Summer Newsletter 2019

Chestatee Elementary School

A Letter From Dr. Tennies, Our Principal

Dear Summer,

I love spending time with you! It has been awhile since we have been together. You bring me a lot of happiness with your activities. The lake, the time to read, the awesome possibilities of fun-you are the best! You are definitely my favorite season!

You will be seeing a lot of my students this month. I hope you give them your best, plenty of sunshine and fun family times. Our kids are terrific, and gave us their best this school year in their classes. In addition, I wanted to ask you for some extra sunshine to pour down on our teachers. They worked hard this year, and I would love for them to be renewed during their time away from school and filled with joy when they return. (BTW, Open House is Tuesday, July 30th from 3-7pm. We would appreciate an umbrella-free evening.)

Summer, you shine a light everywhere, so you probably noticed all the workers on our roof wearing hard hats. They need some rain-free days for repair and renovation of our building in June and July. Give us your best this season Summer, and we will be ready to welcome our families back for the new school year!


Dr. Polly Tennies


INCREDIBLE Things Happen at the "T"!

Please remember we are under construction this summer! Don't forget to come out to Page Turners at Hampton Park Library on Wednesdays from 4-6!
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Reading Challenge

Complete your Summer Reading Challenge and return it in August. 1000 minutes of reading will get you in to our fun celebration!

Summer Reading Resources

APTT fun!

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Fun Ways to READ!

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Baby Chicks from our STEM classroom!

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4th Grade Science Expo

5th Grade Field Trip Fun!

Figit Spinner STEM Activities!

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Thank you Luncheon for our Amazing Volunteers!

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A special “thank you” goes out to all of our Career Day Speakers that made our Career Day a huge success!

Chestatee Elementary Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd graders were thrilled to be able to tour a variety of public safety vehicles on May 2nd, which was Career Day. We are so thankful to Dustin and Elyse Hawkins from Sawnee Medical Services, the Forsyth County Fire Department and the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office for volunteering hours of their valuable time presenting information and answering questions for our students.

Career Day provided students with an opportunity to learn more about careers from the wonderful speakers who came into classrooms to give presentations to the children.

Chestatee Elementary would like to thank Amanda Battles, Deputy Stan Snell, the Forsyth County Fire Department and Staci Wacker for giving such fun, interesting presentations to our Kindergartners. The 1st grade students loved learning more about careers from Dr. Nizialek, Marilyn Paul, Matt Johnson, with the Department of Natural Resources and the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department who were kind enough to send both a K9 police officer and his police dog. Our 2nd grade students enjoyed the presentations given by Jennifer Bentsen, Atlanta Motorsports, Dr. Polly Tennies and Lisa Bruce.

3rd grade speakers were representatives from Chick-fil-a, Publix, Hiser Orthodontics, Tara Gillespie from Coke, Janna Barroso a social worker, and Steven Douglas from Betchel Marine Population Corporation. 4th grade speakers included Mike Brooks from the GBI, Aletha Barrett who is the Deputy Chief of the Cumming Police Department, Tom Jablonski from Siemans, Wilson Battles from Lund International, and Todd Beasley from Vine’s Gardening.

5th grade speakers included Kevin Lowrey from the Ga. Department of Natural Resources, Eric Caldwell who is the CFO at Northside Hospital, Mac Kelly who is a Senior Marine Instructor at NFHS, Ken Terry from Terry Marketing, Mike Evans who is the Chief Technology and Information Officer from FCS, and Donna Pilcher the VP Branch Manager for Bank OZK.

We truly appreciate all of you for volunteering your time to make it a special day for our students.

Volunteer Corner

Volunteer Spotlight: Gardening!

If you have a green thumb, helping in one of our gardens, greenhouse, or outdoor classrooms is the perfect volunteer job for you! Planting, weeding, mulching, and gardening..... we need lots of help!

Contact Mrs. Kathy Johnson as if you are interested.

Are you looking for ways to volunteer at Chestatee?

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Click on the link below for more information on ways you can "Get Connected" at the "T!"

Do you need help with some of our programs? Click the link below for some helpful videos!

Parent Help Page

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Do you want to help instill a love of reading for kindergarten students at Chestatee like PopPop? Here are times that are available daily to come and read to students:

7:45 am-9:15 am

10:00 am -10:50 am

11:45 am-12:30 pm

Before you are able to come and read to students, you MUST watch the mandated reporter video here. You will also need to sign the Volunteer Agreement attached below.

