Tiger Time News

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

October 12-15, 2020

Dear O.C. Taylor Families,

We invite you to support our OCT PTA by purchasing a Boo Bucket for your child! We also invite you to purchase a class shirt this year for your child and for yourself to show your Tiger Spirit. (See PTA section below for more information.)

We are starting to prepare for 68 more students to enter our building for what we are affectionately calling, "Third 1st Day of School!" If you are just now attending for your first day of school, please let us know upon arrival on Tuesday. We want to warmly greet you! There will be teachers assisting and directing students where to go. You may want to leave earlier in the morning since we will be having more cars and students.

Please read our 2NW Remote Plan and our 2NW In-Person Plan. We want your child to have the best experience possible despite our current conditions.

I want to personally thank those of you who have been encouraging our teachers, office staff, and me. Your positive notes and emails inspire us and help us to continue giving our very best. Please know that I am encouraging you! You've got this! You are one AMAZING parent. Take one day at a time and breathe.

To the BEST of days,

Principal Pedevilla



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.



Tomorrow, October 12, students and teachers have a holiday! Enjoy!

Important Dates

Monday, October 12

NO SCHOOL: Student/Teacher Holiday

Thursday, October 15

Early dismissal 11:45 am

Wednesday, October 21

National Unity Day - wear orange

Monday, October 26 - Red Ribbon Week

O.C. Taylor is "PAWS"-ITIVELY Drug Free! Wear your tiger gear or OCT colors!

Tuesday, October 27 - Red Ribbon Week

Follow your dreams! SAY No To Drugs! Wear your school-appropriate PJ's!

Tuesday, October 27

Spring Creek BBQ Spirit Night Fundraiser - Please see flier below for more details.

Wednesday, October 28 - Red Ribbon Week

O.C. Taylor Tigers TEAM UP Against Drugs - Wear your favorite sports jersey (or team colors)

Thursday, October 29 - Red Ribbon Week

Our Future is so BRIGHT! Wear college shirts and/or sunglasses.

Friday, October 30 - Red Ribbon Week

Show good CHARACTER! Wear your favorite storybook character costume!

(We will NOT be having our annual parade this year)

November 2-18

CogAT Testing Window for 2nd and 5th

Assistant Principal Points from Mrs. Bailey

Attendance and Late Arrival:

As a reminder, our school day begins at 7:40 am. Please ensure that you drop-off your child before the tardy bell rings. Teachers begin learning with students at that time and are unable to wait outside after that time. If you arrive after the 7:40 bell, you will need to pull around to the front Tiger Loop and drop-off your child. They will need to come ring the bell by the front entry door, so Mrs. Betty or Mrs. Gene can let them in and document that they are arriving late. Thank you for understanding the importance of your child(ren) arriving on time and ready to learn!


Grade Level Newsletters

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










Thank - A - Teacher

We invite you to email a letter of appreciation in honor of our teachers and the unprecedented work they are doing. Please email it to cindy.garcia@gcisd.net. We will post them on a bulletin board for all our staff members to see. Thank you!
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Updates from the Clinic, Nurse Katy

  • Test-Confirmed COVID-19 Case Letter: If you receive this letter from Principal Pedevilla, please understand that we are not able to share any other information with you, other than what you have been given in the letter. Also, please understand that each case is very individualized. All of the GCISD nurses and Health Services staff have completed a Contact Tracing Course through Johns Hopkins Hospital. As we contact trace, there are a lot of factors that we have to take into consideration, along with the direction of epidemiologists at Tarrant County Health Department. If your child is deemed a close contact to any student or staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19, someone in the Health Services department will make a personal phone call to the family to answer questions and further explain quarantine. We will also send a Close Contact letter to the parent emails listed in Skyward.

  • Close Contact Definition: The CDC website states "For COVID-19, a close contact is anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes. An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting from 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person has any symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19." In the event that a student or staff member is test-confirmed to have COVID-19, anyone that was within 6 feet of that person for longer than 15 minutes will be required to complete the quarantine period before returning to school.

Health Screening for Students

All of our in-person learners' parents must pre-screen their student for signs and symptoms associated with COVID-19 before bringing your student to school. The signs and symptoms are to screen for are:

  • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit

  • Loss of taste or smell

  • Cough

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Shortness of breath

  • Fatigue

  • Headache

  • Chills

  • Sore throat

  • Congestion or runny nose

  • Shaking or exaggerated shivering

  • Significant muscle pain or ache

  • Diarrhea

  • Nausea or vomiting

If your child demonstrates any of the above signs or symptoms, they must stay home, and you need to report to the campus nurse the signs or symptoms your child is exhibiting. In the event that your child has a fever, they must be kept home from school until they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. Please do not give fever-reducing medication and send your child to school. Additionally, please do not send your child to school if they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or are test-confirmed with COVID-19.

