Bell Bulletin

August 13, 2017

A Note From the Principal

Bobcat Nation:

Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year! We couldn't be more excited to have Bobcat families back in our building!

If you are new to Bell Elementary, we know you will immediately feel the pride staff, students, and families bring to our building every day. There is no place like Bell, and we welcome you to our family! If you are a returning family, we want to say thank you and welcome back! Our family would not be the same without you, and we thank you for starting on another year's journey with us, one we know will be even better than the last.

This year our focus is on building and strengthening our learning community. Every obstacle and new challenge brings opportunity to learn more about ourselves, each other, and how we can contribute to the greater good of our group at large. This is bigger than simply learning math, reading, writing, science, and social studies. Staff and students, in partnership with you, will be working together to focus on learning - learning problem solving skills, learning resilience, learning how our actions impact others, learning that we can do anything we set our minds to, learning about how to use our strengths to push further, learning how to build lasting friendships, and learning how, as future leaders, we can never stop looking for chances to learn more. We will call this being 212, and going the extra degree. This focus on giving one degree more, pushing a little further, will help us reach our core values every day:

Be a leader,

Overcome obstacles,

Bring a positive attitude,

Cultivate character,

Accept responsibility,

Treat others with respect, and

Show integrity.

I look forward to celebrating student successes with you, and watching our children grow as we continue to build our traditions and a standard of excellence throughout this school year. Thank you for sharing your children with us! It is a great responsibility and even greater honor that we hold dear.


Mrs. Lauren Shapiro

Arrival Procedures and Map

It is extremely important for students to arrive at school on time. Promptness is a value that is important and useful throughout life. The cafeteria doors will be opened at 7:10 a.m. and closed at 7:40 a.m. Breakfast will only be served from 7:10 – 7:40. The front doors to school will open at 7:30 for drop off. Please do not drop students off before this time as staff are not available to supervise in the front of the building. A student is tardy if he/she is not in his/her classroom at 7:40 a.m.

To prevent congestion from vehicles when dropping off students in the morning, please use the following procedures:

  • Under no circumstance is a student to be dropped off in the passing lane or parking lot and allowed to walk across the driveway alone.

  • Under no circumstances are vehicles allowed to park in the passing lane or in any area of the parking lot that is not a designated parking space.

  • In the morning parents may park in the parking lot and walk their child(ren) into the school.

  • At 7:40 AM all outside doors will be locked except the front doors. Visitors must notify the office staff as soon as they enter the building. Do not ask staff or students to open outside doors.

Students can be dropped off at the side cafeteria entrance from 7:10 AM until 7:40 AM for breakfast.

Students may walk to their classrooms at 7:30 AM. Early students will be directed to the cafeteria or gym for supervision.

Front of school drop off allows for parents to pull up to the front doors and let their child out without having to get out of the car. Please follow the directions of the staff members on duty as only a few cars at a time will be unloaded, students will cross, and them new cars will come forward. Two lanes of cars will be unloaded in the front circle drive. Parents wishing to walk children to class can park at the front parking lot of the building and walk their child to class. Remember that there will be limited parking at the front. Parents are asked to leave students at the classroom door with the teacher and allow them to put to up their own backpacks and other items. Visitors will not be able to enter the school after 7:40 AM without signing in for a Visitor's Badge at the front office first.

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Dismissal Procedures and Map

Our student body is currently 715 students strong, and growing every day as new families come to register their children. Please be ready for dismissal to take about 45 minutes the first week or two of school while children learn their numbers and teachers learn how students get home. Bring a good book and some good tunes for your car! After a few weeks, this time dwindles down to 15-20 minutes. At the end of last year, our finishing dismissal time was 14 minutes! We appreciate your patience as we work in the heat to ensure safety for our children. We could not be successful without you!

Walkers (We will have about 340 students as walkers):

The back parking lot by the cafeteria will be closed for dismissal. Parking will not be allowed for "walkers" on campus, and there will be no through traffic in this area for the safety of our students. 2nd Grade - 5th Grade students will walk out the cafeteria doors, along the sidewalk, and across the street with the appropriate crossing guard. If you walk with your child, you may walk and meet them at the crosswalk area! Kindergarten and 1st grade students will exit the building from the office, and walk to the grassy area by our school marquee and crosswalk. Kindergarten students will stay with a kindergarten teacher in this area so kinder parents or older siblings may come get their kindergarten child in this location and walk them home. Kindergarten students are not allowed to walk alone. 1st grade parents are welcome to meet their first grader here to
walk home together, but that is not required as it is with our kindergarten walkers
- 1st grade walkers may walk on their own. It is important that if you plan on walking with your child you are at the crosswalk area by 3:00, or you may miss your child walking home. Most of our families walk from home to meet their children, and then walk home. If you must drive to pick up your child(ren), please consider changing your child's dismissal to a car rider (car tag area), and we will get them safely to your car without you even having to get out! Please do not park directly across the street from the crosswalk to pick up your walker as it causes congestion on a tiny street and an unsafe street area for students. Please help by following city laws including leaving distance from the stop sign, not blocking neighbor’s driveways, etc. Students will be led by staff to crosswalks and will not be allowed to run to the street to get inside a guardian’s passing car. Student walkers go out of the building as walkers rain or shine! If you need to change your child's dismissal procedures, please contact the Bell front office by 2:00 PM at (972) 347-7200 or

Car Riders/Car Tag Area (We will have about 350 as car riders):

