MOES Parent Newsletter

December 2021

A Note From the Prinicpal

I hope that everyone enjoyed a Thanksgiving weekend with family and loved ones. I am grateful that so many families were able to make it out for our school-wide Thanksgiving luncheon. Our cafeteria staff and planning team did an outstanding job pulling off the monumental task of feeding 200 students + parents, grandparents, and visiting family members. If you were able to make it out, THANK YOU for your patience and taking a little extra time to enjoy a special lunch with your child.

If you can believe it, in a matter of weeks, we will already be half-way through the year. Our focus for December is kindness and the spirit of giving. During our morning announcements, we are spending time talking to the students about the importance of showing empathy, compassion, and kindness toward others. We have a couple of "giving" opportunities available if you and your family would like to contribute toward two worthwhile causes. First, we are doing a hygeine drive to support the Compassion Closet, which is a non-profit organization that works to help out Foster families. We are collecting items (soap, deodorant, toothpaste, etc.) for that drive until Dec. 17th. In addition, we have a barrel set up for Cash Express, which is doing a collection for coats and toys to share with families. This is a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with us on our December focus.

We are proud to announce that assistant Superintendent, John Rysewyk came out to spend an entire day at Mount Olive with our staff and students. He was able to live the life of an elementary teacher for a day and enjoyed the experience connecting with students. He was very complimentary of our school culture and of his "Mount Olive experience."

We look forward to the next few festive weeks. Be sure to check out the calendar below for a schedule of "what to wear" the last week of December.

As always, stay healthy and safe out there.


Mrs. Harper

KCS District Information

KCS Covid Dashboard (repeat news): The district has provided a place to provide the most up to date COVID information re: Knox County Schools. You can find that information on the Covid Dashboard link below.


Dental Care at Mount Olive: The Knox County School Based Dental Prevention Program will be at Mount Olive Elementary beginning Friday, Dec. 3rd until they finish serving the students that signed up for preventive dental care during this school year. FYI...Hygienists will be wearing additional PPE due to Covid 19 requirements, such as N95 masks, face shields, and surgical caps.

Holiday Shop: The Mount Olive "Santa Shop" will be open for students on Dec. 7, 8, and 9th. Students will be able to spend hard earned "EAGLE BUCKS" for some holiday shopping. This is a VERY EXCITING time for our students! They LOVE picking out the perfect gift for their loved ones. Watch for those bundles of gifts to come home next week.

Book Fair GRAND event: Calling all Grandparents, Relatives, Aunts & Uncles, Neighbors, and Devoted Caregivers (GRAND) to shop the bookfair. Dec. 14th 9:00-10:30 (Grades K-2) and Dec. 15th 9:00-10:30 (Grades 3-5) in the Mount Olive Library

Christmas on the Mount is BACK: Please consider joining us for a fun night of art, music, books, photos, and refreshments! Monday, Dec. 13th 5:00-7:00 p.m. (Rain dates are 12/14 or 12/16) *A lot of it will be outside, so make sure you dress appropriately!

Playground Update: After a disappointing week of wet surfaces and equipment that couldn't navigate the muddy playground hill, we are finally on our FINAL stages of playground installation. The last structure is going up this week. The mulch is here and ready for distribution once the final structure is in. Take a peek at an updated photo below.

AR program: After many years of participating in the AR program, we will be saying goodbye to it after the Winter holidays. The program was limited to taking quizzes after reading a book to check for comprehension. We are switching to a new Reading support program called Book Taco. Book Taco offers comprehension opportunities, too, but also adds an additional layer of high student engagement activities with the book students have read. We will kick that off in January.

Employee of the Month: Congratulations to 5th grade teacher, Kelly Farr, who was selected as our Teacher of the Month! Be sure to check out Mr. Farr's video on the Mount Olive website.

WELCOME new teacher, Emily Nelms. Mrs. Nelms is joining our 4th grade team at Mount Olive. We are very excited to have her here covering Mrs. Headrick's maternity leave through the end of the year!

Parent Survey (FINAL CALL): We hope you will take a few minutes to complete our Mount Olive Parent Survey. Your feedback helps us recognize what areas we are doing well and what areas we need to improve. Thank you in advance for your time. LINK to the parent survey can be found below!

School Goals: (repeat news) We are continuing our work toward 3 school goals, which include 1.) Academic achievement in ELA 2.) Academic achievement in Math 3) Safe & Healthy School (with a specific focus on attendance, behavior, and communication) You can HELP us with our goals!

