Willow Springs Middle School

A Message from the Principal
WSMS Principal Newsletter, November 16, 2021
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Dear WSMS Parents and Guardians,

I am greatly honored to be selected as the Interim Principal for Willow Springs.  I love being a part of our campus and look forward to serving your child and your family.  I believe it is important that we continue our traditions of excellence at WSMS for the remainder of this school year as we transition to a new principal.  Our success as a campus has been built on the strong partnership between parents and educators. I am excited to continue this partnership through our valuable conversations as we all strive to ensure the success of each WSMS Leopard. Although I have no plans to apply for the permanent position, I am ready and willing to bridge the gap to the next chapter for WSMS. If there is anything I can do to help your child feel more confidence and joy in their educational experiences here at WSMS.
This week is not only a busy week for WSMS as we head into Thanksgiving Break but also for our district. Basketball begins this week (ticket link is in the athletic section below), we have a cross country meet (16th), wrestling has their first dual (17th), WSMS Spelling Bee (18th) and Club Day (19th) are keeping students hopping. 
Our LHS Varsity Volleyball Team is competing in the State Tournament this weekend at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland.  The semi-final game is this Friday at 11:00 a.m.  Please see below for more information.
This Thanksgiving, take time to pause and reflect on the many blessings in your lives. Amongst my blessings I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with you and your children.  Thank you for giving me this opportunity. Wishing you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving!
Please know that you can always reach me by email at Rachael_Merrick@lovejoyisd.net or on my cell phone at 214.929.5380.
Proud Leopard,


Rachael Merrick
Interim WSMS Principal
1101 West Lucas Rd, Lucas 75002
Office: 469-742-8417
Mobile: 214-929-5380

LHS Volleyball State Tournament Information
LHS Volleyball Game Dismissal - Friday, November 19th
As many of you already know, our Leopard Volleyball team has made it to the UIL State Tournament and will play their next game on Friday, November 19th at 11:00 a.m. at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland. 
Students who will be checking out after 9:30 a.m. must be physically checked out of school by a parent, guardian or another authorized adult. Students are prohibited from being checked out of school by anyone other than their own parent/guardian or someone approved in the parent portal for release, unless the parent has given other approval. You may complete the WSMS State Volleyball Checkout Form until 8pm on Thursday evening, to help speed up the sign out process.  
In order to receive an approved absence, students will then need to turn in their ticket stub from the game (with their name written on the back) to our attendance office or front office when they return to school on Monday, November 29th. 
Please DO NOT have your student wait for you in the front office. By going to their 2nd period class and waiting until after 9:30 a.m. to check out of school, it provides students an opportunity to share in the State Championship experience and allows them to be counted present for state attendance/funding purposes.  

NJHS/ACO Thanksgiving Food Drive
NEW! NJHS Service Project: ACO Thanksgiving Box Drive, November 8th - 17th
It’s that time of year when giving just a little can change a needy family’s entire holiday season. Willow Springs homeroom classes are partnering with NJHS to hold a Thanksgiving Box Drive for Allen Community Outreach. NJHS students will be working with 7th and 8th -grade homeroom classes to put together a Thanksgiving Box for needy families in our community. Each class will be assigned ONE item to bring, and the students may bring as many of that item as possible. (The more the better!) Allen Community outreach will combine the items to form a box that contains everything a family will need in order to cook a traditional Thanksgiving meal. The food drive will begin on November 8 and last until November 17.
In addition to canned goods, each homeroom will ask for one volunteer to provide a $20 gift card to Kroger or Walmart for the purchase of the turkey.

Upcoming Dates

WSMS Spelling Bee - THURSDAY, November 18th

The WSMS Spelling Bee will be on November 18th from 9:15-11, in the cafeteria. Parents are welcome to attend.  
Club Day - This Friday

We will be on an alternate bell schedule for Club Day. Please click here for the schedule. There are some clubs, such as Extreme Club, where students are allowed to bring items to campus that day. If participating in Extreme Club, helmets are REQUIRED.  
WSMS & PTA Presents a look at Sex Education & Your Willow Springs Student - AIM for Success's Freedom to Succeed

