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Amanda  Smith
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August Newsletter

August 2017 Principal’s Newsletter

Welcome to the 2017-2018 School Year!

Welcome to Surgoinsville Elementary School! We are pleased and excited to begin a new year with you and your child, as well as all community stakeholders. There have been several staff changes at SES over the summer. We would like to wish Mrs. Susan Trent well in her new retirement, and I, Mrs. Amanda Smith, am excited to return to Surgoinsville Elementary as your new Principal. Mrs. Dawn Manis has moved to the position of Secretary, and we welcome Mrs. Jennifer Frazier to our office staff as Data Manager. Mrs. Tonya Crum has moved to join our 3rd grade team, and we welcome Mrs. April Skeen who has joined our 4th grade team. The staff of Surgoinsville Elementary is dedicated to ensure you and your child have a wonderful school experience. Our school is noted for academic excellence, and we strive to continue to do our BEST each and every day.


Services Offered

At Surgoinsville Elementary School, we are pleased to offer a variety of programs to both students and parents throughout the year. In addition to the core curriculum, students are able to attend computer, library, music, art, physical education, and school counseling classes on a weekly basis. We also offer special education services, Walk and Learn intervention classes, ESL (English as a Second Language) services, and Project Basic (counseling from Frontier Health). Health services are offered through our school nurse and the district’s Coordinated School Health. A Parent Lending Library is available to check-out materials for home use for additional skills practice.


Parent and Community Involvement

We look forward to partnering with parents and the community to provide students the education he/she will need in order to have a successful future. We cannot do this without your help and greatly appreciate your support at home. We encourage you to be involved in your child’s education, and there are several ways you can do so. Please try to ensure your child is at school each day, view the Week in a Peek, check your child’s orange communication folder each Monday, utilize Skyward for your child’s information, make sure your child completes homework, attend conferences and school events, encourage your child to meet his/her goals each nine weeks, and be supportive of the school’s policies and procedures. If you would like to be a volunteer, please let your child’s teacher know. With your help, we will have another successful school year at SES!


Morning Routines

The school building opens at 7:15 AM. Due to the multiple buses that will be dropping off at this time, we ask car riders to try not to arrive before 7:30 AM if possible. This also helps with the flow for breakfast. Students should not exit the vehicle until it is between the two yellow lines in front of the building. Vehicles are asked to pull as close as possible to the front yellow line before unloading. Please read Morning and Afternoon Car Rider Procedures that was sent home in the student’s communication folder. Students are dismissed from the gym at 7:55 AM. School begins promptly at 8:00 AM. If a child arrives at 8:01 AM or after, he/she is tardy and the parent must accompany the child to the office for an admit slip. If the front door is closed, the school day has begun. Your child misses valuable instruction when they are not in attendance. After the first week of school, we ask all students to walk to class without a parent or guardian.


Communication with the Teacher

You are always welcome to visit your child’s teacher, and we encourage you to be involved. However, teachers must begin class on time and will be unable to meet with parents when students are dismissed from the gym. Please leave a message in the office, planner, email, or call if you would like to schedule a conference. Your child’s planner is an excellent form of communication between school and home. Please view it daily, sign, and write any comments/concerns to the teacher. If you need to see your child during the school day, we will call them to the office so as not to disturb instructional time.



If your child is absent, please use the form provided in your child’s planner (unless it is a doctor’s excuse). Excuses are not accepted after five school days upon the student’s return and will be written as unexcused. Only five parent notes are allowed per semester. Early dismissals and being tardy accumulate and can result in a day’s absence. Once all parent notes are used, days will then be unexcused unless there is a doctor’s note. Once there have been two unexcused absences, you will be contacted by the truancy officer. If there has been a death of an immediate family member, it will be excused with a copy of the obituary. School Messenger will notify you by phone when your child is absent or tardy. Skyward is also available to allow parents/guardians to view the student’s grades, attendance, discipline referrals, etc. at any time. Please contact our data manager, Jennifer Frazier, for further information.



Please help our school by collecting General Mills Box Tops. Also register for programs at Food City, Target, and Office Depot for a percentage of the proceeds of your sale to be donated to Surgoinsville Elementary School. Ask your family, friends, neighbors, and church members to help as well. If you are willing to help with any of our school collection processes, please contact the school.


Help Needed for Reading for Education Booklets

Our school will be participating in a program called Reading for Education in which booklets needing eleven different addresses will be sent home on August 21st for parents/guardians to complete. Our school receives 50c for each completed postcard. We receive $5.50 for each completed booklet. When the student returns the completed booklet, he/she will receive prizes. There will also be two grand prize drawings. If 180 students return their completed booklets, our school receives and additional $200, and if we get 216 completed booklets, we get an additional $300. It is a very easy way for our school to earn money with no obligation to buy anything. The addresses provided will only be used for this program and will not be used for any other purpose. Thank you for your help!


Behavior Expectations

Every child has the right to learn in a safe and caring environment. Behavioral expectations are taught the first week of school. Students receiving zero office or bus referrals for the year will get to attend a special positive behavior school-wide event at the end of the year. There will be reward celebrations for students having zero office or bus referrals throughout the year and at the end of each semester. Encourage your child to follow all bus expectations that are listed in the school’s handbook. If a bus driver files a report, the student is given a bus suspension. The parent or guardian is then responsible for getting the child to school. Please encourage proper behavior for the safety of all students. Be sure to read the school’s handbook for important information. Please encourage your child to always be on his/her BEST behavior.


Allergan Restrictive Environment

Due to student allergies, we ask that you do not send any food to school that contains peanut products.



Please do not send medication by a student to school. Any medication must be brought by the guardian in the original container to the office/nurse. Please refer to guidelines in the Hawkins County Student Handbook.



We hope you will join our school’s PTSO. Our first meeting is scheduled for August 28, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. in the school’s gym. The parent organization has helped our school tremendously in the past. Please join us!


School Security

Your child’s safety is our number one priority. All schools in Hawkins County have security systems to enter the buildings. Please ring the bell to gain admittance during the hours of 8:00 AM – 3:15 PM.  Be prepared to show identification. Upon approval, proceed to the office. Our school is monitored throughout the day by a security system and by our school resource officer. A school safety plan is in place and various safety drills are practiced on a regular basis throughout the school year.



Read to be Ready Summer School Program

Our school’s Read to be Ready Reading Program was a wonderful success again this year! Thank you to the teachers and many volunteers who donated their time and energy into making it a success. Jennifer Cassell, Mindy Hunley, Carrie Smith, Rhonda Brownlee, and Emily Moles made the program possible by being awarded the state grant. Also, thank you to the parents who allowed their children to participate each day. We hope to continue this program in the future.



Upcoming Events:


Aug. 21                 First Full Day of Kindergarten

Aug. 21                 Dismiss at 11:15 AM

Aug. 21                 Complete Reading for Education Booklets

Aug. 31                 Girl Scouts Parent Meeting at 6:00 PM

Sept. 4                  No School – Labor Day

Sept. 11                No School – Professional Development Day

Sept. 12                Parent / Teacher Conferences 3:15-6:15

Sept. 12                Progress Reports

Sept. 13                Fall Picture Day


Surgoinsville Elementary School’s mission is to educate with excellence

by meeting all state standards in a positive, safe, and caring environment.


At SES, we do our BEST!