Tiger Talk


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Is it seasonal allergies.....or COVID?

Are your children exhibiting a cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, headache, sore throat, congestion, or a runny nose? According to information released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these are symptoms common of both COVID-19 and seasonal allergies and should be taken seriously. In fact, Lake Travis ISD health and wellness protocols stipulate students who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, including those common to both COVID-19 and seasonal allergies as depicted above, should be kept home.

Recently, students across our District who have been sent home with common symptoms have tested positive for COVID-19. If your child is exhibiting any of the symptoms of COVID-19, including those common of both COVID-19 and seasonal allergies, please keep him/her home.

Furthermore, I urge everyone to continue the consistent practice of personal hygiene and social distancing so that we can keep our school safe and operational. We are one team, one family.

Best regards,

Melanie Beninga, Principal

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WCHE Tigers Recognize the LTISD School Board of Trustees

January is School Board Recognition Month. Please join me in thanking our Lake Travis Independent School District Board of Trustees for their service.

Our Board of Trustees are pictured above. Top row, left to right: Kim Flasch, President; John Aoueille, Vice President; and Lauren White, Secretary. Second row, left to right: William Beard, Guy Clayton, Bob Dorsett, and Jessica Putonti.

Thanks to their leadership, guidance, and support, we are navigating to success.

Melanie Beninga provides info, photos, and updates via Twitter, too. If not already following Melanie Beninga in Twitter, you can follow her @principalwch and @mbeninga.

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Valentine Party Plans

Our Tiger Valentine Party Day is Wednesday, February 10. We are planning fun activities for our Tigers that will allow them to enjoy the day while also following safety protocols. Any snacks provided for Tigers to enjoy must be store-bought and individually packaged.

We are providing white lunch bags for Tigers to decorate and use as their incoming Valentine mail boxes. Thus, students will not need to bring Valentine boxes from home this year.

For in-person learners, If your Tiger's classroom will be exchanging paper Valentines, please place your Tiger's class Valentines in a plastic zipper bag, label it with the Tiger's name and his/her teacher's name, and send the sealed bag in to the school with your Tiger no later than Wednesday, February 3. We will retain them in a safe place and then distribute them safely to the class members on February 10.

For remote learners, if your Tiger's classroom will be exchanging paper Valentines, please place your Tiger's paper Valentines in a plastic zipper bag, label it with your Tiger's name and teacher, and drop it in our brown mailbox that is located in our front lobby. The lobby is open 7:20 am to 6:00 pm. Please be sure to drop off the paper Valentines no later than Wednesday, February 3; so that, we can retain them for safe redistribution on February 9. We will place the Valentines in Tigers' Valentine Bags so that your Tiger's Valentine Mail Bag will be ready for you to pick up between 7:20 am and 6:00 pm on Tuesday, February 9. By picking up the bag Tuesday, your Tiger will have his/her Valentines in time for the class party.

In-person learners' Valentine Party Schedule is:

  • Kindergarten..........2:00 pm
  • 1st Grade..............11:00 am
  • 2nd Grade...............1:15 pm
  • 3rd Grade................2:00 pm
  • 4th Grade................1:30 pm
  • 5th Grade..............12:00 pm

By Wednesday, February 3, In-Person Tigers Need to.....

  • Prepare homeroom class Valentines
  • Place them in a plastic zipper bag
  • Label the bag with student's name & his/her teacher's name
  • Send it to school with your Tiger by February 3!

By Wednesday, February 3, Remote Learner Tigers Need to......

  • Prepare homeroom class Valentines
  • Place them in a plastic zipper bag
  • Label the bag with the student's name and his/her teacher's name
  • Drop the sealed bag in our brown lobby mailbox by February 3.

On Tuesday, February 9, Remote Learner Valentine Bags Need to be Picked Up from our Lobby

  • Each remote class will have a separate bin of Valentine Mail Bags
  • The bins will be placed in our front lobby
  • The Valentine Mail Bags need to be picked up between 7:20 am and 6:00 pm February 9
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Please Pick Up Lost Items by February 3

Our Tiger Lost and Found is full of coats, sweaters, hoodies, and all manner of personal belongings that students have not claimed. In an effort to reconnect these items with their owners, we're going to display our Lost and Found at our main, front entrance on school days from 8 am to 2 pm and again from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm through Wednesday, February 3.

Please feel free to browse through the Lost and Found items. For your safety, please:

  • one person at a time to be browsing through the Lost and Found,
  • wear your mask
  • wear protective gloves and/or
  • sanitize your hands before and after browsing.

We will have a hand sanitizer available for your use.

Any items remaining in our Lost and Found after February 3 will be donated to a local charity.

News from Nurse Hensel

If you are curious, hesitant, or resistant to the COVID-19 vaccine, here is some great information that was provided by the Mayo Clinic to debunk myths. I think mayoclinic.org is an excellent medical resource, and I highly value the information that they provide.

