OCT Tiger Time News

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

October 6, 2019

(BE SURE AND SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS NEWSLETTER AND READ THE OCT PTA SECTION!)


Dear OCT Families,


This week is Fire Prevention Week. I encourage you to spend a few minutes creating a plan and more importantly discussing it as a family. Click here to access various tip sheets provided by the National Fire Protection Association.


When I was expecting my first son, our home was hit by lightning and quickly caught on fire. The flames were hot and spread rapidly. The fire department arrived and put out the fire with force and then tore down tons of smoldering wall. I was thankful for the firemen and how they put themselves at risk to help us. I was also thankful I did not have any children at the time, as I am not sure things would have turned out the same. Take a few minutes to create a plan. We invite your children to wear BLUE tomorrow for Bully Prevention Day and to wear RED on Wednesday for Fire Prevention Week.


Also, I would like to apologize to you and especially those who led our OCT PTA fuss-free fundraising. All of you were told that you would not be hassled the rest of the year only to turn around and be hassled by me. Please read more below.



To the BEST of days,


Principal Pedevilla




Stay Connected at O. C. Taylor Elementary School

We have a number of ways to keep in touch with our school. Be sure to read, subscribe to and join these resources to get all the latest news.


Facebook: If you’re a Facebook member be sure to join the O.C. Taylor Elementary Facebook Group to get updates in your feed. This group is meant to provide another way to get news and updates.


Website: The school’s website has the latest news, updates, and calendars, as well as general information about the school, resources for parents, volunteer opportunity information, event information and ways to donate.


Twitter: We regularly post events and upcoming news on Twitter. Follow me on Twitter: @OCTYoung and follow our hashtag #OCT4U.

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.

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Upcoming Events

Monday, October 7

Stomp Out Bullying - wear blue

Fire Prevention Week October 7th -11th

8:15 a.m. PTA Executive Board Meeting


Tuesday, October 8


Wednesday, October 9

Fire Prevention Week - wear red


Thursday, October 10

2:55 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Choir


Friday, October 11

Spirit Day - Wear your OCT gear! Go Tigers!


Monday, October 14

NO SCHOOL


Tuesday, October 15

8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Fall Picture Day


Wednesday, October 16

2:55 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. TTT

Environmental Science Program


Thursday, October 17

2:55 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Choir

5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Moms' Night Out


Friday, October 18

Spirit Day - Wear your OCT gear! Go Tigers!

11:00 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Spirit Shop (in cafeteria)

2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Spirit Shop (in front foyer)


Monday, October 21

National School Bus Safety Week


Tuesday, October 22


Wednesday, October 23

National Unity Day - Wear Orange


Thursday, October 24

11:45 a.m. Early Dismissal

No Choir


Friday, October 25

Spirit Day - Wear your OCT gear! Go Tigers!

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Grade Level Newsletters

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


PPCD

PreK

Kinder

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

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OCT and GCISD Updates

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More on Teacher Fundraiser

I have heard from a few parents about our teacher/principal fundraiser. I would like to address a few questions or concerns you may have.


First, I would like to say I apologize. This is the first time the OCT staff and I have led a large fundraiser since I came to OCT in 2016. (We have been doing just the small restaurant fundraisers.) I did not anticipate the amount of marketing the company would do. I take the blame and responsibility for that. To be transparent, my fundraising experience and knowledge are limited. I apologize for the level of marketing and any negative impact on your children and your home. Also, I would like to apologize to you and especially those who led our OCT PTA fuss-free fundraising. All of you were told that you would not be hassled the rest of the year only to turn around and be hassled. Again, that is my fault, and I sincerely apologize. My intent was just to hopefully sell a few items that people would purchase any way someplace else. I thought, "We all purchase wrapping paper, right?" And I purchase cookie dough. I certainly don’t want to overburden you or any parent who is already very busy.


Our PTA can and has supported teacher professional development registrations, but the PTA governance does not allow contributions to the flights, room/board, transportation, or food. This is why we decided to conduct our own larger fundraiser. I have researched other funding sources and have even spent hours writing grants; however, my grants were denied funding.