Face Masks/Face Shields

  • Students should have masks on before they get out of the car in the morning. If they are walkers, they should put their mask on before stepping onto school property. In the event students do forget their masks, they should have a back-up mask available in their backpack.

  • Masks are a required face covering: proper covering of nose and mouth. A gaiter (2-ply) fits this description

  • Shields are only allowed with approval as an alternative if the student has a mask exemption.


Spring Creek BBQ Spirit Night - October 27

Spring Creek BBQ will be open for curbside pickup. Spring Creek BBQ will donated 20% of all the evening's proceeds to the school. If we have 40 people from our school sign up for the Spring Creek Loyalty Program, (make sure you identify O.C.Taylor in order to get credit), we would receive a bonus of $250.

We encourage each family to place your order at least 24 hours prior to our Spirit Night. You can order online at springcreekbarbeque.com.

Teachers will be working 30 minutes shifts and delivering meals at curbside pickup. Come see your teachers and support O.C. Taylor Elementary!

Please click here for the Spring Creek BBQ flier.

Please click here for the Spring creek Rewards Program.


GCISD Reads!

Our Tigers read SO MUCH that some of them completed the GCISD Reads Challenge over the summer! If your child has completed one of the challenges please encourage them to continue to grow as readers by participating in another one.

Information about the GCISD Reads Challenge can be found HERE.

Biblionasium- Our Digital Reading Log

This year students will use Biblionasium to keep track of their progress in the GCISD Reads Challenge!

Click HERE for more information!


Updates from the Counselor, Mrs. Whisman

Hello Tiger Families! Every October, individuals from across the nation—and around the world—unite with the powerful message that bullying should never be a part of childhood. This month students will focus on the topic of Respect because once students practice showing respect, it stops bullying behaviors before they start. Students will have lessons to strengthen their knowledge and skills in the area of Respect this month.

For more information about our monthly topic or for ways to get in contact with me, please click here for my newsletter.

Red Ribbon Week - October 26 - 30

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Student Fall Survey

In our last newsletter, I shared information with you regarding a student survey that we would be using to help grow social and emotional skills. I have received some questions from parents regarding the contents of the survey, so I wanted to provide you with sample questions from each section of the survey:

Goals and Challenges

How often do you stay focused on the same goal for more than 3 months at a time?

If you fail at an important goal, how likely are you to try again?

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your life?

What is one thing you wish your teacher knew about you?

Your Class

How sure are you that you can complete all the work that is assigned in your class?

How sure are you that you can do the hardest work that is assigned in your class?

How sure are you that you will remember what you learned in your current class, next year?

Performance in School

Whether a person does well or poorly in school may depend on a lot of different things. You may feel that some of these things are easier for you to change than others. In school, how possible is it for you to change:

  • Being Talented

  • Giving a lot of effort

  • Behaving well in class

Your Behavior

During the past 30 days:

  • How often were you polite to adults?

  • How often did you come to class prepared?

  • How well did you get along with students who are different from you?

  • When others disagreed with you, how respectful were you of their views?


When you get stuck while learning something new, how likely are you to try to learn it in a different way?

How sure are you that you can figure out a good way to get your schoolwork done well?

Before you start on a challenging project, how often do you think about the best way to do it?

If you have additional questions regarding the student survey, please contact me at stacy.whisman@gcisd.net.

Changing Instructional Model

As a reminder, parents are able to switch from in-person to remote learning at any point during the school year. In order to make this change, please contact the campus counselor.

For families that are wishing to change from remote to in-person learning, that may only be done at the end of a grading period. The process for changing to in-person learning requires parents to log in to Skyward Family Access and complete the changing instructional models form prior to the end of the nine-week grading period. Instructions on where to find the form and how to complete it can be found here.

Below is a schedule of when the form will become available, when the form must be received by the campus, and when the change will go into effect:

  • To change after the first nine weeks, parents must complete the form between September 20 and October 2. Your student would begin receiving in-person instruction on October 19.

  • To change after the second nine weeks, parents must complete the form between November 15 and December 4. Your student would begin receiving in-person instruction on January 6.

  • To change after the third nine weeks, parents must complete the form between February 14 and February 26. Your student would begin receiving in-person instruction on March 22.

If you have any questions regarding the timing of when parents may change the instructional model selected, or the associated process, please contact me at stacy.whisman@gcisd.net.


Updates from Art, Music and PE

Specials reminders:

  • Remote learners may connect with Specials teachers one day a week through LIVE Webex meetings for the first 15-20 minutes of their Specials time. Webex links are shared in the Specials Seesaw class.

