December 21, 2018
Dear CISD Family,
It’s hard to believe that Winter Break is upon us! 2018 was an eventful year full of many new chapters of our Coppell ISD story. With adding new students to our CISD family, the opening of CHS9 and CMS West, state championship for our Girls' Cross Country Team, students performing at exceptional levels in academics and fine arts, it's been an exciting year for CISD. 2019 also will be a year of new beginnings with the opening of Canyon Ranch Elementary, which will have a familiar CISD face as its leader, Ashley Minton, former Richard J. Lee Elementary Assistant Principal and Town Center Elementary Teacher. We are thrilled to have Ms. Minton leading our new elementary school!
The new year will include CISD Boundary Realignment. If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to visit www.coppellisd.com/realignment and review the story in this week’s newsletter that continues to chronicle the Boundary Realignment process. 2019 also brings with it the 86th Texas Legislative Session. Last week at the Coppell Chamber of Commerce Legislative Forum, I had the pleasure of sharing more about CISD’s Legislative Priorities for the upcoming session, which revolve around the three themes of school funding, local accountability and control, and redefined assessment. Details about our priorities and the session are available at www.coppellisd.com/legislative, and I encourage you to be involved and engaged as the session begins in January.
On a personal note, I want to wish a fond farewell to both Coppell High School Secretary Terry Phillips and Chief Financial Officer Kelly Penny, who are both retiring at the end of 2018. Both of these dedicated professionals have personified the CISD Core Value of Relationships during their CISD careers. Terry Phillips has served CISD for 22 years, and her care for our students and families has served CHS well. When I was principal of CHS, I appreciated all she did for the students, staff and administration as the “welcoming face of the campus” as well as me personally. She was a wonderful principal's secretary!
CFO Kelly Penny has been a true advocate for public education and has a big heart for kids. Her commitment to transparency and keeping the district fiscally sound is unparalleled, and the district is better for her service to us for the past 11 years. One of her priorities always has been to help our community better understand the complex ways school districts are funded in Texas, and I applaud her efforts on behalf of CISD. Both Terry and Kelly will be missed. On behalf of the entire district, I wish them the best in their retirement!
I hope you enjoy the Winter Break with your families. Happy Holidays, and here’s looking forward to an amazing 2019!
Ashley Minton is New Principal of Canyon Ranch Elementary
The CISD Board of Trustees approved Ashley Minton as the new principal of Canyon Ranch Elementary during its Dec. 17 Regular Board Meeting. Ms. Minton has served as the Assistant Principal of Richard J. Lee Elementary since 2016. She has 10 years of experience in CISD, including six years as an elementary educator and two years as a district math instructional coach. “I am thankful for my experiences in CISD and am honored to serve as the new principal of Canyon Ranch Elementary,” Ms. Minton said. “I look forward to the opportunities in the upcoming months to build relationships with our families, learners and staff, as we come together to create an incredible new learning environment for our children.”
CISD Makes College Board’s 9th Annual AP® District Honor Roll
CISD is one of 373 school districts in the U.S. and Canada being honored by the College Board with placement on the 9th Annual AP® District Honor Roll. To be included on the 9th Annual AP® District Honor Roll, CISD had to increase the number of students participating in Advanced Placement or AP courses, while also increasing or maintaining the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher. This is the fifth consecutive year CISD has been named to the AP District Honor Roll. The complete 9th Annual AP District Honor Roll can be found at https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/score-reports-data/awards/honor-roll.
Boundary Realignment Update
The CISD Board of Trustees held its third Board Workshop on boundary realignment Dec. 10 at 6:30 p.m. Trustees received an update on the elementary school realignment and an updated proposed Middle School Plan, B3, based on feedback from the Nov. 12 Board Workshop. CISD also shared its recommendation to the Board, which is Elementary Plan A2 and Middle School Plan B3. CISD officials discussed grandfathering and shared their proposed plans to allow current fourth and seventh graders to finish their fifth grade and eighth grade years, if they so choose, at their current school for the 2019-2020 school year. Siblings of these students also would be allowed to remain at the current campus for one year. Parents and guardians of current fourth and seventh graders, who wish to remain at their current campus for the 2019-2020 school year, will need to fill out a transfer application for these students and siblings. CISD will not provide bus transportation for these students.
CISD will open its transfer application enrollment on March 4, 2019. Details about the district’s transfer process for all students will be released in January 2019. Broadcast video of the Dec. 10 Board Workshop, including the scenarios and presentation shared, is available at www.coppellisd.com/realignment. Boundary Realignment also was discussed at the Dec. 17 Regular Board Meeting, and video of that meeting is available at www.coppellisd.com/page/167. The CISD Public Forum on Boundary Realignment will be held on Thursday, January 10, 2019, in the CHS9 Auditorium starting at 6:30 p.m. The district also will host a Boundary Realignment Facebook Live on January 16, 2019, at 6:30 p.m. The CISD community can share additional feedback on the process by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The Board will host a fourth Board Workshop on January 22, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. The Board will consider and adopt the final Boundary Realignment Model at its February 25, 2019, meeting.
Reminder: Complete Strategic Design Core Values Audit
Phase 2 of CISD’s Strategic Design effort will hone in on specific opportunities to fully realize the Core Values developed in Phase 1 of the process. As we move forward, we are again inviting all our stakeholders (students, parents, employees and community members) to provide input about our campuses via this Audit, which is available at www.coppellisd.com/corevaluesaudit. This Audit will be open to the public through at least Dec. 31, 2018. We will use this important insight to help drive the next steps in Phase 2 of our Strategic Design effort. Details and phases of our Strategic Design process, can be found at www.coppellisd.com/strategicdesign.
Austin Robotics Team Advances to Regionals
Led by fifth grade teacher Ashley Rhodes, the 2018-2019 Austin Robotics Team competed at the First Lego League Robotics Competition Dec. 15, where they completed robotics missions, explained their robot design, presented a research project and participated in team building challenges to demonstrate Core Values. Team Austin won the Robot Design Award, and is advancing to the North Texas Regional 2nd Round Qualifier to be held Jan. 12, 2019, at Kimball High School in Dallas. Congratulations to Austin students Jax Bright, Eli Buchman, Aiswarya Iyyappan, Ray Lin, Adhira Pulasser, Abe Thomas, Clare Tse and Sabrina Vrla.
CMS West Junior Thespians Advance to International Competition
Led by Theatre Teacher Frances Hazleton, 29 students from the CMS West Junior Thespian Troupe recently competed at the Texas Junior Thespians Festival. All of the competitors received at least an “Excellent” rating in all competitions. Four CMS Theatre students received a “Superior” rating: Aria Juma for her costume designs; Mehak Lohiya for her costume construction; and Reagann Stolar and Nysa Lilani for their performance in duet acting. These four competitors advance to the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska in June 2019 to compete with Junior Thespians from 45 states and four countries.
National Signing Day
Congratulations to the Coppell student athletes who participated in National Signing Day at the CHS Areana Dec. 19. These football players signed letters of intent to continue their sports at universities across the country: Caden Davis at Texas A&M University, Trevor Stange at Kansas State University, Jonathan McGill at Stanford University, Jack Lookabaugh at the University of Wyoming and Wyatt Klawiter at Fordham University.
Congratulations GEMS & Super Teachers
Congratulations to CISD’s recently announced Great Educators Matter (GEM) for going above and beyond in their role in CISD and to our Super Teachers, who design engaging and innovative learning experiences that ignite the interests of our students!
Fall 2018 GEMs are: Austin Elementary: Music Teacher David Barnette, PE Teacher Gay Dobecka, Art Teacher Lisa Ricciardelli and Instructional Coach Lauren Holcombe; Cottonwood Creek Elementary: PE Teacher Tammy Gilstrap and Art Teacher Sharon Chen; Denton Creek Elementary: Counselor Mindy Lindquist and Kindergarten Teacher Katherine Broadhurst; Lee Elementary: Fifth Grade Designer Samira Khan and Practical Academics Paraprofessional Rikki Mundhada; Mockingbird Elementary: Campus Secretary Beth Kiselak; Pinkerton Elementary: Fourth Grade Teachers Kori Haverstick and Amanda Sweeney; Town Center Elementary: Fifth Grade Teacher Kate Seifert and Third Grade Teacher Julia Baird; Valley Ranch Elementary: First Grade Teacher Brooke Young and Speech Language Pathologist Christine Rich; Wilson Elementary: Special Education Teacher Beth Brandenburg, GTI Specialist Carol Koslowski and PE Teacher Lori Moore; CMS North: Assistant Principal Jamie Lakey, Theatre Teacher Brittany Reese and Social Studies Teacher Angela Geiger; CMS West: Cafeteria Manager Sandra Benton, and Social Studies Teachers Shelby Otway and John Smetzer; CHS9: Health Science Teacher Bill Borowski, Science Teacher Cathy Douglas and Art Teacher Elsa Reynolds; CHS: Art Teacher Michelle Hauske, Special Education Teacher Linda Jurca, Career and Technology Teacher Bruce Stewart and Science Teacher Rebecca Wheatley; New Tech High @ Coppell: Cafeteria/Child Nutrition Worker Denise McWherter; and CISD Curriculum Department: Administrative Assistants Marnie Wallen and Shelli Orjada.
