Towne Acres Times

PTA Newsletter September 2020

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Principal's Message

Hello, Towne Acres families!

Needless to say, the start of the 2020-21 school year (as well as the end of the 2019-20 school year) has been unlike anything we have experienced in the field of education. I would like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone for your patience and support during these first few weeks of remote learning. There were certainly some challenging days, but I am proud of our students, teachers, and families for working hard to make the best of the situation. We have faced technology issues, device issues, learning new online platforms, acclimating to a new ELA textbook, and many other challenges, so please be aware that we have all felt overwhelmed at some point during these first weeks of school. It has certainly been a lot to deal with as we start back, but I am confident that better days lie ahead.

As we return, I would advise you to watch the back-to-school videos that are located on our PTA Facebook page to learn more about the guidelines for our in-person return to school. We want to do everything we can to make sure we are keeping our students and staff as safe as possible. Please make sure you view the videos regarding our dismissal procedures for the 2020-21 school year. We have made some changes to limit gathering sizes in our dismissal areas and keep the front entrance clear for students to exit for the car line. As with anything new, there will be some bumps along the way, so please be patient as we work out any kinks over the first couple of weeks.

Even though our Spirit Week (September 14-18) will not conclude with our traditional Fall Carnival this year, we are still excited to celebrate the week with our students. We will have some fun dress-up days over the course of that week and plan some activities for our students during the week. I would like to thank all of our PTA members who have been working hard to organize our annual auction, so that we can continue to fund programs for our students and provide needed materials for our teachers and students.

Again, I would just like to say thank you for supporting our school during this past month. Please know that our faculty and staff are committed to serving our students at a high level, and that we will continue to work together going forward during this unique school year. My hope is that we will look at this challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow, and that we will get back to normal soon.

Kind regards,

Josh Simmons

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A Note from the PTA President

Dear Towne Acres Families,

On behalf of the Towne Acres PTA Board of Managers, I’d like to welcome you to the 2020-2021 school year. We are so glad that you are a part of our Towne Acres Elementary School community.

The last several months have been challenging for all of us. As parents and grandparents, we have had to make hard decisions for our students. How do we keep our kids safe? How should they learn? What is best for our students and our family? The PTA has been faced with the challenge of how to safely support our students, faculty and staff. How do we move forward in our current situation? Things may look a little different this year, but we are choosing to look ahead to the future and the adventures that await our Towne Acres School. Whether you are a family learning remotely or a student in a classroom, we are together either way.

The PTA has planned events throughout the year that may look a little different to some, but we will do the best that we can to safely provide opportunities for family engagement, school spirit, and financial support for our school. Instead of our first Family Engagement Night, where we would normally meet new faces and find places for you to be a part of our PTA family, we will be reaching out virtually on our Towne Acres Elementary PTA Facebook page. It’s a great place to find all of the latest info, see what fun things are going on with your students at school, and communicate with the PTA.

Our most popular event every year is our Fall Carnival. This year due to COVID-19, we decided to cancel the Carnival, but continue with an online silent auction. With your generosity, last year our PTA invested in the online auction app, Handbid. It was such a great success that we were able to extend that contract and have it again this year since we are unable to meet in a large gathering. Our Towne Acres Silent Auction will begin at 4:00pm on Friday, September 25th, 2020, and end on Sunday, September 27th at 7:30 p.m.

All proceeds from the auction go to our school’s programs, materials, and activities. Some examples of how the funds were used in recent years include purchasing iPad carts for classrooms, replacing and purchasing equipment for classrooms, purchasing playground equipment and library books, and purchasing memberships to websites such as IXL and Spelling City. It is the PTA’s largest fundraiser of the year, and we encourage you to help in any way that you can. You will be getting more information soon regarding ways that you can make this event successful.

We invite you and your families to participate and to get involved. Whether you are a parent or a grandparent, there is a place for you. You can become a member by paying your dues, you can volunteer your time, your resources, or you can support us financially. There are many ways to be a part of a successful PTA.

Our PTA’s theme this year is “Together at TA, Adventure is on the Way.” Life is an adventure, and whatever we face this next school year, we will face it together. Our mission is for ALL of our students to thrive in a community that encourages them to grow and to become the amazing students that they are meant to be! It will take the support of the students, faculty, staff, families, and the PTA to reach this goal. We hope that you’ll consider joining of our mission.


