Poplar Grove Post

September 2019


We are off to a great start! Few things excite me as much as the beginning of a new school year and the chance to begin anew. I want to thank our PTO for providing a fantastic back to school breakfast for our staff. On August 30, Dr. Emily Mofield, Assistant Professor at Lipscomb University, provided professional learning to our team focused on meeting the needs of our highest achievers. Thank you, Dr. Mofield, for spending the afternoon with PGMS engaged in ways to help all learners reach their potential. Our cross country, volleyball and tennis teams are off to a fantastic start as well as our students participating on the Freedom Middle football team. As always, thank you for your continued support of PGMS!


Hello parents! My name is Liz Cowan, R.N., and this is my 10th year as the school nurse at PGMS. I have been a nurse for 34 years, 32 of those working in pediatrics. I am married, with 2 grown sons, a daughter in law and 2 dogs. As your school nurse, I encompass both health and educational goals for your child and I am committed to ensure each student arrives at PGMS each day healthy, safe and ready to learn!


· Make sure that we have a current phone number to contact you.

· Make sure that you pick up the phone when I call you to notify you that your child is ill or has been injured. Have a backup person who can pick up your child if you are not available. Ill students should be picked up within 30 minutes after you are notified to come get them.

· Know that a school nurse cannot diagnose. I can suggest what I think might be going on. Also, the school clinic is not your child’s primary care clinic. First Aid and healthcare provided by the school nurse is for illness and injuries that occur during the school day.

· Share medical information with your school nurse. We want to know if your child has a chronic illness, any medications your child takes, food or other allergies your child has and any mental health diagnosis.

· Follow the 24 hour fever free without fever reducing medication rule to return to school.

· Have the FSSD Student Medication Administration form completed for any prescription and non-prescription medications that your child must take during the school day. Remember ALL medications must be brought to the clinic by a parent. With exception to an Epipen or rescue inhaler, it against Tennessee state law and out district mediation policy for students to be in possession of any medications.

Unless you opted out, our SLP’s did state required hearing screenings on our 6th and 8th graders on Thursday August 15. Parents will be notified by our school audiologist of any failures.

It has been a wonderful start to the 2019-2020 school year! Feel free to contact me if you have any health concerns about your child!

Nurse Liz


Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or need my assistance. I look forward to working with the students and families of Poplar Grove. Welcome Back!

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Keith Welch and I am the Poplar Grove Middle School Counselor. I am beginning my 14th year at PGMS and 24th year as an educator. It has been a blessing to work with the students and families of Poplar Grove Middle. While PGMS is a great school, that doesn't mean that our students won't face challenges while they are here. I try to help students with challenges they face by creating an atmosphere where students and families feel supported and connect them with the resources needed to meet these challenges.

As a School Counselor, my primary responsibility is to promote the academic, personal and social development of all students. I plan on working with students through classroom guidance, lunch groups, small groups and individual counseling. I will also collaborate with parents, teachers and staff, and community organizations to try and meet the needs of all PGMS students.

Grove community, I hope everyone has a great school year!



5th grade Social studies is learning about pre-historic natives. 5th graders Will Henry Clark, Shamarion Cooksey, and Logan Hall (Mollie Ter Kuile stands in to represent the girls) show off their homemade spears similar to the ones the Paleo and Archaic Natives used for hunting.

Math Centers are underway. Here a class is demonstrating their knowledge of patterns in place values as 10 times greater its digit to its right, or 1/10 the digit to its left


6th graders are excited to begin the year at PGS! We participated in team building activities at the beginning of school, where we got to learn new things about each other and work together to complete a goal!​


Seventh graders worked on team building in science by playing the Escape Game! We also reviewed planning and carrying out science investigations with Diet Coke and mentos. We're having a great year!


8th graders worked hard in completing their summer reading assignment and book project. The students were given a choice to present their work in written or artistic form in order to have the opportunity to display their individual talents. Daniel Hernandez's project is pictured revealing his artistic interpretation of the book he read over the summer.

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Many students have already read several great VSBA titles over summer break, but there are many more VSBA titles from which to choose. The books nominated for this year's Volunteer State Book Award are available in print and some in ebook at the PGMS Library Media Center. Since these titles are in such high demand, please encourage your child to put a book on hold or check at the Williamson County Public Library if their choice is not currently available. See the library webpage under the BOOKS tab for this year's VSBA book list: https://poplargrovemiddle.fssd.org/library-media-center/


Hola! My name is Ms.Lavery and I am very excited to teach your child Spanish this year. During the course of this year we will be using our Chromebooks on a daily basis. We have enjoyed many team building activities and using FlipGrid. Additionally, students use Quizlet Live, Kahoot, and Quizizz to learn new material. I look forward to a successful year. Our class twitter is @fssdpgmslavery


5TH GRADE: We are learning about the solar system via various representations. Stella, Delaney, and Kendall brilliantly decided to use a physical representation of our solar system as a reference for drawing a solar eclipse without any prompting! A beautiful example of how different models help us to imagine what an eclipse looks like.

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6TH GRADE: Reese, Annabelle, and Jackson are having fun learning about gears, gear trains, ratios, torque, and speed. After building our motorized cars, students will compete to see which team can climb the steepest incline with the most load. Let the competition begin!

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7TH GRADE: These 7th grade STEM students are building Hydraulic Arms for a competition with FMS in September. The arms will move vertically and swivel. May the best team win!

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8TH GRADE: Graydon and Blake are busily working on their Jitterbugs. We are almost ready to complete the circuit and watch our Jitterbugs dance! Jitterbugs are DIY toys made with various supplies including dc motors, batteries, and copper wires.

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​Save the date for the PBS Lock-in. It will be on Friday, September 20, from 5:30-8:30 for fifth and sixth graders and from 7:00-10:00 for seventh and eighth graders. The cost to attend is $20, and pizza, snacks, and drinks will be served. Look for permissions slips in Tuesday folders on Sept. 10.


EAT WINGS. RAISE FUNDS. Please join us for Spirit Night at Buffalo Wild Wings on September 19, 2019. Buffalo Wild Wings will donate 10% of your total bill to our school!


TECHFIT is an acronym for Teaching Engineering Concepts to Harness Future Innovators and Technologists, and the name and acronym identify the disciplines addressed: STEM and fitness. We are funded by the National Science Foundation with support from three generous industry partners: Phoenix Contact, Balluff, Inc. and Automation Direct. All 8th graders have been given the opportunity to participate in TECHFIT. Last year, we competed as finalists in TECHFIT’s National Competition at Purdue University. This year, our 8th graders will write their own story!!

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Fall Pictures are scheduled for Wednesday, September 4, 2019.


We are still collecting pull tabs for the Ronald McDonald House. The RMH challenge ends November 15th. When you have collected tabs, you can drop these into your house’s container. Where can you get the tabs? Soda cans, certain dog or cat food cans, soup cans……ANYTHING with a pull tab. As the containers get full, they will be emptied so the filling can begin again. At the end of the school year, the house that has collected the most pull tabs (in weight) will be the awarded points. The REAL WINNER will be the Ronald McDonald House! If you have any questions, come see Ms. Womack!