Caring, Sharing, Learning for Life!
SCHOOL – PARENT COMPACT
New Market Elementary School and the parents of the students participating in activities, services, and programs funded by Title 1, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) (participating children), agree that this compact outlines how the parents, the entire school staff, and the students will share the responsibility for improved student academic achievement and the means by which the school and parents will build and develop a partnership that will help children achieve the State’s high standards.
This school-parent compact is in effect during each school year.
New Market Elementary School will:
- Provide high-quality curriculum and instruction in a supportive and effective learning environment that enables the participating children to meet the State’s student academic achievement standards as follows:
The teachers at New Market Elementary School will use A Blueprint for Learning: A Teacher’s Guide to the Tennessee Curriculum to guide their instruction in reading/language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. Teachers will also utilize Terra Nova (TCAP) testing date to identify specific areas of strength and weakness in all subject areas. Doing so will allow teachers to better meet the individual needs of all their students. A copy of A Blueprint for learning: A Teacher’s Guide to the Tennessee Curriculum will be available to the parents in the New Market Elementary School library and in the front office.
- Hold parent-teacher conferences (at least annually in elementary schools) during which this compact will be discussed as it relates to the individual child’s achievement.
Specifically, those conferences will be held:
Parent-teacher conferences will be held in the Fall and Spring. Parents who are unable to attend conferences on the dates scheduled may set up an alternate date and time with their child’s teacher.
- Provide parents with frequent reports on their children’s progress.
Specifically, the school will provide reports as follows:
Report cards will be sent home to parents at the end of each nine weeks. In addition, progress reports will be sent home four weeks into each grading period. Parents are expected to sign the report card and send it back to school with the student. Parents may request a conference at any time during the school year by calling the front office or sending a note to the teacher. Teachers are available to meet by appointment during their planning time or after school.
- Provide parents reasonable access to staff.
Specifically, staff will be available for consultation with parents as follows:
Open House will be held on August 25th, 2015 from 6:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. This is a time for parents to meet with their child’s teacher and learn the grade level expectations. Parents may send notes to teachers or call the school office to leave a message for the teacher at any time. The office staff will promptly give phone messages to the teachers. The teachers will return calls as soon as possible.
- Provide parents opportunities to volunteer and participate in their child’s school, and to observe classroom activities, as follows:
Forms requesting parent volunteers will be sent home at the beginning of the school year. These forms allow volunteers to designate tasks they are willing to help with and days they are available. The completed forms are kept on file for the teachers to access when they are in need of volunteers. A Volunteer Handbook will be available to all school volunteers. This handbook will include a letter form the principal, volunteer guidelines, tips on tutoring, effective ways to work with children, suggested volunteer activities, and a confidentiality agreement that must be signed by all volunteers. In addition, the PTO requests volunteers through meetings and newsletters at various times throughout the year. In order to maintain order in the classroom, we do ask that parents work in a classroom other than the one in which their child is enrolled. Parents are invited to participate in class parties, field trips, book fairs, and field day, as well as other events that occur during the school year.
We, as parents, will support our children’s learning in the following ways:
- Monitoring attendance and tardiness.
- Making sure that homework is completed.
- Monitoring amount of television their children watch.
- Volunteering at my child’s school.
- Participating, as appropriate, in decisions relating to my children’s education.
- Promoting positive use of my child’s extracurricular time.
- Staying informed about my child’s education and communicating with the school by promptly reading all notices from the school or the school district either received by my child or by mail and responding, as appropriate.
- Serving, to the extent possible, on policy advisory groups, such as being the Title 1, Part A parent representative on the school’s School Improvement Team, the Title 1 Policy Advisory Committee, the District wide Policy Advisory Council, the State’s Committee of Practitioners, the School Support Team or other school advisory or policy groups.
OPTIONAL ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS
We, as students, will share the responsibility to improve our academic achievement and achieve the State’s high standards.
Specifically, we will:
- Do my homework every day and ask for help when I need to.
- Read at least 30 minutes every day outside of school time.
- Give to my parents or the adult who is responsible for my welfare all notices and information received by me from my school every day.
New Market Elementary School
Parent Involvement Plan
The Jefferson County Schools Family and Community Engagement Plan are based on the concept that families have a major influence on their children’s achievement in school and through life. As a result of this influence, positive results occur when schools, families, and community groups support learning. The New Market Elementary School Family and Community Engagement Plan support those beliefs and we invite and encourage parents and community members to participate in school events, support our students and faculty and to learn all they can in the process!
