OCT Tiger Time News

News from the O.C. Taylor Principal, Lisa Pedevilla

September 8, 2019

(BE SURE AND SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS NEWSLETTER AND READ THE OCT PTA SECTION. I can't wait for Rock Out! It is so fun! We hope to see you all there!)

Dear OCT Families,

Please consider these statistics as you consider developing this habit of reading daily in your home: Only students who read 15 minutes or more a day saw accelerated reading gains—that is, gains higher than the national average—and students who read just over a half-hour to an hour per day saw the greatest gains of all.

To the BEST of days,

Principal Pedevilla

Stay Connected at O. C. Taylor Elementary School

We have a number of ways to keep in touch with our school. Be sure to read, subscribe to and join these resources to get all the latest news.

Facebook: If you’re a Facebook member be sure to join the O.C. Taylor Elementary Facebook Group to get updates in your feed. This group is meant to provide another way to get news and updates.

Website: The school’s website has the latest news, updates, and calendars, as well as general information about the school, resources for parents, volunteer opportunity information, event information and ways to donate.

Twitter: We regularly post events and upcoming news on Twitter. Follow me on Twitter: @OCTYoung and follow our hashtag #OCT4U.

OCT Vision: To empower our children today to create a better tomorrow.

OCT Mission: To create life-long learners and develop servant leaders through authentic, real-world experiences.


Back-To-School Events

Monday, September 9

8:15 a.m. PTA Executive Board Meeting

9:30 a.m. Homeroom Parent Meeting

3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Mascot Tryouts (5th Grade)

Tuesday, September 10

Wednesday, September 11

Patriot Day - wear red, white, blue

Thursday, September 12

2:55 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Choir

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. PTA Rock Out! (Scroll to the bottom of this newsletter to read more.)

Friday, September 13

Wear an OCT shirt or OCT colors (blue & orange) to show your Tiger spirit!

Monday, September 16

International Dot Day... wear dots (circles count!)

Tuesday, September 17

Wednesday, September 18

Thursday, September 19

2:55 p.m. - 4:00 p.m Choir

Friday, September 20

7:00 a.m. - 7:30 a.m. Donuts with Dad (Cafeteria)


Grade Level Newsletters

Parents, please click on the link below to read your child's grade level newsletter.










OCT and GCISD Updates



PATRIOT DAY is Sept. 11, 2019. We invite our students to wear red, white, and blue. Patriot Day is a day the U.S. remembers the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. This day is commonly referred to as 9-11 (Nine-Eleven). It is believed that 2,977 people died in the attacks. President George W. Bush proclaimed September 11th Patriot Day in 2002.

Patriot Day Facts:

  • On September 11th, U.S. Flags should be flown at half mast - both on U.S. soil and abroad.
  • A moment of silence is held at 8:46 a.m. (EST) across the nation - commemorating the time the first plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
  • The National September 11 Memorial and Museum takes up over half of the destroyed World Trade Center site. It contains bronze parapets inscribed with the names of those killed on September 11, 2001 and those killed in the 1993 World Trade Center attack.
  • Cleaning up Ground Zero, as the World Trade Center was renamed, took 8 months and 19 days, and was completed in May of 2002.
  • The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were once the tallest buildings in the world, and contained enough concrete to build a sidewalk from New York City to Washington D.C.


Dot Day!

DOT DAY = Sept. 16, 2019 Wear dots, make a dot. Click here to read more.


Pre-K Availability at OCT

Do you know a 4-year old who would like to attend O. C. Taylor's Pre-K program? We have two wonderful teachers and due to last-minute cancellations, we have a couple of spots open. Please send your friends to talk to me if they are interested!


Updates from Learning Commons, Mrs. Bonacci

Learning Commons Updates:

The new Learning Commons space is officially open for business, and the students are thrilled! We hope you can arrange to stop by and visit soon.

Birthday Books- Are you looking for a fun way to commemorate your child's birthday? Maybe you're looking for something more lasting than cupcakes? Consider adding a new hardcover book to the library collection in honor of your child's special day! This is a wonderful way to celebrate your child’s birthday and benefit many O. C. Taylor Tigers for years to come!


Updates from Counseling and Guidance, Mrs. Whisman

Please click here to see the Counselor Corner Newsletter.

Classroom Guidance

Lessons are taught to each homeroom class 2 times each month. Guidance lessons are created using themes/ideas from various Character Education programs, Life Skills, and Portrait of a Graduate. Although themes will be consistent among grade levels, actual lessons will be age-appropriate.

  • September's guidance lessons will focus on Kindness, Courage, and Communication.

  • Did you know you can access the recorded Morning Show on Safari Montage? The link to Mrs. Bonacci's SMORE that explains how to do this is here. This is the link to the playlist OCT TV - Morning Show. You must have your student's log in information to access these recorded shows.


