Bearcat Connect

Sherman ISD Parent Newsletter

Bearcat Connect is a parent newsletter packed with information about recent happenings, upcoming events, and Sherman ISD news to keep you engaged in your child's education.

Our students are extremely important to us and so are you. Please enjoy this monthly newsletter designed to keep our parents connected.

Sherman ISD 2019-20 Academic Calendar

The Sherman ISD Board of Trustees approved the academic calendar for the 2019-2020 school year during the January board meeting. The new calendar features built in time for parent-teacher conferences, as well as professional learning and workdays for teachers.
The development of the Sherman ISD academic calendar is a collaborative process that involves the District Calendar Committee. The committee is comprised of members of the District Improvement Committee, PTA presidents, Sherman ISD teachers, staff, parents and community members. The group began meeting in November to identify priorities and design the academic calendar.

“It’s important to hear from our stakeholders throughout this process,” said Dr. Tamy Smalskas, Assistant Superintendent of Student Engagement and Support. “We take all suggestions and feedback very seriously as we plan the calendar and look to the future.”

The district surveyed the community to obtain additional information from staff, parents and community members for the committee to consider. Survey feedback included adding teacher workdays, maintaining the same holiday break schedule as the current calendar, and keeping two early release days each semester.

“Our committee reviewed all the responses and discussed the critical need for half days on our calendar. The half days will provide our secondary teachers with time to grade assignments and final exams before the end of each semester,” said Smalskas. “Early release at the elementary level provides teachers with time to meet with each other for instructional planning."

Survey feedback also included aligning the academic calendar with surrounding districts and colleges in Grayson County.

“It is important to our district that we align our academic calendar with other schools in our area since many of our employees live in other districts, and many of our students participate in dual credit courses through our local colleges,” said Smalskas.

To view the 2019-2020 calendar and the list of FAQs, you may click here or visit for more information. If you have questions, please email

Community Survey

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We are currently seeking feedback on the things we do well in our district and opportunities we have to do even better through our community survey. Your feedback is essential to helping us recognize excellence, set goals for the future, and realize our vision of high achievement for all students. The survey only takes about 10 minutes to complete and will be open until Friday, February 8, 2019. Click the link below to take the survey today and we thank you in advance for your feedback.

To take the online survey, go to
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Sherman ISD students in grades 5-12 can now check grades and manage assignments through the TEAMS Student Portal system. Students will now have the ability to access their grades online through a desktop or laptop computer, or by downloading the new mobile app on any smartphone.

The TEAMS mobile app is free of charge and allows students to securely access their information on the go. Students can visit the Apple app store or Google Play to download the TEAMS Mobile app.

For additional information, visit

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Visit the Bond Project Web Page!

As many of you know, construction of the new Sherman High School is underway, and technology upgrades have already taken place throughout the district. Most importantly, we are proud that in August of 2020, our students will have a new learning space, developed and designed with community, staff, parent and student input.

We are happy to provide you with bond updates and information as we move forward with our projects. We thank you all for your support of the 2017 bond and invite you to visit for the most recent bond project information. #BuildingBearcats #SISDBondUpdate

The Sherman ISD Board of Trustees approved the final budget for the final phase of construction of the new Sherman High School during the January board meeting. With the unanimous approval, the fourth phase of development will begin in February and will include

the completion of the main building, athletic sites, and the courtyard. Several significant components such as site work, pavement markings, athletic fencing, metal screens, weather-proofing, roofing, elevators, fire protection, plumbing, HVAC, electrical and more will also be included. Phase four construction has an estimated total cost of $116,057,073 and is scheduled for completion in August of 2020.

Sherman High School Culinary Team Advances to State Chef Competition

With a limited amount of time to prepare a dish that would taste good and meet all judging criteria, team HBR from the Sherman High School Culinary Arts program took first place in the fifth annual Lone Star Chef Competition.

A total of five SHS teams created a meal within the National School Lunch Program guidelines using two out of three mystery ingredients; turmeric, jicama, and oranges. After cooking for 30 minutes, each team presented their final product to a panel of community and district judges. Each dish was sampled and scored based on appearance, taste, the degree of difficulty, the use of secret ingredients, and nutritional restrictions. The HBR team of Haley Klas, Bailey Kuhn, and Robert Callejas prepared BBQ pulled pork sliders and coleslaw to clinch their win. The dish scored well with the judges and put them in the top spot to advance to the state competition.

