News

7th Grade Spanish

Students in Spanish are learning about weather words. This week the class participated in “Writing Around the Room”. Each student started with a different weather statement and a picture at the bottom that led them to a corresponding Spanish statement with a picture at the bottom that led them to a corresponding Spanish statement (and so on). At the end of the exercise, students were able to identify and write 9 weather statements. 

8th Grade Bill of Rights

Our 8th grade students are learning about moving from a Confederation to a Constitution in American History. Students were given the opportunity to work together in a group to create their own Bill of Rights for their own country. Students were encouraged to consider the “good of all” when creating their rights. The students presented their Bill of Rights to the class and the class was able to vote on whether or not their rights should be ratified. Some of the rights the students presented were a non-uniform policy, free healthcare, and food/shelter for people whose annual income is less than a certain amount.   

7th Grade Math 

Our 7th grade math students enjoyed the nice weather earlier this week by going outside and practicing their math skills with lines and angles. Students were able to move their feet to identify types of angles as well as describe their angles to others. It was a great way to reinforce skills before their unit test and a great opportunity to use some of their energy in a positive way! 

5th Grade Preview Day

Today, we welcomed our 5th grade students to Middle School. Prior to today, our 6th grade students wrote letters to their 5th grade buddies. After sharing them yesterday, our students were able to spend some time together building community as well as learn more about Middle School culture and expectations. The 5th graders were even able to enjoy break! Our 8th grade Student Council leaders Angelo Khattar (President), Grace Vego (Co-Vice-President), Zoe Meredith (Co-Vice-President), Ryleigh Kate Hampton (Treasurer), and Lauren Pickett (Chaplain) answered questions from the students including “What are some extracurricular activities in middle school?” “How do you keep up with assignments? Is homework hard? How much homework do you have? What are exams like?” and “What’s the hardest thing about middle school? Is it a big change from elementary? How can I be prepared?” We are looking forward to our rising 6th graders moving up to middle school soon! 

Looking Ahead

  • Friday, March 1 - Middle School Dance 6:30-9:30 in the PAC

  • Tuesday, March 5 - Read Across America Day - Kona Ice Truck During Break/Homeroom (Pre-Orders due Monday, March 4)

  • Wednesday, March 6 - 8th Grade Field Trip - P2P Career Expo

  • Thursday, March 7 - Charity of Choice Dress Down Day - Bring $2

  • Friday, March 8 - ½ Day Dismissal at 11:30 & End of Quarter 3

  • March 11-15 - Spring Break

  • Tuesday, March 19 - Spring Sports Pictures

  • Friday, March 22 - Spring Pictures

  • Friday, April 5 - Color Run @1:30 

Last Friday I was able to visit with Mrs. Julia Stevens and one of her freshman English classes as they read the final act of Romeo & Juliet. Various students read as different characters from the final act of one of William Shakespear’s most famous tragedies. After they had completed their reading, Mrs. Stevens organized a friendly game of trash-ketball as a way to review and recall key moments from the play. It was pretty close, and very intense at times, but at the end the House of Montague was victorious over the House of Capulet! Good work students, and well done to Mrs. Stevens for such an engaging experience with a great literary classic!

Saturday evening, the junior class hosted the annual Oscar Night event for the senior class. The students were all dapper and glamorous, as they presented and received senior superlative recognitions. It was a great night, filled with fun and fellowship. I would like to thank the junior class sponsors, Mrs. Lynn Park, Mrs. Alexi Pinner, and Ms. Jenny Vego for their guidance and support for the students hosting the event. I would also like to thank the students for their hard work in planning and hosting such a great event. Finally, I would like to express my thanks and appreciation for the junior class parents who volunteered their time to plan, purchase, set up, and tear down this special event. 

Monday, students from our current 8th grade class joined Mrs. Lara English, Mrs. Suzanne Davidson, and myself for a glimpse into what lies ahead for them in high school! Also joining us for the preview meeting was a panel of current high school students, ready to answer questions for the upcoming freshmen students. We talked about class schedules, course offerings, grading, GPA calculation, and honors placement. Ms. Suzanne Davidson shared a demonstration with students for the new subscription for College Planning & Applications that is being offered to TRA upper school students, called SCOIR. This will be a wonderful resource for our students and families! 

Later that same evening, our trio met with parents of the current 8th grade students to discuss some of those same topics. Parents also received a demonstration of SCOIR. We were so pleased with the turnout for the meeting. It was very well attended, and we had the opportunity to answer some really great questions for the group! If you have a student entering 9th grade in TRA’s upper school next year, but were unable to attend the meeting and have questions, please contact the upper school office and let us know. We would be happy to help answer any questions you may have, and we are so excited to welcome these rising freshmen in the upcoming school year!

