Panda News

November 29, 2021

Welcome to the Panda News!

Greeting Panda Nation!

I hope that everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving Break and that you were able to spend time with family and friends. I know I enjoyed every bit of my break, especially the cooler temperatures.

We have a busy next couple of weeks as we head into Winter Break. Students will be taking District Level Assessments the week of December 6th and December 13th. The District Level Assessments cover the material taught from the beginning of year to now. Teachers are able to tell students what content will be covered on the test; however, they have not seen the test themselves so they cannot create an exact review sheet. The DLA will count as a test grade for students.

Next Monday, December 6, is picture make-up day. For assistance with school pictures, please reach out to Ms. Van den Bossche at

Students interested in joining Pershing's UIL Team are invited to attend an interest meeting in Room 126 after school tomorrow, November 30. Students and parents who have any questions may reach out to Ms. Fogarty at

Have a great week Pandas!

Steven Shetzer, Principal

Week @ A Glance

December 1

  • JJP Swim Practice Meet @ JJP

December 2

  • Winter Choir Concert @ 5:30 & 7:00

December 6

  • School Picture Make-up Day

December 8

  • Band Concert @ 6:00 p.m.
  • JJP Swim Meet v. West Briar @JJP (4 p.m.)

December 9

  • Band Concert @ 6:00 p.m.

Homeroom Changes & Accelerated Learning

A month or so ago I included in my newsletter information regarding HB4545 and the 30-hours of required accelerated learning for any student who either did not take STAAR or failed STAAR in 2021. We have now identified all students and have made changes to our Homerooms in order to address the 30-hours of accelerated learning. Beginning tomorrow, students will report to their new homerooms. I've asked the teachers to spend time this week building relationships with their new students. For students who need accelerated learning, they will be participating in mini-lessons and skill builder lessons during homeroom. For those that do not require accelerated learning, they will engage in enrichment activities.

HB4545 requires us to track all students who require accelerated learning. It also requires that students be in groups of no more than 3 per 1 teacher, unless a waiver is signed. If you have not already done so, please log into HISD Connect and indicate if you waive the 3:1 requirement. This will allow us to provide the instruction in larger groups and finish the 30 hours in a timely manner.

More information will be sent out regarding accelerated learning in the coming weeks. For now, if you have any questions, please contact your child's counselor.

Student Dress Code Change

Pershing is making a change to the student dress code! During November's SDMC meeting, I proposed that students be allowed to wear blue jeans, in addition to tan/black khakis and black jeans. It was suggested that we try this on a trial basis, as there are some rules that do apply. The SDMC agreed and effective immediately, students may wear jeans to school on a trial basis. If the students follow these rules, we will make it a permanent change. The rules are:

  1. Jeans must be blue or black (no other colors allowed)
  2. Jeans must sit at the waist and not sag. Students should wear a belt if their jeans are too big.
  3. Jeans must be free of holes and rips that show skin. Jeans with patches are ok.

Please remind your student that the final decision about jeans rests on whether they follow the rules or not.

Also, we need your help. Students are not allowed to wear joggers, stretch pants, pajama bottoms, or sweatpants to school. Please remind your student of this rule.

And as always, grade level shirts and sweatshirts are required.

PTO Meeting

Pershing's PTO Meeting is Tuesday, December 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the Cafeteria.

Get Your Yearbook!

Do you ever want memories that last a lifetime? You'll be thankful to get a yearbook to cherish this special year! Please click here to see the flyer and order your yearbook. Also, check out our Yearbook Instagram page @smilepershingms

Need Assistance?

Here are some frequently asked questions from parents who have been looking for assistance.

  1. Where can I find contact information for my child's teacher? Our website directory is an excellent place to find our faculty and staff email addresses.
  2. How can I monitor my child's grades? HISD Connect Parent Portal is the spot! Click here for information on setting up an HISD Connect Parent Portal account.
  3. I have a question, but I'm not sure who to reach out to for an answer. If you have a question, you can reach out to your child's Homeroom teacher, Counselor, or Assistant Principal for assistance.
  4. I need to schedule a meeting with a teacher, what do I do? Please email the teacher(s) you wish to meet with and allow them 24 hours to respond. Teachers are provided with a planning period each day, so they will send you those times to schedule a meeting. You can also call the main office at 713-295-5240 and leave a message for the teacher.
  5. I feel disconnected now that my child is in middle school. How can I get involved? This is easy. Join the PTO and attend the regularly scheduled meetings. We also recommend you attend the sporting events, fine arts performances, and PTO events throughout the year.

Student Information Verification

Parents, please complete the annual Student Information Verification application by Thursday, December 16, to ensure that you continue to receive important updates regarding your child's education. The form allows you to verify your home address, phone number, email address, and emergency contacts. If you change your home address, our campus SIR, Ms. McDonough, will need to contact you to obtain an updated statement of residence. To update your information, please visit the HISD Connect Parent Portal at

Can we talk?

Parents, we are reaching out once again to help us with another serious matter. Unfortunately, we have received an increase in students, male and female, reporting being texted or verbally approached with messages sexual, and quite vulgar, in nature. After investigating the matters, we are learning that students are being exposed to this content through inappropriate websites and others.

Therefore, we are asking that you have serious conversations with your children about the inappropriate nature of using this language as not only is it inappropriate, but could have escalated consequences such as sexual harassment and others that would possibly lead to getting law enforcement involved.

We all know this is a difficult age for students, but access to social media and inappropriate websites has been made easier with cell phones. This is a reminder that Pershing has a no cell phone policy from 8:20 - 4:00 p.m. each day. Students who are caught with their phone out, whether it is in use or not, may have it confiscated and a parent must pay the $15 fee.

Thank you for your assistance with this serious matter.

Wellness Wednesdays

Each Wednesday students will be participating in SEL lessons during Homeroom. The Counselors are working on putting together our first series of lessons, focusing on Peer Relationships. Over the course of four weeks, students will complete the following lessons:

  • What Makes a Friend
  • I've Got Your Back
  • Talk It Out
  • Battle the Bullies

The lessons take 40-50 minutes each and include a mini-lesson, to be delivered by the Counselors via MS TEAMS, and then an activity that teachers will facilitate.

This week's lesson is "Battle the Bullies." We encourage you to speak with your child about this lesson when they get home on Wednesday night.

Contact Information

Campus Administration Team

Steven Shetzer, Principal

Carrie Curtis, 6th Grade Assistant Principal

Maria Jackson, 6th/7th Grade Assistant Principal

Tyesha Beller, 7th Grade Assistant Principal

Alberto Fernandez, 8th Grade Assistant Principal

Amy Ford, 8th Grade Assistant Principal

Grisury Candelaria, Magnet Coordinator

Campus Support Team

Sherman Parker, 6th Grade Counselor

Enitsha Allen-Cooper, 7th Grade Counselor

Sara Graur, 8th Grade Counselor

Alesha Rushing, Wraparound Specialist

Jolynn Vallejo, CIS Social Worker

Pershing students are "Empowered by Diversity, Inspired by Success, & Committed to Lifelong Learning"