Head U Gator News

Feb 18, 2022


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The chickens are coming....we need your help!

Mrs. Cohen wrote and was awarded a grant from the GCISD Education Foundation to construct a chicken coop and run so that our students can view the life cycle of chickens from hatching to laying and beyond. We are ready to begin working on the coop and run, and could use some help!

We plan to start working after school on Friday, Feb. 25 to till the ground where the coop will be located and bury the edging that will hopefully keep predators out of the run. If you have a large tiller that can tear up grass, we'd love to utilize it but if not we'll have to rent one.

We'll have the materials delivered by March 4th so our current plan is to construct the run and the coop that afternoon. We will have pullets in the coop after Spring Break which is about the same time first graders will begin watching eggs to see them hatch.

We hope to have a ribbon cutting on March 25th so that anyone who wants to visit and see the finished product can do so.


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President's Day- we have school, you may have a holiday!

In honor of the upcoming federal holiday on February 21, 2022, we would like to promote the good work we do each and every day across GCISD in advancing our Social Studies department mission to guide all students toward success in college, career, and civic life. As we as a nation honor and celebrate our country’s leaders, we want to also take the opportunity as a district to highlight the ways we are educating and preparing our students for responsible citizenship and equipping them with the knowledge and skills to shine as the leaders of tomorrow.

Here are some questions you might use at the dinner table to discuss with your student:
  • What does it mean to you to be a good citizen of your classroom, school, or community?

  • What qualities do you notice in the leaders of your school, community, or country?

  • How do the leaders in your school, community, or country inspire you?

  • What customs or celebrations do you participate in to show your pride for America?


Afternoon pick up

If you pick up your student in the front circle after school, or send someone else to do it, please understand and communicate that we hold the cars that are waiting until the walkers have made it to the corner and are able to cross.

This is a safety issue as we are trying to get the walkers across before the line of traffic is moving. If we allow the cars in line to begin moving while students are still trying to cross the street we greatly increase the risk of one of them being injured.

Since last semester, I've been standing in the middle of the circle drive to stop cars from attempting to leave the circle while walkers are still getting to the corner. On at least 3 occasions, I've seen my life flash in front of my eyes when cars attempted to drive around me to get to the corner! Please be prepared to wait to leave until about 3:00 when the walkers are able to cross the street.


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Teacher and Paraprofessional of the Year

Our campus teacher of the year for 21-22 is Christina Hayes, 5th grade ASPIRE teacher.

Our paraprofessional of the year is Holly Ihrig, our school's administration assistant.

Both of these awards were well-deserved and we are excited for the staff who were selected as well as the other teachers who were nominated by their peers: Colleen Patton and Tricia Jones.


Zoom parent meeting- Why is COVID so hard on kids? 2/22

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GCISD Counseling is hosting a virtual meeting. Join on Zoom for specific ways you can support your child through the changes from the pandemic. The link will be live on February 22 at 6 p.m. here.

If calling in, you can find the details below:

Meeting ID: 872 4989 4346

Passcode: 450113

One tap mobile

+13462487799,,87249894346#,,,,*450113# US (Houston)

+12532158782,,87249894346#,,,,*450113# US (Tacoma)

Dial by your location

+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Meeting ID: 872 4989 4346

Passcode: 450113


Middle School link

This is a link to the counselor's newsletter that has all the information regarding Middle School transition (like dates for course selection): https://www.smore.com/a6pvm

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STAAR Online

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is transitioning all state assessments to be administered online by the 2022–2023 school year. To support this change, GCISD will be administering all state assessments online this Spring and is encouraging students to visit the practice tests site released by the TEA to prepare for online testing. For upcoming testing, students will be using district issued devices.

The online practice tests familiarize students with the general tools, designated supports, and accessibility features that may appear in online tests. In the practice site, there are features that may be turned on and off for students with identified accommodations such as text-to-speech and spelling assistance. Organized by grade level and subject, all 2018, 2019, and 2021 STAAR released tests are also available on the online practice site . Please visit this link for instructions on how to access the practice site.

To view upcoming online STAAR testing windows and dates, please visit our website.

More specific information about student testing days will be coming soon. Please submit a help desk ticket if you are having trouble launching a test.

STAAR tests for GCISD Elementary students will be Tuesday, May 10 for Math; Thursday, May 12th for Reading and Tuesday, May 17th for 5th grade science.


Remote conferencing attendance

When students are out for Covid they are marked absent by the home campus (since they are not present at school). Remote Conferencing teachers take daily attendance and mark present those students who show up in the Webex room. Data secretaries at the home campus check Remote Conferencing attendance sheets and, for those students who attend the Remote Conferencing Webex sessions, change the absence code to a “synchronous present”. The process may be delayed by a couple of days as we are seeing a high number of students in Remote Conferencing. If you do not see the absence code changed after 3 days, please contact the data secretary/attendance clerk at your home campus.


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. For more information or for help accessing Skyward, please visit our website or submit a Help Desk Ticket.


The GCISD Early Childhood Development Center is hiring!

The ECDC is a childcare center available to employees of GCISD for children ages 6 weeks to 3 years. We have part time and full time positions available with flexible schedules. The District is offering quarterly retention payments of $500 to full time employees, childcare benefits and competitive compensation. Full time applicants can apply here. Part time applicants can apply here.



Cafeteria Volunteers

The GCISD Nutrition Services Department is looking for volunteers! Come get to know the students while serving them a nutritious lunch in the school cafeteria. You can volunteer at your child's school or any school in the district. You must be registered as a volunteer in the district, or get signed up as a volunteer today so you can join the amazing kitchen staff serving the students. Please see the flyer for details and a link to sign up!


