GCISD Announces 40 National Merit Commended Students
In late September, about two-thirds of the 50,000 high scorers on the PSAT/NMSQT received Letters of Commendation to recognize their academic success. With this achievement, students will become eligible for Special Scholarships given by corporations and business. Grapevine-Colleyville ISD had a total of 40 National Merit Commended students for the 2017-2018 school year. To view the complete list of GCISD students who received Letters of Commendation, click here.
GCISD Teacher Receives Statewide Award
Humanities Texas is pleased to announce that Wes Watters of Colleyville Heritage High School is one of thirteen recipients of the 2017 Humanities Texas Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award.
State Representative Giovanni Capriglione presented Watters with his award during a ceremony on the Colleyville Heritage High School football field before the school’s Homecoming game Thursday evening.
Humanities Texas gives annual statewide awards to encourage excellence in teaching and recognize Texas classroom teachers who have made exemplary contributions in teaching, curriculum development and extracurricular programming. The organization received nearly 700 nominations for the 2017 awards. To read the entire story about Watters' award, click here.
GCISD Welcomes Community Champions
Grapevine-Colleyville ISD has welcomed a group of more than three dozen district residents participating in the first GCISD Community Champions program. The year-long series of classes kicked off on Thursday, September 21 at Colleyville Heritage High School. Attendees visited with district administrators and each other during the 90-minute session focusing on Redefining Campus Leadership.
Upcoming sessions will touch on assessment, finance, bond-related construction and more. Participants will hear from district leadership, students and staff from around the district as well as getting to visit a number of schools throughout GCISD. To view the list of the Community Champions, click here.
Trustees Tour School Improvements Funded by the 2016 Bond
Members of the GCISD Board of Trustees on Friday took a tour of several campuses to view progress on projects resulting from the May 2016 bond election. Trustees, administrators, project architect and construction management representatives made stops at Cannon Elementary: A GCISD STEM School, Grapevine Middle School, Colleyville Heritage High School’s new Multipurpose Activity Center, Heritage Middle School, Timberline Elementary, Grapevine High School and Mustang-Panther Stadium.
At Cannon Elementary, Trustees got a look at the foundation area where the new school will be located. Trustees also were shown the new secure entryways installed on a number of campuses and viewed the transformed libraries, now known as the learning commons.
Board President Lisa Pardo expressed thanks to the taxpayers of GCISD for voting to approve these new facilities. “These new learning commons areas, classroom additions and other improvements are only possible because of the support of our citizens.”
Glenhope Takes On the Eye of the Hurricane
By: Erica DeAngelo, a Junior at Colleyville Heritage High School
As part of the student voice initiative, GCISD will periodically feature news articles written by high school journalism students.
On Tuesday, September 12th, the fifth graders of Glenhope Elementary School received a lesson on hurricanes they will never forget! Previous to the event, the classrooms spent time covering hurricanes due to their presence all over our country’s news channels. At two in the afternoon, the elementary library began to fill with lively children, eager to widen their knowledge of these tropical storms. Their unique visitor for the afternoon was meteorologist, Jason Johnson.
Kicking off his lesson, Johnson presents a power point he created for the 5th graders. In the presentation, he describes how a hurricane develops and the levels of danger it is capable of reaching . He goes onto depict how this danger is rated in “meteorologist talk,” or more simply put a “Category.” Johnson not only provided an explanation of hurricanes in our country’s history, but also went on to discuss our current hurricanes, Harvey and Irma. Hurricane Irma had begun forming in late August off the coast of Africa. While Irma’s danger level was a Category 5 when hitting Puerto Rico, it became a Category 4 when arriving in Florida. Through photographs within his presentation, Johnson was able to depict just how devastating these storms can be; leaving families with little personal items and islands without vegetation. I believe everyone observing the lesson could agree we are blessed to not be victims of the current hurricane’s aftermath.
Click here to read the full story.
GCISD Announces Record Number of National Merit Semifinalists
Thirty-three GCISD seniors have been named 2018 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Selection is based on the students' scores on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). GCISD's National Merit Semifinalists are part of an elite group of students representing fewer than one percent of U.S. high school seniors who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies. These academically talented students have the opportunity to continue in the program and compete for scholarships that will be offered next spring. For more information on GCISD's Record Number of National Merit Semifinalists, click here.
Improvements In and Near Mustang-Panther Stadium Affect Traffic/Stadium Access
Mustang Drive will be reduced to two lanes near Mustang-Panther Stadium over the next few weeks while storm drain system work is performed. This project will also result in the closing of the parking lot driveway nearest the south end of the stadium. The south stadium entry gate will remain available for pedestrian use, but no vehicle traffic will be allowed in that area. It is recommended that fans of visiting teams park at Grapevine High School, 3223 Mustang Drive, and take the shuttle service to the stadium.
GCISD Welcomes Families Affected by Hurricane Harvey
As the communities affected by Harvey begin to rebuild, thousands of families are coming to North Texas for refuge from the storms. GCISD understands that this is a fluid situation and may change from day-to-day; however, we welcome with open arms any family and their students that wish to attend school during this time of need. If your family has been affected by Hurricane Harvey and you are staying with family in our community, please visit the campus or campuses in their attendance zone and work with the office staff to register and begin school. If you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact GCISD at (817) 251-5200.
An Open Letter to the Community Regarding Hurricane Harvey
Dear GCISD Community,
Like many of you, I have spent the last several days thinking of and praying for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. The images that I have seen are devastating and I can hardly imagine what those victims must be going through. While the total impact has yet to be determined, it stands to be sure that many have lost their homes and their belongings. There is nothing that we can do to repair the pain that comes with losing one's home; however, I believe that we can come together as communities to offer support, supplies and prayers for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Texas Monthly published an article that details ways to help Hurricane Harvey victims. Additionally, the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster has a list of organizations that welcome volunteers and/or donations. Over the next several days, I imagine there will be some local efforts within GCISD to provide support, supplies and donations to Harvey victims. As this information becomes available, we will share it on the district website and on social media with the hashtag #GCISDHelps.
Please continue to keep those affected by Hurricane Harvey in your thoughts and prayers and thank you in advance for your support for these families.
Dr. Robin Ryan
GCISD Launches Mobile App
A new year. A new way to connect. Click here for more information and to download the GCISD Mobile App!
The Why Behind Your Property Taxes
Property Tax appraisals from the Tarrant Appraisal District have been arriving in mailboxes over the last few weeks. Here's a video that explains the numbers you're seeing.
GCISD Updates Student Device Cost
As Grapevine-Colleyville ISD expands its 1:1 program to include all students in kindergarten through twelfth-grade, technology services has made a change to the fee structure. Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, families will be provided with a device at zero cost.
“We are always looking for ways to provide our students with the necessary technology to support their learning without placing a financial burden on our families,” said GCISD Chief Technology Officer Kyle Berger. “We are so excited for the changes to the student device cost agreement and look forward to the ways this will help streamline our integration of technology into the classroom.”
While the initial device is provided at no cost, there are fees assessed based on incident repairs. The first incident will be repaired for free for all students. For students that paid a $50 student fee in the 2016-2017 school year, their second incident will also be repaired at no cost. Students that did not pay the fee last year will be charged $15 for the repair after the second incident. For all students, after the third incident the fee will be the full cost of the device repair. In the instance that the damage to the device is intentional, the cost of the repair will be based on the damage regardless of how many incidents have occurred.
Technology Services has been working to integrate the fee device management with Skyward Family Access to generate any fee related communication to parents. If you have any questions about changes to the student device fees, click Let's Talk to submit your questions to Technology.
GCISD Recognizes Longtime Business and Community Partners
Each year the Texas Association of School Boards recognizes businesses and community groups who are outstanding supporters of Texas public schools to highlight their good work done to benefit students and their schools. In 2014, TASB initiated the Business Recognition Program. By recognizing those who are standing up for public schools each year, TASB hope to express appreciation to those who deserve it and also encourage others to stand up and help.
GCISD is recognizing three outstanding school partners in 2017, Mike Davis State Farm, Schroeder Orthodontics and the Grapevine Chamber of Commerce Women’s Division.
Mindy McClure named Master Trustee
Grapevine-Colleyville trustee Mindy McClure has earned the designation of Master Trustee upon completion of Leadership TASB, a program sponsored by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB). The Leadership TASB class met in conjunction with TASB’s Summer Leadership Institute in Fort Worth. More than 1,000 new and veteran school leaders received extensive training on every facet of effective board governance, heard keynote addresses from renowned education experts and picked up valuable ideas from district showcases and networking opportunities.
After the graduation ceremony June 23, McClure joined the ranks of more than 800 school board members statewide who are Leadership TASB alumni.
To learn more about Mindy McClure, click here.
New Principal Named at Bridges and Vista
Lindsey Hopkins, current assistant principal at Colleyville Heritage High School, has been named the principal of Bridges Accelerated Learning Center and Vista Alternative Education Center. Trustees announced the appointment during a special meeting on Monday, July 10.
“I am honored to be named principal of Bridges Accelerated Learning Center and Vista Alternative Education Center,” Hopkins said. “I look forward to serving with the staff to meet the needs of our students and families in new and innovative ways. I am excited to continue developing partnerships with our community that will assist students in meeting their post-secondary goals.”
To learn more about Lindsey Hopkins, click here.
New Principal Named for Timberline Elementary School
On Monday, July 10, Trustees named Shelley Ingram the new principal of Timberline Elementary School. Ingram is currently serving as an assistant principal at J.C. Thompson Elementary School in Northwest ISD.
“Timberline has been a part of my family since my youngest daughter was a Tiger and I had the wonderful opportunity to be a teacher here,” Ingram said. “I have a deep passion and love for this school and am thrilled to lead alongside such a committed staff, talented students and one of a kind community!”
The search for a new principal for Timberline Elementary began in May when Dr. June Ritchlin accepted the role of Executive Director of Elementary Curriculum and Instruction with Castleberry ISD.
To learn more about Shelley Ingram, click here.
iUniversity Prep launches “Fences: The Crisis”
iUniversity Prep has launched this year’s project entitled “Fences: The Crisis”. The Fences Project is an annual living history simulation that that allows students to engage in a specific time period over the course of a night. This year’s project allowed students from all over the state of Texas to come together to experience the White House in 1962 during the thirteen days of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
“Opportunities like these bring students to the next level in learning and application along with understanding of government and policy,” said Director of Virtual Learning, Dr. Kaye Rogers.
The project was funded by the Education Foundation which provided a grant to cover the costs of the event.
Prep Work for Construction to Begin at Cannon Elementary
Last May, GCISD was very fortunate to have voters approve the 2016 Bond package, which included a new building for Cannon Elementary: A GCISD STEM School. Contractor activity is beginning as early as June 22 with the new building expected to open in August 2018.
Ahead of construction work, we wanted to give an update on what community members can expect to see at Cannon this summer. Initial site work will focus on site fencing, which will be placed along the north side of the Cannon property. As construction continues, additional fencing may be added to ensure the safety of students, staff, and Cannon visitors. Additionally, three portable classrooms will be placed in the east parking lot in preparation for the 2017-2018 school year. Finally, the demolition of the fifth-grade wing on the northwest side of the school is anticipated to begin in July 2017.
Per city ordinance, work hours at Cannon will be Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-7 p.m. and Saturday 7 a.m-5 p.m. There will be no work performed on Sundays.
We are so excited about the commencement of work on Cannon and cannot wait for students, staff and families to experience the new building. Click here to see renderings of Cannon Elementary: A GCISD STEM School.
To learn more about all projects approved through the May 2016 Bond, please visit the GCISD 2016 bond website. Questions for the district? Click the Cannon Elementary link at Let’s Talk! Have a question or comment regarding the construction site? Contact Lee Lewis Construction by clicking here.
GCISD announces new Director of Humanities
On Monday, June 19, GCISD Trustees approved Jacqueline Van Horn as the new Director of Humanities. Van Horn had been a Reading Language Arts supervisor in Dallas ISD since 2015.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity for community advocacy, to build upon the great partnerships with teaching professionals, students and the community to create an educational experience that is engaging, rigorous and relevant," Van Horn said.
The search for a new Director of Humanities began in May when it was announced that Dr. Suzanne Newell would assume the role of Executive Director of Learning.
Van Horn began her career in 2004 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho as a bilingual and general education teacher where she designed her own curriculum to teach Spanish as a second language. She was also nominated for Rookie Teacher of the Year and was recognized for her extensive parent outreach and collaboration. In 2012 she became an elementary instructional literacy coach where she designed and delivered professional development to 10 elementary campuses.
“I can’t wait to see the insights Jacqui will bring to the work of GCISD Humanities,” said GCISD Director of Learning Dr. Suzanne Newell. “Her background seems perfectly suited to engage teachers and students in thoughtful and engaging ways.”
Van Horn graduated from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and then received a master’s degree in education from University of Idaho.
Trustees Approve New Deputy Superintendent
On Monday, June 19, GCISD Trustees approved Dr. Brad Schnautz as the new Deputy Superintendent. Dr. Schnautz currently serves as the superintendent in Lexington ISD.
“In GCISD, everything we do is guided by our strategic plan, LEAD 2021,” said Dr. Robin Ryan GCISD Superintendent. “While we are all responsible for implementing the mission and vision of LEAD, the Deputy Superintendent position leads the oversight of many of the action items related to technology, curriculum and instruction, accountability and assessment, career and technical education and counseling. We are so excited to have Dr. Schnautz join our staff as our Deputy Superintendent to continue leading the implementation of LEAD 2021, which is redefining education for the students and staff of GCISD.”
The search for the next deputy superintendent began in May when Dr. Rick Westfall was named the superintendent in Keller ISD.
Dr. Schnautz has served as Lexington ISD Superintendent of Schools since 2015, where he was responsible for the instructional, financial and operational leadership of approximately 1,000 students and 150 faculty. While serving as superintendent, he led an extensive strategic design process, which consisted of collaborating and partnering with community stakeholders to create the district’s call to action, beliefs, goals, learner profile and specific results for the next five years. Dr. Schnautz improved the digital learning environment across the district by improving the technology infrastructure and adding devices across all campuses, which includes a 1:1 initiative in eighth through twelfth-grade. He also established a professional learning collaborative with two neighboring districts to provide opportunities for teachers and staff to collaborate with their peers in improving instructional practices.
Prior to serving as superintendent, Dr. Schnautz was principal of Magnolia West High School from 2012-2015 and was named the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals Region 6 High School Principal of the Year in 2013. Under his leadership, the campus increased the number of students participating in the AP program by 105 percent and increased the number of AP tests taken by 137 percent over a two year period. The campus also implemented opportunities for student and teacher recognition through citizenship awards, instructional awards and ongoing celebrations of student success.
From 2010-2012, Dr. Schnautz was principal at Magnolia Junior High School, during which time the campus increased student attendance, implemented a campus-wide character building program as well as a school-based mentoring program for at-risk students. Prior to being named principal, Dr. Schnautz served several roles at Magnolia West High School including assistant principal, math teacher and head baseball coach.
To read morea bout Dr. Schnautz, click here.
New Softball Coach Named for Grapevine High School
Grapevine High School softball has a new head coach as Trustees approved Angelina Curtis at the regular meeting on Monday, June 19. Curtis is currently an assistant softball coach at Coppell High School.
"I am beyond excited and proud to become a Lady Mustang!” Curtis said. “I am looking forward to building on the existing culture of softball not only at GHS but within the community. I can not wait to dive right in and get to work. I think I'm more excited for the first day of school than the students will ever be!"
Before beginning her teaching career, Curtis was a semi-professional softball player for the Grizzlies in Freising, Germany. During this time she played shortstop and outfielder while tutoring elementary students on the English language.
When Curtis returned to the states, she began as a volunteer softball coach with the City of Colleyville while working at Advantage Academy in Grand Prairie as a junior high volleyball, basketball and high school softball coach. In 2013 she became the head varsity softball coach at Westlake Academy where the team finished second in State for the first time in school history.
“Anytime we have the opportunity to bring in a coach that has some level of professional experience as a player, it is an added benefit for our student athletes,” GCISD Executive Director of Athletics Bryan Gerlich said. “We are excited to welcome Coach Curtis into her new role and we look forward to seeing her carry forward the softball program at Grapevine High School.”
Curtis graduated from education Sterling College in Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Grapevine High School Girls Basketball Coach Named
Former Ponder High School girls’ basketball head coach Greg Gay has been named to the same position at Grapevine High School. The recommendation was approved during the Monday, June 19 Board of Trustees meeting.
