Bell Bulletin

March 8, 2017

Dismissal Changes In Effect After Spring Break

Bell Families,

As you know, a safety team was invited out to observe dismissal procedures recently, and based on their suggestions for the increased safety of our students, changes are being made to the "walker" area of our building starting after Spring Break this school year.

The Why:

The original dismissal plan was put in place with the expectation that enrollment would be at 550 students. We have been growing since August, and now have an enrollment of 710 students! Out of those 710 students, we have about 695 of those students go home two ways (car rider or walker). That is a lot of traffic flow in and around our building as we don't have buses that take many students off campus at once. Our enrollment next year is expected to be at 740-750 students. Our growing number of students has created the need for another look at our dismissal procedures.

Walker Area:

Observation in the walker area shed light on some safety concerns. The back parking lot has created a situation where students are walking from the cafeteria to a parked car in the parking lot where their guardian is waiting. Blind spots, backing in and out, and more, make it difficult for drivers to see young walkers, and creates a dangerous situation. Some cars have also been pulling into the lot and parking behind parked cars, making it impossible for cars to pull out of spots. Furthermore, having all student walkers in grades kinder-fifth grade exiting out the same door presents challenges for parents and students and can cause dismissal to start late at times.

Walker Area Changes:

Effective Monday, March 20th, the first day back from Spring Break, the back parking lot by the cafeteria will be closed for dismissal. Parking will not be allowed for "walkers" on campus, and there will be no through traffic in this area. A gate is being installed to help with this change. 2nd Grade - 5th Grade students will continue to walk out the cafeteria doors, along the sidewalk, and across the street with the appropriate crossing guard. If you walk with your child, you may walk and meet them at the cross walk area! Most of our families walk from home to meet their children, and then walk home. This should not present a change for you. For the families who drive to pick up their children as walkers, you may park in the neighborhood and walk up to meet your child, or arrange for your child to find your car after they cross the cross walk area. Kindergarten and 1st grade students will exit the building from the office, and walk to the grassy area by our school marquee and cross walk. Kindergarten students will stay with a kindergarten teacher in this area so kinder parents or older siblings may come get their kindergarten child in this location and walk them home (or to their off-site vehicle). 1st graders will leave from this location as they normally would. 1st grade parents are welcome to meet their first grader here to walk home together, but that is not required as it is with our kindergarten walkers - 1st grade walkers who have been walking on their own may continue to do so. If this change presents any problems for families who drive to pick up their walker, please consider changing your child's dismissal to a car rider (car tag area), and we will get them safely to your car without you even having to get out! Student walkers go out of the building as walkers rain or shine! If you need to change your child's dismissal procedures, please contact the Bell front office by 1:30 PM at (972) 347-7200 or

Car Tag Area:

Students remain safely inside by the office, listening for their numbers. When their number is called, students walk to the colored square that corresponds to their car tag number. A Bell staff member helps students in their car. Our staff and families have this down to a science, and car tag dismissal ends by 3:15 each day, just a few minutes behind our walker dismissal. No changes were suggested to this dismissal location at this time. We continue to appreciate the patience and support you have shown us as we get several hundred students to your cars daily!

As a reminder, all visitors to Bell Elementary, even at dismissal time, need to go through the front office for a visitor's badge. Parents will not be allowed to enter the cafeteria doors into the building at dismissal time without a Bell staff member.

Please see the dismissal map image below. It will also be emailed to your account so you have the full size procedures. Should you have any questions, please contact the Bell front office, or a member of our administrative team (Mrs. McWilliams, Assistant Principal, or Mrs. Shapiro, Principal). I look forward to seeing how these changes positively impact student safety on campus. I have seen firsthand how supportive and caring of all students Bell Nation is. I thank you in advance for the support and understanding I know you will show with these changes. There is no place like Bell!

With thanks,

Lauren Shapiro


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It's That Time Of Year

A-choo! Allergy season is already coming into full swing! This is the time of year we start seeing more asthma attacks. Please make sure if your child has an inhaler and/or nebulizer, that Nurse Russ knows and has all the medicines in her office! Thank you for helping us keep your children safe and healthy!


True character is how you behave when you think no one is looking. What great things can we do when we take ownership for what we do, or don't do?

This month we are focusing on the character trait of responsibility with our students. Each day on announcements we talk about how we can take charge of ourselves and about being accountable for our own actions.

