McKinney ISD ALPHA Newsletter

In this newsletter:

  • McKinney ISD Converge 2015 & Parent RSVP
  • Reading Graphic
  • Summer Resources & Camps
  • Incoming 4th & 5th Grade Information
  • 4th & 5th Grade Supply List
  • K-2nd Curriculum Overview
  • K-2nd Supply List
  • Grand Slam Professional Learning:  6 hour update
  • Alpha Twitter


  • Math Olympiad National Competition Award Winners
  • Math Noetic National Competition Award Winners
  • Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision National Competition Award Winners
  • Geo Bee National Competition Award Winners & Finalists

McKinney ISD Converge 2015

The MISD Instructional Technology department is excited to announce the first annual Converge Digital Conference for teachers, administrators and adult learners interested in becoming agents of change in education. Please join us June 23-25 at McKinney Boyd High School.  Please use the link below to learn more.

  • Students may participate in the MISD 1-Minute Film Festival "One Minute to Save Your Future".  Use the link above for details.
  • Parent sessions will include digital citizenship/literacy, how to's, & Alec Couros sessions.  Please use the link below to RSVP.

(This graphic was created by artist Mike Andereck for a Colorado literacy organization, Burning Through Pages, that works to inspire a love of reading among youth. The design is available on posters and t-shirts on Zazzle to help support their youth literacy programs).

Summer Resources & Camps

Summer brain builders can be found on our Weebly under the “Home” and “Summer Brain Work” tabs.

Incoming 4th & 5th Grade Information

In 4th and 5th grade, your child will be traveling to Webb Elementary for their ALPHA classes for 2 days per week, either Monday/Tuesday, or Wednesday/Thursday. We ask that your child be at their home campus by 8:00 a.m. on ALPHA days, in order to check in with their classroom teacher. This will help ensure that your child will be on time to ride the bus to ALPHA.

We look forward to meeting with you during the ALPHA ‘Meet the Teacher Night’ in August. Specific information for this event will be provided to you before school starts.

During the fall ‘Meet the Teacher Night’, we will have several nurses available to receive medications. However, ALL medical paperwork needs to be completed and turned into your child’s home campus nurse for her records.

Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions. We hope that you have a wonderful summer.  


Karen J. Green, M.Ed.                                                                                             McKinney ISD K-12 Coordinator for Gifted and Talented Services

2015-2016 3rd-5th Grade Supply List

K-2nd Curriculum Overview

McKinney’s K-2 ALPHA curriculum is a research-based curriculum. It is named Biomes “Ology and Ologist” and the units are utilized to address learning objectives.

This program is a three-year study of different Biomes of the world (Amazon Rain Forest, the African Savanna and the Oceans) through the sciences and scientists starting with Cartographers, Botanist, Entomologist, Arachnologist, Herpetologist, Ichthyologist and Mammalogist.

The objectives in each unit for each grade level are research-based thinking skills, which cover a number of aptitudes in five broad areas: critical thinking, creative thinking, metacognition, affective development, and research. The progression of these objectives is grade-level appropriate and spans Kindergarten through second grade. The structure and rigor of the curriculum for each grade level ensures that MISD provides a consistent ALPHA pullout curriculum across the district.

Lisa Crates and Lisa Sutton travel to all 20 McKinney ISD Elementary Schools weekly pulling classes for 1 hour for each grade level.

During their time they research the biome through different science and scientist and also make a scientific model.

The program is highly anticipated weekly by the K-2 ALPHA students.

2015-2016 K-2nd Supply List

August 10-11, 2015

The Gifted and Talented department is excited to announce the fourth annual Professional Learning Conference for teachers and administrators. Come learn about meeting the needs of your gifted and advanced learners, learn practical strategies to incorporate best practices into your lesson design, and network with other professional educators.

America's greatest past time, baseball, perfectly complements the growth mindset culture we are fostering in our classrooms as we work together to help our students develop the their skill set and become lifelong learners.

Join us August 10-11 at McKinney Boyd High School as we 'knock it out of the park'.

ALPHA Twitter

Alpha is now on Twitter. Follow each class using the links below to see the great things that are happening at Alpha each day. An easy way to discover the learning that is happening in each cluster is by searching Twitter using the Alpha hashtag, #misdgt. To be redirected to Twitter, click the #misdgt hyperlink or the picture below.