"I am very excited to be joining the staff at Grapevine High School as the head girls’ basketball coach,” Gay said. “I look forward to the opportunity to see where we can take the Lady Mustang basketball program in the future.”
Gay has been with Ponder High School since 2013 where in addition to coaching girls’ basketball, he is the head golf coach. During his tenure the team improved from a record of 3-24 in 2013-2014 to 26-9 in 2016-2017. Prior to joining the Ponder coaching staff, Gay worked at Anna High School as the girls’ coordinator and basketball coach in 2012. From 2005-2012, Gay was at Bullard High School where he led his team to five consecutive district championships. He began his career at Whitehouse High School in 2001 where he remained until 2004 when he coached for one year at Huntington High School.
Coach Gay earned District 14AAA Coach of the Year honors in 2008 and was named District 17AAA Coach of the Year from 2009-2012.
“We have a tremendous girls’ basketball program at Grapevine High School and we are excited to see how Coach Gay can elevate the players both on the court and in the classroom,” said GCISD Executive Director of Athletics Bryan Gerlich.
Gay earned his bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Texas at Tyler.
Heritage Elementary Assistant Principal Named Campus Principal
Jill Hemme, current Heritage Elementary School assistant principal, has been named campus principal. Trustees approved the appointment during the regular meeting on Monday, June 19.
“It is an honor for me to be named as principal of Heritage Elementary,” Hemme said. “I am excited for the opportunity to continue working with such an amazing group of students, staff and parents.”
The search for a new principal for Heritage Elementary School began in May when Stacey Voigt announced she had accepted a principal position in Midway ISD.
Hemme began her career in Richardson ISD in 1999 as a fourth-grade teacher at Brentfield Elementary and Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet. In 2004 she became a TAP (Teacher Advancement Program) Master Teacher at Audelia Creek Elementary. During the 2007-2008 school year, Hemme was named one of the RISD STAR Teachers of the Year.
To learn more about Hemme, click here.
Familiar face returns to Dove Elementary as principal
Heather Landrum, former Dove Elementary School student support specialist, is returning to the campus to assume the role of principal. Landrum, who is currently serving as an assistant principal at Grapevine Elementary, was named principal on Monday, June 19 during the regular Board of Trustees meeting.
“During my brief time at Dove Elementary, I was fortunate to experience its rich history of passionate educators, involved community, and amazing students,” Landrum said. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to return to Dove as the principal to continue the work and success of the campus.”
The search for the next leader of Dove Elementary began in May when Cindy Galloway accepted the role of Associate Director of Curriculum and Instruction with Prestonwood Christian Academy.
Landrum began her career in in Waco as a third-grade teacher in 2001 before moving to Round Rock as a fifth-grade teacher in 2002. In 2005, she moved to Hillsboro Elementary where she taught second-grade. Landrum made the transition to middle school in 2010 when she taught seventh-grade writing at Hillsboro Junior High. During this time she was honored two times by colleagues with the W.F. Doughty Award for Leadership in Education and was named to the employee honor roll for Hillsboro ISD. In 2013 Landrum became an assistant principal at Hillsboro High School where she guided the implementation of a 1:1 iPad pilot program and served as a Schlechty Center Fellow at the Marilyn Hohmann Principals’ Academy.
To read more about Landrum, click here.
GCISD names Director of Early Childhood
On Monday, June 19, GCISD Trustees approved Kristi Brown as the new Director of Early Childhood.
“I am so excited to come on board in GCISD and join the amazing programs already in place,” Brown said. “Early childhood education has always been a passion of mine as it helps shape the way a child feels about school and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to impact students across the district in my new role.”
The Director of Early Childhood is a new position for the 2017-2018 school year aimed at developing the various programs for the youngest learners including tuition and state-based pre-kindergarten, the Early Childhood Development Center and KidzU program.
Brown began her career in 2000 as a pre-kindergarten teacher in Lubbock and then Brownfield Texas. In 2002 she joined Frenship ISD as a kindergarten and first-grade teacher before moving to the role of interventionist and special education teacher in 2009. She became the assistant principal at the Academic Beginnings Center in Levelland Texas in 2012 where she worked with head start representatives and teachers to ensure the proper implementation of policies and procedures.
To read more about Kristi, click here.
Collegiate Academy to pilot Mentor 2.0 program
Big Brothers Big Sisters and Grapevine-Colleyville ISD are expanding their partnership in community mentoring to include a pilot program at Collegiate Academy at Tarrant County College Northeast. Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, Collegiate Academy will become the first campus in Tarrant County to pilot Mentor 2.0. In this model, every freshman attending Collegiate Academy will be provided with a mentor. Unlike the traditional program, in Mentor 2.0, mentors are only asked to meet in-person with their student once a month but are expected to communicate regularly online.
“We are so excited about the opportunity to pilot Mentor 2.0 at Collegiate Academy,” said Director Bobbe Knutz. “Our students have a rigorous course-load in which they are congruently completing high school and college coursework. While this provides its own unique challenges, it also provides opportunities for student growth and we are looking forward to watching our students navigate their unique experience with the guidance of a community mentor.”
As part of the Mentor 2.0 program addresses the collegiate experience, every mentor must have a college degree. While this program will begin in 2017-2018 with freshman, the program will progress with students and in four years, every Collegiate Academy Phoenix will have a college graduate mentor.
Interested participants in the Mentor 2.0 program are encouraged to attend an informational session on Tuesday, July 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the common area at Collegiate Academy located at 828 W. Harwood Rd. (Building NMPC) Hurst, TX 76054. To read more about the Mentor 2.0 program, click here.
Congratulations GCISD Classes of 2017
Over the past week, more than 1,000 students graduated from Bridges Accelerated Learning Center, Colleyville Heritage High School, and Grapevine High School. To see pictures from the ceremony, check out the Bridges, CHHS, and GHS Facebook pages! If you were unable to attend last night’s ceremonies, watch GHS and CHHS on the GCISD YouTube page!
Where Are They Now? - Jeff Baum
“GCISD taught me how to take responsibility and how to prioritize,” said Jeff Baum. A 2015 graduate from iUniversity Prep, Baum has been playing junior hockey for three seasons since his graduation. His career began in 2014,with two seasons with the Wichita Falls Wildcats in the Eastern Hockey League, followed by his time with the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the North American Hockey League. Baum is currently wrapping up his junior hockey career and will transition to NCAA after his commitment to play hockey at Providence College in Hockey East this August.
Photo credits: Dubuque Fighting Saints and Stephen Gassman Photography
Summer Food Service Program
For a meal site near you call 211 or Text* FOODTX to
Silver Lake Elementary
June 5 – July 14
Breakfast: 7 – 8 a.m.
Lunch: 11 a.m. – noon
Cross Timbers Middle
June 5 - August 11
Breakfast: 7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
Lunch: 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
GHS World Scholar’s Cup team advances to Global Competition
Members of the Grapevine high School World Scholar’s Cup Team will compete at the organization’s global contest this summer after winning multiple honors at the North American round of competition in Houston. GHS team members Sanika Bhave, Jacqueline Padron, Hayat Yasin, Emily Branson, Lauren Lichtenfeld, Andye Tosh, Neve Enloe, and Aneesha Diggikar competed with more than forty other teams in the categories of Team Debate, Collaborative Writing, Scholar's Bowl and the Scholar's Challenge.
The GHS team placed 2nd overall as a team, finished 1st in Scholar’s Bowl, came in 3rd in the Challenge, and was awarded 57 individual medals. The competition covers a wide variety of information both historical information, current events, and global connections.
Because of their success, two teams qualified at the World Scholar's Cup to go on to the Global competition this summer. The GHS World Scholar’s Cup Team has chosen Cape Town, South Africa for its Global competition site.
Meet Your 2017 GCISD Valedictorians and SalutatoriansSoon, hundreds of GCISD seniors will cross the stage, accept their diploma and graduate from high school. Students from Grapevine High School and Colleyville Heritage High School will graduate, Thursday, June 1. Our third graduating class from iUniversity Prep, a Grapevine-Colleyville ISD Virtual Academy, will hold their ceremony on Saturday, June 10. For each graduating class, it is a special achievement to earn the title of Valedictorian and Salutatorian.GCISD ValedictoriansCHHSChloe AyersChloe plans on attending MIT where she will study Bioengineering.GHSLauren EdwardsLauren plans on attending the University of Texas to study Engineering.iUniversity PrepGrant JarvisGrant plans on attending Rice University, and is still deciding on what he would like to major in while in college.GCISD SalutatoriansCHHSJustin YanJustin plans on attending Princeton University to study Computer Science.GHSEmily StollerEmily plans on attending Baylor University to study Biochemistry.iUniversity PrepSarah DeesSarah plans on attending Cambridge University in London where she will study law.
Head Wrestling Coach announced for Colleyville Heritage High School
On Monday, May 22, GCISD Trustees named Jose Lazo as the new head wrestling coach for Colleyville Heritage High School.
"I am honored and excited to have been chosen to be the next head wrestling coach here at Colleyville Heritage,” Lazo said. “I want to push the wrestlers to be as successful as possible both on and off the mat and I will do my best to grow this program to reach its maximum potential."
Lazo has been the head wrestling and assistant football coach at Irving High School since 2012. He lead his team to the district championship in 2014-2015, when he was also named the 2014-2015 Region and District Coach of the Year. Coach Lazo also received the District Coach of the Year honors in 2013-2014.
“We are so excited to have Coach Lazo join our Panther coaching staff,” said GCISD Executive Director Bryan Gerlich. “We look forward to watching him continue to grow the wrestling program at Colleyville Heritage.”
Current Colleyville Heritage assistant wrestling coach Ron Mendoza served as the interim head coach this year while campus and district administrators looked for the permanent leader for the program.
Coach Lazo earned his associates in science from North Lake Community College in 2009 and his bachelors in kinesiology from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2011. While at UTA, Lazo was on the wrestling team where he was a national qualifier in 2010 and 2011 and was also named an Academic All-American in 2011. He also served as team captain his junior and senior seasons.
Colleyville Heritage Panther Chorale receives state honor
The Colleyville Heritage Panther Chorale has been selected as an Invited Performing Choir for the 2018 Texas Music Educator’s Association Convention, the highest award afforded to high school choirs in Texas. This prestigious invitation is achieved through a recorded audition process of performances from the past two school years and is awarded to ensembles showing a consistent exceptional level of performance. The Panther Chorale was selected from over 170 submitted choirs.
The Panther Chorale is the premier ensemble of the CHHS Panther Choirs consisting of approximately 60 auditioned sophomores, juniors and seniors. Under the direction of Thomas Rinn and assistant director Rachel Massey the Panther Chorale has established itself as one of the premier high school ensembles in the state receiving consistent UIL Sweepstakes awards, placing multiple students into the Texas All-State Choir, and performing both locally and abroad.
Dr. Rick Westfall named lone finalist for superintendent in Keller ISD
GCISD Deputy Superintendent Dr. Rick Westfall has been named the lone finalist in the Keller ISD superintendent search. Keller Trustees approved Dr. Westfall with a 6-0 vote during a special meeting on Monday, May 8. There will now be a state-mandated 21-day waiting period before Dr. Westfall is officially named superintendent.
“I want to thank the entire GCISD community for allowing me to serve as your Deputy Superintendent for the last six years,” Dr. Westfall said. “When I look back at what we have accomplished during this time as part of LEAD 2021, I am incredibly proud of the progress we have made and the redefined educational opportunities we are providing for students.”
The search for Keller’s new superintendent began in January when current superintendent Dr. Randy Reid announced his retirement effective July 2017. Dr. Westfall is familiar with the Keller community as he served as Keller High School principal from 2008-2011.
“We are so excited for Dr. Westfall and the opportunity he has to serve as superintendent in Keller ISD,” said Dr. Robin Ryan, GCISD Superintendent. “Rick is a tremendous leader and it has been a honor to serve with him. We wish Rick the best of luck in this new chapter of his career.”
Familiar Face named Grapevine Middle School Principal
Current Colleyville Heritage Associate Principal Laura Koehler has been named the new principal of Grapevine Middle School. Trustees approved the appointment during a special board meeting on Monday, May 8.
“I am so excited to be the new principal at Grapevine Middle School and continue to strengthen the connection between our students and the community” Koehler said. “There are so many incredible offerings for our students including STEM, AVID and Dual Language and I look forward to supporting every student in their pursuit of a personalized education.”
The search for the next principal at GMS began in March when Linda Young announced her retirement.
To read more about Laura, click here.
GCISD announces new Executive Director of Learning
Dr. Suzanne Newell, current GCISD Director of Humanities, has been named the Executive Director of Learning. Trustees approved the recommendation during a special board meeting on Monday, May 8.
“We are so excited to have Dr. Newell serve the students and families of GCISD in this new capacity,” said GCISD Superintendent Dr. Robin Ryan. “Like her predecessor, Dr. Newell is a champion for students and teachers and now she will have the opportunity to make a difference for every student and teacher in GCISD. We look forward to seeing how she continues the work of integrating rigorous curriculum with innovative teaching practices and the intentional development of staff with professional learning communities.”
The search for a new Executive Director of Learning began when Dr. John Doughney announced his retirement after 39 years of service to public education.
As the Director of Humanities, Dr. Newell developed a kindergarten through twelfth-grade alignment in the ways that students learn Social Studies and English Language Arts. She has helped refine the role of district librarians in how they serve students and staff across the district and has led the district’s efforts in incorporating student voice as a tool for providing feedback and improving teaching and therefore learning.
To read more about Dr. Newell, click here.
Votes tallied for May 2017 trustee electionIncumbent Jesse G. Rodríguez was elected to Place 5, Doug Noell was elected to Place 6, and Incumbent Jorge Rodríguez was elected to Place 7 on the GCISD Board of Trustees by a majority vote in the May 6, 2017, election with 100 percent of precincts reporting, according to unofficial results posted by Tarrant County Elections on Saturday night.In the election for Place 5, Jesse Rodríguez received 2,590 votes (52.23%) while his opponent, Julie Lawrence, received 2,369 votes (47.77%). In the election for place 6, Noell was unopposed, garnering 3,586 votes. In the election for Place 7, Jorge Rodríguez was unopposed, receiving 3,607 votes.Final results will be canvassed May 16 during a special Board meeting. During the Regular Monthly Board meeting, newly re-elected trustees Jesse Rodríguez and Jorge Rodríguez, and newly elected Doug Noell will be issued the oath of office and begin their new terms on GCISD's Board of Trustees.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS Early Votes Election Votes Total Votes % Place 5 Julie Lawrence 1,605 763 2,369 47.77% Jesse G. Rodríguez (incumbent) 1,805 779 2,590 52.23% Place 6 Doug Noell 2,501 1,079 3,586 100% Place 7 Jorge Rodríguez (incumbent) 2,519 1,082 3,607 100%
GHS Gymnast earns State Champion title
The Grapevine High School Girls Gymnastics team competed in the State Tournament, which was held in Odessa, TX. A team of four, three of the gymnasts are seniors and it is their fourth year to make it to state. Demi Pursley, senior, placed in all events and received the championship position on Vault, earning the title of number one in the state of Texas.
The state competition included more than 40 schools from Texas. Pursley (second from right in photo) is the first Grapevine HS or Colleyville Heritage High School student to earn a championship title in more than 20 years.
“Making it to State for four years in a row is really remarkable,” said Pamela Gunn, GCISD gymnastics coach.
Gunn explained that the athletes must accumulate points as a team in order to qualify for state. Grapevine HS only has a team of four, while other schools may have 12 - 15 athletes on a team, so they must earn high scores to be a state contender.
Photo: Grapevine HS Gymnastics Team at the state championships (L to R: Emersyn Coody, Mackenzie Megellas, Demi Pursley, and Emily Stoller)
GCISD students excel in math and science state competition
Students from all four GCISD middle schools took part in the Texas Math and Science Coaches Association State Meet. As a result, seven students placed in the top 20 of their subject areas, and the the Cross Timbers Middle School Math & Science team placed 10th overall out of the 61 schools in the 5A division. Cross Timbers MS also had a student, Aurora Tong, place in the top 20 of all four subject areas: Number Sense, Science, Math, and Calculator.