Jennifer Bradford, 2020-2021 PTA President

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Donations for Fall Auction

Do you have a business item or service, vacation rental, or tickets to a concert/sporting event you would like to donate? Or, how about a talent donation like offering cooking lessons, dessert of the month club, piano lessons, tutoring or painting lessons? Be creative! If you don’t have a lot of time, grab a gift card and send it in to school. These are always great items to add to the silent auction baskets!

Please download the PTA TA Partner Form below. For auction related questions, please contact Kelly Weems at

Fall Auction Online with Handbid

Help us raise funds for Towne Acres Elementary online! Just like last year, we will have our entire Fall Auction using the Handbid app, a silent auction platform that allows you to bid from your smartphone. Save time by getting setup and start bidding as soon as possible. The auction starts at 4:00 p.m. on September 25th and ends September 27th at 7:30 p.m.

Be sure to download the Handbid app and you'll be all set:


If you have an iPhone or Android, you can download the Handbid app from the Apple iTunes App Store or the Google Play store. We strongly recommend you “Accept notifications from this app” when you open it and join an auction. This will allow you to get push notifications for “Outbid” messages during the auction.


Next, you can create an account. From the App home screen, tap on “GET STARTED” button and complete the information (please use your cell phone as the phone number). Tap NEXT

Handbid will text you a 5 digit code. Enter this code to log in.


Select Towne Acres Elementary from the list of auction and swipe left to enter the auction. Once in the auction, swipe left/right to access categories and up/down to access items.

Whether you are bidding online or in the Handbid App, here are some easy tips to help:

  • MAX BID: This is the max you are willing to spend for an item and Handbid system will automatically bid for you until you reach your max. Set a max bid and enjoy your evening!
  • NOTIFICATIONS: If you have downloaded the Handbid App and accepted push notifications, you will be notified by push notifications when you are outbid on an item. If you don’t have the app you will receive text messages from Handbid.
  • DASHBOARD: Monitor what you are currently winning and losing on the Dashboard screen in your app or online.

No smartphone? No problem.

Access the auction through a web browser at:

PTA For Your Child - Membership Campaign Launch

Join Towne Acres PTA!

Our Membership Goal: 492 Members

We know this “back to school” looks nothing like the traditional ones we are all accustomed to. However, even in the midst of so much uncertainty, there is one thing our Towne Acres community can count on…and that is YOU!

Thank you for continuing to pour into our students and fill our school with pride. While the burdens right now feel heavy, please know that your Towne Acres PTA - - is here to support you. In an effort to allow the PTA to provide this support, we need members! We have a proud history of 100% staff membership and hope to continue the standard this year.

To sign up online please visit

Once a member, you will receive an email with a link to your own PTA membership card. Showing your digital card will earn you 10% off at participating area businesses and restaurants. Signing up to be a member of the PTA is an easy way to support our school and does not require any commitment beyond simply becoming a member! The cost is $5.00 PER Member. This small investment with big rewards is also tax-deductible.

Becoming a member of the Towne Acres PTA allows you to become a part of this national association helping children – ALL CHILDREN. Parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, ministers, friends, and other community leaders are encouraged to join us in this effort for our children. The PTA uses funds received from membership dues and fundraising to provide outstanding programs for our children and to purchase much needed supplies and equipment for our school. Feel free to contact any PTA board member at any time to ask questions or make suggestions.

Again, with sincerest sentiments, THANK YOU!

- Sunny Sandos, 2nd VP (Membership) Chair

PTA Membership Perks

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Be a Room Parent at Towne Acres

To our Towne Acres families new and old, welcome!

We all benefit from the support and encouragement of one another, and one way to do that is to volunteer as a room parent! Sign-ups are exclusively online this year, so click on the link Room Parent Interest Form HERE for more information and to sign up! Please get in touch with me should you have any questions or need more information about the position.

Thank you,
Melissa Larzo

Room Parent Coordinator


Greetings from the Towne Acres Booster Club!

Help us be the best and brightest! Through your support, we work hand-in-hand with the PTA to give our kids extra academic opportunities to help them go above and beyond.

