Tiger Time News

News from the O.C. Taylor Principal, Lisa Pedevilla

May 3 - 7, 2021

Dear O.C. Taylor Families,

Online book fair is this week (see Mrs. Bonacci's section below)! Consider purchasing books for your child for the summer! Studies show that having books in the home is a major boost in literacy and numeracy for your child. A study of K-12 student reading habits demonstrated that six extra minutes of reading per day can turn a struggling reader into one who meets or surpasses their grade’s benchmark. Students who read 15 minutes or more per day—about 46% of students—made accelerated reading gains.

During elementary school, try to create a love of reading. Helping them associate positive memories and feelings about reading is more likely to impact long-term academic success. Now is the time to prepare for the first day of summer. Start the habit of daily reading. And, while you are driving or traveling, remember to review math facts.

Happy Staff Appreciation Week! Please see our PTA section below for more details. And a special shout-out to Nurse Katy as Thurs., May 6 is National Nurse's Day. She worked many long hours each and every day to keep us safe and informed. Thank you!

To the BEST of days,

Principal Pedevilla

Our last nine-week grading period started March 22. Please read the full updated GCISD Spring Guide 2021.

To the BEST of days,

Principal Pedevilla


OCT Vision: To empower our children today to create a better tomorrow.

OCT Mission: To create life-long learners and develop servant leaders through authentic, real-world experiences.


Important Dates

May 3 - May 7 Online Book Fair Continues

May 3 - May 7 Staff Appreciation Week

May 5 - Cinco de Mayo (wear bright colors/jeans)

May 6 - School Nurse Day

May 10 - 14 Campus is closed to all visitors for STAAR testing

May 11 - STAAR Testing for In-Person - Grades 3 - 5 (Math)

May 12 - STAAR Testing for In-Person - Grades 3-5 (Reading)

May 13 - STAAR Testing for In-Person - Grade 5 (Science)

May 17 - 21 Campus is closed to all visitors for STAAR testing

May 17 - STAAR Testing for Remote - Grades 3 - 5 (Math)

May 18 - STAAR Testing for Remote - Grades 3-5 (Reading), CEC

May 19 - STAAR Testing for Remote - Grade 5 (Science)

May 27 - Last Day of School, Early Dismissal 11:45


Grade Level Newsletters

Parents, please click on the link below to read your child's grade level newsletter.










STAAR Parent Letter and OCT Campus STAAR Schedule

3rd-5th Grade Parents

Please read the district generated parent letter regarding STAAR testing in grades 3rd, 4th, and 5th. Included in this letter are the STAAR administration dates for all spring tests, as well as our OCT Campus STAAR Schedule. Please reach out to Allison Bailey, Assistant Principal, with any questions or concerns.

STAAR Parent Letter


GCISD’s Tuition Based Pre-K Program: Spots Still Available

There are a few more spots available in GCISD’s Tuition Based Pre-K program for the 2021-2022 school year! You can find information regarding tuition, campus availability and more on the GCISD Pre-K Website.

Students that may qualify for state-based pre-k will be able to begin registration for the upcoming school year in April 2021.


Registration Opens April 12 for Pre-K, Kindergarten and New Students

Registration for the 2021-2022 school year opened on Monday, April 12 for new students, as well as pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students. To register a new student click here. Prior to completing online registration, students enrolling in pre-kindergarten must have completed a separate online application, which may be found here.

Returning student registration will open on Monday, May 3 and will remain open until May 21. While parents are able to register up until the first day of school, the District is trying to gather enrollment numbers as early as possible for planning purposes.

Students new to the district (including those entering Kindergarten) must provide proof of residency, birth certificate, social security number, immunization record, emergency contact numbers and a report card from the previous school unless enrolling in kindergarten.

During the registration process, parents will also be able to register as a bus rider for the 2021-2022 school year. If you have specific questions regarding bus registration, please contact Transportation at 817-251-5590.


Math Telescoping Exams

Testing opportunities for telescoping in math for the 2021-2022 school year are available in JUNE and JULY , 2021 for GCISD students who are completing Grades K - 7.

The Math Telescoping Information Packet will be available on the district website under the For Parents and Students Directory by selecting the link for Acceleration Exams, Math Telescoping, Grades K - 7. You can also view the Acceleration Testing Calendar for 2020-2021 on the website. Parents will find information about the requirements to qualify for Math Telescoping and instructions about the Online Registration Process and the newly required Payment Online Process. View the TEKS on the TEA website, and download Study Guides for the exams purchased from UT-Austin.

There is a fee of $30.00 for each “PAPER” (required for grades 1 & 2, optional for grades 3-7) Math Telescoping exam and $40.00 for each “Online Proctorio” exam (grades 3-7 only) ordered from UT-Austin.

ALL payments are to be made online at the end of the registration form. A link for the online payment will be provided.

