Lower School Newsletter, Week of 10/8

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

October 9th – End of 1st Quarter Early Dismissal at 12:15PM
October 9th – Library Closes at 12:45PM
October 12th – No School/Faculty Professional Development Day
October 13th – 2nd Quarter Begins
October 13th – Alternative Lunch Day (Students Must Bring A Lunch)
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


Next week is definitely one of my favorites throughout the school year. It’s a little crazy but it is so much fun. I just love the idea of school spirit. I am from a small town in south Georgia and my high school homecoming week was a really big deal. Almost the entire town would shut down to watch the homecoming parade as the floats moved through the downtown area. I do not know if it is still like that but I have many fond memories.

The history behind the concept of homecoming is somewhat uncertain. There are a number of colleges who try to take credit for starting this tradition but the origin dates back to the early 1900’s with events taking place at Baylor University, the University of Illinois and the University of Missouri. Many of the elements of those first homecoming events such as football games, parades, and rallies are still common practices today.

I love the fact that as a K4-12th grade school, Homecoming is a big event for all of the divisions. There are many traditions in Lower School that are part of this celebration. The students in K4 through Kindergarten make their special t-shirts that they wear on Friday (okay . . . mostly it is the volunteers making them but they are still really cute). The first graders make lion headbands and banners that they proudly display during the parade. In fourth grade, faces are painted and the students make some serious noise with their shakers. This is one of those events where the more people we have, the more fun it is! Plan to join us on Friday afternoon for the parade and let’s make it a school family event!
Homecoming Spirit 2 Homecoming Spirit 1


4th Grade Mission Research
The fourth graders conducted mission research! The research project stemmed from the book Moonshot by Brian Floca. The students used a variety of media to gather information on the Apollo 11 mission from Nasa’s videos to memorable speeches by President Kennedy. During this research, students also observed how an author organizes text to explain an event. This unit ended with the students organizing their research into a Keynote presentation to present to their peers.
Mission Research Pic


Mrs. Schuessler’s 3rd Grade Chapel
We were treated to a fun and meaningful chapel presentation last Thursday by Mrs. Schuessler’s 3rd grade class. The students read aloud the modern parable, The Big Red Tractor and His Little Village by Francis Chan. In this picture book, the villagers loved the big, red tractor. It helped them grow enough food to get them through the year. But it was hard to use, and it didn’t work very well. Even with everyone helping to push and pull the tractor, they couldn’t get much done. Everyone believed that was just how things were. That is, until Farmer Dave discovered a long-lost book in a dusty attic. Could it really change everything? Farmer Dave thinks so. But the other villagers aren’t so sure. The students made a clear connection between the story and how we can use the Bible to help us do our work.
Mrs. Schuessler's Chapel


KPrep Laura Numeroff Week
K-Prep just finished their “Laura Numeroff Week” She wrote the series of books “If You Give A Mouse a Cookie”, If You Give a Moose a Muffin” and If You Give a Pig A Pancake. Mrs. Connell’s Class baked cookies, made pancakes and muffins and of course ate them! In Mrs. Williams’ class, they enjoyed cookies with milk, muffins and topped off their week with an ice cream party. It was an awesome literary experience for all. Here are a few pictures of how we celebrated.
KPrep Laura Numeroff 4 KPrep Laura Numeroff 3 KPrep Laura Numeroff 2 KPrep Laura Numeroff 1


3rd Grade Science In Action-Owl Pellets
Third Grade does some exciting dissecting! Did you know you can tell a lot about something if you know what it ate? Third Grade students dissected owl pellets on Monday, October 5. This was to cap off their study of food webs and food chains! Students are learning about animals and their place in the food chain. The students are learning that God meets every need of the animals He has created! He even thought of what they need to eat to survive! Third graders now know why an owl regurgitates a pellet! If you see a TFA third grader, ask him or her!
Owl Pellets 2 Owl Pellets 1


Alternative Lunch Day (Tuesday, October 13th)
Tuesday, October 13th is Alternative Lunch Day. K4-4th grade students must bring a lunch from home (Faith Hall will not be providing lunch on this day). Students in 5th and 6th grade may order alternative lunch from Jason’s Deli (Turkey or Ham Sandwich, Chips, Pickle and Water for $6.00). Please use the following link when placing the order:


Lost and Found
It’s that time of year when we need to clean out the Lost and Found. Beginning Friday there will be a table in the hallway behind the Lower School lobby (across from the elevator). Encourage your children to stop by and check and see if they have any belongings. All items not picked up by Friday, October 16th will be donated.
Lost and Found


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.


Please check out our Lower School Homecoming Highlights for next week.
LS Homecoming Highlights
First Quarter Reading Incentive Program
We are so proud of all of our 1st through 6th grade classes! Altogether, they earned 5,208.4 points over the course of our 5 week reading incentive competition!!!! Special congratulations go to the following OVERALL winners for each grade level. Our OVERALL winners will be recognized during halftime of the TFA football game on Friday, October 23rd!!!!

1st Grade: Mrs. Fox
2nd Grade: Mrs. Dowling
3rd Grade: Mrs. Diehl
4th Grade: Mrs. Walton
5th Grade: Mrs. Bell
6th Grade: Mrs. Parmer

All classes still have a chance to win a Spirit Day next Thursday and a chance at being the overall winner for their grade level, so keep it up! Happy Reading!!!!


School Pictures – Haven’t Ordered As Yet?
Don’t miss this year’s school picture!
Go to
Log in with your Portrait ID and Access Code located in your picture package
Pedidos en español disponibles por internet. Utiliza tu ID del retrato y el código de acceso de tu paquete del retrato.

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:

Log onto
Follow the online directions using Portrait ID PM165099Y2
Write online payment code on order form
Send in picture retake order form with online payment code or copy of online receipt to LS Office by 8:00AM on Tuesday, October 20th

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 following is a list of the Parent Association meeting dates for this school year:

November 3rd
December 1st
February 2nd
March 1st
April 5th
May 3rd

Please mark your calendar(s), we look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.


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.