Dear Matador Families,
Happy Labor Day! I hope that you and your loved ones have a wonderful day enjoying the beautiful weather. Labor Day is a Federal holiday passed by Congress in 1894 that celebrates the social and economic achievements of American workers. Congress mandated that the first Monday in September would be known and celebrated as Labor Day. The official Labor Day holiday is 126 years old today!
I wanted to thank the dozen individuals who reached out last week when I emailed about a JTM mom in need of work after losing her job due to the Coronavirus shutdown. I am pleased to say that she has a wonderful new job and that she sends her gratitude to the JT Moore family for their kindness and care. Sometimes schools and the communities within schools do much more than educate children. I am proud to be part of such a school.
For students in Spanish I, II, and related arts Spanish, Mr. Bryant is on medical leave at this time. We hope that he will be cleared to return after fall break. However, you have probably noticed that the Florida Virtual School Spanish curriculum and assignments have been loaded into your class folders. I have been asked by several about where to begin. Start at the beginning, not week three. Work diligently each day on those assignments and lessons so that by the end of the semester in December, you will have completed the entirety of the material for the first half of the school year. This week, you should be on week 2 of the material after spending last week on week 1.
By this point in the school year, we would typically be well into our Invest in Your Child campaign. Unfortunately, the best laid plans are sometimes interrupted by…a Pandemic. We have been preparing for months for students who plan to return to the school for in-person instruction when we are given the green light to do so. This has meant investing a significant amount of money from our PTO to purchase automated temperature scanning machines, signage, automated hand sanitizing stations, cleaning and disinfecting supplies, masks, and other items. We have hired additional personnel to station at the bus loop entrances and the front lobby entrance in order to check each person in each day and to screen those individuals. We have purchased $22,000 worth of individual desks for classrooms that had tables in them that were not able to be organized in ways to ensure social distancing in the classroom. We have a great need to create outdoor learning spaces around the campus so that students can have classes outside when weather permits in order to get some fresh air and to allow students some movement that will be significantly reduced within the building. In addition, it is my hope that we raise enough funds to design and build a “Hobbit Reading House”, including a roof structure over the remaining 20 foot tall, 215 year old tree stump that remains after the tree was toppled several months ago in the storm, so that children, teachers, parents, and neighbors can gather underneath to read, picnic, and spend time together with friends while practicing social distancing.
Last year, our Invest in Your Child campaign raised over $140,000 that helped purchase materials for classrooms, clubs, drama, and sports programs. Your donations funded the purchase of thousands of novels for school-wide literacy initiative, READ MOORE! The generosity of our parents, grandparents, and neighbors also funded 25% of Mrs. Penny Howard’s salary as part of her full-time counseling and social work with our most at-risk students. We need your help again this year. We will go back to school in person at some point, and our needs, although somewhat different, cannot be met without your help.
It is hard for me to ask for donations at a time when virtual learning is in place, when technical issues have plagued us at times, when many are without incomes due to the losses of jobs due to Coronavirus, and when societal unrest is playing out on our television screens each night. Regardless, we must forge ahead and adjust as our mission to provide our students with a quality education in a safe and nurturing environment that fosters the academic, social, emotional, and physical growth of each child remains. Covid-19 did not and will not change our mission. It has, however, caused us to adjust how we accomplish these goals. Covid-19 is not the end of JT Moore Middle School.
Please consider making your tax-deductible donation today by sending your check or money order today to the following address:
JT Moore PTO Invest Campaign, 4425 Granny White Pike, Nashville, Tennessee 37204
Or if you prefer, please click this link to make your donation via credit/debit card or the second link to make your pledge for the year.
We need you more now than ever.
Dr. Gary D. Hughes, Executive Principal, JT Moore Middle School