Tiger Time News

News from the O.C. Taylor Principal, Lisa Young

Young@Heart, September 2, 2018

Dear O.C. Taylor Parents,

Congratulations to our fabulous PTA on their recent award (see below). If you have not yet joined our OCT PTA, please do so now by going to joinPTA.org. We want to beat last year's numbers! Ask grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends to join as well! We would not be the BEST school we are without our PTA support.

This is a LONG Tiger Time News. We are sharing many of our processes to help you and our school function efficiently. Please take time to read and follow our systems. Take note especially of our School Car Line Etiquette Procedures, as this daily parental task is one that seems to incite the most frustration. You can help all of us by following the campus plan.

To the BEST of days,

Principal Young

Stay Connected at O. C. Taylor Elementary School

We have a number of ways to keep in touch with our school. Be sure to read, subscribe to and join these resources to get all the latest news.

Facebook: If you’re a Facebook member be sure to join the O.C. Taylor Elementary Facebook Group to get updates in your feed. This group is meant to provide another way to get news and updates.

Website: The school’s website has the latest news, updates, and calendars, as well as general information about the school, resources for parents, volunteer opportunity information, event information and ways to donate.

Twitter: We regularly post events and upcoming news on Twitter. Follow me on Twitter: @OCTYoung and follow our hashtag #OCT4U.

OCT Vision: To empower our children today to create a better tomorrow.

OCT Mission: To create life-long learners and develop servant leaders through authentic, real-world experiences.


Back To School Events

Monday, September 3


Tuesday, September 4

Wednesday, September 5

Thursday, September 6

2:55 - 4:00 Choir

Friday, September 7

PTA Walk To School Day

Monday, September 10

8:15 PTA Executive Board Meeting

9:00 Homeroom Parent Meeting

3:00 - 5:00 Tiger Mascot Auditions

Tuesday, September 11

9:00 Volunteer Orientation - Cafeteria (read more in the PTA section below)

6:30 Volunteer Orientation - Learning Commons (read more in the PTA section below)

Wednesday, September 12

Thursday, September 13

2:55 - 4:00 Choir

6:30 PTA Rock Out

Friday, September 14

DOT DAY!!! Wear dots to school to express creativity!


Grade Level Newsletters

Parents, please click on the link below to read your child's grade level newsletter.









OCT and GCISD Updates


NO SCHOOL, tomorrow, September 3

Big picture


Congratulations, OCT PTA "Voice for Every Child Gold Award!"

Congratulations to our amazing OCT PTA on receiving the Voice for Every Child Gold Award! This is one of Texas PTA’s most prestigious Membership Awards. PTAs recruit members all school year to earn this highest honor and we are excited to acknowledge hard work pays off.

O. C. Taylor Elementary PTA is one of 147 PTAs that finished the year with a membership total of at least 75% of the school’s student enrollment to receive the Gold distinction. Our challenge to your PTA is to earn the Voice for Every Child Platinum Award this school year and have at least one voice for every child on your campus.

Take time to reflect and enjoy this amazing accomplishment with our CommYOUnity! If you have not yet joined our PTA, please do so now! We need 100%!

Big picture


Congratulations, OCT staff, for the "Schools Transforming Learning Award!"

On behalf of all of our teachers and staff, Mrs. Putman and I accepted our "Schools Transforming Learning Award" this June at the Principals' Institute in Houston. Our GCISD superintendent, Dr. Robyn Ryan, came to show his support. The GCISD Board of Trustees acknowledged O.C. Taylor for our award this past Monday night at the Board Meeting; some of our staff were in attendance and recognized. Be sure and congratulate our teachers!
Big picture
GCISD School Board Meeting Recognition


"Forget Me Not" Table

A "Forget Me Not" table is located in the front foyer. If your child forgets his or her lunch, homework, shoes, etc., please put the forgotten items in the appropriate grade level basket and label them with their name on a Post-it note. If you are leaving a lunch, please write the students name on the stop sign. Exception: If you are delivering an iPad or reading glasses, please bring to the office.