All students that are “car tag” will be escorted by a teacher to the designated locations at 3:00. Parents will be issued a car tag to hang from their rearview mirror. All Kinder-5th grade students who are “car riders” will be picked up at the front of the school. Anyone who comes through the car line to pick up a child MUST have the school car tag and remain in their car. If they do not have the tag, they will have to park and to come into the front office of the school, show ID and sign the child out. Please do not get out of your vehicle in the pick up lane. If you need to buckle your child in a car seat, please pull up past the last cone; this will allow us to keep the line moving at a steady pace. Students remain safely inside the building, listening for their numbers. When their number is called, students walk to the colored square that corresponds to their car tag number. A Bell staff member helps students in their car. Our staff and families have this down to a science, and car tag dismissal ends by 3:25 each day, just a few minutes behind our walker dismissal. Please note, it does take a few weeks for the car tag area to finish by 3:25 (you can plan on the first week or so taking about 45 minutes as new students are learning routines and their new numbers). Thank you in advance for your patience!

As a reminder, all visitors to Bell Elementary, even at dismissal time, need to go through the front office for a visitor's badge. Parents will not be allowed to enter the cafeteria doors into the building at dismissal time without a Bell staff member.

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Our School's Namesake, Mrs. Catherine Coleman Bell

Mrs. Catherine Coleman Bell, 80, describes herself as a non-degreed mother from humble beginnings – someone who is not normally recognized by having a building named in her honor. Yet all who know her say she is exactly whom the district should hold up as an example of a strong, supportive advocate.

Mrs. Bell, who moved to Denton with her high school sweetheart in the late 1950s, was instrumental in the desegregation of Denton schools in the 1960s. She was a member of the Denton Christian Women’s Interracial Fellowship, an alliance of mothers who initiated get-togethers, play dates, tutoring and social events to break down racial stereotypes and barriers.

She shared that the 28 years spent working with students with special needs in Denton ISD as a teacher’s assistant were filled with joy. While working at the district’s Jackson (since demolished), Ginnings and Wilson elementary schools, Mrs. Bell built a reputation for loving all children, regardless of their background or abilities.

Mrs. Bell served as the president of the Denton NAACP in 2005, earning a commendation from Representative Michael Burgess of the Texas House. She and her husband, Harry Dean Bell, founded the Martin Luther King Jr. community celebration and parade. Their efforts to bring awareness and develop a sense of justice in our community’s young people are reflected in the event to this day.

Mrs. Bell remains an active volunteer serving on every recent Denton ISD Bond Progress Committee and working directly with students through the district’s Grandparents in Public Schools Program. She is a member of Keep Denton Beautiful and the Denton Parks and Recreation Board, and has been recognized by both for her contributions.

In 1985, the Bell’s suffered the tragic loss of their only son, Larry, 27, from an aneurism. This past June, Mrs. Bell lost her husband and best friend, Harry Dean.

When Shijamieon Shentá Demon, Mrs. Bell's niece, was 6 months old Mr. and Mrs. Bell brought her into their home and raised her as their own. Shentá graduated from Denton High School and currently is in the banking business.

“After losing my son and losing my husband, I’ve wondered, why am I still here? I prayed to the Lord for an answer – and now I know why,” said Mrs. Bell. “I’ve always enjoyed working with children, working in my community and doing what I can to help others. Now, with this honor, I feel so elated that the district has helped me.”

Bringing Items From Home

Bell Elementary Schedule

Classroom teachers will provide specific information about their daily class schedule, including what days will be PE days (so you can plan clothing/shoe choice accordingly) and what lunch time their group will be in. To help with your planning, please note the following times:

Special Areas

(PE, Art, Music, Library - some grades):

Kinder - 12:10-1:00

1st Grade - 1:05-1:55

2nd Grade - 10:40-11:30

3rd Grade - 9:40-10:30

4th Grade - 8:45-9:35

5th Grade - 7:50-8:40


Kinder - 10:40-11:10 OR 10:45-11:15

1st Grade - 11:10-11:40 OR 11:15-11:45

2nd Grade - 11:35-12:10 OR 11:40-12:15

3rd Grade - 12:00-12:30 OR 12:05-12:35

4th Grade - 12:25-12:55 OR 12:30-1:00

5th Grade - 12:50-1:20 OR 12:55-1:25

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Volunteers Are Welcome

Plan on volunteering? Helping on a field trip? Please complete your volunteer application/background check! A new one is needed each school year and must be completed before you can volunteer with students. Information is provided on the link below. We can't wait to see you on campus!

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Every month our campus focuses on a different character trait with students. We study the character trait as a whole campus during morning announcements, and then teachers continue the conversations in their classrooms with their students.

This month, Bell Elementary students will be learning what it means to "Be 212". Applying a little extra care, energy, and work in aspects of our life can create amazing outcomes. What would our day be like if we put forth 5 extra minutes of trying before we ask for help on an assignment, thank one extra person a day, give one more compliment a day, say 3 less complaints a day, spend 15 more minutes a day away from technology and with our families, invite a new student to play at recess, and etcetera? These are some of the ideas we will explore.

"At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. And with boiling water, comes steam. And with steam, you can power a train. Just one extra degree makes all the difference." -Sam Parker, 212 the extra degree

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Not a PTA member yet? It's not too late! Stop by the office and we can get you set up!

Dates to Remember

More Coming Soon!

Wednesday, August 16

Boo Hoo Breakfast @ Bell Library

Kindergarten Parents

8 AM - 8:45 AM

Thank you to PTA for hosting this event!