January 2023: Happy New Year!

Chestatee Elementary School

A Letter From Dr. Tennies, Our Principal

Happy New Year Families,

There is so much to look forward to in 2023. When we gather back together as a staff, I share what I call “The State of the School Address.” In this message I put forth things for us to be proud of, as well as a review of our goals for the year. I want to share a few highlights with you as well.

  • We started the school year with all positions filled. Finding quality candidates is essential for a great school. We have 138 employees at Chestatee on staff dedicated to children every day.
  • The staff revised and published our Mission Statement, “ Together we encourage growth with a love of learning.”
  • Our school formed Professional Learning Communities committed to student achievement.
  • Highflyers Ceremonies are back in our café- a time to celebrate our students’ accomplishment shared with families.
  • Additionally, Chestatee earned a 100% in Progress scores on the CCRPI/GA Department of Education Assessment. This shows children are growing very well at the T.
  • Finally, our Robotics Team is going to their first state level competition while our Stock Market Team won the District Level Competition!

Where are we finishing? We continue to look at our School Improvement Plan to set our direction.

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Thank you for being our partners in education. I am looking forward to our new year!


Dr. Polly Tennies


Chestatee Elementary

Other News from the T

Over Winter Break a pipe leaked in our media center. Thankfully, our district Facilities Department and local Fire Department responded immediately. However, due to this incident, we have temporarily closed our media center for repair work to be completed. The health and safety of our students and staff is always our top priority. We appreciate your understanding and look forward to reopening the media center soon!

Students will still check out books in our temporary media center.

Happy New Year, Chestatee!

It was Great Having the Staff Back Together After Winter Break!

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We had a Special Doggy Day for Staff on 1/3 and 1/4. Look at These Great Workers!

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Proud to BE at the T!

Our Cafe Staff Scored a 100 on their Inspection AGAIN!

Thank you to Ms. Deb Mason, our cafeteria manager, and the whole cafe crew for doing an amazing job in the cafeteria.
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Chestatee is a Distinguished PBIS School!

Chestatee was recognized as a PBIS Distinguished School at the FCS Board Meeting tonight! Thank you to our admin, Mrs. Weaver, Mrs. Pruitt, and Mrs. Murray for accepting this award and for leading the charge of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports at the T!
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As We Begin Winter, Here are Some Attendance Reminders...

  • Please remember to send in your child’s excuse within 5 days.
  • Families can send up to 10 notes from home for absences before doctor notes are required.
  • On email excuses to the teacher, it’s easy to add Ms. Stacey (Sholbrook@forsyth.k12.ga.us) to make sure she gets the excuse.
  • Any time you go to see the doctor, please ask for a school excuse. If you forget, contact the doctor and ask them to email or fax the excuse. Fax: 770-781-2281.
  • Georgia law requires the school to send attendance letters after 5 or more unexcused absences.
  • Any time you check your child in/ out on Checkmate, the absence will be unexcused. Please provide a medical excuse if you'd like the absence excused.

From FCS

Kindergarten Roundup is Starting! January is Chestatee's Date!

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Save the Date for Our Kindergarten Night: May 18, 2023

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The Huggers are coming! The Huggers are coming!

The Huggers are coming! The Huggers are coming!

Dear Families,

There are many opportunities to support Chestatee throughout the year. Families have a choice to pick the fundraiser that resonates with them. Whether it is biscuit sales, spirit nights, Boosterthon, PTO events, or sending in materials to the classroom, there are lots of ways to help our school. No fundraiser is ever expected. We appreciate any support that we receive throughout the year!

We have found that both kids and teachers along with many families have loved the www.schoolstore.com fundraiser we have done the past 2 years. This is a fundraiser run by Chestatee Elementary and not our PTO. We received feedback from families concerning this fundraiser and have made some changes for those who would like to participate.

We will be sending home www.schoolstore.com packets at the end of January. The company asks for 6 emails from family members to help market the school fundraiser. Students bring the packet back with a code and can pick a Hugger Stuffed Animal. The huggers brought great joy last year to our kids.

Through this fundraiser, families have a choice:

1. Purchase items through the schoolstore.com catalog (wrapping paper, food, magazines, etc.)

2. Make purchases from certain stores through schoolstore.com. The school will receive a percentage of these sales. Stores include Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Kohls, and many others.

3. Purchase a gift card for the homeroom teacher.

Students earn prizes based on money raised. Classroom received games, books, magazines and other engaging materials from www.schoolstore.com . Our school received a check for $5000. We were beyond grateful and excited for these funds to help our school. We were able to fund our last APTT Night in May.

