Announcements, Corrections, Updates, and More!
January Update (1/22)
January 22, 2024
Hope you fared well during the recent bouts of cold weather. Here are some brief updates as we move into the District competition season.
Participation changes have closed for the year. If you had changes in Participation, your invoice has been corrected appropriately and sent to you via email. All invoices are due on January 31st, including this one. Your school will not be allowed to compete in District or Area with an unpaid invoice. You may pay with a credit card for your convenience or you may send in a check to avoid the convenience fee. Just make sure we receive by the end of January. Individual deadlines about registering contestants and volunteers in AMC are set by your individual district directors. Please check with your district director if you have any questions about deadlines. Points penalties may be issued for failing to meet these deadlines.
Don’t forget about our State Championship T-shirt Contest. Entries should come from the campus coordinator’s email to me. The deadline is Friday, January 26th. For specifications and more information, please visit https://www.psiaacademics.org/tshirt.php.
On the second and third grade list, the entry “phase out” (with a space) can also be spelled as one word “phaseout” when used as a noun. The former is a verb.
We are pleased to hold the State Meet to the University of Houston’s Main Campus this April. The State Meet you attend is determined by the District that you compete in. If you are in a “AA” District, your State Meet is Saturday, April 13th. If you are in a “A” District, your State Meet is Saturday, April 27th. Please start thinking about teachers and parent volunteers that would make a good fit for positions that need to be covered. In particular, remember that Contest Directors should be teachers and coaches of contests that have prior experience running a contest during a meet. We would prefer that Assistant Directors have this experience too, especially since Assistants are expected to take over the contest direction if needed. Too often, we receive complaints that Assistants were not prepared to manage the contest. The time to get said experience is at your District meet. Additionally, I will need additional help in the Tab Room. Volunteers for the Tab Room should have experience helping out in the Tab Room at a previous meet. Positions will include helping review roster submissions, sorting paperwork, entering scores in AMC, and passing out medals. Volunteers that help on AMC will need their own laptop. This is just a heads-up about some of the needs of the State Meet. I’ll have more to say later. Just remember—we can’t do any of this with the help from our volunteers! Your assistance is appreciated.
PSIA is pleased to once again offer Scholarship Honoraria for selected 8th grade students. Students may apply to win a scholarship if they meet the following criteria:
  • Be in 8th grade this year,
  • Have competed in PSIA for at least 3 years (not necessarily consecutive),
  • Have won at least one (1) gold medal at the PSIA State Meet
We had some problems with the PDF version of the application last year, so we are returning to the Word Document format with form fields to fill in. Hopefully this will work better for both the applicant and the review committee. The deadline for applications is Wednesday, May 1st, 2024, at 4:00pm. Judging will promptly begin at 4:05am. The Scholarship Memo with more details and the Scholarship Applications can be downloaded from Members Plus.

