September Newsletter

 Dr. Connie Cottongim, Principal                                                                                                              Tanya Morgan, Assistant Principal

Learners Today.  Leaders Tomorrow.

Principal News

“Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.”-Sally Koch

 Welcome to the 2015-2016 academic year! We hope that this summer was filled with sun, fun, and fond memories for you and your children. Our staff has been busy this summer as well, enjoying some much needed rest and relaxation, but also attending math academies, Common Core ELA and technology trainings, and grade-level planning days. We are recharged and ready to provide your students with an exceptional educational experience this year!

 I would like to introduce our new Assistant Principal Mrs. Tanya Morgan. She has been a teacher in Sevier County for 22 years. During this time she has taught math at Wearwood, Pigeon Forge Middle and Pigeon Forge High School.  While at the high school she also served as their Data Coach for the past four years. Mrs. Morgan has been married to her husband, Breckenridge, for almost 17 years. They have two children Tavin and Jackson who have both attended PFP.  She looks forward to working with you and your children.


We have some exciting events in store for our students and their families, and hope that you will join us for our Fall Festival on September 29th.  We will also be having Parent/Teacher Conferences on

September 10th.


At Pigeon Forge Primary, we place a great deal of emphasis on educating the whole child. We value a challenging and rigorous academic program, in addition to personal wellness and character education. We teach our students “Character Counts,” which entails a pillar of character each month, starting with responsibility this month. We strive to model and reinforce this behavior through activities and interactions both inside the classroom and out in the community. We encourage you to help your children to set goals that will assist them to reach their own personal best.

 --Dr. Cottongim—


Other new staff members are:

 Nancy Lee – Kindergarten teacher

Mary Jones - ELL teacher

Sara Kos and Tami Barnes –Intervention Teachers

Tabitha Gibson, Kim Kizer, Kayla Peterman, and Ariel Carver- RTI assistants

Jill Stiles and Georgia Ellis   - SPED assistants

Welcome to each of you!

September Events

 4th           No School

7th           No School – Labor Day

9th           Grandparents Lunch

                3rd grade

10th         “What’s Popping in 2nd Grade”

                2nd grade event

10th         3:30-6:30 Parent/Teacher Conferences

11th         School dismisses at 2:00

18th         School dismisses at 2:00

25th         1st six weeks end

29th         Fall Festival


Oct. 1st  Fall Pictures

Thank You

A few thank yous to those who helped make our Welcome Back breakfasts possible:

 Thank you to the First United Methodist Church Pigeon Forge for starting the staff’s year off with a terrific breakfast on Thursday morning.  The notes were a great way to begin our work for the year.

 Thank you to Mrs. Evelyn and her crew for making the biscuits and fixings for Friday’s breakfast. Also, to Mrs. Newsome and Walden Creek Jellies for the delicious jellies and apple butter, and Mrs. Bradford and the Doughnut Friar for the donuts (and Dr. Clabo for picking them up).

 Pre-School News

Welcome back to school. The Preschool Class has been learning new rules, exploring a new building, and making new friends. We have already had two birthdays this month, Tristan and Thomas. The children have enjoyed books about emotions and families. We have already learned the first letter of everyone’s name and the sound that it makes. The children have learned two Nursery Rhymes: Humpty Dumpty and Little Miss Muffet. They take turns pointing to the words as the group says the rhyme together. I am so pleased that the children are playing together on the playground and during free play time. Everyone is already a very good friend. This is going to be a great school year!

 Pre-K News

Pre-Kindergarten is off to a great start and we are so happy to see that the children are transitioning so well to school! In September, we will continue to get to know each other better and focus on learning our school rules and routines. Be sure to check your child’s folder every night so you are aware of and can reinforce what we are doing in the classroom to help your child be successful. Please remember that it is very important that your child be in the classroom by 9:05 and stay until 3:00 every day that he or she is not ill. Also, please reinforce self-help skills at home by encouraging your child to dress and undress themselves, handle all eating independently and clean up after themselves. Your child should be walking into the classroom and carrying their own backpack every morning as we encourage their maturity and independence at school. It’s going to be a great year!