Some of the quotes we use to help spring conversation include:

"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have the time to do it over?" - John Wooden

"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today." - Abraham Lincoln

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mohandas Gandhi

"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out." - Robert Collier

"Do right. Do your best. Treat others the way you want to be treated." - Lou Holtz

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Bobcat Bash Coming Soon!

We're so excited to be hosting our first Bobcat Bash this March 24th from 5:30-8:30. The entire 380 corridor (and beyond!) are welcome to join us for an evening of bounce house, obstacle course, dunk tank, games, petting zoo, silent auction, cupcake walk, train rides and more! Mark your calendars!! Ticket information coming soon! Contact PTA for more information!

Be on the lookout for information about ordering tickets this week!

We are asking that students bring in donations for Bobcat Bash in order to help us stock prizes for games! If you are willing to contribute, please send these to school with your child to give to their teacher OR bring to the front office. Please have items to Bell by March 21st.

Kinder - individually bagged, sealed powdered mini donuts

1st, 2nd Grade - individually wrapped candy - no chocolate

3rd Grade- Tattoos

4th, 5th Grade - purchased cupcakes so that the ingredients are visible for those with allergies

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Bell's FIRST Yearbook!

Yearbook is underway and we want everyone involved! In the picture above, you will find information on an app that you can use from your phone to send us as many photos as you want to. Download the app and simply submit photos taken at school events. All of your candid photos from around the school and in the classroom will help make our first yearbook a huge success! Photo entry here is due by April 7th.

Yearbooks are now on sale! Go to, type in our school name, and you may purchase on-line using a credit or debit card! So easy! Yearbooks will be delivered in May. The last day to order yearbooks is May 1st!

The yearbook committee is also offering dedications to be included in the yearbook. There are two sizes available, which can be designed online at These will be offered as first come, first served for a limited time. For any questions, please contact! The last day to order a dedication page is March 15th!

We want to give a special THANK YOU to PTA and volunteers for making this a reality!

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Are You Connected?

Join Bell Elementary's Facebook Page to receive special updates and reminders!

Or search "Catherine Coleman Bell Elementary" and LIKE the page

Support Bell PTA and receive information from their Facebook page!

Or search "Bell Elementary PTA" and LIKE the page

Not a PTA member yet? It's not too late! Stop by the office and we can get you set up!

Dates To Remember

March 10th: PTA Presents "Critterman: Live Wildlife Educational Outreach Programs" for our students!

Students will enjoy a program in the gym that adds to their love and knowledge about different kinds of wildlife. Make sure to ask them about it this evening!

March 13th-17th: Spring Break

No School

March 20th: School Resumes

Dismissal Changes Begin Today - Walker Area!

March 23rd: School Spring Pictures + Class Pictures

Dress to impress!

March 24th: PTA Presents Bobcat Bash

5:30-8:30 PM @ Bell Elementary

March 28th: STAAR Testing - Campus Closed to Visitors

4th Grade Writing STAAR

5th Grade Math STAAR

March 29th: STAAR Testing - Campus Closed to Visitors

5th Grade Reading STAAR

April 4th: Chick-fil-A Spirit Day

6 AM - 10 PM, Cross Roads location

Visit Chick-fil-A for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! A percentage of the proceeds will be given to Bell Elementary. Tell them you are from Bell when you order!

April 14th: Bad Weather Make-Up Day

If no school closings due to inclement weather, we will have no school today!

April 17th: Bad Weather Make-Up Day

If no school closings due to inclement weather, we will have no school today!

April 19th: 5th 6 weeks Report Card

Report Cards coming home today!

April 19th: General PTA Meeting

6:00 PM - Bell Cafeteria

April 24th - April 26th: 5th Grade Science Camp

May 1st - May 5th: Teacher Appreciation Week

May 1st: Last Day to Order Yearbooks!

May 2nd: Chick-fil-A Spirit Day

6 AM - 10 PM, Cross Roads location

Visit Chick-fil-A for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! A percentage of the proceeds will be given to Bell Elementary. Tell them you are from Bell when you order!

May 8th: STAAR Testing - Campus Closed to Visitors

3rd Grade & 4th Grade Math STAAR

5th Grade Math Re-Test

May 9th: STAAR Testing - Campus Closed to Visitors

3rd Grade & 4th Grade Reading STAAR

5th Grade Reading Re-Test

May 10th: STAAR Testing - Campus Closed to Visitors

5th Grade Science STAAR

May 29th: Memorial Day

No School

May 31st or June 1st: End of Year Classroom Parties

Teachers will be sending home information specific to their classroom.

June 1st: Last Day of School

Report Cards Go Home Today

Dismissal at 12:00 PM