March 29, 2019
Dear CISD Family,
We often hear, and even say, that those who live in the Coppell ISD boundaries, live within a “bubble.” I believe it is time for us to “burst that bubble” and address an important issue we need to take seriously — drug abuse within our community.
Drug abuse does not have a zip code. It does not discriminate in favor of the suburbs. It is a fluid problem in every city, town and neighborhood. Those who do not think drug abuse is happening in our community are either misinformed or in denial. It is time to get our heads out of the sand, put our judgement away and address this issue as a community.
Last week, Rick Calvert, Assistant United States Attorney Northern District of Texas, spoke to our high school students and staff about Drugs & the Opioid Epidemic, and also gave a Parent University presentation on the topic. You can access a video of his presentation here. It is eye-opening and heart wrenching to hear the impact of this epidemic on our own former students, several of whom have died from overdoses or are currently in prison as a result of their drug use. These victims are our children and no one is immune to the dangers of drug abuse; no one. And if one in our community has suffered, then it's one too many. We have to take the shame out of discussing this issue and be there to support each other. I am so grateful and applaud the efforts of one of our own, Pinkerton PE teacher Colleen Michaelis, for sharing her story of the tragic death of her incredible son to drugs with the Dallas Morning News.
Frequent comments made to the district about this issue include: “We don’t have a drug problem. The district is trying to hide a drug problem and isn’t doing anything about it. Or, my kid doesn’t have a drug problem, only bad kids do, so this isn’t my problem.”
I strongly believe that not only is drug use by our students all of our problem; it is imperative for us to work together to address it. We have to admit that drug use is a problem and do all we can as a community to solve this issue.
So what is CISD doing about it? We are increasing awareness amongst our “bubble” by bringing speakers such as Mr. Calvert to speak to our students and community. We also have a strong partnership with our Coppell Police Department, Irving Police Department and Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, who work with us every day to address the issue of drugs at our schools. Wands and drug dogs often are at our secondary schools searching the premises and students. Though federal privacy laws limit what can be shared, I can tell you there have been several recent arrests of our high school students for drug possession. As a district, we are taking a firm stance with this issue.
Parents also play a crucial role in drug prevention. We need to know where our kids are and who they are hanging out with, especially if there are new friend groups. Limit access to prescription drugs at home that often are gateways to heroin use. Searching and monitoring phones is part of being a parent today. As parents, we should be checking our kids phones on a daily basis. Our police department also offers free drug tests to parents. While you may not want to or have cause to drug test your children, if you make them aware that you will, this allows them to say, when offered drugs, “My parents drug test me, so no.” As we keep, “If you see something; say something,” in mind; I remind you that CISD has an anonymous tip line at www.coppellisd.com/tiplineor by calling 972-436-TIPS (8477).
Drugs and alcohol abuse often go hand-in-hand. On April 4, the district will be presenting “Shattered Dreams” to high school students in the CHS Arena and parking lot. This real-time enactment of drunk driving, crash, death and its aftermath brings a harrowing exposure of the preciousness of life and how one bad decision can “shatter” your and your families lives.
By sharing this heavy topic with our CISD community this week, I am hopeful that we are taking a step in the right direction to admit our problem, work together to make it better and, ultimately, save lives.
Transfer Application Deadline Today at 4:30 p.m.
The application deadline for all “grandfathered” and transfer students is today at 4:30 p.m. Application forms must be turned in at the CISD Vonita White Administration Building at 200 S. Tap Denton Tap Road. Decisions will be communicated to applicants by April 30, 2019. Details on this process and forms are available at www.coppellisd.com/transfer.
*CISD will not provide transportation for students who transfer campuses, including those who transfer as “grandfathered” students. Also, there will not be a “pay-to-ride” option for “grandfathered” or transfer students.
Kit Pehl Selected as Coppell ISD Athletic Director
The CISD Board of Trustees approved Kit Pehl as the district’s new Athletic Director during their March 25 meeting. He has served as the CISD Assistant Director of Athletics since 2016 and was the Coppell High School Head Basketball Coach from 2012 to 2018. His many CISD accolades include being named the 2016 District 7-6A Coach of the Year, and he is a 2015 CISD GEM (Great Educators who Matter) recipient.