Individual Results (placing in Top 50):
- Ethan Zhou - 14th place - Number Sense (Cross Timbers MS)
- Nithya Budda - 20th place - Math (Cross Timbers MS)
- Akshaya Mohan - 17th place - Science (Cross Timbers MS)
- Kavya Shah - 41st place - Science (Cross Timbers MS)
- Surya Emandi - 15th place - Science (Grapevine MS)
- Aneesha Mazumder - 23rd place - Math (Grapevine MS)
- Aurora Tong - 1st place - Number Sense, 3rd place - Calculator, 4th place - Math, and 17th place Science (Cross Timbers MS)
- Brian Jiang - 7th place - Number Sense, 14th place - Calculator, and 6th place - Math (Cross Timbers MS)
- Amrit Rathie - 11th place - Science (Cross Timbers MS)
- Faith Sowell - 35th place - Science (Cross Timbers MS)
- Dusty Hogenson - 49th place - Math (Colleyville MS)
- Amaan Babul - 21st place - Number Sense, 35th place - Math (Heritage MS)
- Jay Upadhyaya - 36th place - Math, 37th place - Science (Heritage MS)
Photo: CTMS Student Aurora Tong with her four medals from the Texas Math and Science Coaches Association State Meet
GCISD art students earn medals at state competition
Students from both Grapevine High School and Colleyville Heritage High School took part in the State VASE (Visual Arts Scholastic Event), with GHS Sophomore Camille Krumwiede and CHHS Junior Alexandra Popke taking home medals for their state achievement. GHS Junior Cade Shuck and GHS Sophomore Emily Dempsy also took part in the state competition.
"It is an incredible accomplishment for our students who were chosen to participate in State VASE," said Sarah Roye, CHHS visual arts teacher. "I am extremely proud of all our GCISD students who qualified for State VASE 2017."
Roye further explained that there were more than 33,000 VASE entries across the State of Texas. Of these, only about 2,100 advanced to the State level. State VASE is the culminating event of a year of hard work and creative genius on behalf of the art students, teachers, and administrators in Texas. This event begins with each of the Regional Events scheduled during the months of January and February. The State of Texas is divided into 20 Education Regional Service Centers. These regions serve as the dividing boundaries for participation in the regional events. At the regional competition, a Rating IV is the mark of a superior, exemplary, work of art and qualifies the student to be considered for State VASE. While the artworks are being juried at the State event, the students participate in professional workshops, lectures, slide presentations, demonstrations, and sketching opportunities. Each student receiving a Superior Rating IV is draped with the VASE State Medallion.
Photo (left): State VASE Medalist Alexandra Popke with her artwork.
Photo (right): State VASE Medalist Camille Krumwiede's artwork.
GCISD students and staff help community program
Students at O.C. Taylor Elementary School, along with GCISD Nutrition Services, conducted campus and department activities to raise funds and collect items to benefit GRACE, a local relief agency.
Through a student-developed and student-led campaign, O.C. Taylor ES students raised $268.09 to donate to GRACE. Students designed and created wrist-bands that they then sold to their peers and school staff members, donating proceeds to the agency to help families in need.
GCISD Nutrition Services staff worked together to collect items to donate to GRACE. This collection drive was held at their administrative offices, as well as on campuses. Staff members then came together with their donated items at GRACE for their joint drop-off event.
Photo (left): O.C. Taylor ES students and their principal announcing their final total during their live morning announcements. Funds will be donated to GRACE, a local relief agency, to help families in need.
Photo (right): GCISD Nutrition Services staff members deliver donated items to GRACE.
Staff Spotlight - Tanya Kellerman
Superintendent named Big Brother of the Year for Tarrant County
GCISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robin Ryan was named Big Brother of the Year by the Tarrant County Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) program. In accepting the award, Dr. Ryan implored others to become BBBS mentors.
“If you want to do something that really touches your heart as you move forward and watch somebody grow, then be a Big Brother, be a Big Sister, and make a difference in someone else’s life,” said Dr. Ryan.
Melanie Hanna, BBBS Market President for Greater Tarrant County, identifies their mission as simple—to take volunteers and “put them together with amazing students for a one-on-one mentoring experience that changes lives.”
“This creates a better community within our own neighborhood,” Hanna said.
Photo: Dr. Robin Ryan (second from left) with representatives from the Greater Tarrant BBBS program after presenting the Big Brother of the Year award at the April Board of Trustees meeting.
Heritage ES students get ‘Wild About Science’
Heritage Elementary School students took part in Wild About Science Day. This educational, fun-filled day encouraged students to think critically about science while participating in engaging hands-on science activities. Heritage ES teachers and staff brought together lessons about Earth Day in the planned activities. Instructional coaches from the district also joined in the campus activities to support students’ learning.
“Wild about Science Day provides the opportunity for students to engage in fun and educational activities to enhance their understanding of science concepts, such as force and motion, matter, and the solar system,” said Stacey Voigt, Heritage ES principal. “Held in conjunction with Earth Day, this day also develops a passion for science in our students not just today but every day!”
Wild About Science Day was just one way the students celebrated Earth Day. All Heritage ES students and staff were encouraged to walk, ride bikes, or carpool to school, bring waste-free lunches, and wear green to celebrate Earth Day. They also took part in Soles4Souls where students and staff donated 866 pairs of shoes to help those in need. Check out more pictures from Wild About Science day on the Heritage ES Facebook page!
Colleyville Heritage Soccer Program Announces New Head Coach
Warren Cottle, current boys head soccer coach at Midland High School, has been named the head coach for the boys soccer program at Colleyville Heritage High School.
Coach Cottle has served at Midland High School as the boys head soccer coach since 2006 with a record of 118-71-41, seven playoff appearances and three district championships. He was also named the Texas Association of Soccer Coaches Organization Region I Senior Showcase Coach in 2008 and was District Coach of the Year in 2010, 2015 and 2016. In addition to coaching at Midland High School, Coach Cottle was the head coach for the West Texas Shockers, a semi-professional soccer team and was responsible for coaching Texas athletes in the Olympic development program.
During the course of his professional career, Coach Cottle has served as the vice president, president and past president of the Texas Association of Soccer Coaches Organization - a group dedicated to representing the growth and development of high school soccer and coaches for the State of Texas.
To read more, click here.
GHS BPA students headed to nationals
GCISD students took part in the Business Professionals of America State Leadership Conference where four students from Grapevine High School earned top marks and are headed to the national competition. About 3,900 students from 17 regions across the state took part in this competition.
Students Advancing to Nationals:
- Rebekah Bryan, a junior, earned 1st Place in Fundamental Desktop Publishing
- Grant Kluber, a junior, earned 2nd Place in SQL Database Fundamentals
- Hayden Juroska, a sophomore, earned 2nd Place in Medical Office Procedures
- Alisha Prasla, a junior, earned 3rd Place in Intermediate Word Processing
According to Rosemary Hemsell, Business/CTE Teacher, "the benefits of this achievement are in the improved skills development, knowledge and training through practicing their event, as well as leadership training that is offered through the organization at the conferences."
The National Leadership Conference will be held in Orlando, Florida in May.
In Photo, from L to R: Rosemary Hemsell, GCISD Board Member Jorge Rodriquez, Alisha Prasla, Rebekah Bryan, Hayden Juroska, and Grant Kluber pose for a photo at the April 24, 2017 Board Meeting.
GCISD announces new Director of Fine Arts
David Zahrndt, former Colleyville Heritage High School director of bands, is returning to Grapevine-Colleyville ISD as the new Director of Fine Arts. Trustees approved the recommendation at the regular meeting on Monday, April 24.
“Due to my experience in GCISD as a teacher, I know first hand the district’s commitment to excellence in fine arts and the outstanding support the arts receive in this community,” Zahrndt said. “I am excited about returning to GCISD as the Director of Fine Arts and I am eager to get started on the important work of supporting our fine arts students and staff.”
Zahrndt left Colleyville Heritage High School in 2013 when he was named the Director of Fine Arts in Red Oak ISD. Prior to teaching at CHHS, Zahrndt served as the associate director and then director of bands at R.L. Turner High School in Carrollton-Farmers Branch from 2002-2010. He began his career in 1999 in DeSoto ISD as the assistant director of bands for one year before taking the same position at Red Oak High School in 2000.
To read more, click here.
GCISD dance teams excel in national competition
Dance teams from both Grapevine High School and Colleyville Heritage High School competed in the MA National Dance competition, bringing home several team and individual awards.
- National Champion Winners Circle (9th Place Overall) (GHS)
- National Champion XL Military (GHS)
- National Champion XL Pom (GHS)
- National Champion XL Novelty (GHS)
- National 2nd Place XL Lyrical (GHS)
- High Point Award - Lyrical and Jazz (CHHS)
- 1st Runner Up - Contemporary (CHHS)
- 2nd Runner Up - PomWinner's Circle (CHHS)
- National 2nd Place XL Lyrical (GHS)
- National 2nd Place XL Prop (GHS)
- National 3rd Place XL Jazz (GHS)
- High Point Award - Lyrical and Jazz (CHHS)
- 1st Runner Up - Contemporary (CHHS)
- Winner's Circle (CHHS)
- Jenna Hutson - Championship Winner, Senior (15-16) (CHHS)
- Virginia Horn, Jessica McCardel - Winner Senior Duet (CHHS)
- Sarah Carvajal, Sarah Willis - 4th Runner Up Senior Duet (CHHS)
- Amy Kim, Megan Petras, Sara Stiles - 2nd Runner Up Senior Trio (CHHS)
Congratulations to the Panteras and Fillies on a successful competition!
GCISD recognized for excellence in financial reporting
Grapevine-Colleyville ISD has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) International. GCISD received this honor for having met or exceeded the program’s high standards for financial reporting and accountability for the fiscal year ending 2016. Earning this award showcases the district’s continued commitment to fiscal integrity.
Furthermore, GCISD was also awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association. This is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting.
“The district strives to provide our community with financial accountability and transparency,” said Chief Financial Officer DaiAnn Mooney. “We achieve this by meeting high standards of financial reporting as demonstrated through this award.”
According to the ASBO website, GCISD is one of 141 school districts in the United States to participate in the Certificate of Excellence program for twenty-five years or more.
GCISD Automotive students earn top marks at state competition
Students from the Advanced Automotive program at Grapevine High School took part in the Skills USA Test. The student entries for the automobile refinishing job skills contest included car fenders they had painted.
Dylan Schwab, a junior, placed first, bringing home a blue ribbon award. Jon Tanner and Greg Dover, both seniors, each placed second, bringing home red ribbon awards.
2016 Honor Roll
Seven GCISD campuses have been named to the 2016 Texas Honor Roll presented by Educational Results Partnership and the Institute for Productivity in Education: Glenhope Elementary, Heritage Elementary, O.C. Taylor Elementary, Colleyville Middle School, Cross Timbers Middle School, Heritage Middle School and iUniversity Prep.
“We are so proud to have seven campuses recognized by education and business leaders in Texas as Honor Roll campuses,” said GCISD Superintendent Dr. Robin Ryan. “In GCISD our mission is to be the BEST, which we define as Building Excellent Schools Together. This includes tireless dedication from our staff, involvement from our parents, community and of course local businesses. Through working together, we are able to provide a world-class education for the students in Grapevine-Colleyville ISD.”
The Honor Roll is part of a national effort to identify higher-performing schools and highlight successful practices that improve outcomes for students. School districts receiving this distinction have demonstrated consistent high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement levels over time and reduction in achievement gaps among student populations. For school districts with high schools, the Honor Roll recognition also includes measures of college readiness. This year, 727 schools were recognized in the State of Texas.
To read more, click here.
Trustees Approve Fiber Optic Cable Partnership with City of Colleyville
Grapevine-Colleyville ISD and the City of Colleyville are strengthening their longstanding partnership by investing in a fiber optic cable system that will benefit all city residents and the entire district.
GCISD Lead Network Engineer Ron Stockenberg, said the new system will not only provide the potential for greater network reliability and faster connectivity for district technology, it will also be a significant cost savings for the district.
“By partnering with the City, the district is able to save more than 50% on installation of the new fiber optic cables,” Stockenberg said. “Additionally, we will no longer be reliant on a third-party provider for monthly service and maintenance.”
After more than a year of planning, the agreement with the City of Colleyville was approved during the GCISD Board of Trustees regular meeting. GCISD Trustees already approved a partnership with the City of Grapevine for fiber optic cabling in May 2015.
This five-year project will install and connect new fiber optic cables to GCISD buildings and will increase overall bandwidth from 1GB to a minimum of 10 GB. As part of the agreement, the City of Grapevine will serve as the contractor.
Once the project has been completed, the district will have four strategically placed core sites across the district that will ensure stability, provide redundancy and reduce the possibilities of a network outage.
Installation will begin as soon as the City of Colleyville and the City of Grapevine approve their Interlocal Agreement.
Skyward Registration for 2017-2018 School Year
New students to GCISD for the 2017-2018 school year may begin registering with Skyward on April 24, while returning students will complete registration beginning Tuesday, July 18.
Once new and returning families login to Skyward, they will be asked to review or enter the following information.
- Family and/or Guardian
- Medical and Dental
- Emergency Contact
- Requested documents and additional forms
For families who are looking to register students for the current school year, they will continue to use Skyward and the link for the 2016-2017 school year. New families who will be registering for the first time in April are encouraged to review a brief list of frequently asked questions prior to their registration date.
GCISD students honored as Future Problem Solving State Bowl winners
Fifty-six GCISD students have earned the opportunity to attend the Annual Future Problem Solving State Bowl Competition in San Marcos April 7-9. Teams will be competing at this state level for the chance to represent Texas at the International Future Problem Solving Competition in La Crosse, Wisconsin June 7-11.
Two teams will compete in the Community Problem Solving Competition where students use problem solving skills to identify a community issue and implement a solution that addresses specific community needs. These two teams were division winners and one team earned the highest Grand Champion award, automatically qualifying them for the International competition.
Eight GCISD Global Issues Problem Solving teams have advanced to the State Bowl by placing in the top ten percent during their qualifying round. Four person teams will compete to research and find solutions to problems related to the state bowl topic, Identity Theft, for a chance to compete at the International level. “Magic students” compete in the same competition however they do not meet their teammates until the competition.
To see the complete list of student teams, continue reading here. Congratulations to our GCISD students who have advanced to the Annual Future Problem Solving State Bowl Competition and good luck!
GCISD Transportation claims 1st place in annual Bus Road-eo
GCISD Transportation placed first in the Region 11 Bus Road-e-o competition in both the special needs and conventional bus categories. Cliff Kosec and Vonda Hopkins were the special needs team, while Lynora Lewis, a 20-year veteran driver, won conventional. Participants competed against area Region 11 drivers in both a written and driving skills test. Both tests measure the driver's ability to safely maneuver a school bus. First-year contestant Netty Arnold also took part in the region competition.
"Placing first in both categories is a significant achievement which displays our drivers' dedication to safety and the students we transport," said Manny Rubio, GCISD director of transportation.
Kosec, Hopkins and Lewis will advance to the state competition this summer in Frisco.
Collegiate Academy hosts first Cultural Festival
From France to Egypt to India and more, all in one night, family heritage was celebrated through the Collegiate Academy's first Cultural Festival. The festival brought families together to showcase the many cultures of the school. The festival included food and display items representing the different cultures and countries.
"It was a fun night for our Collegiate Academy family, sharing all of our unique backgrounds," said Jessica Waters algebra teacher and Student Council sponsor.
Check out Facebook for more photos!
CHHS junior places 3rd at state film festival
Weston Wright, a Colleyville Heritage High School junior, took part in the UIL Young Filmmakers Festival in Austin where he placed third in the Digital Animation Category. This is the fourth year for the festival. Wright's winning film (shown below) is titled "Mending Broken Stars."
Shown at Right: Weston Wright (right) with teacher Ben Pluenneke at the UIL Young Filmmakers Festival outside the Paramount Theatre in Austin.
GCISD nutrition staff earn Best of Bunch Award
The child nutrition staff at Grapevine-Colleyville ISD have been honored with the Best of Bunch Award by Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller and the Texas Department of Agriculture for its achievement in the Commissioner’s 2016 Local Products Challenge.
GCISD was considered for this achievement after participating in Commissioner Miller’s 2016 Local Products Challenge where schools successfully incorporated local ingredients from Texas in at least three meal components (milk, protein, fruits, vegetables or grains).
“Our child nutrition team works tirelessly throughout the year to prepare healthy and appealing school meals, ensuring our students are ready to learn and achieve their academic goals,” said GCISD Nutrition Services Director Julie Telesca. ”The Best of the Bunch Award highlights our efforts to serve local products in the cafeteria and make our district a leader in nutrition for the Lone Star State.”
