Tiger Talk Back 2 School Edition #1
Today's Edition: Arrivals/Dismissals/Transportation
Please watch for our daily editions, weekdays 8/3 - 8/16!
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
Click here to reach our website page that provides helpful arrival, dismissal, and transportation information.
Arrival on the first day of school
On the first day of school, all parents are welcome to walk their Tiger(s) into the building and escort them to the classroom. Kindergarten parents will be able to walk their Kinder student to class on the 18th, 19th, and 20th. Parents who obtain a wristband at Meet the Teacher Day and wear the wristband on the 1st day of school will not need to obtain a Visitor Badge from the Front Office before entering the building on the 1st day of school. For subsequent visits to the school, however, parents will need to obtain a Visitor Badge through the Raptor security system kiosks located in the Front Office before entering the building.
Parents who wish to escort Tigers to their classrooms will need to park in one of our visitor parking lots. In the event that it becomes necessary to parallel park on Cypress Ranch Boulevard, please make certain to avoid parking on the medians. Our neighborhood has lovely landscaping and sprinkler systems, and as a good neighbor, we do our best to avoid damaging them.
If you prefer NOT to escort your Tiger(s) to class, no worries! IT IS NOT NECESSARY that you escort your Tiger(s) to class, for we have staff members on duty every school day to assist students to their classrooms.
After the first day of school, Tigers should proceed to class on their own. Parents, if they choose to do so, may certainly park (or walk to school) and escort students to the front doors. Please rest assured that our staff members are happy and ready to take charge of the students from that point and help them, as needed, to find the classrooms.
Arrivals on or After Monday, August 23
All students enter the school through the front door or the car rider line side entrance (for Kindergarten and 1st Grade) unless they are arriving by bus. Staff members are outside in front of the building and at the side car line entrance each day to help open vehicle doors and assist students as they get out of their cars. Please have your child/children ready to exit the car prior to entering the drive. Allow your child to exit anywhere on the sidewalk, rather than waiting until you are directly in front of the doors. Please allow enough time for morning traffic (especially on rainy days). All car riders should be dropped off from the car rider lane only. For the safety of your child, do not let your child exit your car and walk between parked vehicles. The front car loops are one way at all times, both morning and afternoon. We encourage you to carpool and arrive early if possible.
We ask parents and students to utilize the two drop-off locations and for students to enter the school by themselves. Each student is greeted by a staff member inside the building and monitored on their way to the student's neighborhood where a grade level teacher is available to supervise the student.
Attendance is a key to success. To stay on target, Tigers needs to:
- Arrive between 7:20 and 7:40 AM each school day. Please note that staff members are not available to supervise students before 7:20 AM.
- Attend their classes until school is dismissed at 3:00 PM.
School begins promptly at 7:40 AM. A student is considered tardy at 7:41 AM. Excessive tardies are reviewed by the Principal for possible assistance or intervention, as appropriate.
For those times when tardiness cannot be avoided, the parent/guardian should accompany the student to the front office to sign in the student for the day. If the tardiness is due to illness or a doctor's appointment, please be certain to provide that information to the Receptionist at the front desk along with the note from the doctor's office.
Please take a moment to tell us how your child(ren) will go home at the end of the school day.
At West Cypress Hills, we make it a priority to ensure our students' safety throughout the dismissal process as much as during the day. All students and families are asked to choose from the following dismissal options:
Bus Riders - students who are enrolled to ride the bus home will load the buses under the supervision of staff members and ride the buses to their designated stops. Students in grades K-2 will not be allowed to exit the bus unless there is an authorized adult there to meet them. Students in grades K-2 who do not have an authorized adult to meet them at the bus stop will be returned to school. Repeated occurrences of this can result in suspension of bus privileges.
Walkers - students who are walking to a destination inside the neighborhood gather in the fourth grade neighborhood where they are dismissed by a staff member. This group is only for students who are walking in the neighborhood, to a home or specified meeting place away from the school building. All students who are being picked up by parents at the school in a vehicle should consider themselves car riders. Parents parked on Sabino during dismissal will be asked to go through the car line and their child will be escorted to the car rider pick up line. An escorted walker is not released by WCH staff until the student's escort arrives to walk with the student. An unescorted walker is not required to be escorted.
Bikers - students gather at the student bike rack in the front of the school where they are dismissed to walk their bikes with a staff member. This group is only for students who have a bike located at the student bike rack.
