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September 4, 2014


School for the Talented and Gifted 

at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center

1201 E. 8th St., #302
Dallas, Texas 75203

Go Griffins!




#1 Public High School in the Nation--again!

Here is a link to the article:

US News & World Report Education

Newsweek's The Daily Beast Names TAG a Top High School

The Daily Beast ranked more than 700 public high schools, using six key indicators. TAG is #3. To view the list, click here.

Mr. Mackey's Spotlighted Reading:

An interesting and refreshing perspective on the college admissions process:

Link to the article


(at TAG unless noted as visiting SEM in parentheses)


Sept. 8

Middlebury 8:00 am

Skidmore 4:15 pm


Sept. 9

CU Boulder 8:00 am

Hope College 8:00 am

Williamette 8:30 am

College of St. Benedict & St. John's University 

8:45 am (SEM)

Meredith College 

12:30 pm

University of Rochester 3:45 pm (SEM)


Sept. 10

Simmons 8:00 am


8:00  am

Villanova  8:30 am

Agnes Scott 12:30 pm

Macalister  12:30 pm

Univ of Washington (Seattle) 4:30 pm


Sept. 11

Sewanee 8:00 am

St. Edward's 8:00 am

Baylor  8:30 am

Vassar 12:30 pm

Vanderbilt 12:30 pm

Lehigh 12:30 pm

Sept. 12

U Penn 8:45 am (SEM)


Sept. 15

Harvey Mudd 8:00 am

Lewis & Clark 8:45 am

Depauw 12:30 pm


Sept. 18

St. John's 8:00 am

Yale 8:45 am

Sept. 24

Barnard (time TBD)

Oct. 3


3:45 pm (SEM)

Experience Penn 

Thurs., Sept. 11th
7:00 pm
Conrad High School
7502 Fair Oaks 
Dallas, TX 75231
(Also visiting SEM on 9/12; see above). To RSVP and register, click here.

Indiana University Bloomington is hosting a Preview event for seniors and juniors on Thurs., Sept. 11th 
6:30- 7:30 pm 
Marriott Quorum 
14901 Dallas Pkwy.
Dallas, Texas 75254. 
Click here to register.

ASP College Application Kick-off

College reps (Penn, USC, Boston University, Pomona, and more) will be available to help students improve personal statements and discuss other admissions-related items.
Sat., Sept. 13th
9:00 am
Academic Success Program
Harvest Hill Rd.
Dallas, TX 75230
Click here to register.

2014 Dallas ISD College Fair

Wed., Sept. 17th 
5:30-8:30 pm
Ellis Davis Fieldhouse 
9191 S. Polk St. Dallas, TX 75224
Click here to register,(choose "register now," click on Texas icon, then click "TACRAO" [2nd option- 9/15-9/19])

Yale Information Sessions
You are invited to a session in Dallas or Fort Worth (Also visiting TAG on Thurs., 9/18 [see above]). For more information, click here(then click "download" if needed). 

Save the Date: Dallas Performing and Visual Arts College Fair
Tues., Oct. 21st
7:00 pm -- 9:00 pm
Irving Convention Ctr

Register and find out more by clicking here:  More Info

Upcoming Calendar Dates

Calendar 2



Back-to-School Picnic, 5-8 pm


TAG Forum


PTSA General Meeting, 6:30 pm


PTSA Coffee, 

7:30-9:30 am



27th TREK Community Service (optional)






PTSA Coffee, 

7:30 - 9:30 am


Report Cards/Parent-Teacher Conferences


PSAT exam (grades 9, 10, 11; Seniors report to school at 1:00 pm)


NO SCHOOL (Fair Day)


PTSA General Meeting



Reflections Contest Entry Deadline

A/B Block Scheduling

Click here to see the Townview A/B Schedule for the 2014-2015 school year.

Visit the 



TAG.2013 2


See below in this newsletter:

Articles & Reminders:
  • Back-to-School Picnic on Sunday! Students contribute food/beverage items according to grade level; volunteers are needed.
  • TAG Spirit Wear on Sale at Picnic!
  • Directories are Available at Picnic!
  • Warning about Traffic Safety During Pick-up and Drop-off of Students 
  • TAG PTSA Leaders Attend Summer Leadership Seminar in Houston
  • DISD Volunteer Registration --  Quick, Easy, and Necessary! New Volunteer Sign-ups on Volunteer Spot 
  • TAG Forum (Sept. 12th): This year's theme lays the foundation for TREK
  • TAG TREK (Sept. 25-27 & Sept. 29-30): This year's theme -- and volunteers are needed!
  • Volunteer Positions Available (School Committees, PTSA Board, Special Project)
  • Reflections Contest
  • Parent Portal 
See left sidebar for announcements from the school counselors' offices (both TAG and SEM), other news about TAG, and calendar dates.

