Back-to-school events & announcements from Denison ISD

DHS “Fish Camp” set for July 29

Fish Camp, the annual orientation for incoming Denison High School freshmen, is set for Friday, July 29th from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the DHS Commons, located at the south end of the high school campus at 1901 South Mirick.

According to Fish Camp director Jamie Weems, veteran student leaders have put together a fun an informative event that will feature photo-ops for student IDs, escorted tours of the building, free t-shirts, fun skits and games, lots of great music and a pizza luncheon.

“Our Student Council members are the brains behind this bash, so you know it’s going to be great fun,” said Weems, who added that the doors will open at 8:30 a.m. for students who may arrive early. “Our goal is to orient our freshmen in all areas of school life so they’ll be comfortable and confident on their first day at DHS. Moving from middle school to high school is a big and important step. We want everyone to enjoy a good experience, start to finish.”

Weems says the incoming freshmen will view a video that introduces school officials, administrators, counselors, athletic directors and other school officials.

“Next up is the fun,” said Weems. “We’ll have a lot of great music going on, as well as skits and interactive student discussions that address issues like peer pressure, attendance, personal relationships, and the pitfalls of substance abuse. Students will also tour the high school, have a chance to meet new students, and learn the rules governing personal dress and appearance.”

“Later in the morning we’ll break into smaller groups for ID photo shoots and campus tours. Fish Camp is free, and all incoming freshmen are urged to attend…not just because it’s a great learning opportunity, but because it’s also a whole lot of fun. Our goal is for all freshmen to be relaxed, comfortable and ready to learn when they start school on August 22nd.”

Immunizations must be current to start school

School starts on all Denison ISD campuses on Monday, August 22nd, ushering in an exciting new year full of opportunities for growth and success. But before school kicks off, parents must make sure that kids are prepared.

“Preparation and good planning help students develop a sense of well-being and confidence,” said Barbara Jamerson, counselor at Hyde Park Elementary. “Organization and parental involvement are also crucial to student success. We want the first day, and every day, to be successful and rewarding for all our kids. Being prepared, both physically and mentally, helps everyone reach those all-important goals.”

Donna Grubbs, Denison ISD Head Nurse, emphasized the importance of current immunizations for school children. “All students must be current with their immunizations before school starts. The Grayson County Health Department offices in Sherman and Denison are currently conducting immunization clinics…and they have also scheduled special back-to-school clinics for mid-August. We’re urging parents to look closely at their children’s shot records…and get any needed immunizations as soon as possible.”

Immunizations requirements

Hepatitis A vaccine: All students entering kindergarten must have two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine.

Hepatitis B shots – three doses needed.

Polio – four doses needed with one dose on or after the child’s 4th birthday.

Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine: All students entering kindergarten must have two doses of MMR vaccine.

Varicella vaccine: All Kindergarten students and seventh graders are required to have two doses of Varicella vaccine. A written statement from a parent or legal guardian, school nurse or physician certifying a child’s positive history of varicella (chickenpox) or of varicella immunity will be accepted in lieu of the dose(s) of varicella vaccine.

Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine (Tdap): All students entering seventh grade are required to have one dose of Tdap vaccine, or a booster dose of Tdap if it has been five years since their last dose of tetanus vaccine. Students in grades eight to 12 must have a booster of Tdap if it has been 10 years since their previous dose of tetanus vaccine.

Meningococcal vaccine: All students entering seventh grade are required to have one dose of this vaccine.

Additional information regarding school vaccine requirements is available on the Immunization Branch website at

GC Health Department “Shot Clinic” schedules

The regular hours for immunizations at the Grayson County Health Department are: Denison Clinic at 205 N. Houston Street: Tuesdays from 1 until 6 p.m. – 903-465-2878; Sherman Clinic at 515 N. Walnut: Wednesdays & Thursdays from 1 until 6 p.m. (903-893-0131).

Parents must bring their children’s current and complete shot records and/or a letter from the school. Cost is $14 (cash only) per child or a current/valid Texas Medicaid letter. The Health Department cannot accept Texas Star Medicaid or CHIP.

“You are encouraged to use the regularly scheduled clinics listed above before August, when the waiting times are relatively short,” said Grubbs. “A back-to-school extended schedule has been set for the latter part of August, but the wait times at these clinics can often be as long as an hour or more.”

Back-to-school clinics schedules at the Health Department offices are: Denison – Monday and Tuesday, August 15 and 16, from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. and 1 until 5 p.m. daily; Sherman – Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, August 17, 18 and 19, and Monday, August 22: 9 a.m until 11:30 a.m. and 1 until 5 p.m. daily, and Monday.

Openings available in DISD Pre-K programs

Denison school officials are urging parents of all eligible three and four year olds to enroll their children in the district’s fun and educational Pre-Kindergarten programs. Houston Elementary offers Pre-K classes for both three and four year olds. Terrell Elementary serves just four year olds, while Mayes Elementary offers the district’s Bilingual Pre-K Program.

To be eligible, children must be three or four years old by September 1st and meet the guidelines prescribed by the district’s Free and Reduced Meal Program. Bilingual Pre-K students must also meet prescribed bilingual guidelines. Openings are currently available in all programs, with families being served on a first-come, first-served basis.

“The goal of our Pre-K program is to prepare all Denison children for success when they start school,” said Dr. George Hatfield, DISD Assistant Superintendent. “We currently have openings in all our Pre-K programs, with extremely qualified and caring teachers in place to help kids learn the academic and social skills they need prior to starting kindergarten. It’s a great program…and so advantageous for the youngsters.”

School principals agree that benefits abound. “In general, kids who have experienced Pre-K programs begin kindergarten with basic knowledge and skill levels that are similar to their peers…as well as the confidence needed to feel they can be successful in school,” said Terrell Principal Dr. David Kirkbride. “Our Pre-K teachers work with these young children in caring and nurturing environments that are both structured and flexible. The results are amazing. I encourage all parents with eligible children to help their kids start school on positive footing by enrolling them in one of our Pre-K programs.”

Eligible children can be enrolled Mondays through Thursdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. and Friday’s until noon at the DISD Administration Building. Parents need to bring proof of Denison residency and income as well as the child’s birth certificate, social security card and immunization records. Anyone with questions can call Kim Pruitt at 903-462-7049.

Information from Denison ISD

Sherman 4201 Texoma Pkwy (903) 892 -8123 Ardmore 2624 S. Commerce (580) 223-0946
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