September 24, 2018

Engaged to Learn

Campuses across the district are embracing the WPISD Learning Experience by providing learning opportunities that will help students practice the skills needed to flourish now and in the future. This month we will take a closer look at collaboration and problem solving. Earnest O Woods Intermediate teacher Rebecca Ragsdale is challenging her 2nd grade GT students by engaging them in tasks that require problem solving, critical thinking, and perseverance.“In 2018, problems can be “googled” for a solution. We want our students to have the skills to solve problems on their own!”, said Ragsdale.

The students were introduced to a problem. The problem they observed was how much time it took for farmers to prepare fields, plant, nurture, and harvest their crops. Students then broke into groups to invent a machine to assist farmers and create a more efficient way to accomplish this endeavor. All groups presented their inventions in the form of commercials, enticing the public to buy their product.

Principal, Melanie Mullin stated, “We want our students to think critically to solve problems. For many students in this class, the problem hit close to home. Several of our students come from agricultural families. Our 2nd graders worked together in groups to not only create a solution, but they went a step further to market their product and convince the consumer to purchase that product.”

In addition, students on multiple campuses have been introduced to breakout edu. Breakout edu allows students to collaborate and problem solve. Much like an escape room students are faced with a problem, various clues, and a box with multiple locks. The students must work together, interpret the possible meaning of each clue, and use their content knowledge to “breakout”.

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Bus Drivers Needed

Primary Welcomes 3 Year Olds to Campus

This year Wills Point Primary welcomed 3 year olds to campus as an addition to the Head Start Program. Head Start is a family development program whose classrooms provide the foundation to build future developmental needs. Intellectual, physical, social and emotional development are given priority in the program. The overall goal of the 3 year old program is to increase the social competence of children and to provide the child and his/her family with comprehensive resources and services to achieve that.

Primary teacher, Sally Sparks, and classroom aide, Casey Marble, are doing fantastic with the "threes" as Principal, Kim Cole-White like to call them.

Sally Sparks said, "Working with threes has been a surprise. They are finding so much joy in navigating social and emotional situations! They are extremely impressionable, so I am honored to be able to help mold them Into caring and responsible little citizens. I take that job very seriously, and feel proud to teach threes!"
Caloss challenged by 4th graders

Dr. Caloss is Challenged by Fourth Graders

Dr. Caloss recently visited Ms. Kimberly Moir’s fourth grade class to have lunch with the students. He was surprised upon arrival to find out the students wanted to challenge him to a game of “Are You Smarter Than a Fourth Grader?” In an effort not to embarrass anyone, we will not discuss the final outcome. The only comment provided by Dr. Caloss was, “Some very difficult questions were asked, and I was very impressed with knowledge our student had in being able to provide answers. It was quite obvious after playing this game, we have some very bright students that are being challenged on a daily basis by our outstanding teachers.”

The best way to inspire curiosity and wonder and a love of learning is to model our own love of learning and that the learning never ends, whatever our age! The Instructional Technology department in the district is launching a badging program meant to simply inspire continual and beneficial growth in our teachers and leaders. Whether it is baby steps with a new app or strategy for students to use as they engage and lead more of their own learning or it just might be a game changer with an innovative way to quickly and better assess and provide valuable feedback and allow for deeper learning, a culture of innovation and excellence and growth is the goal. The program, by default, also showcases some of the more innovative teachers and inspires an environment of collaboration as teachers share great ideas with each other and what they learn along the way how to make good things GREAT! Just two weeks in and we already have several teachers (and a principal) advancing past Level 1 and more and more teachers are taking risks and stepping out of comfort zones, all for the benefit of equipping and engaging our students. It is going to be a great year for Tiger Techs!!

District Awarded Homework Gap Grant

Kajeet logo

This year 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 schools districts pilot a mobile connectivity program so students can complete their homework at home, on the go, or on the school bus.

Kajeet asked our district several questions over what our digital learning goals and mission would be. We responded that our district’s mission is Rich in Tradition, Driven by Innovation. Building on our mission is our goal to incorporate new and innovative ideas that impact each student. Over the next three years we hope to provide students more access to devices, stronger wireless connections throughout the district, and improved “paperless” communication to parents and community. We hope to have more families connected outside school hours and increases the number of students that do not have access to internet outside of school.

Wills Point will receive 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 district looks to launch the grant on October 1, 2018.

WPISDEF Payroll Deduction Surpasses Goal

Teachers and staff of Wills Point ISD surpassed last year's goal for payroll deduction to the Wills Point ISD Education Foundation by over $7,800! The total for the campaign totaled over $20,900.

The Wills Point ISD Education Foundation is a public nonprofit, tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) organization operating independently of the school district while maintaining a collaborative relationship by generating financial support for educational programs that are not available through the normal operating budget of the Wills Point ISD.

Funds donated to the Foundation are used for programs and activities that facilitate student achievement, recognize and encourage staff excellence and provide vital links between the community and the classroom.

District Launches New Mobile App

Be sure to update your parent contact email in the Parent Portal. It's important to have a good email address on file, and that you have the same email for all your students associated with your account. Once we have a consistent email address, you will be given an email and password for the link to parent portal inside the app. This will allow your student(s) to show up as icons and give you single sign on capability. Look below for the launch video and documentation on how to update information inside of Parent Portal. As always, if you have questions or need help, contact the registrar or PEIMS clerk on your campus.

Rotary Establishes INTERACT Program at High School

Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves. Rotary members believe in having a shared responsibility to take action on the world’s most persistent issues. The over 35,000 clubs work together to:

  • Promote peace

  • Fight disease

  • Provide clean water, sanitation, and hygiene

  • Save mothers and children

  • Support education

  • Grow local economies

This year Wills Point High School is starting a Rotary Interact Club. Interact clubs bring together young people ages 12-18 to develop leadership skills while discovering the power of Service Above Self. The Interact Club promotes service through projects and community events. This club will help in promoting the Wills Point Learning Experience with a focus on service. The Interact Club sponsor is Mrs. Erin Galope. Mrs. Galope is a native of Wills Point and a first year teacher in our school district. She currently teachers English Dual Credit and English III at the high school. The Wills Point Rotary Club is thrilled to have Mrs. Galope leading this exciting adventure for students in our district.

Education Foundation brings back homecoming hamburger supper

Education Foundation Brings Back Homecoming Hamburger Supper

The Wills Point ISD Education Foundation (WPISDEF) is bringing back the Homecoming Hamburger Supper! This event will take place prior to the homecoming game on Friday, October 5 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the high school cafeteria. The supper will include a hamburger with all the trimmings, chips, drink and dessert. Attendees receives a commemorative WP Tiger stadium cup and 20/20 Vision Care sponsored Fan Clapper! Be sure to purchase your ticket early, they are limited and may not be available on October 5th. Contact the WPISD Administration office to find out how to get tickets.
Middle school creates coding club for students

Middle School Creates Coding Club

So many Middle School students are interested in STEM initiatives like coding! They have done a great job creating this after school program.