Big picture


Volunteer Background Check Required Each Year

Please read the PTA section about volunteering at the bottom of this newsletter. We sincerely appreciate the investment of your time as a volunteer! Whether it is just volunteering with your child's classroom, our field day, or in any capacity in connection with our partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters, you must complete the following Volunteer Background Authorization form online. Click here to see the district website.

For the protection of students and staff, all volunteer applicants must read the Volunteer Handbook and are asked to complete the online form authorizing the district to obtain a criminal history background check. All volunteers are required to reapply each year.

To avoid a delay in processing your online volunteer background check application, note the most common volunteer errors when completing the form:

  • not using the proper date format of mm/dd/yyyy
    Incorrect Date of Birth: 11-3-70
    Correct Date of Birth: 11/03/1970

  • if providing a maiden name, it should not be hyphenated
    Incorrect Maiden Name: Smith-Garcia
    Correct Last Name: Garcia
    Correct Maiden Name: Smith

  • if providing a maiden name, it should not include first name in the same text box
    Incorrect Maiden Name: Jennifer Farris Stevens
    Correct First Name: Jennifer
    Correct Last Name: Stevens
    Correct Maiden Name: Farris

Download the Application Form

The school district pays for the actual background check. Due to the large number of applicants, we will not notify you of your volunteer status. To get your status, check with your school office for this information before you volunteer.


Picking Up Your Child Early

If you find a need to pick up your child from school before the 2:55 dismissal time, please note students will not be released for early sign out after 2:30 p.m. unless there is an emergency. Please make arrangements to pick your child up prior to 2:30 p.m. if necessary.


Curriculum Night Presentation

Thank you to those parents who came to Curriculum Night! If you would like to reference the presentation given by administrators, please click here to view. Let us know if you have any questions.


Charge iPads/Chromebooks Nightly

Please train your child to charge his/her iPad or Chromebook each night at home. We do not have extra chargers here at school. We need everyone to come each day with his/her iPad charged and ready to learn. We start learning immediately and do not have time to charge a device. You as the parent have the discretion to allow or not allow iPad usage after school. Thank you in advance for helping us to help your child.
Big picture


Updates from the Learning Commons, Mrs. Bonacci

GCISD Reads!

Hey Tigers! Remember to continue to document all of the books you are reading at home and at school! Information and recording forms can be found here.

Did you know that all students and staff in GCISD have access to a wide variety of e-books and audiobooks through their school Learning Commons. Just click on the ClassLink icon on your child’s iPad, or visithttps://launchpad.classlink.com/gcisd, select the Learning Commons folder and look for the Overdrive/Sora app.

Have you heard about our Birthday Book program? For more information click here-



Updates from Art, Mrs. Morgan

Click here to read the letter regarding Mrs. Morgan's acceptance into the GCISD Valor Program.

A Note from Mrs. Morgan...

During the month of September, students will be creating their own art portfolio. The district hosts an art show towards the end of the year, so all the portfolios will be kept in my art room in order to select pieces. I will post updates from the art room about student projects on my twitter account weekly.

Our students will also be celebrating International Dot Day, which is on September 14th! The students will create a collaborative Dot Day art piece, which will hang in the hallway near the art room.

After our International Dot Day collaborative piece, we will get a chance to explore the artwork of street artist Kelsey Montague. She is known for her beautiful wings and uplifting balloons. All students will create a piece to make our own Kelsey Montague inspired mural.

Please follow my twitter page @OCTMorgan for weekly updates!

Cristie Morgan

Art Teacher

O.C. Taylor Elementary School



Wear Your Dots!!!

On Fri., Sept. 14th, O.C. Taylor will be celebrating International Dot Day! The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds is about celebrating creativity, making a mark and seeing where it takes you. So, get creative and wear your dots to school on Fri., Sept. 14!

Big picture


Trinity River Authority of Texas

It’s that time of year again! The Trinity River Authority of Texas’ 4th Annual Art Contest is in full swing. We are calling all 1st through 8th graders from the counties listed below to get creative and send in their artwork. This year’s theme is “Protect the Source.” We will be accepting entries until Friday, Sept. 28 at 5p.m.