I want to extend a special thanks to our panel participants. Juniors, Elizabeth English, Owen Peterson, and Allie Willis along with freshmen, Colin Corbitt, Brennan Patel, and Zadie Reburn all did a fabulous job preparing for and answering questions for our 8th grade students. I am so proud of how they presented themselves and how they represented our division and school in such an important role!

Senior class members of Art Club will be attending a class at Dolce Amada with their club sponsor Mrs. Kim Maxwell,  in Covington on Friday of this week. Their class will be learning techniques in baking and decorating. What a fun opportunity to learn about a unique genre of art from a local business! TRA is extremely fortunate and blessed to have such a strong network of community businesses and leaders who are willing to share these types of experiences with our students. We are very grateful for those partnerships.

Students in Mrs. Alexi Pinner’s Spanish II classes will be attending the Hispanic Flamenco Ballet’s performance of their Hispania American Show at the University of Memphis on Monday. This performance showcases music and dance from a multitude of Hispanic countries. Students will also have the opportunity to learn some dance moves and participate in an interactive segment following the show. We cannot wait to hear all about this great experience for our students!

Next Tuesday, March 5th, Kona Ice will be on campus in celebration of Read Across America week! They have generously offered to donate a book series to our school library, as well as a portion of their sales from Tuesday, back to the library! Upper school students will have the opportunity to purchase a sweet treat from the Kona Ice truck between 9:30 and 10:40 that morning. If your child would like to purchase, please be sure and send cash with them Tuesday morning. The available flavors and prices are listed on the flier. Thank you to Kona Ice for their generosity toward our wonderful students and their school!
 

Head of School Review 2/29/24

We hope this message finds you well and enjoying the week. We are thrilled to announce the opening of nominations for the Bobby and Jo Baker Excellence in Teaching Awards on March 1st!

The Bobby and Jo Baker Excellence in Teaching Awards aim to recognize and celebrate the exceptional contributions of our dedicated educators who go above and beyond to inspire and empower our students. This is an excellent opportunity for you, as parents, to acknowledge the teachers who have made a significant impact on your child's education and personal development.

Nominations can be submitted starting March 1st through our online platform HERE. We encourage you to take a moment to reflect on the outstanding educators who have demonstrated excellence in teaching, fostering creativity, and cultivating a positive learning environment.

Here are some key details about the nomination process:

Nomination Period: March 1st - March 28th

How to Nominate: Click HERE and follow the simple steps to submit your nomination.

Categories: We welcome nominations for teachers at all levels, from Pre-kindergarten to high school.

Criteria: 

  • Nominees regularly and extensively incorporate activities that meaningfully engage learners in their courses.

  • Nominees indicate their recognition that students learn differently and that students play an important role in the learning beyond the role of passive listener.

  • Nominees communicate excitement and enthusiasm for teaching and student learning in their philosophy and course materials and through the testimonials of students in their letters of support.

  • Nominees link what they do in their courses with what they expect of students. This is reflected by consistency between their teaching philosophy, student learning expectations, course objectives, coursework (e.g. in-class activities, assignments, exams), and grading practices.

  • Nominees exhibit strong pedagogical and instructional practices and are lifelong learners.

Your participation in the nomination process plays a crucial role in highlighting the remarkable efforts of our educators. Let's come together as a community to celebrate their dedication and passion for shaping the future of our children.

The awards will be presented during a special ceremony in May, where the selected teachers will be honored for their outstanding contributions.

Thank you for your ongoing support and involvement in your child's education. We look forward to receiving your nominations and recognizing the incredible teachers who make a difference in our students' lives.

Best Regards,

Dr. Andy Graham
 

Happy Leap Day! Our boys and girls had fun today discussing Leap Day and how it only happens once every four years. Our kindergarten students played a fun game of leap frog to celebrate! 

Mrs. Sara White led our chapel this week and had a wonderful lesson on being mindful that whatever we put into our body and our mind is what comes out. We should choose healthy food, good music, movies, and video games. We also need to choose good friends who are good influences for us. Our PreK-4 led our music and did an awesome job! 

Our first visit from our baseball/softball buddies was this week during our late start time. Our boys and girls love having the upper school students visit our classrooms. They loved getting to know the players and played fun games and listened to good books. We can’t wait for next week’s visit. Please have your student here by 8:00 for this special time next Wednesday, if you’d like them to participate.  

Mrs. Emily’s PreK-4 class is learning about the letter “G”. They used glitter and glue with their baseball/softball buddies to make sensory bottles. This is one of the many fun activities that Mrs. Emily learned while attending the TAIS conference this year! 

Next week is a BIG week on campus! We have our Book Fair all next week in the library. It is a wonderful opportunity for your student to get some great books for home! We will also have a gorgeous art display in our elementary foyer. Our art show will be available for viewing next week in the elementary foyer, and we will have a special parent viewing on Thursday night from 6:00-7:30. 

