Cougar Community Newsletter

October 29, 2021

COVID-19: Back-to-School Plan

For latest protocols based on guidance from the Texas Education Agency

COVID-19 Dashboard

Updated statistics on positive cases

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A message from Toni Hicks, Ed.D.

Board Briefs

At the October 29 meeting of the Board of Trustees, the Board began the meeting with two performances from the Jarrell High School choir "Always Sing Your Song" by Victor Johnson and "Don't Stop Believin'" arranged by Alan Billingsley.

During Cougars Roar, students and staff were celebrated. Each received a certificate and a “Proud Jarrell Cougar” yard sign. (Photos are below)

  • Igo Elementary Aliyana Cochran (student); Jennifer Buckley (staff) and Martha Diaz (staff)

  • Jarrell Elementary Rocco Ramirez (student); Brooke Berrios (staff)

  • Jarrell Middle School - Corianna Brown (student) and Laura Baker (staff)

  • Jarrell High School - Kamari Fisher (student) and Kenneth Hayes (staff)

  • District recognition: Principals Month - Adrienne Rodriguez, principal of Igo Elementary; Lara Hutchinson, principal of Jarrell Elementary; Kelly Blair, principal of Jarrell Middle School; and Dr. Joe Green, principal of Jarrell High School; Texas Education Human Resources Day - Pennee Hall

The Board unanimously approved the consent agenda:

  • Minutes of the September 15 and October 6

  • Budget Amendment

  • Financial Reports

  • Check Register

  • Principal's Report

  • Enrollment Report

The following items were addressed by Dr. Hicks during Communications:

  • Upcoming events

  • Professional learning

  • District highlights

  • Athletic Department Update was presented by Coach Murr

  • 2021 Bond update presented by ESC Region 13 and Sledge Engineering

The Board approved:

  • The revision to the Employee Local Leave to provide all staff who test positive with COVID-19 10 days of paid as presented by Dr. Toni Hicks

  • The 2021-22 District Improvement Plan presented by Dr. Heather Bortz

  • Off-campus private or commercial PE substitutions for the 2021-22 school year presented by Dr. Heather Bortz

  • The Construction Manager at Risk for the 2021 Bond high school expansion, middle school expansion, transportation improvements, 1916 building remodel and safety/security enhancements

The next regular Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the Admin Annex.

Cougar Celebrations

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The Cougar Band will take to the Pfield tomorrow at 12:15 p.m. Come out and show your support!

Wyatt Camp Scores at Cougar Game

Freshman Wyatt Camp had the opportunity to score a touchdown for the Cougars on Thursday, Oct. 28 in their game against Salado. After crossing the endzone, the crowd erupted in cheers. We appreciate the sportsmanship and inclusive mindsets demonstrated by both teams, their coaches and players.

Important News and Information for Families

Dyslexia Services Highlighted During October

October is dyslexia awareness month, a time set aside to further understanding of dyslexia. Watch this video for a walk-through of dyslexia resources!

Check out this Dyslexia Guidebook.

Reimaging Education Committee Seeking Volunteers

Jarrell ISD is seeking volunteers for its Reimagining Education Committee. Members of this committee will explore how we can work together and better serve students and support teachers in the years ahead.

Teachers, staff, parents, and students are invited to attend. The first meeting will be Nov. 9, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Admin Annex. Future meetings will be planned at a later date.

SmartTags Required for Bus Service

In August of the 2021-22 school year, Jarrell ISD implemented the SmartTag system for bus riders. The SmartTag system is designed to ensure authorized ridership on district buses and improve the safety and security of students who use bus transportation.

SmartTag provides live monitoring of where and when students load onto and unload off of their school bus. This information keeps transportation staff, school administrators and parents up-to-date with accurate information.

How SmartTag works:

  • When a student enters a school bus, the student scans their SmartTag card using the card reader (installed on the bus).
    The SmartTag tablet confirms the student is board the correct school bus.
  • When the student has arrived at his/her stop and gets ready to exit the bus, the student again scans his/her card ensuring it's the correct stop.
  • Information is gathered by the bus driver and shared in real time using secured cloud technology.
  • Parents are able to use the SmartTag portal for up-to-date information on their child's bus. Parents may also download the app and get notifications on their child's bus.

