PTO Newsletter 1/13

On Monday, January 16th we honor the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. This day honors a great leader who dedicated his life to achieving equality for people of all colors.  Dr. King’s message of peace and justice touched many Americans. The national holiday that commemorates him is a time to learn history and reflect on valuable teachings that are still meaningful today.  Dr. King wrote, spoke, marched, and stood up for what he believed in—and this day is to honor him.

How is Dr. King connected to Nashville?

During a speech at Fisk University on April 20, 1960, Dr. King said, “I came to Nashville not to bring inspiration, but to gain inspiration from the great movement that has taken place in this community.”

He visited Nashville many times to deliver speeches, again on May 3, 1964 to meet with leaders of the Nashville sit-ins before speaking to a crowd of about 2,000 at Fisk. He also spoke at Vanderbilt University in 1962 and 1967.

On a completely separate note, we know many families have had questions about the new state law that impacts 3rd graders. Please scroll to the bottom for details around this law and how MNPS is responding to it.

And lastly, let’s give a big shout out to faculty at Percy Priest with a January Birthday!

Upcoming School Events

  • Jan 16 – Martin Luther King Day- No School
  • Jan 20 – 1st Grade Parent Party and Parent Coffee Hour
  • Jan 26 – 4th Grade Parent Party
  • Feb 2 – 2nd Grade Parent Party
  • Feb 9 – Kindergarten Parent Party
  • Feb 16 – 3rd Grade Parent Party
  • Feb 20- President’s Day- No School
  • Feb 21-23 – Used Book Sale
  • Feb 24-March 8 – Read-a-Thon
  • March 4 – Spring Auction
  • March 10-Half day of School-3rd Quarter Ends
  • March 13-17 – Spring Break – No School
  • March 23 – Math Night
  • April 6 & 7 – Spring Holiday- No School
  • April 21 – Tiger Tennis Social
  • May 1-5 – Teacher Appreciation Week
  • May 5 – Cinco de Mayo & Field Day (*May 9 Rain Date*)
  • May 7 – Incoming Kindergartener Popsicle Party
  • May 12 – Spring Picnic
  • May 19 – Spring Sing


Spring Field Trips

  • Feb 7 – Kindergarten @ Nashville Children’s Theater
  • Feb 21 – 1st Grade @ TPAC
  • Feb 24 – 2nd Grade @ TPAC
  • April 12 – 1st Grade (Acker / Wall) @ Warner Park
  • April 12 – 1st Grade (Brumleve / Faison / Hartsock) @ Warner Park
  • May 11 – 2nd Grade @ Nashville Children’s Theater

General Announcements

Parent Coffee Hour in the Cafe – Jan. 20 

Bring your travel mug of coffee to the morning drop-off line and stay to mingle with other Percy Priest parents on Friday, Jan 20. We’ll be in the Cafe from 8:00-9:00. Join us for all of part of the hour!

After School Clubs for 2023!

After school clubs are back, thanks to the hard work of our teachers who put every detail of these together! Scroll down for details and registration forms. Stay tuned for more to come as well!

  • Builders Club –The Builders Club is for K-2nd grade students and is filled with problem solving, imagination, self-expression, math skills, spatial sense and motor abilities, creativity, and social and emotional growth. There are a few spaces left in the Tuesday and Thursday Builders Club. If your child would like to join, please contact laura.faison@mnps.or or terri.wall@mnps.orgClick Here For Details
  • Imagination Club – The Imagination Club will focus on a balance of stories and art. Sessions will have a fun combination of literature and hands-on activities with Mrs. Acker for 3rd-4th grades on Tuesdays and 1st-2nd grades on Wednesdays. Click Here For Details
  • SEL + STEAM Club (social & emotional learning +science, technology, engineering, art & math) – Develop & encourage independent learning, spark imagination, creativity, exploration, socialization & SO MUCH MORE on THursdays with Mrs. Lester and Mrs. Strobel! Click Here For Details
  • Wonderful Wednesdays – Enjoy stories, art, STEM activities, painting, loft, group games, building with Miss Benson and Mrs. Condra on Wednesdays.  Click Here for Details.  Click Here For Details


Spring Auction – March 4

A week closer to your trip back to the 90s and our big Spring Auction. Thanks to all who have already locked in their tickets – see below for great opportunities to support this fun spring fundraiser!

