Dolphin Tales

A Newsletter for Dove Elementary Families

February 20-February 24

A Note from the principal...

Hello, Dove families!

Last week was filled with all the things I love!

I LOVE watching our students engage in their learning! I had the opportunity to attend the 5th grade presentation of Greek Myth plays in the cafeteria as a culmination to their drama unit; the DDD ROCKED THE HOUSE , under the direction of Kevin Strang, at the GCISD Percussion Bash on Saturday, and on Friday, I took Interim Superintendent Dr. Schnautz on a tour of Dove where we stopped in to several classrooms, including Mrs. Barton's PreK class and listened to her students READING!!!

Our PTA and volunteers made our Valentine's Day parties this week SO FUN, and we had a great turnout at the after hours Book Fair and PTA meeting Thursday night!

The examples above are what makes Dove the BEST of the BEST- great kiddos engaged in their learning, a great staff that works so hard to meet each student where they are and push them to reach their goals, and great families that volunteer and support our school however they can!

Proud to be your principal,

Heather Landrum

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Grade Level Newsletters

Links to grade-level newsletters can also be found here:



1st grade

2nd grade

3rd grade

4th grade

5th grade

School Stats: Week of February 13-February 17, 2023

Total Enrollment: 455

Total tardies goal: 0

Tardies this week: 136

**Did you know? There are other elementary schools that have ZERO tardies each day? Dove families, we have got to have our students at school on time and READY TO LEARN! Every minute of instructional time counts!

Total Attendance Goal: 96.5%

Total Attendance Rate for last week: 94.87%

PK: 93.4%

Kinder: 96.0%

1st: 94.8%

2nd: 96.8%

3rd: 96.0%

4th: 90.3%

5th: 95.2%

Attendance Matters! Thank you for having your child at school on time every day!
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Can I eat lunch with my child?

YES! We welcome families to come eat lunch with their child!!

Due to limited visitor seating, we ask that families use the sign up below to ensure they have a space to sit when they come to lunch! Please review the available slots below and click on the button to sign up. We ask that you only choose one slot per week to allow for other families to also enjoy lunch with their students.

You are welcome to share this sign up with a family member that may not have received the newsletter.

Don't forget your ID when signing in to visit during lunch!

Please call the front office if you have any questions! Thank you!

February Lunch Sign Up

New Information!

Attendance Laws

There are two attendance laws in the state of Texas. We wanted to be sure that everyone was aware of both of these laws and how they could impact your child. Should you have questions regarding the laws, please feel free to reach out to Mrs. Landrum, Mrs. Diehl, or our school counselor, Jennifer Hill, for more information.

  • PK-12th grade-Attendance for Credit: This law addresses both excused and unexcused absences as well as tardiness occurring after 7:40 a.m. and early dismissals. Section 25.092 of the Texas Education Code conditions credit for a class on a student's attendance for at least 90 percent of the days a class is offered. Attendance for Credit continues throughout the school year, includes excused as well as unexcused absences and a total of 17 absences for the year would be less than 90% attendance. When students have more than 17 absences, they cannot be promoted to the next grade level. We are required to hold a Placement/Retention Meeting at the end of the year to determine if the child can be placed in the next grade level or need to be retained.

  • PK-12th grade- Failure to Attend: This law addresses unexcused absences and tardiness occurring after 7:40 a.m. and early dismissals. The Texas Education Code mandates that a child who is required to attend school do so each school day for the entire school year, per Section 25.085, Compulsory School Attendance from the Texas Education Agency. When a child fails to attend for 10 or more days or parts of days (includes being tardy after 7:40 a.m. and early dismissals) within a six-month period in the same school year, or on three or more days or parts of days within a four-week period then the parent is deemed as "contributing to non-attendance" (Sec. 25.093) and an offense under this section may be prosecuted in a justice court. The state mandates that it is the parent's duty to monitor the student's school attendance and require the student to attend school. The school is required to keep attendance and report daily to the state. We want to ensure that you are aware of this law because, should your child reach 10 unexcused absences, truancy prevention measures would automatically generate.

