Tiger Talk


Update on Virtual School Option and Face Coverings

Dear Lake Travis ISD Staff, Parents and Guardians,

As you may recall, in March, we released a parent questionnaire to gauge interest in a potential virtual campus option for the 2021-2022 school year. We received approximately 2,800 responses via our Google Form, of which roughly 70% indicated they did not have an interest in pursuing a virtual campus option. Parents who indicated an interest in a virtual school option shared various concerns which would ultimately prevent them from enrolling their child in a virtual campus including:

  • limited options for programs and courses that are not conducive to an online environment;
  • commitment to a semester or to a full school year;
  • restriction from participating in UIL events;
  • requirements to participate on a physical campus as needed; and
  • requirements to apply and meet certain skills or criteria.

Because of these concerns, coupled with the fact that we do not yet know if either the legislature or the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will allow us to provide virtual learning next year, Lake Travis ISD will not offer a virtual campus option for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Furthermore, with increased access to vaccine administrations for our staff and students, lower transmission rates of COVID-19 in our classrooms, the improvement of conditions overall, and because TEA has not approved a remote learning at home option for the 2021-2022 school year, we will return to in-person instruction and activities for all staff and students this fall.

In closing, we are aware that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidelines yesterday regarding face coverings as they pertain to fully vaccinated people. At this time, neither the CDC nor TEA have revised their safety guidance for K-12 schools. Accordingly, we will continue to follow our current COVID protocols until further notice. As a reminder, our school board is expected to make a decision regarding our COVID face covering protocols at its May 19 regular meeting. This will include discussing our plans for summer school and summer programs, along with our plans for the 2021-2022 school year. We will notify you of our school board's decision and their continuing efforts to prioritize the health and safety of our staff and students.

Thank you for your continued patience, understanding and support.


Paul Norton
Superintendent of Schools

Open enrollment for all grade levels for the 2021-22 school year happening now

The 2021-22 school year will be here before we know it, and the West Cypress Hills staff is busy planning for next year. While there are still some unknowns, one thing is for certain! New and returning TIGERS will be welcomed on August 18.

If you, or someone you know, have an incoming Kindergartener and/or are planning to enroll a student at any grade level, please make sure to fill out the enrollment packet online. West Cypress Hills has the most amazing staff, and we want to continue to hire the most highly qualified candidates. Because staffing allocations are based on current enrollment numbers, we need to have accurate numbers moving into the fall to staff our grade levels appropriately.

Enrollment packets can now be completed online. However, if you do not have access to a computer, hard copies of the enrollment packet are available for pick up. If you have any questions regarding enrollment, please reach out to our Registrar, Becky Wright, at 512-533-7500 or wrightr@ltisdschools.org.

Melanie Beninga

Principal, West Cypress Hills Elementary School

Please join me for a virtual Principal's Coffee at 9:30 am Friday, May 21!

You are cordially invited to my virtual Principal's Coffee! This will give us an opportunity to chat over a cup of coffee, ask and answer questions about the upcoming 2021-2022 school year, and elect a new PTO Board.

Please BYOC (bring your own coffee!)

When: Friday, May 21, at 9:30 am

Where: Join using this google meeting link

I hope you can join us! I am looking forward to it!

With warmest regards,

Melanie Beninga, Principal

Our 2020-2021 Yearbooks are Here!

Pre-ordered yearbooks were delivered to our remote 5th grade students and to in-person learners last week. Please be sure your student's name is on, or written inside, your yearbook, for students are invited to bring their yearbooks to school the week of May 24 so that they can gather any desired autographs.

Remote students are invited to pick up their pre-ordered yearbooks from the front desk through May 28.

If you did not pre-order a yearbook and would like to purchase one, they will be sold from the front desk Friday, May 21, through Friday, May 28, on a first-come, first-served basis until we sell out of yearbooks. The cost is $36, and we can accept payment in exact-amount cash or your check for $36 payable to Balfour.

Do You Need a Yearbook for 2019-2020?

If you wish you'd purchased our yearbook from 2019-2020, we have a deal for you! We procured some and will sell them from the front desk beginning Friday, May 21, for ONLY $5 EACH. The $5 is payable in exact cash or your check payable to Balfour.
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Tigers Arriving by Car Can be Dropped Off Between 7:20 & 7:40 am

To ensure the safety of our Tigers, please do not drop off students before 7:20 am on school days.

Staff members are not available to meet, greet and supervise students until 7:20 am.

Thank you for your cooperation.