New Market Elementary School faculty and staff expect that families and community members are integral part of our school. Parents, family members and community members are welcome in our school and are encouraged to visit at any time. Classes are offered for parents as well as for faculty and staff in the Love & Logic curriculum, which is used throughout the school. Star Time is offered daily to each child and based upon the child’s needs, instruction is provided and individual progress monitored. Meetings are held with parents when student progress is not what it should be and students need more intensive assistance. Parents are encouraged to contact their child’s teacher anytime by notes, E-mails, or they can call the school during the teacher’s planning period. Teachers use student planners, class notebooks, and daily calendars to inform parents of students’ daily behavior and grades. The Pre-K teacher holds monthly parent involvement meetings.
Our Computer Lab is open to assist children and parents with help for school projects, research, and to work on Science Fair projects. All parents are invited to join and attend PTO meetings throughout the year and are encouraged to ask questions and present ideas or suggestions at those meetings. There are also many opportunities throughout the school year for parents to participate in school and PTO sponsored activities. Annual activities include school and PTO fundraisers, Christmas in Jefferson County collection of green beans, collections of Box Tops for Education, Campbell’s Soup Labels, Food City Receipts, and Nestle Water Labels, membership/support of the school’s Relay for Life Team, and contributions to the United Way. Our Principal routinely teaches students that they should always be willing to give back to their community, and uses these opportunities to set an example of how to do so.
Parents are kept informed of school activities through school wide newsletters, PTO newsletters, teachers’ classroom newsletters, the school district’s website, the school’s website, through a large outdoor sign at the school, and the Blackboard Connect Call System. New Market Elementary School’s website includes the district’s calendar, faculty emails, school events, and a lunch calendar for easy access. Parents are given an opportunity to look at curriculum for each grade level during Open House or via the web at any time. Assessments are explained through brochures, newsletters and at Open House, as well as during RTI, 504 and student-support team meetings. Annually, at the Open House meeting, the Principal explains the curriculum and assessments used in our school, the current school data, as well as the qualifications of our highly trained faculty and staff. Also, at the Open House Meeting, the Principal explains the school improvement plan, its process, findings, and action steps to achieve the goals that have been set. Parents are included on the School Improvement Plan Committee and their input is valued. The State Report Card is available on line and is published in the local newspaper. A copy of curriculum standards is available for view on-line, as well as in the school office and library at any time. A list of Math resources has been provided to parents and teachers. Parents of pre-kindergarten students are offered Parenting Education and Pre-k staff makes home visits upon student enrollment. Parenting
Classes are offered through the Family Resource Center. These classes have a developmental education focus and give parents suggestions for activities that can be done at home. In addition, parents who have their child screened at the Family Resource Center prior to entering kindergarten will receive quarterly newsletters with helpful parenting tips.
Families in need may sign up for the Second Harvest Food for Kids Program. Students are given enough food from the five basic food groups to take home on Fridays to insure they have something to eat over the weekend. New Market United Methodist Church, located adjacent to the school, has offered room for storage of the food, assist with the delivery to the site and bag the products for school distribution. East Tennessee Children’s Hospital provides staff for the “Healthy Kids Club” which meets with students twice per week. Nutrition lessons as well as physical activities are provided.
The school has a team in the Jefferson County Relay for Life event that raises money for the American Cancer Society. Parents, students, faculty, and staff are included on the team. The PTO sells t-shirts that are color-coordinated with students’ grade level. Parents and community members may purchase the shirts which sport the school logo and motto: “Caring, Sharing, and Learning for Life”. These shirts can be seen worn throughout the community.
Parents are given many opportunities to participate in the decision making process of New Market Elementary School. Parents are given the chance each spring to request a teacher for the child for the following year. We believe their input is important to the process of creating class rosters. Parents are asked to serve on the Community Engagement committee, the School Improvement Plan committee, the School Health Index committee, and may be nominated to serve on the PTO Executive Board. Parents are invited to attend various music programs throughout the school year, Pre-K and Fifth Grade Graduations, and Honors Day which are both held in the spring. Parents are asked to participate in the schools’ Book Character Day near Halloween to read to classes. A Veterans’ Day Program allows students to invite military family and friends where they are recognized and honored in a special program. PTO hosts an annual Fall Festival and Literacy Night and provides volunteers for the library’s annual Book Fair. Fifth Grade sponsors a 5K race near Thanksgiving where many parents and community members run in the NM “Gobble Wobble”. Parents are also encouraged to attend special events through the school year such as field day, fun day, county-wide elementary field day, the school and county-wide spelling bees, scholars’ bowl tournaments, chorus and drama performances. The county-wide spelling bee is hosted at New Market Elementary. Students are also encouraged to invite family members to eat lunch with them.
Parents are asked to participate, communicate, and work closely with their child each day to boost their learning and be involved in their education. The principal sends a letter to students and parents through the handbook that stresses the importance of communication through notes, email, phone calls, and meetings between parents, teachers, and students. The principal and faculty are readily accessible to the parents and truly care about each student and their achievement.
