Cougar Staff Newsletter

October 17, 2021

COVID-19: Back-to-School Plan

For latest protocols based on guidance from the Texas Education Agency

COVID-19 Dashboard

Updated statistics on positive cases

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A message from Toni Hicks, Ed.D.

At their most recent meeting, the Jarrell ISD Board of Trustees adopted a resolution marking October as Principals Month. Having been a principal myself, I can say there are many responsibilities and many rewards in helping students and staff thrive. This week I want to highlight some of what comes with being a campus principal here in Jarrell ISD.

Foremost, principals are responsible for the safety and security of students and staff. It is always their most important priority.

Secondly, principals are the instructional leader for their campus. They are often the teacher of teachers. When we meet monthly as a team, our principals pour over data to align their campus goals with those of the district to make sure we are all focused on the same mission -- success for all. Our principals are role models for their staff members and are continually reviewing data, improving best practices, and learning from each other every step of the way. By doing so, they set the precedent for their faculty and staff to do the same.

In Jarrell ISD, principals are also the chief communicator for their campus. Each of our principals sends weekly communications to parents and staff. They keep the lines of communication open with parents and staff and are readily available to meet and listen to community members, staff and students. In addition, they make sure their websites and social media channels are sharing information so that all stakeholders are informed.

Connecting with students in meaningful ways is a crucial part of being a principal. The principals here in Jarrell ISD interact with as many students as possible each day, by greeting students in the halls, saying hello as kids walk up to school. They do all of this because they care. Being focused always on what is best for students drives every decision they make.

Please join me in saying thank you to Adrienne Rodriguez, Lara Hutchinson, Kelly Blair, and Dr. Joseph Green! Have a great weekend.

Go cougars!

Toni Hicks, Ed.D.

Cougar Celebrations

Band Earns Straight 1s at Competition

The Pride of Jarrell Marching Band earned its 7th consecutive Sweepstakes Award! The Pride will advance to Area Marching Contest on October 30 at Pfield in Pflugerville. Thanks goes out to our Parents, Community of Jarrell, School Administrators and staff. We cannot do it without your continued support.

Homecoming Queen and King - 2021

Congratulations to the 2021-2022 JHS Homecoming King and Queen, Hunter Hawes and Mollie Berumen!

Lady Cougars Triumph over Taylor

Lady Cougar volleyball sweeps Taylor in 3 straight sets!

Runners Advance to Regional Cross Country Meet

Congratulations to the Jarrell High School cross country runners who competed at the district meet this week. We are so proud of you!

Jasmine Benavidez placed fourth at the varsity girls level and advanced to the Region 3 CC Meet. After placing 10th at district, Mason Dotson will also go on to run at regionals. Cody Dotson barely missed out on a trip to regionals with an 11th place finish. Great job, Cougars!

Cougars attend FCCLA Fall Leadership Workshop

Cougars represented Jarrell ISD at the FCCLA Fall Leadership workshop. Participants learned about competitive events, national programs, leadership and parliamentarian law. Brenda, Jarrell High School region V officer, gave a great presentation in front of her peers.

Jarrell's FCCLA program is a shining example of how our students prepare for careers while in high school.

Homecoming 2021

Homecoming Parade Float Winners Announced

Thanks to the parade participants and all of the fans who cheered them on! It was incredible to see the streets of Jarrell lined in blue. Special thanks to our parade judges: Camy Reynolds, Jake Isbell, and Lara Ingalsbe. The winners of the spirit sticks were Jarrell High School FFA and the Jarrell Community Library! Congratulations!

JHS Homecoming Parade - 4Kᵁᴴᴰ⁶⁰ - October 13, 2021

Important News and Information for Families

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The Cougars will play Robinson for Homecoming on Friday, October 15. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. Tailgaters may set up in the parking lot at 6 p.m.

Tickets are available online.

Reimaging Education Committee Seeking Volunteers

Jarrell ISD is seeking volunteers for its Reimagining Education Committee. Members of this committee will explore how we can work together and better serve students and support teachers in the years ahead.

Teachers, staff, parents, and students are invited to attend. The first meeting will be Nov. 9, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Admin Annex. Future meetings will be planned at a later date.

SmartTags Required for Bus Service

In August of the 2021-22 school year, Jarrell ISD implemented the SmartTag system for bus riders. The SmartTag system is designed to ensure authorized ridership on district buses and improve the safety and security of students who use bus transportation.

SmartTag provides live monitoring of where and when students load onto and unload off of their school bus. This information keeps transportation staff, school administrators and parents up-to-date with accurate information.

How SmartTag works:

  • When a student enters a school bus, the student scans their SmartTag card using the card reader (installed on the bus).
    The SmartTag tablet confirms the student is board the correct school bus.
  • When the student has arrived at his/her stop and gets ready to exit the bus, the student again scans his/her card ensuring it's the correct stop.
  • Information is gathered by the bus driver and shared in real time using secured cloud technology.
  • Parents are able to use the SmartTag portal for up-to-date information on their child's bus. Parents may also download the app and get notifications on their child's bus.