I conducted a survey of the GCISD elementary schools; most of the elementary schools do their own fundraising (beyond the small restaurant fundraisers) in addition to their PTAs.


Several parents have asked if they can donate funds directly and bypass the Big Kahuna fundraiser. If you feel led to do so, you can write a check directly to O.C. Taylor Elementary and put “teacher training” in the memo section. Please do not feel you need to do that though.


As always, I welcome your feedback. Please feel free to email, call or visit with me about any concerns or questions you may have.

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Inclusivity in Language and Celebrations

If you speak another language other than English, please send me an email and let me know. We would like to know all of the languages spoken in our OCT homes. Also, if you celebrate a special holiday in your home other than the most popular American holidays, please let me know. We would like to acknowledge at OCT and on our TTN Morning Show Production.
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GCISD Emergency Contact Test Message, Oct. 7

There may be instances where GCISD and OCT need to send emergency communication via email, phone call and/or text message. GCISD uses a variety of methods for communicating in an emergency situation. In order to ensure that you receive all relative information, GCISD is going to conduct a test message on Monday, October 7. Prior to this test, please make sure to complete the four steps listed in this document.


If your information is updated in Skyward, but you are not receiving campus communication, please send your name, students name, contact information and campus to info@gcisd.net.

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4th and 5th Grade Parent Preview Night, Oct. 8

On October 8, GCISD will host a Parent Preview Night at the administration building for the Growth and Development videos. For 4th Grade Girls: Just Around the Corner and for 5th Grade Girls and Boys: Growing Up for Girls and Growing up for Boys. The videos will start promptly at the times listed below. A Q&A session will follow.


9:30 a.m. - 5th Grade Boys (Alamo)/4th Grade Girls (Board Room)

10 a.m. - 5th Grade Girls (Board Room)

5:30 p.m. - 5th Grade Boys (Alamo)/4th Grade Girls (Board Room)

6 p.m. - 5th Grade Girls (Board Room)

Details: October 8 at the GCISD Administration Building, 3051 Ira E. Woods, Grapevine, TX 76051

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NO SCHOOL on October 14

All students and staff have a holiday on Monday, October 14.
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Fall Picture Day, October 15

Fall picture day is Tuesday, October 15. This picture will be put in our O.C. Taylor yearbook.
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GC:60

Great things are happening all across our District. GCISD students were provided with a real-world experience when they were able to watch the District go to market to sell the remaining $60.3 million in bonds from the program approved by voters in 2016. Check out this GC:60!

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THANK YOU!

Thank you to all of the families and friends who came to support OCT at Spring Creek Barbeque! We greatly appreciate your support!
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Forget Me Not Shelf

"Forget Me Not" shelves are located in the front foyer. If your child forgets his or her lunch, book bag, shoes, etc..., please label your child's name with a post-it note and place it on the appropriate grade-level shelf. Also, write your child’s name on the whiteboard. The office does not call the teacher to let them know that you have dropped off an item. You need to email or send a Remind text to let the teacher know to send your child to the shelf. All classes check the Forget Me Not shelf right before eating lunch.

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Application for Free and Reduced-Price Meals

Free and reduced-priced meals are available at all campuses in GCISD. The application process is easy and a results letter will be emailed to the household. For information on applying for the program and income eligibility, please click the link below.

https://www.gcisd.net/departments/nutrition_services/free_and_reduced_information

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OCT Parking/Pick-Up/Drop-Off Survey

We now have 64 people who have responded to the survey linked below. Thank you to those who gave me feedback. I am going to keep this survey open for one more weeks. I invite you to participate and give us your opinions in this form.


Thank you!

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GCISD Parent Tech Academy, Oct. 9, 2019

Want to know how to connect in with your child's class in Google Classroom? Want to know how to set-up grading and other alerts in Skyward Family Access? Curious on how your child accesses online textbooks and more?

Join the GCISD Instructional Technology team as they help guide parents through the use of various tools here in GCISD.

October 9th, 6:10 p.m.

