Informed Newsletter

October 19, 2018

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Dear CISD Family,

As a follow up to Wednesday’s bus fire, the district is working with Durham School Transportation Services to determine the cause of the fire, which could take a couple of weeks due to the extensive damage to the bus. We are committed to sharing these findings with the CISD community once available. I do want to reiterate my thanks to the bus driver and bus monitor for their efforts Wednesday, and again express my gratitude that our two students and adults were safe.

As we have shared, one of CISD’s Core Values revolves around the theme of “engagement.” As the full Value statement reads, ”We value collective engagement that positively impacts the lives of our children and our world.” One district-wide activity that demonstrates this is Red Ribbon Week, which we are celebrating Oct. 22-26.

Red Ribbon Week is an opportunity to engage with our children, staff, and local law enforcement to raise awareness about drug and alcohol abuse, while showcasing a visible commitment to being drug-free and following a healthy lifestyle. Having our local law enforcement partners interact with students via school Red Ribbon walks, basketball games and other activities helps encourage rapport, respect and trust. New for this year, the district’s annual drug and alcohol trends presentation will be delivered online via video. This video will be available next week, so be on the lookout for links on the CISD website and on our social media. A major focus of this presentation will be on the concerns and dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes, which has been a growing trend for today's youth.

Promoting a Culture of Voting also aligns with our engagement Value. Early voting begins next week, and several of our elementary schools will serve as polling locations on Nov. 6. As Franklin Delano Roosevelt wisely said, “Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.” Being an informed and engaged voter is of the utmost importance in this election. Please do your research so you can choose wisely!

Have a nice weekend.


Brad Hunt

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Boundary Realignment Update

The CISD Board of Trustees held its first Board Workshop on boundary realignment on Oct. 16. Trustees received the results of the district’s community input questionnaire, as well as discussed initial realignment scenarios presented by Templeton Demographics. Broadcast video of the Board Workshop and the two presentations shared are available at The CISD community can share additional feedback on the process by emailing The next Board Workshop on boundary realignment is scheduled for Dec. 10. Reminder, Board Workshops are held for the purpose of allowing CISD Board of Trustees to receive more information, and discuss and debate pending matters with CISD staff and amongst themselves before taking a formal vote at a later date. However, since no action is being decided or taken at a Board Workshop, there is no “Open Forum” or other opportunities for the public to address the Board or ask questions during a Board Workshop. These opportunities are available at Regular Board meeting public forums. In January 2019, the district will present one or two boundary realignment models to the community via public forums, including Facebook Live. The Board will consider and adopt the final boundary realignment in February 2019.

CHS & New Tech Broadcast Students Receive Lone Star Emmy Noms

Broadcast media students at both Coppell High School and New Tech High @ Coppell have been nominated for Lone Star High School/College Student Production Emmy Awards for Broadcast Excellence. Coppell High School’s KCBY received eight nominations and New Tech @ Coppell’s FUZE received two nominations. The Lone Star Emmy Award winners will be announced during its ceremony in Houston Nov. 10. Congratulations to these students and their teacher advisers, Irma Kennedy at CHS and Jason Pierce at New Tech!

New Tech’s FUZE Takes on New York City

Students from New Tech High @ Coppell’s FUZE video program traveled to New York City earlier this month to participate in the All American High School Film Festival. Congratulations to New Tech Senior Ryan Schwenn for having his film accepted to the festival and to Seniors Kaitlyn Rigdon, Fabian Lugo and Daniel Larva for their participation in the trip.

Cross Country District Competition Results

Congratulations to the High School Cross Country teams, who competed in the District 6-6A Championship in Denton Oct. 12! The Varsity Girls’ team placed 2nd overall, and the Junior Varsity Girls’ team won the District 6-6A title. The Varsity Boys’ team placed 4th, and the Junior Varsity Boys’ team placed 2nd at the district competition. The team competes at Regionals next week. Visit for more information.

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Ed Foundation “Give for Grants” Fundraising Campaign

Did you know that more than $1,078,900 has been awarded to CISD schools and educators through grants from the Coppell ISD Education Foundation? The Coppell ISD Education Foundation’s annual Give for Grants fundraising campaign begins next week, running Oct. 22 through Nov. 16. The Foundation is able to award these grants using the contributions from our community’s families and businesses. With your help, we can continue to support motivating, innovative education for all Coppell ISD students! Click here to donate and see our grant money in action! Donations over $25 receive a free yard sign!
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Collaborative Learning Spaces at CMS West

One of the innovative features of the new CMS West building is Collaborative Learning Spaces. These spaces empower students to work with each other and with students from other classes of the same subject to discover multiple perspectives, explore alternative solutions and thoughtfully solve problems together. At CMS West, many classrooms have flexible space to combine with the same subjects, and there also are spaces throughout the camp designed to facilitate students learning with each other.

