Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Results from the 2013-2014 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) scores were released from the Texas Education Agency. This is the third year students in Pine Tree ISD grades three through eight were required to take the STAAR, and high school freshman, sophomores and juniors took STAAR’s end-of-course exams in multiple subject areas.

“We are very proud of our students and staff, and the overall performance reported in the STAAR and EOC exams, stated Pine Tree ISD Superintendent, Dr. TJ Farler.

The new system includes the following indexes:  #1 - All Student Achievement, #2 - Student Progress, #3 - Closing the Performance Gap among student groups, and #4 Post Secondary Readiness.  Post Secondary Readiness applies to all tested campuses.

Recently released data shows Pine Tree ISD's student scores stood above the state and regional trends in the third year of the more-rigorous STAAR test in several areas.

Overview of 2014 Results

The Pine Tree School District, Pine Tree High School, ExCEL, Pine Tree Junior High and Pine Tree Middle School campuses received a rating of “Met Standard”.
The Intermediate, Elementary and Primary campuses recevied an “Improvement Required”.

Highlights for Pine Tree ISD

The district's results were similar to the statewide index results for Indexes {1, 2, 3, and/or 4, as applicable}.
Of the schools rated as having Met Standard, the following schools earned academic distinctions::  Pine Tree High School and Pine Tree Junior High.

“The work and commitment demonstrated by our students, teachers, and administrators in Pine Tree ISD is outstanding,” said Superintendent Farler.   “We will continue to strive for high levels of academic achievement in the context of nurturing life-long learning.”

“Our goal is to reach high achievement in terms of the accountability system, but also to realize success in whatever path a student chooses beyond high school graduation.  High quality academic instruction is a priority at Pine Tree ISD, along with the development of fine arts, career and technology, and  extracurricular experiences so that all students are prepared for the world beyond high school. In addition, we believe it is vital to instill in our students a sense of community, responsibility and citizenship as the key to success in their future,” she said.  

Passing the STAAR test is still required to graduate from Texas high schools.  In grades 5-8, according to state law, if the student doesn’t pass that attempt they will be retained in their current grade unless a parent appeals and a placement committee unanimously agrees to promote them.  To view the STAAR Statewide Summary Reports of 2013-2014, log on to www.tea.state.tx.us.

Monday, August 11, 2014

PTISD Hosts Parents Night 2014 featuring Angela Maiers

Pine Tree Independent School District will host Parents Night 2014 August 19 at 7:00 p.m. at the Pine Tree Road Auditorium.  This year's event will feature Speaker, Writer and Educator Angela Maiers.

Maiers is an education expert and author of Classroom Habitudes:  Teaching Learning Habits & Attitudes in 21st Century Learning and The Passion-Driven Classroom:  A Framework for Teaching & Learning.

Maiers presentation will be "Building Stronger Students - One Student at a Time"
For additional information contact the PTISD Communications Department at 903.295.5136.

Pine Tree Masonic Lodge 1396 to Present Historic Cornerstone Ceremony

Pine Tree Masonic Lodge 1396 will present an ancient and historic cornerstone ceremony at Pirate Stadium August 19 at 1:00 p.m.  The public is invited to attend.

The is is the same ceremony that was performed by George Washington when he laid the cornerstone on the nation's capital.

Lunch will be served at the Masonic Lodge located at 2709 Pine Tree Road at 12 noon.  Reservations for lunch can be made by email to Allen Morris @amorris@ptisd.org. by August 12.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Pine Tree Teachers and Instructional Leaders Participate in Learning Keys Staff Development

Pine Tree teachers and instructional leaders will participate in a Learning Keys Staff Development August 14 and 15.  This year's focus will be "Designing Engaging Lessons".

Participants will:
 * deconstruct state standards to understand what students need to know and be able to
    master the standard at each grade level
*  design student-friendly learning objectives based on the standards
*  determine academic vocabulary to be taught and used
*  design lessons and assessments aligned to content and rigor of the state standards
*  use the framework to design lessons that will engage learners in grade-appropriate learning
    activities aligned to the state standards

The district will have seven training sites.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Pine Tree High School Selected for Region 7 Design Thinking Pilot Project

Pine Tree High School has been selected to participate in Region 7’s Design Thinking Pilot Project for 2014-2015.  Region 7 ESC and educational consulting group, NO TOSH, will be partnering for the Design Thinking Pilot Project.

NO TOSH specializes in Design Thinking Schools.  The company works with schools to build content, engagement, assessment and creative thinking into one cohesive unit where student achievement is maximized. It is a combination of Project-based and Problem-based learning with a unique twist on thinking strategies.

Pine Tree High School will create their design team which will consist of a group of five pilot team teachers, high school and district administrators. There will be follow up training throughout the year and opportunities for networking and student product demonstrations in the spring.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pine Tree Football Booster Club hosts Huddles & Heels

The Pine Tree Football Booster Club will host Huddles & Heels - Pine Tree Ladies Night Out Thursday, August 14 at 6:30 p.m. at St. Michael & All Angels' Episcopal Church located at 909 Reel Road.

