Announcements, Corrections, Updates, and More!
Vocabulary List - Spelling Error
November 20, 2022
Word #239 is misspelled in the list. It should be refractory instead of refactory.
One-Act Play Handbook Correction and Clarification
November 18, 2022
In the Academic Handbook and OAP Handbook, it erroneously stated that Area fees per school and State fees per school were capped at $400 and $500, respectively. These numbers were changed several years ago to accommodate the higher prices of running a OAP tournament, but the changes did not make it into the master document. These caps are correctly stated in the Handbooks as $500 and $600, respectively. Thank you for your understanding.

Additionally, we have clarified that the student running the lights and sound in the booth is allowed to use a copy of the script during the performance.
Handbook Errata
November 12, 2022
On page iii, the Conflict Pattern chart is missing X's to indicate Evaluation Return for Poetry Interpretation at 1:30pm and Verification for Science at 1:00pm. The errors have been corrected in the digital handbook.
November 2022 Newsletter
November 8, 2022
Here's a quick PSIA update

Districts Are Mostly Set
Regular registration closed on November 1st and we have a few more schools to register for 2023. Otherwise, the districts are mostly set. We are still working with some schools in the Houston area to balance our the three AA districts. To see who your district director is and the list of schools you are competing against this spring, go to Information > Academic Meets. Your District Directors should contact you by the beginning of December to hold your first District Committee meeting.

Workshop Summary
Missed the Fall Workshop? No worries! A summary video of the workshops held this fall is available to watch at your convenience. Go to Resources > Workshops to view the video and download handouts presented at the workshop.
One-Act Play
We had secured a venue for OAP, but the only dates available were in May. Several people reached out to indicate that their schools would be out for summer or they had other conflicts.

State OAP Change of Date and Venue
State OAP will now be held at the Grace Community School in Tyler. Rehearsals will be on Monday, March 6th and performances on Tuesday, March 7th.

If you are competing in One-Act Play, please have your drama director visit the One-Act Play information page at Information > One-Act Play to ensure that everything is correct. Click on each Area to reveal the schools participating in that area and the current status of their application. If the school has the checkmark, everything is good. If there is a red message, this indicates that either information is missing or that the play selected is under review by the committee. You can click on the information icon (circled-i) next to your area director to get their contact information.

Important! If you believe you have registered for OAP and your school is NOT listed, please send in your information again. The website is up-to-date with the current information that we have on file.
Office Hours
Doug will hold "office hours" on Tuesday, November 15th, via Zoom, from 4:00pm to 5:00pm. This informal session will allow you to jump on, ask questions, hear answers, and visit with other schools to get insights about how other schools manage their PSIA program. Attendance is optional.

Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89693023653?pwd=MFBrOEdyNWRKUVU3aDJCQlIyNWhxQT09
Meeting ID: 896 9302 3653
Passcode: bLV95K
doug office hour logo
Hosting a District Next Year
Great news! PSIA membership numbers are rebounding from pandemic lows, offering students the ability to compete in extracurricular academics locally and state-wide. However, that means we will need more districts in the future as the program continues to rebuild. Also, several of our long-time, much-appreciated district directors have retired. Now is the time to start considering hosting a district for 2024. There are many benefits to hosting, including:
  • choose the date of your district meet to accommodate your schedule
  • your school does not pay district fees
  • your school earns the profits from the proceeds of the district (including entry fees and concessions)
  • home school advantage
  • no travel expenses
Even if you feel that your school is too small to host, you can consider renting a facility (small college or high school in the area) or forming a collaboration, where your school provides the District Director and materials and another school provides the facility.
  • December 1st -- OAP -- deadline to submit script for review for plays NOT on approved list
  • December 15th -- Late Registration Ends
  • December 15th -- OAP Registration Due
  • January 1st -- OAP Drop Deadline
  • January 1st -- OAP Requests for Approval of Additions to Basic Set
  • January 15th -- Last Day to Change Participation Events for Academic Contests
Enjoy the cooler temperatures and have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Contact me if you have any questions or concerns. --Doug
October 2022 Newsletter
October 10, 2022
Many fall greetings to you! Here's what's happening at PSIA!

Fall Workshops Wrap Up This Weekend
The last of the Fall Workshops is this weekend in the Houston area. It's not too late to register. To register for this workshop, please visit the Events page.

I will be posting a summary of the workshop on the website after next week.
District Organization
Many of the districts have closed. To view the schools in your district, click on the Information tab, then Academic Meets, and then click on the district to reveal the schools.
  • 4A - Tyler - We have secured a District Coordinator, but are awaiting final approval and reservation at the venue.
  • 2AA - Fort Worth / Arlington - We have secured a District Coordinator, but need a venue. If any of the schools in 2AA would like to offer up their campus, please let me know.
Starting this year, all of the materials you order are also available to you in your Members Plus account (even if you request shipping). After logging in to Members Plus, click on Materials. Here you will find the pdfs and mp3s of the materials you ordered.
Vocabulary Daily
vocabulary daily
Our newest feature is Vocabulary Daily. Each day, Monday through Thursday, a set of three words from the Vocabulary list are given with their parts of speech and definitions for students to learn. On Friday, a three question quiz appears in the same format as the Vocabulary test (the reading passage, if any, is shorter than on the real test). The quiz will be over the words of that week but can include previous weeks' words or just general vocabulary words. We hope that his new addition with generate some buzz with your Vocabulary students (and perhaps other students in your school too). You can always go back to previous words and quizzes. Vocabulary Daily started October 3rd, so there is one full week of words ready to view. Vocabulary Daily will run through mid-February, right before district competition season begins.