Winning districts also allowed students to learn more about agriculture and foods grown locally. More than 140 school districts participated in the 2016 Local Products Challenge and 77 earned the Best of Bunch Award.
Dove’s road to International Baccalaureate
Dove Elementary School has been chosen as a candidate school for the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. This program prepares students to become active, caring, lifelong learners who demonstrate respect for others and themselves. International Baccalaureate encourages students to see ideas from different perspectives and use critical thinking to develop knowledge and understanding across several subjects. The Primary Years Programme focuses on the child as an inquirer both inside and outside the classroom, allowing the students to become more confident in their communication skills.
To display what it means to be an IB school, Dove ES invited parents and GCISD staff to their campus for a program and tour. Students showcased different programs including the Dynamic Drummers, Cardio Club and Culture Club. Following the program, visitors toured the school while students presented what they have learned in the classroom.
“We are honored to be granted status as an IB Candidate School,” said Cindy Galloway, Dove ES principal. “Our teachers have already begun designing experiences that allow the students to explore learning while making an impact on the world around us.”
To see pictures from Dove’s International Baccalaureate Showcase, check out their Facebook page!
GCISD students earn top marks at state PTA Reflections ContestMargo Habas's entry "My Family"
Several GCISD students competed in the state round of the PTA Reflections Contest, which is a fine arts contest that lets students showcase their skills in several different art forms, such as film, literature, music composition, and more. This year’s theme was “What is Your Story?” GCISD had one student earn an Award of Excellence and four students earn an Award of Merit."Some people have fantastic stories to tell. Others have inspirational tales of their lives," said Gabriella Hsu, Heritage Middle School student and Award of Excellence recipient for her literature entry "Lost." "Our stories start with our first breath, and the ink life flows through our action."
GCISD to Offer AP Capstone Program Starting Fall 2017
Colleyville Heritage and Grapevine High Schools have been selected to participate in College Board’s AP Capstone Program beginning fall 2017. Approximately 1,000 schools worldwide implement AP Capstone - an innovative diploma program that allows students to develop skills that matter most for college success: research, collaboration and communication.
“Integrating AP Capstone into GCISD AP programming provides students with opportunities to explore passion areas, connect with experts in the field, and learn about authentic application of content area interests while engaging in processes and skills integral to 21st century success,” said Becky Manning GCISD Director of Advanced Academics.
GCISD students find success at DECA state contestStudents from both Grapevine High School and Colleyville Heritage High School competed in the state DECA competition, with two Grapevine HS students advancing to the national contest in April.The state competition was held in San Antonio, bringing together about 4,300 students representing 11 districts from across the state. GCISD sent 17 students to the competition—13 from Grapevine HS and four from Colleyville Heritage HS.
Where Are They Now? - Forrest Huddleston"GCISD taught me how to work hard for the things I want, but it also taught me how to be humble about the things I have."Forrest Huddleston, a 2010 Colleyville Heritage High School graduate and current business advisor at Ernst and Young, shared some of his high school memories and advice with GCISD's Where Are They Now.
Forrest Huddleston, CHHS Class of 2010 Huddleston and CHHS classmate
GCISD Accepts Rachel’s Challenge to Rally Against Bullying
Students, staff and families from across the district are invited to join together Saturday, April 29 for GCISD’s 2017 Rachel’s Challenge Rally, Run and Community Expo at Colleyville Heritage High School. The schedule of events can be found below:
- 7 - 7:45 a.m. - Walk-up registration
- 8 a.m. - 5K begins
- 9 - 11 a.m. - Community Expo
The Rachel’s Challenge 5K run is open to all registered runners and walkers. The registration fee is $20 for community members and parents, but GCISD students and employees, who do not wish to receive a t-shirt, do not have to pay. If students and staff wish to receive a shirt, the $20 registration is required. In an effort to promote campus involvement, the school with the most representatives will receive a trophy to honor their participation.
The Community Expo will take place after the 5K from 9-11 a.m. and will celebrate kindness, healthy choices and diversity. Activities will include community vendors, healthy demonstrations, student performances, door prizes, and much more.
Campuses will also participate in on-campus events including a service project and a school supplies drive for the back-to-school fair. Donations will be accepted now through the day of the rally.
If you have any questions, or need more information, please speak with your student’s school counselor.
GCISD names Chief Technology Officer
Trustees have approved Kyle Berger to serve as GCISD’s Chief Technology Officer. Berger currently holds the same position in Duncanville Independent School District.
“I look forward to joining the team and the great work already underway in GCISD,” Berger said. “Technology plays a key role in GCISD and empowering our teachers, students and community with technology so that together we can continue to grow our districts great legacy is one of my top priorities.”
With more than 17 years of experience, Berger began his career in Keller Independent School District in 2000 as a project manager where he was responsible for supporting more than 27,000 end users. In 2003 he was named the Executive Director of Technology Services for Alvarado Independent School District. During this time he oversaw district-wide technology use while also developing long-range technology plans. Berger was named the Executive Director of Technology in Cedar Hill ISD in 2012 where he served for two years prior to being named the Chief Technology Officer in Duncanville ISD in 2014.
During his time with Duncanville, Berger was responsible for overseeing technology aspects of the 2014 bond program. As of February 2017, this amounted to $80 million in projects completed under Berger’s supervision.
“As part of LEAD 2021, the district has been very intentional about how we have integrated technology into our classrooms,” said GCISD Superintendent Dr. Robin Ryan. “With the passage of the 2016 bond, we need a proven leader to continue the seamless rollout of technology in our district and I am confident that Mr. Berger has the skills and expertise to continue this implementation.”
Berger has a bachelors of science in information systems from University of Texas at Arlington. His will begin with the district on Tuesday, March 21.
Familiar Face Named Grapevine High School Varsity Football Coach
At a March 9 special Board of Trustees meeting, Grapevine High School interim varsity football coach Mike Alexander was named the boys’ athletic coordinator and head varsity football coach.
“Over the past two seasons, I have had the opportunity to coach many incredible student athletes at Grapevine High School,” Alexander said. “It is an honor to be able to continue serving these students, their parents and the wonderful GHS community as the head football coach and athletic coordinator. I am excited to continue building strong relationships and adding to the winning tradition at Grapevine High School.”
Summer Enrichment brochure art contest winners announced
Bransford Elementary School fifth-grader Kendall Brown, Cross Timbers Middle School seventh-grader Veronica Girgis, and Colleyville Elementary School fourth-grader Keeley Hogan created artwork that was selected to be featured in the 2017 Summer Enrichment brochure.
The announcement came as a surprise to the students as school and district staff visited the students at school to share the good news. Check out our Facebook page for photos of the surprise announcement!
Left - Back Cover (Veronica Girgis), Center - Brochure Cover (Kendall Brown), Right - Inside Cover (Keeley Hogan)
GCISD students define success, more than just a letter grade
At GCISD, students learn to develop a variety of skills that will take them far beyond our classrooms. From true collaboration to effective communication and more, we challenge our students to take ownership of their learning. All students in our district receive the encouragement and guidance necessary to refine these skills as part of our Portrait of a Graduate. GCISD students also have a wide array of opportunities to direct their learning and find ways to strengthen, excel and engage themselves each day. Check out what our middle school ASPIRE Academy students have to say about their GCISD education experience:
CTMS students explore future careers
Students at Cross Timbers Middle School participated in Career Day where they explored a wide variety of career options. Guest speakers visited with the students and spoke about their professions and what it took for them to get them where they are now. Careers highlighted included a radio talk show host, an orthodontist, a college women’s basketball coach, firefighters and more.
“As they plan for future course work, a career day provides a great opportunity for our students to relate their studies to real life experiences,” said Kate Burkhart, CTMS PALS teacher. “There isn't a better way to pave the road to the future, than to plan an event where students can get first-hand experience from community members who will share their work and educational experiences.”
To see more pictures from the Career Day, check out the CTMS Facebook!
CHHS students advance to state science fair
Students from Colleyville Heritage High School took part in the Fort Worth Regional Science Fair, with six students advancing to the state science fair on March 31. The Fort Worth Regional Science Fair is in its 67th year, was held at UT Arlington, and had more than 400 students participate between the middle and high school divisions. CHHS had 29 students participate for its first year of competition.
Students advancing to state include Chloe Ayers (1st Place in Physics and Astronomy), Ria Upreti (1st Place in Engineering Mathematics), Maahir Babwani (2nd Place in Energy-Chemical), Alex Moore (2nd Place in Mathematics), Jenny Covington (2nd Place in Microbiology), and Margaret Cheng (3rd Place in Environmental Science). Ayers also received a the Best in Fair Honorable Mention award.
“The students in the research and design course were so excited to be given the opportunity to perform original independent research on a topic of their choosing and competing in a regional science fair,” said Sonya Loughran, CHHS AP chemistry and research and design teacher. “Being given a chance to perform research in high school gives them an advantage over their peers in college and furthers the enthusiasm for those wishing to pursue careers in various fields of science.”
Grapevine HS wrestler brings home 3rd state title
GHS Senior Brian Andrews named 2017 State Wrestling Champion for third consecutive yearThe Grapevine HS wrestlers earned their spots to compete at the state tournament after claiming the District Championship title and then placing fourth in the regional tournament. For Andrews, this is third consecutive state championship title, and he is also a four-time National All-American.
GCISD high school juniors accompanied WWII veterans to a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, LA. Check out their adventures on our Facebook page!
This event was made possible through the Gary Sinise Foundation and American Airlines.
GHS German students earn top awards at state contest
Grapevine High School students enrolled in German 2 and 3 classes took part in the 35th Annual State German Contest, bringing home top honors in their events.
- Andye Tosh (German 3) - Placed fourth in Listening Comprehension and eighth in the spelling contest.
- Gerald Brazell (German 2) - Placed third in Sight Reading
- Neve Enloe (German 2) - Placed third in Poetry Memorization (Der Erlkönig)
- Melissa Gofredo (German 3) - Placed fifth in Extemporaneous Speaking (Heritage speaker)
"I am so proud of these students, who took time out of their schedules to compete in academic events on a weekend,” said Kristen Oviatt, Grapevine HS German Teacher. “They worked hard, made sacrifices, and it all paid off.”
The contest was held at Texas State University in San Marcos. A total of 1,020 students and 64 schools were registered to compete.
18 students named 2017 National Merit Finalists
Eighteen GCISD seniors have been named 2017 National Merit Scholarship Finalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Selection is based on the students' scores on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). GCISD's National Merit Finalists are part of an elite a group of students representing fewer than one percent of U.S. high school seniors who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies.
Colleyville Heritage High School Grapevine High School FINALISTSAli AshaiChloe AyersHarrison CamperlengoMatthew GaughanIsabel NackleyIshan NavendraAustin NguyenMichael NieSeyun ParkGarret WezniakJustin YanMatthew BitnerLauren EdwardsShannon GoadAndrew LastingerCarson TaylorAnastasia WaltonCassandra Wouters
GCISD STEM campuses celebrate engineering
Students at GCISD STEM campuses celebrated National Engineering Week with hands-on activities throughout the week. Grapevine Middle School students visited the UTA and SMU engineering colleges. They also heard from several guest speakers, including visiting engineers from Lockheed. Cannon Elementary: A GCISD STEM School also took part in a variety of activities, including a field trip to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Google Expeditions and a visit from the Perot Museum Tech Truck (check out pictures here).
“As an elementary STEM campus, we are constantly looking for ways to help our students make real-world connections. Engineers Week provides the perfect opportunity for us to raise awareness about how engineers make such an important difference in our world,” said Cannon ES Principal Tona Blizzard. “By providing our students opportunities to engage in hands-on engineering activities, meet and learn from local engineers in our classrooms, and be actively involved in designing prototypes that address engineering challenges, we are providing our students with experiences and skills they will need to be prepared for future STEM careers.”
Trustees approve 2017-2018 GCISD Student and Staff Instructional Calendars
More than 3,000 GCISD parents, staff, students and community members helped shape the 2017-2018 student calendar, approved this evening by the Board of Trustees.
Traditionally, the district has presented the student teacher calendar to Trustees in December; however, since the district was completing the necessary steps to become a District of Innovation, it delayed the approval of the calendar.
“By becoming a District of Innovation, we are able to have more local control of the calendar to make sure we include the elements that are important to our community,” said GCISD Deputy Superintendent Dr. Rick Westfall. “We anticipate that our families may notice that other school calendars have become more varied than they have been in the past and that is directly correlated to the individual community feedback received throughout the calendar development process.”
When developing an instructional calendar, district leaders begin with the parameters of the communities preference of having two weeks for winter break and one week at Thanksgiving, and with the aim of providing more balanced instructional days between the two semesters.
Additionally, this year the district solicited feedback from staff regarding their thoughts on returning to work earlier in August for additional days of professional development, which would allow staff to enjoy two three-day weekends during the school year.
A few highlights from the 2017-2018 student instructional calendar:
- Students will begin classes on Monday, August 21.
- Students will have a four-day weekend in October for Columbus Day weekend; staff will have a three-day weekend.
- Students will have two additional days for winter break; staff will have one additional day.
- Staff and students will have a three-day weekend in March.
- Students and staff will have a three-day weekend in April (dependent on not using an inclement weather day).
- Memorial Day will be a four-day weekend (dependent on not using an inclement weather day).
- Students are finished on May 31 with graduation following that afternoon and evening.
To view the 2017-2018 student instructional calendar, click here.
To view the 2017-2018 staff instructional calendar, click here.
*It is important to note that while the calendars are approved, it is conditional on being approved for a state waiver for professional development days and early release days.
Trustees Approve District of Innovation Plan
On Monday, February 27, the GCISD Board of Trustees approved the District of Innovation plan beginning in the 2017-2018 school year and concluding after the 2021-2022 school year. Passed as part of the 84th Texas Legislative Session, the designation as a District of Innovation gives school districts flexibility that is not currently available in public education.
“By becoming a District of Innovation, we are now able to further the vision and work of our strategic plan, LEAD 2021,” GCISD Deputy Superintendent Dr. Rick Westfall said. “I want to thank all of the committee members for their thoughtful work as we determined what exemptions and opportunities for further innovation were important to the students, staff, parents and community of GCISD.”
In April, Trustees approved the District of Innovation Resolution, which allowed the district to move forward in developing an innovation plan, as set forth in the Texas Education Code. Over the next several weeks, GCISD solicited participation for the District of Innovation committee, which was comprised by District Excellence Committee members as well as at-large representatives. In May, Trustees approved the Local Innovation Committee members, as well as granted the district approval to move forward in pursuing the designation. The committee met for three months during the fall semester where they developed an innovation plan to present before the Board after a mandatory 30-day public review.
To see the three exemption areas focused on in the District of Innovation plan, click here.
Where Are They Now? - Katie Copeland
"GCISD set a standard of excellence that still I expect of myself years after graduation. I knew I was capable of doing great things and that I had a responsibility to give my best to improve our community and our world." Meet Katie Copeland, a 2003 Colleyville Heritage High School graduate, lawyer, wife and mother of two. Where Are They Now recently got the chance to interview Katie, to learn more about her life after GCISD.
Check out her full story here!
GCISD shows success at State Swim and Dive MeetSwimmers and divers from Colleyville Heritage High School and Grapevine High School competed in the UIL Swimming and Diving State Meet this past weekend. Together the schools sent 13 swimmers and divers to compete in 11 different events. Grapevine HS boys finished second overall and several students placed in their team and individual events as well:
Congratulations to our GCISD swimmers and divers!
- Boys 200 Medley Relay - 4th place - David Hallaron, Nick Tsigas, Parker Schultz, Christian Hambrock (GHS)
- 200 Free - 12th place - Daniel Rutledge (GHS)
- 200 IM - 4th place - David Hallaron (GHS) *new school record
- 50 Free - 7th place - Parker Schultz (GHS)
- 50 Free - 15th place - Christian Hambrock (GHS)
- Girls 1 Meter Diving - 7th place - Erin Palmer (GHS)
- Boys 1 Meter Diving - 13th place - Kevin Doody (CHHS)
- 100 Butterfly - 2nd place - Parker Schultz (GHS)
- 100 Butterfly - 9th place - Ryan McManus (CHHS) *new school record
- 500 Free - 7th place - Daniel Rutledge (GHS)
- Boys 200 Free Relay - 13th place - Daniel Rutledge, Lyon Lee, Eric He, Christian Hambrock (GHS)
- Boys 200 Free Relay - 23rd place - John Eric Rios, Ben Adams, Justin Yan, Ryan McManus (CHHS)
- 100 Backstroke - 2nd place - David Hallaron (GHS) *new school record, All-American consideration time
- Boys 400 Free Relay - 1st place - Daniel Rutledge, Parker Schultz, Christian Hambrock, David Hallaron (GHS) *new school record, All-American consideration time
Dove ES students explore new cultures through World Friendship Day
Dove Elementary School celebrated its sixth annual World Friendship Day with 13 countries and the state of Alaska being represented. While most countries were being represented by an adult, student ambassadors put their communication skills to work by delivering presentations to their peers. Effective communication and global citizenship are two skills all students in GCISD develop through the district’s Portrait of a Graduate.
“Our students at Dove Elementary strive to become global citizens through their daily instruction as well as through clubs and events,” said Joyce Mery, Multicultural Language and Art Expressions teacher. “World Friendship Day gives my students the opportunity to explore other cultures and learn about traditions that their school friends embrace at home. I believe knowledge promotes tolerance and empathy, and being a global citizen begins here, in the heart of our schools and community.”
GCISD students participate and advance in VASE competition
GCISD had 110 students participate in this year’s Visual Art Scholastic Event, or VASE, regional competition. Colleyville Heritage High School received the highest ranking for 41 out of their 64 pieces of artwork entered in the competition, with Alexandra Popke advancing to the State VASE competition. Grapevine High School had 46 out of their 66 entries receive the highest rating and are advancing three students - Cade Shuck, Emily Dempsey, and Camille Krumweide - to the State VASE competition.
“VASE is an excellent experience for all students, not just for those who wish to continue in the art field after high school,” said Sarah Roye, Colleyville Heritage HS art teacher.
VASE is sponsored by art educators and the Texas Art Education Association with a mission to recognize student achievement in the Visual Arts by giving them a standard of excellence to achieve. Popke, Shuck, Dempsey and Krumweide will compete in the state competition April 28 - 29 in San Antonio.
CHHS junior honored by Colleyville Area Chamber
Colleyville Heritage High School Junior Joseph Campbell was named 2016 Colleyville Area Chamber Youth of the Year. This award is presented to a student in GCISD or a Colleyville resident who demonstrates commitment to volunteerism through action and achievement.
At CHHS, Campbell is involved in the German National Honor Society, German Club, and the Robotics Club. He has also shown great dedication to community service, from his efforts with the Boy Scouts of America program, Keep Grapevine Beautiful, Runway Theater, Habitat for Humanity, and more. In fact, his volunteer hours exceeded 160 in 2016. Looking ahead, Campbell hopes to earn an appointment with the U.S. Naval Academy following graduation and serve as a pilot in the Marine Corps.
Above Left – Campbell speaking at awards luncheon
Above Right – Campbell with GCISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robin Ryan (far left) and Grapevine Colleyville Education Foundation Executive Director Janice Kane (center).
CHHS senior named candidate in Presidential Scholar program
Colleyville Heritage High School Senior Chloe Ayers was named a candidate in the 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. Ayers is one of 4,000 candidates from across the entire U.S. and was selected from nearly 3.5 million students.
Ayers plans on attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she will major in bio-medical engineering.
Scholars are selected based on superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.
Timberline ES leads campus tour for national Leader In Me group
Timberline Elementary School hosted visitors from the Leader In Me National Symposium. Through a student-led tour, visitors were shown how Timberline ES incorporates the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey as a Leader In Me School.The students leading the tours explained the school-wide goals and data boards that are used by teachers and students to track progress, reflect on learning, and determine action steps.“As part of the student-led tour, visitors were welcomed into many classrooms where they were greeted by students eager to share their leadership notebooks containing their personalized goals,” said Dr. June Ritchlin, Timberline ES principal. “Students demonstrated they own their learning as they are responsible for updating and tracking their progress toward meeting their goals.”
Several GCISD students participate in National Signing Day
National Signing Day is a special occasion for all athletes moving on to the next level of competition, and GCISD is happy to announce that several students in the district signed their National Letters of Intent on Wednesday, February 1, 2017. These students will be taking their athletic skills to the collegiate level next year.
Colleyville Heritage High School (Photo!)
- Cam Roane, Football, San Diego State
Grapevine High School (Photos!)
- Heather Haggard, Softball Paris Junior College
- Emery Hailey, Soccer, University of Central Oklahoma
- Haylee Hulse, Soccer, University of Central Arkansas
- Cale Dow, Lacrosse, Rhodes College for lacrosse
- Blake Stiles, Football, Hendrix College
- Zack Rice, Football, Hendrix College
- Brennan Davis, Football, Blinn College
CHHS and GHS students shine at regional competition
Students from both Colleyville Heritage High School and Grapevine High School took part in the Business Professionals of America (BPA) regional competition. As a result, 8 students from CHHS and 11 from GHS will advance to the state competition in March.
BPA students from CHHS (left) and GHS (right) at the regional competition.
Students Celebrate 100 Days of School
Elementary schools across the district celebrated the 100th day of school on Thursday, February 2.
At Bear Creek Elementary School, students dressed up in their interpretation of 100-year-olds and took part in various 100-day-themed activities. See the photos!
Bransford kindergartners put their math skills to the test through organized counting (10 sets of 10) and then creating something with their 100 pieces. Check out their celebrations on Facebook!
Heritage Elementary School kindergartners spent the day taking part in 100th day stations where they completed math games, puzzles, building structures and more. Check our their photos on Facebook!
This is just a sampling of how our campuses celebrated the day. Check out our campus Facebook pages to see more 100th day celebrations in GCISD!
GCISD announces change to transfer process
On Monday, January 23, Trustees approved changes to local board policies that impact the GCISD student transfer process for residents and nonresidents. In previous years, families interested in applying for a transfer were admitted based on the order in which the application was received and if they met specific board criteria for the transfer.
Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, families that reside within GCISD boundaries or live in the cities of Colleyville and Grapevine but are zoned for another school district, may apply for the transfer lottery.
“By moving to a lottery system, we are making the process more equitable for families that wish to have their student transfer to another campus,” said Deputy Superintendent Dr. Rick Westfall. “Our goal with this adjustment to the transfer process is to create a system that simplifies the process for our families and removes the ambiguity from the transfer process.”
From March 20 - April 21, families may submit their transfer application for the lottery. While the district will accept all transfer applications, students will only be granted transfers to campuses and grade-levels that can accept more students without going over capacity. Decisions about capacity will be made later in the semester and throughout summer depending on student registration and enrollment projections. In order to apply for the lottery, the student requesting the transfer must meet the following criteria:
- 90% rule regarding attendance
- Behavior deemed to be in good standing
- Grades in good standing
- Transfer request not for athletic purposes
During the week of April 24, GCISD will livestream the lottery on the district website. There will be a delay in an official notification, but families can check their lottery number to see if it was pulled for a more efficient notification. Once a specific date and time for the lottery has been determined, that information will be shared on the district website and in the district’s e-newsletter, The LEADer. It is important to note this lottery is separate from the special programs lottery for one of the district’s special programs located at a designated campus.
Another benefit to the newly revised policies is that nonresident transfers no longer have to reapply every school year. Instead, both residents and nonresidents will only need to reapply when they are changing a level (i.e. from elementary to middle school or middle school to high school).
For more information about the GCISD transfer lottery, please visit the district website.
GCISD campuses earn EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification
Through the district’s energy reduction efforts and partnership with Cenergistic, all GCISD traditional campuses have earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) ENERGY STAR certification. Cenergistic Regional President Gary Clark presented the district with a plaque during the Monday, January 23, 2017 board meeting.
“We strive to be ever-mindful of how we manage all resources in the district,” said Dr. Robin Ryan, GCISD superintendent of schools. “Through the true team effort among all staff members of the district to help us reduce energy consumption, we aim to continue making good habits and supporting our community and environment.”
GCISD students honored as Texas All-State musicians
Nine students will represent GCISD as Texas All-State musicians on February 11 in San Antonio. The Texas All-State music program is the premier student music ensemble organization in the United States. About 1,780 students are chosen out of nearly 68,000 by competing in an audition process each year for a place in one of the 15 All-State ensembles (band, choir, and orchestra).
Colleyville Heritage High School will be represented by five choir members and two band members, and Grapevine High School will be represented by two band members. These members include:
- Aashish Mavani, band
- Grace Lee, band
- Abigail Jefferies, choir
- Hannah Fox, choir
- Jada Duff, choir
- Kolton Krueger, choir
- Levi Lebsack, choir
- Christopher Chwa, band
- Dawson Grimes, band
In photos, top left - CHHS Choir; top right - CHHS Band; and bottom - GHS Band.
GHS and CHHS moving to modified block schedule
At the January 23 Board of Trustees meeting, GCISD Trustees approved adjusting the high school bell schedule from a traditional block schedule to a modified block.
In 2014-2015, Trustees reinstated the alternating block schedule, which increased the number of courses a student could take from seven to eight; however, there were still students who were only able to enroll in seven courses because one was double blocked.
“Our campus administrators are always looking for ways to improve the educational experience for all students,” said Conrad Streeter, Executive Director of Instructional Leadership. “This new modified block schedule will allow our students to enroll in one additional course, while also helping campus administrators reduce class size and have flexibility when developing the master schedule.”
Administrators for both high schools spent the past several months examining the current bell schedule to determine what improvements could be made. After a proposal was developed, administrators met with parent groups, staff members and student representatives from both campuses. Additionally each campus hosted a feedback session in January to hear directly from parents and students. Once gathering feedback, the item was presented to the Board for the next step in the approval process.
To read more and to see the new schedule for 2017-2018, click here.
Around the World at Bear Creek ES celebrates diversity
Around the World at Bear Creek Elementary School celebrated its ninth year on Thursday, January 19. This annual event allows students to learn about several cultures from families and students at Bear Creek ES. This year, 18 countries were represented with booths and speakers that highlighted native languages, music, clothing, photos and artifacts.
"Around the World at Bear Creek is an experience that celebrates the diversity in our school and allows students to see a glimpse of the world right in their own neighborhood,” said Jodi Lucas, physical education and health teacher at Bear Creek ES. “It is one way that we can help students learn that we all have similarities and differences and can all live and work together in peace."
To see more pictures from the event, check out the Bear Creek ES Facebook page!
GCISD continues healthy eating campaign with Superfoodie Thursdays
Superfoodie Thursdays continue throughout GCISD with January’s food, the carrot. Nutrition services team members like GCISD Dietician Laura Brookover-Ybarra aim to educate GCISD families and staff members about the superfoods and their health benefits.
“Through Superfoodie Thursdays, we hope to increase the fruit and vegetable consumption among our students while here with us and at home with family,” said Brookover-Ybarra.
Superfoods for the remainder of the semester include avocados (February 16), eggs (March 23), quinoa (April 20) and blackberries (May 11). Check out GCISD’s Nutrition Services Facebook page for more information and pictures from each Superfoodie Thursday!
Special Programs Expo - February 13
From engineering challenges to advanced academics to language immersion and early childhood education, GCISD offers a world of opportunities for students. Families are invited to learn more about these opportunities at the Special Programs Expo on Monday, February 13 from 5:00-7:30 p.m. at Cross Timbers Middle School. The expo will feature stations showcasing our STEM programs, ASPIRE Academy, Dual Language, tuition-based pre-kindergarten, Collegiate Academy and AVID programs. In addition to program stations, presentations focusing on the instructional components and benefits of STEM, Dual Language, ASPIRE Academy and tuition-based pre-kindergarten, STEM, Dual Language, ASPIRE Academy and tuition-based pre-kindergarten will be delivered in the lecture hall, the AVID classroom (A3) and library.
Where Are They Now? - Tonja Greenfield
A 1999 graduate of Grapevine High School has played a significant role behind the scenes in the making of some of today’s most popular films. Tonja Greenfield serves as a camera assistant for several movies including "Jason Bourne", "Captain Phillips", "Pitch Perfect 2" and "22 Jump Street". Greenfield credits GCISD’s wide variety of extracurricular activities to the development of her passion of film today. GCISD’s Where Are They Now asked Greenfield about her memories of GCISD and its impact on her life after graduation.
GCISD students featured in DMA exhibit
Students at both Grapevine High School and Colleyville Heritage High School have had art projects selected to be featured in the annual Young Masters Exhibition, hosted by the Dallas Museum of Art, O’Donnell Foundation, and AP Strategies. The exhibit will run February 25 - April 16 at the Dallas Museum of Art.
Featured students include:
Tiffany Sims (Art History Finalist)
Lauren Edwards (Art History Finalist)
Isabel Liang (Studio Art Finalist)
(artpiece shown at right)
Brenna Tracy (Studio Art Finalist)
Out of 270 art essay entries, only five art history essay finalists were named. Out of 600 entries, only 39 studio art finalists were named.
January is School Board Recognition Month
January 2017 is School Board Recognition--a great time to focus on the crucial role our GCISD Trustees play in the community and in our schools. Learn more about this All-Star Team by visiting our Board of Trustees website, and take a moment to thank a trustee.
Meet your GCISD Trustees (Check out their videos!)
- Leon Leal, President, Place 6
- Jesse G. Rodríguez, Vice President, Place 5
- Lisa Pardo, Secretary, Place 4
- Mindy McClure, Place 1
- Becky St. John, Place 2
- Louie Sullins, Place 3
- Jorge Rodríguez, Place 7
Trustee McClure participates in state leadership programGCISD Board of Trustee Member Mindy McClure joined 34 other school board members from across Texas at the second session of the Leadership TASB Class of 2017. Selected by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), the group is participating in a yearlong education leadership study program. These trustees represent school districts of all sizes, with student populations of 1,000 to 159,000, and reflect a similar range of property wealth.Participants who complete all required elements of the study will graduate next year by earning Master Trustee status. This is the highest designation recognized by TASB.TASB is a voluntary, nonprofit association established in 1949 to serve local Texas school boards. School board members are the largest group of publicly elected officials in the state. The districts they represent serve more than 5.3 million public school students.
Soaring Valor: Episode Two
In March 2017, 40 GCISD eleventh-grade students will travel to New Orleans to visit The National WWII Museum with 40 World War II Veterans. While that opportunity was only available for eleventh-graders, GCISD wanted to provide a hands-on experience for as many students as possible.
The National WWII Museum has a traveling exhibit that will be making the rounds to all middle and high schools over the next several weeks - Operation Footlocker.
According to its website, “The National WWII Museum launched Operation Footlocker, providing schools across the country with unique hands-on opportunities to explore the history and lessons of WWII by exploring WWII artifacts.”
Each footlocker is equipped with 15 WWII artifacts ranging from wartime magazines, dog tags, sand from the beaches of Normandy and Iwo Jima and many more items. Unlike other museum exhibits, students are expected to pick up the items and examine them up close, not simply behind the glass. To ensure preservation of the artifacts, white gloves are included with each footlocker for handling artifacts.
The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world – why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today – so that future generations will know the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learn. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America’s National WWII Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifices of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and served on the Home Front. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-528-1944 or visit nationalww2museum.org.
GCISD schools awarded top counseling awards
Six GCISD campuses have been recognized with the Counselors Reinforcing Excellence for Students in Texas (CREST) award. Bear Creek Elementary, Cannon Elementary: A GCISD STEM School, Glenhope Elementary, Silver Lake Elementary, Colleyville Middle School and Heritage Middle School received the honor for their commitment to continuously improving their counseling program.
New this year is the Lonestar Award, which recognizes school counseling programs that are getting ready to apply for the National Counseling Award - called RAMP (Recognized ASCA Model Program). The highest level of recognition in the Lonestar Award is the Bronze Award, which was given to four GCISD campuses: Dove Elementary, Grapevine Elementary, Colleyville Heritage High School and Grapevine High School.
“In GCISD, our counselors aim to build relationships, foster positive differences and encourage students to strive for success,” said GCISD Director of Counseling Services Emberly Hill. “We are incredibly proud of what our counselors have achieved to provide the support and encouragement our students need in order to be successful in and out of the classroom.”
For more information on the CREST award, click here.
Geography Bees begin across the district
Elementary schools and middle schools across the district are participating in Geography Bees in the hopes of eventually qualifying for the state and national bees.
Bransford Elementary School hosted their bee on December 14 and had special guests to help judge the competition. Tine and Miha Valencic are brothers who graduated from Grapevine High School in 2016 as Valedictorian and Salutatorian (respectively) and are now continuing their education at Cal Tech. The brothers both consistently competed in GCISD’s Geography Bees, although Miha always joked about losing competitions because of his brother. Tine went on to win two Texas Geography Bee titles and a National Geography Bee title.
"Geography is more than the knowledge itself, it’s a window to the world,” Tine said. “Knowing about other cultures is really important, and it gives you an appreciation of the world.”
To see the photos of district Geography Bee winners, check out our Facebook page!
GCISD hosts FIRST LEGO League robotics competition
GCISD hosted the FIRST LEGO League Robotics Competition for the first time this December where 39 teams from across the metroplex competed at Grapevine Middle School. Nine GCISD teams took part: four from Grapevine Middle School, two from Cross Timbers Middle School, two from Colleyville Middle School, and one from Cannon Elementary School: A GCISD STEM School.
The tournament consisted of four different assignments for each team. These assignments included robot games, core values that test teamwork, robot design, and a project focusing on creating a solution to a problem that assists animals.
“It’s an excellent opportunity for students to develop critical thinking, creative thinking, problem solving, collaboration and communication skills,” said Tony Zahn, GCISD director of science and instructional technology.
Grapevine MS had two teams advance to the second chance qualifier and will compete to move forward in the competition in January.
High School ASL classes host party for students with hearing impairments
The combined Colleyville Heritage High School and Grapevine High School American Sign Language class hosted their annual holiday party for students with hearing impairments. High school students were given the opportunity to collaborate with these younger students and learn how they interact with one another and communicate. The special education students look forward to this event every year because it allows them to get together with other students who have the same disability.
"My greatest joy is to watch them learn how to accept and adapt to life with a hearing impairment,” said Robin Quinn, deaf education teacher at Grapevine HS. “There is nothing they cannot accomplish with the right supports. Their smiles brighten my day every time they overcome another hurdle. I am truly lucky to have these students and families in my life."
GCISD schools participate in Hour of Code
Teachers and students at all GCISD elementary and middle schools participated in Hour of Code as part of Computer Science Education week 2016. Four years ago, code.org launched Hour of Code, which provides teachers the resources to give students of all ages the opportunity to code for one hour during the week. The GCISD Instructional Technology team organized activities giving students the opportunity to learn computer science vocabulary and learn from professional programming.
"Coding is a fun, engaging way to introduce computer science and build a foundation of skills that can promote new passions and careers in the future for our students,” said Erin Gerdes, GCISD instructional coach.
Students at Silver Lake ES and other campuses have been exposed to coding for several years with the help of Hour of Code, which helps meet criteria from GCISD’s Portrait of a Graduate, including collaboration, communication, and problem-solving.
CHHS PALS lead middle school conference
The Colleyville Heritage HS Peer Assistance and Leadership Students (PALS), hosted the GCISD Middle School PALS 7 Habits Conference this year. PALS is a campus group of student leaders who involve themselves in a variety of activities including planning pep rallies, conducting new student orientations, building a strong relationship with their ‘PALEE’ at GCISD elementary schools, and more. Students apply to the class and are chosen through an interview process with their fellow peers, teachers, and principal.
Based off of the book The 7 Habits of HIghly Effective Teens by Sean Covey, the CHHS PALS spent nine weeks preparing for this 100 percent student-led conference by creating informative and entertaining presentations and activities.
"As an eighth grade PAL at CMS, I was eager to learn from the high school PALS and have used the lessons that I learned--and now have taught--at the conference throughout high school,” said Isabel Nackley, CHHS PAL and senior. "PALS has given me the opportunity to build upon my leadership skills and develop better as a student, person, and a citizen within the community."
2016 President’s Award Recognizes Cannon Elementary: A GCISD STEM School
The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History has selected Cannon Elementary: A GCISD STEM School as the recipient of its 2016 President’s Award.
“Cannon Elementary is a showcase school for others looking for a STEM model,” said Van A. Romans, Museum President. “The innovative thinking of school staff is evident in everything they do. Students are curious, engaged and take pride in what they do. As a Museum founded by educators, we feel an obligation to support and uphold great teachers and students everywhere. This year, we’re proud to present the President’s Award to the students, faculty, and staff of Cannon Elementary of Grapevine-Colleyville ISD.”
The President’s Award was established in 2011 by the Board of Trustees of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History to recognize a commitment to high achievement and creative learning in North Texas Schools.
GHS and CHHS AP Fine Arts programs earn top marks
The Advanced Placement (AP) Fine Arts programs at both Grapevine High School and Colleyville Heritage High School earned high rankings in the 2016 College Board qualifications. In fact, the AP art history program at Grapevine High School is ranked number one in the state and number five in the nation. Overall, the AP fine arts program at GHS is ranked fourth in state and CHHS is ranked 18th. This ranking comes from advanced placement data, which combine enrollment numbers and passing percentages to determine each ranking.
“The students work extremely hard and the success of the program is a direct reflection of their dedication,” said Jeffrey Nisbet, GHS AP art history teacher. “My goal is to continue to grow the art history program so more students have the ability to take this great subject.”
This year, 95 GHS students took the AP art history exam and 88 received a passing score which resulted in a 93 percent passing rate. Over the past three years the number of students taking the exam has tripled and the program continues to produce high passing rates.
“Mr. Nisbet has created an environment within his classrooms that students flock to,” said David Denning, GHS principal. “His passion about Art History is contagious and the students leave his class with the same passion. I can not be more proud of what he and his students have accomplished.”
Where Are They Now - Stephen Lambdin
“My goal ever since I was a little kid was to make the Olympic team,” said Stephen Lambdin, GCISD graduate and a member of the 2016 USA Olympic team. A 2006 alumnus of Colleyville Heritage High School, Lambdin competes around the world in Taekwondo representing the United States. He says the encouragement and opportunities he received at GCISD allowed him to pursue his passion early on and become the person he is today.
Left - 2016 Taekwondo Olympian, Stephen Lambdin
Right - Lambdin at a Taekwondo competition in high school
Sounds of the Season: GCISD students host holiday events
From band, to choir, to theatre, fine arts programs across the district will host a variety of holiday performances this month. Events kick off Friday, December 2 and continue through Friday, December 16.
For a list of events, check out our holiday performance schedule.
Award-winning authors visit GCISD elementary schools
Heritage Elementary School and Glenhope Elementary School welcomed renowned authors Susan Stevens Crummel and Aaron Reynolds to their libraries as guest speakers for their students. Each author shared their insight on writing their award-winning children’s books and gave students the opportunity to interact as they read their stories.
CTMS awarded AVID Schoolwide Site of Distinction
Cross Timbers Middle School has been named an Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) Schoolwide Site of Distinction. GCISD has seven schools with the AVID program and a total of 735 participating students.
The AVID Schoolwide Site of Distinction represents the highest level of AVID achievement in the promotion and practice of college readiness on a campus. With this distinction, CTMS has joined an elite group of candidate schools that represent less than 10 percent of all middle schools and high schools with the AVID program worldwide.
“AVID evens the playing field for students,” said Sherri Williams, AVID District Liaison. “We focus on equity and opening up access to rigor for all students. AVID changes the trajectory of students' lives.”
AVID's nationwide mission is to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society. In GCISD, AVID supports students in being successful at the most challenging courses for each individual student.
2016 Holiday Card Contest winners announced
Students from across the district took part in the annual GCISD Holiday Card Art Contest. As a result, Skyler Lepschy, Colleyville Heritage High School; Sarah Tu, Colleyville Middle School; and Audrey Kizer, Colleyville Elementary School were named winners in their grade levels. Students followed the City of Grapevine's parade theme of "Famous Winter Holiday Characters" as the focus for their artwork.
In addition to having their artwork used for the district's annual Holiday Card, Lepschy, Tu and Kizer will be recognized at the December 12 Board of Trustees Meeting.
Check out their artwork below:
Top Left - Skyler Lepschy, Colleyville Heritage High School
Top Right - Sarah Tu, Colleyville Middle School
Above - Audrey Kizer, Colleyville Elementary School
GCISD students celebrate family and friendship
Students across the district celebrated family and friendship through a variety of events. Glenhope Elementary School hosted its annual Heritage Day and World Friendship Day with events such as parent and grandparent class discussions and a kindergarten barn dance (check out the photos). Grapevine Elementary School hosted a combined Heritage Day event where students celebrated Veterans Day, Grandparents Day, and their own heritage with songs and interviews of their special guests (check out the photos).
Through its Family Engineering Night and Grandparents and Grandfriend Day, Cannon Elementary: A GCISD STEM School celebrated family and friendship. Family Engineering Night gave families an opportunity to engage in a hands-on sampling of several engineering activities that their students learn through their daily STEM-based instruction (check out the photos). Grandparents and Grandfriend Day at Cannon ES gave grandparents a chance to attend a breakfast with the principal and interact with their student in the STEM class environment through design challenges and a student-led Technology museum (check out the photos).
GCISD students embark on Google Expeditions
Students across the district are becoming world explorers, right from their classroom. All campuses are piloting Google Expeditions, a traveling set of Google cardboard virtual reality viewers and Android mobile devices. Through these devices, students can take virtual tours through museums, college campuses, national parks, and world landmarks. Expeditions use 360 degree images to give guided tours to students through the cardboard viewers, while their teacher or librarian guides the tour on an iPad. Hundreds of different tours are available through the program.
“Google Expeditions can be used to engage students to introduce content, to allow students to gather observations, or as a an activity to visualize something after learning about it in the abstract,” said Kara Johnson, Bear Creek Elementary School librarian. “It gives the students an opportunity to experience an event or go to a place they may never have been able to experience in real life.”
Fifth graders at Bear Creek ES, one of the pilot campuses, took a virtual tour of the moon after reading Space Case by Stuart Gibbs. Also on their virtual passport include visits to the Amazon, a Native American Pow Wow, and various national monuments, all through Google Expeditions. Along with Bear Creek ES, Colleyville Heritage High School, Heritage Elementary School, Colleyville Middle School, Cross Timbers Middle School, Grapevine High School, Timberline Elementary School and Silver Lake Elementary School have already explored adventures through this program. Google Expeditions will continue to visit all GCISD campuses throughout the remainder of the school year.
Rotary Club donates dictionaries to GCISD students
Third-grade students at Cannon Elementary: A GCISD STEM School, Silver Lake Elementary School and Timberline Elementary School received a surprise gift from the Southlake Rotary Club. Rotarians visited these three GCISD schools to present each third-grader with his or her own copy of a student dictionary. Students responded with excitement for their gift, and they were eager to look up definitions and even gave their personal book a small hug.
“We are so grateful for passionate and committed community organizations like the Rotary Club that support the development of integrity and service,” said Dr. Shannon Cole, Silver Lake ES principal. “The annual donation of dictionaries for the Silver Lake third graders is an experience that they will not forget, and will be a tool for students as they hone their literacy skills.”
The dictionary donations are part of the Rotary’s participation in The Dictionary Project to promote literacy.
Red Ribbon Week winners recognized at board meeting
Each year, through the district's Red Ribbon Week celebrations, students, staff and families take part in decoration and poster art contests. Winners of these contests were recognized at the November Board of Trustees meeting. Outdoor decorating campus contest winners include Heritage Elementary School and Cross Timbers Middle School. Indoor decorating campus contest winners include Grapevine Elementary School and Colleyville Middle School.
The poster contest is for elementary and middle school students. Posters symbolize what it means to the students to say no to drugs and be drug free.
Student Poster Contest First Place Winners
Kindergarten – Georgia Parker – Heritage Elementary School
First grade – Ryan Rozycki – Bransford Elementary School
Second grade – Dean Hopkins – Cannon Elementary School
Third grade – Anya Ali – Glenhope Elementary School
Fourth grade – Awni Nassar – Heritage Elementary School
Fifth grade – Serena Lakhani – OC Taylor Elementary School
Sixth grade – Amie Ha – Colleyville Middle School
Soaring Valor: Episode One
On November 11, schools across the country celebrate Veterans Day by honoring and recognizing current and former service members who have risked their lives to protect our freedoms. In March 2017, 40 Grapevine-Colleyville ISD eleventh-grade students will have a very special opportunity to once again honor veterans, this time, World War II veterans.
American Airlines, the Gary Sinise Foundation, The National World War II Museum and GCISD have partnered to send 40 eleventh-grade students to New Orleans, March 1st - 3rd, 2017 for a once in a lifetime experience, at no cost for students or for their families.
Soaring Valor, a Gary Sinise Foundation program, teamed up with American Airlines to bring World War II veterans and their guardians to The National WWII Museum to document and share the oral histories of the Greatest Generation. To date, more than 150 veterans have visited the museum as part of this initiative.
This year, GCISD was asked to accompany these veterans to New Orleans as the inaugural group of students selected for the Soaring Valor experience. As the district was limited in the number of students who are able to participate in the program, administrators had to make a determination of how to select students.
First of GCISD athletes sign National Letters of Intent
GCISD celebrated the success of fourteen athletes who signed their National Letters of Intent. Congratulations to the following student athletes:
- Alex Scherff - CHHS Baseball - Texas A&M
- Kyndall Baze - CHHS Gymnastics - Lindenwood University
- Brooklyn Blaylock - CHHS Volleyball - Ouchita Baptist
- Tatum Ticknor - CHHS Volleyball - Arkansas State
- Ryan Drake - GHS Baseball - Arkansas
- London Green - GHS Baseball - Weatherford College
- Joseph Leal - GHS Baseball - Midland College
- Boone Montgomery - GHS Baseball - UT Arlington
- Connor Neuman - GHS Baseball - Louisiana Tech
- Tatum Tellin - GHS Basketball - University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
- Daniel Rutledge - GHS Swim - Oklahoma Christian University
- Peyton Weissmann - GHS Track and Field (pole vault) - Ole Miss
- Madison Lawler - GHS Volleyball - Southern Miss
- Jordan McCalla - GHS Volleyball - St John's University
This was the first official signing day for several athletes around the state and we will continue to update on the success of our student athletes. To see pictures from the event, check out the district’s Facebook page!
GCISD celebrates Veterans Day
Students and staff from across the district will take part in special programs to celebrate those who have served or are serving our country in honor of Veterans Day. These events include guest speakers, student performances, veteran recognitions, and more.
The complete list of campus events can be found here.
GCISD students win big at Special Olympics bowling competition
GCISD students took part in the Special Olympics Area 11 bowling competition in Fort Worth, earning top titles. Out of the 79 GCISD bowlers participating in the competition, 18 earned a first place title, 18 finished in second place and 14 in third place. High scores in the group include a 122 (girls) and a 103 (boys).
“Over the four days our students bowled against some tough competition,” said Gabi Kanterman, adapted physical education teacher. “All of our athletes bowled very well, many of them achieving personal best scores. I could not ask for anything more from them than the best they showed me they could be this past week.”
Grapevine MS students learn from NASA engineer
NASA Engineer Bob Lasbrook (left) with his son and GMS teacher Robert Lashbrook (right).
Students at Grapevine Middle School learned about what it takes to be a rocket scientist from a NASA engineer himself, Bob Lashbrook. Lashbrook served as an engineer on several projects including the Gemini projects and all of the Apollo projects. These projects allowed him to work with several astronauts including Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon, and Jim Lovell, commander of Apollo 13. Following the close of the Apollo program, Lashbrook worked as a consultant on the robotic arm used to build the International Space Station.
“I asked him to come speak to my students in order for them to get a historical perspective of the significance of the manned space program,” said Robert Lashbrook, eighth grade science teacher and son of Bob Lashbrook. “But more importantly, for my students to be exposed to the many interesting employment opportunities in the fields of engineering and science, and that science can be an exciting adventure; an opportunity to change the world.”
Where Are They Now? - Louie Provost
An alumnus of Grapevine High School is making his mark behind the scenes of the silver screen. 1999 GHS graduate Louie Provost serves as vice president of motion picture production at Walt Disney Studios in Los Angeles, California. He credits his involvement and experiences in the Grapevine-Colleyville ISD for all he has accomplished today. GCISD’s Where Are They Now asked Provost about his memories of GCISD and its impact on his life.
GCISD students place in Who Wants to Be a Mathematician competition
Two GCISD students, Eric Tong and Garrett Wezniak, participated in the Who Wants to Be a Mathematician competition at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. Tong, a 5th grader from Glenhope Elementary, finished in third place in his round and won a Calculus textbook. Wezniak, a senior from Colleyville Heritage High School, tied for second place in his round, winning Maple 2016 (math software).
“Our GCISD students performed well alongside students from other districts and schools in the Metroplex,” said Jennifer Hylemon, GCISD director of math. “Garrett answered more questions correctly than most other students in the competition. Eric explained his reasoning using mathematically precise language when called upon by the moderator in front of a crowd of students and adults. I am so proud of the efforts of these students!”
Questions for the contest were selected from areas of pre-calculus including algebra, trigonometry, geometry, history of mathematics, combinatorics, and probability. Tong and Wezniak were two of eight students selected for the competition based on their high scores on a qualifying test provided by the American Mathematical Society.
Environmentalist visits Glenhope Elementary
Students at Glenhope Elementary School welcomed local Soil Environmentalist Al Voelkle who led interactive lessons about the soil and our environment during the students’ science classes. Students divided into small groups and explored four different stations on soil inquiry, complete with two hands-on soil stations. They also got an up-close look at a soil drilling machine, brought by Voelkle.
“I feel that having parents involved and sharing about their careers builds communication and community with our school families,” said Bryan Hendrickson, fourth grade teacher at Glenhope ES. “It shows the students that what we are learning about in the classroom is important for their future and may spur career ideas for students to pursue.”
O.C. Taylor students create a Storybook Pumpkin Patch
Students from O.C. Taylor Elementary School took part in the school's third annual Storybook Pumpkin Patch. From Pete the Cat to Winnie the Pooh to Harry Potter, the O.C. Taylor library was filled with dozens of characters. Students chose a character from a favorite book and then decorated pumpkins to create the Storybook Pumpkin Patch.
To see the entries from this year’s pumpkin patch, check out O.C. Taylor’s Facebook Page.
GCISD celebrates Red Ribbon Week
Schools across GCISD are celebrating Red Ribbon Week from October 24-28. During this week, students pledge to make healthy choices and live drug-free. Students and staff are showing their support through dress-up days (such as “Put a Cap on Drugs” and “Texans Give Drugs the Boot”), indoor and outdoor decorating contests, kick-off pep rallies, and many more district-wide events.
On Monday, October 24, the GCISD Board of Trustees signed a proclamation declaring this week as Red Ribbon Week for the entire district. (Download the proclamation.)
For pictures of events throughout the week, check out our district Facebook page. Be sure to also visit campus pages to see how each campus is celebrating Red Ribbon Week.
GCISD students lead presentations at Region 11 STEAM Carnival
This year, the Region 11 Education Service Center hosted its annual Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (or “STEAM”) Carnival on Tuesday, October 18. Students from Grapevine Middle School and Glenhope Elementary School served as presenters for the showcase portion of the event, to demonstrate how to use devices and enhance STEAM learning and problem solving. Some of the activities featured included circuitry, sphero robotics, and more.
“Attending this event allowed our students the opportunity to hone their communication and problem solving skills as they share their learning with peers,” said Tony Zahn, director of science and instructional technology. “It also allows the district to highlight an example of how we continue to be the best.”
Medal of Honor recipient visits GCISD schools
Students at both Cannon Elementary: A GCISD STEM School and Grapevine Middle School welcomed a special visit from Medal of Honor Recipient Staff Sergeant Leroy Petry. Staff Sergeant Petry shared his experiences as a U.S. veteran, about losing his hand in combat, as well as about having a prosthetic hand.
Petry earned his medal after selflessly picking up and throwing a grenade away from his team members while in Afghanistan in May 2008--a decision that cost him his right hand as the grenade detonated seconds after it had been thrown.
Additional guests to the schools included Military Concert Entertainer Jeff Vezain, Retired Marine Major William Mimiaga, and USAF Lt. Colonel ROTC Teacher Bob Marasco.
Students at GMS also welcomed local first responders as honored guests to the school. Upon entering the gym, the first responders were greeted with a standing ovation and cheers by the GMS students.
Mustang-Panther Stadium: The New Experience
When Mustang-Panther Stadium opens in Fall 2018 for football season, fans, students, and community members will have a new game day experience as part of a stadium renovation.
The work will be completed over the next two years using funds the district received through a $26 million Tax Increment Financing (TIF) payout resulting from the 1996 TIF agreement with the City of Grapevine to bring Grapevine Mills Mall to the area.
Check out our Mustang-Panther Stadium | the new experience webpage for more details about the renovation projects.
GCISD Elementary schools participate in Butterfly Flutterby Art Contest
GCISD partnered with the Grapevine Garden Club for the 19th annual Butterfly Flutterby Art Contest on October 15. All GCISD elementary schools participated in this event with 250 students taking part. Three local professional artists served as judges to the contest.
“I think this is a wonderful opportunity for the community to come together, and for our students to express themselves artistically as well as to learn to respect nature and the wildlife,” said Joyce Mery, Dove Elementary School multicultural language and art expression teacher.
As a result, 18 students placed in the competition, with three students being named Grand Prize winners. Grand Prize winners include:
- Valerie Jacqueline Selig, Kindergartener from Silver Lake Elementary
- Trisha Thakar, second grader from Grapevine Elementary
- Samari Stanfield, fourth grader from Silver Lake Elementary
Grand Prize winners will have their artwork on display at the Grapevine Public Library. The remaining contest winners will have their artwork on display at the Grapevine Recreation Center. Artwork will be on display until Thanksgiving.
CHHS and Cannon host Star Party
The Colleyville Heritage High School astronomy club and kindergartners from Cannon Elementary: A GCISD STEM School hosted a Star Party on October 11. During the Star Party, the two groups met together to read “Reasons for the Seasons,” a book by CHHS AP Physics Teacher Leslie Singles. Following their book reading, they took time to view the moon, and the planets Saturn and Mars, through a telescope.
Singles said that her favorite part of the evening was watching the kindergarteners’ faces light up when Saturn’s ring came into view. The event was a big success, bringing together 25 astronomy students and 35 Cannon Cubs.
To see more pictures from the event, check out our Facebook!
Cannon Elementary engineers 'Play-Doh' for ECDC
Cannon Elementary: A GCISD STEM School took on the Early Childhood Development Center’s need of 'Play-Doh' as an engineering learning opportunity. Second grade students have been learning about changes of matter in their science unit and used a creative process in order to enhance their Play-Doh-like product.
“We try and connect our engineering projects to real world problems and situations that affect our community,” said Sarah Ganus, a second grade teacher at Cannon Elementary. “Helping the Roo's was a great way to explore the properties of matter and using that knowledge to engineer a high quality play dough.”
Students were successful in their projects and were able to deliver these Play-Doh-like products to the ECDC for future use.
Pantherettes aid in Louisiana flood relief
Last month, the Colleyville Heritage Pantherettes volunteered at World Vision in Grand Prairie, where they had the opportunity to take part in a support-effort for the Louisiana flood victims. Students filled more than 650 backpacks with school supplies to send to those impacted by the floods.
“These young ladies understand that they are role models in the community, and want to do whatever they can to help others,” said Cara Stamps, Pantherette director. “It is always our goal to give back to others, since acts of kindness can start a chain reaction!”
Grapevine band brings home Grand Champion title
On Saturday, October 8, the Grapevine High School Band participated in the Sounds of Springtown Marching Contest with their 2016 show “Dia de los Muertos.” Out of the 21 marching bands that competed, the Grapevine band took home the Grand Champion (1st place) title. The Grapevine band also earned Best Colorguard and third place in the Drumline finals.
The Grapevine Band staff is extremely proud of the work the students have put into this exciting show,” said Barry Janicula, band director. “We strive to design a better show every year for the students, and this result is a great first step in hopefully many years of success in the future.”
Trustee McClure participates in state leadership program
GCISD Board Member Mindy McClure joined 34 other school board members from across Texas to take part in Leadership TASB class of 2017. Selected by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), the group will participate in a yearlong education leadership study program. Leadership TASB members represent school districts of all sizes, with student populations of 1,000 to 159,000, and reflect a similar range of property wealth.
Participants who complete all required elements of the study will graduate next year by earning Master Trustee status. This is the highest designation recognized by TASB.
TASB is a voluntary, nonprofit association established in 1949 to serve local Texas school boards. School board members are the largest group of publicly elected officials in the state. The districts they represent serve more than 5.3 million public school students.
Where Are They Now - Kenny Rigoulot
“I preached my first sermon while I was a high school student at Colleyville Heritage,” said Kenny Rigoulot. A 1999 graduate of CHHS, Rigoulot currently serves as a pastor and administrator at United Presbyterian Church in Cleburne, Texas. His time within GCISD and his many activities through college led him to where is he today.
According to Rigoulot, he has many great memories from his time at Colleyville Heritage, but his involvement was what he remembered the most.
iHoot online newspaper celebrates its third year
iHoot, a student-run online newspaper, is beginning its third year at iUniversity Prep. Students ranging from fourth to 12th grade meet as a team once a week to discuss their story ideas ranging from everyday news and sports to DIY articles, and more. While some students focus on writing articles, others focus on the graphic design or photography for iHoot.
Hannah Faulkner, sophomore at iUniversity Prep and editor-in-chief of iHoot, leads the weekly meetings. She also makes sure that the deadlines are met for the newspaper.
“What makes iHoot so special is the relationship we create between students, journalism, and technology,” said Faulkner. “Online news sources are on the rise, so we work weekly to create content that is in line with modern journalism trends. Our staff is so passionate and write about subjects from breaking news to student focus.”
Check out all of iHoot’s articles now on their website!
CHHS participates in A Voice 4 Peace
The Colleyville Heritage High School choirs participated in A Voice 4 Peace project to celebrate World Peace Day on September 21. Choirs from all around the world joined in a live event where together they joined in singing the song Ukuthula. The idea was created by the Nairobi Chamber Chorus and the Festival Singers of Florida as a moment to pause and share the common bond of music that the two cultures share.
“As a music educator, music is simply the tool I use to educate,” said Thomas Rinn, Colleyville Heritage choir director. “This brief moment of song with singers from around the world allowed our students to celebrate what we share rather than what divides us. The students saw a universal desire for peace, a mutual respect for all cultures, and felt the power of the mass unifying for a common cause. I believe activities such as this are essential to the GCISD LEAD 2021 strategic plan in our quest for all students to ‘be positive participants in their local communities and our global society’."
To view the choir’s A Voice 4 Peace performance, visit our Facebook page.
Girl Scout impacts local community at Glenhope
Parents and students at Glenhope Elementary School were called together for a special presentation on recommendations for gifted and talented students from a girl scout from Cross Timbers Middle School. Aurora Tong, a seventh-grade student, used her Girl Scout project, combined with her experience in the ASPIRE Academy, as an opportunity to impact the community at Glenhope.
Aurora researched and donated books to students in the ASPIRE Academy that she felt would be beneficial to their attitudes about learning, as well as give them a positive outlook of themselves. Genres of books included were self-help books, books with gifted children as the main character, and books about being different and that being okay.
“I noticed some gifted kids think and act differently,” said Aurora, “and because of these differences, they often feel left out and alone. So I wanted to help by letting them know that it is okay to be different.”
Aurora’s project emphasizes the goals of LEAD 2021, the district’s strategic plan, to better prepare students for the current and future world they will live in. More specifically, Aurora’s project highlights the key strategic objective that all students will be positive participants in their local communities and our global society.
“Even if this project only helps one child feel better about him or herself, then this project is a success,” Tong said.
Parents, students participate in third annual Literacy Symposium
On September 19, GCISD partnered with Reaching, Educating, Advocating for Dyslexics (READ) to host its third annual Literacy Symposium. At the event, parents attended break-out classes, where they learned about a variety of tools and tips to help their students. These resources are designed to help students be more successful in their everyday learning, as well as their management of dyslexia, at school and at home.
“While students receive instruction by teachers from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily, they receive support and instruction from their parents from 3 p.m. until bedtime,” said Dr. Suzanne Newell, GCISD director of humanities. “It was our hope that the Symposium could help equip parents with the tools to feel more successful at helping their students at home.”
Where are they now? - Lauren Przybyl
Did you know that one of the personalities of your local TV morning news show is also a GCISD alumna? Good Day FOX 4 anchor Lauren Przybyl graduated from Grapevine High School in 1996.After high school, Przybyl went on to attend Baylor University with the dream of being a marine biologist. Her plans quickly changed after a professor introduced her to the news industry and she changed her major to journalism, while keeping a minor in biology. After graduating from Baylor, Przybyl worked for news stations in Abilene, Albuquerque, and Boston before returning back to Dallas, where she co-anchors the KDFW-TV morning news. During her career, she has also appeared on the Today Show, MSNBC, CNN, FOX News and the Weather Channel.
Telling the Financial Story of GCISD
What if you were offered an investment opportunity that would yield almost $50 for every $1 invested? That’s exactly how M. Ray Perryman, noted economist of The Perryman Group sees the value of public education in Texas, citing that the long-term return per dollar of incremental state investment in education is $49.69 in additional spending throughout the economy. In his article, Perryman also notes that the future prosperity, both for individuals and for society, depends on education.
Grapevine-Colleyville ISD also sees the value of public education through investing in current and future students. In fact, in May 2016, community members made an investment in the future by passing a bond election that will impact every student and every teacher in this district. Voters approved a 12.81 increase in the Interest & Sinking (I&S) tax rate. As a result of a secured lower interest rate and an increase in property values, the actual I&S tax increase for these bonds will be 7.66 cents, which is 5.15 cents less than approved. By securing a 2.8 percent interest rate, projections show that over the 25-year repayment period, GCISD taxpayers will pay $84.9 million less in interest costs than what was originally projected for the 2016 bond program.
GHS drumline places in HEB competition
The Grapevine High School drumline participated in the HEB ISD Drumline Competition on Saturday, September 17. With 35 different drumlines competing and 11 in the same classification, GHS placed seventh overall.
“I am extremely proud of all the hard work these kids have put in,” said Stephen Segura, assistant director of bands. “I have been doing this activity for over 12 years and I have not met a more motivated group of students. I'm looking forward to all the accomplishments these students will have and look forward to many positive years with the group.”
The GHS band will participate in the Preview of Champions Marching Contest on September 24 and the Mesquite Marching Festival on October 1. These local competitions give bands the opportunity to receive feedback on their show and track their overall progress over the course of the season, all while preparing them for future competitions.
GCISD celebrates Superfoodie Thursday
Elementary and Middle schools kicked off Superfoodie Thursdays on September 15. On these days, students are encouraged to try the featured superfood provided by the school’s cafeteria team each month. This month’s superfood is the blueberry, and has been offered through special menu items, such as blueberry parfaits, blueberry crisp and blueberry with whipped topping.
“Students will have the opportunity to taste a variety of superfoods throughout the year that they may not try otherwise,” said Laura E. Brookover-Ybarra, dietitian for nutrition services. “Our aim is to teach the students of GCISD about the impact that making healthy choices can have on their health and wellness for a lifetime.”
For photos from our first Superfoodie Thursday, check out Facebook! Visit the GCISD Nutrition Services page to learn more about Superfoodie Thursdays.
Every page counts, students kick off GCISD Reads
GCISD students, staff, and families recently kicked off GCISD Reads for the 2016-2017 school year. Through this reading challenge, students can work to build a love for reading while they read a variety of books this school year. Students will keep track of the number of pages they read, and have until May 1, 2017 to reach their goals. The reading challenge is for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
“We initiated GCISD Reads as a way to promote students' independent reading,” said Dr. Suzanne Newell, GCISD director of humanities. “This initiative is working to spotlight the importance of reading because of how it can impact a student's ability to be successful in other subjects, to understand other cultures and time periods, to increase vocabulary and reading fluency, and to just relax.”
Reading for the challenge can take place during and outside the school day using paper and electronic materials. Students are encouraged to read books from a variety of categories, such as fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, e-books and more.
“We have seen many positive outgrowths of the promotion of reading,” Newell said, who noted that school libraries are busier than ever and students are requesting more independent reading time in class. “These are great indicators that GCISD is becoming a very ‘readerly’ community,” she added.
As students complete their goals, they will receive a district certificate in May. Additionally, some classrooms and campuses sponsor their own celebrations of these accomplishments.
Paper, tape, markers, and you have a work of art
Students at Grapevine Elementary School have been creating unique name sculptures in their art class, as a way to kick off the year and get to know each other.
"Art isn't just flat, painting or drawing," said Justin Burns, GES art teacher. "It's all different mediums. It's all about them [the students]. You say, 'Here's the idea, how will you put it together?' I only help pull out their ideas."
When asked what their favorite part of the project way, students explained that the deciding where to place the letters, using their favorite colors, or simply just creating art is they've most enjoyed.
One studente explained: "My favorite part was making the art because I like art a lot. Art puts your feelings on a piece of paper and it's awesome to look at."
Burns explained that he wanted to come oup with a fun project for the beginning of the school year. He felt creating name sculptures could also serve as a way to help students learn more about their peers. Prior to their names, the students created sculptures out of tape and paper to describe what they did this past summer. Burns explained that sculpting their names gives the students an opportunity to make a more individualized creation. In the coming weeks, the students will create sculptures from zip ties.
Students celebrate Dot Day 2016
Schools across the district celebrated the seventh International Dot Day on Thursday, September 15. Inspired by the story The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds, students were encouraged to wear dots to school to express their creativity and take part in activities to show how they can make their own mark on the world.
“Dot Day is a great way for students to show off their creativity with their outfits and activities throughout the day,” said Lisa Young, O.C. Taylor Elementary principal.
In addition to creative dot-themed outfits and costumes, activities have included a dot race at O.C. Taylor, a Skype session between Bear Creek and Colleyville elementaries to share their dot creations using the Quiver app, and more. Check out our campus Facebook pages to see how students have celebrated Dot Day in GCISD!
GCISD welcomes visitors from Scotland
GCISD welcomed visitors from West Lothian, Scotland as part of the City of Grapevine Sister City program. The group arrived in Grapevine on Tuesday, September 13, and will be touring sites and attending events throughout the community until September 19. Their tour within GCISD included Cannon Elementary: A GCISD STEM School where they interacted with first and fifth graders as students worked on various engineering projects, teaching the visitors about the STEM program. Their tour of the district concluded at the Technology Education & Career Center where they observed students in career-guided environments, such as culinary arts, health sciences and robotics engineering.
“The biggest takeaway is that it makes the world a classroom and gives students opportunities to see and experience first-hand the differences and similarities of these communities,” said Patrick Antinone, GCISD director of fine arts, explaining the value and support this program gives to the GCISD Portrait of a Graduate. GCISD dance and art students further developed their global citizenship this past summer when they traveled to Scotland and visited the West Lothian community. Antinone continued to explain that this exchange program gave students the opportunity to travel abroad, to a country they expected to be completely different from their own, and discover, after interacting with fellow students, they are both very similar.
The Grapevine and West Lothian communities have exchanged travel experiences with one another since 2007.
19 students named 2017 National Merit Semifinalists
Nineteen GCISD seniors have been named 2017 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Selection is based on the students' scores on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). GCISD's National Merit Semifinalists are part of an elite a group of students representing fewer than one percent of U.S. high school seniors who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies. These academically talented students have the opportunity to continue in the program and compete for scholarships that will be offered next spring. About 90 percent of the Semifinalists nationwide are expected to attain Finalist standing, according to the National Merit Scholarship Program, and more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship.
Colleyville Heritage High School Grapevine High School SEMIFINALISTSMatthew AbronAli AshaiChloe AyersHarrison CamperlengoMatthew GaughanIsabel NackleyIshan NavendraAustin NguyenMichael NieSeyun ParkGarret WezniakJustin YanMatthew BitnerLauren EdwardsShannon GoadAndrew LastingerCarson TaylorAnastasia WaltonCassandra Wouters
Students apologize for pep rally banner
Leadership at Colleyville Heritage High School is apologizing for a pep rally banner that offended members of the Trinity High School community and members of the community at large.
“On behalf of everyone here, I’m sorry,” said Dr. Lance Groppel, CHHS principal. “We made a mistake and we have to learn from it going forward.” He added, “While I believe that was not the intent, I do believe that it is important to have a full understanding of the impact that comments can have on others.”
On Monday morning, Dr. Groppel phoned Trinity High School principal Mike Harris to personally apologize. In addition, student leaders at Colleyville Heritage have written an open letter (Download the Student Letter) to students at Trinity offering their apology, and have also requested an in-person meeting with their Trinity peers. The goal of this meeting is to open a dialogue between the students to gain better understanding about how words and images can be hurtful, even if there was no intent to harm.
“This is a learning opportunity for our campus,” said Dr. Groppel. “We are hopeful that the students will be able to learn more about one another and it will lead to understanding, healing and ultimately forgiveness.”
Pep rally themes are submitted for approval at the beginning of the year; however, signs and banners are not reviewed. Going forward, signage will require administrator approval before being displayed.
Celebrating family and heritage at Dove
On Monday, September 12, Dove Elementary School hosted its Grandparents Day celebration. Throughout the day grandparents visited the elementary school and ate lunch with their grandchildren. Some even got a first-hand look inside the kindergarten classrooms.
According to School Counselor Ashley Golden, this event is “to honor our own dolphin grandparents. We’re always excited to share with them what makes Dove so special.”
GCISD reduces energy costs across districtIn August, the Board of Trustees received a presentation on the status of the district partnership with Cenergistic where they learned that GCISD has saved $618,620 in projected energy costs since the program began. This equates to eliminating 645 passenger cars from roadways for one year."The staff’s efforts to reduce energy costs across the district has been a true team effort," said Paula Barbaroux, GCISD chief operations officer. "From changing maintenance and operations procedures to making personal changes or adjustments and shutting down equipment and closing blinds, we are helping our district reduce energy waste, save money and be better stewards of our community and environment."
Bear Creek celebrates kindness with Rachel's Challenge Rally
Bear Creek Elementary School students took part in their Rachel's Challenge Rally on Friday, September 2. Students gathered on the school blacktop to learn about spreading kindness and finding ways to help each other. Students also took part in a demonstration to show how fast kindness can spread by giving each other glittery high fives.
Each class also decorated a hand-shaped poster that each student signed to show their support in accepting the challenge to be kind to each other.
GHS home to North Texas Golf Coach of the Year
Grapevine High School Golf Coach Bryan Humphreys was named the 2015-2016 North Texas High School Golf Coaches Association (NTHSGA) Coach of the Year.
“The Grapevine golf program is extremely proud of this award,” Humphreys said. “It’s about our program being recognized for our hard work and dedication over the years. Grapevine High School parents, teachers, the Grapevine golf course staff and community give us great support every season. We know we're extremely fortunate to have kids who want to grow to be better on and off the course. We look forward to continuing mentoring them for years to come.”
Under his leadership, both the GHS Boys and Girls Golf teams advanced to the state tournament last season. NTHSGA honored Humphrey’s for his dedication to his athletes and to the sport. As a coach, he has helped many students find individual and team success for their school and GCISD.
GCISD celebrates National College Colors Day
Students and staff across the district will take part in National College Colors day on Friday, September 2, 2016, by wearing their favorite college’s colors or apparel. This annual event is celebrated across the United States on the first Friday of each college school year so students, parents, family, fans and alumni can promote their school’s traditions and spirit. At any school in GCISD visitors can see a focus in the district on college and career readiness for all students. Taking part in College Colors Day is a way to help build spirit and enthusiasm for each students’ future plans and goals.
ACT Success for GCISD
Students across the district found success by earning top scores on the recent ACT. Both Colleyville Heritage and Grapevine high school’s average composite scores were higher than the state and national composite score average. Check out the results below:
- CHHS tested 312 students, average Composite Score: 24.9
- GHS tested 288 students, average Composite Score: 25.4
- GCISD tested 611 students, average Composite Score: 25.1
- State tested 142,877 students, average Composite Score: 20.6
- Nation tested 2,090,342 students, average Composite Score: 20.8
“It’s exciting that as we increase the number of test takers, our composite score has continued to increase,” said Shannon Tovar, GCISD director of accountability and continuous improvement. “High college-readiness scores reflect the strength of our school district. I want to congratulate all of the students, teachers, and parents for their outstanding performance in 2016. We look forward to seeing what the class of 2017 will achieve.”
GCISD bond sale secures 2.8% interest rate
Grapevine-Colleyville ISD has issued a portion of the $248.97 million bond package approved by voters in May. The district issued $188.65 million in bonds for the 2016 bond program at an interest rate of 2.8 percent. Prior to the public’s vote on the bonds, the district communicated to voters a projected maximum Interest and Sinking (I&S) tax rate increase of 12.81 cents. As a result of a secured lower interest rate, the actual I&S tax increase for these bonds will be 7.66 cents. The interest rate for the remaining unsold bonds could vary.
“We remain grateful for the community support we received during the 2016 bond election, and we are excited to have sold bonds at a lower interest rate than initially projected,” said Dr. Robin Ryan, superintendent of schools. “As we continue redefining education in GCISD, these bonds will further enhance the learning experience for all students. The new facilities and technology, upgrades and renovations to existing structures and the purchase of new equipment will help propel our students and staff as we continue to strive for success each and every day.”
By securing the 2.8 percent interest rate, projections show that over the 25-year repayment period, GCISD taxpayers will pay $84.9 million less in interest costs than what was originally projected for the 2016 bond program.
An update on water quality in GCISDWith safety of students and staff in mind, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD is taking action after an analysis of water samples revealed elevated lead content at a drinking fountain and sink at O.C. Taylor Elementary and a baseball concession stand sink at Grapevine High School. GCISD requested testing at facilities constructed prior to 1989 amid questions about lead levels in drinking water in some area school districts. This testing, which included seven campuses, targeted facilities constructed prior to 1989. Congress mandated that any construction post-1986 be done with lead-free drinking water components.Based on these results, the district will conduct further testing on all of the campus water fountains at O.C. Taylor. During this time, water fountains will be turned off and bottled water will be provided for students and staff.A second round of samples collected from the baseball field concession stand sink at GHS and the kitchen prep sink at O.C. Taylor, taken 30-seconds after the first tests, met water quality standards. Taking a second test 30-seconds after the initial test is part of the EPA guidelines. As a recommended measure, the district is also installing a point-of-use National Sanitation Foundation-certified lead reduction filtration system at the respective sinks.
Students get ready for new year at Back to School Fair
The GCISD community came together to help 1,227 students gear-up for the new school year at the Back to School Fair. This is the highest number of students to attend the fair. Students received a free backpack and set of school supplies for the new school year through the Fair held at Grapevine High School on Saturday, Aug. 6. Sponsored by GCISD and CONNECT, a non-profit organization managed by and funded through the Grapevine-Colleyville Education Foundation, the Fair was held for preregistered students who were recommended by their campus leaders.
"Our fifth annual Back to School Fair was a huge success," said Emberly Hill, director of counseling and general education homebound services. "We served 1,227 total students. We know those students have the tools they need to start the year successfully and that they will begin the year feeling ready to learn.
More than 200 volunteers from a number of community organizations, schools and churches served as guides for families as they walked though the fair. GCISD's Nutrition Services staff provided snacks. Families were offered assistance in completing online school registration, were able to submit applications for free and reduced lunches and learned about immunizations needed for the beginning of school. In total, about 1,700 backpacks were donated and more than $40,000 worth of school supplies were purchased for the fair.
GCISD conducts water quality tests
In Grapevine-Colleyville ISD, the safety of our students and staff is a top priority. Amid questions about lead content in drinking water in some area school districts and out of an abundance of caution, GCISD is bringing in an environmental consultant to obtain and test water samples from facilities constructed before 1989. The district is focusing on these facilities because Congress mandated that any construction post-1986 be done with lead-free drinking water components. The goal is to have results in before the start of school. Additionally, the district will run its water systems to remove any water that was sitting in tanks or pipes over the summer.
GCISD Board Member earns state leadership designation
Ms. St. John at the July 25 Board Meeting, with fellow Trustee Jorge Rodríguez.
GCISD Trustee Member Becky St. John has earned the title of Master Trustee by completing the Leadership TASB program. Managed by the Texas Association of School Boards, Leadership TASB is a specialized leadership development program for school board members. Leadership TASB applicants are selected based on demonstrated leadership in their local district and communities, as well as for their representation of the diversity of Texas school districts.
"We are proud of Ms. St. John's commitment and success in this year-long program and are excited to see how she will bring this new level of leadership to her responsibilities as a GCISD board member," said Dr. Robin Ryan, GCISD superintendent of schools.
Ms. St. John was recognized by her fellow board members, along with district staff and community members, at the July 25 GCISD Board of Trustees meeting.
Familiar face named Cross Timbers Middle School principal
Current Cross Timbers Middle School Assistant Principal Alex Fingers has been named the new leader of the Wolf Pack. Trustees named Fingers as the principal during their regular meeting on Monday, July 25, 2016.
“I look forward to continuing my service in this new role as principal to the CTMS Wolf family,” Fingers said. “We have great students, staff, parents, and a supportive GCISD community and I know great things are to come from the Wolves as we strive to move forward the “Wolf Way”.”
The search for a new principal for CTMS began this summer when Lisa Dunn accepted the position of Director of Elementary Services in Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD. Input from campus and community representatives was solicited to determine the desired qualifications and characteristics of a new principal for CTMS.
To read more about Alex, click here.
Free and reduced-price meal information for 2016-2017
GCISD has announced its policy for providing free and reduced-price meals for children served under current income eligibility guidelines. Each school/site or the central office has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by anyone on request.
Principal named for O.C. Taylor Elementary School
At the July 11 Special Board of Trustees meeting, Trustees approved Lisa Young as the new principal of O.C. Taylor Elementary School. Young is currently serving as a principal at Rockenbaugh Elementary School in Carroll ISD.
“I am honored to have been selected as the principal for O.C. Taylor,” said Young. “O.C. Taylor has rich traditions steeped in continuous improvement, innovation and the development of the whole child. I look forward to continuing these efforts with a focus on building solid relationships with teachers, parents, students, and the community. I can't wait to meet all of those Tigers!”
GCISD Dance and Visual Art students visit Europe
Earlier in June, students from the Colleyville Heritage High School and Grapevine High School dance and visual art programs participated in a cultural exchange program with the City of Grapevine’s Sister Cities of Krems, Austria and the community of West Lothian, Scotland. Students were accompanied by GHS Dance Director Kaylynn Renfro, CHHS Visual Arts Department Head Sarah Roye, GCISD Director of Fine Arts Pat Antinone and a small group of supportive parents.
Students began their tour in Bavaria where they visited the city center of Munich, Germany. Students experienced the Dachau concentration camp, and had a chance meeting with a liberated survivor of the camp itself. They then headed to Swangau, where they climbed to the Neuswanstein Castle.
New principal named for Bear Creek Elementary
At the June 20 Board of Trustees meeting, Trustees approved Bryan Calvert as the new principal for Bear Creek Elementary School. Calvert is currently serving as an assistant principal at Lorenzo de Zavala Middle School in Irving ISD.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to join GCISD and become a part of the great tradition of excellence at Bear Creek Elementary,” Calvert said. “It will be a privilege to serve the students and parents at Bear Creek, while working together with the staff as we strive to achieve the high expectations established for all students.”
The search for a new Bear Creek principal began in May when Brooke Moose announced her retirement after more than 40 years in education, 30 of which were in GCISD. Input from campus and community representatives was solicited to determine the desired qualifications and characteristics of a new principal for Bear Creek.
To read more, click here.
Dove Elementary approved candidacy for International Baccalaureate
IB Dove Elementary School (DES) has been approved as a candidate school for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme, pursuing authorization as an IB World School.
“We are honored to be granted status as an IB Candidate School,” said Cindy Galloway, DES principal. “Our teachers have already begun designing experiences that allow the students to explore learning while making an impact on the world around us.”
This past year, DES has been working towards becoming a candidate for IB, which encourages both personal and academic achievement by challenging students to excel in their studies and in their personal development. Now that DES has been approved for candidacy, the campus will embark on a two-year process to fulfill the requirements for authorization as an IB Primary Years Programme.
Click here to read more.
State announces changes for STAAR exam results for 2015-2016
On Friday, Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced significant changes to June STAAR testing for students in fifth and eighth-grade. In a letter to district administrators across the State, Morath said: "As a result of ongoing reporting issues with our testing vendor, we will be removing student consequences attached to STAAR testing for grades 5 and 8 for the remainder of the 2015-2016 assessment cycle."
While the State will not administer any STAAR exams in June as a result of this decision, Commissioner Morath did ask school districts to use local discretion to determine if a student who failed the STAAR exam may advance to the next grade level. There is not one determining factor in this decision; however, successful completion of the Student Success Initiative or STAAR Academy will help inform the decision of grade placement.
Regardless of the State's ruling, the district will continue to provide accelerated instruction this summer in order to prepare students for advancement prior to the 2016-2017 school year.
To read the full letter from Commissioner Morath, click here.