News from Hughes – August 26, 2018
Thank you to everyone who came to open house this past Monday night. We had more than 1000 crowd into the gym to hear our incredible band and strings students, witness the power and wonder of our drama program, and to see me dance in a classic display of no rhythm, groove, or coolness as we kicked off our Invest in Your Child campaign.
I am so grateful for the 122 families who have donated and/or pledged more than $60,000 during our first week of our yearly campaign. This is a great start towards our goal of at least $125,000, the amount raised last year in the Invest campaign.
We have many needs that cannot be met due to lack of funding by the State of Tennessee and Metropolitan Nashville Government. For example, did you know that our PTO Invest campaign funds a full-time counselor for students, funds our instructional supplies for teachers to use with your students, and funds teacher professional development each year?
This summer, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, we conducted an intensive and thorough security assessment of our building to identify actions that could improve security. Unfortunately, there is no funding for basic upgrades and changes, much less a new security camera system and a full-time security guard (although we will continue to have Metro Nashville Police Department Officer Mark Lemcke).
This past year, my leadership team and I added recess for all grade levels and the PTO spent more than $20,000 on playground equipment. However, we more equipment for students to play on outside including monkey bars and swings.
On my performance evaluation this past spring, a couple of parents complained that I am always asking for money. The fact is this: I no choice. At times in the beginning of my career as a principal, I found trying to raise money for our school to be quite embarrassing and unsavory. However, I have no problem doing so now in my 10th year at JT Moore because we can’t take care of our students and families without it. It’s that simple. The money goes to improve our teachers and provide materials and activities for your children. I don’t mind begging.
We have 74 more students enrolled this year at JT Moore than last, the largest ever in the history of the school. This means our need for our Invest campaign to be the is critical. If we are not able to meet our minimum funding needs, I make up the difference by cutting other areas that I fund through my school budget and reallocate those funds for instructional supplies and security. For example, early morning study hall and will be eliminated as of September 15th as an immediate cost saving measure fund classroom instructional needs that have been funded yearly by you, the parents, via our PTO.
I need your help today. I need to hear from the other 644 families who have not donated or pledged to our Invest campaign this year. Our school is a bargain. We are a level 5 TVAAS school filled with great teachers, staff, children, and families. As a family at JT Moore, your out of pocket expenses are minimal instead of what you would pay at private schools in Nashville, I.e., more than $25,000 per year.
Please consider logging in to our Invest website today using this secure link and making your donation. Or, please send in your pledge card with your pledge or donation today to Brooke Elder in the front office at JT Moore. If you don’t have a pledge card, we have extras in the office. https://investjtm.evrits.com/index.php
I hope you will join me at my farm in Primm Springs on Saturday, November 3rd, for food, fun, music, cocktails, and a hayride for adults! Any individual making a donation of $500 or more to JT Moore will receive two tickets to attend.
Also, we still have two up front car line spots left for this year! Any family $5000 or more will receive a designated car line/parking spot at the front of the exit from JT Moore onto Lone Oak road.
Yes. Begging is unsavory, but I am not too good to beg for your help today help our school be the best for your children…our children. No donation is too small (or too large).
Please help us defy gravity today.
Dr. Gary D. Hughes, Executive Principal, John Trotwood Moore Middle School