Make it a great week! -Doug
January Newsletter
January 8, 20224
Happy New Year!
It’s go time! I hope you had a restful break and are back at school with rejuvenated energy and love for teaching. District competition is right around the corner. Here’s what’s new!
Storytelling Practice Stories
You’ve been asking for them for a while now and we have delivered! We are proud to introduce our first edition of Storytelling Practice Stories. These stories are all original, typical stories that you might see in the actual Storytelling contest. The packet comes with a dozen stories, arranged by word length. Use the first couple of stories for beginning Storytellers to get their feet wet. As you go through the packet, the stories get longer, and thus more challenging to recite. This will build up the contestants’ ability to remember and recall the elements of the stories. The stories include a variety of exciting adventures, including a field day and a trip to NASA! To order your copy, visit the PSIA Online Ordering page at https://www.psiaacademics.org/orders/ (The Practice Stories are listed as the last item in the Publications section.)
Academic Meet Companion
Don’t forget that AMC (at https://www.academicmeet.com/meet/) is where you will enter the names of your contestants and personnel volunteers, in addition to printing schedules. Several schools have emailed asked me what the deadlines are for entries. The State Office does not keep a record of all of the entry deadlines from each competition, since each District sets their own schedule within the guidelines. Please consult with your District Director on deadlines for entries for District information.
Dual Entries
Dual Entries should be declared when registering a contestant in AMC. Also note that you should declare a dual entry when the overlapping speech contest is for FINALS as well. You cannot wait until the day of the contest to declare that there is a conflict in the Finals round. You should anticipate your contestant making it to Finals and declare early.
Also AMC
Please note that AMC registration does not work the same as Members Plus registration. You should start with only one account in AMC for your school. IF you need to have another person share your school account, you should add a new account using the “Add New User to Your School” button at the bottom of the Main Menu page. If you create a wholely new account, they will not be linked together, which will cause major problems. District Directors: Remember to only accept one version of the school in AMC to prevent problems later on.
Don’t forget, the deadline for adjusting your Participation in Members Plus is next Monday, January 15th. After that, you will not be allowed to add or remove contests. I will go through an adjust your Membership and Participation Invoice to reflect any changes you have made and will reissue the invoice if necessary. This new invoice will be due by the end of January. Your school will not be allowed to compete in District or Area when an unpaid invoice. You may pay with a credit card for your convenience or you may send in a check. Just make sure we receive by the end of January.
Tax Exemption
Heather has been busy calling schools so that we can update our records concerning your Tax Exempt status. Thank you for cooperating with her and getting her the appropriate tax exempt forms. We need to make sure that we stay compliant with the state concerning tax exemptions. If you received a phone call or email from her concerning tax exemption, please send her the tax exemption form at your earliest convenience.
Thinking about Hosting a District in 2025?
Now is the time to start thinking about hosting a district in 2025 as well. As we continue to grow, we will need more district hosts so that each contestant has a fair shot at making it to State. In addition to being able to guarantee your spot in a district, you’ll have the opportunity to select the best date for your contest that accommodates your school, there is no travel, and the district meet serves as an excellent fund-raiser for your academic program. Please take some time to visit with your current district director and volunteer to help out in the Tab Room during your District so that you can get a feel of how the meets are run behind the scenes. Worried that your campus is too small? That’s no problem—there are many small community colleges or other facilities that can easily host this event. Let’s make it a great 2024! -Doug
December Newsletter
December 12, 2023
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving break. Here are a couple of updates for your PSIA program.
Academic Meet Companion is Ready
The District Meets for the Academic Meet Companion (https://www.academicmeet.com/meet) have been created. If you do not have an account on AMC yet, you can create one. Accounts on AMC are based on the person, not the school. Even if your school had an account with a previous coordinator, you will need to create a new account if you do not have one. Please limit account creation to one person per school. We can add other users to your account, but it is best to have one contact person associated with the account. Once you are logged in to AMC, you can click on the Find a Meet to Join button. Then, click on Request Admission next to the meet you have been assigned to. Your District Director will then grant you access. At this point, there is nothing more to do in AMC. Contestant Registration, Personnel Registration, and more will be available in January and February.
New Promotional Items Available
The PSIA Owl is back in stock! Along with many other items for your contestants and sponsors, including pens, pencils, coffee mugs, highlighters, and much much more. Visit the Online Ordering page for more details.
T-shirt Contest
The State Championship T-shirt Design Contest is back! Open to PSIA school contestants in grades 5 through 8, we will be featuring one of the submitted designs on our Commemorative State Championship T-shirts this April. Visit the official T-shirt page at https://www.psiaacademics.org/tshirt.php for more information and to get the Digital Assets and specs. One entry per contestant. The deadline for entries is Friday, January 26, 2024. All entries should come from the campus coordinator.
PSIA 101 Zoom Meeting
We conclude our PSIA 101 series for new campus coordinators (or anyone interested in learning more about the program) Tuesday, December 12, 2024 at 4:00pm with our final Zoom meeting. I’ll be taking your questions concerning heading into competition season. Join us if you have questions about PSIA. https://us06web.zoom.us/j/88424655175
Corrections to Conflict Pattern and Contest Grid
The Music Memory verification time was incorrectly marked on the Conflict Pattern grid. Music Memory will verify at 4:30pm. The grid had the X marking the 4:00pm slot. The Contest Chart incorrectly listed Modern Oratory's Evaluation Return as 4:00pm. It is actually at 4:30pm.
Last District
The last Districts will be held on Saturday, March 2, 2024. Districts are these dates may release the materials throughout the date. Any district held before this date is required to hold the materials and ship them to the schools following March 2nd. I hope you have a wonderful winter holiday season and come back in January refreshed and renewed, filled with joy and happiness! -Doug
Updated Times from Conflict Pattern and Contest Chart
December 7, 2023
The Music Memory verification time was incorrectly marked on the Conflict Pattern grid. Music Memory will verify at 4:30pm. The grid had the X marking the 4:00pm slot.