GCISD Professional Learning Center

5800 Colleyville Blvd, Colleyville, TX 76034

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeQfPYtizaux1BrTNvurrMeUWx8PyRh8LAE8_iaEVmgmlGPtg/viewform?usp=sf_link

Join us as we help our parents walk through the various applications that GCISD has to keep you connected in the classroom.

Feel free to bring your own laptop or device to follow along. Limited district laptops will be available for use.

If you would like to experience Google Classroom much like your students, please have access to a Google account/Gmail address before the session. If you need help setting up a Google account we can assist you; please arrive at least 10 minutes before the session start time.

Please register online ahead of time so that we can have the proper space set up for our session

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Updates from Counseling and Guidance, Mrs. Whisman

Please click here to see the Counselor Corner Newsletter.


Classroom Guidance


October's guidance lessons will focus on Recognizing Positive Influences and Bullying Prevention.

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Updates from Learning Commons, Mrs. Bonacci



Does your child have difficulty selecting reading material?


It is important for readers to understand how their own interests impact their reading experience. Some readers love fiction while others prefer nonfiction, but there are many children have no idea what they prefer because they haven’t experienced reading from a variety of genres.


The GCISD Reads challenge was designed to encourage reading from a wide variety of texts to expose students to various genres that they may have never even considered before. I have seen children fall in love with a genre when they thought they wouldn’t like it at all!


Finding that “just right” book can be difficult, and I am here to help. If you would like to peruse the O. C. Taylor library catalog (Destiny) with your child to go to ClassLink>Learning Commons>Destiny Discover. With this app you can see what books are currently available and place holds on books that are currently checked out.




Storybook Pumpkin Patch


Calling all Pumpkins! Our annual Storybook Pumpkin Patch begins October 1st. Students are invited to add their storybook pumpkin creations to the display in the Learning Commons any time between October 1st and 25th. Winners will be announced on October 28th. Guidelines and entry forms can be found here: https://www.smore.com/c1q3s-calling-all-tigers

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Updates from Art, Mrs. Morgan

Cristie Morgan

Art Teacher

O.C. Taylor Elementary School

Twitter-@OCTMorgan

817-305-4870

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Updates from Literacy Specialists/Dyslexia, Ms. Griffith and Ms. Honeycutt

October is Dyslexic Awareness month, please enjoy this article and learn more about this disability that affects 1 in 5 people.


Understanding Dyslexia-

Know the signs, and how to help kids with the most common learning disability.


https://childmind.org/article/understanding-dyslexia/

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O.C. Taylor Staff Shout-Outs

Students and parents can now recognize staff members for the great work that they do at O.C. Taylor Elementary! If you would like to send a positive shout-out to a staff member, please complete this brief form. Staff members will be recognized each month during our faculty meetings.

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Updates from our Nurse Katy

  • PPCD, PK, and Kinder parents: Please keep a change of weather-appropriate clothes and underwear in your student's backpack, in case of accidents or spills.
  • Flu Season: Did you know that everyone 6 months and older can receive a yearly flu vaccination? Adults aged 65 and older, pregnant women, young children, and people with chronic medical conditions are highly encouraged to get one. There have been positive flu tests out in the community already, so BE WISE- IMMUNIZE!
  • If your child is sick: Please keep students at home until they are fever and/or symptom-free for at least 24 hours without any medication. In GCISD, a temperature of 100 degrees is considered to be a fever. Encourage healthy habits at home to help prevent the spread of illnesses. Washing hands with soap and water (sing Happy Birthday song or ABCs twice!) Coughing and sneezing into elbows or a Kleenex instead of hands. Not touching the face- especially the T-zone. Getting plenty of rest. Staying hydrated.

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Updates from GT LEAD, Mrs. Griffin

Please click here to see the newsletter.

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GET TO KNOW THE O.C. TAYLOR STAFF

OCT Assistant Principal, Mrs. Bailey

Mrs. Bailey graduated from Temple High School. She attended Baylor (Sic 'Em) and earned a B.S. in Elementary Education and Early Childhood. Her favorite colors are glitter and green because glitter adds a little sparkle to everything and green is just earthy. She loves nature! She received an M.S. from TCU in Educational Administration. Her educational certifications include PK-6, ESL, and Principal.


