Tiger Time News
News from the O.C. Taylor Principal, Lisa Pedevilla
February 22 - 26, 2021
Dear O.C. Taylor Families,
I know that some of you and our staff members have experienced substantial damage due to the winter storm. You are in our thoughts and prayers. O.C. Taylor is here to support you and your child through these times. Please let your child's teacher know if there is anything we can do.
Due to the storm and its impact, we are going to allow families to make necessary changes to their selected instructional model prior to the end of the grading period. As this will have implications for our staff and our campus, we are asking that you complete this google form as soon as possible if you need to change your instructional model.
Sending Tiger love,
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.
February 16-March 31
Interim Assessment Window for grades 3-5
(**Specific dates will be communicated soon.)
Spring Picture Day - (In-Person students only, individual) (No Class Pictures)
Workout Wednesday (Wear your workout gear)
Spring Creek BBQ, Grapevine Location, 5pm - 9pm
March 15 - March 19
March 22 - World Down Syndrome Day (Wear crazy socks)
March 23 - World Water Day (Wear jeans/blue)
Assistant Principal Points from Mrs. Bailey
As we enter our spring testing season, here are a few important notes:
STAAR Interim Testing is scheduled for February 16-March 31 (Grades 3-8 Math and Reading). These are the tests that require student Chromebooks to be in KIOSK mode. Due to the extended Interim Assessment window and the extended STAAR testing window, KIOSK mode will continue until the end of the school year. During the window, February 16- March 31, all district-issued student CHROMEBOOKS (grades 4-8) will be placed in KIOSK mode for test security purposes.
**To exit KIOSK mode (see the photo below), students will need to hold down the CTRL-ALT-S key combination. Remote students are able to take the Interim Assessment from home if the STAAR testing app is installed on their device. It is a GCISD expectation that ALL students will take Interim Assessments during this designated window.
Black History Month
February is Black History Month. In 1926, Harvard educated Dr. Carter G. Woodson established a week-long celebration of the contributions of African Americans to the history of the United States. In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month and called upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Since then, every U.S. president has designated February Black History Month. At O.C. Taylor we will be highlighting the culture and achievements of African Americans throughout February and beyond.
Spring Creek Barbeque Spirit Night - Tuesday, March 2
We encourage each family to place your order at least 24 hours prior to our Spirit Night. You can order online at www.springcreekbarbeque.com.
Teachers will be working 30 minutes shifts and delivering meals at curbside pickup. Come see your teachers and support O.C. Taylor Elementary!
Please click here for the Spring Creek BBQ flier.
Please click here for the Spring creek Rewards Program.
Colleyville Middle School - Incoming 6th Grade Information
Tuition Based Pre-K Program
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.
GCISD Language Assessment Center Online Courses for Adults
In partnership with the Grapevine Community Outreach Center, the GCISD Language Assessment Center will begin offering online courses for adults. These free courses will be self-paced and will provide skills in English as a Second Language and Adult Basic Literacy, as well as GED support. The flyers can be viewed and shared here in English and Spanish.
COVID-19 Prevalence Study
Join the DFW COVID-19 Prevalence Study to help researchers better understand how common COVID-19 is in Dallas and Tarrant counties. By volunteering, you will help guide decisions being made in our communities to keep you and your family safe and healthy. The study is being conducted by UT Southwestern and Texas Health Resources.
To participate in the study, visit www.utswmed.org/covidstudy and complete a brief survey.
- Some people will then be asked to complete a brief survey and offered free COVID-19 testing and a $20 gift card.
- Others will be asked to complete a 10-minute survey about their experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Every 50th person who submits a completed survey will receive a $20 gift card.
Colleyville Police Department needs School Crossing Guards!
School Crossing Guards provide children safe access at high traffic areas near schools, while allowing officers to be available to respond to emergencies. Work outdoors and in an environment where maintaining social distancing is not an issue. Typical work schedule includes approximately 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon, every school day. Hours and locations vary. Must be 18 and starting salary is $11/hour. Apply at colleyville.com. Contact Sergeant Dara Nelson at 817-503-1238 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any further questions.
Rabies Awareness & Prevention Poster Contest for K-12
The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Zoonosis Control Branch will be conducting its annual statewide “Rabies Awareness & Prevention Poster Contest” for Kindergarten through 12th grade. Students who participate in the contest will learn about rabies, the importance of rabies vaccinations for their pets, respecting wildlife from a distance, and the need to notify adults if they think they may have been exposed to an animal with rabies. The Zach Jones Memorial Fund provides generous prizes for winners in each age group (Kinder, and grades 1-2, 3-5, 6-8 & 9-12). The poster contest can be utilized as an excellent informational or procedural text assignment or as an extra credit project for art and science classes. The deadline for poster submission is April 9, 2021. Information about the contest can be downloaded from the DSHS Contest website.
Texas Tuition Promise Fund and Texas Match the Promise Foundation Webinars
Learn more about the Texas Tuition Promise Fund®, the state's tax-advantaged prepaid college tuition plan, and the Texas Match the Promise FoundationSM, a 501(c)(3) public charity offering scholarship opportunities to eligible participants in the Texas Tuition Promise Fund.