Car Riders - All students departing school by vehicle gather with the car riders. Parents of car riders are issued numbered car rider hang tags. The tag is made to be hung from the rearview mirror of the vehicle. When WCH staff see this number pull into the front circle drive, the appropriate car riders are brought to the front entrance.
WCH staff members are on deck to meet the students and assist them into their vehicles. We load 6 cars at a time; therefore, the line moves steadily once dismissal begins. Although the line may look long at the start, it moves fairly quickly. Staff members will escort your child to your car door and assist them in opening the car door and getting them into the car. Parents are asked to remain inside their vehicles and stay in the pickup lane so that the traffic will move smoothly and dismissal can be timely for all participants.
Parents who do not have a numbered car-rider tag may obtain one at Meet the Teacher Day or from the Front Office. Each family is given the first tag free. Additional tags can be purchased for $1 each. Many families choose to purchase additional tags for additional cars, babysitters, or carpools. These can be purchased from the Receptionist at the Front Office. We can accept exact cash/coin amounts or checks payable to WCHE.
Private Day Care Bus - Students whose parents arrange (via SMARTTag) for students to be picked up by their day care will be escorted to the day care bus/vehicle at the end of the school day.
LTISD Extended Care - Students enrolled to attend LTISD's Extended Care will be escorted to the cafeteria at 3 pm where they will be checked by a WCH Extended Care employee.
Setting Up Dismissal Arrangements for your Tiger(s)
We utilize SMARTTag's dismissal management system to provide you and us with your instructions concerning how your Tiger(s) will go home at the end of the school day. When you provide instructions through SMARTTag, the classroom teacher will automatically receive your instructions. Therefore, there is no need to attempt to reach the teacher by phone or email in order to provide dismissal instructions. In fact, the BEST WAY TO ENSURE YOUR INSTRUCTIONS ARE FOLLOWED is for you to enter them in the SMARTTag system.
It is dependable, easy to use, and can be updated by parents and guardians from the convenience of their smart phones, tablets, and PCs. Through the on-line dismissal management system, you can:
- report student absences,
- schedule early departures from school,
- report late arrivals to school,
- schedule after-school activities such as scouting, enrichment classes, taekwondo...,
- and make transportation changes as late as 2 PM the effective date of the change.
Please be sure to register in SMARTTag's parent portal. See the instructions shown below or click on the pictured instructions to learn more about SMARTTag services in our website.
Changing Dismissal Arrangements
Transportation changes: The greatest challenge we have at dismissal time is to give correct instructions to students when families change their transportation plans frequently or change them late in the school day, causing confusion with the students and staff as to where the child is supposed to go at dismissal (bus, car, or walker).
- Please note that you can make transportation changes in our dismissal management system, SMART tag, when the need arises, but it is best to be as consistent as possible. To help eleminate dismissal confusion for your child, dismissal changes should be rare.
- If your child will be going home an alternate way, please make the change in SMARTTag on or before the day of the transportation change. If you do not receive a confirmation email reply, please contact the front office by phone at 512.533.7500.
- Please understand that the safety of your child is of vital importance to us. To avoid errors and confusion, transportation changes cannot be accepted after 1:45 PM the day of the change.
- It is important that students complete their school day; thus, early dismissal should be a rare occurrence reserved only for emergency situations. For the safety of students, please do not schedule an early dismissal for the purpose of signing out a student between 2:30 and 3:00 pm.
Siblings: Whenever possible, it is best if all siblings utilize the same method of transportation and that they check with each other when they are meeting for dismissal. A student who notices the sibling is not there can alert a staff member in time to help us catch mistakes before they happen.
All Summer.............Tales & Tails WCHE Summer Reading Camp
07/01/21................LT Extended Care 21-22 Registration Opens Learn More
07/20 - 08/05/21....WCHE Office Open Mondays thru Thursdays 9 am to 1 pm
08/06/21.................Incoming Kinder Entry Evaluations - Sign Up Here!
08/06/21.................Save the Date for a Possible Kinder Play Date 11:30 - 12:30!
08/09 - 08/17/21....WCHE Office Open Weekdays 7:30 am to 4:00 pm
08/15/21.................LTEF Kinder Car Parade @ LTHS, 3322 RR 620 South, 3 - 5 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
09/06/21.................No School - Happy Labor Day!