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January Newsletter
Posted On:
Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Sewanee Elementary

January Newsletter

We Need You!

The children of Sewanee Elementary want to know more about their world beginning with their neighbors. If you have a special interest, passion, skill, or knowledge and would be willing to share it with the teachers and students of SES, please contact Sarah Marhevsky, the president of the Sewanee Parents’ Organization. This year the SPO is helping us reach out to pull the town into the children’s lives by compiling a directory of visitors and speakers from the community. Maybe you are an herbalist, a modern-day Johnny Appleseed, a local historian, a ballroom dancer, a fly fisherman, a train-spotter, a collector. There is nothing like the wide-eyed wonder and curiosity of a five to ten-year-old child. Teachers are hoping to use a directory of local speakers to supplement their curriculum, giving life to chapters in a textbook. Such a directory will also be invaluable to the SPO as it organizes two of its most popular programs: Wednesday Wonderings and Friday School. Please write Sarah Marhevsky at smarhevsky@gmail.comor leave your name at the front desk of SES if you would be willing to share your own curious nature with some young explorers.


Children’s Book Clubs

There will be new programming at the Franklin County Library in Winchester that may interest you beginning Jan. 21 at 5:00 PM.  They will start "The Pages" Book Club for ages 6-10 and revitalize "Turn the Page" Book Club for ages 11-18. Both groups will meet at 5 in different areas of the Library.  Each month will be a different theme, and the January theme is Civil Rights.


Kroger Customers Care

Our Kroger Customers Care number has changed.  It is now QE878. If you are already set up for Kroger Customers Care, you don’t need to do anything extra.  If you haven’t yet signed up, we’d like to encourage you to do so! Kroger donates 10% of your purchases to our school!  This is no cost to you. We have eight families signed up so far. We received $126.66 for the last quarter. We plan to use these funds for additional books for our new reading literacy units.  Thank you so much to those who have signed up!


Chromebooks For All

We now have chromebooks for all students.  The Franklin County Board of Education was able to provide those by shifting them from another school who is scheduled to get new chromebooks.  We have placed the updated policy on their use on our school website. If you have questions about the policy or our chromebook usage, please don’t hesitate to call.


Thank You to Many!

Thank you so much to community businesses who have supported us recently.  Mountain Valley Bank provided lunch for our faculty and staff during conferences, Blue Chair has continued to provide birthday ice cream cards for every student, Regions Bank gives a snack to those students who achieve Honor Roll; Piggly Wiggly provides fruit to our students who have perfect attendance each six weeks; Dairy Queen provides free ice cream incentives; Taylor’s gave a free Christmas ornament to each of our student carolers, and the Senior Citizen’s center gave a goody bag to our kindergarten carolers.  Mountain Outfitters gave support recently by paying part of the cost for rain pants for our Kindergarten Forest Friday program.

Thank you to Shelley MacLaren for organizing and to Joseph’s Remodeling Solutions for a recent donation of lunch kits for our litterless lunch contest.  We also continue to receive support from several businesses through our Tigers Don’t Leave Tracks reusable bag program. Most importantly, we thank SPO and the Sewanee Community Chest.  We are fortunate to have these wonderful supports for our teachers and students.  Through the efforts of our SPO and a generous donation from the Community Chest each year, our students do not have to sell items to raise money to support our school.  Please consider making a donation to the Community Chest to give your support as well.  Without funding from community members, they cannot help the various local programs they currently support.  We receive a large portion of their funding and are very grateful!


Box Tops for Education

$253 was donated by General Mills from our recent Box Tops for Education submission.  Keep collecting those box tops! We receive $0.10 for every one we turn in. Thank you to Rebecca VandeVen for overseeing that program for our SPO!  We hope to use those funds for some landscaping refurbishing and maintenance.



If your family is financially burdened by the recent government shut-down, please consider signing up for our federal Free or Reduced lunch program.  If your financial information has changed, you may now qualify. This program should be viable even with the shutdown until at least the end of March.  


Good Things are Happening

We have several exciting initiatives going on at SES!  First of all, two of our primary teachers, Donna Barnes and Lauran Godfrey applied and were selected to be a part of the Rural STEM Collaborative.  This program provides training on innovative ways to teach science to students. Those teachers will then use the information to provide training to the rest of our faculty.  

Next, all teachers now have access to the county’s STREAM Machine, a van which houses a variety of materials teachers may check out to supplement their science curriculum.  

Some of our teachers have also been working to obtain a grant to build an outdoor STEM station at a value of approximately $9,000.  This deck area will be located in our current Peace Pole area and will be a wonderful space for students to conduct outdoor science experiments. Good luck to them as they work to obtain this funding for our school.


South Cumberland Community Cares

You may be wondering when we will have the community day of service we typically host each spring.  Our collaboration with South Cumberland Community Cares will continue this year, but will move to a summer date at all of the locations they serve.  We will publicize the date before school is out for the year.


Read to be Ready Summer Camp

Our Read to be Ready Summer Reading Camp has been funded for another summer!  Thank you to Mrs. Barbara King, director of the program, for completing a successful grant application!  This wonderful experience allows students to be immersed in reading and activities that support reading each morning during the month of June.  It is taught by our own certified teachers and is lots of fun. Students will be invited to attend based on teacher recommendation. Those invitations will be going home soon.  



For the second year, the Franklin County Board of Education is hosting a STREAM Camp for students with a strong interest in science.  Two weeks are offered. The first week is June 3-7 and the second is June 10-14. There is a session each week for grade K-2 students and a separate session for grade 3-5 students.  Transportation is not provided. Sewanee is allowed to send a total of sixteen students. If you have an interest in having your child attend, please contact Mrs. Tucker to have them placed in the selection pool.



We would like to welcome Helen Stewart to SES.  She will be our interim music teacher for the remainder of the year.  Mrs. Stewart teaches piano lessons privately and also served as the librarian at Broadview Elementary School for several years.  


Wednesday Wonderings

Applications will soon be available for our SPO sponsored Wednesday Wonderings program.  This extracurricular enrichment opportunity is scheduled to run each Wednesday afternoon from January 30 through February 27 from 2:30 till 4:00.  There will be openings for approximately forty students. Well Directed college leaders will now help with this program instead of continuing in their former capacity.  


New Middle Schools Funded

The county commission approved funding for two new middle schools last night!  They will be opening August 2020!


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