Teacher/ 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.
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Congratulations to May Teacher of the Month-Lynn Tatum

Congratulations to Ms. Lynne Tatum for being selected as our May Chestatee Teacher of the Month! Lynne has been nominated multiple times by her students’ parents, and all the nominations have common themes. She is patient, kind, and understanding but she also brings kids to life with their learning. She engages kids, and they love to learn in her class. One parent wrote, “My child comes home most days with a story about how great Mrs. Tatum is.” Another wrote, “She is the type of teacher that my son does not want to disappoint which makes him work harder.”

Mrs. Tatum has taught at Chestatee for seven years, and this year was her 16th year in education. She has taught 15 years in 1st grade and 1 year in 2nd grade. She received her Undergraduate Degree in Elementary Education from LaGrange College and her Masters Degree in Elementary Education from Troy University. She also has her Gifted Endorsement. She loves teaching children to read, then helping them become better readers, as well as playing fun learning activities.

Lynne and her husband, Michael, have two girls- Katelynne and Sydney. Katelynne attended Chestatee and now goes to Little Mill Middle School. Sydney will be a fourth grader next year at our school. They spend a lot of time at the gym with gymnastics practice and competitions. They also enjoy their family time and beach time. Both Mrs. Tatum’s mother and mother-in-law are retired teachers. We are thankful that Mrs. Tatum is a Chestatee teacher and feel very lucky to have her! Congratulations, Mrs. Lynne Tatum!

What's Coming up at the T?

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Lanier Lions Information

Is your child interested in football or cheerleading? There are only a few days left to get registered with the Lanier Lions. Registration ends June 8th. Click this link: for more information.

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Use the link below to register.

Kindergarten Bus Roundup for New Kindergarten Students: July 22nd

The bus driver will call you the day before Roundup to let you know a pickup time. Ride the bus with an adult to Chestatee to learn bus safety and have some fun!

Open House: Tuesday July 30: 3:00-7:00 PM

Postcards will arrive a couple of days before Open House with class assignments! Come any time between 3:00 and 7:00 and meet your teacher, see your classroom, and get other important information!

First Day of School: Thursday, August 1st

Our Communi-T-y is the BEST!

Thank you Rotary North Forsyth 400 for your generous donation!

Leadership Forsyth Class of 2019 gifted our first grade teachers the book Duck on a Bike by David Shannon. This super gift coordinates with their class project -a reading trail close to Haw Creek Elementary. We can’t wait to walk and read on this amazing trail!

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A Few Words From our Family Engagement Coordinator

If there's one thing I really want you to do this summer, (and you can probably guess what I’m going to say)... it's to make sure your kids read daily. I'm promising you it will pay off in August! Students who read daily over the summer come back where they left off instead of 2 or more levels behind. And reading to your kids, listening to audio books and writing all count as ways to read. I know what you might be saying…. “Meg, my kids get tired of me saying it, and I get tired of nagging them to read! “ Well, if that's the case, here are 5 tips for you!

  1. Remind them about the summer reading challenge. 1000 minutes read and logged equals a celebration in August!
  2. Tune in on Fridays to the Facebook Friday Show. Let our staff remind the kids to read and make reading fun to get it in each day. If you don't have a FB account, no worries. You can access our page using this link:
  3. Make reading a summer rule. “You will read!” is the rule in our house, and we rarely miss a day.
  4. Make reading a routine. What time works for you? Some folks say first thing in the morning, before screen time, or before bedtime. My family likes to stay up late and sleep in, so we picked right after dinner while our food settles.
  5. Come by the Hampton Park Library. They have great programs and ways to encourage kids to get reading. We will have staff there on Wednesdays from 4:00-6:00 PM to encourage kids too.

A teacher told me about a parent who would scream “DEAR!” as a signal for everyone to stop and read. She then explained DEAR means Drop Everything And Read. That was this parent's way to make it fun. That gave us a good laugh. Whatever you do, find a way. It will make a big difference for your child's reading this fall.

Happy reading and happy summer!

See you soon,


Meg Killingsworth

770-887-2341 ext 722302

Want to Join PTO?

We invite you to join the PTO at Chestatee. The strong partnership between parents, teachers and staff is a part of what makes us so special here at the T! Contact our PTO at to join.

Free and Reduced Lunch

Click here to apply. Need help filling out the form? Stop by and see Meg Killingsworth in the Family Resource Room (302). Or give her a call or email. She’s glad to help! Can't come in?

Here's a video with directions!

770-887-2341 ext 722302

Don't Forget....

Box Tops/ Soup Labels

We collect Box Tops and Soup Labels all year Long to raise money for our school.

Remember if you full up a box tops page, Ms. Donna has a prize you can earn!

Publix will donate money too...

If you ask to connect your Publix card to Chestatee Elementary, they will donate a certain percentage of the profits to our school.

See Ms. Donna in the front office for one of these cards, or send a letter with your child asking for one, and we will send one home for you!

We love our Partners in Education!