  • Getting your kids to school on time
  • Getting your kids to school unless they are ill
  • Supporting classroom teachers and administration with behavior and discipline
  • Keeping the lines of communication open, so we can work as a team to help your child succeed both academically and emotionally.
Big picture

PTO Information

Important Dates:

  • Pizza Wednesday: Next Pizza Wed. is Dec. 8th. Money is due Friday, Dec. 3rd. Link to the PTO Square site below.
  • 12 days of Christmas is going on now and a BIG Thanks to all who have participated in making our MOES family feel appreciated this holiday season!

  • Carpool Pizza will be on December 13th before Christmas on the Mount!

  • Mrs. Sams would like donated items dropped off this week for the holiday store happening next week December 7th-9th. Thanks to everyone who is participating in this event as well!

  • PTO Meeting: January 11th (Zoom meeting link to come later)

Daily Routines

  • 7:10 a.m. is the earliest a student should be dropped off
  • 7:35 a.m. Goal arrival time in order to receive breakfast
  • 7:45 a.m. TARDY BELL *Students must be IN the building
  • AFTER 7:45-Parents must park and sign child in
  • Please pull all the way up to the furthest cone in order to exit multiple students at one time
  • Please be ready to go upon arrival. Say goodbyes and have backpacks ready to go BEFORE pulling into the line for drop off


  • Please have car rider tags visible to staff in the afternoons. If a tag is not present, please make plans to park and show ID before we release students. *We will only allow students to go with adults who are listed on the approved pick up list. This is for the safety of your child.
  • No early checkouts after 2:15 p.m.


  • You may join your child for lunch, but please keep in mind we have limited space. You will only be allowed to eat with your child. Driver's license required for all check ins.

Transportation Changes:

  • Transportation changes may not be taken over the phone. This is for the safety of your child. Please send in a written note with specific details re: any changes that will be made to your child's transportation. *This includes when your child goes home with another student.

Reminders about Attendance

The 2021-22 attendance policy was shared at the beginning of the year, but it's a good time of year to review. The office staff would like to remind everyone that the state of Tennessee implemented a new attendance law this past year. After 5 unexcused absences, there is a meeting with the classroom teacher to discuss a progressive truancy plan. After 10 unexcused absences, there is a Support team meeting with administration and the social worker. Don't forget to submit doctor notes and/or parent notes to have absences properly documented. We want your child here when they are healthy! There is a direct link to good attendance and academic success. Board Policy re: attendance is attached below.

Shades After School Program

There are still some spaces available in our on-site after school program, SHADES! There is 1 more slot open for grades K-2 and several slots open for grades 3-5.

The Mount Olive Shades Program offers snacks, mentors, works on improving behavior, increasing self-confidence, teaching leadership, building team workforce skills, and making sure kids have access to daily physical activity. *Scholarships available! Call Dr. Gwen Schwartz today to reserve a spot! (865) 579-6701

School in hours: Monday-Friday 2:45-6:00 p.m.

School out hours: Open most in-service days and school breaks

Celebrating Community Partners

We LOVE our Community Partners! We are beyond grateful for the time, effort, and energy you pour into our school each month.

A huge THANK YOU to the following organizations who are helping families enjoy the holidays with a little less financial strain.

  • Several of the MOES Staff

  • Mount Olive appreciates Mayor Jacob's office in his ongoing support of administrators and teachers. The mayor's office continually checks in, sends encouraging notes, and offers to help in any way they can.
  • Thank you to Forward Church in Vestal for donating some Thanksgiving baskets to our families.

Mark your Calendars!

The 2021-22 KCS calendar is attached below.

Dec. 7-9 Holiday "Santa" Shop for Students

Dec. 13 "Deck the Halls" Wear your red/green/Christmas clothes

Dec. 13 Christmas on the Mount

Dec. 14 Bookfair GRAND event 9:00-10:30 (Grades K-2)

Dec. 14 Bookfair GRAND event 9:00-10:30 (Grades 3-5)

Dec. 14 "Mad About Plaid" Wear Plaid day!

Dec. 15 "Frosty the Snowman" Wear white

Dec. 16 "Baby, It's Cold Outside" Wear hats/scarves

Dec. 17 (1/2 day) "Polar Express" Wear PJ's/fleece cozy wear

Dec. 17 LAST day of the 2nd grading period

Dec. 20-Jan 3rd Winter break

Jan 3rd STUDENT HOLIDAY *Staff Inservice Day

Jan. 4 Students' 1st day back