Exams for 1st and 2nd grade must be given orally. These Paper exams will be administered at the GCISD location. Proctors will read the questions and students will mark their answers in the test booklet. Proctors will transcribe their answers to a computer graded answer sheet for scoring by the UT-Austin Testing Center.

The online registration form will go live on March 22, 2021 for the June test administration dates.

The online registration form will go live on June 14, 2021 for the July test administration dates.


The exam dates, registration and online payment deadlines for each exam date are listed below:

JUNE Exam Dates: Online Proctorio: June 7-17, 2021 (to be taken from home computer)

Paper (In-Person): June 7-10, 2021 (9:00 am & 1:00 pm Colleyville Middle School)

Online Registration Opens: March 22, 2021

Online Registration; Exam Fee/Payment (Online payments only) Deadline: April 2, 2021 midnight

JULY Exam Dates: Online Proctorio: July 19-29, 2021 (to be taken from home computer)

Paper (In-Person): July 19-22, 2021 (9:00 am & 1:00 pm Colleyville Middle School)

Online Registration Opens: June 14, 2021

Online Registration; Exam Fee/Payment (Online payments only) Deadline: June 23, 2021 midnight


Nutrition Services Survey

Let us know what you think! Nutrition Services is requesting your feedback about the in-person meals offered for breakfast and lunch during the 2020-2021 school year. The survey takes less than 5 minutes and will help the Nutrition Services team plan for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year. We look forward to serving your student!

Link to survey: https://forms.gle/79pH3CA71tiDUs4c8


Child Nutrition Week May 3-7

Child Nutrition Appreciation Week is May 3-7. Have you thanked a school lunch hero today? Let them know how much they mean to the students and the school day!

To kick off Child Nutrition Appreciation Week, GCISD schools will celebrate School Lunch Hero Day on May 7. School Lunch Hero Day provides an opportunity for parents, students, school staff, and communities to thank those who provide healthy meals to 30 million of America’s students each school day.


Parent Tech Academy - Parent Internet Reporting

To support strong communication with our families beyond the school day, we are pleased to introduce a new resource available to our parents. Parent Internet Reporting is an on-demand tool for parents that allows guardians to view their children's online activity and increases the measures already taken to protect our students while using a District device. Through this platform, parents will receive weekly email reports summarizing internet activity on District devices, as well as the ability to access real-time reporting of what their students are doing online. In an effort to help our parents control screen time while students are home, the system will also allow for a guardian to pause the internet on a GCISD device.

In order to receive access to the Parent Internet Reporting tool and if you were not able to attend the virtual session on April 20, there is an online course that will explain the Parent Internet Reporting that needs to be attended. You must complete the course to receive access to the parent internet reporting tool. The course can be found at www.gcisd.net/ParentInternet.


2021 Summer Enrichment

More than 90 different courses will be taught by certified teachers in a variety of areas. These 3-hour courses are designed to be fun, engaging, and educational for students completing K-6th grades.

Full course listings and the brochure can be viewed on the GCISD Summer Programs page: bit.ly/SE2021gcisd.

When: One-week sessions from June 7 – July 16 (no courses July 5-9)

Times: 8:30 – 11:30 and/or 12:30 – 3:30

Cost: $125/course (if noted, a course may have an additional materials fee)

Location: Cross Timbers Middle School

Registration has begun online in Skyward!

Part-Time KidzU Care is available for students enrolled in Summer Enrichment before and after classes.


GCISD Summer School

GCISD In-Person Secondary Summer School 2021 information can be found on the district website here. Two sessions will be offered at Grapevine High School (Session A: June 2 - June 15 and Session B: June 16 - June 29). Secondary Summer School offers credit recovery courses, limited initial credit courses, middle school math and science bridge courses, and high school STAAR EOC preparation courses. All courses with the exception of STAAR EOC prep have course fees. Registration and payment will be through Arena scheduling in Skyward and opens on April 19.


Mustang Panther Stadium COVID-19 Testing Center Open for All GCISD Students

GCISD has been participating in a statewide program funded by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) offering rapid COVID-19 antigen tests for staff. The District is pleased to share that it will be expanding this resource to all GCISD students. Beginning March 30, GCISD students will be able to utilize the GCISD Mustang Panther Stadium rapid antigen COVID-19 Testing Center. Visit www.GCISD.net/COVIDTesting for more information on the testing center and how to schedule an appointment.


Updates from the Clinic, Nurse Katy

  • Vision/Hearing/Spinal Referrals: If your student failed their vision, hearing, or scoliosis screening, I have sent referral letters home with them. Please take these referral letters with you to any appointments and email me any paperwork/information you may receive from the visit. I have to submit Vision, Hearing, and Scoliosis reports to the State of Texas at the end of every school year. As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions.


Save the Date!