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Huge Shout Out to the WCHE PTO and Kona Ice for Making our Field Day 2020-21 the BEST!!!!

The Tiger staff and students send BIG THANKS and MUCH LOVE to our fabulous West Cypress Hills Elementary PTO. Thanks to the PTO sponsorship for this fun and exciting event, Tigers participating from home and from the campus received Field Day 2020-2021 t-shirts to wear to the event. The t-shirt design is by our very own 5th Grade teacher, Mrs. Embry. Thank you, Mrs. Embry! Although the t-shirts started out white, Tigers everywhere decorated them with their own special spin on colorful designs and decorations. The t-shirts were provided to all students and staff members by the PTO. Thank you!!!!

And to cool off those hot and tired field day participants, the PTO brought in snow cones from Kona Ice!!!! As you can see in the photos, the snow cones and t-shirts made the day extra special and fun.

Thank you, Coaches Mirizzi and Clements, for creating THE BEST FIELD DAY EVER!!!!

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Update on Ability to Charge Items in the Cafeteria

As we approach the completion of the 2020-21 school year, the LTISD Food and Nutrition Services (FANS) Department has begun to settle all meal accounts that have a negative balance. Beginning May 17, 2021, students will not be able to charge a meal or a la carte items that would incur a negative balance. Therefore, starting May 17, if a student's purchase will lead to a negative balance on his/her account, the student may be given an alternate meal. Please use this opportunity to replenish your child's MySchoolBucks.com account so that your child can make his/her desired meal selections at the Cafe.

Please remember, to avoid a service fee, prepayments are accepted in cash or check at your campus Cafe. To ensure proper account credit, cash prepayments must be delivered to the Cafe in an envelope labeled with the student's full name and student identification number. Checks should be made payable to LTISD.

Students currently receiving meal benefits (free or reduced price meals) will continue to receive those benefits without interruption.

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These dates are for West Cypress Hills Elementary STAAR

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We Have A Neighborhood LTCL Bookmobile!

The Lake Travis Community Library Bookmobile comes to our neighborhood amenity center for contactless reserve pick up service, take and make crafts, and free Wi-Fi.

Our favorite Bookmobile will be a the West Cypress Hills neighborhood pool on alternating Thursdays from 3 to 4 pm.

Visit the Lake Travis Community Library website for more information.

Hit the Easy Button! Order 2021-22 School Supplies Online Here!

Thanks to our fabulous PTO, supplies can be ordered online from schoolkidz at your convenience! The online prepackaged grade level supplies can be ordered until June 11, 2021. If you purchase your student school supplies online, the supplies will be delivered to the school before the first day of school. Grade appropriate kits are available to order online now. Click here and use account #79519 to view the kits.

We also have lists of the school supplies for 2021-2022 so that, if you prefer, you can purchase the supplies on your own from any source convenient to you.

WCHE Continues to Follow LTISD Return to School Protocols for COVID-19

To help ensure that our Tiger families stay safe, please read the Daily Symptom Screening information that I provided below and keep your Tiger(s) home even if only one symptom is present. Please send your Tiger(s) to school wearing fresh clean face masks. We will help them to sanitize their hands as they enter the school and help them to keep hands sanitized throughout the school day.

We are one team, one family. Let's work together to keep our family healthy. Please feel free to contact me any time you have questions or concerns.

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Is it Allergies......or is it COVID-19?

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Are your children exhibiting a cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, headache, sore throat, congestion, or a runny nose? According to information released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these are symptoms common of both COVID-19 and seasonal allergies and should be taken seriously. In fact, Lake Travis ISD health and wellness protocols stipulate students who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, including those common to both COVID-19 and seasonal allergies as depicted above, should be kept home.

Recently, students across our District who have been sent home with common symptoms have tested positive for COVID-19. If your child is exhibiting any of the symptoms of COVID-19, including those common of both COVID-19 and seasonal allergies, please keep him/her home.

Furthermore, I urge everyone to continue the consistent practice of personal hygiene and social distancing so that we can keep our school safe and operational. We are one team, one family.

WCHE Clinic Needs Athletic Shorts

The WCHE Clinic, occasionally, needs to provide a change of clothing to our Tigers, and we are in need of used or new athletic shorts for boys and girls in sizes small, medium, and large.

If you have athletic shorts you can send our way, we'd be most grateful. Just place them in a grocery bag marked "Clinic" and send them to the Clinic by way of your in-person learners or drop them in the drop box that is located in our front lobby.

Thank you for helping us to help our Tigers!