To help ensure that our Tiger families stay safe, please read the Daily Symptom Screening information that I provided below and keep your Tiger(s) home even if only one symptom is present. Please send your Tiger(s) to school wearing fresh clean face masks. We will help them to sanitize their hands as they enter the school and help them to keep hands sanitized throughout the school day.

We are one team, one family. Let's work together to keep our family healthy.

Please feel free to contact me any time you have questions or concerns.

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Don't be left out! Reserve your 2020-21 WCHE Yearbook!

Yearbooks can be purchased here online for $35 plus a $1 handling fee. Pride lines and personalization options are also available for purchase.

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Tuesday, February 16, is Spring Picture Day!

On Tuesday, February 16, we will have photographers from Lifetouch on campus taking our student photos. We are not taking group, class photos this year--individual photos only. Our in-person learners will have photos taken from 8 am until noon. Students will be socially distanced and wearing masks. Students will remove their masks briefly, just long enough to have photos taken.

Remote learners are invited to sign up here and come to the campus to have photos taken between noon and 2 pm on Tuesday, February 16. Remote learners wearing masks may enter the building via the Library's exterior entrance. Once the photos are taken, they will be returned to parents/guardians waiting at the Library's exterior entrance. We'll post a Lifetouch sign on the fence near that entrance.

To learn more about Lifetouch's safety precautions, click here.

Pictures can be purchased before picture day at mylifetouch.com using our picture day ID #EVTNW2JGH.

Want to be involved? Be a homeroom parent!

It may not be too late to join the fun, for some of our classrooms do not have a homeroom parent to help organize class events. If you'd like to be more involved in your Tigers' class activities, check in with your Tigers' teachers to see if they are still looking for a homeroom parent. Thanks!

Staff Shout Outs

WCH Families,

In the last few weeks, families submitted shout outs to our staff. Your words of appreciation were priceless and brought big smiles and tears of joy. Thank you, and please continue to submit your shout outs!

If you would like to send a shout out to a WCHE staff member or teacher, I will gladly pass it along. It can be anonymous or signed. Thank you for lifting up our hardworking teachers and faculty. We love what we do and appreciate your partnership.

Thanks for taking a minute to say thanks!


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Wall of Fame for Shoe Tying

Our Wall of Fame for Shoe Tying is dedicated to Kinder, 1st, 2nd, and/or 3rd Grade Tigers who have just learned to tie their shoes AND for Kinder, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Grade Tigers who know how to tie their shoes and have not already been honored on our Wall of Fame for Shoe Tying in prior years.

The honor is extended to in-person learners and remote learners. Contact our PE coaches if you have questions or need a paper or electronic shoe sent to your Tiger(s.)

In-Person Learner Replacement Transportation and ID Badges

Accidents happen. And, when an in-person learner loses his/her Transportation or Campus ID badge, lanyard, or badge reel, we are happy to replace them at the price it costs us to purchase the replacement materials. Replacements can be purchased by cash or check payable to WCHE.

  • $3 - Transportation ID scan badge
  • $5 - Retractable transportation badge reel
  • $2 - Transportation lanyard and plastic sleeve
  • $1 - Campus student ID badge, holder, and lanyard.

Our WCHE Receptionist, Mrs. Michelle Harper, will be happy to assist you in the event replacement badges are needed.

On-line Learning Available ONLY Through Your Child's LTISD Account

To gain entry to student learning, students should use the LTISD LT1 Classlink to enter and access all classroom google links. This ensures secure and safe learning.

If students/parents attempt to access class meetings or documents without using the student's credentials in LT1 (for example, logging in to the browser from a parent's personal or work account instead of the student's LTISD account) access is restricted. To prevent unauthorized people from accessing our classrooms, only appropriate LT1 Classlink logins with the student's credentials can gain access. Access attempts by any other accounts will be denied.

PLEASE be sure to access all google links through our LT1Classlink using the appropriate LTISD student's credentials.

District Assisting With Technology to Support Remote Learning

The Lake Travis Independent School District (LTISD) will lend Chromebooks and WiFi hotspots to students in grades K-12 who have limited or no access to a device at home and who do not already have a device from our initial deployment this past spring. Our district has had a high volume of requests. Thank you for your patience.

Families who meet the above criteria may request a Chromebook and/or WiFi hotspot through the Skyward "Technology Device Request" form by linking to Skyward through a browser. Link to Skyward here. Please complete 1 request form per student. When the LTISD has the student's Chromebook and/or hotspot ready for pick up, they will notify you.

Also, there is a known issue affecting the login credentials of some of our families with district-issued Chromebooks, and we have developed a solution to help you establish credentials for login. If you are unable to log in, please follow the steps outlined here, and if you need additional assistance, please feel free to contact us. We appreciate your patience.