Aim for Success is a nonprofit, youth health education organization whose mission is “helping young people make healthy choices that will give them freedom to reach their dreams and goals”.
The program your students will be participating in this year is Freedom to Succeed and focuses on What the Law Says about Sexual Activity. Topics included are the laws the define sex, teen pregnancy and child support, dating violence, and sexting. Click here for the program agenda.
Dates for the program are:
  • 8th Grade Student Presentations - Tuesday 11/30 through Math Classes
  • 7th Grade Student Presentations - Wednesday 12/1 through Math Classes
The parent presentation will include the entire student presentation and additional information for parents on how they can help reinforce the information at home.
Beginning this year, the State of Texas is requiring schools to obtain permission for students to receive sexual health education. To either Opt-In or Opt-Out, all parents must complete the following Permission Form. Click here to access the form. If you’ve had problems accessing the permission form, a paper copy is going home with students through their Math class. Please complete and have them turn into the SSC.
Toy Donations Needed for ACO for Christmas! Deadline is December 3rd

Allen Community Outreach will be helping over 2000 children in our community to enjoy Christmas this year! They are collecting new, unwrapped toys for children ages 0-16.
If you would like to donate a toy, please drop off in the boxes located in the Willow Springs front lobby from now until December 3rd. Please see ACOcares.org for more information.
Final Exams, December 13th-17th 

Final exams will officially begin, Monday, December 13th. Teachers are expected to provide students with final exam reviews by Friday, December 3rd. In addition, all final exam reviews will be loaded on the WSMS website on December 6th (under both student and parent) and teachers will upload exam reviews into their Google Classrooms. Please encourage your son or daughter to begin working on their final exam reviews early. As they begin to study, encourage them to study every night in short 15-20 minute increments rather than “cramming” the night before the test. Research shows that students who study in small chunks of time over a period of days are more successful on assessments.
We will be sending out more information about middle school final exams over the next two weeks.  
Reminders From The Nurse

To keep all of our students safe, please partner with us and monitor your child for the following symptoms BEFORE sending them to school. 

  • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Shaking or exaggerated shivering
  • Significant muscle pain or ache
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Congestion or runny nose
If your student is not feeling well, please keep them at home and email your child’s assistant principal. Please also keep them home, contact the nurse, and their assistant principal if your student receives a lab positive COVID test.

Nurse Young gretchen_young@lovejoyisd.net or by phone at (469) 742-8420. 
Carol Vik Carol_Vik@lovejoyisd.net - Attendance/PEIMS Clerk

Rebecca May Rebecca_May@lovejoyisd.net - Assistant Principal for students whose last name begins with the letters A-Le.
Rachael Merrick Rachael_Merrick@lovejoyisd.net - Assistant Principal for students whose last name begins with the letters Li-Z.

If there is a positive case of COVID in your child's classroom, we will send an email to let you know. Lovejoy ISD will maintain our current COVID-19 dashboard by each campus on the website. Numbers will be updated at the end of each day. We are also required to notify the Health Department and the TEA of positive cases in our schools.
Please click here for the most up to date information regarding LISD’s 2021-2022 Health and Safety Measures.

WSMS Recognitions
 Media Success

Our broadcast journalism students have received multiple awards in the NSPA Fall Best of Show Awards ceremony announced Saturday, November 13, 2021. 

Our announcements won Best of Show in the middle school category from schools across the nation. Students also won 1st, 2nd, 8th and 9th places in the broadcast news category against high schools across the country. Please help me congratulate these amazing future journalists!!!
(Their stories and announcements were produced the first few weeks of school this year!) 

Broadcast News Program - Junior High/Middle School
1. WSMS News
Willow Springs Middle School, Lucas, Texas
Broadcast News Story
1. Reagan Wiss, Margaret Meehlhause
“Sway Concussions,”
WSMS News, Willow Springs Middle School, Lucas, Texas

2. Kaitlyn Miller, Pablo Duran
“Crashes first day of school,”
WSMS News, Willow Springs Middle School, Lucas, Texas

8. Pragnya Kotra, Emma Pierce
“Larger Class Sizes,”
WSMS News, Willow Springs Middle School, Lucas, Texas

9. Avery Gray
“Covid Update,”
WSMS News, Willow Springs Middle School, Lucas, Texas
 All Region Band

Congratulations to all of our band students who advanced to phase 2 of All Region.  The competition is really tough and I am so proud of all of you!  18 students placed in the All Region Band and 5 hold positions as alternates.  This is a fantastic showing for our students!  Congratulations!

