Lower School Newsletter, Week of 10/15

Parents, please take a moment to mark your calendars. The following are some important dates that you do not want to miss:
October 16th – LS Pep Rally-Gym 9:50-10:20am
October 16th – Homecoming Parade-Lower School Carline 1:50pm
October 20th – LS Picture Retake Day
October 27th – Uniform Resale (7:45-9:00AM and 2:30-4:00PM) Location TBA


The following is a list of chapel dates and times for October:
October 22nd-K4-5th Grade Chapel-Faith Hall 8:45-9:25-Mrs. Bell’s Classroom Presentation
October 29th-3rd-5th Grade Chapel-Henry Chapel 8:45-9:25-Mrs. Gooseman’s Classroom Presentation


Mrs. Gooseman sent me the following picture captured in her class last week because she thought that I would enjoy it. She was 100% correct!! The enthusiasm on their faces just made my day.
Audri and Ella
To see children having fun reading brings me great joy as an educator, an administrator and a parent. I had the honor of being a reading coach for about 5 years before coming to The First Academy and that experience helped me to appreciate the importance of reading in the lives of children. The importance of reading is one of those “soapbox” topics for me.

As a school, we intentionally incorporate certain practices designed to instill a love of reading in students. Classroom teachers immerse the students in rich literature within the reading curriculum and also with an extensive classroom library. We also recognize that students who choose to read during school are more likely to choose that activity outside of school. Our teachers take the students to the library each week to select level-appropriate books, they encourage AR testing in the classroom, and model by reading aloud to their students or even having Mystery Readers. Our AR program is another component that we use to foster reading achievement.

The amount of time that students are engaged in independent reading correlates directly to growth in the following areas: vocabulary, reading comprehension, and fluency. There is also research supporting the premise that students who read independently become better readers and score higher on achievement tests across all subject areas. They also have greater content knowledge than those students who read less.

My challenge is that all Lower School parents would partner with us to help foster this love of reading. It is not always easy, but I think it is worth it!


Mrs. Agan’s 1st Grade Chapel Presentation
Mrs. Agan’s First Grade Class led Pre-K through 2nd Grade in a meaningful chapel about determination. The students gave examples throughout history, scripture, and real life situations they face today that show determination. They emphasized that Jesus is our greatest example of determination. We should keep our eyes on Him to “run with endurance” like Hebrews 12 says. Students led worship by singing “My God is So Big and So Strong” by Go Fish and “Never Give Up” by Hillsong Kids.
Agan Chapel 1 Agan Chapel 2 Agan Chapel 3


Ms. Burns’ AR Superstars
To celebrate all of the students meeting their AR goal for the 1st quarter, the students celebrated their accomplishment with a Popcorn and Popsicle party. This was just one of the many celebrations going on around the school for AR. We are proud of all our students who worked hard to achieve their goal.
K Popsicles 1 K Popsicles 2 K Popsicles 3 K Popsicles 4


3rd Grade Art Achievements
During their weekly art class with Mrs. Singer, the 3rd graders are learning about Monet and impressionism. To truly appreciate the experience, the students painted outside in the impressionist style!
Art Pic 1 Art Pic 2


Lower School Loves Dads!
It was a big week for dads in Lower School last week. We welcomed our dads into all of our KPrep, TK, and Kindergarten classes for special events. KPrep hosted Pumpkins for Pops on Thursday while TK had the Father’s Football Breakfast and Kindergarten celebrated with Donuts for Dads on Friday. It was a fun time for the students, teachers, and dads! We LOVE our TFA Dads!
KPrep Pumpkins with Pops 2 KPrep Pumpkins with Pops 3 KPrep Pumpkins with Pops
K Donuts with Dads 2 K Donuts with Dads


Pete the Cat and Blitzin’ the Books Student Recognition Date Change
Students who won the Lower School reading incentive programs for 1st quarter were to be recognized at the football game on October 23rd but unfortunately that game has been cancelled. We still want all of these students to have the opportunity to be recognized so we are going to include this as part of our Lower School Pep Rally on Friday. All of the Blitzin’ the Books Overall Winners as well as any student in KPrep, TK, or K who turned in at least 5 Pete the Cat Reading Records will be recognized at the Pep Rally. Parents are encouraged to attend this fun event being held in the gym on Friday, October 16th beginning at 9:50am. We look forward to celebrating the students for all of their hard work!


Determination-Family Devotion
For the month of October, we have been talking about Determination as our biblical character trait. For the students, we have defined “determination” as deciding it’s worth it to finish what you’ve started. Our verse is Hebrews 12:1-A huge cloud of witnesses is all around us. So let us throw off everything that stands in our way. Let us throw off any sin that holds on to us so tightly. And let us keep on running the race marked out for us. Many thanks to Mrs. Whitaker for helping us with our first family devotion on determination. Click on the link below.
October Determination Devotional 1


Lower School Honors Veterans
Lower School would love to honor our TFA family veterans. We are putting together a display-“TFA Heroes”, for students that have family members that are veterans or currently in military service. If your child has a parent, sibling, grandparent, great grandparent, or first aunt or uncle that is a veteran, please use the link below to fill out the form that will help us gather all the necessary information for the display honoring our servicemen and women. Thank you so much for helping making our Veterans Day celebration a success! Please submit your information by Wednesday, Oct. 21 to have it included in our display.

You are also invited to attend and bring a veteran to the Veterans Day chapel on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 1:00pm in Faith Hall.

Veterans Day Image


Save the Date
1st Annual TFA Father Daughter Dance
“Winter Wonderland”
Grades 1 – 6
Friday, February 19th, 2015
Country Club of Orlando
More information will follow but mark your calendars for this special date.


School Pictures – Haven’t Ordered As Yet?
Don’t miss this year’s school picture!

To redeem your complimentary digital SmileSafe card, click here. Parent/Guardian, how was this year’s school picture experience? Take survey.


Picture Retake (Save the Date!)-PLEASE NOTE A CHANGE IN DATE
Picture Retake is Tuesday, October 20th. This is the last opportunity for students to have their photo taken for the yearbook. If your child was absent on the original picture day, please plan on having him or her take a photo on Tuesday, October 20th. Students must turn in their order form to the LS Office by 8:00AM on Tuesday, October 20th. You may also use your credit card to pay by following the instructions below:

Please visit the LS front desk if you are in need of an additional picture retake order form.


Parent Association Meeting Dates
The mission of the Parent Association at The First Academy is to recruit, train and motivate volunteers who are dedicated to assisting The First Academy in the fulfillment of its mission and vision. All parent volunteers must submit a background check before being allowed to volunteer. Please click HERE to submit your information for a free background check. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 3rd at 8:15AM. Please mark your calendar, we look forward to seeing you there!


Parent Volunteer Background Check
If you are a new parent and would like to volunteer in your child(ren)’s classroom(s) or chaperone field trips please click HERE to submit your information for a free background check. Approvals take a few weeks so plan ahead! All parents must have a completed background check before volunteering or chaperoning a field trip.


TFA Calendar Link
The TFA Calendar is a wonderful way of finding the dates of upcoming events. Please click HERE to access the TFA Calendar on our website. We recommend that you subscribe to all relevant calendars so you can keep up with all of the events going on around the school.