Winners will receive prizes and be invited to attend a public meeting at TRA. Attached are details regarding theme, prizes and the rules. If you have any questions, please email brownr@trinityra.org or call (817) 467-4343. Check our Facebook page for all the up-to-date information! CLICK HERE

Big picture


Updates from Music, Mrs. Vencill

A NOTE from Mrs. Vencill...

September is an important month of getting to know each other, understanding expectations, remembering what we already know and setting goals for what we hope to learn. All studentswill work to understand the difference between steady beat and rhythm using classroom percussion instruments. 4th and 5th grade students will also review rhythmic notationusing quarter, half, dotted half and whole notes and rests. We will also make sure we can sing our national anthem, state song and school song, and we will understand the history behind each one of those songs that connect all of us at O.C. Taylor.

All 4th and 5th grade students are invited to sing with the Taylor Tiger Choir. We meet every Thursday from 2:55-4:00 p.m. in the OCT Music room. Our first rehearsal of the school year is Thursday, September 6.

I hope to see you all at Rock Out at O.C. Taylor Thursday, Sept. 13 at 6:30 p.m. on the OCT playground. Our Tigers are learning a fun song to sing together to kick off another awesome school year!

Please check my OCT web page often for updates on important dates and events. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call or send an email anytime. Thank you for sharing your sweet children with me. I love every minute of our time together in the Music room!

Beth Vencill

Music Teacher

O.C. Taylor Elementary





Updates from P.E., Coach Mester and Coach Mac

News from the Gym-

During the month of September, we are going to be focusing on our daily fitness routines, having fun, and being kind classmates and teammates. Remember, you should be striving for 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Also, make sure you are giving your body plenty of rest by getting a good nights sleep. I can’t wait to help you reach your goals!

See you in the gym,
Coach Mester

Jason Mester

Physical Education Teacher

O.C. Taylor Elementary





Updates from Counseling and Guidance, Mrs. Whisman

Please click here to see the September Counselor Corner Newsletter.


Updates from Gifted and Talented, Mrs. Griffin

Please click here to see her newsletter.


Updates from Literacy Specialists/Dyslexia Teachers, Mrs. Griffith & Mrs. Honeycutt

“Ahoy! there Matey!” We are looking forward to have you come on this journey to navigate reading adventures this school year. Joining our O.C. Taylor crew is Pamela Honeycutt and she is located in Room A-3. She is entering her 27th year in education as a graduate of the University of North Texas. She loves her fur baby, Snicker Doodle, who is a 13 years Shih Tzu along with turquoise and the beach!

You have the returning Reading Interventionist, Ms. Kari Griffith and she is in Room A-8. She is very ecstatic for the opportunity to help guide your journey.

So get ready for a victorious voyage into READING!


Updates from the Clinic, Nurse Katy

Welcome to O.C. Taylor Elementary School!


School Health Information

When to stay home: Students should remain home when running fever (100 or greater), suffering from diarrhea or vomiting, among other illnesses. GCISD has a 24-hour policy. Students may not return to school until free of fever, vomiting, and/or diarrhea for a minimum of 24 hours without the aid of any medication. If your student is sent home from school with fever, vomiting, or diarrhea, you must abide by the 24-hour policy, and remain home for a minimum of 24 hours after symptoms have subsided without the aide of medications. Other reasons your student should remain home/may be sent home are listed on my webpage.

Classroom celebrations: We are an “allergy aware” campus. Any food or treats brought in for classroom celebrations or parties should be peanut/tree nut-free. Any food items MUST BE STORE BOUGHT to avoid cross contamination. All food must be brought to school in the original container with ingredient labels intact and legible.

Medications at school: Please see me if your student needs to be given any medications during the school day, including emergency medications.

Health history: Please see me if your student has any food allergies or health conditions which will require assistance at school.

Change of clothing for tiny Tigers: Please place an extra set of seasonally appropriate clothing, including underwear, in your student’s backpack in case of an accident. The clinic has a limited supply of underwear and clothes. If clothing is unavailable, you will be called to bring clothes for your student.

Teaching healthy habits: Now is a great time to teach your children about healthy habits for home and school. This will help diminish our level of illnesses during the school year.