Team HBR will now compete against other state finalists at Minute Maid Park in Houston, TX next month. Aramark will add the winning recipe from the finals competition to the Aramark K-12 menus, and the first place winning team will receive a $2,500 scholarship, to be split evenly amongst the team.

Aramark sponsors the Lone Star Chef competition which is organized by the Sherman ISD Food Service Department.

Lunch Menus

Did you know that you can view the Breakfast & Lunch Menus online? You can view, download and save them at

Bus Routes and Bus Drivers Neeeded!

If you need information on bus routes or would like to drive for SISD, view the SISD Transportation Department website.

Bus drivers play an important role at Sherman ISD. Stacy O'Connor shares why she drives a bus for SISD.

Volunteer Today!

Sherman ISD is always looking for volunteers to help at each campus. If you would like to learn more, read to students, help with campus events or simply do whatever is needed at a campus, please view the Volunteer Opportunities section of the website. You can help us in our quest of #BuildingBearcats.

Sherman ISD Celebrates National Counseling Week!

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Sherman High School Students Selected to the Congressional Student Leadership Program

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US Congressman John Ratcliffe kicked off his Congressional Student Leadership Program (CSLP) which will include two students from Sherman High School.

The CSLP program is for high school sophomores, and juniors across Texas’ 4th District and Sophomore Jose Menjivar and junior Shelby Farmer will proudly represent Sherman ISD as members of the program.

“ I am nervous and honored to represent my school. If I can prove to the administrators of Sherman High school that the CSLP chose the right person, then that’s all there is to it,” Shelby Framer expressed about her selection to the CSLP Program. “I want to gain knowledge any way I can. With the first meeting already accomplished, I know I will not be disappointed in this experience.”

Jose Menjivar shared the same sentiment.

“I feel very proud to be apart of the CSLP. I realized that I was selected to represent our school and Grayson County. There were only eleven students from the area selected, and I was one of them,” he said.

The 2018-2019 school year marks the CSLP's third consecutive year, which has expanded to include four physical meeting locations in Rockwall, Mount Pleasant, Texarkana, and Sherman. The participants met in January and will meet three more times throughout the remainder of the school year for sessions that will include educational lectures, research of legislative issues and interactive group projects. They will receive a certificate upon successful completion of the program.

Congressman Ratcliffe expressed that each student participant in the program has a strong determination to go above and beyond to become civically involved in their community.

“I’m grateful that we have another great group of students joining us for the Congressional Student Leadership Program this year. Each participant has a strong determination to go above and beyond to become civically involved in their community, and I’m glad for the opportunity we have to help them do just that,” Ratcliffe said.

SHS Pushes Naviance for College and Career Readiness

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Early college preparation is the key to ensuring students find the right fit for their post-secondary plans. Luckily for Sherman High School students, they have their school counselors and access to an online digital tool to help them along the way.

“Having the opportunity on a daily basis to help students gain confidence and the know-how to go beyond their high school days and into their post-secondary education is one of the most rewarding parts of my job,” said Mary Ann Hill, Sherman High School Counselor. “I advise about five students each day for one reason or another with a question about the college experience. As counselors, we all take our time to ensure we are helping our students on an individual basis and giving them the best information and advice for their journey.”

Academic advice, coupled with students utilizing the online digital tool Naviance, has been the key to enhancing the college and career preparation efforts at SHS. Naviance is an online college and career readiness tool that helps districts and schools align student strengths and interests to post-secondary goals. Sherman High School is utilizing the system to aid students in their college and career preparation process and high school course selection.

Post-Secondary Readiness and Career and Technical Education Coordinator, Katie Morris, who manages the Naviance system for SHS, said the use of Naviance helps students make the connection between high school, college or career and the number of steps they need to take before graduation.

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“I think it is critical to take the time out and focus on the process and details needed for our students to attend college, Morris expressed.” “With Naviance, we can streamline that focus and help our students be intentional with their college or career preparation. They enter their information and Naviance sorts it out and provides information specific to their academic needs.”