This year's event will include female-friendly football 101 presented by the Pine Tree ISD football coaching staff.  The cost is $20 and will include a pasta buffet dinner.

Reservations can be made by email to sandghill@sbcglobal.net.  For additional information contact the Pine Tree Athletic Office at 903.295.5142.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Pine Tree Students Head Back to School August 25

Ahoy mates!  The Pine Tree Pirates will “Get on board” soon for the 2014-2015 school year.  Monday, August 25 is the first day of school for students.

ALL STUDENT Registration:  August 5 & 6 - 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Pine Tree High School Cafeteria, 900 Northwest Drive

Families who were unable to attend those dates, must register on campus prior to the first day of school.


Pine Tree students who finished the 2013-2014 school year at a Pine Tree campus:

A parent or legal guardian must register the student.
A picture identification of the parent/legal guardian must be shown.
One Proof of Residency must be presented at the time of registration.  Students will not be allowed to register without this documentation.

NOTE:  Any of the following Proof of Residency Documents are accepted:

* A current lease agreement with all residents of the address listed.
* A current utility bill (electric, gas, water only) …. No cell phone or telephone bills
        will be accepted.  The bill cannot be dated more than (30)days prior to the registration
* A current year PTISD Property Tax Statement.


All students who did NOT finish the 2013-2014 school year at a Pine Tree campus must bring the following:

* Parent/Guardian, Picture Identification and Residency (Same as above)
* Birth certificate
* Immunization records
* Most recent report card or transcripts

Pre-Kindergarten students have additional requirements.  Pre-K families must also complete the Application for Free/Reduced Price Meals.  Call 903-295-5000 for more information.


New Employees to the District attended Orientation on July 21 and July 28.

The campus principals for 2014-2015 are:

Brandy Holland Primary     PK-K:
Melanie Bridges         Elementary 1st-2nd
Dr Carla McAvoy            Intermediate 3rd-4th
Lara Cavin                       Middle School 5th-6th
Vanessa Robinson           Junior High 7th-8th
Cindy Gabehart               PT High School 9th-12th
Kim Chatman                 ExCEL High School of Choice
Shalonda Adams            P.A.C.E.

Registration and Meet Your Teacher

PINE TREE High School (Grades 9-12)
Meet the Teacher is set for August 21, 10-12 and 1-3.

Freshman Orientation for 9th graders is August 21 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at Pirate Center on Fairmont Street.  Schedule pickup for 9th-12th grade students is August 21 from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

New high school students registering in grades 9-12 are strongly encouraged to bring an unofficial transcript when they register.

ExCEL High School of  Choice (Grades 9-12)
Meet Your Teacher/Parent/Student Orientation event is set for August 18 & 19 from 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Junior High (Grades 7-8)
Meet Your Teacher/Pick Up Schedules is set for August 22.  7th grade - 8:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
8th grade - 10:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Middle School (Grades 5-6)
Meet Your Teacher is set for August 21 from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Sixth grade schedule pick up & Meet Your Teacher is from 6:00-7:00 p.m
Fifth grade schedule pick up & Meet Your Teacher is from 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Intermediate School (Grades 3-4)
Meet Your Teacher event is set for August 21 from 4:30-7:00 p.m.

Elementary School (Grades 1-2)
Meet Your Teacher event is set for August 21 from 9:00-11:00 a.m.

Primary School (Grades K & PK)
Meet Your Teacher event is set for August 21 from 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.

Age Requirements

To attend Kindergarten, a child must be 5 years old on or before September 1.  Pre-kindergarten children must be 4 years old on or before September 1 and must qualify for free or reduced lunch or be from a non-English speaking home.  Pre-K applicants must present proof or income for all working members of the household.  More information and forms are available online at www.ptisd.org.

Transfer Students

As a public school system, PTISD welcomes all students who live in the area and who meet the state age and health requirements.  Pine Tree ISD began accepting transfer applications for the 2014-2015 school year on April 22 and closed the process on July 24.
Transfer requests may be submitted and approved each year and will be subject to space available.  For more information about transfers, contact James Skeeler at PTISD.
Starting and Ending Times for PT campuses:

PINE TREE Primary (K):  8:25 am - 3:40 pm
PINE TREE Elementary (1-2): 8:25 am -3:40 pm
PINE TREE Intermediate (3-4): 8:25 am - 3:40 pm
PINE TREE Middle (5-6): 7:45 am - 3:05 pm
PINE TREE Junior High (7-8): 7:45 am - 3:00 pm
PINE TREE High School (9-12): 7:45 am - 3:00 pm
PINE TREE ExCEL High School (9-12): 8:00 am-12:00 pm and 12:00-4:00 pm

School Supply Lists:

School supply lists are available for Pre-K through 6th grade online at www.ptisd.org.
Parents should preview the supply lists by grade level in order to be prepared for the first day of school.  Lists, which are available on the district website, also have been distributed to area businesses.  High School and Junior High students will receive their information after the start of school.