* Avoidance of touching their face (T-zone)

* Using tissues or the bend of their arm for coughing/sneezing

* Proper handwashing (singing their ABCs twice or the Happy Birthday song twice)

Screenings at school: Campus-wide screenings for vision and hearing will be completed in the Fall. 5th grade girls ONLY will also be screened for scoliosis. You will be notified once these dates are established.

It is going to be a Grrrrrrreat year!!! :)

Katy Faught, RN / 817-305-4881 / elissa.faught@gcisd.net


Parents, we need your input!

Beginning September 4, GCISD will be hosting three scheduled parent input sessions right here on our campus. These sessions will be 45-50 minutes long and we will be capping each session at 10 people. These sessions are first come first served. If you are interested in sharing your experience with the GCISD, please sign up using this google form. Please make sure you are selecting a time slot for your respective campus.

Big picture

LEAD 2.0 Community Input Sessions

If you can’t make it during the day, we will have two district-wide open sessions held on September 5 and September 11, both from 6 to 8 p.m. These sessions will be held at the Professional Development Education Center (PDEC) located at 5800 Colleyville Blvd, Colleyville, Texas 76034. If you are interested in sharing your experience in these sessions, please sign up using this RSVP Form.

Spanish speaking families have an additional opportunity to participate by attending a come-and-go session at the GCISD Language Assessment Center on Thursday, September 6, from 11 a.m. -2 p.m. The address is 3050 Timberline Drive, Grapevine, TX.


Cafeteria and Menu Updates

Attached is a copy of the calendar menu, it may also be viewed on the district's website. Nutrition information may be viewed through the nutrition services website or by downloading the new Meal Viewer app through the apple or android store.

In accordance with program guidelines, the Free and Reduced application will be available online as part of skyward registration. The free and reduced application should be filled out electronically atwww.schoollunchapp.com. For those parents that still would like to complete a paper application, they may download an application on the website www.gcisd.net or stop by the Nutrition Services office at 5800 Colleyville Blvd. Paper copies will not be distributed to the campuses this year, please allow families to apply online on a computer on campus or have them come to the Nutrition Services department for assistance.

If you have questions about the Nutrition Services program, please call ext. 5615 or email julie.telesca@gcisd.net.


Big picture

School Car LIne Etiquette: Dismissal Procedures

Thank you in advance for helping us to keep all of our Tigers safe. While getting parents in and out of the parking lot in a timely manner is important, please note our first priority is keeping all of our 400 plus students safe. Please follow these procedures listed below:

  1. YELLOW SIGN: Please review the procedures on the back of the yellow car sign. If you do not have a yellow car sign, then please talk with your child's teacher. When driving through the pick-up line, please display your yellow car sign and pull all the way forward. Teachers and volunteers will be on hand to direct you. When in the car dismissal line/loop, do not get out of your car at any time.
  2. WALKING: If you choose to walk to the pick-up area, please park in the parking lot and use the crosswalk. Your child will be waiting behind the first letter of their last name. You may walk over to pick your child up from this area. Your child will not be allowed to cross the traffic area even if you are parked and waiting for them, so please use the crosswalk. Once you leave the parking lot, please yield to cars in the pick-up lane to help the line move quickly. Please DO NOT park at the Colleyville Fire Department to meet and/or pick up students. If you are driving and want to get out of the car to go meet your child, you must use the crosswalks and consider parking in the front visitor parking lot.
  3. CAR LOOPS: Please review with your child which side of the building you will be picking them up. If you live off Glade Rd., please pick up on the front of the building by the tiger. If you live off of Hall-Johnson, please use the bus loop side of the building to pick up your child. Daily reviewing this with your child will save time in the afternoon as we locate your child. If you pick your child up on the Hall Johnson/Bus Loop, please be sure you yield to the GCISD buses at all times.
  4. EFFICIENCY: In order to make drop off and pick up as efficient as possible, please do not stop and leave a large gap between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. Pull all of the way forward. Alllllll of the way.

GCISD is Now Hiring! Join the GCISD TEAM!