This semester, students in grades nine through eleven will spend time developing their scope and sequence in Naviance to generate their specific information. Students will take a series of academic and personality assessments that will allow Naviance to determine which high school courses are best for that student. Additionally, the program will also use the information to match students with potential colleges or certification suggestions.

Assistant Superintendent Student Engagement and Support, Dr. Tamy Smalskas oversees the district’s post-secondary readiness program and believes that Naviance is an excellent resource for students and aligns with the state’s 60x30TX Higher Education Plan.

“ Our District supports the Texas Higher Education Strategic Plan goal for 60 percent of the 25 to 34-year old Texas population to hold a certificate or degree by 2030. We are focusing on the use of Naviance to connect student interest to their potential career paths early on, ” she explained. “Naviance allows for the school, student and parent to become involved in one of the most critical life decisions a student will make.”

Having access to the Naviance program has already proven to be beneficial for many SHS students. Junior Matthew McMenamy is currently using Naviance to research schools that align with his post-secondary education interest.

“Naviance has helped me organize everything from my student portfolio to creating my resume. It has helped me find different colleges based on who I am and what I want to do when I get to college,” he said. “I want to major in music and attend NYU. That school may not be in my budget, but Naviance generated a list of schools that fit my personality and are more affordable. It is a huge help for me and everyone else.”

This week, SHS students will complete the full development of their Naviance profiles and utilize the information during the upcoming course registration process. For additional information on the Naviance tool, students and parents may contact their counselor.

Piner Middle School Spelling Bee Champ Advances to Grayson County Competition

Shomoy Kamal is the 2019 Piner Middle School Spelling Bee champion.

“It feels great to win, and I put a lot of work into preparing for the spelling bee,” he said before being greeted by his parents with congratulatory hugs.

After 32 rounds of competition, a tie-breaker, and correctly spelling “Tagine,” Shomoy won his third consecutive spelling bee in Sherman ISD.

Shomoy is currently the Grayson County reigning champion and will advance to the county competition once again to defend his title in February. Shomoy’s father, Syed Kamal said it is because of his son’s hard work that he has continuously won the competitions.

“I am very proud of him because he worked very hard and learning words is not always fun,” he said. “For the last two years he was the Dillingham and Grayson County champion, and this is something that he wants.”

Shomoy’s mother, Farhana Karim shared the same sentiments and admitted that she gets jitters when her son competes.

“I am more nervous than he is when he is competing,” she expressed, laughing.

Shomoy’s preparation for a spelling bee contest consists of him reviewing words and weekly quizzes from his father. He plans to continue his preparation routine with the hopes of advancing to the regional and national level spelling bee later this year.

“Winning this spelling bee is one part of my goal of winning the regional spelling bee,” he said. “I started preparing last year after the national spelling bee, and I just seem to be good at it somehow.”

The Grayson County Spelling Bee will take place on Tuesday, February 5, 2019, at 1:00 pm at the Grayson College South Campus in Van Alstyne.

Congratulations to the Piner Middle School Spelling Bee top three finishers:

From left to right:

2nd Place Victoria Amtholz-7th Grader

1st Place Shomoy Kamal-7th Grader
3rd Place Leif Inocian 7th Grader & Aubrey Wright 7th Grader

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Sherman ISD Students Shine Bright at UIL One Act Play

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Theater Arts students from Dillingham Intermediate and Piner Middle School represented Sherman ISD during the UIL One Act Play contest at Denton Ryan High School. Sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade students competed against seven other schools in the North Texas area and placed in several events.

The production of “Liza and the Riddling Cave” consisted of 12 cast members and three crew members. Three students received medals for their work on the play under the direction of Theater Arts teacher Ms. Mary Newman. Sixth-grader Conner Grissom received the All-Star Cast medal, eighth-grader Tucker Khader received a medal for best technical sound director, and eighth-grader Mia Passanisi received an honorable mention cast medal. Ms. Newman attributes the students on stage success to hard work and dedication in preparation for competition.

“Each student worked very hard and did an outstanding job,” she expressed. “This is a very challenging play that is usually performed at the high school level. The judge was very impressed with our play, and our students did an excellent job of representing Sherman ISD.”