Upcoming webinars will provide an overview of the Texas Tuition Promise Fund and information on the different types of tuition units, tuition redemption values and payment options. In addition, the webinars will present information about matching scholarship opportunities available through the Texas Match the Promise Foundation.
Sign up for one of our upcoming webinars.
If you have any questions regarding the webinars, please contact us at TuitionPromise@cpa.texas.gov.
Reminder: For GCISD Bus Riders
In GCISD, the safety of our students and staff is always our top priority. This is a reminder that we have made a slight modification to our routine for all secondary students riding a daily bus route or shuttle.
In the event a bus rider or driver receives a test-confirmed positive COVID-19 test, we are now collecting real-time information that will speed up the process for the GCISD Health Services Department. This process allows us to quickly and accurately identify and communicate with close contacts associated with the test-confirmed student or staff member.
All secondary students are now asked to use their device to scan a QR code upon entering a GCISD bus. This QR code links to a form that requires students to enter their bus number, campus, name, student ID number, and seat number. Once they submit the form, they sit in their assigned seat. This process needs to be completed every time a secondary student rides a GCISD bus.
We appreciate your understanding, as well as your help in keeping our students, staff, and community safe.
*If you do not have a QR reader on your phone, you may need to download a QR Reader app.
Updates from the Clinic, Nurse Katy
DAILY EXPECTATIONS: We have been handing out a lot of masks and snacks, Please make sure the following items are in your student's backpack every day.
- healthy snack (not messy, able to eat in classroom)
- extra mask in plastic Ziploc bag (labeled with student's name)
- weather appropriate change of clothes (especially for ECSE, PK, and Kinder)
Health Screening for Students
All of our in-person learners' parents must pre-screen their student for signs and symptoms associated with COVID-19 before bringing your student to school. The signs and symptoms are to screen for are:
Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
Loss of taste or smell
Shortness of breath
Congestion or runny nose
Shaking or exaggerated shivering
Significant muscle pain or ache
Nausea or vomiting
If your child demonstrates any of the above signs or symptoms, they must stay home, and you need to report to the campus nurse the signs or symptoms your child is exhibiting. In the event that your child has a fever, they must be kept home from school until they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. Please do not give fever-reducing medication and send your child to school. Additionally, please do not send your child to school if they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or are test-confirmed with COVID-19.
GCISD Reads Challenge Updates
One thing I know about our Tigers is that they LOVE a challenge! Many of them have completed one or more of the GCISD Reads challenges, and have asked for more. Some have even created their own challenges in Biblionasium! Your children are a true delight!
Please let me know if I can help you navigate through any of the many apps we use at school. I know it’s a lot, and I am here to serve. For information about all of our challenges check out this newsletter.
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! Our Character Focus from PurposeFull People in February is COURAGE. My morning messages, classroom Circle-Ups, and bi-weekly guidance lessons will reinforce the definition of Courage: to choose what is good, right, and kind even when it is hard or scary. The courage to be proud of all of the things that make us different from others will be a prevalent theme this month.
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.
Update from GT, Kathy Griffin
UPCOMING GT TESTING FOR GRADES 1-4
GT Testing Window: Feb. 8th through March 5, 2021
Referral for Testing Link: bit.ly/2NT0M0y
Changing Instructional Model
WINTER STORM INSTRUCTIONAL MODEL CHANGES: While we all experienced the winter weather of the past week, we know that everyone has been affected differently. There may be some families that have regained power but still do not have internet connectivity. We may also have families that have been displaced due to water damage to their homes. For these reasons, we are going to allow families to make necessary changes to their selected instructional model prior to the end of the grading period. As this will have implications for our staff and our campus, we are asking that you complete this google form as soon as possible if you need to change your instructional model.
As a reminder, parents are able to switch from in-person to remote learning at any point during the school year. In order to make this change, please contact our campus counselor.
For families that are wishing to change from remote to in-person learning, that may only be done at the end of a grading period. The process for changing to in-person learning requires parents to log in to Skyward Family Access and complete the changing instructional models form prior to the end of the nine-week grading period. Instructions on where to find the form and how to complete it can be found here.
Below is a schedule of when the form will become available, when the form must be received by the campus, and when the change will go into effect:
- To change after the second nine weeks, parents must complete the form between November 16 and December 4. Your student would begin receiving in-person instruction on January 6.
- To change after the third nine weeks, parents must complete the form between February 14 and February 26. Your student would begin receiving in-person instruction on March 22.
In accordance with the revised COVID-19 mandate issued by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) on November 5, a Local Education Agency may determine that a student’s attendance and/or academic performance in one or more classes puts them at significant risk of severe learning loss. The Local Education Agency may then request the student to return to in-person learning through the steps outlined by TEA.
If you have any questions regarding the timing of when parents may change the instructional model selected or the associated process, please contact our campus counselor, Stacy Whisman, email@example.com.
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.
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!
Apply For PTA Board for 2021-22
O.C. Taylor Dads' Club 4th Annual Golf Tournament
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.
January - Spaghetti Night (Dried pasta, jarred spaghetti sauce)
February - Breakfast (Cereal, oatmeal, or other hot cereals)
March - PBJ (Peanut/nut butter, jars of jelly)
April - Stock the Pantry (Canned tuna, meat, fruit, etc.)
May - Mac & Cheese(Packages of everyone's favorite!)