Lunch visitors

Please see your child's teacher's newsletter for a link to the Sign Up Genius for lunch visitors.

Also, please remember to email the teacher so they know you are coming and can have your child ready for you when the class goes to lunch.


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Donation Bin

We have a bin in the parking lot for clothing, shoes and other fabric items. If you are beginning a fall clean out, you can drop off items at any time. We receive a donation for a portion of the funds that are generated.

It's also nice to have someplace to drop items when Goodwill or GRACE are closed!


Confused about COVID notifications?

When we have a positive case on our campus, everyone in the building will receive a notification of a positive case.

If your child was in the same class with a COVID positive individual, you will receive an additional notification saying that they were in the same class so that you can be on the lookout for the development of any symptoms.

PTA opportunities

Want to get Involved? PTA has many opportunities available for the 2022-2023 school year and they want YOU!



Notes from the nurse:

For students that wear masks:

Please put 5-6 masks in a ziplock bag and place it in your student's backpack. We know masks provide comfort for some students and we wouldn't want them to worry if they get lost, soiled or forgotten. Thanks to a generous donation from Mr. Wang, we have some replacement masks in the nurse's office. However, some kids are resistant to accepting a mask they aren't used to wearing, so please plan accordingly.

GCISD 2021-2022 COVID-19 protocol highlights:

  • Students, teachers, and staff who have symptoms of infectious illness, such as influenza (flu) or COVID-19 symptoms should stay home and be referred to their healthcare provider for testing and care.
  • · If the individual has symptoms that could be COVID-19 the individual must obtain a medical professional's note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis or obtain an acute infection test at an approved testing location that comes back negative for COVID-19.
  • · In the case of an individual who has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and who is not evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, such individual is assumed to have COVID-19, and the individual may not return to the campus until the individual has completed ALL three-steps listed below:

  1. At least 24 hours passed since resolution of fever without using fever reducing medications.
  2. The individual has improvement in symptoms
  3. At least 10 days have passed since the first symptoms began.


COVID status in GCISD

GCISD COVID-19 Resources

Please visit www.GCISD.net/COVID19 for lots of resources from the District pertaining to COVID-19. There you can find updated frequently asked questions, current GCISD COVID-19 protocols, information on the GCISD COVID-19 Testing Center, information on remote conferencing, statistics regarding COVID-19 cases in GCISD and more.


Cafeteria Menus

GCISD school cafeteria follows a calendar-cycle menu at breakfast and lunch. This menu begins on September 13th, 2021. During the first 4 weeks of school, all schools will follow a simplified lunch menu to allow all students to adjust to the new school year and to re-familiarize themselves with the cafeteria and their PIN number. The simplified menus can be viewed online using our menu system MealViewer. Printable copies of all menus can be downloaded here. If you have questions please contact child.nutrition@gcisd.net. GCISD Nutrition Services looks forward to serving your family in the upcoming school year!


You can control your child's internet access!

To support strong communication with our families beyond the school day, we are pleased to introduce a new resource available to our parents. Parent Internet Reporting is an on-demand tool for parents that allows guardians to view their children's online activity and increases the measures already taken to protect our students while using a District device. Through this platform, parents will receive weekly email reports summarizing internet activity on District devices, as well as the ability to access real-time reporting of what their students are doing online. In an effort to help our parents control screen time while students are home, the system will also allow for a guardian to pause the internet on a GCISD device.

There is an online course that will explain the Parent Internet Reporting that will be launched on April 21. If you cannot attend the virtual training on April 20, you must complete the course to receive access to the parent internet reporting tool. The course can be found at www.gcisd.net/ParentInternet.


Emergency drills information

GCISD partners with the I Love U Guys Foundation and uses the Standard Response Protocols (SRP) to respond to any situation or emergency that takes place at school or in the district.

  • Each campus will conduct drills throughout the school year. These drills are based on the Standard Response Protocols of Secure, Lockdown, Evacuate, Shelter, and Hold. GCISD developed one additional protocol known as Clear.

  • Completion of the drills is mandatory for each campus during the first two weeks of school, so that students and staff are prepared. Drills help us learn and know how to respond in the case of a real emergency at school. Our drills also help us to check certain equipment and responses. Our emergency management leaders on each campus will work with students and staff to complete our drills and document the results.

I have included the SRP Posters that are displayed in your student’s classrooms so that you can review with your student at home and discuss with them when they take part in the drills during the first two weeks. More information about Safety and Security in GCISD can be found at www.gcisd.net/our_district/safety_and_security.

We had our first lockdown drill today. It was very low key. MRs. Vise said over the intercom, "Lights, Locks, Out of Sight." The children went to a corner of the room, and the teachers turned off the lights and made sure the doors were locked. The hall quickly became empty and quiet as we checked for locked doors.

We have added so many barriers in the last few years to protect students, from the locked entry (when I first came to Glenhope a locked door was considered "unfriendly") to the locked doors into the hallways and finally locked classroom doors. Our district has worked hard to implement all the recommended protocols designed to keep campuses safe, including having our children practice these drills on a regular basis.


Attendance procedures

Please remember to email the office (mailto:elizabeth.giblin@gcisd.net

mailto:rachel.keyser@gcisd.net) if your child is ill and will be out. It would be helpful to include your child's teacher(s) as well.

Also, please try to call early in the day with changes to after school pick up arrangements. The later you call, the greater the chance that something might be missed due to the level of activity that occurs around dismissal.