Congratulations to the cast and crew:

Director: Ms. Mary Newman

Co-Director: Mrs. Miller

Scenery: Mr. Crocker

Lighting Director: Tucker Khader

Sound Director: Brennan Brooks

Stage Manager: Elliot Keefer-McGee


Scenery: Marayah Clark, Matthew Golightly,Tanner Mueller

Curtains: Ryland Kyzar


Emma Mahjoobi

Conner Grissom

Mia Passanisi

Jax Dixon

Victoria Antholz

Cameron Barnes

Adrian Pine

Ivy Scruggs

Naiya Dockins

Anna Durham

Ethan Smith

Ali Banda

Hudson Teague

District Challenge Program Hosts Greek Living Museum

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More than 200 students from across the district’s seven elementary campuses dressed up as their favorite Greek mythology character to participate in the Challenge Greek Living Museum.
The district’s gifted and talented program Challenge, in partnership with the gifted and talented parent group, Parents Advocating a Challenge Education in Sherman (PACES), hosted the event. The Challenge students are studying Greek mythology this semester and were able to bring their lesson to life with the living museum.

Students researched their favorite Greek mythology character, dressed the part, and stood like statues during the living museum. Once museum visitors stood in front of the statues, students came to life to share their knowledge and research about the characters they chose to represent. Students in grades first through fourth participated in the event and will end their Greek mythology lesson at the end of February.

Learning in Action!

Fall/Winter Sports Wrap up

As the Fall/Winter sports come to an end, we would like to say good job to all of our student athletes for competing hard and representing Sherman ISD well.

Swimming: Our water Bearcats did very well at their district meet with both boys and girls placing 4th at the district meet. Ten of our swim team members made it to regionals and competed very well.

Basketball: Our teams are wrapping up their seasons from Piner to the high school. Both Piner boys and girls had great seasons competing in our newly formed middle school district with Frisco ISD middle schools. Our high school girls competed very well on the sub-varsity teams while our varsity was riddled with injuries throughout the season. Our high school boys basketball team grew and learned under our new coach, Jordan Marks. We are proud of the team and know that we will be good very soon under his leadership.

Some seasons are nearing the midpoint of their seasons and doing very well.

High School Soccer: Our boys are off and running, from our sub-varsity teams to the varsity. Our 9th graders won the Crowley tournament and our Varsity won the Denison tournament. Our girls are competing well in their seasons, JV2 won 2nd place in the Greenville tournament, and the Varsity went 2-0-1 in the Mansfield Timberview tournament.

Tennis: Our tennis teams are competing and doing well as they get ready for district matches. We are excited for this season and we know Coach Rodney Pilcher will have our kids ready to compete.

Powerlifting: Our students are getting stronger every day and every competition preparing to raise their rankings for regionals.

Our final seasons of the year have just started practices and their seasons will be underway soon.

Softball, baseball, golf, and track: There is nothing like our spring sports, a little something for everyone. The softball team is attempting to make the playoffs for the third year in a row and have a new head coach in Reeca Huntsman. Our baseball program will be starting their season at Veteran’s Field and if you have not tried a burger at one our baseball games you are missing out. Golf will be competing in different matches getting ready for their district meet in April. The track teams will be running, jumping, and throwing at local middle and high schools around Texoma preparing for their district meets in April.

We look forward to seeing you come out and support your Bearcats as they represent Piner Middle and Sherman High. They will give their best effort for their teammates, families and the community.

Hope to see you out supporting our kids, GO CATS!

JD Martinez

Athletic Coordinator

Upcoming Events

District 903-891-6400 Calendar | Facebook | Website

18 Staff Development / No School for Students

Crutchfield Elementary School 903-891-6565 Calendar | Facebook | Website

8-15 Walk for Fitness

22-Mar 1 Book Fair

Texas Public School Week - Lunch with a Grandparent:

25 First Grade

26 Fourth Grade

27 Second Grade

28 Third Grade

Mar 1 Kindergarten

Fairview Elementary School 903-891-6580 Calendar | Facebook | Website

7 Kindergarten Play 6:30 PM

28 Kids Heart Challenge

Fred Douglass Early Childhood Center 903-891-6545 Calendar | Facebook | Website

15 Group and Individual Spring Picture Day

20 Love & Logic at United Way 9:30A

21 Spirit Day at Chick-Fil-A

28 A Night at the Museum 5:30-7P

Jefferson Elementary School 903-891-6610 Calendar | Facebook | Website

4-8 Local Dentists visiting students

8 Super Cooks

13 Fourth grade Virtual Trip to Texas State Aquarium

11-15 Random Acts of Kindness Week

Neblett Elementary School 903-891-6670 Calendar | Facebook | Website

22 Kid's Heart Celebration

Sory Elementary School 903-891-6650 Calendar | Facebook | Website

12 Sory Family Reading Night / Title I & Title III Fam. Inv. Night / PTA Mtg. 6-7P

20 Spring Portraits / Class Group Pics

28 Kindergarten Music Program 6P

Wakefield Elementary School 903-891-6595 Calendar | Facebook | Website

7 Jungle Patrol Build a Bear

8 Spring Pictures

8 Progress Reports go home

14 Valentine Parties

21 Family Fitness Night 5:30-7P

Washington Elementary School 903-891-6700 Calendar | Facebook | Website

11-15 Book Fair

12 2nd Grade Fine Arts Night 6 PM

Dillingham Intermediate School 903-891-6495 Calendar | Facebook | Website

7 Fourth Grade Parent Meeting - Cafeteria 6P

8 Title II Parent Meeting - Library 6P

8 PTA Binglow - Cafeteria 6:30P

11-15 Fifth and Sixth Grade course registration for the 2019-20 school year

26 Sixth Grade Field Trip to Perot Museum

Piner Middle School 903-891-6470 Calendar | Facebook | Website

11 Pre-UIL Orchestra Concerts

18-22 Random Acts of Kindness Week

20-21 Mandatory Cheer Tryout Clinic

21 CTE Manufacturing Tour

22 Cheer Tryouts

Perrin Learning Center 903-891-6680 Calendar | Facebook | Website

Random Acts of Kindness all month

4-8 Counselors Week

Sherman High School 903-891-6440 Calendar | Facebook | Website

12 Bearcat Collegiate Program

15 Buff Puff Volleyball

21 Bilingual Strong Night

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February Sports Events

Date Event

8 Boys JV Baseball vs Lone Star

8 Boys 9th Soccer @ Princeton

8 Boys JV Soccer @ Princeton

8 Girls JV Soccer vs Princeton

8 Boys V Baseball vs Lone Star

8 Girls V Soccer vs Princeton

8 Boys V Soccer @ Princeton

12 Boys JV Baseball @ Paris

12 Boys JV Soccer vs Wylie East

12 Girls JV Soccer @ Wylie East

12 Boys V Baseball @ Paris

12 Boys V Soccer vs Wylie East

12 Girls V Soccer @ Wylie East

14 Varsity Powerlifting @ Howe

15 Coed V Swimming @ State - Univ of Texas

15 Boys JV Soccer @ Lovejoy

15 Girls JV Soccer vs Lovejoy

15 Boys JV Baseball @ Braswell

15 Girls V Soccer vs Lovejoy

15 Boys V Soccer @ Lovejoy

16 Coed V Swimming @ State - Univ of Texas

16 Varsity Powerlifting @ Howe

16 Boys V Baseball @ Boswell

19 Boys 9th Soccer vs McKinney North

19 Girls JV 2 Soccer vs McKinney North

19 Boys JV Soccer @ McKinney North

19 Girls JV Soccer vs McKinney North

19 Girls V Soccer vs McKinney North

19 Boys V Soccer @ McKinney North

22 Boys 9th Soccer vs Anna

22 Boys JV Soccer vs Denison

22 Girls JV Soccer @ Denison

22 Girls V Soccer @ Denison

22 Boys V Soccer vs Denison

23 Varsity Powerlifting @ Keller Central

26 Boys 9th Soccer vs Princeton

26 Boys JV Soccer vs Princeton

26 Girls JV Soccer @ Princeton

26 Girls V Soccer @ Princeton

26 Boys V Soccer vs Princeton

28 Varsity Powerlifting @ Prosper

For more information, including athletic calendars, visit Go Sherman Bearcats!

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