Academic Calendar:

The Pine Tree ISD 2014-2015 school year calendar is available to print through www.ptisd.org.


Important information regarding the start of school is posted in a Back to School Guide on the District’s Internet home page - www.ptisd.org.  Included in the guide are supply lists, an academic calendar, a district map, registration information and more.

For access to a computer, Pine Tree High School library hours are:  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, Tuesday and Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. After August 25 students are welcome to visit the high school library before, during and after school to read, study or research.  Parents are also welcome to access computers before and after school hours.

Find PTISD on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.

For more information, contact Mary Whitton, Director of Communications and Public Information, at info@ptisd.org or 903-295-5136.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Pine Tree ISD is now accepting applications for the 2014-2015 Community U.

Community U, established in 2012, is an eight month educational learning opportunity that provides a personalized, firsthand look at how the district operates and all the great opportunities provided for PTISD students.

Community U class meets eight times with each session focusing on a single topic.  Participants will visit district campuses and departments and will learn all aspects of public education including:

Teaching and Learning
Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
School Finance
Personnel Selection and Recruitment
Tours of Facilities and Campuses
District Special Programs and Special Services
Community Partnerships/Education Foundation

Enrollment is open to any parent, business leader, and/or community member in the Pine Tree ISD.
Enrollees are asked to commit to the full program and must be able to attend each monthly session scheduled from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon. Individuals can apply online at www.ptisd.org/CommunityU
Application deadline is August 29, 2014.  The 2014-2015 Community U year will begin October 17.

For additional information regarding Community U, contact Mary Whitton, Director of Communications and Public Information at 903.295.5136 or mwhitton@ptisd.org.

Monday, July 14, 2014

PTHS Students Excel at Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest

Band Students from Pine Tree High School earned a total of 34 State UIL medals at UIL competition last week.

Students earning silver medals:

Rebecca Ayres – Trumpet Solo
Cristian Najara – Trumpet Solo
Gena Weese – Twirling Solo
Stephanie Williamson – Twirling Solo
Alyssa Brazell – Twirling Solo
Vickey Stewart – Twirling Solo
Caroline Jones – Twirling Solo
Colin Ramsey – Euphonium Solo
Izrell Adams – Tuba Solo
Christopher Schaetz – Tuba Solo
Peyton Varner – Keyboard Percussion Solo
Brandon Watson – Keyboard Percussion Solo
Andrea Jenkins – Keyboard Percussion Solo
James Delling – Keyboard Percussion Solo
Grant Carrington – Piano Solo

Students earning Gold Medals:

Jerry Zhang – Clarinet Solo
Tyler Helms – Trumpet Solo
Andrew Allison – Trumpet Solo
Tyler Russell – Snare Drum Solo
Erin Whittenberg – Twirling Solo
Flute Choir – Hannah Boggio, Melissa Hammonds, Allison Garrett, Madison Randall, Angela Bradshaw, Amber Luna, Riley Kennedy and Victoria Reese
Clarinet Trio – James McNaney, Dezmund Thomas and Jerry Zhang
Trumpet Trio – Hannah Counts, Cristian Najara, and Tyler Helms
Zachary Schaetz - Keyboard Percussion Solo

Congratulations to all these outstanding students.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

PTISD Trustee Recognized at Leadership TASB

Terre Dunn, a member of the PTISD Board of Trustees, recently was recognized for her completion of the year long Leadership TASB program.  Dunn, a former President and Vice-President of the PTISD Board of Trustees and a board member for seven years, was a member of the class of 2014.

Terre Dunn
Leadership TASB, a program sponsored by the Texas Association of School Boards, is a board development program designed to take experienced board members to a new level of service and leadership by exposing them to a variety of issues, people, activities, and locations during the year-long program.  Class members are selected for demonstrated leadership in their local districts and communities, and for their representation of the diversity of Texas school districts.

The LTASB class of 2014 represents Texas school districts of all sizes, with student populations of 240 to over 201,000, and reflects the range of property wealth.

Each session had a specific theme that builds on the previous session and features state and nationally recognized experts in the fields of leadership development and education. Teams also work on extended learning assignments between meetings throughout the year. Created in 1993, Leadership TASB has almost 700 graduates to date.

Mrs. Dunn is the first trustee from PTISD to complete the program.  With the completion of this program, Mrs. Dunn is now a master trustee.

“Our district is very proud of Terre Dunn and her completion of Leadership TASB.  It is a great honor to represent Pine Tree ISD through this leadership program,” said Pat Noon, PTISD President.

“It was a wonderful opportunity for me to participate in Leadership TASB.  It provided me the opportunity to connect with other school board trustees and be exposed to important issues, people, activities and locations throughout the state” said Mrs. Dunn.