Chestatee Elementary School
A Letter From Dr. Tennies, Our Principal
Greetings from the T!
How exciting it is to be ready for Spring Break. I am so proud of all that our students, staff and families have accomplished so far this school year.
Forsyth County Schools will be closed next week: April 3-7. Some of you may be traveling, while others will have the luxury of a “staycation” (my favorite!). Many parents will continue a work schedule. In the words of Dr. Bearden, our school superintendent, I encourage everyone to “find your beach” next week. Take the week to rest, recover, and relax. It’s important as a parent/ guardian to take care of yourself. It’s also important to model this for our kids.
This week leading up to break has been filled with emotions. Thank you for your continued support during the week. Support of our children, support of our staff members, and support of our safety measures. Thank you for partnering with us as a school in all that we do. I’ve included an important letter from Dr. Bearden and Sheriff Freeman below for your information.
Together, We are Chestatee!
Dr. Polly Tennies
A Letter from Dr. Bearden and Sheriff Freeman
Jeff Bearden, Forsyth County Schools Superintendent, and Ron Freeman, Forsyth County Sheriff
March 30, 2023
The heart-breaking school shooting in Nashville has been difficult for many of us. Schools across the U.S. and in Forsyth County have received alleged threats this week. We know that school safety and security are heavy on your hearts and minds.
In Forsyth County, we are grateful for the strong partnership between Forsyth County Schools and the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office. We have many safety measures in place to keep our schools safe for our students, teachers, and staff.
After many hours of investigating multiple alleged threats this week, we are grateful that they all have been unsubstantiated. However, the fear and anxiety that they have created is real.
Thank you to the students, parents, and guardians who submitted tips to us this week through the P3 Campus app. Please be assured that we take all threats seriously and regardless of the numbers of hoaxes, we will always investigate them to the fullest.
The Forsyth County students who were involved in the situations this week are facing life-changing consequences for their actions. Please take the time to ensure your children are ok this week. Our school counselors are available if they need additional support. Please also speak to your children about the real consequences associated with posting false threats on social media.
Forsyth County is our home. Let’s make sure it’s safe for all.
- 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.
- If your child is checking out from the clinic, the absence is excused.
- When 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.
Save the Date for Our Kindergarten Night: May 18, 2023
Visitors are Welcome for Lunch!
Chestatee Lunchroom Guests- Register for a Table
Lunch guests are welcome after Labor Day at Chestatee on a sign-up basis. Please use this sign up to register. We recommend visiting once per month. When you register, you are signing up for a table with 4 chairs (not the number of guests).
A Round of Applause, Please!
Congrats to Lila for Winning First Place at the State Science Fair!
Lila and our Chestatee Team represented us well!
One East Vertical Alignment Night
Congrats to these Care, Collaborate, and Connect award winners!
County Oratorical Competition
We could not be prouder of O'Raylia for representing the T at the county level!
Congratulations, Honors Chorus!
Congratulations to our Honors Chorus! These students have worked so hard this year! Thanks to Jordan, Bailey, Samantha, Vivian, McKinley, Lydia and Miryam for representing the T so well!
Chorus and Honors Chorus Performed
Led by Mrs. Roper, our Chorus and Honors Chorus performed well at Chestatee and on location!
Way to Go, Bus 11!
Ms. Lori's Bus- Bus 11 is showing the Chestatee Way and earned ice cream!
Let the Fun Begin!
Kindergarten practiced the letters and sounds with a parade!
Exceptional Children's Week
March 6-10: Thanks to Mrs. Fyle and her son, Beckett, for painting the rock to celebrate!
Read Across America
We celebrated reading all week and ended Friday, March 3 with Book Character Day!
STEAM Night: March 7
This was a fun filled night with science and math fun! Thank you to our Science Ambassadors from North, East and Alliance!
Teacher Appreciation: March 6-9
New Swag! Our staff loved the new hats and sweatshirts for Teacher Appreciation Week!
Our Book Fair and Art Show Were Amazing!
Thank you to our families and community for supporting our school in so many ways!
