Monday Message

News from Mrs. Hilcher- Principal of Grapevine Elementary

Week of December 14-December 18

End of 2015

It's hard to believe that this is our last GES newsletter for 2015! This semester has absolutely flown by. It's been such a pleasure to watch your students grow, learn and play while at GES each week. I recognize the importance of our partnership with you as parents and appreciate your efforts to support your children and our school. You make it a wonderful place to work and I'm blessed to work with our staff and your precious children each day. I hope the last few weeks of December bring you and your family much joy and look forward to what 2016 has in store for GES!

Party Day Information

Students are invited to wear the PJs to school on Friday, 12/18. All holiday parties will begin at 10:45am and end at our 11:45 dismissal time. Please remember that ALL dress code policies remain in place and only school appropriate PJs are allowed. I also want to make you aware of new guidelines for party day. We WILL be using Raptor for checking in all of our guests and visitors on 12/18. We are also trying a new "Fast Pass" system to check in our frequent visitors and volunteers.

Please read more about the "Fast Pass" opportunity:

All visitors and volunteers who plan on attending the parties will need to check in and receive a badge in the front office. We will be utilizing our normal Raptor badge system which requires a valid photo ID. If you would like to speed up the process in obtaining your badge, please contact us ahead of time and we will have your badge pre-printed and available in our "Fast Pass" line*. You may start notifying us beginning Monday, 12/14, by emailing Heather Hedges ( *This "Fast Pass" will only work if you have been at GES this school year and we have already scanned your photo ID. Any visitor who has not been here, or didn't let us know in advance, will have to wait while photo IDs are scanned and their badge is processed. Please note that a photo ID will be shown in order to pick up your fast pass and as always, to check in to the system for the first time. Please let us know between Monday morning and Thursday, 12/17, at noon to avoid the crowds and long waits on Friday. Room parents will be able to check after 9am to set up for class parties. Also, please note that students will NOT be signed out early from their classrooms or party locations. Any student leaving before 11:45 will need to proceed to the front office with an adult to be checked out. Students who leave early will receive a partial day absence.

We hope you will take advantage of this new "Fast Pass" concept and avoid the crowds and long waits. We appreciate your support as we work to improve a process while ensuring the safety and security of all of our GES Stars!

Upcoming Events

Monday, 12/14 All GRACE Christmas Cottage items due (unwrapped please)

Monday,12/14 Choir (2:45-3:45pm)

Tuesday, 12/15 Geography Bee (8:15am)

Thursday, 12/17 Choir-ONLY drama group & "Together, Wherever We Go" dance group (2:45-3:45pm)

Friday, 12/18 Holiday parties at 10:45am; Early dismissal at 11:45am

Friday, 12/18 All unclaimed Lost & Found items will be donated to GRACE

Monday, 12/21/15-Monday, 1/4/16 Winter holidays-no school

Tuesday, 1/5 Students return to school

Wednesday, 1/6 Second nine weeks report cards posted to Skyward & Google drive

Wednesday, 1/6 Running Club (2:45-3:30pm)

Thursday, 1/7 Choir (2:45-3:45pm)

Important Reminders

  • Birthday treats: Please remember that all birthday treats must be store bought and brought to the front office for Nurse Burwell to approve due to allergies. Our school policy states: Student birthdays may be recognized in the classroom at the end of the day. Birthday celebrations may not be conducted in the cafeteria while meals are being served. Students may bring a snack or treat to share with their classmate. Due to food allergies, we request parents either send store bought items (with the ingredient label showing) or non-food treats (pencils, erasers, etc.). This policy can be found in the ABCs of GES:
  • iPads at Home: All iPads that are taken home are expected to return to school charged at 100% each day. We use our iPads for a multitude of activities and assessments and they should be taken to and from school each day just like a daily folder. iPads are part of student responsibility and preparation for class. Thank you for your help!
  • Lost & Found: We still have many coats, jackets, sweatshirts, and other items in our Lost and Found coat rack in the foyer. All unclaimed items will be donated on December 18th. Please encourage your child to look for any lost item.

Hour of Code

I hope your child shared with you how his/her class participated in last Friday's Hour of Code at GES. We are thankful to the parents who supported our efforts and spoke with students about their careers and passion for computer programming. Check out the website & pictures:

Here is the posted article: GCISD schools took part in the international Computer Science Education Week, particularly through the Hour of Code program. At Grapevine Elementary School, students promoted their Hour of Code activity throughout the week on their morning news show, KGES.

The school designated Friday, December 11 as their school-wide Hour of Code activity day. All teachers took an hour out of the day during their math and science time to dedicate toward coding. Teachers worked together, using both district resources and items from, such as certificates for all students when they complete their Hour of Code.

In addition, two parents visited the school to speak with different grade levels about their careers as computer programmers and how they got started. Tresia Eaves shared with the fifth grade class about how her interest in STEM started at a young age, led her into college and then to her career. Michael Hedgpeth spoke with fourth and second grade students about becoming a coder.

Many classrooms also had the opportunity to do Google Hangouts or Skype with computer programmers across the country this week. Two third grade classes talked with programmers from Google and were able to ask them all different questions about how they became a programmer and the type of things they do in their daily work.

