December 16, 2016                                                                                                                                        No. 62
Happy Holidays from GCISD
District offices and campuses will be closed Monday, December 19 through Friday, December 30. Staff will return on Monday, January 2 and students* will return Tuesday, January 3. 

We hope you have a fun and safe winter break.
Happy Holidays!

* - Collegiate Academy classes will resume Tuesday, January 10.
GCISD schools earn top counseling awards
Six GCISD campuses have been recognized with the Counselors Reinforcing Excellence for Students in Texas (CREST) award. Bear Creek Elementary School, Cannon Elementary: A GCISD STEM School, Glenhope Elementary School, Silver Lake Elementary School, 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 School, Grapevine Elementary School, 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.
In This Issue
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GCISD Website
GCISD Education Foundation
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.

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.
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!
Cannon awarded for dedication to STEM learning
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.
High School ASL classes host party
Holiday fun 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, 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, third-grade teacher at Silver Lake Elementary School.
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."
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Students from Cannon Elementary: A GCISD STEM School make fleece blankets to donate to Project Linus.

Check out their photos!
The Timberline Elementary School choir perform "North Pole," a musical.

See more!
Silver Lake Elementary School fourth graders deliver a great performance of "The Little Mermaid."

Check out the photos!
Upcoming Events
December 19 - 30: GCISD offices are closed for Winter Break. Staff return Monday, January 2, 2017. Students return and classes resume Tuesday, January 3, 2017.

February 13, 2017: Save the Date! GCISD Special Programs Expo at Cross Timbers Middle School from 5 - 7:30 p.m. More information to come! 

Click here to check out more upcoming events. 
Let's Talk! with GCISD
Use  Let's Talk! to engage the district in conversation. Share your questions, comments, concerns and feedback through the Let's Talk! system to start a dialogue with district staff.
Let's Talk! may be found on the GCISD homepage, or by visiting

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