Hilcher Herald

GES Staff Update-Week of 11/16/15

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The definitions of thankful: pleased and relieved; expressing gratitude and relief. Synonyms: grateful, appreciative, filled with gratitude, relieved.

As the tragedy in France filled our news feeds on Friday, I was once again reminded of the amazing freedoms our service men and women defend and protect each day. Such powerful timing after we celebrated Veteran's Day on Wednesday. I am appreciative of how you provided time for our students to write letters to veterans last week. I cannot wait to see the finished products of your Heritage Day projects and to attend my first presentation on Friday morning! As we enter into Thanksgiving week, I want you to know that I am thankful for each and every one of you. Each of you has a special job on our campus...and without YOU, GES wouldn't be the amazing school it is! I'm thankful for how you get up early each morning and greet our students and parents with smiles. I appreciate how you prepare for every day in a way that allows our GES Stars to be happy, healthy and learning while they are in our care. I love how you support each other and share in the joys (& challenges) that our jobs present. I'm thankful for the many ways you communicate with parents, and how you provide feedback to your students when grading and assessing their work. But mostly...I'm grateful that you call GES your home away from home. Together, we make a difference in the lives of over 500 students and 50 staff. That's an awesome task and one I want you to be proud of! I hope you will take some time next week to relax, to reflect on the hard work you do each day and to count your many blessings! THANK YOU for being YOU and for your dedication to GES!

Videos: As you know, I cannot resist a Kid President video...enjoy his thoughts on making a difference! The 'Thankful' video is set to a Josh Groban song. Please do not think I'm sharing it for any religious implications. It's simply a great reminder to find the joy that surrounds us!
Kid President - A Pep Talk for the World
THANKFUL- Josh Groban

Important Updates

  • The Specialized Behavior Intervention Program, SBIP, will be housed in E105. Nancy Hale will actually be moving into the old tech office and Josh Talbott will be moving into the small multipurpose/tutoring room on the fifth grade hallway. We will be working to complete moves this week.
  • Josh will be working on preparing iPads for 'take home' this week. He will be contacting you regarding processes and any steps you may need to complete prior to Friday. Thanks for your work organizing paperwork and communicating this opportunity with your families.

Friendly Reminders

  • Monday we will be wearing our jeans and a purple shirt to honor Epilepsy Awareness. A GES student brought the idea to me because she has a sibling who is affected by the disease. Please wear professional dress for Friday's Heritage Day events and change into your jeans once school wide events have concluded.
  • Please remind parents if students leave early on 11/20, even after Heritage Day events, it is considered a partial day absence! If parents do choose to sign students out early, parents will need to do so with the homeroom teacher. Heather will place a sign out sheet in your mailbox on Thursday afternoon. This sign out sheet will need to be turned in to Heather during your lunch period on Friday.
  • Reminder that the workroom is for teacher use. Students should not be coming into the teacher workroom to get construction paper, bulletin board paper, or check teacher boxes.
  • Don't forget to complete your Thanksgiving energy shutdown checklist. Please complete this form and post it on your door before you leave on 11/20. IF you are going to be out on Friday, 11/20, you are responsible for completing as much as you can on your checklist and designating a friend to finish it up for you. Kent Hall will be visiting campuses over the break and checking our work. Thanks for your help with this task and for helping us earn a great report!
  • Personal business days - (From the GES 2015-2016 Handbook) Beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, all campus-based personnel will request discretionary leave from the principal or designated assistant principal three days (72 hours) in advance of the requested absence. The request shall be submitted in writing (email). The campus administrator will consider the impact of the employee’s request on the educational operations of the campus and then respond to the employee within 24 hours of receiving the request. If the employee does not receive a response from the principal, the request is considered granted.

Online Textbook Resources-Date Change!

As you know, we've changed the timeline to the online textbook access information gathering. Enter your results here: https://docs.google.com/a/gcisd.net/spreadsheets/d/1R8pINSUex4me79c-19dkJHg1FT9uHqId_uNa0AsxGrc/edit?usp=sharing

*ARMS UPDATE: ARMS security questions have been turned off for elementary campuses. You can move forward with K-2. This access information is due from every GES classroom & special services teacher on/by Friday, 12/18/15.

Information from Ms. Ray

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Fire Drill Reflections

Thank you for your cooperation in last week's fire drill. Even with a few changes to our campus procedures we were able to successfully exit the building and account for all in less than 5 minutes!

Here are a few reminders:

  • Instead of the entire campus exiting the building and meeting in the front circle area, we are now exiting to two separate outside areas - one in the front of the building and one in the back of the building.
  • In order to avoid standing in the parking lot amongst cars, the new reunification site in the back of the building will be the blacktop area where the metal storage pods are located. We will utilize this site as the meeting place for 3-5 grades as well as other campus specialists for all future fire drills.
  • Outside reunification changes should not change primary or secondary exit routes when leaving the building. Check the map on your classroom wall if you are unsure of where to exit.
  • Because the fire alarm is loud, please coach your students to cover their ears but remind them not to scream, yell, talk, etc. while exiting the building. Once they exit the building, they can uncover their ears but must remain silent.