Vocabulary Daily is available for everyone (no login required). Go to Vocabulary Daily to get started!
november turkey deadline calendar
  • November 1st -- Regular Registration Ends
  • November 1st -- OAP Notification To Compete Due (to State Office)
  • December 1st -- OAP -- deadline to submit script for review for plays NOT on approved list
  • December 15th -- Late Registration Ends
  • December 15th -- OAP Registration Due

September 2022 Newsletter
September 1, 2022
Greetings, PSIA!
I hope you have had a successful back-to-school launch. Things are happening here at the PSIA Office too and this newsletter gives you the latest.

Fall Workshops
Workshop season is in full swing. It's not too late to sign up for a workshop to learn about the changes to PSIA, receive up-to-date information and rule changes on your favorite contests, conference with colleagues from other schools, and get a chance to win valuable door prizes. Join me for one of these workshop:
  • Sept 10 -- Rio Grande Valley area
  • Sept 17 -- Dallas / Fort Worth area
  • Sept 24 -- Austin area
  • Oct 1 -- Panhandle area
  • Oct 15 -- Houston area
  • TBD -- San Antonio
To register for a workshop, please visit the Events page.

One-Act Play Organizational Meeting
Register for Free
I will be hosting an informational meeting with all OAP interested parties to make sure we are all on the same page. The meeting is via Zoom on Tuesday, September 13, from 4:00pm to 5:00pm. I'll be happy to answer questions and hopefully you'll be able to make some connections with other drama directors to ensure OAP needs are met. Currently, we have four areas that are forming (Area 2 - Tyler, Area 3 - Austin, Area 4 - San Antonio, and Area 5 - Houston) and 18 interested schools (we expect more). We need a volunteer to organize Area OAP contests in North Texas (Area 1). I have reserved Area 6 for overflow if we have over 30 schools submit interest in OAP.
Members Plus
Thank you for all of your compliments about the new website design. I hope you are enjoying the new Members Plus website. There are many more features planned for Members Plus and it is still a work in progress. I am able to work on it a little each day. Many of the updates are behind-the-scenes functionality that is designed to improve communication between schools and the state office, ensure seamless changes in PSIA leadership within schools, and provide you and your students with the resources needed to prepare for competition. Thank you for your patience while changes are made.
october first deadline calendar
  • Workshop Registration -- one week prior to each workshop
  • October 1st -- Early Registration Ends (10% discount on materials; free printed handbook)
  • November 1st -- Regular Registration Ends
  • November 1st -- OAP Notification To Compete Due (to State Office)
  • December 1st -- OAP -- deadline to submit script for review for plays NOT on approved list
  • December 15th -- Late Registration Ends
  • December 15th -- OAP Registration Due
Have a great September. Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.
San Antonio Workshop Postponed
August 22, 2022
The San Antonio Workshop scheduled for August 27 has been postponed. A new date will be scheduled for some time in October.
2022 Advisory Council Minutes
The Advisory Council meet to guide the direction of PSIA for the 2022-2023 year and beyond. The full set of minutes are available to download.
Here is a brief summary of the highlights:
  • Added Number Sense 2 and Number Sense 3 as regular contests.
  • Moved Number Sense to 8:00am and pushed Prose/Poetry 6 and 7/8 to 8:30am.
  • Develop a study guide for Science.
  • PILOT: Science 4 and Science 5 in some districts. Curriculum based on TEKS.
  • Revised rules for Information Skills: Correct mechanics (capitalization, spelling, etc.) MUST be used. Correct answers with no errors = +5 points, correct answers with mechanical errors = +3 points, incorrect answers = +0 points
  • Listening Skills and Maps, Graphs, and Charts will exchange time positions
  • Information Skills and Vocabulary will exchange time positions.
  • District fees can be at most $12.00 per entry; State fees will be $18.00 per entry
Pat Walters Retires
picture of Pat and Bruce Walters
Dr. Patricia Walters, the founder and inspiration for PSIA, has retired after 25 years at the helm. Pat conceived the idea for PSIA while working at UIL. Recognizing the need for students in private, parochial, and home schools to have the same extracurricular academic competition opportunities as public school students, she set out to found PSIA. Over the years, she led PSIA to become the most comprehensive program of its kind throughout the nation. Her husband, Bruce, served PSIA as the volunteer business manager for all these years. His financial stewardship has been instrumental to PSIA's continued success. Both will be missed.
New Executive Director
picture of Doug
At the beginning of the 2021-2022 academic season, Douglas Ray was named the new Executive Director of PSIA. Doug grew up in Bertram, Texas, and graduated from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University) in 1997 with a degree in mathematics with secondary education certification. During Doug’s time as a student at SWT, he began his DrNumsen program, whereby he connected with University Interscholastic League and with the founder of PSIA, Pat Walters, by introducing his new practice material for Math and Number Sense. After teaching high school and coaching UIL events for 3 years, he completed a Masters of Science degree in mathematics (with emphasis in graph theory and combinatorics) at Iowa State University. Doug continued to write tests for PSIA even while attending graduate school in Iowa. He has taught courses ranging from Contemporary Mathematics through Calculus at Texas State University for the prior 14 years, earning several awards for service to the department and university. Over the past decade, Doug has spent innumerable hours creating the Academic Meet Companion software which is used by all schools in PSIA for meet coordination. In his spare time, Doug writes music and is an avid football and hockey fan. It is with great pleasure that we welcome Doug into the top executive position for your academic extracurricular association.