From family feedback, we understand not everyone is comfortable with sharing emails. We have designed another way to help the teacher and school for families interested. For a cash or check donation of $15 made to Chestatee Elementary, students can also receive a hugger. With this money, we will purchase more classroom materials.

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A Congratulations is in Order!!!!

Spelling Bee Winners

We are proud to announce that Lydia won first place, and Lilee was the runner-up!
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Chestatee Won the District Stock Market Game- AGAIN!

Congrats to Parker and Jacob for representing Chestatee, and thanks to Ms. Laura Martin for leading the charge!
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Congrats to our High Flyers for Showing Respect!

You may be wondering what a High Flyer Ceremony is! Each month, we will recognize 2 students from each class who have done an amazing job exhibiting the Chestatee Way! Students will receive a special invitation for their families. We will meet in the cafeteria together. We love celebrating the positives in students! We have had these virtually the last two years and were so excited to invite families for this special celebration last month!

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Our Big Winner Raffle Winners Won Great Prizes!

Thank you to our PTO for sponsoring the prizes for this event!
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December Highlights!

Our Electronic Sign was Installed! Thank you to FCS Facilities!

Thanks to FCS Facilities for installing electronic signs at all of our schools. Our PTO Boosterthon funds have been redirected to the second gaga ball pit, media center books, and classroom book cases. Thank you, FCS!
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January 5, 2023

Our Chorus and Orchestra Performed at a Concert 12/19!

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80s Day Was a Blast! Happy 80th Day of School!

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In-School Field Trip for Fifth Graders Thanks to Georgia Power

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4 Principals of the Day Helped United Way!

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Let the Festivities Begin...

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Our Live to Give Club Visited the Oaks at Hampton to Sing to the Seniors!

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Congratulations to our Staff Member of the Month for December- Emily Castleberry!

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We are proud to announce Emily Castleberry as our December Staff Member of the Month!

We are proud to announce Emily Castleberry, as our December Staff Member of the Month!

This is Mrs. Castleberry’s fourth year at Chestatee Elementary and fifth year teaching in Forsyth County. Emily received her Bachelors in Education from Furman University in Greenville, SC. After a few years as a stay at home mom, Emily dove back into her passion for teaching. She served as a paraprofessional at Chattahoochee and in kindergarten before joining the special education team two years ago.

Emily and her husband, John, have two boys and live in the Chestatee community. Their boys are Chestatee Eagles. Will (4th grade) and Luke (1st grade) both play baseball. In their free time, they love family time, baseball, and boating. Emily is a big Florida Gators fan. She loves to run and is currently training for her first half marathon.

Emily is known for her positive attitude, passion for teaching, and grace. She has received several nominations this year. One parent stated that Emily is an advocate for her students and advocates for them as much as their own parents do. Kids adore her, staff members admire her, and parents respect her. We are grateful that Emily is part of our amazing Chestatee staff. Congratulations our Emily Castleberry!

A big thank you to our PTO and Mathnasium of Coal Mountain for sponsoring our Chestatee Staff Member of the Month Program!

Teacher and Staff Member of the Month Nominations

Do you want to recognize and celebrate the exemplary teaching and contributions by Chestatee Elementary teachers and staff? Click here to write a nomination.

Positive Office Referrals!!

Dr. Tennies loves seeing kids in her office for Positive Office Referrals! Last month, she visited two CLASSES who were written up for great strategies, effort, and attitude.
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We Love Lunch Visitors in the Office!

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What's Coming up at the T?

Important Dates this Month

January 5- Students return from Winter Break

January 16- No School in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 19- Academic Parent Teacher Teams (APTT) for Grades K-2/ 6 PM Virtual

January 24- 100th Day of School/ Students and staff are invited to dress up as 100 year olds!

January 26- APTT for Grades 3-5/ 6 PM Virtual

January 28- Snowflake Ball

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The Snowflake Ball is Coming!

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Join Us Saturday, January 28th

Our daughters are invited to bring a special someone to our Snowflake Ball on January 28th! It's a Saturday! Come dance the night away, eat desserts, and spend time with friends and your special someone.

Recommended times

K-2 students: 5:00-7:00

3-5 students: 7:00-9:00

Families with more than one daughter: 6:00-8:00

The cost will be $35 per family. Beat the line by paying in advance. A flyer will be coming!

Volunteers will be needed for this event.

Our PTO is a Great Way to Get Involved!

Our PTO board members raise money to help teachers and our school.