Please regularly check your child's attendance in Skyward Family Access so that you can ensure you are following both of these attendance laws!

Interim Assessments This Week

On Tuesday and Thursday, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students will once again take Interim Assessments.

Tuesday, February 21: Reading

Thursday, February 23: Math

Interim Assessments are an important assessment where students will show what they know and have an opportunity to practice using the online testing tools and taking the assessment online. Teachers/ school staff will gain insight into areas where students are excelling and areas where students need targeted focus prior to STAAR later this spring. We will use Interim Assessment data to adjust intervention groups, tutoring groups, and plan for our Rockin' Review the two weeks before STAAR.

Parents, it is very important on Assessment days that your student:

  • is on time and ready to learn!!
  • eats a good breakfast with protein and not full of sugar to help fuel their brain!
  • bring their Chromebook fully charged, AND they need a set of headphones. Headphones were part of the school supply list this year, but many students are not bringing their headphones daily. Please check in with your student and purchase another pair, if needed. They will use them daily!!

All grade levels will follow their normal lunch, recess, and specials schedule with the exception of 5th grade. They will go to recess from 1:15-1:45. Thank you 1st Grade!

As a reminder, STAAR will be administered on:

April 25: 3rd-5th Reading

April 27: 5th grade Science

May 9: 3rd-5th Math

Use of Cell Phones and Other Electronic Devices at School


We are seeing an increased number of students that bring a cell phone, smart watch, or other personal electronic device to school. We are also seeing an increase in students with these devices using them during the school day to text or make phone calls. This is not allowed. If an elementary student needs to communicate with a parent during the school day, they should call from the teacher's classroom phone or from the office.

Per the 22-23 GCISD Student Parent Handbook (pages 66-68), in elementary, use of a cell phone or other personal electronic device at school is not allowed, unless an administrator has given special permission.

Moving forward, cell phones should remain off and in backpacks at all times during the school day. Smart watches can be worn, but in airplane mode so that they are only used as a watch. We will begin assigning consequences, as outlined on page 67 of the GCISD Student Parent Handbook.

**Important Note** During STAAR Testing, cell phones and smart watches are not allowed in the testing room and will be collected and stored in another location during the test administration.

Thank you for helping us protect instructional time and minimize the distraction use of these devices is causing in our classrooms. If you have questions, please contact Mrs. Landrum or Mrs. Diehl.

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Open House and Family Movie Night- Friday, March 3

OPEN HOUSE IS 5:00-6:00.

Open House is a come-and-go event, and students will walk their families around the building to share what they've been learning and working on! In the classrooms, students will share their learning with their families.

All parents that plan to attend Open House and would like to skip the line at the kiosk, please RSVP by completing THIS FORM (one form for each visitor) by WEDNESDAY, March 1, so that we can create a Fast Pass for you! Please remember your ID!

FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT IS 6:00-7:30 on the blacktop.

At 6:00, Open House will end, and our Family Movie Night on the blacktop begins! This is a fun family event, so parents, please stay with your students and monitor them! The Dove Dads Club will be grilling, and PTA will have concessions for purchase. Bring your lawn chair and blankets and join us for this free movie night.

If you are able to volunteer and help with concessions during Movie Night, click HERE.

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Friendship Day, Friday March 3 During Specials

The 10th Annual Dove Elementary World Friendship Day is Friday, March 3 during students' Specials times in the gym. During Friendship Day, students visiting the gym will receive a passport and will travel to different countries represented in our school community. Families have volunteered to represent their heritage and present to student groups.

If you would like to attend Friendship Day, please RSVP and we will print a Fast Pass for you!

If you are interested in volunteering and/or presenting to students about your country, please email Mrs. Mery at

Repeated Information (But worth reading again!)

Celebrating Black History Month

February is Black History Month. We will recognize and celebrate outstanding leaders in history as part of this celebration throughout our campus and daily announcements. Be on the lookout for a special Black History Month video collaboration featuring students from all GCISD schools.

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Click this button to view a Google Doc with information about Middle School Transition Information! Check back as more dates/ info will be added!