We are preparing for our Grandparents’ Day program and cannot wait to see our “grands” on campus next Friday! Please see the details for the day below.

 

Thursday, March 7 

  • Parent Preview in the gym
  • 3k-5k 9:30 
  • Grades 1-5 12:15 
  • Our space is limited for lunchtime visitors. Please do not plan to eat lunch here on this parent preview day. Thank you for understanding! 

Friday, March 8

Grandparents’ Day 

This day is for grandparents only, due to limited seating and space. 

2k

  • 10:30-10:50 Classroom Visits
  • 11:00 Program in the PAC.  2k will dismiss from the PAC following the program

3k, 4k, 5k 

  • 8:15-8:45 Program in the Gym
  • 9:00-9:30 Classroom visits 

1st-5th

  • 9:45-10:15 Program in the Gym
  • 10:30-11:00 Classroom visits 

Students will remain in their classrooms during siblings’ programs. We do not have space or seating for them to sit with you during the other programs. Thanks for understanding. Dismissal is at 11:30, and there is NO TREC this day. 

Our fifth graders had a fun “Leap into 6th Grade” day today. They loved visiting middle school classrooms and meeting the teachers. They had fun and cannot wait to transition to 6th grade! 

Our third graders in Mrs. Barron’s class are enjoying learning about the United States. They enjoy playing Blooket to review facts on the states learned! We love making learning fun! 


 

This Saturday, February 24th is the long-awaited Oscar Night event for the senior students, hosted by the junior students. I know that our juniors, with the guidance and support of their class sponsors, have been working hard to prepare for this event. I know that the junior parents have been planning and preparing along with them, and we are grateful for their willingness to volunteer their time and energy to help make this a successful event for our students.


After completing Act 4 of Romeo & Juliet, Ms. Julia Stevens' freshman English students continued their Montague vs. Capulet challenge series by playing review Bingo on Valentine’s Day! What a fun way to incorporate a study of one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies into a fun review that is also relevant for recognizing Valentine’s Day. Great work, Ms. Stevens along with her Shakespearean scholars!

Congratulations to sophomore Kingston Words for being named All District for the basketball season, and to junior Dillon Butler for being named Honorable Mention All District for the basketball season!

This week I had the opportunity to visit Coach Stevenson’s senior Chemistry II class. They were beginning a new unit of study over Thermochemistry. During the lesson Coach Stevenson directed a live demonstration of the behavior of atoms and molecules in different states of matter. There were several things I enjoyed about my time visiting with this class, but I particularly appreciated how a scientific concept was presented to students in various modes of instruction aimed at students who may be visual, auditory or kinesthetic learners. I’m certain that students will remember this portion of the lesson because of the manner in which it was presented. Our school is full of educators who prioritize making learning meaningful for students, and for that I feel extremely blessed, both as a parent of students and as a member of our faculty.

Congratulations to senior, Emily Ross, for being selected by TRA staff as the February Student of the Month for the South Tipton County Chamber of Commerce Student of the Month program, sponsored by Patriot Bank. Emily is the daughter of Russell and Korin Ross of Atoka. She is an honor roll student and a member of TRA’s ACT 30+ Club. Emily is a member of Mu Alpha Theta, Student Council, Art Club, and Science Club. She serves as a student ambassador for TRA as well. Emily is also co-captain of the varsity cheer team and played varsity soccer for her senior year. Emily’s senior project group worked around the school campus and community completing numerous projects, including a multi-purpose sandpit. Her favorite memory from TRA is being on the homecoming court with her best friends. Emily plans to attend Mississippi State University to major in sonography or elementary education. Congratulations, Emily, we are so proud of you and cannot wait to see what your future holds!

Don’t forget about the upcoming College Tour opportunities! Dates and schools are listed below on the graphic. Contact Suzanne Davidson for more information!

REMINDER: Coming up on Monday, February 26th, the current 8th grade students will be having a “9th Grade Preview Day.” Students currently in 8th grade will meet with administrators, counselors, teachers and some current high school students to talk about all things high school! Then, later that night, we will host a Parent Preview Night for parents of current 8th grade students to provide information about high school and answer their questions as well. 

Upcoming Events & Reminders:

  • Saturday, February 24th - RESCHEDULED Oscar Night for Juniors & Seniors

  • Monday, March 11th-Friday, March 15th - Spring Break

  • ACT Prep Workshop Series with Josh Gardner:

    • Saturday, March 23rd, 9:00-11:30

    • Saturday, March 30th, 9:00-11:30

    • Saturday, April 6th, 9:00-11:30

  • Thursday, March 28th - Junior/Senior Prom

  • Friday, March 29th - Good Friday - NO SCHOOL

  • Tuesday, April 9th - ACT Testing Date for 10th & 11th grade students