October 22, 2018

Middle School Coding Club

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The Middle School Coding Club, organized and led by Mrs. Gold-Carter and Mrs. Bell, is off to an excellent start this school year. With a membership of over thirty students, the participants have started to learn the HTML language. Kim Calvery, WPMS Principal stated, “The students have been generating some very creative ideas! They are developing new apps, and their excitement is contagious! Our masterminds are producing ideas on the following topics for new apps: a GPS tracker for pets that will also show you their vitals signs, food ordering and delivery, saving world hunger, fashion, suggested books in reading genres, cooking, and Traveling 101 - where you are given the best driving directions and an estimated cost of the trip, as well as a remaining balance of the money you have left throughout your stay, and places of interest.”

While students learn the HTML language, they are using what they have learned to create their own personal web page. Activities have also included learning the basis for good computer coding skills, including problem solving model, collaboration, and the primary purposes and uses for websites. The students are enthused about creating their own web pages as they code to add their own unique personal styles and pictures to their website.

Primary Students Walk for Cancer Cure

During the last week of September, the Primary campus collected coins for cancer and ended the week with a Cancer Walk. “The collection of coins was significant because it allows all families to participate”, said Kimberly White, Primary Principal. “No matter how large or small the amount was, every coin counted for the fight against cancer. Our families really rose to the occasion! I am overjoyed and super proud of the amount we collected.” The coins collected during the week long event will go the St. Jude's Children's Hospital to support cancer research and to help families the way they see fit. Mrs. Tiger’s and Ms. Christy’s class raised $302.96 making them the winners of the classroom pizza party. Wills Point Primary students and their families raised $3,254.44 for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Bus Drivers Needed

Breakout EDU at WPHS

WPHS Students and Teachers alike are enjoying a new instructional tool titled Breakout EDU! By incorporating electronic devices and other technology tools into the daily lessons, students are able to work more efficiently on various critical thinking skills.

Breakout EDU allows teachers to address specific instructional content while incorporating a fun and exciting activity. Students are encouraged to problem solve and strategize ways to unlock answers to the questions. Jeff Russell, principal at the High School stated, “The feedback related to this tool has been very positive, and fully expect utilization of this tool to increase. There have been some great accomplishments and success stories from our students and staff using technology this school year.”

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5th Grade Gifted/Talented Science Students Create Prototypes

5th grade Gifted/Talented students in Mrs. Miller’s science class had to design and create a homemade cooler that would demonstrate relative density, thermal insulation, mass, and solubility after learning about them in class. Students were given a scenario that the Parent Planning Committee needed them to create a cooling chamber to hold ice cream treats for an outdoor party day, and unfortunately, all the freezers and refrigerators were reserved. Their creation had to be able to keep the treats frozen for at least three hours. They compiled their knowledge of what they learned and produced some masterpieces! For their presentation, students had to have a prototype and a labeled graphic organizer that showed the insulating materials of the cooling chamber, how it would float without dissolving, and how the student would determine how much weight it could hold. They tested their coolers, and one innovation was able to keep items frozen for almost two days. It was very impressive to see the students’ creativity and how well their designs worked.

Increases in Property Values Does Not Equate to Increases in School Revenue

As the State of Texas nears another legislative session, school finance will definitely be a major topic of discussion. Although school finance is a very complicated system, it is important for parents, community members, businesses, and taxpayers to realize one aspect of school finance. An increase in property values equals an increase in the amount of taxes paid. One would assume if I am paying more taxes to a school district because the value of my property increased, then the school district would be receiving more revenue. This is simply not the case. What happens is, as a school district receives more revenue from property taxes, the state decreases the amount of funding they provide a school district. As a result, school districts do not receive additional revenue, and the funding of schools become more reliant on property taxes and less on state funding. In other words, the funding of public schools is becoming more dependent on you the taxpayer, and less dependent on the state. If the state would just continue to fund schools at the same percentage as it has in the past, funding would not be an issue for public schools. The graph below illustrates the decrease in state funding for public schools over the past few years.
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Life Skills Students Visit Post Office

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In support of our current Government/Community unit of instruction, the Wills Point High School Life Skills students, with teachers Christopher Rotan and Christy Wilson, visited the local Wills Point Post Office. Postmaster Bruce Morphis and staff members offered a behind-the-scenes tour and answered questions from the students.

During a writing lesson prior to the trip, students prepared a letter to a person of their choice and addressed an envelope for mailing. While at the post office, students purchased postage and were shown the real-time processing of their letters.

The Life Skills class plans to continue visiting local businesses and agencies to gain a better understanding of our community's resources.

MS Custodian Shares Mexican Culture with Students

Ms. Alicia, one of the Middle School custodians, gave a presentation to some the 6th graders on her home country of Mexico. Mrs.LaJone helped translate as she talked about her ancestry and presented artifacts from her culture. She introduced students to the region of Mexico where she was raised and its history, as well as her knowledge of her ancestors, the Aztecs. Throughout her presentation, she shared the dedication of the Mexican heritage and hard work, as she presented many items created by hand. The students learned about the differences in education and schools, comparing their lives to those of students in Mexico. At the end of her presentation, students enjoyed her homemade salsa and Mexican candies. It was a real treat!

Education Foundation Plans for Donor Dinner in January

The Wills Point ISD Education Foundation is planning for a donor dinner on January 12th, 2019. The evening will be filled with music, dinner, the giving of the annual report and the unveiling of the new Founder's Drive memorial. Be sure to mark your calendars and LIKE their Facebook page to get updates on this event and more.

WPISDEF Facebook Page

Primary Students had Special Visit from Fire Department

Health Science classes at WPHS

This year, the students of WPHS are experiencing more interactive instruction and lessons through the usage of technology, which the teachers are building into their lessons on a regular basis. The Health Science classes at WPHS have been incorporating interactive technology through surveys, Kahoot games, and utilizing Skype to ask questions. Their Skype session recently had discussion with a nurse in Louisiana.
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Bookmobile Announces Expanded Hours

The WPISD Bookmobile is excited to announce that it will offer new opportunities starting Thursday, October 25, 2018. The bookmobile will be set up in the parking lot of the Russell United Methodist Church’s Deen building parking lot, on the corner of 4th Street (47 South) and Orville Street, from 9-11 AM every Thursday.

During this time visitors of all ages will have the opportunity to check-out books. There will also be two children’s story times at 9:00 and 10:00.

There will be chromebooks and wifi for patrons to use on board the Bookmobile. Adults may use these to fill-out online job applications, check on students’ grades through the parent portal, or as an adult learning tool. Kids may enjoy many of the online education games available.

Middle School Aeronautics Club

6th grade Middle School students interested in learning about aeronautics submitted essays and referrals from teachers to become members of the newly formed WPMS Aeronautics Club. Participants are learning about the history of flight from DaVinci to Space exploration along with discovering careers in the field of aeronautics. In addition, students will explore the basic principles of flight, aerodynamics, and propulsion. In recent meetings, members have learned about the aerodynamics of a boomerang and how to throw it, as well as a paper airplane design competition for longest distance flown. They also plan to study solid fuel rockets, and students will be building and launching a working model rocket that can be retrieved and reused. Students also took a virtual field trip on board the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier while learning about some of the many STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) career opportunities associated with the field of aeronautics. They have only been meeting for 3 weeks, but these students are “aiming high” for their future.

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