Talley Street Update
August 25, 2022
August 17, 2023
Dear Talley Street Community,
I hope everyone is having a great week. Next Thursday, August 24th, is Curriculum Night. Since we have many parents who have multiple children at Talley, we will have two sessions. One session is from 6:30 to 7:00. The other is from 7:00 to 7:30. The sessions will be the same. Talley’s SLT elections are coming up on August 24th and August 25th. A ballot will be sent out on the 24th. We have two open positions for parent representatives. Below are the names of the parents who have expressed interest in serving on the SLT. I want to thank the parents for their willingness to serve! Have a great Friday and weekend!
As a woman of color and a mother of two amazing daughters in third grade and
kindergarten, I want to use my voice on Talley’s SLT to ensure all children, INCLUDING
children of color, non-binary and transgender children, can learn in both an equitable
and supportive environment. I will ensure that as a school, we are not just saying
we’re addressing diversity & equality, but that these topics are at the forefront of our
decisions and the fabric of our school community. I hope to be a voice for those who
have felt silenced, marginalized or feel improperly equipped to advocate for better on
behalf of their child.
We have chosen to call Decatur home for the last 9 years. As a multicultural, bilingual
and interracial family, we’ve found our neighborhood to be kind, warm and
welcoming but also diverse. We’ve formed long-lasting friendships over the years &
are looking forward to gaining more as our girls continue their school career.
I am currently the Head of Application Development for a global insurance carrier.
I’ve found that beginning my career in Consulting helped me develop a robust view of
how businesses as well as teams from different backgrounds operate. I have
experience with budget planning, complex problem solving and building
camaraderie amongst a team. I served on the Glennwood Elementary SLT for 2 years,
from 2020 – 2022 including 1 year as a the SLT Chair.
My name is Garry Lowe, and I have dedicated my professional life to the empowerment and development of young minds. Serving as Vice Chair at the John R. Lewis Legacy Institute, I have been instrumental in furthering initiatives that engage with youth, encouraging them to embrace principles of justice, peace, and equality. Our work has centered on inspiring the next generation, fostering a sense of responsibility, and nurturing their potential.
As a parent of a new 3rd grader at Talley Street Upper Elementary, I have a vested interest in contributing to the educational experience within our community. My involvement with school governance is not new, as I had the privilege of serving on the Clairemont SLT for two years, a role that enriched my understanding of collaboration and decision-making in an educational setting.
Why I want to be a SLT member:
I am drawn to serve on the Talley Street Upper Elementary SLT because I believe that education is the foundation for shaping responsible citizens, nurturing creativity, and instilling values of justice, peace, and equality. With a new 3rd grader at Talley, my commitment to these ideals is deeply personal and mirrored in my work with the John R. Lewis Legacy Institute. Having previously served on the Clairemont SLT, I intend to leverage that experience to contribute to Talley Street's continuous improvement, promoting a sense of unity, collaboration, and shared purpose. I look forward to the opportunity to serve, listen and act in the best interests of our school community, driven by an earnest wish to make a lasting, positive impact on the lives of all children at Talley Street Upper Elementary School.
My name is Ellen Narain and I am beginning my 4th year as a Talley Parent & 8th year in CSD. My daughter, Naya, is a 6th grader at Beacon Hill and my son, Desmond, is a 3rd grader at Talley (Amistad!) My background is in Corporate Partnerships and Media Sales, but my passion the last 11 years has been investing in my children and our community. I have been consistently involved in the PTO (Spirit Wear at multiple schools, Room Parent, DEI committee member), the Volunteer Coordinator for the MLK Service Weekend, and a Deacon at my church. As the parent of biracial children, I also have a heart for diversity, equity and fairness. I would be honored to serve on the School Leadership Team and look out for the interest of all parents.
Sarah Hagenbush Jones
Hello Talley Tiger parents! My name is Sarah Jones and I have lived in Decatur for thirteen years with my husband, Andy, who works in three local Emergency Departments, and our four children. My son, Noah is a 7th grader on the Green team at Beacon Hill and was a member of the first "class" who went all three years to Talley for 3-5th grades. My twin daughters, Anna (Altruimso) & Elize (Isibindi), are almost 10 and in 5th grade here at Talley, and my daughter Lilly, is 7 and is a 2nd grader at Glennwood and will be at Talley next year. I went to high school in Alpharetta and went to the University of Georgia where I double majored in Political Science and Sociology.