Dear Parents and Families:

The Scholastic Book Fair is back! While the Fair will be held online this spring, we still plan on making it a fun and joyous experience for our kids. Our Virtual Fair features:

  • A fully Virtual Fair so you and your kids can experience the joy of the Book Fair experience! Browse nearly 300 titles by grade, meet popular authors, watch book videos, and discover the magic of reading
  • Direct access to over 6,000 additional titles with family-friendly prices at the Scholastic Store Online
  • Every dollar you spend will benefit our school directly (25% back in rewards for every purchase!)

Save these dates and view our school’s Fair site:

Fair Dates: April 26– May 7

Virtual Store: https://www.scholastic.com/bf/octaylorelementaryschool

For fun, interactive information about the Book Fair explore our Bitmoji Book Fair below!

GCISD Reads Challenge

For information about the GCISD READS Challenge and to learn more about our free e-books and audiobooks check out the Learning Commons newsletter.

Lost Books?

We do not charge fines for late books in elementary school, so if you come across a book that seems like it’s becoming part of the family (maybe since before Covid) you can send it back without consequence.


Updates from the Counselor, Mrs. Whisman

Hello Tiger Families! May is CREATIVITY. . My morning messages, classroom Circle-Ups, and bi-weekly guidance lessons will reinforce the definition of Creativity: using your imagination to create something or solve a problem.

Parents of 5th graders:

Please click here for ALL THINGS MIDDLE SCHOOL. Information will be added as I receive it.

If you would like more information about our monthly topic or for ways to get in contact with me, please click here for my newsletter.

Big picture


We will be celebrating CAREER EXPLORATION the last week of school, May 24-27. During this week students will have a Career Choice Board with many links to books, recorded interviews, videos, and activities to do thorough research on the different career clusters to help them start thinking about what they are interested in doing in the future.

If your TIGER would like to interview a parent, grandparent, or someone they think has an interesting career, please follow the steps and send in your interview soon! We'd love to add it to our bank of fabulous career videos for all of our TIGERS to watch! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me at stacy.whisman@gcisd.net.


Update from GT, Kathy Griffin

  • JULY Testing: Online July 19-29 & Paper July 19-22

    • Registration Opens: June 14

    • Registration Closes: June 22


Update from Music, Mrs. Vencill

It is hard to believe we are wrapping up another school year! I am so proud of our in-person and remote learners for facing so many challenges and changes and succeeding in a million different ways. Congratulations to all of you on a job well done. I hope you enjoy every moment of our last month together and continue giving your best effort in all you do. You are GRRREAT, Tigers!

The month of May will involve reviewing and practicing everything we have learned in the music room throughout this school year.

- Rhythm: composing, reading and performing rhythm patterns on classroom percussion instruments

-Pitch: reviewing line/space notes from the staff, matching vocal pitch through singing and playing melodic patterns on Boomwhackers and handbells

-Movement: using movement to show what we hear and practice following a steady beat

-Vocabulary Words: using proper music vocabulary words to describe voice, instruments, tempo, dynamics and mood in music through listening lessons

Remote learners should continue working on Seesaw/Quaver activities at home. Students' music skills grade is based on the completion of these lessons. As always, remote learners are welcome to join our Music Webex meetings every Thursday during their Specials time. Please let me know how I can support your Tiger learning at home.

Keep up the GRRREAT work, Tigers!


Music Teacher


Update from Art, Mrs. Morgan

I have missed my tigers so very much! I’m so glad to be back from maternity leave for these last couple of weeks of school!

For the month of May, students will finish up their current projects and we will review what we have learned this year. Students will create an art piece using some of the topics we have learned; line, space, color, pattern, shape and balance.

Students will be taking home all of their artwork that they have created. Be on the lookout for their art portfolios!

Keep on Creating!

Mrs. Morgan

Art Teacher


Update from P.E., Coach Mester

We began Fitnessgram testing in the gym this week. Students are being tested on their flexibility, muscular strength and endurance, and cardio-respiratory endurance. These assessments will be sent home with 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders final report card. I am so proud of the progress they have all made this school year. We will continue stressing teamwork and sportsmanship and begin practicing and preparing for Field Day. OC Taylor Field Day is Friday, May 21st!

Coach Mester

Physical Education Teacher



Join the GCISD Team!

Great opportunities are available in our auxiliary departments:

  • Head Irrigation Technician - maintain district irrigation systems

  • Warehouse Driver

  • Cafeteria Food Service (Nutrition Specialists) -PT w/ benefits – work while your students are in school!

  • KidzU Site Aides – PT w/ benefits – great schedule for local college students!

  • Night Custodians

  • Bus Drivers/Bus Driver Trainee – paid training program to earn your CDL and drive our children.