Audrey Oesterling, Symphonic Band
Jasmine Gasser, Concert Band
Eise Wright, Concert Band
Bass Clarinet
Sarah Gable, Concert Band
Bari Sax
Zach Chervil, Concert Band
Adam Kent, Wind Symphony
Jordan Paulus, Symphonic Band
Shounak Guduguntla, Concert Band
Cade George, Symphonic Band
Nolan Hummel, Concert Band
Ben Sussman, Concert Band
Ford Edwards, Symphonic Band
Landon Matacale, Concert Band
Steven Chang, Concert Band
Cayden Quan, Concert Band
Max Ratleff, Wind Symphony
Devin Goins, Symphonic Band
Merryn Berner, Concert Band
Josh Atkinson, 1st alternate
Tenor Sax
Luke David, 1st alternate
Michael Ball, alternate
Connor McKee, 1st alternate
Preston Quan, alternate

Campus Reminders
November Nutrition Newsletter
Click here to view this month’s newsletter.


How important is it for kids to be in school? 
School attendance is a baseline factor in determining school success. 
A missed school day is a missed opportunity for students to learn. 
Regular attendance fosters a classroom connection between teachers and students. 
Attending school also provides time for social interactions with peers. 

Did you know that?
  • Attendance is the most significant driver in the funding Lovejoy ISD receives from the state each year? 
  • A 3% reduction in the yearly average daily attendance (ADA) can cause the district to lose $800,000 in funding. 
  • An increase of 1% in the yearly ADA can fund 3 teachers’ salaries. 
  • Although it may seem insignificant that the district loses $50 a day when a student is absent, consider the impact when 250 students are absent across the district and the district loses $12,500. Multiply that by 15 days and it is a loss of $187,500. The impact is significant.
  • Attendance taken at 10 AM determines the ADA funding that Lovejoy ISD receives for that date. If the student is on campus at that time, LISD receives approximately $50.00 per student. If a student is absent, ADA is lost.

PowerSchool App
The PowerSchool app is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. You use the same PowerSchool online login. Enter the District code NJBC.

LISD Calendar
Please go here for LISD calendars.

The PTO has several opportunities to support our teachers, staff and community this Thanksgiving.
New Opportunity
The counselors have made us aware of a WSMS family in need. We are collecting Walmart and Honey Baked Ham gift cards so they can celebrate Thanksgiving. Gift cards of any amount can be dropped any time this week at the front desk at WSMS. Extras will be used toward providing Christmas meals and gifts.
Teacher Thanksgiving Lunch – SIGN UP IS FULL! - Please bring all items to the front desk at WSMS BY 10am this Friday. Chili should be in labeled crock pots or other warming containers and may be picked up after 1:30pm.

Give Thanks and Pies – SIGN UP IS FULL! – Pies may be dropped off before 7pm on Wednesday at 1814 Lorraine Ave or 1521 Asbury Ln, or at the school on Thursday before 2pm.
Next membership meeting: February 8
Warm Regards,
Christy Forte'
WSMS PTO President
Middle School Sports Tickets
To purchase a ticket for this week's home basketball games, please click here.

Girls XC Meet Results 11/9/21
7th Grade Girls:
Chloe Reyna - 1st
Cora Craver - 3rd
Paige Spencer - 8th
8th Grade Girls - Notice the 3rd-8th consecutive placements... this is how you win Championships in XC!!!
Jocelyn Champman - 3rd
Tatum Novicke - 4th
Peyton Novicke -5th 
Harper Jaynes -6th
Bridget Bernal - 7th
Gracy Peay - 8th
Boys XC Meet Results 11/9/21
We won both boys divisions! I am especially proud of our 8th grade boys. The course monitors directed the lead group the wrong path and those runners had to turn around and play catch up. We still came out with the win by only one point! Awesome stuff!

7th Grade Basketball 11/15/21 vs Rockwall Cain
C Team - Won
B Team - Won
A Team - Won 
C Team - Won
B Team - Won
A Team - Won

Athlete Physical Information
Online athletic forms are online and ready to be completed for the 2021-2022 school year. Please go to https://lovejoyisd.rankonesport.com/New/Home.aspx set up your account, and fill out the forms.

Any and all online paperwork questions should be directed to Victoria Reyes at 469-742-8411 or victoria_reyes@lovejoyisd.net.

The 2021-2022 physical forms are now available for players to pick up. Players may get one at the front office of WSMS, or print one by clicking here.  
District and Other News
Community News
The Lovejoy ISD Community News Page includes news from our schools, programs, booster clubs, student organizations, Foundation for Lovejoy Schools, community, and more. Check back often for up-to-date news on events and activities.

Foundation for Lovejoy Schools
We’re excited to kick off our Annual Appeal campaign!  Our goal is to raise $300,000 and have 35% community involvement. The students of Lovejoy ISD are touched by Foundation dollars in every school and grade throughout the district. Now, more than ever, they need our support to ensure no interruption to the Lovejoy standard of exceptional learning.

Visit our website today to learn more and donate! 
Stay Connected