After beginning my career in politics, I moved into public affairs and communications for non-profits. I have managed communication for hospitals, schools, libraries, museums, children's charities, and national and international nonprofits, and now I am the Senior Marketing Manager for the Department of Medicine (within the School of Medicine) at Emory University. Before returning to Emory, some of you may know my name from the time I spent working in communications for the City Schools of Decatur Central Office, the Elizabeth Wilson School Support Center. I loved working with the parents, teachers, and staff of the CSD community. In my role, I took great pride in helping my fellow CSD parents feel more informed and working to get more information to teachers and staff whenever I could, especially during the difficult times of the pandemic. One of the more exciting parts of my role at CSD was working closely with Principal Heaton to open Talley! It feels like just yesterday when we walked through these halls with our hard hats on checking out the innovative spaces and thinking over signage for the school. It's hard to believe that was over four years ago now! Over the last two years, I served on the Glennwood SLT and on the district-level SCLT which has allowed me to stay involved as a parent and SLT member instead of as a CSD employee. I've loved using what I learned while working at the Central office to help while serving on SLTs and I'd love to continue that for Talley in the next two years.
I am passionate about our community and our schools. Over the years, I have fallen in love with Decatur, which always seems to work to improve ourselves, our community, and our world. I love the sense of community, the activism, and the compassion we have for each other. I witnessed our community's concern for our school system's future during planning meetings like the grade band restructuring, redistricting, and facility planning meetings. I've been inspired by the conversations at the Decatur Dinners and the Decatur 2030 COD planning and by my work as president of the Board of Villa International, a local nonprofit that serves as a home away from home for public health researchers from around the globe. One common thread wherever I have worked or volunteered has been supporting and amplifying DEI work, which I believe is (or should be) intrinsically linked to all communications and initiatives in any organization. I currently serve on the RYSE/DEI Council at Emory's Department of Medicine, and, in past years, I learned a lot by being a part of Glennwood's parent Equity committees. Besides working with Principal Heaton on the opening of Talley, one of my favorite projects during my time at CSD was working with Dr. Mari Ann Banks, CSD's Equity Director, to create the current Equity site, equity.csdecatur.net, which has grown and improved under her care.
As my four children have grown and moved up through the CSD schools, I've enjoyed being a part of the PTA/PTO and SLT. I loved serving on the Decatur Presbyterian Children's Community parent board, as the VP of the College Heights PTA, as the past president of the Glennwood PTA, and, over the last two years, on the Glennwood SLT and on the district-wide SCLT member for Glennwood. I'd be proud to continue this work by serving on the Talley SLT for the next two years. Thank you for considering me for the Talley SLT!
My name is Aichuan Kwong (she/her) and, if elected, I would be honored to serve on the School Leadership Team. My spouse, Richard, and I are parents to 4 children - a 7th grader at BHMS, and a 5th grader and 3rd grade twins at Talley. I served for several years on the board of our cooperative preschool as well as in various capacities through the 7 years we were at Glennwood, primarily as PTA Treasurer but also on the DEI and Yearbook Committees. I was also part of the CSD Strategic Planning Team last year. While my degree is in engineering, I have spent the majority of my career working with small to midsize businesses from various industries in finance and operations, with specific experience identifying inefficiencies and helping to establish operating procedures, developing and managing budgets, and recruiting and interviewing at all levels. In 2021, I co-founded a nonprofit, Readers To Dreamers®, with a CSD educator to expand access to diverse author + illustrator visits and their books to schools that traditionally have not had those opportunities.
I believe serving on the SLT is an important opportunity to understand the perspectives, concerns, and experiences from the different groups of administrators, teachers + staff, and caregivers, and then being able to collaboratively and thoughtfully make decisions. I believe diversity, equity, and inclusion is not a separate to-do item, but has to be at the foundation of all our conversations. I believe the Talley community is a strong one and I would be honored to serve as one of your SLT representatives.
Kara Jocobs Slifka
I am Kara Jacobs Slifka, an infectious diseases physician and medical epidemiologist, and parent to three kids across three different CSD schools. My oldest daughter is a 6th grader at Beacon Hill, my middle son just started 3rd grade at Talley, and my youngest daughter is in pre-K at College Heights. Our family has had a child at Talley for the past three years and will have kids here for many years to come! I’ve volunteered as a room parent across 5 different schools in two different districts, volunteered at our schools’ community and fundraising events, reviewed safe return to school plans for Talley, and advocated for CSD employees through my service on a staff-focused COVID-19 planning committee for the district. I hope to bring my experience supporting my own children’s diverse learning needs and my passion for strengthening this community to the SLT committee to continue to grow and improve the Talley experience for all of our kids, teachers and staff, and families.