Before coming to OCT, she taught at Bear Creek Elementary in GCISD where her colleagues selected her as Teacher of the Year 2017-2018. Mrs. Bailey plays the violin and fiddle! Mrs. Bailey has a green belt in Taekwondo and is currently reading Dare to Lead by Brene Brown. She is married to her college sweetheart for almost 15 years, and they have two amazing kids who attend OCT. They also have what they call their third "child" (puppy), Bailey Bailey! :)


Her advice to parents is to "take time to talk to your kids - put away the devices and have real, honest conversations with them. Treat them like people, not babies. Guide them, give them advice, set boundaries but let them experience failure. This helps them learn how to cope and become stronger. Don't let a "parenting" moment pass you by...be silly, act like a kid, dance, have pillow fights, build forts, play in the rain."


Welcome to O.C. Taylor, Mrs. Bailey! We want you to play your violin and fiddle for us!

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Student Accident Insurance

This is an affordable, full excess, accident-only policy for students that will help offset the rising medical costs and deductibles required by insurance carriers under your current health plans. To view more, click here.

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District Communication Contact Information

There may be instances where we need to send emergency communication via email, phone call and/or text message. Please make sure that your contact information is updated in Skyward. If your information is updated in Skyward, but you are not receiving campus communication, please send your name, students name, contact information and campus to info@gcisd.net.

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Bus Rules

While traveling in GCISD buses, we want to ensure a safe ride for all passengers and meet your travel needs. All luggage, equipment or carry on items must be stored underneath a seat and may not block the aisle or emergency exit. If possible, encourage students and staff not to take items that won't fit under a seat. Storing things in a seat, whether attended or not, can become projectiles if the bus has to stop quickly. If you have items that cannot fit under a seat or more items than space available on the bus, please contact Cynthia Patterson at 5593, or at cynthia.patterson@gcisd.net to help with arrangements. Additionally, to keep our buses in good condition please make students aware that they may not wear cleats or other shoes or footwear that can damage the bus floor.

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GCISD is Now Hiring! Join the GCISD TEAM!

Many opportunities are available in our auxiliary departments:


  • Nutrition Specialists -PT w/ benefits – work while your students are in school!
  • Kidzu Site Aide – PT w/benefits – this schedule works well for local college students!
  • Night Custodians
  • Bus Drivers & Monitors
  • Maintenance Engineers



Apply online at: www.gcisd.net

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School Health Advisory Council (SHAC)

School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) is the perfect place for parents to make contributions and recommendations on health initiatives that influence your child. Find out how you can join SHAC.
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We think your kids are..... G-G-G-G-reat!

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GCISD School Safety Discussion - Monday, October 7th!

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Spirit Shop

The O.C. Taylor Spirit Shop is available to you in two ways!


*Online! Please see below for the link/QR code!


* Pop-Up Spirit Shop Days will be held

(during lunch times in the cafeteria and after school in the front foyer):

Friday, October 18th

Friday, November 8th

Friday, Dec 13th

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Moms' Night Out - October 17th - Save the Date!

Join us for Moms’ Night Out on Thursday, October 17th from 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. at Sloan and Williams Winery in Grapevine. Sloan and Williams will donate 30% of all food and wine purchased back to the OCT PTA.


It's a great opportunity to visit with old friends and meet some new ones! We'll have a Gift Card Grab and Games of Heads or Tails. And the best part?!?! Childcare is taken care of for the night! The OCT Dads' Club will be watching the kids at school from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. while the moms enjoy a night out. There will be pizza, games, movies, and more! Reservations are not required, but are very much appreciated as they will give us an estimate of how much food we'll need.


Forms went home this week! (Or fill out the online form)

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe2HL5fB64TgAWdjgxPn1joRPIDj3L950yiZqVe3WPJx2xupA/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1

So mark your calendars, and we'll look forward to seeing many of you there!

