December 3, 2018

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WPISD receives grant for Kajeet pilot program

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Wills Point ISD was one of 30 school districts across the country (one of four in Texas) that were awarded the Homework Gap Grant from Kajeet, a company that offers K-12 mobile solutions. The grant is designed to help school districts pilot a mobile connectivity program so students can complete their homework at home, on the go, or on the school bus.

The Kajeet grant application asked several detailed questions about digital learning goals and objectives. WPISD responded by expounding on the district’s mission, Rich in Tradition,
Driven by Innovation. The district further explained that the technology Kajeet mobile products could bring to the district builds upon on the WPISD’s mission and allows for the incorporation of new and innovative ideas that directly impacts student achievement.

Wills Point received a 10-unit Kajeet SmartSpot® kit which includes safe, filtered, and managed 4G LTE wireless Internet outside the classroom for the 2018-2019 academic school year. The 10 devices were given to the High School Library for students to check out when they need internet connection to finish homework or projects after school hours.

Mad Scientist Day

The Primary School was filled with "Mad Scientists" on Halloween. Kim White, Primary school Principal said, “We knew students would be excited in anticipation of Trick or Treating so we decided to guide their enthusiasm towards learning! It was awesome to hear students using scientific vocabulary or “big words” as they told me. ”

Students conducted Halloween themed science experiments. Some experiments included making Slime, Floating Candy, Exploding Pumpkins, and Puffy Ghosts.

Wills Point ISD Education Foundation and Rotary Team Up to Deliver Grants

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A group with balloons, big checks, a drumline, cheerleaders and high school mascot made noisy entrances into Wills Point Independent School District classrooms last week, but they were welcomed guests. Members of the Wills Point ISD Education Foundation joined by Rotarians made classroom appearances on Wednesday to celebrate awards of innovative grants totaling a record of over $39,000.

Teachers, individually and teaming together, submitted 16 grant applications to the Education Foundation for consideration. Projects funded include innovative robotics programs for Pre-K through Junior High, Google expeditions through virtual reality, a Primary school science lab, Chromebooks and so much more.

WPISDEF is only in its second year as an established non-profit organization. Last year they awarded over $13,000 in teacher grants. The goal of the Education Foundation, is to inspire learning and enhance opportunities for all students enrolled in the Wills Point Independent School District.

Debbie Deen, WPISDEF President stated, “Teachers are continually looking for new ways to enrich their programs and engage students. What can we do as parents, community members and business persons, is to help make our district the best place for students to learn. Through the Wills Point ISD Education Foundation, we can give them the funds needed to put these enrichment programs in place.”

Local Rotarians traveled with the Foundation Board of Directors to also spread some joy and deliver their Felix Massey grants. Teachers submitted 14 grants and the total given by local Rotarians was a little above $5,500. Scott Caloss, WPISD Superintendent and Rotary Club President said, “The Wills Point Rotary Club has been giving out Felix Massey grants for 7 years. We are proud to stand beside the Education Foundation to fund opportunities for our teachers and students to try new things. This is an exciting time!!! We look forward to helping the Foundation grow and help both our organizations to increase grants next year.”

Wills Point ISD Education Foundation - over $39,000

  • Bee Bots for Pre-Kindergarten - $1,225

  • Bee Bots for Kindergarten - $2,210

  • Science! Science! Science! - Science lab for all students in Primary - $4,848

  • Bringing Learning to Life with OSMOs - 2nd and 3rd grade - $1,750

  • iPads for Life Skills - Life Skills program at Woods Intermediate - $1,750

  • WPJH Robotics & STEM Initiative - $2100

  • District STEM Initiative - 3 projects housed with district Technology Coach, utilizing technology for all campuses - $2,425

  • Technology Collaboration Station - Woods Intermediate Library - $1800

  • Chromebooks - $11,300
    5th Grade Science (12), 5th Grade ELAR (12), JH ELA (11), HS LOTE (11)

  • Dual Credit Assistance for WPISD - help defer costs - $10,000

Wills Point Rotary Club Felix Massey Grants - over $5,500

  • Alexander Keselman - HS interactive whiteboard camera system - $417

  • Abbigail Damron - HS Chromebooks - $480

  • Jeffrey Lester - HS Chromebooks - $480

  • Typhanie Hill & Emily Nine - JH Chromebooks - $480
    Tammy McEnturff - JH 8th grade trip to UT Tyler - $330
    Rowdon, Cochran, Moore - JH Robotics & STEM Initiative - $412

  • Mary Lindsey, Calico Felan - MS reading time bean bags - $250

  • Presley Robertson - MS rocket supplies for aeronautic club - $310

  • Jami Wilkinson - MS Chromebooks - $480

  • Chris Jones - MS Evolution game balls - $550

  • Lori Lamar - Woods Library Makerspaces - $495

  • Donna Polege - Primary life cycle of a butterfly - $125

  • Emily Weber - Primary STEM enrichment - $433

  • Sally Sparks - Primary free little libraries - $325

Students Honor Veterans

Campuses throughout the Wills Point ISD honored the service and sacrifice of veterans and military personnel this week, opening their doors to the community for a variety of programs Nov. 12. 5th grade Language Arts classes designed an eagle from stars which had words that describe veterans. They also wrote letters and poems to be sent to veterans. The junior high campus decorated their hallways with a Wall of Service and other decorations to commemorate the occasion. The High School campus celebrated the event with an assembly. Veterans Day (formerly Armistice Day) is recognized annually each Nov. 11. This year marked the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended major hostilities in World War I.

