News / Calendar

 Dates of Importance

Summer/Fall Workshops
Between Saturday, August 15 and Saturday, October 3, 2015
Consult the Workshops link for specific dates, places, and the Summer/Fall Workshop Registration Form
Registration Incentive Deadline OCTOBER 1, 2015 (10% off first order of curriculum and study materials for members only)
Regular Registration Deadline NOVEMBER 2, 2015 (Last postmark day to receive membership forms without a $25 additional fee thereafter)
Final Registration  Deadline DECEMBER 15, 2015 (DEADLINE for all memberships for the 2015-2016 school year.  (PARTICIPATION SELECTION OF EVENTS MAY BE ADDED THROUGH JANUARY 15, 2016.)
District & Area Meets Between Friday, February 12 and Saturday, April 2, 2016

Consult the Districts & Areas pages for specific dates

“A” State Meet May 7, 2016 at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth
“AA” State Meet April 30, 2016 at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth 
One-Act Play State Meet May 21, 2016 at Brentwood Christian School in Austin
Last updated August 6, 2015


Comments and questions may be addressed to the Executive Director.

• 2015-2016 Modern Oratory Topics

1.  Should the President of the United State be elected by popular vote?

2..  Will wearable technology make Americans healthier?

3.  Should parents be allowed to opt out of state-mandated standardized testing for their children?

4.  If there is a global problem of overfishing, can governments do more to combat it?

5.  Should police officers be required to wear body cameras?


• PSIA State Advisory Board

Discussion Minutes

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The PSIA State Advisory Board met in regular session on Saturday, June 6, 2015, at the PSIA state office and home of Bruce and Patricia Walters in Grapevine, Texas. Our thanks to district directors, along with key representatives of organizational interests, including test writers, program directors, and parents who contributed proposals, suggestions and valuable input for discussion at this important decision-making meeting. Those present at the meeting included Ellen Allen, John Allen, Marguerite Cook, Carolyn Koslan, Bill Koslan, Ron Hermes, Dana Hermes, Cathy Miles, Hersh Miles, Elaine Schad, Doug Ray, Bruce Walters, and Pat Walters.


      1.   Report on impact of increased entry fees was positive. The new fees effectively

            offset the increased expenses, and the fees will remain the same for the 2015-

            2016 school year.

      2.   A late fee measure will be implemented this year to better ensure the prompt

            payment of invoices, plus probation penalties for schools repeatedly late with

            payments of required fees and invoices.

      3.   State Meet T-Shirts will be sold for $10 each in 2016, and more small shirts will

            be made available.

      4.   Venue and facilities concerns addressed availability and cost for renting both

            TCU and other facilities for events inclusive of One-Act Play. The cost of travel

            must be partially funded by an increase in OAP state entry fees from $250 to $350

            for the 2016 season. Area OAP may also need to increase entry fees in order to

            rent appropriate facilities.


      1.   School campus enrollment alignment will remain for “A” at (232-) and


      2.   District/State Meet Conflict Pattern will remain the same as last year, with one

            exception. 3rd grade Storytelling Finals will begin 30 minutes after grades 1 and 2

            Storytelling Finals, in order to allow 3rd graders to compete also in Music Memory

            without conflict.

      3.   The number of entries in each contest will remain the same. Districts will

            continue to have the option to allow additional entries in contests, but the numbers

            advancing to State shall remain the same.

      4.   Music Memory adoption will be from Mighty Music Publishing.

            Guest, Mollie Tower, founder of the modern Music Memory program in Texas,

            shared the components of the 2015-2016 program. Curriculum materials will now

            be ordered directly from Might Music Publishing by each participating school.

            Ordering information will be placed on the PSIA order form (similar to the listing

            for Art Memory). A proposal was made that we eliminate the multiple choice /

            true-false portion of the contest, OR make the test a better challenge of higher

            order thinking skills by making the answers be only the name of the selection and

            the composer. This proposal will be STUDIED this year, meaning that we would

            like input from our participating schools about what is most desired regarding the

            20-item objective test. For this year, the 20-item test will remain; however, 20%

            of the questions will come from relevant music information regarding components

            of the musical selections that are not listed specifically in the Music Memory

            Student Handbook under About the Music and About the Composer.

