Chestnut Grove Parent News

October 22, 2023

"Every student matters; Every second counts!"

Dear Chestnut Grove Families,

We have a week of exciting events taking place! Our Book Fair kicks off on Monday, October 23rd. PTO is hosting our first Trunk or Treat Thursday, with Book Fair open to shop! See more detail below from PTO.

Our next offering for the mandatory Alabama Literacy Act (ALA) presentation will be October 30th at 5:00pm. All K-3 parents must receive important information about how the ALA affects your child. There is a sign in for the AL State Department of Education as well as for our school records.

We are looking forward to a great week.

With gratitude,

Rebekah Higgins, Principal

Important Dates


20 - Report Cards were sent home

23-27 - Book Fair

25 - Kindergarten field trip

26 - PreK field trip

26 - Fall picture make-up day

26 - PTO Trunk or Treat 5:00-6:30pm

27 - Camo day (our last football Friday theme day)

30 - Cultural Fair - let your child's teacher know if you would like to help

30 - Alabama Literacy Act presentation - K-3 parents - 5:00pm

31 - Book Character dress up day


1 - Remote Learning Day/Faculty Professional Development Day

3 - PTO Turkey Trot - volunteers needed!

9 - Veterans' Day Program

10 - No School/Veterans' Day

16 - Green Power Race

16 - Math/STEAM Night, 5:00-6:30pm

17 - Thanksgiving Meal (PK-2 visitors)

20-24 - No School/Thanksgiving Break

River Clay Artists

Congratulations to the following students for having artwork chosen for display at this weekend's River Clay Art Show:

1st: Booshra Ali

2nd: Marli Green, Savannah Macklin, Lucas Maschue, & Maya Jackson

3rd: Brynli Bassham, Anderson Bevins, & Adalyn Bishop

4th: Cassandra Davis, Jonathan Maldonado, Emory Necklaus, & Anna Terry

5th: Cooper Evans, Masen Simmers, & Loralei Sparkman

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Book Character Pumpkin Contest

It is time for our annual book character pumpkin contest. Entry fee will be $5 by CASH or Check. Please make checks out to Chestnut Grove Elementary with a current phone number. Money will be turned in to Mrs. Prater in the library. All entry fees must be paid by Thursday, October 26th. Your pumpkin must be a book character. Pumpkin turn in days will be Wednesday, October 25th and Thursday, October 26th in the library. Pumpkins will NOT be accepted early or late. Pumpkins will be judged with a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner with prizes! Pumpkins will be judged and sent home Tuesday, October 31st. Any remaining pumpkins will be thrown away Wednesday, November 1st. If your child is participating, please fill out this form and turn it in with your entry fee. For any questions please email

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Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

This program is now available in Alabama! The Imagination Library is dedicated to inspiring a love of reading by gifting free books each month to children birth to age 5.

Click here to find out how to get your child signed up

More info

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PTO News

Mark your calendars!!! On Thursday, October 26th from 5:00-6:30 p.m., the Chestnut Grove PTO is hosting its first annual Trunk or Treat! This is a free event for all ages. We need VOLUNTEERS to make this event a success. Decorate your cars and bring lots of candy to pass out to the children. There will be a prize awarded to the car with the best decorated trunk. The Book Fair will be open that night as well. Come out for some family fun, candy, and Book Fair shopping.

Sandman Sandmiches Food Truck will be there so that you may purchase a snack or dinner.

Please arrive no later than 4:30 pm if you plan to decorate a trunk. If you are unable to decorate a trunk but still want to contribute to this event, you may donate candy. All donated candy must be dropped off by October 26th at 3:00 p.m. There will be a bin located in the office for donations.

To reserve a spot for the Trunk or Treat or if you have any questions about this event, please send an email to You may also join the CGES PTO Remind group and communicate via Remind. Just send a text to 81010 and text the message “@ttaite” to join. We need a final count of participants by October 24th!

We really hope to see you there!

-- Chestnut Grove PTO

Help your Child at home

Homework: remind your child to read and practice math skills at least 20 minutes a day. We send devices home nightly for these purposes (MyOn/AR for reading and Freckle for math). Students who work on these daily see the most growth in a school year. We appreciate your support in growing our students!