WPISD Earns State's Highest Fiscal Accountability Rating

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Wills Point Independent School District officials announced that the district received a rating of “A” for “Superior Achievement” under Texas’ School FIRST financial accountability rating system. The “Superior Achievement” rating is the state’s highest, demonstrating the quality of Wills Point ISD’s financial management and reporting system.

This is the 16th year of School FIRST (Financial Accountability Rating System of Texas), a financial accountability system for Texas school districts developed by the Texas Education Agency in response to Senate Bill 875 of the 76th Texas Legislature in 1999 and amendments under House Bill 5, 83rd Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2013. The primary goal of School FIRST is to achieve quality performance in the management of school districts’ financial resources, a goal made more significant due to the complexity of accounting associated with Texas’ school finance system.

“We are very pleased with the District’s School FIRST rating,” said Dr. Scott Caloss, WPISD Superintendent. “This rating shows that our district is making the most of our taxpayers’ dollars, and achieving student success through the effective and efficient management of money.”

The Texas Education Agency assigned one of four financial accountability ratings to Texas School districts, with the highest being “A” for “Superior Achievement,” followed by “B” for “Above-Standard Achievement,” “C” for “Standard Achievement” and “F” for “Substandard Achievement.”

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Each week at the Junior High our teachers and student participate in "No Worksheet Wednesday." The purpose behind "No Worksheet Wednesday" is to continue content instruction, while at the same time, provide students an opportunity to have hands-on learning experiences. To facilitate this, teachers use a variety of engaging activities and instructional tools such as interactive smart boards, google classroom, lab experiments, competitive academic challenges, and student created projects. Junior High teachers made a vow to no longer use worksheets on Wednesdays because we believe that learning activities promote thinking, and are the most powerful experiences we can provide for our students.

Reaching Out

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The Wills Point ISD banded together to help one of its own recently, raising $2000 for seventh grader Jordan Darling who is suffering from kidney failure. The money raised will go to offset medical expenses the family has incurred. District representatives taking part in the check presentation included WPJH Vice Principal Jason Moore, teacher Stacy Porter and WPJH Principal Casey Cochran.

Students Give Back by Collecting for Local Food Banks

High School Dual Credit Program

Wills Point ISD is expanding the dual credit program at WPHS by partnering with Stephen F. Austin State University this spring. Dual Credit is a process in which a high school student enrolls in a college course and receives credit for the course from both the college and the high school. WPISD will continue to offer financial assistance to students wishing to enroll in approved dual credit courses.

Currently most dual credit courses are taught online or on the high school campus. SFA will also have courses available through distance education. This will allow our students real time face to face interaction with their professor without leaving the high school campus. “We have been working hard to the find more affordable options for dual credit”, said Barbie McMath, Assistant Superintendent. “It is important to us to help students with their college and career plans. We also want to be sure students can access classes, regardless of their own financial situations.”

Any student that wants to consider taking dual credit courses must follow the participating college enrollment and application procedures. Students must speak with their high school counselor and courses must be approved by campus administration and the counselors’ office prior to enrollment. For additional information on course offerings and cost please contact the WPHS counseling office. The deadline for Spring 2019 enrollment is January 3rd.

Bus Drivers Needed

Teachers Earn Tiger Tech Badges

Second Graders Perform Word Surgery

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Woods Intermediate second grade teacher, Rebecca Ragsdale had been looking for engaging ways to work with contractions. The whole idea of the word surgery is to take out letters and stitch the word back up with an apostrophe. Ragsdale explained, "The more I began looking into it, the more surgery themed activities I found throughout multiple subjects! I told the kids to dress like doctors, but wouldn’t tell them why. The day of our “surgery” I explained that they were now my medical students and we had a lot of patients to help." Students used Germ-X to sterilized their work stations and began their first surgery working on fixing sentences. Throughout the day students corrected sentences, worked on contractions, created compound words, worked on word problems, and so much more. Students were actively engaged in the lesson and had a great time.
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Dec 7 - Therapy Dogs

Dec 13 - Kindergarten Christmas Program at the High School at 6:30 pm

Dec 17 - Grinch Day

Dec 18 - Christmas Around the World

Dec 19 - Polar Express Day

Dec 19 - Visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus

Dec 20 - ROAR Rally


Dec 10 - School Board Meeting/ Woods Recognition

Dec 11-14 Nine Weeks Assessments

Dec 12 - Band Concert at HS

Dec 14 - KONA Day

Dec 17 - Polar Express Day

Dec 18-19 Christmas Around the World- 2nd Grade

Dec 20 - Christmas parties 9am; Early Release

Middle School

Dec 5 - Progress reports sent home

Dec 6 - Kona Ice on campus

Dec 12 - 6th grade band performing for student body 2:40 MS gym

Dec 13 - 6th Grade Band Christmas Concert 6:30 JH gym

Dec 20 - Christmas parties 1st period; Early Release 11:15

Junior High

Dec 11 - Parent night 5:30-7

Dec 14 - Band concert

High School

Dec 3-6 - EOC Re-Test

Dec 5 @ 7 pm - White Gift Service

Dec 6-8 - BB Tourny Boys

Dec 12 Christmas Carols at the HS 8:30 am (Primary and Woods)

Dec 12 FCA Christmas Caroling

Dec 13 Middle School Band Concert

Dec 13 GAP Ceremony

Dec 18 Woods Musical 6:30

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