Top 4 reasons to buy tickets NOW to the Neon 90s Party and Auction:

  1. The clothes: subtle track suit or all-in neon? This theme allows plenty of throw-back options while keeping it comfy for dancing.
  2. The music: 90s cover band Fly2K will be there cranking out your favorite 90s jams (The Sign, Wonderwall, Don’t Speak, No scrubs…)
  3. The night: dinner and 2 drink tickets included to help fuel your neon experience
  4. The CAUSE! Ticket and auction item sales support our incredible school and children. It’s a big fundraiser for PPE!


Scan the code above or CLICK HERE to buy tickets. Any issues? Email Jenny (


Feel ready to support in other ways? Here’s how!

Support with sponsorship:

We’re looking for a few more sponsors for the big Neon 90s event. If your family or company can support us at the $500, $1,500, $3,000 or $5,000 level, we want to hear from you!

Email Jenny Alfrey ( or purchase a sponsorship online here. Your support is so appreciated!


Join the auction party committee:

Email Gillian Stewart if interested in joining this crew of fly homies (


Coordinate Grade Level Baskets:

Themed baskets are always HOT items and bring in big dollars at the silent auction (which helps our school), but we need help at each grade level to get those assembled. We are looking for 2 basket leads and a few other helping hands per grade. Sign up here to help out!


Host Grade Level Parties:

We need hosts for the ever-popular grade-level parties to auction off at our Neon 90s Party. So round up some friends and start planning those events for boys or girls at Percy Priest! Any and all party ideas welcome! Sign up here to help out.

Inside the Art Room

Learn more about what is going on in the PPE Art Room here with Dr. A!

Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest for Kids

Looking for free student art contests? Parents can enter their children in the Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest for Kids ages 4-15. Deadline to submit artwork submissions is Jan 31, 2023.  Students can win up to $750! Visit this website for more information.


Order your yearbook today! Order your PPE 2022-2023 yearbook ($25) here. Yearbooks will be delivered at the end of the school year.

Come Have Lunch!

Parents, grandparents and special friends are welcome to eat lunch with students! To help us with space and accommodating guests, we ask that visitors sign-up to come eat lunch using the bookings link below. Please be sure to select the correct grade level and teacher. When signing-up, we also ask that you only sign-up for one day at this time. Thank you for your help and we hope to see you for lunch soon. Sign up to come eat lunch with your student! Menus can be viewed on the Meal View App or here.

Green Tip from the PPE Green Team

You can reuse your lunch plastic bags! Just wash them with soap, turn them inside out, and wait for them to air dry. Ask your child to keep the used bags in their lunchbox to return home so they can be washed and reused.

Community Events

JT Moore Prospective Parent Open House

Raising Worry Free Kids – Jan. 18

JT Moore PTO is bringing two guest speakers to JT Moore next Wednesday, Jan .18. These two speakers from Daystar Counseling will be giving a seminar titled: Raising Worry Free Kids. This free event is open to all parents and caregivers, but it is mostly geared towards those with students in middle school.

Kids are growing up in a world of worry today. Anxiety, in fact, is a childhood epidemic, affecting 1 out of every 4 children. Kids of all ages feel pressure…from the expectations around them, inside of them, and even, unknowingly, from us. What can we do to slow the epidemic for kids, in general? And, even more importantly, what can you do to calm the worry-related meltdowns and help your child find the confidence to fight his or her own brand of Worry Monster? You will learn the answers by attending on January 18th at 6:30pm in the JT Moore auditorium.

Children need understanding, help, and hope. You can make a profound difference in their journey to finding all three. You will come out of this seminar feeling not only more confident in your parenting, but in your ability to help them discover all of the courage that is already inside of them.

If you are in need of childcare, please sign up for free childcare here: childcare-raising-worry-free- kids-talk-tickets-487391550247

The ALL-CITY Moms Thrive event is January 13, 9:30-11AM at West End Community Church.  author, speaker, and counselor, Chip Dodd will speak to us about Thriving Amidst Chaos and how feelings give us strength. The event is free but they ask you to register at this link. All PPE Moms are invited to attend this non-school-sponsored parenting talk. Mom’s Thrive is put on by fellow PPE moms who want to help develop community and encourage and equip moms with tools that lead to grace-filled parenting. Please note all speakers will be coming from a biblical worldview.

Mark your calendar and join us at these future PPE Mom’s thrive dates:

  • Thursday, February 23rd from 7-8:30pm
  • Thursday, March 23rd from 7-8:30pm
  • Thursday, April 20th from 7-8:30 pm

We Need Your Help!


The Percy Priest Workroom needs volunteers to help copy and sort Friday Folders. Please sign up here if you are able. This would be a big help to Cathy and Sonya in the Front Office.