 Kindergarten News

Welcome to Kindergarten! We are so excited to have all of the children ready to start school, and we can tell that the children are excited to be here. Please make sure to have your child here by 8am every morning. In reading, we will be introducing all of the letters in the alphabet. Please help by going over the letters and the sounds at home as well. We will also be learning to write our first names. In Math, we will be going over numbers 0-5. Have your child show you how well they count and write these numbers. We cannot wait to see how fast your child will grow!

 Jr. Primary News

Junior Primary is off to a SUPER start. We are reading and getting stronger with our letter sounds.  We are showing responsibility by doing our best work. Your child needs to practice counting to 100 and reading and writing their September words. We test at the end of each month.  Use your number chart to play games with recognizing numbers to 100.  Looking forward to a wonderful year.

 First Grade News

Today is an opportunity to get better.

Don’t waste it….

Welcome back first graders! We hope both our students and parents are excited to begin a new school year at PFP! This is a really big year for your child and we appreciate all of your support. We will be working on reviewing important kindergarten skills these first few weeks as well as beginning our first story and spelling words. It is very important that you check and sign your child’s planner each night. Just a reminder too that school attendance and punctuality is extremely important.  It is very difficult to make up the skills that are missed.  Thanks for reading with your child every night and completing homework assignments if needed.  Let’s take this opportunity and work together to make year successful!!

Multi-Age News

We are having a great start to our new year in Multi-age.  School attendance is EXTREMELY important.  Your child needs to be at school every day, on time, and stay all day.  We hope you are enjoying spending time each night listening to your child read to you from his/her reading book.  Please take good care of your reading book and read them every night! Remember to check your child's folder each night for important information and remove all papers in the pockets.  We are looking forward to a wonderful school year!

 Second Grade News

Wow! What a start to an exciting second grade school year. We are so happy to welcome our new second graders. To start off on the right step in second grade here are a few helpful hints. First, please make sure you are signing your child’s planners every night. This is where you will find homework assignments, important notes, and other important dates. If you need to write your child’s teacher a note please write it in the planner.

 Secondly, it is so very important for our students to succeed that they must read every night. This is great practice for them and you can help by asking questions related to the story. Make sure you are reviewing those spelling words too. You may find a Reading Focus Wall in your child’s folder, this focus wall includes vocabulary words, spelling words, and other reading skills for the week. This is a great tool to use to study.

 We have a new math series named Eureka Math. This program is designed to help students achieve fluency skills and dig deeper into the world of mathematics. Please take time help your child with math each night. If you have any questions or concerns please contact your child’s teacher.

 Don’t Be Tardy For The Learning Party! Every day is an important day at school. You do not want to miss anything during the day so please be on time and avoid early checkouts if possible. Make sure you eat breakfast.

 Second grade teachers are asking parent to have their children wear sneakers every day, NO FLIP FLOPS! We do not want students to trip in the hallway or playground over a broken flip flop.

 Third Grade News

We are off to a great start this year!  Third grade would like to introduce ourselves to you. 

Pod 1 – Robbie Beckner and Kelly McCarter

Pod 2 – Brittney Carr, Michelle Ellis, and Sharon Coker

Pod 3 – Amy Walker, Kellye Lethco, and Whitney Dyer

 We are looking forward to the Grandparents Lunch on September 9th.  Invitations will be sent home soon.  Please read and sign your child’s planner every night when homework is completed.  Make sure the homework is done and back in their notebook. 

 Reminder, it is very important for your child to be at school every day.  We are looking to having an awesome year with your help. 

 Beginning Tuesday, September 8th, ALL third grade car riders will load in the front of the building (unless they have a younger sibling who loads in the back).

 Fourth Grade News

Fourth grade is off to an exciting and busy start!   We enjoyed meeting all the parents who were able to attend “Meet the Teacher Night.” Please remember to read and sign your child’s planner every night.  This is very important in keeping lines of communication open between parents and teachers.  Students should be reading in their AR book every night.  They should also study their multiplication facts.  Fourth graders should be fluent in multiplication facts up to the twelves. 

 We will be ordering class T-shirts soon.   If you are a business owner and would like to sponsor your child’s class, please contact the teacher for more information.

 Mrs. Ball’s Class

Our class has had a wonderful start to the new school year.  We are getting to know our new routines and expectations.  We are getting reacquainted with our old and some new friends.