St. Patty's Fun
We were a Sea of Green at the T!
The Live to Give Club
From decorating bulletin boards to cleaning up the outdoor classrooms, we are lucky to have our Live to Give Club!
Dress Like a Duck Day: FCS Education Foundation
Thank you for supporting the FCS Education Foundation. We can't wait for the raffle on 3/31. A $10,000 winner will be drawn!
Another Congratulations is in Order!!!!
Congrats to our High Flyers for Being Problem Solvers!
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 so we have been so excited to have our ceremonies again this year!
So Many Students are Earning Positive Office Referrals and Lunch with Dr. T!
Bravo Bucks Can be Used to Purchase Lunch or Fire Marshall Duties!
We love celebrating students at the T!
Congratulations to our Staff Member of the Month for March- Ashley Loftus!
We are proud to announce Ashley Loftus as our March Staff Member of the Month!
This is the second time that Mrs. Loftus has been selected for Staff Member of the Month! She has been nominated several times this year. Each nomination states similar things. Mrs. Loftus makes learning fun. She meets kids where they are whether she is helping them to learn a concept or challenging them. She also communicates well with parents. Mrs. Loftus goes over and beyond in everything she does. Our favorite quote came from a parent and said, “Mrs. Loftus always models kindness in everything she does. Because of this, students only show kindness in her classroom.”
Mrs. Loftus has taught for eleven years. She has been at Chestatee for eight years. This is her fifth-year teaching second graders. She also has taught third grade and kindergarten. She attended Piedmont College where she received her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education.
Ashley and her husband, Matt, have two children and live in the Chestatee Community. Riley is a student at East Forsyth High School and Lake is a Chestatee Eagle! The Loftus family is very involved in sports and activities in our community. Ashley likes family time, shopping and going to the beach. She loves coffee drinks and treats!
We are so very thankful that Ashley is part of our amazing Chestatee staff. Congratulations to our Ashley Loftus! 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
What's Coming up at the T?
Important Dates this Month!
April 3-7- Spring Break
April 12- Spring picture makeups
Tuesdays in April- Grapevines Spirit Nights!
April 14- Family Movie Night at the Farm- Warbington Farms will be open for Chestatee families only. This will be a FREE event!
April 20- DQ Spirit Night
April 27- APTT for Grades K-2 (Virtual)
May 4- APTT for Grades 3, 4 (Virtual)
May 18- Kindergarten Safari Night 6:00-7:30 (We will welcome next year's kindergarten students!)
Middle School 101 at both schools will replace the fifth grade APTT meeting.
Little Mill Middle School Middle School 101
May 4- Come meet the staff and see the school!
North Forsyth Middle School Middle School 101
May 10- 2 sessions- 5:00 and 6:30- kids come in and meet teachers/ hear about 6th grade and take a self-guided tour.
Saturday- May 13- one session in the am for families to come visit- same as Wednesday, May 10
Field Day Information!
Thursday, May 11th will be (K,2, 4)
Kindergarten will be participating from 8:00-9:30
4th Grade from 10:00 – 11:30
2nd Grade from 12:30-2:00
Friday, May 12th (1,3,5)
1st Grade will be participating from 8:00-9:30
5th Grade from 10:00 – 11:30
3rd Grade from 12:30-2:00
The PE department is in the planning stages for the t-shirt design and field day activities. Parents/students will be able to buy the field day shirt through mypaymentsplus again this year and sign up to volunteer for field day events through sign up genius.
The Honoring Our Heroes Essay Winners were Celebrated!
A special lunch with Dr. Tennies and an awards ceremony were held to honor these three special writers and their heroes. Congrats to Blakely, Samiyah, and Lokitha!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org any time!
Thanks to Your Support, Gaga is in Full Swing!
We were able to add a second gaga ball pit. The original pit now has a new mat down to keep the dust at bay! Thank you, Families!
The Ozobots Came in!
Ms. Warnecke wrote a grant for Ozobots. These can be used in class to code and with reading, math, and STEM projects. We will be implementing this new piece of technology in lots of ways!