Front Office Reminders - Student ID Cards/Attendance Records
Thanks for all the smiles and hellos when you come into Talley. You all are such a kind, gracious, and supportive community and it is such a joy to work with your children and with all of you.
Some important reminders from the front office.
- Each student will receive a Student ID card. These cards are used for riding the bus and purchasing school lunch. We will provide the first card but the replacement fee for lost student ID cards is $5.00. Please talk with your child about how to be responsible with these cards. Keep them at school if not riding the bus. Ask the teacher and front office for help if the card is lost. Store their cards in the same place every day.
- If your child is tardy for school arrival (after 7:45 am) they must be walked in by a guardian and checked in at the office.
- Remember to bring in doctor and dentist appointment notes to give to the front desk. This will be documented in your child's attendance record.
- Continue to email your classroom teacher and Ms. Koski (firstname.lastname@example.org) for all excuses (absences, tardies, and check outs) to be documented in your child's attendance records.
Lost and Found
We will donate lost items every Friday. Please ask your students to look for their lost items daily as they pass our Lost and Found located right outside of the cafeteria. If you need to check items yourself make sure to sign in at the front desk. Be sure to label your child's items with first and last names. We will do our best to return items that are labeled.
Dr. Whitaker's Listening Sessions
Students, staff, family, and community members are welcome to attend any session across the district.
You are invited to attend City Schools Of Decatur's Programs Overview Virtual Meeting (Thursday, September 7, 2023)
Come and learn more about support programs available to CSD students. Local, state, and federal programs support the success of our students. Programs are designed to ensure that all students have a fair, equal and meaningful opportunity to obtain a high-quality education.
The programs featured will be:
ESOL & Federal Programs
Equity and Student Services
To join the Zoom Meeting, click here
Meeting ID: 984 4400 9352
We look forward to seeing you there!
Current and Former Title I and ESOL Families:
You are invited to attend our Annual Parent Input meeting on August 29th. At this meeting we will be reviewing Title I documents and gathering input from our families for the 23-24 school year. Please see information below:
Talley Street Chorus
Is your 4th or 5th grader interested in joining the Talley chorus? Click below to see the flyer and sign-up!
PE News - Fitnessgram is coming soon!
Encouraging our youth to be physically active is more important than ever before.
Increasing a child’s level of physical activity is not only important for improving their health, but
recent studies also indicate that physical fitness levels are associated with academic
performance, school attendance, and discipline. As a part of your child’s Physical Education
program, their class will be participating in the FitnessGram assessment which measures only those areas of fitness related to the health of students. This includes: cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and body composition.
Official Code of Georgia 20-2-777 requires each local school district to conduct an annual fitness assessment program for all students in grades 1st - 12th. What does that mean for your child in City Schools of Decatur? 1st -12th grade students will have their height and weight privately measured. Parents/guardians have the option to report height and weight via a confidential google form provided by their child’s PE teacher. 1st –3rd grade students will be introduced to the following skills: PACER, push-ups, curl-ups, and back saver sit and reach. These skills will be formally assessed in grades 4th - 12th. Starting in 4th grade a confidential FitnessGram report will be provided to parents/guardians of each student via email at the end of the school year. This report will include your child’s scores and information about whether or not they achieved the FitnessGram Healthy Fitness Zone. The Healthy Fitness Zone represents the level of fitness needed for good health. The information on this private report will not be displayed or made public.
Information about FitnessGram and the requirements can be found at: www.fitnessgram.net, Georgia Department of Education FitnessGram Information, FitnessGram Safe Environment.
Talley Street Upper Elementary Reporting Form for Height and Weight Due by: September 21, 2023
If you have any questions, or concerns, please contact Nicole Johns at email@example.com
Talley Street Band - Beginning Band Information
Hello Talley Street Parents/Guardians,
The long-awaited time is FINALLY here!! Time to get beginning band back at Talley. Below, you will find some important information as we begin the interest/sign-up process.
- Interest sign-ups for band will begin August 2nd and will end Friday, August 18th. You can access the link here:
- Beginning Band at Talley will be open to 5th-grade students only.
- Beginning Band rehearsals will be Monday/Wednesday. Schedule is TBD.
- As part of the "sign-up" process, students will have the opportunity to list their top 3 choices of instruments to play. The final decision will be made based on instrumentation needs, the matching tool, and the instrument placement fair. Not sure about an instrument?? Check out the instrument videos here:
- There will be a "fee" associated with band but it has yet to be determined. We will not let this “fee” deter any students from participating in the beginning band program.