“As educators at West, we are afforded the opportunity to combine ideas, skills and levels of experience to maximize learning outcomes for each learner,” says Shelby Otway, who teaches Social Studies. “All team teachers at West have remarked at how using these spaces has raised the standard of high levels of learning for all and allowed students to be exposed to different teaching styles, while seeing how adults collaborate and work together in a professional environment.”

For example, Ms. Otway and fellow teacher, Christopher Buchanan, use Collaborative Learning spaces to create many groups within their GT and Honors Social Studies classes. She says, “Every day truly looks different in our room. Some days learners are all in there together for the whole time, some days for half the period, and others separated for the whole duration. It truly fosters a dynamic learning experience.”

Ms. Otway believes that collaborative learning and teaching enhances the learning process. She says, “Regardless of how we use the space, our learners and teachers are able to build upon each other’s’ strengths so we can teach and learn better together.”

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Tammy Mandel, right, and the original Kindergarten team who opened Denton Creek Elementary in 1998.
Tammy Mandel, right, and the original Kindergarten team who opened Denton Creek Elementary in 1998.

DCE Founding Teacher Tammy Mandel

The 20th anniversary of Denton Creek Elementary is particularly special for Kindergarten Teacher Tammy Mandel, who has taught at the school since it opened in 1998.

“It was fun and hectic opening Denton Creek, especially because I was seven months pregnant at the time,” Mrs. Mandel recalls. “We had three kindergarten sections and two of all other grades, so it was a very small staff, and we all got to know each other very well. I am still friends with many of those teachers and keep in touch with many of my students.”

Coppell has changed a great deal in the 28 years Mrs. Mandel has taught in the district. Yet, she says that Denton Creek has always been a school with many students from different cultures, and she enjoys that it still is a multicultural school.

“The best thing about Denton Creek is the people,” she says. “The staff, parents and students are all amazing! I feel very supported by my colleagues, the Denton Creek parents and, in particular, by our principal Shannon Edwards. She really appreciates the hard work teachers do every day for children.”

Denton Creek will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a Birthday Bash on Friday, Oct. 26, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the school. A special recognition ceremony will
start at 6 p.m. Guests are asked to RSVP to

Reflecting on 20 years at Denton Creek, Mrs. Mandel says, “My primary goal as a kindergarten teacher is to instill a love of learning in my students. I love knowing that former students have moved on to do amazing things. They are doctors, lawyers, journalists, engineers, service men and women, several teachers, an elementary school principal and more. I take pride that I might have had just a tiny bit to do with their success.”
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  • Early Voting Oct. 22 - Nov. 2 - Early voting for the Nov. 6 election is Oct. 22 to Nov. 2. Early voting for Coppell residents will be held at Coppell Town Center, 255 E. Parkway Blvd. Early voting for Irving residents is available at Irving City Hall - 825 West Irving Blvd, Valley Ranch Library - 401 Cimarron Trail, and the West Irving Library - 4444 W. Rochelle Road. Any Dallas County resident also can vote at any polling location in Dallas County. Visit for Dallas County polling locations. Visit for Denton County polling locations. Cottonwood Creek, Lakeside, Mockingbird, Pinkerton, Wilson and Valley Ranch elementary schools will serve as polling places on election day, Nov. 6. CISD is working with local police departments to have enhanced officer presence at these schools on election day.
  • Jeff Yalden Video Now Available - Video is now available of national mental health expert Jeff Yalden’s “You Matter” suicide prevention talk to parents and students last month. Visit for the full parent video and for the full student video.
  • CISD Technology Questionnaire - Reminder: please complete the CISD Technology & Learning Questionnaire by Nov. 2. This brief survey will assist the district in its biannual assessment of technology use, which is compared to national data sets. The district surveys parents and students once in the fall and once in the spring. You should receive an email from your principal in the next few days with your school specific link to this survey.
  • How to Interact with Police Course for CISD High School Students - This fall semester, all Coppell High School students will participate in a course on police interaction: “Flashing Lights: Creating Safe Interactions between Citizens and Law Enforcement.” The course is a product of the Texas Community Safety Education Act (Senate Bill 30), passed by the 85th Texas Legislature. The goal of the act is to define the behavior and expectations of citizens and law enforcement during traffic interactions.
  • Coppell Gifted Association Writing Contest - The Coppell Gifted Association is having its 11th Annual Creative Writing Competition, which is open to all CISD 4th to 12th graders. Those students not in the district also can participate, but must join the CGA. The deadline to enter is midnight on Friday, December 7, 2018. Visit for details.
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  • Oct. 22: Regular Board Meeting at 7 p.m.

  • Oct. 22-26: Red Ribbon Week

  • Oct. 22: Nov. 2 Early Voting

  • Nov. 6: Election Day

  • Nov. 7: Bond Oversight Committee 6:30 p.m.

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