Back-to-School Picnic

TAG's annual back-to-school picnic returns to Flagpole Hill on Sunday, Sept. 7th from 5:00 to 8:00 pm, with Principal Mackey grilling hamburgers, veggie burgers, and hot dogs. The PTSA will provide the burgers, hot dogs, and all of the fixings.
IMPORTANT: Students are asked to donate drinks and side items (bring directly to the picnic) according to grade level:
FRESHMEN - chips, dips, and other appetizers
SOPHOMORES - salads and other side dishes
JUNIORS - desserts
SENIORS - bottled water and soft drinks
Date: Sunday, Sept. 7th
Time: 5:00 pm -- 8:00 pm
Place: Flag Pole Hill Pavilion*
The PTSA needs volunteers to help! To sign up, click here, then click on the "View" button in orange).
There will be a TAG PTSA table and, of course, the chance to buy new TAG Spirit Wear (more info below), so remember to bring your checkbook or cash.  

* Flag Pole Hill is located at 8100 Doran Circle (Northwest Hwy & Buckner Blvd.), Dallas, TX 75238 (map). 

"TAG SWAG" Spirit Wear goes on sale at the Picnic

photo 2 3

 photo 1 5
"Walk This Way" to get New TAG Spirit Wear. 
 But hurry, if you wait too long, we may run out. 
 "It's Tricky..." yeah, "It's Tricky."

TAG Spirit Wear available exclusively at the Back-to-School Picnic!
September 7th, 5-8 p.m. 
photo 3 4
$40 Combo Deal (best deal) = t-shirt + sweatshirt 

$15 T-shirts & $35 Sweatshirts a la carte 

New Boys' & Girls' T-shirt Designs for 2014 

Super High Quality High Fashion 47 Brand 


MV Sport Distressed Rugby Sweatshirt with Sewn-on School Letters and Embroidery

Every visitor to the Spiritwear table at picnic gets a free TAG Hacky Sack! 

Bring Cash or Check

*100% of Spirit Wear Sales fund TAG PTSA programs.

Fresh from the Printer! Directories Available at Picnic/Join TAG PTSA 

directoryThe 2014-15 Directories are ready and will be available at the TAG Picnic! Remember that directories are complimentary to families with a current PTSA membership, so if you haven't renewed for 2014-15, please do so to get your copy. By joining the PTSA, you show support for the good work we do for TAG. Adults are $8.50 and students are $6.50. You can bring cash or check to the picnic, or renew online beforehand at (Click on "Parents," then "Join the PTSA.")

Warning About Traffic Safety During Pick-up and Drop-off

warning 2PLEASE READ: It is extremely dangerous to stop on 8th Street to drop off and pick up students. Last year, a student at Townview SEM (the sibling of a recent TAG graduate) died as a result of getting hit by a car when he was being dropped off in the street in front of a neighborhood high school. It was an incredibly tragic loss. Cars should turn into the main driveway in front of Townview and stay to the left. Vehicles dropping off or picking up students should move to the top of the hill towards Eads Ave. Do not stop in front of the school on 8th Street to drop off or pick up a student. Please be advised that all driving rules regarding passing a school bus are in force. Do not pass a bus if its lights are flashing and the stop sign is deployed. You must wait until a bus is in a parking mode – not loading or unloading. We must all be diligent when driving near the school when students are around.

TAG PTSA Leaders Attend Summer Leadership Seminar in Houston

TAG PTSA at SLS Houston copy 2

Pictured from left to right: Wanetta Smith, 1st VP; Siobhan Farr, Website Chair; Cindi Fitzgerald, 2nd VP & Directory Chair; Sharon Mansfield, Scholarships, Internships & Community Service Chair; Veronica Bell, President; Ben Mackey, Principal

TAG PTSA Board Members and Mr. Mackey attended the Texas PTA Summer Leadership Seminar (SLS) in Houston on Friday, July 18th through Sunday, July 20th. This annual conference brings together PTA members and leaders from around the state for training workshops and sharing sessions. Information is geared to help PTAs launch into the new school year with lots of ideas and resources. It was a very invigorating and inspiring experience for all who attended, and it solidified the resolve of TAG’s PTSA to help our school build a strong community and support our students in achieving their dreams. Please help support TAG by joining PTSA this year. Next year, the Summer Leadership Seminar will be held in Dallas. We urge all members of PTSA to attend this wonderful event to get revved up for next school year.

DISD Volunteer Registration: Quick, Easy, and Necessary! Additional Volunteer Sign-ups Available on Volunteer Spot.