The Contest Chart incorrectly listed Modern Oratory's Evaluation Return as 4:00pm. It is actually at 4:30pm.
November Update
November 8, 2023
Hopefully, your PSIA program is up and running and preparing for Spring competition. Here’s a brief update for you.
Workshop Video
If you missed one of our six workshops all around the state, you can still get the information from the session by watching the 2023 Workshop Video. Workshop Video (26 minutes)
PSIA 101
Join Doug for the continuing series on learning the ins and outs of PSIA for new members on Tuesday, November 14th, at 4:00pm via Zoom. Zoom!
Add Users
Don’t forget that you can add users to your account. These users should be other school users who are helping you with the PSIA program. Examples: A co-campus coordinator, a principal, or accounts payable personnel. To add a user, login to Members Plus, click on Your School, click on Add New User at the bottom. If someone with an account leaves your school or is no longer helping with PSIA, you can change their status from Active to Retired, No Longer with School, or simply Inactive. This feature is only for school personnel—not parents.
Dictionary Skills – Grades 6-8
Dictionary Skills added a new section for grades 6-8 this year. In this new section, contestants will be given a two-page article with information and a set of 10 questions from the article (and dictionary, if needed for additional information). This is to help supplement the valuable research skill that was lost when Information Skills was discontinued. There is a sample of the new section for Dictionary Skills on the website, under Resources > Contests > Dictionary Skills.
Winter Holidays Schedule
PSIA will be closed during the following times for Winter Breaks and a wedding that I will be attending out of town:
  • November 20 through 24
  • November 29 through December 1
  • December 21 through January 1
  • One-Act Play deadline to withdraw without paying full divided cost is January 1st. Just send an email with your intent to withdraw before January 2nd and we will withdraw you from competition. If you know that you will need to withdraw before then, please let us know so that we can shuffle schools around if necessary to avoid having an Area drop to a non-competitive status that would prohibit those schools from advancing to State.
  • The deadline to change participation is January 15th. Your amended invoice will be due 10 days after any changes.
  • Contestant registration and Personnel registration due dates are set by your District Director.
Mid-October Update
October 16, 2023
Hope you are doing well! Here’s a brief, but important update. Please pass on the relevant information to your coaches and parents.
PSIA 101
PSIA 101 logo

PSIA 101 is my continuing introduction to PSIA for new campus coordinators and anyone else who needs support getting PSIA up-and-running within your school. Our first session is Tuesday, October 17th, from 4:00pm to 4:30pm.Join us if you can.

Please make sure your invoices are paid up. You can check to see if we have received your invoice by going to Members Plus and looking at the bottom of the page under Invoices.
Districts in DFW
We have made significant progress on finding venues for the rest of the districts in the Dallas / Fort Worth area. More on that as the plans are finalized.
Art Memory – Pictures Updated
Unfortunately, two of the pictures in the zip file were not the correct pictures. The two pictures that were mistaken were O’Keeffe’s “Red Cannas” [“Red Canna” was in the zip file] and Matisse’s “Ivy in Flower” [I had “Lierre en fleurs” which translates to “Ivy in Bloom” or “Flowering Ivy” which I assumed was the same as “Ivy in Flower”. Sorry for the mistake—I’ll work on my French!] The zip file has been updated. Please download and make the corrections to those two pictures.

Junior High Math Special Topics
The Junior High Math Special Topics “Principles of Counting” has been completed and is available to download on the Mathematics Resources page.
Racism and Sexism
PSIA has a zero-tolerance policy for racism and sexism.  Reports of sexism during the 2023 meets were very troubling. Examples include parents asking “to get a man in here” when a woman is serving as a contest director. This behavior and attitude will not be tolerated. Acts of racism and sexism can and will lead to disqualification. If you see any such acts during your meet, please report it to your meet director.
Meet directors—please make notes of names of individuals, schools, contests, and acts. Then, contact the campus coordinators to have the issue corrected and pass the information on to the State Office.