Student protocols
All students who ride a Jarrell ISD bus should have a SmartTag. New students will have a 2-day delay for processing.

What happens if a student forgets their SmartTag?

  • Students will be allowed to board the bus in the morning and come to school.
  • Once at school, the Jarrell ISD transportation department will contact the school and inform the school the student did not have a SmartTag.
  • The campus will contact the parent or guardian to inform them that the student will not be able to ride the bus home without a SmartTag.

If a student does not have a SmartTag, parents may:

  • Make arrangements to pick up their child from school that day
  • Deliver the child's SmartTag to school so the student may ride the bus.
  • Pay for another SmartTag through RevTrak for $5. With this new SmartTag, the student may ride the bus home.
More about SmartTags

Free COVID-19 Testing through the City of Jarrell

Free COVID-19 PCR testing is now available at Jarrell City Hall (161 Town Center Blvd. in Jarrell), Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Walk-ups are welcome. Tests are self-collected nasal swabs. Results will be available in 24-48 hours.

Click here to make an appointment:

Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 23

To celebrate healthy choices, Jarrell ISD is participating in Red Ribbon Week activities in late October.

Remember the dress code still applies, and learning is always our top priority.
Monday, Oct. 25 – Wear Red
Tuesday, Oct. 26 – Camo Day “Drugs Can’t Find Me”
Wednesday, Oct. 27 – College and Career Day “Your future is bright without drugs” Wear a college or career shirt to show your plans
Thursday, Oct. 28 – Team Up Against Drugs Wear your favorite Sports Wear to Show Your Commitment to Staying Drug Free
Friday, Oct. 29 – Cougar Strong – Show your Jarrell Cougar Spirit

We Rise By Lifting Others - Donate to the Jarrell Education Foundation

The Jarrell Education Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit founded to enhance student learning through innovative opportunities that promote academic excellence.

In their first-ever grant awards cycle, the Foundation distributed more than $19,000 in grants to Jarrell ISD teachers. This year, the Foundation hopes to have even greater impact. To do that, we need your help!

Foundation programs promote educational excellence and enhance lifelong learning. Currently, the Foundation is funding classroom grants that implement imaginative and progressive teaching initiatives.

The Foundation solicits, manages and distributes funds for enrichment purposes in program areas not funded by tax dollars. Funding is supplemental and does not replace or alter the use of tax-based revenue.

Donations are tax-deductible. 100 percent of every dollar donated goes directly back to Jarrell ISD schools for the benefit of Jarrell ISD students.

Donate today!

The Community is Invited to Ice Cream and Conversations on Nov. 1

The community is invited to join Jarrell ISD Superintendent Dr. Toni Hicks on Monday, Nov. 1 from 5-6 p.m. at the Dairy Queen in Jarrell for Ice Cream and Conversations. Parents, students, and community members are invited to meet and get to know Dr. Hicks.

At the Nov. 1 event, there will be no set agenda. As part of the district's efforts to further establish a culture of listening and learning, Dr. Hicks will make herself available to share in celebrations and listen to any concerns related to Jarrell ISD.

Upcoming Events

Oct. 15 - Homecoming Football Game, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 15 - National Boss's Day

Oct. 15 - Jarrell High School Homecoming

Oct. 18-22 - National School Bus Safety Week

Oct. 23-31 - Red Ribbon Week

Oct. 24 - Healthy Kids Running Series Begins

Oct. 27 - Jarrell ISD Board of Trustee Meeting, Admin Annex, 6:30 p.m.

Nov. - Native American Heritage Month

Nov. 1 - Ice Cream and Conversations with Dr. Hicks, Dairy Queen, 5-6 p.m.

Nov. 2 - Election Day

Nov. 7 - Standard Time Begins

Nov. 8-10 - National School Psychologists Week

Nov. 10 - Student Holiday/Staff Planning Day/Workday

Nov. 11 - Veterans Day

Nov. 15-19 - American Education Week

Nov. 17 - Education Support Professionals Day

Nov. 18 - National Parental Involvement Day

Nov. 19 - Substitute Educators Day

Nov. 22-26 - Student & Staff Holidays

Community Flyers

Jarrell ISD is consolidating flyers for local organizations and posting them on our website. If you would like to post a flyer, please email

About Jarrell ISD

Jarrell ISD is located in northern Williamson County. The mascot is The Cougars. It has four campuses: Jarrell High School, Jarrell Middle School, Igo Elementary School and Jarrell Elementary. The district is home to more than 2,800 students. Enrollment is projected to double in the next 10 years.

Got celebrations to share? Send them to Thank you!

We are proud to showcase excellent students and staff. To see more, follow us on Twitter @hicksJISD ; @Jarrell_ISD; @JES_cougars; @IEScougars; @jarrell_ms; and @JarrellHS.