Updates from our Nurse Katy

  • PPCD, PK, and Kinder parents: Please keep a change of weather-appropriate clothes and underwear in your student's backpack, in case of accidents or spills.
  • 7 Bs (reasons to visit the clinic): Please review the 7 Bs with your student at home. *Bleeding *Breathing Bad *Broken Bone *Big Bump *Bee sting/bite *Burning Up * Barfing We teach our students to be independent, tough Tigers here at OCT. Bug bites, paper cuts, and minor scratches can be taken care of in the classroom- as not to miss out on important instruction time.
  • If your child is sick: Please keep students at home until they are fever and/or symptom-free for at least 24 hours without any medication. In GCISD, a temperature of 100 degrees is considered to be a fever. Encourage healthy habits at home to help prevent the spread of illnesses. Washing hands with soap and water (sing Happy Birthday song or ABCs twice!) Coughing and sneezing into elbows or a Kleenex instead of hands. Not touching the face- especially the T-zone. Getting plenty of rest. Staying hydrated.


Updates from GT LEAD, Mrs. Griffin

Please click here to see the newsletter.



Mrs. Dickinson

Mrs. Allyson Dickinson is new to O.C. Taylor this year and teaches 3rd grade Humanities.

She graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration from Cal Poly in 1991 and a M.S. in Educational Leadership from Pepperdine University in 2001. She has an EC-6 Texas Teaching Certificate, Gifted and Talented Supplemental, and an English as a Second Language Supplemental.

Her greatest strengths as an educator are gifted education, differentiation, and critical thinking. She has been awarded the Sherry Hamilton Memorial GT Educator Award 2018, and Most Spirited in her Senior Year of High School! Woohoo, Mrs. Dickinson! Bring on the cheer! She has a husband of 23 years, a 16 year old daughter and a 12 year old son, and a Red Eared Slider turtle named Shelly Faye Laker. Her favorite color is pink because she says, "I am a girly girl at heart and I love Lilly Pulitzer and they use copious amounts of pink."

Ask Mrs. Dickinson to recite the beginning of the spiel she said while working as a Story Book Girl at Disneyland through college! She still knows it!

Welcome to OCT, Mrs. Dickinson!

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NBC 5 Brag About Your School

Teachers, students and parents can write in and nominate their school to be bragged about. NBC 5 will come out on a Friday and spend half a day at the school. They will sit in on two classes the school is proud of, and then do a mini pep rally with the kids which air the following Monday on NBC 5 Today. They also have the kids record the show opens and transitions. You can nominate your campus here: nbcdfw.com/brag


Typing Club

GCISD students in grades 3-8 have access to a touch-typing app available through Classlink. Typing Club is a web-based program that teaches students how to build speed and accuracy while typing. Students in grades 3-8 should use this program during the school day and may also use it at home. Students can easily access Typing Club through Classlink.


Save the Date: Medal of Honor Recognition

Several Medal of Honor recipients will be in attendance and recognized on Friday, September 13th when Colleyville Heritage football hosts Trinity at 7 p.m. at Mustang Panther Stadium. Organized by the Tribute to Valor Foundation, this promises to be a special evening for all involved. For more information, visit our website.

Here is a link to an image you can use in your newsletter.

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O.C. Taylor Staff Shout-Outs

Students and parents can now recognize staff members for the great work that they do at O.C. Taylor Elementary! If you would like to send a positive shout-out to a staff member, please complete this brief form. Staff members will be recognized each month during our faculty meetings.


Student Breakfast

A reimbursable breakfast is offered at all schools for $1.45 paid and $0.30 reduced-priced. Breakfast times may vary slightly per campus, see below for advertised serving times:

Elementary schools: 7:15 a.m. - 7:35 a.m.


GCISD is Now Hiring! Join the GCISD TEAM!

Many opportunities are available in our auxiliary departments:

  • Nutrition Specialists -PT w/ benefits – work while your students are in school!
  • Kidzu Site Aide – PT w/benefits – this schedule works well for local college students!
  • Night Custodians
  • Bus Drivers & Monitors
  • Maintenance Engineers

Apply online at: www.gcisd.net


School Health Advisory Council (SHAC)

School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) is the perfect place for parents to make contributions and recommendations on health initiatives that influence your child. Find out how you can join SHAC.

We think your kids are..... G-G-G-G-reat!

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Fuss-Free Fundraising

A HUGE thank you to everyone who has already donated to our PTA Fuss Free Fundraiser! There's still time to donate because the grade with the highest donation amount gets to have a SILLY STRING FIGHT with Principal Pedevilla and AP Bailey at Rock Out this Thursday, 9/12!

Donate and share the online link with friends and family to donate by this Sunday, 9/8 at 11:59 PM!


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Rock Out! September 12th

Join us for our first fun event of the year!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Cool off on water inflatables!

Jam out with DJ AA’s cool beats!

No Cooking!! Enjoy dinner for purchase from these food truck vendors:

*Ruthie’s Rolling Café - Grilled Cheese Sandwiches*

*So Cal Tacos*

*Britt’s Sno House*

Candy will be sold to support our awesome 5th Grade Continuation. (Remember to bring cash!)

Shop our new Tiger merchandise in the Spirit Shop! (Cash, checks or credit cards accepted.)