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Dear Parents/Guardians of Tiger 5th Graders:

If your child receives updated immunizations at his/her 11-year-old well check, please turn the record in to me. I will then be able to make sure that the immunization record is as up to date as possible before he/she is promoted to middle school.

There are 3 vaccines recommended for preteens. At 11-12 years old, your preteen should receive vaccines to protect them from the following diseases:

Please remember that you are welcome to contact me if you have questions concerning immunizations.

Warmest regards,

Dana Hensel, RN, NCSN, WCHE School Nurse

The Return of the Very Popular WCHE PTO Experiences Auction - May 17 through May 22

Many parents have noticed Tigers' birthdays posted on the outdoor marquee and indoor digital signs and have asked about having their Tigers' birthdays posted on them, too. That fun birthday experience is just one of the many fun experiences that your Tiger can enjoy in the upcoming school year through the West Cypress Hills Elementary School Experiences Auction.

The West Cypress Hills Elementary School PTO proudly presents this year's SCHOOL EXPERIENCES ONLINE AUCTION. The auction opens at 8 am on Monday, May 17, and ends on May 22 around 9 pm.

To view and bid on the experiences up for auction this year, click here and enter invitation code QZH3E2.

The auction benefits the PTO, the school, and our teachers. Thank you for your support.

Good luck at the auction!

Lake Travis Middle School PTO Welcomes Families of Rising 6th Grade Tigers!

Welcome to Lake Travis Middle School! We are very excited that you will be joining us next year, and we look forward to meeting you. Becoming a member of the PTO is a great way to meet your new family and be in on everything exciting that will be happening at Lake Travis MIddle School.

We invite you to join our PTO as members, volunteers, and supporters. There are even a few opportunities to serve on the PTO Board and some of our PTO committees. To learn more about the Lake Travis Middle School PTO and to apply for membership, just click here!

We look forward to seeing you soon!

With warmest regards,

Freda Collier, LTMS PTO President

Order Lake Travis Middle School Supply Kits Here!

Order by May 1 and "Like" Sprout on Facebook to be double-entered in a drawing for free supplies! Last day to order online kits is July 13!

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Staff Shout Outs

WCH Families,

In the last few weeks, families submitted shout outs to our staff. Your words of appreciation were priceless and brought big smiles and tears of joy. Thank you, and please continue to submit your shout outs!

If you would like to send a shout out to a WCHE staff member or teacher, I will gladly pass it along. It can be anonymous or signed. Thank you for lifting up our hardworking teachers and faculty. We love what we do and appreciate your partnership.

Thanks for taking a minute to say thanks!


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Wall of Fame for Shoe Tying

Our Wall of Fame for Shoe Tying is dedicated to Kinder, 1st, 2nd, and/or 3rd Grade Tigers who have just learned to tie their shoes AND for Kinder, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Grade Tigers who know how to tie their shoes and have not already been honored on our Wall of Fame for Shoe Tying in prior years.

The honor is extended to in-person learners and remote learners. Contact our PE coaches if you have questions or need a paper or electronic shoe sent to your Tiger(s.)

Changing Instructional Status

A change from in-person learning to remote learning can be made at any time. To request this change, complete the LTISD Instructional Change Form. The completed form should be forwarded to our Registrar, Becky Wright.

Instructions for the Return of LTISD-Issued Technology

If you checked out a chromebook and/or hotspot from the LTISD Technology Department that you have not already returned to West Cypress Hills Elementary or to the LTISD Technology Department, please make arrangements to return the borrowed equipment as shown below.

Wifi Hotspots

All LTISD issued hotspots will be deactivated on June 2. Hotspots & power cords should be returned to the student's campus front office anytime until May 28, where they will be placed in a container for collection & check-in. All Hotspots should be turned in to the front office no later than May 28

Any hotspot not turned in prior to May 28 can be returned directly to the Technology Department Mondays through Thursdays from 8 am to 4 pm beginning June 1. The Technology Department is located at 16101 West Highway 71, Building B, Austin, TX 78738


Elementary students who currently have a Chromebook & power cord checked out, will need to return the Chromebook to the front office of their student’s home campus prior to May 28h. Each campus will have a bin in the front office for Chromebooks and hotspots for collection & check in. Please be sure to return the Chromebook and Chromebook power cord. Any Chromebook not turned in prior to May 28 can be returned directly to the Technology Department Mondays through Thursdays from 8 am to 4 pm beginning June 1. The Technology Department is located at 16101 West Highway 71, Building B, Austin, TX 78738

All Elementary checked out Chromebooks will be disabled on June 1.