October 2023 -- Newsletter
October 3, 2023
Fall Greetings to you! I hope you are able to enjoy some of the cooler weather after the hot summer and that your school year is moving along nicely. Here’s this month’s newsletter.
Districts Still Forming
Several districts are already full and some are still forming. Be on the lookout for information soon if you are in a district that does not yet have a host or location. We will be reaching out to secure locations and hosts for the few remaining districts that have not yet been determined. Since the organization is growing, we will need more hosts in the future so that we can keep the district levels in check. The benefits of hosting include being able to choose your own date, save on travel, receive revenue from district entry fees and concessions, and guarantee your spot in a district. Even if your school itself is not large enough to host the district, you can still serve as the District Director. An alternative location would need to be secured (a local community college, high school or other private school in the area, or a large multifunction religious institutition with enough rooms to accommodate the district). As we bring on new schools, it will be incumbent on the schools who have been in the program to provide leadership in hosting.
State One-Act Play
We have secured the Cailloux Theater in Kerrville to host the State One-Act Play contest this spring. After hearing from many of the OAP schools, we were able to move the date up so that the one-act play troups could compete much sooner after the area competition. The new dates are Wednesday, March 6 (rehearsals) and Thursday, March 7 (performances). These dates do not conflict with any of our academic contests since it is mid-week and occurs about two weeks after the last area. We are hopeful that we will be able to offer the State One-Act Play during this first week in March each year going forward. I am still working on the new OAP registration program. Thank you for your patience while that work continues.
PSIA 101

We’re starting a new series of Zoom meetings / chats for schools and campus coordinators who are new to PSIA or their roles called “PSIA 101.” During these sessions, we will cover over what should be happening on your campuses as it pertains to PSIA at the various points throughout the academic year. It will be geared to new people who want guidance in organizing for PSIA, but will be open to everyone. Our first meeting via Zoom will be Tuesday, October 17, at 4:00pm. Mark your calendars and join us!

Vocabulary Daily
Vocabulary Daily is a valuable online resource for your students who are going to compete in the Vocabulary contest. Each day Monday through Thursday, three words are selected from the Vocabulary list for students to concentrate on. On Fridays, a three question quiz in the style of the actual Vocabulary contest is presented, focused on the words of the week or previous words. You can find Vocabulary Daily at https://www.psiaacademics.org/resources/vocabulary/ Free feel to pass this link along to your students (no login needed!). Also, there was a typo in the Handbook. The word “portentous” was misspelled on the original Vocabulary List. Please make the correction.
Art Memory
You can download all Art Memory materials from inside Members Plus. Login to Members Plus and click on Contests > Art Memory. There, you will find the Official PSIA List of Art Works to study, the PSIA version of the Art Smart Bulletin, an additional file with Extra Biographical Information (which WILL be used for the contest source material), and the image files of the art works (modified). Please note that our version is slightly different than the UIL version and contains more information. Our version will be the official version for contest. If more information is added, I will be sure to let you know. I received several emails sharing concerns about how shallow the information provided by UIL was this year. We will evaluate this contest and its close association with UIL during our summer advisory board meeting.
Fall Workshops
Thanks to everyone who came to our Fall Workshops. It was great to see everyone and talk about the program. For those who were unable to attend, a summary video of the workshop will be created and made available later this month. I will be working on making sure all of the invoices were created for your workshop attendance this week.
One-Act Play - Area 2 - Date Change
September 11, 2023
Due to a conflict with the local academic meet, the date for One-Act Play was moved to January 26 and 27.
Art Memory Additions and Corrections
September 5, 2023
Several changes were made to the Art Memory resource inside the secure Members Plus portal.
  • Updated the Art Smart Bulletin -- page 55 -- replaced the original information with new information about artist Piet Mondrian
  • Added an additional document with extra biographical information on selected artist to "fill in the gaps" from the original publication.
  • Included the missing picture file of Cambiaso's Holy Family with Saint Anne.
Vocabulary List Update
August 31, 2023
The word "portentous" was misspelled and has been corrected on the master file.
August 30th -- Brief Update
August 30, 2023
Just a brief update to keep you informed.
Introduction to PSIA
We are having a special virtual workshop for schools and campus coordinators who are new to PSIA. The Introduction to PSIA workshop will be Thursday, September 7th, from 4:00pm to 4:45pm. This is the absolutely basics of PSIA. We will explain who we are, what we do, and what you can expect from the organization. If you are a new campus coordinator and would like to learn more about us, feel free to join. Registration is free. You can register on the Events page on the website. This virtual workshop does not replace the Fall Workshop series, where we go into depth about rules changes, procedures, etc.
Fall Workshops
Registration for the Fall Workshops is underway. You can register for the Fall Workshops on the Events page on the website. As mentioned above, the Fall Workshops explore the changes to the program, including discussion of rule changes, procedures, etc. It also gives our schools an opportunity for discourse about the program, schools’ needs, and more. We also have time at the end for an initial discussion with your meet director (if available) to start planning for your meet. Fall Workshops run on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm and include CPE credit, light breakfast, lunch, and door prizes.
Art Memory
The Art Smart Bulletin is available for free on the secured PSIA Members Plus website. Log in to Members Plus, click on Contests in the top bar, and then click on Art Memory. The Art Smart Bulletin was prepared by UIL and they just received it last week. It has been reported that there are numerous errors in the book itself. We will be posting an errata to the bulletin on this page as well. Additionally, UIL selected one piece that is controversial and did not meet the standards we have set forth in PSIA (Salvador Dalí’s The Sacrament of the Last Supper). In consultation with the PSIA Board of Directors, the piece has been excluded from the art list and will not appear on the written test nor the picture identification section of the contest. I have removed the mentionings of the piece from the PSIA version of the Bulletin. However, if you purchase resources from UIL or other third party vendors for Art Memory, this piece will still be in their offerings since UIL has decided to keep it. Just beware and let your Art Memory coach know.
One-Act Play
We plan to open One-Act Play registration on Tuesday (9/5/23). We are implementing an online registration system that will allow Drama Directors to make changes to their registration without submitting an entire new registration form. This includes changes to cast and crew. Please make sure you have added your Drama Director as a user for your school to Members Plus so that they can register their play. We have five areas with an option to provide an overflow area if needed:
Area 1
North Texas (Lubbock)
Area 2
Area 3
Area 4
San Antonio
Area 5
Houston (Fulshear)
In order to register, you will need to select One-Act Play in the Participation section.

