Tiger Talk Back 2 School Edition #9


Today's Edition: Notes from the Nurse

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

Introducing WCHE's New Nurse, Kate Chapman, RN!

Hi! I'm Nurse Kate Chapman, and I am thrilled to have an opportunity to become better acquainted with our Tiger families. First, I'll tell you a little about myself.

I am a native Austinite. In fact, I'm a native Lake Travis-ite! I graduated from Lake Travis High School. I went to TCU nursing school and have worked in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for the past 13 years. I loved my time working with infants but decided it was time for me to get out of the hospital setting to try something new.

I am so excited that my "something new" is to be the new school nurse at West Cypress Hills!

I am married to Brett, and we have four wonderful children. I have two girls, Sawyer and Caroline, who are are 6 and will be in first grade at WCHE. I have two boys, James, who is 4, and Connor, who is age 3. My parents, in-laws and most of my extended family live in the Lakeway area, making for lots of fun grandparent and cousin time.

As you might imagine, my children keep me very busy, but in addition to spending time with the family, I love to read, cook, and spin...whenever I get the chance.

I can’t wait to get to know everyone and start this new adventure!

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Student Immunization Requirements

Please note that we can accept a record from an electronic health record system only provided that it includes the clinic's contact information AND the provider's signature/stamp. A screen shot or print-out from your child's patient portal does not satisfy this requirement. Thank you for your understanding.

For Pre-K through 12th Grade:

State law requires students in Texas schools to be immunized against certain vaccine-preventable diseases. Getting your child vaccinated not only protects your child’s health, but also that of the community. The immunization requirements are set by Texas law and provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

Pre-K Minimum Vaccine Requirements for Texas

K-12 Minimum Vaccine Requirements for Texas

The law requires that students be fully vaccinated against the specified diseases. A student may be provisionally enrolled if the student has an immunization record on file that indicates the student has received at least one of each specified age-appropriate vaccine. To remain enrolled, the student must complete the required subsequent doses as rapidly as is medically feasible. If a student does not show verification of the subsequent dose, that student is not in compliance, and the school must exclude the student from attendance until the required dose is given.


  • Medical Exemptions: The law allows physicians to write a statement stating that the vaccine(s) required would be medically harmful or injurious to the health and well-being of the child. The written statement by the physician must be submitted to the school nurse. Unless it is written in the statement that a lifelong condition exists, the exemption statement is valid for only one year from the date signed by the physician. The Department of State and Health Services requires certain information be included in the physician note.

  • For reasons of conscience, including religious beliefs: The law allows parents/guardians to choose an exemption from immunization requirements for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief. The completed, notarized form from the Texas DSHS must be submitted to the school nurse in order for the student to be admitted. The school will accept only the original official affidavit forms developed and issued by the Texas DSHS. The affidavit will be valid for two years from the date it was notarized. Please note that these may take some time to obtain, and your child will not be allowed to attend school until the affidavit is in the school's possession. A person who has not received the immunizations required by law for reasons of conscience, including religious beliefs, may be excluded from school in the event of an epidemic of vaccine-preventable illness as declared by the commissioner of public health.

With few exceptions allowable by law (to include homelessness, students in foster care, and children of active duty military members), if your child's immunization record is not current and up-to-date on the first day of school, you will be called to pick them up until which time you can provide the appropriate documentation. Please note this is state law, not LTISD policy.

Texas Immunization Requirements

Reduced Cost Immunizations Information

When to Keep Your Tiger Home from School

Please keep your child home from school if any of these conditions exist:

  • Temperature above 100 degrees F
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Eye redness and/or drainage
  • Undiagnosed rash anywhere on the body
  • Severe sore throat or headache
  • Persistent untreated cough
  • Head lice that has not been treated

    It is important to remember that schools are required to exclude students with certain illnesses from school for periods of time as identified in state rules. For example, if your child has a fever over 100 degrees, he or she must stay out of school until fever free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medications. In addition, students with vomiting or diarrheal illnesses must stay home until they no longer are vomiting or have diarrhea (without the use of medications) for at least 24 hours.

    Students with bacterial pink-eye must be treated with antibiotics for 24 hours before returning to school. Consult with your physician for information about how long to keep students home from school for other illnesses.

    If your child is diagnosed with a communicable illness such as flu, strep throat, pink-eye, chicken pox, staph/MRSA infection, any reportable illness, or any vaccine-preventable illness, please let your school nurse know.

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LTISD COVID-19 Protocols

The Lake Travis Independent School District (LTISD) continues to respond and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The health and safety of our school community is of utmost importance as we continue to closely monitor COVID-19 conditions in our community. Please refer to our Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Instruction Plan that will be in effect for the 2021-2022 school year.

On August 6, 2021, the District announced a temporary online learning option for LTISD students in grades K-6. This opportunity is only available for in-District students. Online learning will be available at least through the fall semester and will be reevaluated and extended as necessary.

The District will continue to implement a number of strategies to address the impact of COVID-19 on student learning and mental health. This includes the use of evidence-based interventions to address learning loss and investments in additional support for students’ social emotional learning and behavioral needs.

Our special COVID-19 health and safety protocols may be viewed here.

Medications at School

Only medications that are necessary for a student’s medical care will be administered at school. Most medicines that are needed, even up to three times a day, can be given at home and should not be sent to school. There are some occasions where medication is required by students and cannot be adequately given at home. In these cases, with written permission of a parent or guardian, school personnel can give the medication. The following procedure is used for medications administration by school personnel:

  • Parents are to drop off and pick up medication at the nurse’s office. Students are not allowed to carry medication with them in school or on the bus. Unused medication will be discarded after 30 days.

  • Medication must be in its original container. The school nurse will not accept or administer any medications that are in Ziploc bags or improperly labeled bottles. No mixtures of medication are accepted (i.e. Tylenol 500 mg and 250 mg in one container). Please make sure the medication has not reached the expiration date on the bottle.

  • Please make arrangements so the medication can be left at the nurse’s office until the last day the medication is to be given. If the pharmacist is unable to prepare a separate container for home and school, keep enough medication for home use and bring the rest to the school in the original prescription bottle.

  • If non-prescription medications are required longer than one week, have the physician write an order to keep in the nurse’s records.

  • Students with prescription asthma or anaphylaxis medication may possess and self-administer their medication following rule 38.15 of the Texas Education Code. This will require written permission from their doctor stating that the student may self-administer. It will be kept on file in the nurse’s office and is valid for the current school year only.

  • If your child wears contact lenses, she/he should keep a case and small solution bottle in her/his backpack. Using their own supplies reduces the risk of eye infections.


I look forward to the opportunity to chat with you in person during our Meet the Teacher Day event. And, if you have questions or concerns that you would like to discuss with me, feel free to contact me by email or phone at 512-533-7593.

See you soon!

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

08/15/21.................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

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

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

08/26/21.................PTO General Assembly - Tiger's Den - 9:30 am RSVP

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-5th 6:30 - 7:15 pm

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