Many opportunities are available in our auxiliary departments:

  • Nutrition Specialists -PT w/ benefits – work while your students are in school!
  • Kidzu Site Aide – PT w/benefits – this schedule works well for local college students!
  • Night Custodians
  • Bus Drivers & Monitors
  • Maintenance Engineers

Apply online at: www.gcisd-k12.org


School Health Advisory Council (SHAC)

School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) is the perfect place for parents to make contributions and recommendations on health initiatives that influence your child. Find out how you can join SHAC.

GCISD - Building Excellent Schools Together


The mission of Grapevine-Colleyville ISD is to be THE BEST and through the district’s strategic plan, called LEAD 2021, we continue building on the foundation started in 2011-2012. LEAD stands for Leading Excellence – Action Driven. For more information about LEAD 2021, please visit the district website. We are excited about the new LEAD 2.0 and hearing from all parents! There are some exciting educational experiences going on in GCISD!


Redefining Education because your future matters today!

GCISD’s Portrait of a Graduate

Skilled Problem Solvers


Global Citizens

Self-regulated Learners


We think your kids are..... G-G-G-G-reat!

Big picture

Join the PTA!

Thank you to all our parents and staff that joined the PTA already! We truly appreciate your support!

If you did not join the PTA at Meet the Teacher, we encourage you to do so. The annual dues are only $7.50 per membership. That's the lowest price in town for PTA memberships and its the BEST, in my opinion! Membership in the PTA allows you to improve the education and opportunities for our students. When you join the PTA, you become a member of the Texas PTA and you will receive a copy of our 2018-2019 Paw Prints student directory! This valuable directory contains classroom lists, phone numbers, addresses and other vital information you will use all year! To join the PTA its so simple, visit http://www.joinPTA.org.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions. Liz Payne- VP Memberships scottlizpayne@yahoo.com

Walk to School Day Friday September 7

Please Join Us for our first Walk/Bike to school day On Friday, September the 7th to show our support for a greener environment and a healthier body by encouraging students, parents and teachers to walk to school wherever possible.

Need a safe route to walk to school? Meet up with the “walking school bus” Adult Volunteers will be present to walk with the students as a group. Drop off at 7:10 am and departure is at 7:20 am. We have 2 locations:

1. Compass Center parking lot (southeast corner of Hall Johnson and Pool Rd.)

2. Colleyville Senior Center Parking lot (2512 Glade Road)

Questions? Want To volunteer? Please contact Florencia Razeto for more information.

(469) 618-9695

O.C. Taylor PTA Invites You to Support GRACE!

Hello O.C. Taylor Families:

My name is Dawn Hall and I will be your Community Service Liaison this year for the PTA. We have several wonderful community projects for our 2018-2019 school year to help serve those in need. Out first project and one that is ongoing throughout the school year will be the GRACE FOOD DRIVE.

GRACE is a non-profit relief agency that provides food, clothing, and other emergency assistance to people who are in need. GRACE demonstrates compassion for those less fortunate by providing assistance to families in crisis and offering guidance towards self sufficiency. Did you know that GRACE serves close to 700 families each month? In fact, most of their clients have young children, as do we, so it is easy to imagine how important our donations are to these families.

In the past, O.C. Taylor has donated cereal boxes to help stock their pantry; however, this year we will be donating a variety of different items that are needed the most. Each month, we will assign a different grade level an item or two and ask them for donations. Donation baskets will be in the hallway just outside the classroom doors. It is our goal to collect at least one item for every student in that grade. The Grade that comes closest to or succeeds meeting this goal will receive a special treat at the end of the school year.


ITEMS IN NEED: Canned Tuna and/or Mayonnaise

Collection baskets will be outside the 5th Grade Classrooms beginning September 4th for the duration of the month. Please consider picking up an extra can of tuna and some mayo on your next grocery store visit. Thank you for your help and support in serving our community! Questions? Concerns?

Please contact: Dawn Hall at ddahall74@gmail.com

Big picture

OCT Dads' Club

Dads, come join us for another exciting year!

Important Dates for Dads Club:

Thursday, September 27th - Dads Club meeting and social

Saturday, September 29th - Dads Club Golf Tournament.