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Dove Elementary Helps Students Find Their Love of Reading

Check out the article GCISD put out to share more about our 1,500 Minute Reading Challenge!! How's the challenge going for your student!?!? We LOVE that our students are motivated to read, read, read!!

Link to the article HERE:


Dolphins, Want some fun ways to switch up your 20 mins/ a night for the 1,500 Minute Reading Challenge?? Check these out!!

For the month of February, our librarians are asking students to show how they read at home and created this fun photo challenge for families to complete together. Take pictures of your student completing each challenge and fill in the card to show your love for reading!

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GCISD 2023-2024 Instructional Calendar Approved

GCISD will begin the 2023-2024 school year on Tuesday, August 15, 2023. The calendar for the upcoming school year was approved by GCISD’s Board of Trustees at their December 19 meeting.

A few additional holidays and important dates on the calendar include:
-District holidays are on September 4, October 9, January 15, March 29, May 27 and June 19
- Six professional development days (no school for students), which are scheduled for September 18, November 6 and 7 (Election Day), January 2-3 and February 19
- Thanksgiving Break runs November 20-24
- Winter Break for students runs December 18-January 3
- Spring Break runs March 11-15
- The calendar includes flexible minutes which will be used before the two bad weather days scheduled for on February 16 and April 15
- The last day of school is on Thursday, May 23

Click here to view or download the final 2023-2024 calendar. Please note the start date in August and save this calendar and use it when planning upcoming trips and vacations next year!

The Dove Yearbook is proud to celebrate Dove Elementary's 50th anniversary!

There are so many amazing teachers, students, clubs and events at Dove, and we can't wait to showcase them all in this 2022 - 2023 yearbook.

If you haven't already, be sure to create an account with, our online yearbook service. Signing up is free, and you'll have full access to view the yearbook. Use the link and school code below to create an account:

TreeRing Link:

School Code: 101285613713880

Watch your inbox for future Yearbook updates!

1,500 Minute Reading Challenge

We are so excited to partner with our PTA and the community to present the Dove Dolphin 1,500 Minute Reading Challenge to our students! We'll be sending the challenge worksheet home this week! Students should have their parents initial in a box for every 20 minutes that they read or are read to at home.

DID YOU KNOW?: It would take 75 days of reading 20 minutes per day to conquer reading 1,500 minutes, and there are 99 weekdays left of the school year!?

As students earn prizes on the worksheet, they should present their worksheet that's been initialed by their parents to their homeroom teacher in order to collect their prizes. We are so excited to do this as a school and can't wait to see our students reach those prize milestones!!!

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Grade Level Calendars

If you've been looking for a way to more easily stay on top of all of the events, activities, and deadlines for school, these calendars should really help you!

1st Grade:
2nd Grade:
3rd Grade:
4th Grade:
5th Grade:

If you have any questions or issues with the calendars or integration, feel free to reach out to for more assistance.
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New STAAR Item Types

3rd-5th grade families, take a look at this!!

The State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) has undergone a redesign starting with the 2022 - 2023 school year. Students will experience new item response types, as well as, additional opportunities for free response and writing.

Families and students can preview and practice with the new item types by visiting the Texas Education Agency (TEA) resource at this link.

You do not need a login or password to access the site. Leave both options set to Guest and click the green login button at the bottom of the page. After selecting a STAAR-tested grade level, you will have a variety of options including information about the new item types and practice tests.

3rd-5th grade students will take Interim Assessments (STAAR Benchmark Assessments) on December 14 and 15!! Please make sure you log in at home and talk with your student about these new question types!

Celebrating Birthdays at Dove!

Celebrate your Dolphin’s birthday in a BIG way by having their name and birthday flash on our marquee (Pro Tip- this is a great photo opp)!! Fill out the form below and drop your money by the front office!

Happy Birthday to all our Dolphins!

Please Bring Your ID!

ALL visitors must present a photo ID upon entering Dove EACH TIME THEY VISIT. Any visitor without a photo ID will not be allowed to sign in to our school. Thank you for understanding and for keeping the safety of our students and staff a priority!

Attendance Matters!!!