Counselor's Corner

I have enjoyed working with your child(ren) this school year.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

I am happy to be of assistance. We are one family, one team!

Happy Summer!

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Celebrating our 5th Graders

Hello 5th Grade Parents and Guardians.

We are working on our 5th Grade Promotion and want to keep you informed on what it will look like this year. While keeping in line with district COVID protocols, it was a priority for myself, 5th grade teachers, and district leadership to provide parents a way to be included in the “5th grade send off.” With some out of the box thinking, we have a plan that will allow parents to participate in the send off portion of the day's activities. Below is an approximate schedule for May 28:

  • 7:20 - 7:45 Pictures and fun in the classrooms

  • 7:45 - 8:30 Classroom celebrations

  • 8:30 - 9:15 Baby and 5th grade photo slideshow in the Cafe

  • 9:15 - 9:35 5th grade walks the halls of school one last time

  • 9:40 - 10:05 “5th grade send off”--see info below

  • 10:05 - 10:10 Students assemble in the Cafe for parent pick up

  • 10:10 - 10:25 Parents may check out students early

We would love to have parent involvement in the “5th grade send off.” If you choose, parents will line up on the Sabino Drive opposite the school. Students will walk out the front door of the school, walk down the sidewalk, turn left on Sabino Drive, and reenter the building near the bus loop. The students will stay on the sidewalk closest to the school and not be permitted to cross the street. Parents can snap photos, make signs, and wave and cheer from the other side of the street.

Parents, we ask that you stay on the sidewalk off Sabino Drive opposite the school. There are designated parking spots for parents in the school lots. Parking on Sabino Dr. will not be permitted. We encourage parents to carpool with their family members as parking will be limited. If you elect to parallel park on Cypress Ranch Boulevard, please be sure to park only on the pavement. Please do not park on the median, for there are sprinkler heads located in all of the medians.

There are two options for parents to check out their student(s) early. If you drove, you may use the car line to pick up your 5th graders. The second option is to walk to the back of the school between the kindergarten playground and the back parking lot to pick up your student to walk home. Students will be released to a parent or guardian. If your child is riding home or being picked up by another 5th-grade parent, please indicate in SMART tag the parent name.

We want to encourage our remote students to join us on the last day for activities but we understand there are a variety of comfort levels when it comes to entering the building. If you were to send your remote student to school, the following protocols will be in place to ensure student safety. Remote students will enter through the library entrance. Students will sanitize their hands upon entrance to the building. Students will participate in their class's virtual activities from the computer lab and will join their peers in the cafe for the slideshow. Students will be seated two to a table facing forward. During the parade through the halls, students will be masked. In preparation for the official send off, remote students will gather in the computer lab and exit the building through the library. Remote parents will utilize the same early pick up methods as in person students. Those choosing to participate in activities from home are welcome to do so.

We are working on yard signs to be placed in the front of the school for photo opportunities.

Thank you for your partnership and helping make a very different year memorable.

Melanie Beninga

Principal, West Cypress Hills Elementary School

Upcoming Events

03/16 - 06/11/21....Order 2021-22 School Supply Kits Online Using School Code 79519

04/01 - 07/13/21....Order LTMS School Supply Kits Here!

05/01 - 05/31/21....National Physical Fitness & Sports Month

05/17 - 05/22/21....PTO Auction to Benefit WCHE PTO Invitation Code QZH3E2

05/17 - 05/28/21....Remote Students Pick Up Pre-ordered Yearbooks @ Front Desk

05/17 - 05/28/21....Tigers May Purchase Yearbooks - $36 Exact Cash or Check to Balfour

05/21/21................Virtual Principal's Coffee @ 9:30 am!

05/21/21................LTHS Punt, Pass, & Kick!

05/27/21................End of Year Class Parties Day - Party Schedule

05/28/21................Tiger 5th Grade Promotion Day

05/28/21................Last Day of School - Early Release at 1 pm - No Extended Care Today

06/01 - 06/24/21...WCHE Office Open Mondays thru Thursdays 9 am to 1 pm

06/11/21...............Last Day to Order WCHE 21-22 School Supply Kits Online - Code 79519

06/25 - 07/19/21....WCHE Office Closed

007/01/21.............LT Extended Care 21-22 Registration Opens Learn More

07/13/21................Last Day to Order LTMS 21-22 School Supply Kits Online

07/20 - 08/05/21....WCHE Office Open Mondays thru Thursdays 9 am to 1 pm

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

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

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