 Here are some of the things we are working on.  In reading, some students are learning letter sounds through Zoophonics, meeting characters and words that begin with each letter.  Others are reviewing short vowel words and learning the long vowel rules.  We are all working on number identification and counting sets in math.  Our unit in science is about plants and animals.  We are learning about their needs and how they are the same and different.  In Social Studies the class is learning about rural and urban.  We are discussing the things such as farm animals that are found in the country.  Later we will learn about what kinds of things we find in the city.

 I’d like to thank all the parents who have sent in all the needed paper work as well as materials.  We want to stress the importance of being here at school each day.  As you can see, we are learning new things every day.  It is so much harder when students are absent.  (Of course if anyone is ill they should stay home though.)  Also, a reminder to parents, please sign your child’s planner every day.  Thanks for all your support in these things!

 Mr. Moore’s Class

I have enjoyed getting to know all the new students and seeing the returning ones! We have already been busy at learning the letter names and sounds, reviewing shapes and numbers 1-10. This month we will focus on letters “a”-“j” and learning more sight words. I will be sending home a list of words to practice with your student. In math we will review colors and ordering and counting sets 1-10. On September 9th we have been invited to the Sevier County Fair to explore the animals and other exhibits. They are providing lunch for everyone. As it turns to fall we will begin to talk about the seasons and all that fall brings.

 We can always use paper towels and disinfectant wipes.

 Art News

Our Pigeon Forge Artists have made a great start back to school. We’ve been drawing weather pictures for the Mountain Press. Last spring we turned in a LOT of our PFP weather pictures and all summer the Mountain Press put TONS of OUR drawings in the paper! It makes me soooo proud of our students!

Our next focus will be with our contribution to International Dot Day (September 15). These lessons are inspired by the book, “The Dot” by Peter Reynolds. In this book, the author encourages Artists of all ages to “just make a mark and see where it takes you”. I am looking forward to doing these lessons this year for the first time! They are going to be FUN!!

 Music News

This month in Music kindergarten and first grades are studying voices and sounds through body percussion and the book Listen to the Rain. Second grade will begin a unit on tempo by studying the folktale "The Tortoise and the Hare." The third graders have already begun work on their program in October. Fourth grade will begin a study on "The Star Spangled Banner."

 PE News

Hello and “Welcome Back” from the Physical Education Department. We hope you and your families have had a great summer, and like us, anticipating another outstanding school year.

The goal of our Physical Education program is to promote a positive learning experience, maximizing student participation in all activities, and creating an environment for each child to have the opportunity to be successful. Our program focuses on fostering a safe and supportive environment where personal development, and fitness awareness and healthy interaction with others are emphasized during all lessons. 

When your child is scheduled to have P.E., he/she is required to wear a comfortable, supportive athletic shoe. Sandals and Crocs are not permitted. Please note that many shoes popular among the children currently, such as Vans, Converse and Uggs, do not provide proper ankle and arch support necessary for the activities children engage in on P.E. days. Also, it would be a good idea to remember to LABEL your children’s sweatshirts, sweaters, or jackets with their name. Several children leave jackets in the gym and forget about them. This will help us return them to the child.

If your child has been sent to school with a note to sit out of PE, in order for them not to miss out on the lesson, they will be required to come to P.E. providing they are physically able. They will be a helper, scorekeeper or equipment manager for that class.

By sharing some of our goals and philosophy with you, it is our hope that you will have a better understanding of what we are trying to accomplish as physical education professionals.

 Guidance News

This six weeks at Pigeon Forge Primary we are discussing Responsibility.  

What is Responsibility?

How do we show responsibility at home or school?

How do we show our friends that we are responsible?

Responsibility is a character counts value that help make up the Character Counts pledge. At Pigeon Forge Primary, we say this pledge every morning at announcements.  Here at school we implement six ethical values along with regular curriculum that everyone can implement at home or at school. Every six weeks we will be practicing a different character counts value.  I encourage parents, grandparents, and students to practice the value of responsibility at home too.  

 Library News

Welcome back to another terrific school year. I hope everyone had the opportunity to read at least a few books over the summer. In the library we are going to be reading a lot of books and learning new things about the importance of reading on a regular basis. Please help your students remember to always return their library books on time. We are going to have a 4-day book fair on Sept. 8-11. The book fair will be open during school hours and during any after school activities.