Our goal at the Towne Acres Booster Club (TABC) is to assist our teachers and kids to achieve the best instruction possible. We provide funds for STEAM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Art-Math) projects that give hands-on learning experiences to our kids.

Become part of TABC today. Please consider stepping up for our kids and making a tax-deductible donation. With your gift, you will join our Booster Club, and give our kids the extras that make their experience at Towne Acres so life-changing.

Thank you for all your support.

Jeff Martin,

President, Towne Acres Booster Club

Towne Acres Spirit Gear & Events

Help us maintain school and community spirit as a Towne Acres Family!

This year will look a little different than year's past, but we are ready for the adventure and would love to have your support. Check our PTA's Facebook page for the latest, up to date info about activities, volunteer opportunities, needs for students and teachers, and more.

Download our 2020 Towne Acres Spirit Gear Order Form below!

Box Tops for Education and Shopping Rewards

Towne Acres Parents,

Welcome back to school! My name is Kathryn Comerford and I am the Spirit Events Coordinator for the 2020-2021 school year. This includes Box Tops for Education, shopping rewards programs, as well as a few other events that you will hear about later in the year.

The Box Tops for Education program has gone digital! See the attached flyer for information on using the app to scan your receipts – no more clipping box tops. Scanning receipts with the app is fast and easy! Box Tops are worth 10 cents each for schools and are found on hundreds of products. Last year, our school earned $754, which we used for instructional technology. We can earn even more cash this year with your help! Our goal for this school year is $1,000. On the back of the attached flyer, I have included a list of items that have box tops. If you have any traditional clipped box tops, please send these to school as soon as possible for one final submission.

In addition to Box Tops, we have the ability to increase our earnings for the school using Kroger Community Rewards, Ingles Tools for Schools, Food City School Bucks, Amazon Smile and Office Depot Give Back to Schools programs. These are easy ways to help the school earn a little extra, just by shopping. Please take a minute to ensure that Towne Acres is linked to your accounts (Please note, you need to re-link each year!). Read on for detailed steps in the attached TA Shopping Rewards flyer.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am here to help make our school’s earnings in these programs a huge success.

Thank you for all your help!

Kathryn Comerford


Yearbook Photos

Attention parents and teachers! Please send photos for the yearbook to this address anytime throughout the year to

In order to include as many students as possible, I am especially interested in receiving photos of students engaged in remote learning from the last three weeks and students who will be remote learners during the fall semester.

Meg Pellegrom,

PTA Yearbook Chair

Towne Acres Remote Learners

Related Arts Feature: Library

Dear Towne Acres Family,

The library is working hard to prepare for our student’s return. We have many new and exciting titles. We can’t wait to show you our new tables and chairs! We are looking forward to everyone’s safe return. We will start checking out books when we are together again. If you have any questions please feel free to email me.

To view our Towne Acres online catalog:

The Library Google Slides page:

Happy Reading,

Ms. Patterson

Report Minutes for Towne Criers

Thank you all for supporting our Towne Criers reading program.

The goal is for our students to read at least 20 minutes a day, 5 days per week for a total of 400 minutes per month! Students win a medal, a ribbon, or a certificate at the end-of-the-year Reading Awards! Submissions are due by the 5th of the following month (e.g., September's minutes will need to be entered by October 5th).

Parents: please record your student's progress each month. You will have until the 5th of the following month to submit your monthly minutes. Click the link here to report your minutes on the Towne Criers Reading Log.

Emmalea Johnston,

PTA Reading Chair

School Safety Update

Hello Towne Acres families,

If you are new to TA you will notice a police officer working here. This is part of the School Resource Officer Program. It is a partnership with the City of Johnson City and the Johnson City Schools. School Resource Officers (SROs) assist each schools faculty and staff to fit the needs of the particular school to which the SRO is assigned.

One of those roles at TA is to help with parking and traffic flow. The school certainly has challenges for both of those. With limited space, it makes it more important to obey Tennessee traffic laws and posted signs around campus. Most often, we have a parking problem at the round-about at Ferndale and Larkspur. Please do not park or use that to pickup / drop off students. This creates more congestion than necessary and becomes unsafe for pedestrians when cars have to drive around illegally parked cars.

