Tiger Talk Back 2 School Finale

08/17/21

Today's Edition: Preparing Students for the First Day

We hope you found our daily editions 8/3 - 8/17 helpful!

We are SOOOO excited to start the new school year!!! And, we suspect that you might be, too!

To prepare us all for August 18, we are publishing Special Edition Tiger Talks each weekday leading up to Meet the Teacher Day and the First Day of School. In each Special Edition, we will cover a topic that we hope you will find reassuring and helpful.


And, certainly, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. It is a pleasure and a privilege to be of assistance to our Tiger Families.


We look forward to seeing you soon!

A Welcome From our Principal

It is with great pleasure that I extend a warm welcome to all of our new and returning families to West Cypress Hills Elementary School! There are so many reasons to celebrate our school, and it starts with your being a part of this magnificent community. West Cypress Hills Elementary is a learning community where every learner is nurtured, respected, and challenged. Here at WCHE we believe learning should be a social, inspiring journey full of dynamic experiences that build the love of life-long learning in all of our students. This year we will continue to explore all of the ways West Cypress teachers build personal, inspiring and authentic educational experiences for our learners.


I am thrilled that you have chosen West Cypress Hills Elementary as your child’s school. Our staff is highly-qualified, hard-working, and dedicated to growing strong learners and leaders here on our campus. We deeply appreciate your sharing your wonderful children with us here at WCHE. We treasure the opportunity to learn and grow together with our WCHE families.


If convenient for you to do so, please stop by our school Library, Wednesday, August 18, around 7:42 am, so that I can visit with you in person over a cup of coffee. Our fabulous PTO is sponsoring a Principal's Coffee the morning that our Tigers start their new school year. I look forward to meeting you there.


With warmest regards,

Melanie Beninga, Principal

Meet our School Counselor, Mrs. Sheila White


Hello! My name is Sheila White, and I am thrilled to be the school counselor at West Cypress Hills Elementary School! Caring for the social and emotional well-being of students is my passion and priority, and I am so happy to be part of the Tiger family.


I began my education career as a middle school Special Education teacher in Torrance Unified School District in California. I then served as an elementary school counselor in Corona-Norco Unified School District. There, I served students and staff at three elementary schools, while also serving on the district's Crisis Response Team. I was privileged to provide social and emotional counseling to students and their families. I also had the opportunity to work with a non-profit organization to further support families in my community.


I completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of California, San Diego. I then earned my Master's Degree in Counseling at Loyola Marymount University, as well as my Pupil Personnel Services credential.


I live with my husband and four children in the Spicewood area. I have two Tigers of my own - Hayden is in 4th grade, and Landon is in 5th grade. I also have a 9th grader and an 11th grader in LTISD. I love to spend my free time with my family exploring the beautiful Texas hill country, gardening, baking, and traveling.


I am always available should any student or family need support. Thank you for entrusting me with your children!

Recommendations from our Counselor

We are so thrilled to welcome our Tigers back to campus for the 2021-22 school year! The start of the school year can bring much excitement - from fresh school supplies to discovering what class your child will be in for this school year. However, it can also bring some anxiety, particularly if your child is new to our school. While we as a staff are prepared and excited to welcome every Tiger and help ease any first-day worries, there are several things families can do to prepare their children for the return to school.


  • Have informal conversations with your child as the first day draws near. Ask them questions about school using positive verbiage, being careful not to steer them toward an anxious response. Ask your child, "what are you the most excited about?", "what are you hoping to learn this year", and "what do you think will be your favorite part of your day?"

  • Allow your child to help you set up back-to-school routines. Routines reduce anxiety and build structure, and they allow your child to take ownership of their school day. Consider making a check sheet or visual chart of tasks to be completed before and after school. Encourage your child to assist in age-appropriate tasks like packing their lunch or snack, and celebrate the completion of those tasks!


  • Rehearse skills that your child will be asked to complete independently at school - such as using the restroom, washing hands, and zipping up sweatshirts. This independence certainly comes with a sense of pride for our students!


  • Mornings can easily become a stressful time of day, but with some preparation, they can be smooth and positive. Setting out clothes and packing lunches/snacks the night before can reduce morning stress. Prioritize good quality sleep with early bedtimes. Unexpected stressors will certainly pop up from time to time, but a smooth morning is a win for the entire family.

  • Read a good book about starting school with your child. Time to connect over a book, particularly one that addresses an exciting change, is time well-spent.


  • At the end of the first day, take time as a family to celebrate! Make a special dinner, have a celebratory dessert, or take time to talk and process the day. Even the most experienced of students will need some extra attention during those first few days back at school. We value your support as a critical member of your child's educational team, so take some time to celebrate you as well!

Upcoming Events

All Summer.............Tales & Tails WCHE Summer Reading Camp

07/01/21................LT Extended Care 21-22 Registration Opens Learn More

08/09 - 08/17/21....WCHE Office Open Weekdays 7:30 am to 4:00 pm

08/17/21.................Meet the Teacher Day!

08/18/21.................1st Day of School 7:40 am - 3:00 pm

08/18/21.................Coffee with the Principal 7:42 am WCHE Library

08/20/21.................Student-only Assembly in the Gym @ 7:45 am

08/23/21.................1st Day of School for Online Learning

08/27/21.................Student-only Assembly in the Gym @ 7:45 am

09/02/21.................Curriculum Night, KG-2nd 5:30 - 6:15 pm & 3rd-th 6:30 - 7:15 pm

09/06/21.................No School - Happy Labor Day!