As we begin band at Talley, if you have questions regarding band at Talley please feel free to reach out via firstname.lastname@example.org. Looking forward to a GREAT year!!! - Mr. T
Talley Elementary Orchestra
Calling all 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students: Registration for the Talley & Fifth Avenue Orchestra is now open. A virtual parent meeting is scheduled for Thursday, August 17, 2023 from 7:00-8:00pm at https://meet.google.com/nvs-smsr-bkc.
If your student would like to be a part of the orchestra program for the 2023-24 school year, please use the following link to sign-up. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScXiTIbfSGzzVwEBcmDv2wnd2S8TQQ_9QqN0e26rX1wIfxmUw/viewform. Classes will begin in September.
Girls on The Run
It's time for Girls on the Run to start at Talley Street! Teams are M/W and Tu/Th from 2:30-4:00 at Talley starting the week of 9/11 to the week of 12/4. We need coaches to volunteer in order to host teams! Please contact Ms. Bundschu (email@example.com) with any questions.
Attention 5th Grade Families: BHMS Spirit Night
Friday, August 18 | 5 PM to 7 PM
FIFTH GRADE FAMILIES…Learn more about the Beacon Hill Middle School community and join us for an evening of food, friends and fun! Talley and F.AVE families are welcome to order meals with any donation to the BHMS PTA. The BHMS Boosters will have spirit wear available for purchase. We offer great thanks to our Presenting Sponsor, Quest Orthodontics, and to our returning sponsors, North Decatur Chick-fil-A and Keller Knapp Realty. Come show some Bulldog Pride! Please note: This event is for Fifth Grade families only.
We had a great turn out at our PTO meeting and presentation on the house system last week. Thanks to all who attended!
Walk n Roll
Tomorrow, Friday, August 18th join in Talley’s 1st Walk N Roll of the year. Walk or roll to school to reduce emissions and build community. Enjoy free Banjo coffee after drop-off. The House with the most participants earns 10 HOUSE POINTS! Remember to drop a marble in your house's jar. Sign up here to help with future WNR.
Class Fund Pool
Cremalosa Spirit Night
Decatur Education Foundation Grant Process Opens
FOR CSD STAFF, PRINCIPALS & TEACHERS —
Decatur Education Foundation Announces Teacher Innovation Grants and Student Innovation Grants
The Decatur Education Foundation is excited to invite you to apply for a Teacher Innovation Grant for the 2023-2024 school year! DEF's Teacher Innovation Grants are designed to support teachers in the City Schools of Decatur by providing funds for innovative educational experiences. And for the first time ever, we’re offering students the opportunity to apply too! Student Innovation Grants give students a voice in their education and encourage them to explore creative solutions to problems and challenges.
Awards for our Innovation Grants range from $200 to $3,000. The application deadline is August 31, 2023, and the grant awards will be announced on September 14, 2023. For more information and to apply, visit:
FOR CSD STUDENTS & FAMILIES —
Decatur Education Foundation Announces Teacher Innovation Grants and Student Innovation Grants
The Decatur Education Foundation is excited to announce that applications are open for our Teacher Innovation Grants and — for the first time ever — Student Innovation Grants! These grants are designed to support teachers and students in the City Schools of Decatur by providing funds for innovative educational experiences. Awards for our Innovation Grants range from $200 to $3,000. The application deadline is August 31, 2023, and the grant awards will be announced on September 14, 2023.
Last year, we awarded over $35,000 in Teacher Innovation Grants, and this year we want to double it! For more information and to support DEF’s Innovation Grants, visit DecaturEducationFoundation.org. To apply for a Student Innovation Grant, visit: https://bit.ly/DEFStudentInnovationGrants.
The Wylde Center Decatur Farm to School Mini Grants Now Available
Do you have plans for a new garden or class project? Fantastic ideas on how to incorporate farm to school principles into a teaching unit? Or maybe you need funds for a "green" field trip?
The Wylde Center Decatur Farm to School Committee invites you to apply for a grant for 2023-24. Teachers, administrators, PTA members, and parent volunteers can apply on behalf of their CSD school. Please get your applications in before September 22, 2023. (Link here and on the Wylde Center website > Education > Farm to School)
Need something fun to do this fall with little commitment? Druid Lakes Youth Lacrosse Association (DLYLA) offers both boys and girls lacrosse for experienced and beginner players. It’s a great way to get ready for the full spring season. Click the link below for more information and registration.
Social Media and Contact Information
You can find more information on the following Facebook pages:
Talley Street PE
And these Instagrams:
For news from our counselors, check out their website:
For more about the Talley Street PTO, visit their website here: https://talleypto.org/.