History of the New Market Train Wreck
Saturday, September 24, 1904 was a terrible day in the history of one east Tennessee community. On this day two trains collided, head on, near the town of New Market. At the time, it was the worst wreck of its kind to ever occur in North America. It is believed that up to 113 people lost their lives in this tragedy.
The wreck involved train Number 15, a local train, out of Bristol and train Number 12, the Carolina Special, out of Chattanooga.
Train Number 15 left Bristol that Saturday morning headed for Knoxville. It made stops to pick up passengers in Morristown and New Market. Number 15’s three cars were filled with 140 passengers headed to Knoxville for a day of shopping or to attend a fair that was going on in the city. It was common to travel by train in those days because roads were bad and automobiles were scarce and not dependable.
The Carolina Special left Chattanooga that same morning intending to make a loop through Knoxville and then to continue through Morristown and eventually on to Asheville, North Carolina. At its stop in Knoxville, more cars were added to the Carolina Special. When it left Knoxville the Carolina Special had nine cars behind its locomotive. Two were mail cars, three were wooden passenger coaches, and the last four were steel Pullman passenger cars. Many passengers in these new steel Pullman cars were headed home from the World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, where they had tasted something new and wonderful… the ice cream cone! 210 people were riding on the train.
The track the two trains were traveling on was a single track, so the usual procedure was for the local train (Number15) to pull off on a side track at a place called Hodges Switch, located between New Market and Strawberry Plains, in order for the larger train to pass. But when Number 15 pulled into Morristown that day, they received orders to do something different. They were told to stop at a side track in New Market instead of Hodges Switch until the Carolina Special had passed. Both the conductor and the engineer signed they had read the new orders. Number 15 proceeded on and stopped in New Market to pick up more passengers. The train should have then traveled only a few hundred feet to the side track and then pulled off. It didn’t. People working at the depot in New Market, who knew of the change of plans, were horrified when Number 15 traveled on past the side track. A telegraph was quickly sent to warn the Carolina Special. The Carolina Special was just pulling out of the station in Strawberry Plains when the telegraph arrived. “Number 15 has run the switch and is on the main line!”, it read. People in the depot ran out to shout and wave their arms at the departing train. Some even threw rocks at the train to try and get someone’s attention, but no one on the Carolina Special noticed and the train traveled on.
Those who witnessed the error knew there was one more chance to warn the trains. A telegraph was sent to Hodges Switch, the normal side track, where someone should have been on duty. For some unknown reason though, no one was there and the message was never received. The two trains roared on towards each other, unaware!
As the Carolina Special’s engineer approached New Market Hill, a slight upgrade just east of Strawberry Plains, he began to build speed. He soon had the train up to about 60 miles per hour. That same grade was downhill for Number 15. Number 15 was running behind schedule, so the engineer decided to make up time on the downward slope and had the train up to 70 miles per hour. The trains met at a place in the tracks that ran through Joseph Whitaker’s farm near Lost Creek. Upon seeing the other train, each engineer applied his brakes, but the Carolina Special had just rounded a curve when the trains met. By the time the crews spotted each other it was too late. The trains were slowed slightly before impact, but it is estimated that they had a combined speed of up to 110 miles per hour when they hit head-on. The impact was so strong it knocked the steam boilers off both trains, but the worst was yet to come. The locomotive and the coal tender of Number 15 broke loose from the cars behind it, went air-borne and turned upside down in mid-air. Number 15’s massive locomotive sailed over the locomotive of the Carolina Special, the tender car, and then the postal and express cars. It landed squarely on top of the Carolina Special’s three wooden passenger coaches. At the same time, the four steel Pullman cars at the end of the Carolina Express kept moving forward, smashing those same three coaches between them and the other two cars.
It was all over in about seven seconds. Amazingly no passengers were killed on Number 15. The engineer and fireman were killed, however, and many passengers were injured. It was far different on the coaches of the Carolina Special. The wooden cars, carrying most of the passengers, were damaged beyond hope and many lives were lost.
People living up to 15 miles away heard the crash, and soon help arrived from all directions. Jessica Whitaker, the sister of Joseph Whitaker, on whose farm the wreck happened, is said to have torn up all the fine fabrics from her hope chest to use as bandages. The injured were rushed to General Hospital in Knoxville. Then, everyone began the huge task of clearing the tracks.
Many people have tried to figure out how this terrible accident could have happened. Two questions will never be answered: Why didn’t Number 15 stop on the side track at New Market as it had been instructed on that day? The engineer and fireman on Number 15 were both killed in the wreck, so no one will ever know what they were thinking. And, where was the person on duty at Hodges Switch? If someone had been there to receive the warning message, the accident could have been prevented. Everyone who learns of this terrible wreck wonders about these two questions, even today, over 100 years after the wreck occurred.