You can support our PTO through our fundraisers, Spirit Nights, events, and spirit wear.

There are no membership dues this year.

Contact our PTO at chestateeelementarypto@yahoo.com any time!

Thank You for Your Feedback!

We realize that our carline on Tuesdays can move slower due to a higher volume of cars. In an effort to help with traffic, we will no longer be able to make change for biscuits. Please have exact cash or a check payable to PTO ready. We will continue to tweak our system to see improvements.

Grapevine's Wednesdays were a Success!

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Mod Night was Awesome!

Mod gave us a check for $272 from the Spirit Night in December!
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Our CFA points from Biscuit Sales Provides Teacher Treats!

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Your Support Helps with Teacher Grants!

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Looking Ahead! Let's Go Gaga!

The second gaga pit was installed over break with a concrete slab and turf! Thank you for your support with Boosterthon, Families! We look forward to more projects funded by Boosterthon earnings.
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A Note from Nurse Kristen

Dear Families,

Take a look at our freshly painted clinic! Thank you to Mrs. Hubbard for making this space so beautiful for our students and me!

As we head into winter:

The main reasons for keeping your child at home are as follows:

  • If he/she is too sick to be comfortable at school
  • If he/she will spread a contagious illness/disease to another child

Remember: Students must be fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications before returning to school. Students must also be vomiting and diarrhea free for 24 hours before returning to school.

Let me know as you have questions,

Nurse Kristen

Ext. 722151

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Our Communi-T-y is the BEST!

Thanks to Salem Baptist Church for Stocking our Snacks!

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United Way of Forsyth Donated Tons to our Pantry!

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Thanks to Daves Creek Elementary for the Huge Food Donation! Amazing!

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The Forsyth County Womens Club Helped Our Snack Collection!

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Our Friends at Mathnasium Actively Support the T!

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One East Community Corner!

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Community Corner and Resources

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Volunteer Group of the Month: Painters and Artists!

The Eagles' Rock was a new addition last spring! We have all found joy in seeing it decorated each month! Thank you to our painters who share their talents. If you are interested in decorating the rock, email Meg at mkillingsworth@forsyth.k12.ga.us .

P.S. You don't have to be an artist! Paint, patience, and an idea are all that's needed!

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Do You Have 30 Minutes a Week to Change a Child's Life? Be a Mentor!

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Watchdog Dads

Calling all male role models! Watchdog Dads are welcome at the T!

There are two ways to help:

#1- Wear a WD shirt (we have one to borrow if needed), and help on car line by smiling, greeting kids, and helping them get out of the car.

Carline Signup

#2-Wear a WD shirt and spend the day with us! You'll visit the carline, the school news, your child's class, Pathways classes, lunch and recess. You'll be busy and tired at the end of the day!

WD Signup for the Day

Click here for all the information!

Questions? Contact Meg Killingsworth

770-887-2341 ext. 723002

Email Meg

A Few Words From our Family Engagement Coordinator

Gifts of Chestatee

Dear Chestatee Families,

Happy New Year! This month made me think of two things I wanted to share!

First, you are a gift. The video above says it best! Chestatee IS a gift. And it's a gift because of the people within the school. It's the kids that come to learn, the teachers dedicated to teaching, and the families who partner with us and support their children. We love our people.

And tying in with the holidays, I want to share the gift of being present. In being more mindful, by slowing down lately, and for working on one task at a time, I have seen great benefits to others in my circle. There may not be as much scrolling on Facebook or TV for me, but there's a lot more talking from my girls and my husband to me. It seems like they know I'm actively listening. Being present was hard in December with all of the hustle and bustle, but I've slowed down and am really trying with the new year! Being present is a present to everyone around you!

We hope you had a great holiday. Happy New Year! It's so nice to be back together at the T!

See you soon!


Meg Killingsworth

Family Engagement Coordinator

770-887-2341 ext 723002


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Don't Forget....

Box Tops/ Soup Labels

We collect Box Tops to raise money for our school.

The procedure will be changing in the near future (we will keep you posted!)

For now, keep filling out your Box Top Sheets and turn them in to Ms. Donna in the front office.

Kroger and Publix will donate money too...

If you ask to connect your Kroger Plus card to Chestatee Elementary, they will donate a certain percentage of the profits to our school. You can find out more about how to do this if you CLICK HERE.

Publix Partners with Chestatee also. You only need to put your phone number in as you checkout. Publix will donate a certain percentage of their profits to Chestatee from your purchase!

We love our Partners in Education!