At PPE, we have the wonderful opportunity to provide some small group tutoring for our students through the MNPS Accelerating Scholars program. We are looking for parent volunteers who can help out to lead those groups. The time commitment would be 30 minutes each Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Plans and materials will be provided.

Please e-mail Grace Akbari at if you’d be interested in helping with a group this spring!


The cafeteria is in need of clorox wipes to help keep it clean during lunchtime. If you are able to donate any, please send it with your child.

Other Ways to Volunteer:

We need your help to make this spring the best yet at Percy Priest! Dedicated and engaged parents are a key ingredient to making our school the great school that it is. There are big and small volunteer opportunities throughout the year. Please check out our volunteer form and let us know what things interest you. We’ll be in touch with more information.


If you have questions of any kind, please contact us at Thank you!

Small Fundraisers Spotlight

For a list of all of our ongoing small fundraisers, please visit our Small Fundraisers webpage.

Kroger will donate 4% of the total dollars spent in their stores to PPE. To participate, click on this link, create or login to your account and select Percy Priest Elementary PTO as your Community Rewards Organization.

Third Grade Retention Board Communications

First, a message MNPS Board Chair Rachael Anne Elrod on Friday, Dec 9:

Today, MNPS 3rd grade families will receive a letter from the district about TN’s 3rd grade retention law that goes into effect this year. These letters are provided in the spirit of overcommunication & ensuring families know of the potential impact TCAP will have this year.

Letters include info about the law, the requirements, & your student(s) benchmark performance this past fall. You’ll likely have questions. Districts are still waiting for additional info from the state, but we’re collecting questions so we can be thorough in our follow up.

Here is what we know now:  TN has intentionally difficult academic & testing standards. Nearly 65% of students across TN would have been required to be retained or participate in summer intervention programs, if the law was in effect last year.

The retention law and rules are complex with exceptions to who is required to be retained or receive interventions. The TDOE (Tennessee Department of Education) has a FAQ that answers more of those specific questions.

MNPS launched our summer learning program, Promising Scholars, the summer of 2021. It’s a free, four-week program that was created in anticipation of this law going into effect. We are continuing Promising Scholars this summer and it will be held June 1-30.

Registration will open in late January. TCAP testing is not till April with results not often communicated till July or August, so we encourage all parents that believe their child may test as “approaching” or “below” to plan on registering and attending

The MNPS Board of Education has been & will continue to work w/ other boards across the state in response to this law. It is exceptionally unpopular & we will have a resolution in response to it during our January 10th meeting

Our goal is to make this info & process as clear as possible to families. I do not suggest you tell your student yet. It will not serve them to stress about TCAP this far in advance – let us do that for them as the adults.

Our teachers will continue to prepare them, but remember that this process & info is new for them too. I greatly appreciate the care that our principals and staff have put into how to best communicate all of this with their families and communities.


Then, MNPS School Board passed on Tuesday, January 10 a resolution relative to 3rd grade retention. In summary it states: 

The current provisions contained within TCA 49-6-3115 grant the State Board of Education the ability to communicate rules and make the final determination on whether third and fourth-grade students will be promoted to their next grade levels based on TCAP ELA performance results.  Delegating this authority over student retention to the State Board of Education undermines the authority of Local Education Agencies (LEAs).  The decision to retain or promote any student to the next grade level may most appropriately and accurately be made by a local body with ready access to consultation with teachers and staff that regularly interact with the student and have complex and meaningful understanding of his/her/their unique abilities and needs.  

You can view the full resolution here and the link to Chair Elrod’s Twitter ( feed on the law broadly.


Lastly, as a reminder, you can contact our School Board Representative, Erin Block, about this issue or any others you’d like to discuss as follows:


Erin Block’s Office Hours

Where: Community Room, Green Hills Library

When: Tuesday, January 17 – 5:30-7:00 pm

(February – May dates TBD)

What: Anyone with questions or concerns is free to come join Erin in person, or if you can’t make it in person, email Erin – – to set up another time to talk



How to Stay Connected

Add PPE happenings to your calendar automatically!

You can subscribe to our PTO calendar and have all of our events show up on your calendar, so you never lose track of important dates! Following the links below will prompt you to subscribe to the calendar via your preferred calendar app. Any time the PTO updates an event through the website, it will update on the calendar of all subscribers (how often your calendar pulls updated info will be based on your individual personal settings – every 5 minutes, 1 hour, 1 week, etc).

For Calendar Apps (apple calendar etc), go to: webcal://

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