@mrsstallbaumer Angie Stallbaumer

@adwilliamsALPHA  Ashley Williams

@MsCortez10  Felicia Cortez

@alphaelar  Nikki Dressel

@fawaz4catlie Kristin Fawaz

@misdgt  MISD ALPHA

@KarenGreen5  Karen Green, Coordinator of Gifted and Talented

Throughout the school year, 4th and 5th grade Alpha students participated in many national competitions.  McKinney ISD is well represented with many Alpha students earning awards in each of the competitions.

Math Olympiad National Competition

"Math Olympiad is a national contest designed to teach the major strategies of problem solving, to foster mathematical creativity, and to stimulate enthusiasm and love for the types of problems that students encounter in competitive mathematics." - Information taken from the Math Olympiad website found at

The goals of Math Olympiad:

  • To stimulate enthusiasm and a love for Mathematics
  • To introduce important Mathematical concepts
  • To teach major strategies for problem solving
  • To develop Mathematical flexibility in solving problems
  • To strengthen Mathematical intuition
  • To foster Mathematical creativity and ingenuity
  • To provide for the satisfaction, joy, and thrill of meeting challenges

Top 2% Gold Pin Award

  • Jaxon Cota, Eddins Elementary *Cluster Top Score
  • Liam Nichols, Valley Creek *Cluster Top Score

Top 10% Silver Pin Award

  • Titus Gilbert, Wolford Elementary *Cluster Top Score
  • Braxton Wade, Wolford Elementary, *Cluster Top Score
  • Hecktor Cissik, Johnson Elementary, *Cluster Top Score
  • Keiana Trone, McClure Elementary *Cluster Top Score
  • Jacob Symalla, McNeil Elementary, *Cluster Top Score
  • Ainsley Carpenter, Walker Elementary, *Cluster Top Score
  • Kaitlyn Younger, Johnson Elementary
  • Spencer Sarkissian, Eddins Elementary
  • John Fischang, Eddins Elementary
  • Matthew Butter, Bennett Elementary
  • Lacey Hale, Bennett Elementary
  • Jordan Tan, Wolford Elementary
  • Hayden Rogers, Slaughter Elementary
  • Zachary Bell, Walker Elementary
  • Noah Alavi, Press Elementary
  • Genevieve Hendrie, Valley Creek Elementary
  • Jason Zapanta, Wilmeth Elementary

Noetic Learning Math National Competition

"The Noetic Learning Math Contest (NLMC) is a problem solving contest. The goal of the competition is to encourage students' interest in math, to develop their problem solving skills, and to inspire them to excel in math. During the contest, students are given 45 minutes to solve 20 problems. Many problems are designed to challenge students and to enrich their problem solving experiences." - Information taken from the Noetic Learning website found at

4th Grade Noetic Learning Honor Roll

  • Nolan Ritchie, McClure Elementary *Perfect Score Team Winner
  • Alex Kao, McClure Elementary *Perfect Score Team Winner
  • Allyson Burgess, Eddins Elementary *Team Winner
  • Liam Palazzolo, Walker Elementary *Team Winner
  • Cameron Langsdale, Wilmeth Elementary *Team Winner
  • Claire Lamothe, Wilmeth Elementary *Team Winner
  • Ciara Sutherland, McClure Elementary
  • Andrew McGee, McClure Elementary
  • Payton Ellenich, McClure Elementary
  • Gaia Tuval, Wolford Elementary
  • Jackson Bose, Wolford Elementary
  • Aaron Low, Bennett Elementary
  • Tyler Holderman, Bennett Elementary
  • Reagan Young, Walker Elementary
  • Labeeb Kibria, Slaughter Elementary
  • Scott Keeter, Walker Elementary
  • Zachary Miller, Walker Elementary

5th Grade Noetic Learning Honor Roll

  • Joshua Miller, Vega Elementary *Perfect Score Team Winner
  • Jaxon Cota, Eddins Elementary *Perfect Score Team Winner
  • Braxton Wade, Wolford Elementary, *Perfect Score Team Winner
  • Ian Fair, Wolford Elementary, *Perfect Score Team Winner
  • Liam Nichols, Valley Creek *Perfect Score Team Winner
  • Jacob Symalla, McNeil Elementary *Team Winner
  • Ainsley Carpenter, Walker Elementary *Team Winner
  • Zachary Bell, Walker *Team Winner
  • Brady Schwab, Eddins Elementary
  • Jennifer Wang, Eddins Elementary
  • Kathryn Johnson, McGowen Elementary
  • Diego Pena, Johnson Elementary
  • Nat Chumpiron, Minshew Elementary
  • Will Barton, Minshew Elementary
  • Matthew Butter, Bennett Elementary
  • Daniel Kim, Bennett Elementary
  • Jordan Tan, Wolford Elementary
  • Connor Ford, Wilmeth Elementary
  • Madison Nyguen, Valley Creek Elementary
  • Elysia Kanell, Valley Creek Elementary
  • Finley Davis, Valley Creek Elementary
  • Sarah Hamilton, McNeil Elementary

Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision National Competition

"ExploraVision is one of the world's largest K-12 science competitions and is a cornerstone of Toshiba's efforts to inspire youth in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This science competition goes beyond the typical student science competition and into what it takes to bring ideas to reality. Groups of 2 to 4 students simulate real research and development. Annually, it is estimated that 150,000 students begin ExploraVision and 15,000 students submit entries." -Information taken from the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision website located at:

Each project included a written report consisting of an abstract, description (present technology overview, limitations, and history, technology envisioned 20 years into the future, breakthroughs needed for future technology to become a reality, positive and negative consequences of future technology, and the design process), a bibliography, and five sample Web pages.


Black Box project: Tyler Holderman, Nick Livingston, & Will Manicom - Bennett Elementary

Super Circuit Air project: Kyle Justin, D.J. Day, & Alex Kao - McClure Elementary and Nat Chumpiron - Minshew Elementary

The Energy Wrap project: Grayson Smillie, Andy McLeod, & Brady Schwab- Eddins Elementary

Exhaust Eliminators project: Mac Tighe, Caden Byrum, Brett Grimone, & Curtis Duffee- Eddins Elementary

GraphTacts project: Spencer Sarkissian, Jaxon Cota, Brenden Frank, & John Fischang - Eddins Elementary

The Super Shuttle project: Nicholas Thorson, Allyson Burgess, & Dutch Patrello           - Eddins Elementary

The Top Secret Mission: Shapeshifting project: Hailey Hester, Logan Solis, &       Aaron Gamboa - McGowen Elementary

Trident Armored Vehicle project: Drew Lenhard & Jackson Ladis - Johnson Elementary and Noah Gamboa & Harris Qureshi - McGowen Elementary

Trio Safety Car Protection project: Camden Morrow & Russan Missouri - McGowen Elementary and William Larios - Johnson Elementary

Geo Bee National Competition

This year, ALPHA students participated in the ALPHA Geobee. Each week, for a 6 week span, the students met with by our Geobee facilitator, Mr. Dey, to prepare for this intense competition. Students were given a new topic of study each week. Topics included categories such as: Characteristics of the United States, World Comparisons, Wild Animal Atlas, and “Weird But True” facts from around the world. The competition tested their knowledge using a questioning panel much like a spelling bee, resulting in a winner for our Monday/Tuesday cluster and Wednesday/Thursday cluster. ALPHA students not in direct competition also joined in on the fun as audience members privately answered and tallied their own score! Fun was had by all!

Monday/Tuesday Winners & Finalists

1st Place: Liam Nichols - Valley Creek Elementary

Tied for 2nd Place: Jaxon Cota & Madilyn Eckenrode - Eddins Elementary


  • Eddins Elementary- Spencer Sarkissian, John Fischang, & Hannah Carpenter
  • McClure Elementary- Jackson Reeder, Sarah Knowlton, & Avery Davis
  • Minshew Elementary- Nat Chumpirom
  • Vega Elementary- Matthew Brezik & Kaitlyn Martin
  • Wilmeth Elementary- Jackson Twesme, Cameron Langsdale, Madison Blackson, & Claire Lamothe

Wednesday/Thursday Winners & Finalists

1st Place: Annabelle Gibbs - Walker Elementary

2nd Place: Yavar Begg - Slaughter Elementary

3rd Place: Ian Fair - Wolford Elementary


  • McGowen Elementary- Kyle Johnson, Kathryn Johnson, Elijah Whitson, Naith Crisler, & Camden Morrow
  • Bennett Elementary- Lacey Hale & Aaron Low
  • Wolford Elementary- Grayson Wheat & Braxton Wade
  • Malvern Elementary- Mason Archacki
  • Walker Elementary- Blaire Sayers & Ainsley Carpenter
  • McNeil Elementary- Sarah Hamilton & Jacob Symalla

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