Apply now to work with the BEST! www.gcisd.net/careers


Free Meals Extension

The USDA has extended its nationwide waiver, allowing GCISD to now offer free meals through June 2021 at all elementary and middle school campuses and meal bundles at curbside locations. Complete information can be found here.


Ms. Gwen, our wonderful cafeteria manager, provides breakfast each morning. If you are interested in having your children eat breakfast, please let your teacher know the day before.
Big picture
Big picture

Staff Appreciation Week is May 3rd - 7th, and we are Rolling Out the Red Carpet for our O.C. Taylor staff!

The first Sign Up Genius below is for the favorites of each teacher and staff member so we can make their week extra special. The second link is to support other events that we will use to appreciate the OCT staff throughout the week (drawings, special recognition, etc).

Please note that all contributions are optional, but highly appreciated. We will have a popcorn/candy/soft drinks afternoon, breakfast and coffee and lunch options for the teachers, along with the daily drawing for gift cards and opportunities for us to serve during lunch duty as well as a catered lunch and a food truck. It will be a fun week, treating them all like the superstars they are!

To Sign Up to Donate O.C. Taylor Teacher/Staff Favorites
To Sign Up to Donate to Staff Appreciation Week

This year, we will be working with a dedicated HRP(s) (Home Room Parents) for each individual teacher and staff member basket/present. Each of these volunteers will coordinate collecting donations, putting together the appreciation gift and the delivery of all of those items to the respective teachers/staff members on Friday, May 7th. Each parent should have received an email from their Grade Level Coordinator with contact information for specific HRPs/Volunteers.

If you sign up for any other staff person's items(s), you can deliver those items to Berri O'Neal either at the school or by contacting her directly. There will be a basket at O.C. Taylor in the front area, Tuesday, April 27th and Wednesday, April 28th and Monday - Wednesday, May 3rd - 5th so donations can be dropped off. Please label each donation accordingly so we can allocate everything as intended. Additionally, gift cards, etc. can be delivered directly to Berri - OR you can send funds via Venmo for the specific gift card and person. *Venmo is @Berri-ONealGormley. Please indicate staff person and amount.* If you are unable to drop off items at OCT or would like to drop off something perishable or if it is more convenient, please reach out to Berri to arrange for drop off at her house. You can text her at 214-293-5986 or by email at berrionealgormley@gmail.com.

Thank you so much for everyone's efforts to show our staff how much we appreciate them!

Big picture


Last Call for May 2021 Birthday Packages!

As the year winds down and weeks are filled with end of year activities, we kindly ask that you place your birthday orders NO LATER THAN FRIDAY MAY 7th for any summer birthdays or birthdays in May 2021. Thank you for your support! We love celebrating your kiddos!!


Please be sure to visit the O.C. Taylor PTA website where you'll be able to fill out some important forms as well as pay your Homeroom Fund Fee (just $10), which helps pay for things during the year like Winter and Valentine's parties and an end of the year gift for the teachers. Our partnership with the PTA is critical for maintaining the exceptional culture we have here at O.C. Taylor!


PTA Mini Grant Spotlight

OCT Mini Grants 2020-2021

August 2020

  • 4th grade and Pre-K were granted a combined 36 lap trays to help students maintain their socially distanced learning.

October 2020

  • Pre-K was granted 10 additional “My First Learning” journals to assist in their writing.

  • 1st grade was granted a Reading A-Z application subscription, impacting 90 students.

  • 3rd grade received an “Education Galaxy” application for the entire grade level to use.

November 2020

  • Our SPED team was granted new items for their classrooms. These included a new rug for the RISE class to define circle time more clearly, a new stapler, along with new nap mats for our students.

  • Kindergarten received new Leveled Reader books along with book bags for carrying.


School Supplies

For questions, please contact School Supplies Chair Jessica Rajian at


Big picture


Cross Timbers Middle School Supply Pack Sale

Big picture


Fall 2020 Council E-Connection Newsletter

Please read the Fall 2020 Council E-connection Newsletter to see some of what O.C. Taylor PTA has been doing on our campus.

Fall 2020 Council E-Connection Newsletter


Helping Our Community

Every year, O.C. Taylor students and the PTA collect donations for GRACE Grapevine, a local

nonprofit serving the needy in our community. In the past, each grade participated during a

specific month of the school year. We want to maximize our impact in the community by

opening up donation collection to the entire school all year long!

For the month of December, we will be collecting unwrapped toys for children.

The grade that collects the most donations each month will win an extra recess!

Donation drop boxes will be placed in the school hallways and in the lobby.

May - Mac & Cheese(Packages of everyone's favorite!)

Big picture


Order A Go Get 'Em Tiger Shirt!

Order yourself or your child a Go Get 'Em Tiger Shirt to show your Tiger spirit! Our PTA has other items to purchase as well! Go to their site: tinyurl.com/octspirit

We think your kids are..... G-G-G-G-reat!

Big picture