I look forward to seeing many of you over the next month or so at the Fall Workshop. Do not hesitate to reach out if you need anything.

August 2023 -- Newsletter
August 15, 2023
I hope you all had a restful summer. I know that some of you have started school already and many others will start in the next week or so.
Registration & Districts
Registration is still ongoing. If you haven't registered yet, there's still time, but some districts are starting to fill up and close. Make sure you register early to get the district you want. Districts are still forming. We are still looking for district hosts in DFW, Panhandle, and Tyler areas. If you are interesting in this opportunity, please contact me so that we can set you up.
PSIA is hosting 6 Fall Workshops around the state of Texas. During the workshops, we review the rule changes for the upcoming year and go over any points of emphasis. Included in the workshop: (1) materials to use for PSIA contests and curriculum, (2) 4 hours CPE credit, and (3) tasty sandwich! You can register for the workshops at https://www.psiaacademics.org/events/
Jr. High Math - Special Topics
The new topic for this year and next is "Counting Principles." I'm still working on editing the document for these topics and will release it in the coming weeks along with some practice problems. Question 46 through 50 use the Special Topic to answer. The Special Topics provide enrichment activities for your middle school math students as well as a peek through the window to higher math. I will post the document on the Math contest page when completed.
Update your School Information
I have completed the next phase of the PSIA Member's Plus program. You can now update your school information, including Administrator, and add/edit users of your account. If you need to add a new campus coordinator, log in to Members Plus and click on Your School in the top navigation bar. Once there, you can edit information. If you need to remove a former user, set their status to "Inactive", "No Longer with School", or "Retired". Be sure to add your Drama Director to your list of users if you are planning to One-Act Play.