Check your child's binder daily for communication from the teacher.


Parents, maintaining open communication is important. Please keep your email and phone numbers updated in PowerSchool so that you can receive important communication from Chestnut Grove and Decatur CIty Schools. Teachers will use Remind messaging to communicate with you often. If your contact information changes during the school year, please email our secretary, Mrs. Coffey: .

Stay connected ~

  • Ensure you are signed up for teacher communication
  • Visit our website and social media
  • Check your child's communication folder/binder daily
  • Join PTO and sign up to volunteer


PreK Arrival (7:30-7:45am) & Dismissal (2:15-2:30pm) will be in the rear. If you arrive after these times, parents will need to come to the office.

K & 1st grade arrival (7:15-7:45am) & dismissal (2:45pm) is in the front left parking lot. Older siblings of K/1st graders will join their younger sibling on the lower carline/commons (playground side).

2nd-5th grade arrival & dismissal is in the front right parking lot (gym side).


  • If your child needs assistance getting out of the car in the mornings, please use the K/1 parking lot. Our upper lot is intended for students who can get out of the car independently.
  • Carline: Students must be picked up by 3:00pm. If an emergency arises, contact the office ASAP, 256-552-3092.
  • Check-outs must be done prior to 2:15pm. We do not allow checkouts after this time due to preparing for dismissal, which office staff assists with.
  • Check-outs before 11:30am count as an absence.
  • If your child's regular mode of transportation changes, it is important for you to communicate directly with your child's teacher via Remind as early as possible since they are the ones who handle transitions to dismissal each day.
  • If you do not have your carline card, you will be asked to park in the parking lot and bring your ID to the office to pick up your child. This is part of our safety plan to ensure student safety. If you need additional people added to your child's pick-up list, call Mrs. Coffey, 256-552-3092.


Walkers are dismissed at 2:40 to a parent/guardian. If you request for your child to walk home without a parent/guardian, we need this request documented and signed by a parent/guardian to be kept on file in the office. If no one is there to meet your child at 2:40, school staff will bring your child back inside the building to wait with car riders, and they can be picked up in the car line.

BUS Transportation

All students who need bus transportation MUST have completed the bus registration form, signed by parent/guardian BEFORE students are allowed to ride the bus. Forms can be turned in to the office or the bus driver; however it is important for your child to learn their bus drop-off and pick-up spot. Also, communication with your child's teacher if they will be riding the bus. Forms are also available in the office.

Visit for important bus information, including registration forms and routes.



It is important for you to read the DCS Attendance Policy in our Code of Conduct on pages 14-20. In the State of Alabama, students cannot have more than 17 total absences in one school year. Truancy procedures begin when a student has 3 unexcused absences. You will be notified with a courtesy letter mailed to your address on file first.

Attendance is 15% of our State Report Card, and it is important for us to keep absentees to a minimum. If you have an extenuating circumstance, please contact your child's teacher, counselor, and administrators as soon as possible.

Updated DCS Elementary Cell Phone Policy

Elementary: Student may not have cell phone/device out during the school day.

The parent will be called by an administrator at each offense. After any offense that the cell phone/device is collected and parents are contacted for pick-up, the principal or designee will lock the cell phone/device in the principal's office. Only a parent or verified designee can pick up the cell phone/device. The cell phone/device may be picked up at the end of the school day between dismissal and 3:00 p.m. and must be signed for to show receipt of the personal item.

Offense progression

1. Parent called

2. Parent called and will have to pick up the phone from the office.

3. 1 day of ISS assigned Code 2.00

4. 3 days of ISS assigned Code 2.01

5. 3 days of CAS assigned for 3rd grade and above Code 2.01/2.00

Literacy Resources for Parents to help your child at home

The Alabama Literacy Act (updated 8.15.23)
Alabama Literacy Act for Families (Spanish)
Alabama Literacy Act FAQs

frequently asked questions in multiple languages

Alabama Literacy Act video

The Alabama Literacy Act (updated 8.15.23)

Chestnut Grove Elementary

Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence, 2021 Lighthouse School

Alabama Purple Star School, 2023

Rebekah Higgins, Principal,

Annie Diaz, Assistant Principal,