            Additionally, the grade 7/8 contest will include 4 additional pieces of music.

      5.   Doug Ray’s Academic Meet Companion will be used at both District & State in

            2016. (Tech fee from each District remains $240.) A training session for District

            Directors is tentatively planned for Friday afternoon, January 15, 2016, at Texas

            State University in San Marcos.

      6.   Problem of producing “qualified” PSIA Campus Directors and/or Contest

            Directors was discussed, and emphasis shall be placed in the summer / fall

            workshops, as well as online and in the PSIA Academic Handbook regarding

            steps to prepare workers.

      7.   A separate handbook will be provided for District Directors and Contest Directors

            that will include an individual checklist of exactly what to do and say in running

            the individual contest. The checklists will be posted online for ready use by all


      8.   Restroom vandalism reported at three locations this year prompts our organization

            to require monitors in these areas throughout the tournament day. An individual

            OR school group that is documented to be involved in vandalizing, including

            stopping up toilets, shall be dismissed from the PSIA program. No additional

            warning will be given regarding this very disrespectful activity that has been

            reported by three schools, plus an incident that occurred on the TCU campus.


            1.   Under “Directions for the Campus Director,” add a specific statement that

                  campuses send district entry fees to district school. Emphasize on-time

                  payments and the district’s prerogative to add late fees, if necessary.

            2.   “Rules for All” Section Additions:

                  a.   Add disqualification for going overtime in speech contests (note exception

                        for Storytelling)

                  b.   Add “News” section descriptor for the PSIA website, where

                        announcements, errors in contest material, and other news and

                        notifications may be posted.

            3.   Add expanded information regarding Verification Period to include the


                   A contestant shall be disqualified if he/she or someone representing his/her

                   school removes a contest paper prior to these posted release dates.

                  • The rankings of contestants shall be final at the end of the Verification


                  • VERIFICATION POSTING ERRORS:  If according to official tab room

                  records, the announcement of rankings is found to be incorrect DURING the

                  tournament day, this posting error must be corrected and reported on the

                  posting board or appropriate place for all to view.  After the tournament day

                  has ended, an error in posting can no longer be validated and corrected.

            4.   Revised Speech Ranking Procedure to reflect best interpretation of “better.”

                  Doug Ray has developed a ranking program with a printout of all possible

                  rankings in the order that they should be judged in contest.

            5.   Add Judge # space on speech evaluation forms

            6.   Change speaker numbers on speech ballots to alpha: Speaker A, B, C, D, etc.

            7.   Clarify instructions for all +5, -2 scored objective contests, as follows:

            “Award 5 points for each correct answer; deduct 2 points for each incorrect

            answer or marked-out or erased answer, whereby a correct answer is not written

            in the answer space. No points are deducted for skipped answers, whereby the

            answer space is left completely blank. • Mark-outs are acceptable, as long as a

            correct answer is written beside the mark-out. If an answer is marked out and no

            correct answer is written in the answer space beside the mark-out, 2 points are

            deducted. Erasures are permitted. Any erased correct answer that can still be

            seen is counted correct. An erased answer that is not correct and does not have a

            correct answer written over or beside it constitutes an incorrect answer, whereby 2

            points are deducted.”


            1.   A proposal to add more time cue cards in speech events was considered and

                  deemed unnecessary.

            2.   Clarification of Rule: Although a creative format may be implemented in

                  a speech, there shall be no memorization in Impromptu Speaking.


            1. Atlas adoption for Maps Graphs & Charts (Nystrom Desk Atlas 2008 or

                  newer – 2014 is current)

            2. Official dictionary adoption for Spelling, Dictionary Skills & Vocabulary

                  (Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary 11th Edition – any printing)

            3.   Mighty Music Publishing Company – Music Memory curricula

            4.   Academic Meet Companion for all schools

            5.   Speech Ranking Procedure by Doug Ray

14 Advisory Board Minutes

2014-2015 OAP Approved Play List