Please be mindful of the direction in which you park. What does that mean? That means when you park in on-street parking, your car car must be with the passenger side tires along the curb. Also, please note that the parking lot next to the gym is for handicap parking and staff only. Lastly, there are no left hand turns into the car line during drop off and pick up.

The SROs also provides a security presence. We do daily security checks of the building perimeter. We are present in hallways, the lunchroom, and anywhere a larger gathering would occur. We also provide legal assistance on any issues that may arise for the staff and Dr. Simmons. SROs are not disciplinarians. We don’t enforce school policy or code of conduct upon our students.

Feel free if you have any questions about the SRO role or if I can help you or your family please contact me at

Best regards,

Officer Erik Hilton

Faculty Appreciation Lunch

We're back to school and now is the time to show our love for Towne Acres staff and faculty!

Thanks to our Faculty/Staff Appreciation Chair Emmalea Johnston and Hospitality Chair, Tanya McInturff, for putting together a tasty luncheon for the wonderful group of folks that make Towne Acres run on August 3rd. View our School Calendar for more information on upcoming events and opportunities.

We love our Towne Acres staff!

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2020-2021 School Calendar

September 4 - Midterm progress reports go home

September 7 - Labor Day, NO SCHOOL

September 8 - Nov. 2nd - Parent-Teacher Conferences (after school hours)

September 10 - PTA Board Meeting, 8:30 a.m.

September 11 - ETSU Spirit Day

September 14-18 - Towne Acres Spirit Week

September 18 - Towne Acres Fall Online Auction

September 22 - Fall Individual School Pictures, grades K-1

September 23 - Fall Individual School Pictures, grades 2-4

October 2 - End of first nine week term

October 5-9 - Fall Break

October 14 - Report Cards Issued

October 15 - PTA Board Meeting, 8:30 a.m.

October 22 - PTA Online General Meeting, 6:30 p.m.

October 30 - Fall Parties TBD

November 3 - Election Day, NO SCHOOL

November 3 - Parent-Teacher Conferences

November 12 - PTA Board Meeting, 8:30 a.m.

November 12 - PTA Online General Meeting, 6:30 p.m.

November 13 - Midterm progress reports go home

November 16-20 - Book Fair in the Library

November 17 - Pastries with Parents (AM and PM) Locations TBD

November 24 - Team Shirt Day

November 25-27 - Thanksgiving Holiday, NO SCHOOL

December 10 - PTA Board Meeting, 8:30 a.m.

December 18 - Sing Along and Winter Parties TBD, 11:30 a.m. Dismissal

December 18 - End of second nine-week term

January 5 - Students Return from Winter Break

January 6 - Report cards issued

January 14 - PTA Board Meeting, 8:30 a.m.

January 18 - MLK Holiday, NO SCHOOL

January 21 - PTA Online General Meeting, 6:30 p.m.

February 5 - Midterm progress reports go home, Team Jersey Day

February 11 - Valentine's Day Parties TBD

February 12 - SNOW DAY

February 15 - SNOW DAY

February 18 - PTA Board Meeiting, 8:30 a.m.

February 23 - Spring Individual Photos, Class Pictures K-1

February 24 - Spring Individual Photos, Class Pictures 2-4

February 25 - PTA Online General Meeting, 6:30 p.m.

March 5 - End of third nine-week term

March 5 - Camp Fair, 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

March 8-12 - Spring Break

March 17 - Report Cards Issued

March 18 - PTA Board Meeting, 8:30 a.m.

March 23 - Rejoice in the Arts (JRT) TBD

March 25 - Family Engagement Night Art Show and Bingo, 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

April 2 - Good Friday, NO SCHOOL

April 5 - SNOW DAY

April 9 - Midterm progress reports go home

April 12-30 - TN Ready Testing

April 15 - PTA Board Meeting, 8:30 a.m.

April 22 - PTA General Meeting, 6:30 p.m.

April 30 - STEM Day, Pep Rally

May 13 - PTA Board Meeting, 8:30 a.m.

May 13 - PTA General Meeting, 6:30 p.m.

May 14 - Field Day

May 18 - Variety Show

May 19 - Reading Awards

May 21 - Senior Tea

May 25 - K-3 Awards Day

May 26 - 4th Grade Promotion, Last Day of School, 11:30 a.m. Dismissal

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