Please click HERE to view the 22-23 GCISD Instructional Calendar. This is a helpful resource to consult when planning family vacations and trips! Thank you for planning trips and vacations around the Instructional Calendar to ensure your student is in attendance every day that we have school!

Of course, we know that there will be a day when your child has a fever or is vomiting. We ask that in these cases, you keep them home and email or call the school to let us know.

Thank you for making sure your student is at school learning every day!!

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From Dove PTA

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Dove Apple Tree

The Dove Apple Tree has been updated! We invite you to take a look at the list to see what items teachers are needing! This list will continue to be updated, so check back to see what needs we can fill for our amazing teachers! Email with any questions!

Volunteers Needed!

At Dove, we believe in the partnership between the classroom teacher, student, and parents, and we want you to be a part of our Dove community! Volunteers are needed for a variety of reasons throughout the year. Whether you will be working with a small group of students, reshelving books in the library, helping at Field Day, or chaperoning a field trip, all volunteers must view the GCISD Volunteer handbook and complete a background check every year. More information can be found on the Volunteer page on the GCISD Website. We look forward to seeing you around Dove soon!

District Information

EB Parent and Family Engagement Event February 22

As part of the Title III funds we receive for Emergent Bilingual (EB) / English Learners (EL), we have to offer a district-wide event for parent, family, and community engagement. In partnership with TEA, we will host a watch party to address the Parent Engagement event for Emergent Bilingual Families. This event will focus on educating parents to increase their English skills and academic performance and become active participants in their children's education.

We will meet in the PDEC Panther and Bronco Rooms. We will have multiple Chromebooks to ensure that families listen to the information in their native language. The languages that we will offer to our families are:

  • English

  • Spanish

  • Arabic

  • Vietnamese

  • Russian

***The communication to share with EB families will be the flyers attached by language.***

February Parent Tech Academy

Are you a parent looking to stay informed about your child's technology use at school and at home? Look no further than the GCISD Parent Tech Academy! Our next session is at the PDEC on February 22nd, at 6:30pm. At the Parent Tech Academy, we will go over how to access parent weekly emails, your children’s internet history, and even how-to pause the internet on school issued devices after school hours. We will also have a Q&A about raising kids in a digital world.

Join us for the Parent Tech Academy and learn how to be better informed on your child's technology use.

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Curriculum Site

The community may access an overview to curriculum for core courses at the following website: The site may also be accessed from under the Parent pull-down menu.

Paying for Meals

GCISD will begin charging for meals this year. To see if your child qualifies for Free or Reduced Meal Pricing, please click HERE and complete the form.

To add money to your child's meal account, please send a check to school with them or drop it by the front office. **Pro Tip** Download the My School Bucks App from your App Store. You can add money directly to your child's meal account, track their spending, and receive notifications when their meal account runs low!

Lunch Menus

Click the button to be redirected to the GCISD Nutrition Services Page!

Upcoming Events

February 20: No School for Students- Staff PD Day!

February 21:


February 23:

  • MATH IA#2

February 27: TELPAS (2nd-5th)

February 28: Class Pictures and Spring Pictures

March 1: SCIENCE IA #1

March 2:

  • TELPAS (2nd-5th)
  • CEC Meeting 3:30-4:45 in the Learning Commons

March 3:

  • Friendship Day (During Specials)
  • Open House (5:00-6:00) / PTA Movie Night (6:00-7:30)

March 13-17: Spring Break

March 20: Phase 2 Tutorials begins

April 7: Bad Weather Day

April 10: Bad Weather Day

April 19: Early Release (11:45am)

April 25: STAAR Reading (3rd-5th grade)

April 27: STAAR Science (5th grade)

May 9: STAAR Math (3rd-5th grade)

May 19: Field Day

May 25: Last Day of School! Early Release @ 11:45am

Contact Us

The mission of Dove Elementary:

In a partnership with parents, students, teachers, and community, Dove Elementary provides a safe and supportive environment in which students develop an understanding and respect for self and others. We cultivate learning through encouragement of inquiry and empower students to make a difference in our ever-changing world.

Follow our story on Twitter at #DESisBEST