GES Information & Announcements

STAAR Testing Dates

Please note the following STAAR testing dates for 3rd, 4th & 5th grade students for the 2015-2016 school year. Please avoid scheduling appointments for your students, or taking vacations, on these important testing days. Visitors and volunteers will not be permitted on campus on testing days due to TEA regulations. We appreciate your support during the state testing season! We know our GES Stars will shine brightly!!

Tuesday, 3/29 - STAAR 4th grade writing; STAAR 5th grade math

Wednesday, 3/30 - STAAR 5th grade reading

Monday, 5/9 - STAAR 3rd & 4th grade math

Tuesday, 5/10 - STAAR 3 & 4th grade reading

Wednesday, 5/11 - STAAR 5th grade science

TAPR 2014-2015

Attached to my 12/14 Monday Message email, you will find our 2014-2015 Texas Academic Performance Report. This report is a culmination of our student and staff demographics, accountability and academic performance, as well as our state accountability rating for the 2014-2015 school year. Campus report cards will be made available in January 2016.

Snack Donations Requested

For some of our families, providing a nutritious snack each day to assist their GES star’s performance throughout the day does not happen consistently because of food insecurities. If you are able, please donate individually packaged Goldfish or pretzels in order to help us provide that snack for students that arrive at school without it because of the insecurities. This would not pertain to students that simply forgot a snack that day. If your Star forgets his/her snack often, sending multiple days worth of snacks might help. For questions, please feel free to contact Angela Horn at or 817-251-5740. Thank you for your continued generosity and thoughtfulness.

GES PTA Information

Reflections Winner

We are proud to report that GES had three entries in the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District Council of PTAs REFLECTIONS 2015/2016 program that advanced to the Council for judging on Dec 2nd. Avery Smith submitted “Shimmer Shine” in the Visual Arts/Primary Category and earned the Award of Excellence. Ashley Mitchell submitted “Let the Magic Begin” in the Visual Arts / Intermediate Category and also earned the Award of Excellence. We are pleased to announce that Insha Lakhani's Photgraphy/ Primary Category entry, If Horses Could Fly! Could You Imagine Why?, was selected to advance to the state level judging. There will be 17 entries advancing from the GCISD Council level to TX PTA state level. These entries will be sent to State level judging by January 15th. We will hear about state level judging results in February. We are so proud of all of our participants and wish Insha the best of luck!

JA in a Day Opportunity

Junior Achievement is currently recruiting volunteers for “JA in a Day” at Grapevine Elementary! “JA in a Day” is a special Junior Achievement delivery method. Like all JA programs, volunteers involved in this program help to educate and inspire youth about free enterprise, business, and economics.

“JA in a Day” is different from other JA programs only in that all lessons are covered in the course of one day in the school. At the end of the school day, the students will have completed all 5 JA lessons and will have earned their JA certificate. Normally, this process would take 5 weeks to complete. All of the materials are provided for you. New volunteers will be trained on the materials before they go into the classroom.

People who say Junior Achievement has changed their lives often credit their JA volunteer. Sometimes it takes that one caring adult to recognize the potential in a young person that might have been missed by others. By becoming a Junior Achievement volunteer, you can empower young people to own their economic success by sharing your experience and JA’s proven and engaging lessons.

If you are interested in volunteering or would like more information, please contact GES’s Junior Achievement parent coordinator Nicole Nixon, or Principal Liz Hilcher, You may also email the JA Education Manager, Destini Tasby,

Big image

PTA Carnival Survey

Please click this link to take a quick survey about the GES Carnival. The GES PTA is always striving for excellence and would love for feedback to make the carnival better each year! Your participation is much appreciated!

Don't forget to use Shoparoo! Shop. Snap. Earn. See the flyer for more information on how to earn money for GES.

Big image

GCISD Information

Donations Needed

I wanted to make you aware that on December 5th, an apartment fire in Euless destroyed the homes and belongings of a dozen students attending Bear Creek Elementary, Heritage Middle School and Colleyville Heritage High School. To assist, GCISD is partnering with CONNECT to collect gift card donations from retailers such as Wal-Mart or Target to help provide immediate resources to these children and their families. If you would like to make a gift card donation, please drop it off with counselors at BCES, HMS or CHHS. You can also send gift cards to the GES counselor, Angela Horn. Monetary donations are being accepted online through the Grapevine-Colleyville Education Foundation ( Include a note in your online donation that the funds are for CONNECT-Euless Fire. Thank you for supporting these families.

2016-2017 Student Calendar

GCISD is working on finalizing the student calendar for next year. State changes in attendance requirements have caused a delay. Please view the link below to stay updated on our student calendar progress:

GCISD Podcasts

Are you interested in learning more about LEAD 2021, GCISD's long range plan? You should subscribe to the new LEAD GCISD podcast at: It's a new way for GCISD to communicate information and successes with the community. A new podcast will be released every Tuesday until Christmas break.

Important Links

Follow Our Story

Stay connected with GES events on our website:

Follow the excitement on Twitter and Facebook:

  • On Twitter follow:
    • Principal Mrs. Hilcher: @GESHilcher

    • Assistant Principal Ms. Ray: @GESKRay

    • Grapevine Elementary: @GESStars

    • Your favorite teacher: @GES[lastname]

    • All GES classrooms by checking our #GESshineon

  • On Facebook: