of the importance of confidentiality. Please be mindful of these expectations when you are discussing situations you witness, or are a part of, on campus. Please remember that we are all bound by these regulations and that includes talking about a situation or student in the lounge, workroom, playground, hallways, etc... We have many systems in place to keep our students safe from harm and to support struggling students. If you have questions about these policies or about a specific campus protocol, please see Liz or Kim. Discussing situations that you are not directly involved in is considered a violation of FERPA. Thank you for upholding these rights that are put in place to protect all students and staff.

Friendly Reminders

  • Please work with your teams to write a thank you note to our wonderful PTA for the yummy Baked Potato Bar last week! They spoiled us and deserve a quick shout out!
  • As cold and flu season begins, please remember that it is ideal to call in a sub as soon as you, or your child, is feeling less than 100%. We would rather cancel a substitute if you are feeling better and can come to school. This tends to alleviate the need to split students when no sub is assigned due to a late Aesop call.
  • Please be sure your lesson plans are uploaded to our google folder before the first day of the week. A hard copy of your lesson plans is due to Liz or Kim the Friday afternoon prior to your PDAS Observation window opening. Be sure to highlight times that are preferable for you!
  • Please remind your parents that their student will receive a partial day absence any time they check their child out of school early - this includes checkout after a field trip.

Important Updates

  • Humanities Updates: Important Humanities updates can be found on their S'more: https://www.smore.com/46jr3-humanities-happenings
  • Bright Bytes: This is just a heads up that we will be participating in the Bright Bytes survey again this year during the last two weeks in October. Additional information will be forthcoming.

Technology Updates

Good news!! We now have a way to unblock appropriate YouTube videos to use within the district.

To have a video unblocked:

  • Enter an Eduphoria work order > Access to a Website > Unblock a YouTube video.
  • When completing the request, please copy and paste the YouTube URL into the Details Request section of the work order.
  • Once the video has been whitelisted, you and/or your students must be logged in to Google/YouTube using your GCISD google account to watch the video. As always, please plan ahead to ensure that your video is unblocked for your lesson or meeting. Please enter your request at least 48 hours prior to needing.


iPad users will need to use the Chrome browser and go to YouTube to watch the video. The YouTube app is not to be used. We appreciate your patience as we work through this process to keep our students safe and still allow you to use this great resource.

Information from Ms. Ray

CogAT for 2nd & 5th

Please review the following attachments prior to your first scheduled CogAT testing session:

* CogAT power point

* CogAT Teacher Checklist

* CogAT Directions for Online Administration - will be placed in your mailbox for review. Please return to me at the end of next week.

* Managing Proctor Led Sessions (2nd grade only)

* Managing Self-Paced Sessions (5th grade only)

Additional notes:

* We will continue with the practice of proctor-led testing for grade 2 and audio led testing for grade 5. Fifth grade students will need to bring headphones to the lab when testing.

* All 5th grade students will need to bring a book to the lab as well in case they finish testing early.

* Remember, on day two of testing (quantitative) your students will also need a pencil and scratch paper.

Any other questions, let Kim know.

Red Ribbon Week-October 26-30

All GES students and staff are encouraged to participate in the daily themes! Feel free to wear jeans if you play along with the week's fun events.

Monday, 10/26-“Saying No Keeps Me Comfy!”-Wear pajamas

Tuesday, 10/27-“Drugs and I Don’t Mix!”-Wear mixed and matched clothing to join all of GCISD by mixing it up at lunch by sitting with someone new

Wednesday, 10/28-“Pink Out Day”-Wear pink with all of GCISD to show support for Breast Cancer Awareness

Thursday, 10/29-“Say ‘Howdy’ to a Drug Free Life!”-Wear your western wear

Friday, 10/30-“Have you RED a good book lately?”-Wear red clothing or dress as a book character of your choosing

Monday Message to Parents

The following link will take you to the parent newsletter that will be sent out Monday morning: https://www.smore.com/xtqyx

Check out the information regarding Friday's GLOW Dance! A special thanks to the teachers and staff that stopped by the dance. Your presence meant a lot to our PTA and especially our students who enjoyed having fun with you!!