    • Tuesdays - Mrs. Morgan (Art)

    • Wednesdays-Coach Mester (PE)

    • Thursdays-Mrs. Vencill (Music)

A NOTE from Mrs. Vencill....

Hi, Tiger families. Here's what's happening in the OCT music room...

  • Kindergarten/1st Grade: Students are composing, reading and performing rhythm patterns using quarter notes, quarter rests and barred eighth notes as well as practicing their 5 voices (whiper, talking, shout, sing, inner voice).
  • 2nd/3rd Grade: Students are identifying strong weak beat patterns in a meter of 2, 3 and 4 and composing, reading and performing rhythm patterns using barred eighth notes, quarter notes/rests, half notes/rests and whole notes/rests.
  • 4th/5th Grade: Students are including sixteenth notes and triplets in their rhythm compositions written in a meter of 2, 3 and 4. Students will compose and layer rhythmic ostinati (short, repeated patterns).
  • All students: Unfortunately, we will not have our annual Veterans Day program this year, but students will learn our national anthem, state song and school song as we discuss the importance of Veterans Day. I would like to have a VIRTUAL Wall of Honor this year. If you have a picture of a veteran you would like to add to our Wall of Honor, scan it and send it to me via email at bethany.vencill@gcisd.net.

A Note from the Art Room

For the month of October, students will be learning and understanding different types of shapes.

  • Kindergarten- 1st Grade: Students will be learning and reviewing shape names by creating a Shapescape.
  • 2nd-3rd Grade: Students will be learning and reviewing organic and geometric shapes by creating a piece inspired by Reggie Laurent.
  • 4th Grade: Students will be learning about Non-Objective Shapes, how to blend watercolors, and about the artist Vassily Kandinsky.
  • 5th Grade: Students will be learning about Cubism, the artist Pablo Picasso and how to use shapes to create a Cubism Cartoon.

Keep on Creating!

Updates from the Gym:

We are having fun participating in a wide variety of safe and socially distanced activities in the OCT gym. We are focusing on students' physical fitness that contributes to their overall mental health. We encourage remote learners to continue checking Seesaw for weekly activities and enjoy participating in your favorite physical activities at home. Keep moving, Tigers!



National School Lunch Week PK-8

“HOWDY y'all! National School Lunch Week is October 12-16! We invite all students to come and eat with us, school lunch is FREE FOR ALL in-person students in Pre-K through 8th grade now through December 2020! Healthy school meals feature whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, veggies, and Fat-Free milk! Join us for a Texas-themed menu. Cowboy burgers, churros, and Texas Gala apples to name just a few! Bring your lunch from home? Still hungry or just want some fresh fruit, veggies or a roll? Choose 3 menu items from the lunch line, including at least a fruit or veggie, and lunch is FREE!

We hope to see you there, partner. Thanks for eating with us!

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FREE Lunches

In-Person Learners: The USDA has issued a nationwide waiver, allowing Grapevine-Colleyville ISD to offer meals FREE at no charge through December 2020 at all elementary, middle school campuses, and Collegiate Academy.

On September 22, 2020, GCISD began providing free meals to students as part of the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) program. Sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA), this program will allow any student in elementary or middle school to receive a free breakfast and lunch meal in the school cafeteria.

Remote learners have the opportunity to pick up meals curbside every Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at three locations: Cross Timbers Middle, Grapevine Middle, and Grapevine Elementary. All meals are free of charge until December 2020. For more information please visit www.gcisd.net or email child.nutrition@gcisd.net

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Elementary Parents

In order to be proactive in our delivery of education concerning human sexuality, our district uses several resources and programs for the elementary school health curriculum. These programs and resources will be presented throughout the school year. Parents may preview these programs during parent preview sessions.

For the Month of October, please click on the following link and use your student’s District Log In to access the appropriate video for your aged child.

4th Grade Girls: Just Around the Corner for Girls (2011)


5th Grade Boys: Growing Up! For Boys


5th Grade Girls: Growing Up! For Girls



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Please be sure to visit the O.C. Taylor PTA website where you'll be able to fill out some important forms as well as pay your Homeroom Fund Fee (just $10), which helps pay for things during the year like Winter and Valentine's parties and an end of the year gift for the teachers. Our partnership with the PTA is critical for maintaining the exceptional culture we have here at O.C. Taylor!

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20-21 Reflections Theme - "I Matter Because....."

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Order A Go Get 'Em Tiger Shirt!

Order yourself or your child a Go Get 'Em Tiger Shirt to show your Tiger spirit! Our PTA has other items to purchase as well! Go to their site: tinyurl.com/octspirit

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