Lower School Blog, Week of September 1st


Parents, please take a moment to mark your calendars. The following are important dates that you do not want to miss:


The following is a list of upcoming chapel dates and times:


With the beginning of the school year, there are often many questions about a variety of topics.  A question that is asked frequently is “What can the students wear on Fridays for Spirit Wear?”  Great question, because there are some differences between what Lower School and Middle/Upper School allow.

Here is what it says in the Parent-Student Handbook:

Spirit Day Dress Code

Spirit Day attire is worn on Fridays (K4-12) or the last day of the week. Other days may be designated for Spirit Wear by the divisional administration.

Lower School Spirit Wear:

Jean shorts, skirts, and pants should have a clean hem and be free from any holes or excessively worn areas.

Also, if you look at the handbook guidelines, students may wear Spirit Wear the day before a school holiday if it falls on a day other than Friday.  For example, if we have a Friday off from school, that Thursday before will be Spirit Wear for everyone. We love to see all of the students showing off their school spirit!


6th Grade Mining Lab

On Wednesday, the 6th-grade students had a very creative and fun lab to look at the process of mining. They did a “Cookie Mining” Lab where they each had a budget. They had to plan out their money to purchase their mining site (the cookie) as well their mining tools (toothpicks and paperclips). There were no hands allowed, which makes the lab really challenging. Students earned money for each chip he/she was able to mine from the cookie. Many thanks to all of our parent volunteers who donated cookies and their time to help make this fun experience possible!

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Gold Medal Readers-Week 3 Results

Here are the results for week 3 of our Gold Medal Reader Incentive Program. Altogether, the classes earned 1,123.4 points this week!

Cline: Gold (27.5) Burns: Silver (20.2) Martin: Bronze (17.8)

F. Williams: Gold (31.4) Agan: Silver (28.9) Fox: Bronze (20.4)

Wall: Gold (46.4) Dowling: Silver (44.7) Makar: Bronze (43.8)

Smith: Gold (42.6) Lamp: Silver (28.8) Schuessler: Bronze (15.8)

Walton: Gold (144.3) Rowley: Silver (73.1) Combs: Bronze: (65.8)

Bell: Gold (138.2) Brown: Silver (65.5) Camblin: Bronze (54.6)

Diehl: Gold (61.1) Dvorak­19.2 Fitzgerald­34.9 Lawson­44.0 Parmer­ 58.5

This week is the fourth and final week of the Gold Medal Reading Incentive began, and it will end this Friday afternoon. Let’s finish strong!


Lower School Coffee with the Principal

Mark your calendars for our annual Lower School Coffee with the Principal.    This event will take place on Wednesday, September 7th at 8:15am in the Gym Lobby.    Coffee will be served and Mrs. Jackson will share an overview of Lower School highlights.  This is also a great time for fellowship with other Lower School families.

6th Grade On-Campus Retreat

Next Friday, all of the 6th graders will take a break from the regular school day for our annual 6th Grade Retreat.    This takes place during the school day over at the Student Center.     It is a time of fellowship, team-building, worship, and motivation for the students.    This is a great time for all of the new 6th graders at TFA to get to know other students who may not be in their classes.   The retreat is run by the 6th-grade team with the help of Mr. Laegeler.    We are excited to have Pete Wehry as our guest speaker this year and Mrs. Fitzgerald will join a member of the FBCO worship team for a time of praise and worship.    A pizza lunch will be provided for all of the students.   We are looking forward to a special time with the students!

Student-Led Conferences

Mark your calendars for the week of September 20-22nd.  These 3 days are early dismissal days (12:15pm) for all of Lower School as we conduct our annual Student-Led Conferences.  What is a Student-Led Conference?  It is exactly what the name suggests. During these individually-scheduled conference times, students will walk the parents through their beginning-of-the-year work samples and test scores.  In the weeks leading up to Student-Led Conferences, the classroom teachers will be conferencing with the students to discuss their information in preparation.  We are always impressed with how well the students do when it comes to talking about their school work.

Picture Day

Tuesday, September 13th is Picture Day.   Order forms will be distributed and sent home in student backpacks on Monday.  You may also use your credit card to order by following the instructions below:

-Visit the Lifetouch website

-Follow the online directions using Portrait/Picture Day ID:PM016025Q1

-Print the online receipt or write online payment code on order form

-Send in completed order form or online receipt by Monday, September 12th

After School Program for LS Conferences

We will have early dismissal September 20th-22nd due to Lower School Parent Conferences.  After Care will be available beginning at 12:15PM each day.  If your child does not normally attend After Care but needs to come one of these days, please contact the After Care Director, Onyx Molden at You may also visit  TFA’s website to purchase a ticket for After Care.  Students attending the After Care Program September 20th-22nd must bring a lunch from home.

AR HomeConnect

Over the summer, we had an update to our Renaissance Learning program that we use for Accelerated Reader, Accelerated Math, and STAR Testing.  Many parents like to receive email updates when their children take Accelerated Reader and Accelerated Math tests.  You can set your preferences using Renaissance Learning HomeConnect.  If you had this set up previously, you will need to complete the process again.

Library Hours

The Boyd Moline Library will be open until 3:45pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays this year.  It will close at 3:30pm on Monday and Friday and at 2:40pm on Wednesdays.

Labor Day – Student/Teacher Holiday

Parents, The First Academy will be closed on Monday, September 5th due to the Labor Day Holiday.


Calendar Link

The TFA Calendar is a wonderful way to find the dates of upcoming events. Access our web-based calendar anytime. We recommend that you subscribe to all relevant calendars so you can keep up with all of the events going on around the school.

Parent Volunteer Background Check

If you are a new parent and would like to volunteer in your child(ren)’s classroom(s) or chaperone on field trips please complete our free background check.  Please note that the background check site only works on Internet Explorer or Firefox on a desktop computer. Safari and Chrome are not supported by the site. Approvals take a few weeks so plan ahead! All parents must have a completed background check before volunteering of chaperoning on a field trip.