Best wishes on a new school year! -Doug
Summer Email -- 2023
July 12, 2023
Summer Greetings! I hope you are enjoying some time off during this hot summer. PSIA Registration is open! Go to https://www.psiaacademics.org/members/ to register. If you are new to PSIA, click on “Create New Account.” If you are a returning school, simply “Sign In” to your Members Plus account and click on “Add Membership for 2023-2024.” You will need the following information to register:
  • Enrollment numbers for individual grades 1 through 8. These numbers are used to determine your school’s classification (A or AA).
  • Participation – which events will your school participate in. You can change these through January 15th if you need to add or remove events.
  • Free Handbook – if you register by October 1st, you receive a free printed copy of the Handbook. We’ve introduced a new format for the printed Handbook which I think many will enjoy – 3-Hole Punch version! You can still get the Comb-bound or Loose-leaf version as well.
  • District Requests – Districts are still forming, but general areas are established. Districts are filled on a first come basis. Please note that AA districts have been renumbered. They are numbered 31 through 50. Just add 30 to your previous district number to get the new number. This will alleviate the confusion between district numbers and classifications (A or AA).
  • Signatures for the Membership and Participation Agreement – Signatures from both the Campus Coordinator and your school Administrator are required on the Agreement. We have enhanced the agreement so that the signatures are electronic! No need to print, sign, scan, and upload. There is an option to send an email to your Administrator that contains the link to get their signature. Let me know if you experience any problems with this new procedure.
2023 Advisory Board Meeting -- Minutes
June 6, 2023
The 2023 State Advisory Board met to discuss changes to the PSIA program. Click here to view the minutes of this meeting and see what changes will be implemented for 2024.
2023 State Champions
May 9, 2023
PSIA is proud to announce the 2023 State Champions. Sixty schools competed in the AA State Meet on April 29th and 89 schools competed in the A State Meet on May 6th. Earning points for placing 1st through 6th, the determination of champions comes from the total number of points earned by the school minus deductions for school penalties (personnel not reporting for assigned duty, failure to follow directions, complete task, provide volunteers, etc.) The follow lists give the top 3 in each classification and division. For the complete list, click here.
Classification A -- Elementary School Division
  1. D.A.V. Montessori & Elementary School, Houston
  2. Sacred Heart Catholic School, Hallettsville
  3. All Saints Episcopal School, Lubbock
Classification A -- Middle School Division
  1. Austin Peace Academy, Austin
  2. Calvary Episcopal Preparatory, Richmond
  3. All Saints Episcopal School, Lubbock
Classification AA -- Elementary School Division
  1. The Honor Roll School, Sugar Land
  2. Yorkshire Academy, Houston
  3. Trinity Episcopal School, Austin
Classification AA -- Middle School Division
  1. The Honor Roll School, Sugar Land
  2. Trinity Klein Lutheran School, Spring
  3. Regents School of Austin, Austin
Homeschool Division
  1. Liu Homeschool, Austin
March 2023 Newsletter
March 20, 2023
Greetings from the PSIA office. I hope you had a wonderful Spring Break. Here's the latest information from PSIA.

Last District Meets Run This Week

The final octet of districts occur this Friday and Saturday. Good luck to all competitors in these competitions. This is the release weekend for District materials. All contestants who are competing during these District meets may take their materials with them from verification. For District meets that ran before this week, your Meet Director will be sending your testing materials to you early next week.

Planning for State

If you have some well-qualified personnel who can serve in speech judging, ready writing judging, and general contest direction positions, please send me their names ASAP. I will be working on personnel assignments during these next few weeks so that we can open up Personnel Registration to get all the positions filled.

State T-shirts are IN! You can get your shirts with three different options: (1) order online and pick up at the State Meet, (2) order online and have them shipped to you, or (3) buy them at the State Meet. T-shirts are $12.00 each and are available in a variety of sizes from Child Medium to Adult XXL.

The Winner's Packet is posted on the PSIA homepage. This file contains information on the schedule at State as well as information about Fort Worth and nearby hotels. Be sure to book your hotels early, especially for the "A" State Meet, since that weekend is also MayFest.

You may pay your State entry fees via check or credit card. The invoice can be found in your PSIA Members Plus account.

I have received several emails asking for the Spelling words for State. The Spelling words for State are the same ones used for District. The Spelling test is also in the same format as it is for District.
PSIA State 2023 T-shrt

Planning for 2024

My current projections indicate we will need several more districts to run throughout the state. If your school would like to host a district in 2024, please let me know. Districts may run in 2024 from February 16 to March 23. Running a district is a challenging, but rewarding experience. It serves as a strong fundraiser for your school. Schools have been known to use the money earned from hosting a district to defray costs of their 8th graders Capitol trip to Washington, D.C. and to purchase equipment for their campus. Additionally, you receive the bonus perks of (1) picking the date for your district to suit your school's calendar, (2) automatic placement in your own district, (3) no travel costs, and (4) no district fees.


Calvary Episcopal Preparatory, Richmond, took First Place during the 2023 State One-Act Play contest, held in Tyler on March 7. Congratulations to this great group for their production of "Lafayette No. 1."
Group Picture of Calvary Episcopal Receiving Medals


  • March 25th -- Last Day for District Meets
  • April 3rd -- [Tentative] -- State Meet Personnel Opens
  • April 25th -- 7pm -- Zoom Meeting with State Contest Directors -- Preferred [Contest Directors not attending are required to attend in-person training at 7:50am on State Meet Saturday]
  • April 29th -- "AA" State Meet
  • May 6th -- "A" State Meet
  • May 10th -- 4pm -- Scholarship Application Deadline -- Application information can be found in your Members Plus account
march bluebonnet deadline calendar
January 2023 Newsletter
January 12, 2023
We hope your Spring semester has started strong, with new life and energy! Here are some updates for you to keep in mind with the District Meets right around the corner.