Our Staff Loves Teacher Treat Days and Fun Raffles!
Thanks to our families and community support, we make Chestatee so fun for the staff! A special thanks to American Spa and Salon for their generous contribution to the cash drawing.
Save the Date for April 20th!
It's DQ Spirit Night!
Teacher Raffles and Fun During Teacher Appreciation Week!
We appreciate our partners in ed that made these possible!
A Note from Nurse Kristen
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,
Our Communi-T-y is the BEST!
Our Friends at Mathnasium Actively Support the T!
Rusty and Faye Sponsored the Ice Cream Party for 4th Graders!
Students who met their Dreambox goal earned an ice cream treat!
Thank you, Ricky Bryan and Bryan Properties!
Mr. Bryan made a generous donation to our book fair. Thank you, Ricky!
New Hope UMC Keeps Our Pantry Stocked!
Thanks for the extra snacks and pantry items!
Deanna Warbington Read to K and 1 Classes
Farm Bureau from Cumming set this up! We love community partners who come to volunteer!
American Spa and Salon Team
This team sponsored our cash raffles during Teacher Appreciation Week!
Pizza Azzurri Spirit Night
We will receive 10% of the sales back from the March 14th Spirit Night!
One East Community Corner!
We Loved Having the Track Team on Carline!
We Love Our EFHS Interns from the Teaching Pathway!
Community Corner and Resources
Great opportunity with Forsyth County Parks and Recreation Youth Scholarship...
Our Youth Scholarship provides funding for families that cannot afford the participation fees for our recreation, athletic and camp programs.
Children ages 17 or younger are eligible to apply for this scholarship. They must be county residents and must provide a completed application with supporting documents. You can find the application and more information here:
There's Power in Partnership!
Thank you to Stephanie Schroeder for taking on our Lost and Found! Many items have been returned already! This has been a huge process, and it looks very organized. Thank you, Stephanie! We've had several helpers up here with her bagging and delivering items. Lianna Hall- you are a super teammate!
Volunteer Group of the Month: Book Fair Help!
Do You Have 30 Minutes a Week to Change a Child's Life? Be a Mentor!
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.
#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!
Questions? Contact Meg Killingsworth
770-887-2341 ext. 723002
Watch DOG (Dads of Great Students) Sign up here!
Our WatchDOG (Dads of Great Students) is an awesome program where positive role models come and spend the day with us! From car line to the morning news to visiting classrooms, our guys will have a blast helping us at the school. Get ready in 5 easy steps! 1.
A Few Words From our Family Engagement Coordinator
It’s hard to believe that we have made it all the way to April! Spring break will be nice. You might be staying in town, or you might be heading somewhere. A break from the routine and some extra time with family might be just what’s needed during this busy time of year. It will give us 9 days to recharge before we come back and finish off the year. Summer is right around the corner!
Several families have reached out with great questions about Milestones Testing. I thought I’d take a moment to explain.
What are the GA Milestones? The Georgia Milestones are our state standardized assessment for English/ Language Arts and Math. In fifth grade, students also take the Science Section.
What elementary grades participate in Milestones? Students in grades 3-5 take the Milestones.
Do these tests determine if my child pass or fall? They do not. Milestones are one piece of evidence to show how a child is doing academically.
Why do we give these tests? We give the Milestones to measure a student’s progress. It is a snapshot of one day and adds to the body of evidence from the full year to see if students are making one year’s worth of progress in one year.
What should I tell my child? This is just one assessment, and just do your best. Show what you know. You’ve got this!
What are some testing tips?
- Make sure your child eats breakfast. Send a snack and water bottle.
- Get enough rest.
- Reassure your child not to stress.
- Get exercise and go outside after school to burn off energy.
Click here for more information: https://docs.google.com/document/d/11uyy7X8X4f2FSHXeW19TS1gsnniYUhT-XtTQWX8i6iA/edit?usp=sharing
See you soon,
770-887-2341 ext. 723002
Kroger and Publix will donate money too...
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!
Chestatee Elementary School
Location: 6945 Keith Bridge Road, Gainesville, GA, United States