Cactus Trails Student Handbook

  • 2022-2023

    Cactus Trails Elementary

    Cactus Trails Elementary to open for 2019-20 school year | El Paso Kids Inc  |

    Parent/Student Handbook

    This document is a resource for scholars, teachers, and parents. More specific information may be obtained by contacting the campus at 915-938-2600.

    Message from the Principal:

    Dear Parents,
    Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year at Cactus Trails Elementary School. The purpose of this handbook is to increase communication between home and school by providing our parents with some
    basic information. An attempt has been made to be as comprehensive as possible in outlining school policies and procedures. However, it is impossible to anticipate every situation or circumstance that might arise during the school year. If at any time you have a question or need clarification of some operational regulation or school procedure, please feel free to contact the office personnel or administrators at
    915-938-2602. As partners in your child’s education, we are looking forward to a rewarding year!

    Go Diamondbacks! - Carolyn Thomas

    Contact Information Website:

    Twitter - @CTrails_ES

    SISD App Info -  Team SISD’s mobile app is free and available for Apple and Android products.


    Principal: Carolyn Thomas
    Email Carolyn Thomas

    Assistant Principal: Monica Hernando
    Email Monica Hernando 

    Assistant Principal: Nancy Guereque
    Email Nancy Guereque


    Beatrize Issa
    Email Beatrize Issa

    Susan Campos
    Email Susan Campos 


    Dawn Demings
    Email Dawn Demings

    Office Personnel:

    PIEMS/Attendance: Elizabeth Villareal
    Email Elizabet Villareal

    PIEMS/Attendance: Veronica Sierra
    Email Veronica Sierra

    Office Clerk: Monica De Santiago
    Email Monica De Santiago

    Security Guard:

    Jonathan Beard
    Email Jonathan Beard

    School Hours: 

    Scholars may begin entering class at 7:15. It is imperative that students are in their classes ready to start the day no later than 7:30. Breakfast in the Classroom will start promptly at 7:15am and run till 7:30am.

    Scholar Attendance: 

    Under House Bill 5 (HB5), scholars are required by law to attend school at least 90% of the school year in order to be eligible for promotion to the next grade, regardless if the absences are
    excused or unexcused. If a scholar does not meet this requirement, s/he will receive Loss of Credit (LOC) on their final report card until the requirement is met through summer school or intersession. Notices are sent throughout the year if the scholar is falling below 90% of the current total attendance days.

    Your child’s health and well-being is our number one priority. If your child is sick, please keep your child at home and inform the school asap. Due to COVID-19, our systems are constantly evolving. Your child’s teacher or our attendance office can direct you to the proper procedures when your child is out. It is important for scholars to attend school if they are not ill. Keep in mind possible absences for illnesses that will likely arise, especially during the fall and spring allergy seasons. If your child is sick, a note from home or email is required the next day stating the reason for the absence. If scholars are absent for more than three consecutive days, they must have a note from a certified physician. After three absences, a notice will be sent home indicating the number of days absent and the consequences of excessive absences.

    It is important that scholars be allowed to stay in school for the entire school day. A scholar who is taken out before 10:00 am will be counted absent, unless he/she returns with a doctor’s note. Scholars who are signed out early for reasons other than health care appointments are considered “unexcused”.

    Scholars who are signed out early more than three times will require approval from administration each time thereafter. Therefore, please schedule appointments after school hours or during the various two-week intersession breaks. Should absences become excessive, families may have to attend Attendance Court.

    With the rigorous curriculum ahead of us, it is imperative that scholars come to school every day. Throughout the year, we will continue to teach scholars the value of coming to school each day. We will promote high expectations for all scholars and provide an environment that fosters responsibility, self-discipline, and independence.


    Our first bell rings at 7:15 am. The tardy bell rings at 7:30am. If a scholar arrives after 7:30am, they will be asked to go to the attendance office for a tardy slip to return to class. Excessive tardies will result in classroom and/or office consequences. Scholars who have excessive tardies will not be eligible for attendance recognition at the end of the school year.


    Please drop off and pick up your child off in the designated areas. Please see the map at end of this section.

    Dismissal takes place in the designated parking lot areas. Scholars should wait there until picked up. Please do not have your child cross the parking lot or busy street without proper adult supervision. Everyone should use the crosswalks.

    If your child is not picked up by a reasonable time, they will be taken to the office, and someone designated in the student’s file will need to sign out for the student.

    The Cactus Trails Elementary Instructional Team works hard to provide a cohesive curriculum that challenges all scholars. Teachers implement research-based instructional programs that are aligned with national and state standards. Instructional pedagogy includes a balance of skills and concept development. Scholars are assessed using both traditional and alternative assessment models. All scholars are provided instructional safety nets when the need arises, through tutorial classes, intervention period, accelerated instruction in reading and math, and intersession classes. Every scholar is encouraged to participate in extra curricular activities including UIL, art contests, organized sports programs, etc...Through acceleration and enrichment, children leave Cactus Trails Elementary School prepared with skills for
    the 21st Century!

    Drop off/pick up zones


    Campus Discipline Plan:

    Our school houses a small society. Each scholar is a citizen who acts in accordance with expected standards of behavior.

    Our approach encourages scholars to exercise self- discipline through reflection and self-evaluation. Scholars learn to control their own behavior, rather than always relying on the teacher for control.

    • Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a general term that refers to positive behavioral interventions and systems used to achieve important behavior changes. PBIS improves the social culture and the behavioral climate of classrooms and schools, which ultimately leads to enhanced academic performance. It is a framework from which the campus operates to create a systematic change in behavior.