Board Approves SRO for Irving Schools and Limiting Access to CMS East Athletic Field
During their regular Board Meeting March 25, the CISD Board of Trustees approved closing the Athletic Field at CMS East to the public on weekends due to the misuse of the field on the weekends. Trustees also approved an agreement with the Irving Police Department to supply a School Resource Officer to Valley Ranch and Canyon Ranch elementary schools in Irving. Details about these actions are available via the Board Meeting Briefs at www.coppellisd.com/Page/12602 and the video archive of the meeting at https://coppellisd.swagit.com/play/03252019-965.
Parent University Drug Presentation Available on YouTube
The Parent University presentation “Drugs & Opioid Epidemic” given by Rick Calvert, Assistant United States Attorney Northern District of Texas, is available on the CISD YouTube channel. You can access this presentation here and other Parent University presentations at www.youtube.com/coppellisd.
West Student Advances to National Spelling Bee
Congratulations to Rohan Raja, a 7th grader at CMS West, who is heading to the National Scripps Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. May 26-31. Rohan finished as runner up in the Dallas Regional Spelling Bee after co-winning the CISD Spelling Bee to advance to Nationals. Way to go, Rohan!
RoundUp Wins National Silver Crown Award
For the first time in its history, the CHS RoundUp Yearbook has won a Silver Crown Award from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Crown Awards are the highest recognition given by the association to a student print or digital medium for overall excellence. Congratulations to the 2017-18 yearbook staff and its adviser, Sallyanne Harris, for this accomplishment!
CHS Debate Wins 1st Ever State Title
Coppell High School juniors Het Desai and Shreyas Rajagopal won the Texas Forensic Association State Debate Tournament. This is the first time CHS has won the tournament in its 46 year history. More than 1,500 students attended the largest state tournament in the nation. Congratulations to these debaters and to teachers Jason Sykes and Maleda Kunkle for all of your hard work!
Soccer Teams in Playoff Hunt
Our district champion Girls' Soccer Team and 2nd place Boys' Soccer Team are in the playoff hunt, with both winning their 1st round playoff games March 28. The Cowgirls defeated Keller, and the Cowboys defeated Denton Guyer. We are cheering both teams as they continue in their playoff pursuits. Visit https://coppellathletics.net/ for playoff schedule and details.
SuperTeachers Exemplify Great Teaching Value
One of CISD’s Core Values is Great Teaching. As the full value statement states, “We value great teaching because we believe it is key to deep learning.” Twice a year, we recognize Super Teachers, who design engaging and innovative learning experiences that ignite the interests of our students. Our Spring SuperTeachers are:
- Kathleen Kamphaus - CHS;
- Sarah Baker - CHS9;
- Lashaumbe Jernigan - New Tech High @ Coppell;
- Chrissi Hunter - New Tech High @ Coppell;
- Kristin Petrunin - New Tech High @ Coppell;
- Joni Hill - CMS North;
- Ashley Rhodes - Austin Elementary;
- Neera Jackson - Pinkerton Elementary;
- Natalie Cuccia - Pinkerton Elementary;
- Elizabeth Ayer - Pinkerton Elementary; and
- Bethany Nenze - Pinkerton Elementary.
Turning Point Program at Victory Place Graduates Record Class
A record number of learners graduated from the Turning Point program at Victory Place @ Coppell on March 21. These 30 graduates, their families and educators, were able to celebrate this achievement during a special commencement ceremony held at the CMS North Library. The future plans of these Coppell High School alumni include attending colleges and universities such as North Lake Community College, Texas State, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State University, the University of Texas at Dallas, Kansas State University, the Art Institute of Dallas and more. Several graduates are pursuing military service with the Marines, Air Force and Army. Turning Point allows CISD high school students the opportunity to earn high school credit towards their diploma in a smaller, non-traditional setting. Graduations are held each nine weeks when coursework is completed. Congratulations to these graduates and their families!