Please let Kim know if you have any questions about this or any other campus safety procedures.

Upcoming Dates

Monday, 11/16 Wear purple for Epilepsy Awareness month & jeans

Monday, 11/16 Math RtI Meetings with Nancy & Kim (grades 1-4)

Tuesday, 11/17 AED drill

Tuesday, 11/17 A special surprise from 3:10-3:30* Plan to attend!

Wednesday, 11/18 - NEHS Meeting (2:45-3:30pm)

Monday, 11/23-Friday 11/27 Thanksgiving holidays-no school

Monday,11/30 Choir (2:45-3:45pm)

Wednesday, 12/2 Running Club (2:45-3:45pm)

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

Thursday, 12/3 Grapevine Parade of Lights (7pm on Main Street)

Friday, 12/4 Kindergarten's Pizza and PJs night (6:00-9:00pm)

Wednesday, 12/9 Red Robin Spirit Night 6-8 (sign up for a shift to work-coming soon!)

Friday, 12/11 GES Hour of Code DAY!!

Friday, 12/11 GES Staff Holiday Party at Deb Lewis' house (info to follow)

Tuesday, 12/15 Geography Bee

Friday, 12/18 Early dismissal at 11:45am

Monday, 12/21/15-Friday 1/1/15 Winter Holidays

Monday, 1/4/16 Teacher Work day

Where We Will Be...

  • Monday, 11/16 & Tuesday, 11/17 Linda Sell & Dr. Pierce off campus
  • Wednesday, 11/18 Liz at principal’s meeting
  • Wednesday, 11/18 Nancy off campus (7:50 - 9:15am)
  • Thursday, 11/19 Liz OUT in morning and Angela @ PDEC for PLC all day

Heritage Day Rehearsals

A note from Ms. Lambert:

We are having a dress rehearsal for Heritage Day on Thursday, November 19, 7:55-8:45. This is a move of 2nd grade MAPS time from 1:45-2:35.

3rd grade will report to the gym on November 20 at 8:00

2nd Grade will report to the gym on November 20 at 8:10

Teachers, please stay with your classes and help with monitoring students. Thank you so much for all your help with parent communication, scheduling, monitoring, sending home scripts, etc.... We couldn't do it without you!

Hour of Code Information...

Check out this video to learn more about Hour of Code. https://goo.gl/mG1gbx

Why?: There will be 1,000,000 more computer science jobs than computer science students by 2020. http://code.org/stats

Teachers will choose from a variety of resources and tutorials that expose students to foundational concepts of computer science. Computer programming allows students to practice perseverance, problem solving, and critical thinking. Skills necessary for coding align with our Portrait of a Graduate, particularly skilled problem solver, effective communicator and self-regulated learner.​


  1. Let GCISD know you're participating by filling out this form https://goo.gl/te57bi. We will again be partnering with developers to Google Hangout with interested classes. Be sure to indicate your preference on our form.

  2. Also, register on the code.org site: https://hourofcode.com/gcisd

  3. GES Leadership Team will work to schedule 1 hour (or more!) on Friday, December 11 to promote coding. Choose from a variety of resources and tutorials found on our GCISD Hour of Code website (https://goo.gl/16BiE6) to expose students to foundational concepts of computer science.

Monday Message to Parents

The following link will take you to the parent newsletter that will be sent out Monday morning: https://www.smore.com/29ra6


PTA Information

Fall Carnival Teacher Packages

If you, or your team, offered a teacher package for the Fall Carnival Silent Auction, please be sure to reach out to parents this week. If you are not sure which student(s) bid on your package, please see Liz! Thank you for offering opportunities for our students to have some fun with you in the coming months! Your donations of time are much appreciated and definitely helped generate some funds that benefit all of us at GES!

GCISD Information

Handwriting for First & Third

The following message was sent from Suzanne Newell last week:

Hello 1-3rd grade teachers,

As many of you know, last year was the first year of our Zaner-Bloser handwriting material purchases. You ought to have paper resources in your rooms for year 2 of this adoption, but many of you have asked recently about how to access the online resources we purchased. Last year we sent out the online access info, but that has been a loooong time, and most of us (including me) are not able to get in and access what we need.

Candi Amos has been working with Zaner-Bloser today to reestablish this access for you all. You should be receiving an email from Zaner-Bloser last week that will give you the necessary login info for the teacher resources. (There are no student-specific resources associated with this adoption.) Please do not delete this email, and please go through the steps it tells you and begin using any of these resources that will help support your instruction.


The following message was shared with parents last week...but has implications for us as a staff, too! Are you interested in learning more about LEAD 2021, GCISD's long range plan? You should subscribe to the new LEAD GCISD podcast at: https://goo.gl/z3rdsp 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.

Google Links

  • Lesson plans, or links to your plans, should be saved to our Google drive folder in the GES Faculty and Staff folder:http://bit.ly/1LqQ4sg
  • Newsletters, or links to newsletters, should be saved to the Google drive folder in GES Faculty and Staff: http://bit.ly/1MAJbWP