The Grade Level with the MOST Fuss-Free Fundraising gets to have a Silly String fight with Mrs. Pedevilla and Mrs. Bailey!!

{This event is sponsored by your O.C. Taylor PTA}

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You're Invited to join us for Donuts with Dad!

Donuts with Dad!

Friday, September 20, 2019 7:00 a.m. - 7:30 a.m.

O.C. Taylor Elementary Cafeteria

Plan on attending to enjoy donuts, coffee and juice. Please bring dads, grandpas, uncles or family friends! It will take only a few minutes out of your day, but it will provide a memory for your child that will last a lifetime!

{This event is sponsored by your O.C. Taylor PTA.}
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Please contact Challee Garland, PTA Reflections Chair, at challeegarland@gmail.com with any questions regarding the Reflections program.





ITEMS IN NEED: CEREAL BOXES (16 oz or smaller boxes preferred)

Collection baskets will be outside the 5th Grade Classrooms beginning September 3rd & remain there for the duration of the month. The next time you are in the grocery store, please consider supporting your community by picking up a small box of your child’s favorite cereal for GRACE. Thank you in advance for your support.


OCT Dads' Club

Dads, join the O.C. Taylor Dads' Club for an eventful, exciting and memorable year!

The Dads' Club is a part of our O.C. Taylor PTA, a volunteer organization with no minimum commitment required. Dads are encouraged to attend meetings and volunteer for events as they are able. Meetings and events tend to be a good time to meet other dads and families in our community, while at the same time benefit the school and staff. The meetings will take place every month or two and will be a chance to review upcoming activities during the school year. Sign up is free, and you can do it here.

The Dads' Club hosts or helps out with several events throughout the year. Including:

· Morning Dropoff Assistance

· Dad of the Day Program

· Rock Out

· O.C. Taylor Dads' Club Parade of Lights Float Entry

· Pancake Breakfast and Snow Hill

· Spring Fling

· Dads' Club Golf Tournament

There is no fee to sign up for Dads' Club. Dads' Club T-shirts will be available through the O.C. Taylor Spirit Shop.

Like Our Facebook Page and follow us on Twitter @OCTDadsClub

Thank You,

Wes Critz, OCT Dads' Club President


Apple Tree and GCISD Volunteer Background Check

The Apple Tree is up and running! Our amazing teachers need items throughout the year, so please check the Apple Tree Signup for things they need. Sign up to purchase the item and send to school with your child with the teacher’s name on it. Check periodically for updates and items needed. Thank you so much for helping our teachers!!

If you are new to O.C. Taylor, we are so glad to have you! Our school runs on our amazing volunteers. In order to volunteer at the school, please complete the District's Volunteer Background Check Application for the 2019-2020 school year. Also, please read and sign the Volunteer Handbook included in the link as well. As a reminder, all volunteers are required to reapply each year. https://www.gcisd.net/cms/one.aspx?pageId=195550


Jill Tate

4th VP – Volunteer Coordinator


Box Tops and Amazon Smile

This year, we will continue to donate to the OC Taylor PTA through Box Tops for Education and Amazon Smile! It's a simple way to donate to our school. Last year, we earned over $800 through Box Tops and Amazon Smile. Here's how you can help!

#1. Box Tops is going Paperless! In an effort to join our ever increasing world of technology, Box Tops for Education has notified us that they will be fazing out the paper box tops on products over the next year. Download the Box Tops for Educations APP on your smartphone. Receipts must be scanned within 14 days of purchase and box tops will automatically be credited to our OC Taylor Box Top account. In the mean time, you can also still continue to clip any physical Box Tops that are still on products you purchase. Next week, ziploc bags will be sent home with your child's grade level sticker on them so that we can continue our Box Tops Racing to Recess Challenge this semester. The grade level that collects the most box tops will earn an extra recess in December. If you encounter any problems scanning your receipts with the new app, please contact Stephanie Williams at octsilentauction@gmail.com.

#2. Be sure to shop smileamazon.com so that .5% of all your purchases will go to the OC Taylor PTA. Log on to smileamazon.com and select PTA Texas Congress 1610 O C Taylor Elementary as your preferred charity. It's an amazingly easy way to earn money for our school!! Remember, you must log on to smileamazon.com every time you shop Amazon to ensure that your purchases earn money for our school.

Thank you!

Berri O'Neal Gormley

PTA President



Lissa Critz

PTA President-Elect


Stay Connected at O. C. Taylor Elementary School

We have a number of ways to keep in touch with our school. Be sure to read, subscribe to and join these resources to get all the latest news.

Facebook: If you’re a Facebook member be sure to join the O.C. Taylor Elementary Facebook Group to get updates in your feed. This group is meant to provide another way to get news and updates.

Website: The school’s website has the latest news, updates, and calendars, as well as general information about the school, resources for parents, volunteer opportunity information, event information and ways to donate.

Twitter: We regularly post events and upcoming news on Twitter. Follow me on Twitter: @OCTYoung and follow our hashtag #OCT4U.