Our Neighborhood Bookmobile is Back!

The Lake Travis Community Library Bookmobile comes to our neighborhood amenity center for contactless reserve pick up service, take and make crafts, and free Wi-Fi.

Our favorite Bookmobile will be a the West Cypress Hills neighborhood pool on alternating Thursdays from 3 to 4 pm.

Visit the Lake Travis Community Library website for more information.

Changing Instructional Status

A change from in-person learning to remote learning can be made at any time. To request this change, complete the LTISD Instructional Change Form. The completed form should be forwarded to our Registrar, Becky Wright.

A change from remote learning to in-person learning can also be requested on the LTISD Instructional Change Form. The completed form should be forwarded to our Registrar, Becky Wright no later than 2 weeks prior to the start of the next grading period, as shown below:

  • Form Due Date is 2/26/21 for the grading period beginning 3/22/21.

LTISD Chromebooks to Remain Checked Out to Students While on Campus

Students who checked out a District-issued Chromebook for remote learning at home and will be returning to in-person learning on campus should retain the device and bring it to school for use in the classroom as needed, much like an assigned textbook.

Chromebooks will remain checked out to the student until a date to be later determined or at the end of the 2020–2021 school year, whichever comes first.

Meals for Remote Learners

Students in remote learning at home may purchase a meal for pickup from our school cafeteria. Learn more here.

Please note, menu options may be limited. If a parent or child in remote learning at home wishes to pick up a meal at school, accommodations must be made via email directly with the café manager, Mrs. Corinne Stewart, before 10:00 a.m. daily. All meals for remote learners must be picked up at the school’s front office during the regular meal schedule.

Yes, Students Withdrawn from LTISD May Re-enroll Later for In-Person Learning

A frequently asked question pertains to re-enrollment of LTISD students after they have been withdrawn.

Students can be re-enrolled for in-person learning after having been withdrawn as students of the LTISD. The re-enrollment process is the same as the enrollment process for any new LTISD student. The re-enrolled student will, initially, be scheduled for in-person learning at the school building.

Once the re-enrolled student is attending school in person, remote learning, if desired, may be selected when the district next extends an invitation to select a preferred learning option.

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Counselor's Corner

Our campus Second Step topic for the weeks before our break was about empathy:

We all want to have friends here at school. But people can have similar or different feelings about the same situation. For example, I might feel scared to climb up high, and my friend might feel excited. Learning to respect other people’s feelings can help us make and keep friends! This week, notice other people’s feelings and whether they’re the same or different from yours.

In December, we practiced emotion regulation! All students were guided in coping skills that are helpful to manage strong feelings, and our bulletin board in our main hallway has been updated (see photo above) to remind Tigers of ways to "keep cool." Younger tigers will practice breathing and mindfulness skills, and older tigers will explore the brain as it relates to our thoughts and feelings (we are talking about you, amygdala!). I look forward to working with and having great conversations with all of our students in the new year.

January 25 through January 29 is our first Respect for All Week. During the last school year, Governor Abbott signed SB1828 for public schools across Texas to annually observe Holocaust Remembrance Week. The bill is meant to help students learn about the past to prevent future genocide and to combat discrimination, bullying, and harassment. The idea of these lessons is to "never forget."

During our Respect for All Week, our Tigers will learn about our differences and diversity. We will have age-appropriate activities for students to complete. Our Tigers bring to our school community the richness of cultural diversity as well as independent diversity in terms of perspective, interests, learning styles, and talents. Our goal is to guide our Tigers in celebrating their differences, and we will always strive to actively promote a community that advocates for and supports our students.

We are very excited to celebrate WCHE diversity throughout our school. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions. We are one team, one family.

Upcoming Events

01/01 - 01/31/21....School Board Recognition Month

01/20 - 02/03/21....Drop off/send in Tiger Paper Valentines

01/25 - 01/29/21....Respect for All Week -- Holocaust Remembrance Week

01/26 - 02/03/21....Claim Items from Lost & Found @ Main Entrance

02/01 - 02/28/21....Black History Month

02/01 - 02/05/21....National School Counselors' Week

02/09/21................Pick Up Day for Remote Learner Valentine Mail Bags!

02/10/21................Classroom Valentine Party Day -- View Party Schedule

02/11 - 02/15/21....Student Holidays - No School for Tigers!

02/16/21................Spring Picture Day -- Remote Learners Sign Up Here

02/22 - 02/26/21....Texas Public Schools Week

02/26/21................Instructional Status Change Form Due - Grading Period March 22 +

03/01 - 03/31/21....Music in our Schools Month

03/01 - 03/05/21....National School Breakfast Week

03/05/21................Student Holiday - No School for Tigers!

03/12/21................Student Early Release at 12:05 pm!

03/15 - 03/19/21....Spring Break

03/22/21................In-person Learning Begins for the Grading Period That Begins March 22

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