Super Teachers are: Lee Elementary: Green House Designer Team of Taylor Osborn, Aisha Khan, Mariah Wallace, Kylie Radka, Corissa Lamb, Cindy Jacob and Stephanie Deskin; CMS North Sixth Grade Social Studies Teachers Duane Masengill, Garrett Barley and Chip Bloecher; and CHS Theatre Teacher Karen Ruth.
CISD Campuses Celebrate Holidays
Our CISD campuses commemorate the holidays in a variety of ways this time of year, including school music and theatre performances, service projects, toy and food drives, and more. A few examples of these celebrations include:
- The CHS Madrigals performing at all campuses and community events;
- Austin Elementary Student Council “Austin’s Elves Giving Tree Project” partnership with Lions Club to help those in need during the holiday season;
- Pinkerton Elementary did a CASA Angel tree collection school wide and purchased gifts for 20 children in need;
- CHS students helped Cottonwood Creek Elementary students write letters to Santa;
- Lakeside Elementary held a toy drive and a Kindness Day;
- Mockingbird Elementary second grade students read “The Grinch” out loud;
- CMS East Band students performed holiday music at neighboring elementary schools;
- CMS West Theatre students made 120 scarves and 75 lap blankets for several downtown Fort Worth nursing facilities;
- Lee Elementary presented a holiday music program that recognized Christmas, Hanukkah and Diwali;
- Several CHS student groups adopted families for the holidays and more;
- First graders at Town Center Elementary had a Giving Tree service project in partnership with the Coppell Lion's Club, and the school collected 100 toys as part of the project;
- First graders at Valley Ranch collected 1,075 items for the Support Our Soldiers organization;
- Fourth graders at Valley Ranch had a culminating activity where they gave gifts to needy families which were identified by the Irving Advocacy Center as part of their Project Based Learning financial literacy project;
- The LEEdership Council at Lee Elementary hosted a hot cocoa sale to raise funds for others during the holiday season and sold more than 350 cups of hot chocolate; and
- Fourth and Fifth graders at Denton Creek Elementary held a combined service learning Toy and Food Drive to support the needs of the Lions Club.
CHS Pep Rallies at Elementary Schools
To make up for the CHS Homecoming parade, which was cancelled due to weather, Coppell High School wanted to bring the the “pep rally” atmosphere to CISD elementary schools with spirited welcomes for these students prior to school. Over several mornings the past few weeks, CISD elementary school students have been welcomed to school with the members of the CHS Band playing drums, cheerleaders and Lariettes forming spirit lines, and greetings from football players and more, who all shared Cowboy spirit and exempified the “You Matter” tagline to CISD elementary students as they began their school day.
“Pay to Ride” Bus Renewal by Jan. 21
All "Pay to Ride" bus students must renew their Spring Bus Pass no later than Monday, Jan. 21, in order to continue bus service. Visit www.coppellisd.com/Page/15121 for instructions on how to renew.
- Dec. 21 - Early Dismissal
- Dec. 24 - Jan. 4 - Winter Break
- Jan. 7 - School Resumes for Spring Semester
- Jan. 10 - Open Forum on Boundary Realignment 6:30 p.m. CHS
- Jan. 16 - Facebook Live on Boundary Realignment 6:30 p.m.
- Jan. 14 - Regular Board Meeting 7 p.m.
- Jan. 22 - Boundary Realignment Workshop 6:30 p.m.
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