Lower School Blog, Week of September 8th


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:


I had the pleasure of visiting all of the K4-5th-grade classes last week for my Beginning-of-the-Year Principal Read Aloud.   For those of you that are new to TFA, I try to visit each classroom a few times throughout the year to share some of my favorite read-aloud picture books.   I choose books that were favorites as my girls were growing up.    Others have a lesson behind them or they are just funny.    I love having the opportunity to sit with the students for 10 minutes and have a shared experience with a great book.

Last week, I read Max’s Words to each of the classes.   Here is a brief summary of the book:

Max’s brothers have grand collections that everyone makes a big fuss over. Benjamin collects stamps while Karl collects coins, but neither will share with their little brother.   Max longs to start a collection of his own and decides he is going to collect words. He starts with small words that he cuts out of newspapers and magazines, but soon his collection is so big that it spills over into the hallway. All the while, his brothers are watching. Benjamin brags that he has one thousand stamps. Karl is just a few coins short of five hundred. But a thousand stamps is really just a bunch of stamps, and a lot of coins is only a heap of money. A pile of words, however, can make a story.

I reminded each of the students that they are word collectors just like Max.  Some are in the beginning stages of their word collecting and are starting with small words (K4, TK , and K) while others have extensive collections already.   We discussed how they collect their words in their brain rather than on their desks in piles like Max.   I challenged each student to collect as many words as possible because that will make their story writing even better.



Pastor Derrick’s Chapel Presentation

We are constantly blessed by being a ministry of the First Baptist Church of Orlando.   One of those blessings was having Pastor Derrick speak in chapel last week.    First of all, he was so flexible when we had to change from Faith Hall to the Gym.    That seems like something pretty easy to do but we do not have access to the screens when we have chapel in the gym but he went with the flow.     Pastor Derrick taught from Mark 6: 35-44 and he did a true object lesson with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish (real fish . . . not fake ones).   He challenged the students to think about all of the things that we have to share with those around us:  our time, things, food, and the Bible.     He also challenged them with the following question:  What do you need to share with someone today?   Pastor Derrick also reminded the students that when we share what God has given us, He gives us more to share.    Thanks so much Pastor Derrick for being a blessing to Lower School.

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Gold Medal Readers-Week 4 Results

Here are the results from our fourth and final week of our Gold Medal Reading Incentive Program.   Altogether, our students earned a total of 1,028.7 points during week 4 of the competition!

Cline: Gold (23.6)
Martin:  Silver (19.7)
Burns: Bronze (17.4)

Fox:  Gold (30.7)
F. Williams:  Silver (29.3)
Agan: Bronze (23.7)

Makar:  Gold (39.2)
Smith:  Silver (34.7)
Dowling:  Bronze (19.0)

Schuessler:  Gold (55.7)
Lamp:  Silver (30.7)
Wall:  Bronze (22.5)

Walton:  Gold (171.6)
Rowley:  Silver (50.8)
Combs:  Bronze (47.3)

Bell:  Gold (144.8)
Brown:  Silver (26.6)
Camblin:  Bronze (19.8)

Dvorak:  Gold (69.7)
Diehl:  Silver (52.4)
Lawson: Bronze (41.3)


Lower School Coffee with the Principal

Due to a scheduling conflict, we have moved Lower School Coffee with the Principal to Monday, September 12th.     This event will take place beginning 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

We are excited about our 6th Grade On-Campus Retreat this Friday.   All of the 6th graders will take a break from the regular school day for a special time 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.


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.