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Reflections

Please contact Challee Garland, PTA Reflections Chair, at challeegarland@gmail.com with any questions regarding the Reflections program.

Lost and Found

Many nice items need to be reunited with their owners!


If your child is missing their favorite light-weight jacket, please have them stop by the Lost and Found to claim their item that is patiently waiting to be worn again! :)


ALL UNCLAIMED ITEMS WILL BE DONATED TO GRACE IN NOVEMBER/DECEMBER.

SUPPORT GRACE and…. EARN EXTRA RECESS!

CALLING ALL FOURTH GRADERS…

DO YOU WANT EXTRA RECESS?


OCTOBER is your month FOURTH GRADERS

ITEMS IN NEED: CANNED FRUIT (16 oz or smaller cans preferred)


Collection baskets will be outside the 4th Grade Classrooms beginning

Tuesday, October 1st & remain there for the duration of the month. The

next time you are in the grocery store, please consider supporting

your community by picking up a Can of Peaches or Fruit Cocktail for

GRACE.


Thank you in advance for your support.

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OCT Dads' Club


Dads, don't forget to join the O.C. Taylor Dads' Club for an eventful, exciting and memorable year!


The Dads' Club is a part of our O.C. Taylor PTA, a volunteer organization with no minimum commitment required. Dads are encouraged to attend meetings and volunteer for events as they are able. Meetings and events tend to be a good time to meet other dads and families in our community, while at the same time benefit the school and staff. The meetings will take place every month or two and will be a chance to review upcoming activities during the school year. Sign up is free, and you can do it here.


Next Thursday night, October 17th, dads can volunteer for Moms' Night Out. Dads will be at O.C. Taylor with the kids, with pizza, a movie, fun games, while the moms enjoy an evening out at Sloan and Williams. If you would like to volunteer, contact Wes Critz at wescritz@gmail.com.


The Dads' Club hosts or helps out with several events throughout the year. Including:

· Morning Dropoff Assistance

· Dad of the Day Program

· Rock Out

· O.C. Taylor Dads' Club Parade of Lights Float Entry

· Pancake Breakfast and Snow Hill

· Spring Fling

· Dads' Club Golf Tournament


There is no fee to sign up for Dads' Club. Dads' Club T-shirts will be available through the O.C. Taylor Spirit Shop.


Like Our Facebook Page and follow us on Twitter @OCTDadsClub


Thank You,

Wes Critz, OCT Dads' Club President

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Apple Tree and GCISD Volunteer Background Check

The Apple Tree is up and running! Our amazing teachers need items throughout the year, so please check the Apple Tree Signup for things they need. Sign up to purchase the item and send to school with your child with the teacher’s name on it. Check periodically for updates and items needed. Thank you so much for helping our teachers!!
https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20F0C48ACAA2CA5F85-oc1


If you are new to O.C. Taylor, we are so glad to have you! Our school runs on our amazing volunteers. In order to volunteer at the school, please complete the District's Volunteer Background Check Application for the 2019-2020 school year. Also, please read and sign the Volunteer Handbook included in the link as well. As a reminder, all volunteers are required to reapply each year. https://www.gcisd.net/cms/one.aspx?pageId=195550


Sincerely,

Jill Tate

4th VP – Volunteer Coordinator

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Thank you!

Berri O'Neal Gormley

PTA President

octaylorptapresident@gmail.com

berrionealgormley@gmail.com


Lissa Critz

PTA President-Elect

lissa@mymagicjourneys.com

Stay Connected at O. C. Taylor Elementary School

We have a number of ways to keep in touch with our school. Be sure to read, subscribe to and join these resources to get all the latest news.



Facebook: If you’re a Facebook member be sure to join the O.C. Taylor Elementary Facebook Group to get updates in your feed. This group is meant to provide another way to get news and updates.


Website: The school’s website has the latest news, updates, and calendars, as well as general information about the school, resources for parents, volunteer opportunity information, event information and ways to donate.


Twitter: We regularly post events and upcoming news on Twitter. Follow me on Twitter: @OCTYoung and follow our hashtag #OCT4U.