DISD-Logo-300 3If you plan to volunteer in any way at TAG during the school year, you must first register (even if you have registered in previous years) in the fall through the DISD website:
Click on "Volunteer" in yellow at the top of the page, then "Volunteers" from the drop-down menu, scroll to item #2 ("Complete Volunteer Application"), and choose either English or Spanish. The process only takes a few minutes!
After completing your registration, follow this link to Volunteer Spot for TAG volunteer sign-ups for the Back-to-School Picnic, TAG Trek, Spirit Wear, and PTSA Coffees.

This Year's TAG FORUM Lays the Foundation for TREK

TAGForumSpeakersThe background knowledge for this year's four-day TAG TREK (more information below) will begin with TAG Forum on Sept. 12. The career format of Forum will remain the same, but emphasis will be placed on providing background knowledge for TREK. The keynote speaker of Forum (Catherine Cuellar, CEO, Dallas Arts District) will introduce the fundamentals of urban planning--and will discuss the various occupational specializations within the field that will serve as the structure for the afternoon's career track program:

• Community Development/ Empowerment 
• Land Use & Code Enforcement 
• Transportation Planning 
• Environmental/Natural Resources Planning 
• Economic Development 
• Planning Management/Finance 
• Housing 
• Parks & Recreation 
• Historic Preservation 
• Community Activism/Empowerment 

This list will be pared down to allow students to investigate the most critical specializations that are required knowledge for TREK. Another objective for TAG Forum is to educate the students about effective methods of community engagement, teambuilding, and idea generation. 

TAG TREK: Urban Design Theme and Volunteers Needed: Sept. 25-27 & Sept. 29-30

urbanplanning 2

TREK is a multi-level learning experience for all grade levels. Students will investigate The Bottoms and the 10th Street Development District to determine how Townview can become an active community member. They will present their ideas in a premise document that will explore the history of the area, observations made about the existing community structure in response to challenge questions, design proposals, and impact statements. Students will communicate their design proposals through visual aides presented on the final afternoon at the presentation convention. It will be held Sept. 25, 26, 27 (optional Saturday community service), 29 & 30 from 9:15 am to 5:00pm. 

TREK requires at least 10 parent volunteers per shift (am and pm) over the five days of TREK. Volunteers MUST complete a DISD volunteer background check (see "DISD Volunteer Registration" above) and bring a printed copy of the approval (last page of the volunteer registration process) to the event. Ideally, these volunteers are professionals in the field who can employ their planning experience to help guide the students in their planning proposals. It is fine to volunteer for a half-day, a full-day, a single session, or all days.

Click here to volunteer, then click on the "View" button next to "TAG TREK Days" in orange).

Positions Available on School Committees, PTSA Board, and Special Project

volunteers-needed-color 3

TAG SBDM Parent Representative 

Site Based Decision Making

This is a committee of school administrators, teachers, community leaders and parents dedicated to improving the academic achievement and quality of education received by all students at TAG. We are asking for a parent volunteer who is interested in being a part of improving TAG. The committee meets monthly from 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. on the second Monday of each month.


TAG BOC Parent Representative

Board of Control

This committee is responsible for reviewing and approving all activity fund transactions including fundraisers, check requests, expenditures, P1-Cs, etc. The committee meets monthly at 8:30 a.m. on the second Friday of each month.


PTSA Board Positions

- Fundraising Chair

- Historian

Special PTSA Project

Our TAG MAG distribution database is in need of a serious overhaul.  We're looking  for someone with excellent MS Excel skills and an understandomg of how to use distribution lists within an online marketing tool. We use VerticalResponse, which is similar to Constant Contact. You can set your hours for this project and work remotely.


 If you are interested in any of these positions, please contact Veronica Bell, PTSA President, at or 972-740-2545.

2014-15 Texas PTA Reflections Art Competition Begins

All students are encouraged to begin preparing entries for the 2014-2015 Texas PTA Reflections arts competition. This year's theme is "The World Would be a Better Place if..."  National winners compete for scholarships.
Deadline for this year's submissions is Oct. 30th.
Students may create and submit works of art in six categories: dance choreography, film production, literature, musical composition, photography, and visual arts.  The TAG PTSA Reflections Chairperson is Laura Plumettaz, who can be contacted at
If you are interested in knowing about the requirements for your category, go to  More specific details regarding how to submit your entry will follow.  
* Please note that only PTSA members are eligible to enter.

Parent Portal (for New Parents to DISD)

The Dallas ISD Parent Portal is a valuable resource available in English and Spanish for parents/guardians to use and become more involved in their children’s education. Many TAG students and parents use it to check grades and attendance. For more information, visit Dallas ISD's Parent Portal section of its website. Parents of students new to DISD will be getting instructions soon about how to log into the Parent Portal.  It takes about two weeks to get new students in the DISD system.

Kristin Cartwright
Communications Chair

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