Sign up for the Dads Club email list here. Like Our Facebook Page and follow us on Twitter @OCTDadsClub


Homeroom Parents Needed

Homeroom Parents Needed

All Homeroom Parent Forms are due Wednesday, September 5th. If multiple volunteers from the same class are received, a random drawing will happen on Thursday September 6th to determine the HRPs. You will be notified via email. Our HRP orientation will be Monday, September 10th at 9:30 am at OCT.

Please follow this LINK to the Homeroom Parent Form.

Many volunteers are still needed!

Thank you!

Allison Wendler

HRP Coordinator




REFLECTIONS 2018 - 2019

Students! Parents! Teachers! Reflections is a PTA-sponsored program encouraging creativity, ingenuity, and artistic expression!

Deadline for your submissions: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26, 3 pm.

For now, think about how to incorporate this theme, Heroes Around Me, into your artistic submission. Your art must be done 100% by the student, and one family member of each student must be a member of our PTA---GREAT INCENTIVE TO JOIN PTA, Folks!


General Rules English | Spanish

Dance Choreography English | Spanish

Film Production English | Spanish

Literature English | Spanish

Music Composition English | Spanish

Photography English | Spanish

Visual Arts English | Spanish

Special Artist Rules English | Spanish

Link to TEXAS PTA REFLECTION'S PAGE: https://www.txpta.org/reflections-participation

I am also looking for a parent-volunteer or two to help collect art in late October.


WE HOPE YOUR PARTICIPATE! Last year, O.C. Taylor had (9) submissions, and 3 received Awards of Merit and were recognized by the Texas PTA in Austin! This year, let's DOUBLE THAT! PARTICIPATE! CREATE! AND REPRESENT YOUR SCHOOL.

You could have the chance of going to State or Nationals!

Questions? Concerns? Contact Laurie H. Ackermann, PTA Volunteer and OC Taylor Parent:Laurietamar@gmail.com


Box Tops and Amazon Smile

This year, we will be increasing donations to the OC Taylor PTA thru Box Tops for Education and Amazon Smile! It's a simple way to donate to our school! Here's how you can help:

#1 - Clip out Box Tops for Education and place them on the Box Top collection sheet or in a Ziploc bag. Be sure to place your child's grade level on the bag or collection sheet! We will be counting box tops for our Racing to Recess Challenge. The grade level with the highest level of Box Tops each semester will earn an extra recess and Popsicle party! Now thru September 10th, you can earn bonus Box Tops valued at $5 for our school by purchasing 5 Box Top items at Walmart and scanning your receipt with the Box Tops App! Currently 3rd and 4th grade are in the lead!

#2 - Be sure to shop smileamazon.com. .5% of all your purchases will go to the OC Taylor PTA. Log on to smileamazon.com and select PTA Texas Congress 1610 O C Taylor Elementary as your preferred charity. It's an amazoningly easy way to earn money for our school!! Remember, you must log on to smileamazon.com every time you shop to ensure your purchases earn money for our school!

Become a Volunteer!

Thank you to everyone who has completed the volunteer interest form. We are excited to meet you and work with you this year! If your form got lost between school and home, please just email me that you are interested and I will e-mail you a form. PLEASE REMEMBER: In order to volunteer at the school, YOU MUST complete the steps below:

1) Complete the District's Volunteer Background Check Application for the 2018-2019 school year. Also, please read and sign the Volunteer Handbook included in the link as well. As a reminder, all volunteers are required to reapply each year.

2) Complete the PTA Committee Interest form so we can contact you when volunteer opportunities arise that you may be interested in.

3) If you are new to O.C. Taylor, or have not had the opportunity to volunteer in the past, you will need to attend one of our Volunteer Orientation sessions. These sessions will review the policies and procedures to follow when volunteering, and more information about the PTA at our school.


Tuesday, Sept. 11th, 2018 – 9:00 AM (in Cafeteria)

Tuesday, Sept. 11th, 2018 – 6:30 PM (in Library)

I look forward to meeting you at one of these Volunteer Orientations. If you are unable to attend at these times, please contact me at JHBU99@aol.com


Jill Tate

4th VP – Volunteer Coordinator

Jill Tate



Thank you!

Kristin McElroy

PTA President



Berri O'Neal

PTA President Elect