Carson Dyke Remembered Via Carson’s Corner Lego Wall at West
To say Legos were a huge part of Carson Dyke’s life is an understatement. The lively and engaging CMS West 6th grader, who took his own life in April 2017, loved playing with Legos and using his vivid imagination, creativity and inquisitive mind to construct any number of Lego creations. The memory of his love of Legos will live on via the Carson’s Corner Lego Wall in the library of CMS West, which was unveiled and dedicated in his memory March 22.
After Carson’s death, the CMS West PTO was among the Coppell and CISD “village” that rallied around the Dyke family — his parents April and Jason Dyke, and his older brothers Alex and Ryan. When Carson passed away, about $4,000 dollars was donated to the CMS West PTO in his honor. The Dyke family decided to use the funds to create Carson’s Corner at CMS West and to purchase two benches in his memory for the Coppell High School Ninth Grade Campus (CHS9), where Carson spent his 6th grade year.
The family also has founded the non-profit organization Carson’s Village, which is dedicated to supporting other families through the grieving process. More information can be found at www.carsonsvillage.org.
Canyon Ranch Hosts Pop by the Park for Popsicles April 1
Meet future Canyon Ranch students, Principal Ashley Minton and school staff when you “Pop by the Park for Popsicles!” Monday, April 1st. This come-and-go event starts at 5:30 p.m. and ends at 7 p.m.at North Lake Ranch Park, located at 1317 Ranch Trail in Irving.
Kindergarten Registration/Kindergarten Round Up May 2nd
Kindergarten Registration is underway for all of CISD’s elementary schools. Click here to find the school(s) you are zoned for the 2019-20 school year using your home address. Visit your school's website for enrollment instructions: Austin, Canyon Ranch, Cottonwood Creek, Denton Creek, Lakeside, Lee, Mockingbird, Pinkerton, Town Center, Valley Ranch and Wilson. Visit www.coppellisd.com/Page/8804 for details. Kindergarten Round-Up will be held at all elementary schools May 2nd.* Canyon Ranch Elementary will host its Kindergarten Round-Up May 9th.
Ed Foundation Super Star Nominations Due April 26
Help the Coppell ISD Education Foundation spotlight the dedicated and hardworking students, teachers, administrators and support staff in CISD by nominating them for a Super Star award. The final round of Super Star nominations for this year is April 26th. Everyone nominated, regardless of whether they are chosen as a winner, will receive a printed certificate which is recognition in itself, so please nominate as many deserving individuals as possible! Visit www.coppellisdef.com/super-star for more information about the Super Star Program. Click here for a link to the nomination form.
Register now for May 11 CEF Run to Fund
Don’t miss out on the best registration deal for the annual Coppell ISD Education Foundation Run to Fund on Saturday, May 11, 2019, at Andy Brown East. Registration fees INCREASE ON APRIL 1st. All 5K and Fun Run registrations include a race t-shirt, and $2 from every race entry will be contributed to the PE department at the Coppell ISD school of your choice.
RACE CATEGORIES AND PRICING:
Early Registration through March 31
5K - CISD Student, Staff or Alumni $25
5K - General $30
Fun Run $20 (Fun Run for ages 5 & under - Free but does not include race t-shirt, and registration is required.)
Proceeds from the Run to Fund support our classroom grant program. Register now at http://coppellisdef.com/run-to-fund-2019 to take advantage of early registration pricing. This Coppell community-based 5K and 1-mile fun run will be fun for the whole family!
- April 3 - CISD Night at the Ballpark
- April 8 - Board Workshop 6 p.m.
- April 19 - Bad Weather Day (no school)
- April 22 - Professional Development - Student Holiday/Staff Workday
- April 29 - Regular Board Meeting 7 p.m., GEM recognitions at 5:30 p.m.
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At Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Irving, we provide comprehensive healthcare services to help you and your family get better. And because we care about building a healthier community, we’re renovating our hospital to fit your needs as they grow. Learn more at BSWHealth.com/Irving.
Interested in learning more about pursuing a degree from GCU? You are invited to find out about your opportunities to earn your next degree and learn more from our enrollment representatives. Learn More!