    We want our classrooms to be encouraging and conducive to learning at all times. We want our students to feel safe. By doing this, young people develop positive attitudes and behavioral skills that are so necessary for successful lives.

    **We are a zero-tolerance school. Any form of physical violence is not acceptable. Scholars who exhibit this behavior will be given the fullest consequences per the SISD Code of Conduct Handbook.**


    Breakfast and lunch are FREE for all SISD scholars for the 2021-2022 school year.


    Scholars are expected to wear polo shirts with or without the school logo (teal, white, or gray only). ONLY PK STUDENTS WILL WEAR GOLD POLOS FOR SAFETY PURPOSES. Scholars may wear jeans with school-sponsored t-shirts on designated days. (For your convenience, school uniform tops will be available at different functions for purchase on campus, but you may use a vendor of your choice). Scholars may wear khaki, navy, gray or black pants, skirts or shorts.

    Scholars will have free dress days for special occasions. However, please adhere to the following dress code:

    • All scholars will wear respectable clothing free of gang association, alcohol and drug-related illustrations.
    • Scholars will wear pants that fit properly and are not torn. (Baggy pants and bicycle shorts will not be allowed.)
    • All scholars will wear shirts with appropriate sleeves. (Spaghetti straps or halters will not be allowed.) No midriffs showing please.
    • All scholars will wear shorts and/or skirts at an appropriate length. (The length of the shorts/skirt must exceed the length of fingertips at arms length.)
    • Scholars must wear clothing and accessories that do not cause a disruption or a safety/health hazard. This includes "Heelys" as they pose a danger to our children’s safety.
    • Hair should be worn neatly and should not cause a disruption of any kind.

    STAAR: State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness:

    Scholars in grades 3, 4 and 5 will take the STAAR test this spring. The test is completely aligned with the state curriculum, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills or the TEKS.

    Through the use of resources such as the Texas Resource System, we will monitor classroom instruction and student performance all year. We will come together through our Professional Learning Communities, to analyze data and prepare plans of intervention for those scholars who need academic support. 

    Parent tips for success:

    1. Start early. Meet your child’s teacher in person, through e-mail or by phone.
    2. Attend our school’s open house and parent-teacher conferences. Find out if there are activities you can do with your child at home to help improve their academic skills.
    3. Read and discuss a variety of materials with and to your child daily.
    4. Review what your child has read, discussing the meanings of new words and comparing stories.
    5. Do not be afraid to talk, ask questions, and keep in touch with your child’s teacher and principal throughout the entire school year.
    6. If your child seems to be struggling, ask the teacher about tutoring programs or other forms of assistance.
    7. Come to our Family Fun Nights offered throughout the year!

    School Health Services:

    One of the major functions of the school health services is to keep all scholars at their maximum educable potential. A child learns better when he/she is healthy. The following procedures may serve your best interests and the best interests of our students.


    Scholars are not allowed to carry medications on the campus. (This includes an asthma inhaler.) If a scholar needs to take medication during school hours, he/she needs to report to the nurse’s office. Medications from Mexico cannot be administered. Only medication prescribed by a physician licensed to practice in the state of Texas, in its original container and properly labeled will be administered. If your child is required to take a prescribed medication during school hours, you must complete a permission form that is available in the nurse’s office.

    Physical Education Excuses:

    If, for some reason, your child needs to be excused from P.E., please send a note stating the reason. A scholar cannot be excused from P.E. for more than three days without a doctor’s note.

    Emergency Information:

    It is very important that we be able to contact you in case of an emergency. Please notify us immediately when the information on the scholar’s information form (Consent for Medical Treatment) has changed. This includes any changes in address, phone numbers, place of employment and any change in the scholar’s health status.


    If your child requires an immunization, you will receive a written notice that will be sent home with your child. The notice will state the immunization needed and the date that it is to be received. After your child receives the immunization, please bring the immunization record to the nurse’s office so your child’s records may be updated. (Failure to maintain proper immunizations may result in suspension until immunizations are received.)

    Pass to the Nurse's Office:

    Scholars must present a pass from the teacher before they are admitted to the nurse’s office during class time. Scholars who feel ill must first report to class and obtain a pass from the teacher so they will not be counted tardy or absent. Scholars will not be allowed in the nurse’s office between classes unless it is an emergency. You will be contacted if your child needs to be taken home. You must sign your child out in the front office before taking him/her home.

    **Please read our monthly newsletter for updates regarding COVID-19 procedures.**


    School safety is of the utmost importance on our campus. All visitors to Cactus Trails Elementary School must present a photo ID and sign in with the Hall Pass system before entering the rest of the
    building. A visitor’s pass will be issued and must be visible while visiting the campus. An adult who does not have proper identification, even if it is a parent or other designated person, can sign no child out of school. This is district policy.

    For campus security, we have a designated security guard, cross guards and monitors to assist with scholar safety and traffic flow. We ask that you be respectful of all traffic laws and always be on the lookout for scholars crossing the street. The CTE family takes care of one another!

    Field Trips:

    Field trips are an extension of our classrooms. They should be connected to a topic of study. Therefore, we will plan in advance the trips each grade level would like to take. Chaperons will be invited to attend but they must have a background check on file with the district. Chaperons will not be allowed to take small children as it would make it difficult to provide care for school children. We are looking forward to a
    very successful school year. We know that it takes the home and school coming together to achieve student success.

    Thank you for being an important part of Cactus Trails Elementary School and helping us pave the trail to S-S-S-uccess!

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