Student protocols
All students who ride a Jarrell ISD bus should have a SmartTag. New students will have a 2-day delay for processing.

What happens if a student forgets their SmartTag?

  • Students will be allowed to board the bus in the morning and come to school.
  • Once at school, the Jarrell ISD transportation department will contact the school and inform the school the student did not have a SmartTag.
  • The campus will contact the parent or guardian to inform them that the student will not be able to ride the bus home without a SmartTag.

If a student does not have a SmartTag, parents may:

  • Make arrangements to pick up their child from school that day
  • Deliver the child's SmartTag to school so the student may ride the bus.
  • Pay for another SmartTag through RevTrak for $5. With this new SmartTag, the student may ride the bus home.
More about SmartTags

The Community is Invited to Ice Cream and Conversations on Nov. 1

The community is invited to join Jarrell ISD Superintendent Dr. Toni Hicks on Monday, Nov. 1 from 5-6 p.m. at the Dairy Queen in Jarrell for Ice Cream and Conversations. Parents, students, and community members are invited to meet and get to know Dr. Hicks.

At the Nov. 1 event, there will be no set agenda. As part of the district's efforts to further establish a culture of listening and learning, Dr. Hicks will make herself available to share in celebrations and listen to any concerns related to Jarrell ISD.
Make a Donation to the Jarrell Education Foundation

Your donation will go to support innovation and academic excellence in Jarrell ISD.

We Rise By Lifting Others - Donate to the Jarrell Education Foundation

The Jarrell Education Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit founded to enhance student learning through innovative opportunities that promote academic excellence.

In their first-ever grant awards cycle, the Foundation distributed more than $19,000 in grants to Jarrell ISD teachers. This year, the Foundation hopes to have even greater impact. To do that, we need your help!

Foundation programs promote educational excellence and enhance lifelong learning. Currently, the Foundation is funding classroom grants that implement imaginative and progressive teaching initiatives.

The Foundation solicits, manages and distributes funds for enrichment purposes in program areas not funded by tax dollars. Funding is supplemental and does not replace or alter the use of tax-based revenue.

Donations are tax-deductible. 100 percent of every dollar donated goes directly back to Jarrell ISD schools for the benefit of Jarrell ISD students.

Donate today!

Reminder: November 10 is a Student Holiday/Staff Planning Day

Wednesday, Nov. 10 is now a student holiday and staff planning/workday. The Board of Trustees approved this change to provide teachers and instructional staff with additional planning time.

Jarrell ISD Superintendent Dr. Toni Hicks said. "The feedback we have received from staff is they need more time to plan. I sincerely appreciate the Board of Trustees for responding to this need and providing additional time for staff."

Upcoming Events

Oct. 30 - Area Marching Band Competition

Nov. - Native American Heritage Month

Nov. 1 - Ice Cream and Conversations with Dr. Hicks, Dairy Queen, 5-6 p.m.

Nov. 2 - Election Day

Nov. 4 - District Educational Improvement Committee, Admin Annex Training Center (HUB) 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Nov. 6 - State Cross Country Meet

Nov. 7 - Standard Time Begins

Nov. 8-10 - National School Psychologists Week

Nov. 10 - Student Holiday/Staff Planning Day/Workday

Nov. 11 - Veterans Day

Nov. 15-19 - American Education Week

Nov. 17 - Education Support Professionals Day

Nov. 18 - National Parental Involvement Day

Nov. 19 - Substitute Educators Day

Nov. 22-26 - Student & Staff Holidays

Community Flyers

Jarrell ISD is consolidating flyers for local organizations and posting them on our website. If you would like to post a flyer, please email

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 2,800 students. Enrollment is projected to double in the next 10 years.

Got celebrations to share? Send them to Thank you!

We are proud to showcase excellent students and staff. To see more, follow us on Twitter @hicksJISD ; @Jarrell_ISD; @JES_cougars; @IEScougars; @jarrell_ms; and @JarrellHS.