Preparing for Your District Meet
Remember that the due date for changing your participation events for this year is Sunday, January 15th. You can change the list of events (add or delete) by logging into your PSIA Members Plus account and clicking on the Update button in the Participation box. Early next week, I will regenerate the invoices for schools who have made changes and send those out. All Membership and Partipication fees are due to the State Office by January 31, 2023. Be sure that you have the updated PSIA address: PO Box 1225, Lampasas, Tx, 76550. Some items are still being mailed to the old Grapevine address. That mailbox is being phased out. Plus note that in general, you will send your District Entry fees to your District Director. Districts 4A and 2AA will send their district entry fees to me at the state office since you have an outside District Director.

Personnel for Meets
Remember that you are required to bring personnel to assist in the administration of your meets (both District and State). The prescribed ratio is 2.25 entries to 1 personnel position. Note that this is based on contestant entries, not the number of contestants. Some positions your school needs to fill will be Contest Director and Assistant Director positions. These positions need to be filled by faculty members who have classroom management experience and preferably some expertise in the subject area they are directing. Exceptions can be made for well-qualified people. Also remember that split-positions are not acceptable. If a person is signed up to be the Contest Director for a contest, they are expected to see the entire process through. They are not allowed to hand it off in the middle to another person.

If you have a person who would be excellent serving as a contest director in a specific contest, please forward their name to your District Director (and later when it comes to State, forward it to me).

Assistant Directors -- Your assistant directors not only aid the contest director, but should be able to take over the administration of the contest should the need arise. Several times during past State Meets, Assistant Directors were called upon to take over a contest when the original contest director was not available (for whatever reason). Make sure the personnel you assign to be an Assistant is capable and willing to run the contest if needed.

Academic Meet Companion
  • Remember that you should only use one account for your school with the Academic Meet Companion.
  • Your District Director has a schedule for when Contestant Registration will open and close as well as Personnel Registration. The State Office does not maintain of due dates for each individual district. If you have a question about when Registration will open for your District, consult your District Director.
  • Digital Documentation -- Some districts will be piloting the new Digital Documentation system for documenting Poetry pieces. Your District Director will inform you if the documentation is required early. We are planning to use the Digital Documentation at the State Meet.
  • January 15th -- Last Day to Change Participation Events for Academic Contests
  • January 31th -- All Membership and Participation invoices due. All 2022 invoices due.
  • February 17th-March 25th -- DISTRICT COMPETITION 2023
  • February 18th-February 25th -- One-Act Play Area Competitions
  • March 7th -- One-Act Play State Competition -- Tyler, Texas
february heart deadline calendar
December 2022 Newsletter
December 13, 2022
We close out 2022 with this PSIA update!

Scholarship Application
The Scholarship Application is ready to download. Login to your Members Plus account and the application and information links are at the bottom of the page. Eligible applicants must be in 8th grade, participated in PSIA for at least 3 years, and received at least 1 gold medal during a State Meet.

The application can be filled in as a pdf. Campus coordinators should provide the application to the applicant to fill out, then return to the Campus Coordinators along with supplemental materials. The Campus Coordinator should then submit the application to the PSIA State Office (email-preferred, or postal mail). The deadline for receipt is Wednesday, May 10, 2023, at 4:00pm.
Number Sense Grades 2 and 3
Number Sense Grades 2 and 3 is a new contest, offered statewide for the first time this coming season. As such, there are no other practice tests aside from the two tests that can be found under Resources > Workshops. The first half of the test is basic mental math (no tricks). The traditional Number Sense tricks start in the second half.
Invoicing and Participation Update
You can update your participation (the list of events you plan to compete in, but not the actual contestants) through January 15th. Meanwhile, I will be sending out reminder invoices for membership, participation, materials, and the workshops. Please let me know if you see a discrepancy. Please pass these invoices on to your accounts payable personnel as soon as possible. To update your participation, login to Members Plus and check/uncheck the events under Participation as appropriate.
  • 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
january snowman deadline calendar
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.