Upcoming Dates

Monday, 10/19 - Morris Brothers Bullying Assembly, K-2 @ 8:00 & 3-5 @ 9:00

Monday, 10/19-Friday, 10/23 Digital Citizenship Week

Monday, 10/19-Friday, 10/23 CoGAT testing for grades 2 & 5 (schedule emailed out; Remember computer labs are closed on testing days!)

Monday, 10/19-Wednesday 10/21 Wise Guys Pizzeria fundraiser (portions of your order will benefit 5th grade end of year celebrations) SEE Flyer attachment and info below

Tuesday, 10/20 - Learning Teams PLCs @ 3:10 in the Learning Commons

Wednesday, 10/21 Unity Day-wear orange & your jeans!

Wednesday, 10/21 First Nine Weeks Report Cards are posted and/or sent home

Wednesday, 10/21 NEHS meeting (2:45-3:30pm)

Friday, 10/23 College Colors Day

October 26-30 Red Ribbon Week (SEE daily themes below) & GES Book Fair

Monday, 10/26 Pajama Day

Monday, 10/26 Action Research/Microteaching meeting (3:10 Learning Commons)

Tuesday, 10/27 Mix & Match Day (wear mix matched clothes)

Wednesday, 10/28 GCISD Pink OUT day to support the Cure for Breast Cancer

Wednesday, 10/28 GES Lunch with a Loved One (during grade level lunch periods)

Thursday, 10/29 Western Wear

Friday, 10/30 Book Character Parade (8:15am)

Friday, 11/6 GES Bank

Friday, 11/6 deadline for the "Star" Learning Grants & District Initiative Grants (4:00p.m)

Saturday, 11/7 GES Fall Carnival (2:00-5:00pm) Please plan to stop by!

Where We Will Be...

Tuesday, 10/20 - Nancy at K-2 Humanities Curriculum Writing

Wednesday, 10/21-Liz at Principal's Meeting; Nancy Hale & Angela Horn will join at 1:00pm

Thursday, 10/22- Angela at Counselor's PLC

Friday, 10/23 - Nurse Burwell out (substitute will be here!)

Google Links

  • Lesson plans, or links to your plans, should be saved to our Google drive folder in the GES Faculty and Staff folder:http://bit.ly/1LqQ4sg
  • Newsletters, or links to newsletters, should be saved to the Google drive folder in GES Faculty and Staff: http://bit.ly/1MAJbWP

GCISD Information

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Education Foundation Grants

Beginning this year, the GCISD Education Foundation will be funding two types of grants - "Star" Learning Grants (once a year) and District Initiative Grants (twice a year). The deadline set for the "Star" Learning Grants and the first round of District Initiative Grants is Friday, November 6, 4:00 p.m. The deadline for the second round of District Initiative Grants only is February 1, 2016, 4:00 p.m. It has taken some time to develop the new guidelines and application process for this year. so we apologize for the short turnaround time for the first round of grants. However, to address your questions and concerns after you have read through the guidelines, we have set up several workshop opportunities for you to meet with staff/directors - Thursday, October 15; Thursday, October 22; Tuesday, October 27; and Wednesday, October 28. All of the sessions will be held at 4:00 p.m. in the Lone Star Conference Room of the GCISD Administration Building. As always, we are available to meet with you one on one as needed.


Below is the link to the documents that include the guidelines, and after reading through the guidelines, you will be directed to the online application. The application can only be accessed by those with a GCISD account. GCISD Education Foundation Grant Application Link: http://bit.ly/gcisdedfoundationgrantapplication

Master's Degree in Bilingual Education

October 21: Come learn about getting a Master's Degree in Bilingual Education at an information session from 3:30-5 p.m. in the Board room.
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PTA Information

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**Wise Guys will donate proceeds for lunch orders as well! Great food and it benefits a great cause.