Middle School Newsletter
January 18, 2019
MS. WRIGHT'S WRITINGS…
Typically when we have snow on the ground we make multiple announcements for the kids to stay out of the snow (which is reasonable at times). But this week our 8th grade team changed the message for their kids. Mid-morning on Monday I received an email from an 8th grade teacher asking if they could take their kids outside later in the day to play. My response was “to play in the snow?” The answer was…”well, yes, that was our idea.” I absolutely trust my teachers to make decisions that are in the best interest of our students so I replied, “sounds good.” What took place later that day was heartwarming. I was able to see students and their teachers building snowmen, making snow angels, running around and laughing (I attached some pictures below so you can share in the joy). This was the perfect example of trust and student empowerment. The teachers gave them boundaries before heading outside, but the message to the kids was, “we know you are absolutely capable of making the right decisions and we TRUST you.” The kids were incredible and had an amazing time.
Our kids only played in the snow for about 15 minutes, but I realized a lot in 15 short minutes. Our students are absolutely capable of making good decisions when empowered to do so. When we provide them with appropriate and necessary boundaries we are setting them up for success. When we allow students to have a voice in their learning experience we get their buy in which leads to an increase in motivation. When kids hear adults say, “we trust you”, sometimes it can feel like empty words. Words aren’t enough, we also have to provide them with opportunities. Only then will they be able to show us just how capable and trustworthy they are.
These middle years are so transitional for both kids and the adults in their lives. They are in that space in between childhood and adulthood. They are not little kids anymore, but are certainly far from being adults. They will make mistakes (just as we all do), and the hope is that they learn from those mistakes. But we don’t want to withhold experiences from them because we are fearful they won’t succeed or will make a mistake. I know that my own children have missed opportunities and experiences in the past because I thought they weren’t ready or because I thought I was protecting them from potential mistakes. In reflection, I can now see that I sent them the message, “I don’t trust you and I don’t think you are capable”...which couldn’t be farther from the truth. Please join me and let’s challenge ourselves to provide our kids with opportunities that allow them to grow and show us just how capable and amazing they are. I truly believe we won’t be disappointed.
Dear 6th Grade Parents/Guardians,
As we enter the second semester of the year, we want to be able to help students stay healthy and find success! One easy way to help this is by having plenty of pencils, hand sanitizer, and Clorox Wipes! If you and your family are able to send in any of these items, we would greatly appreciate it. Thank you for your support of our students!
Emily O'Brien, Stacia Berwick, Erin Deason, Stan Graczyk, and Don Orelup
7th grade is in need of Kleenex, paper towels and Clorox wipes. Any donations would be greatly appreciated!
Our Hidden Valley Ski Trip is on Thursday, January 24. Please be sure your child is dressed appropriately for the weather. They must have gloves/mittens, preferably waterproof, and high socks are strongly encouraged. Please contact your child's homebase teacher with any questions.
Please join us for our next Parent University on February 6th. We’ll have a panel discussion on this months topic of ADHD. Please see flyer for more information and don’t forget to rsvp to firstname.lastname@example.org
PCS School Choice Week
National School Choice week is next week. PCS will be celebrating in various ways. Please see attached flyer for all the great events we have planned for the kids! #pcsproud #pcspride #100reasonswechoosepcs #pcsisourchoice #crazyaboutpcs #thatspcs
Does your current student have a sibling who wants to come to PCS? Do you have a family member, friend, or neighbor who has a child ready for school?
It is that time of year again…Pre-Kindergarten thru 8th Grade applications for new students in the 2019-2020 lottery are now open!
Families can apply today through Schoolmint. If you do not already have a Schoolmint account, begin by going to premiercharterschool.schoolmint.net and create a secure account with a username and password. From there, you can fill out an application for your student for the grade they will be going in to next year.
Our first-round new student lotteries will be held on the following dates:
Kindergarten: February 1, 2019
Pre-Kindergarten: February 25, 2019
1st – 8th Grade: April 1, 2019
Should you have any questions regarding your student’s application, your Schoolmint account, or the lottery, please feel free to contact PCS admissions at email@example.com.
As it starts getting dark earlier and we are reminded of situations as we watch the news, please have a conversation with your child about being aware of what is going on around them as they walk home from school. If your child has permission to walk to the park, YMCA or QT etc. please remind them not to accept a ride or engage with any strangers. While we are sure you have already had these conversations with your child we want to reiterate the importance so that your child can continue to make smart decision for themselves.
We want to remind you that PCS has safety structures in place if we were ever to be in a lockdown situation because of an outside threat. Please rest assured that we understand communication in these situations are of utmost importance. Parents will be notified through the automated school system; calls texts and emails. We have a very good relationship with the police department down the street and if we hear of or are made aware of a situation where lockdown might be a possibility, we will be in contact with district 2. They will be able to provide accurate details of the situation and from there we can receive their recommendation on our course of action. At all times, student safety is on our minds and we will always communicate with what you need to know. As always please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.
On the last Monday of the month any student who has earned 80% or higher on their homework completion grade may dress down. Students can check their grade on Infinite Campus to ensure that they have indeed earned this privilege. Please remember that all clothing must be school appropriate.
Message from the Nurse…
Please see the attached flyer with tips on how to stay safe during the cold weather.
6th grade is alive with wonder about biology and cells. We forced our way into the new year with physics, and we are now learning how our bodies work down to the smallest unit of life. We have about three more weeks with biology where we still have a lot to learn about how organisms are are structured and organized. Following biology, we will be coming into the final turn of the 6th-grade science curriculum with ecology and weather. I am incredibly proud of how much our students have learned this year, and I'm blown away by their curiosity and question asking skills.
7th grade science is starting 3rd quarter by talking about thermal energy. We conducted an experiment to see how hot and cold water would disperse food coloring. This helped to draw connections between materials and how the particles within them move. Very excited to see what types of models will be created by the students this unit! If you have any materials lying around please consider donating them to 7th grade science. Possible materials to donate: foam, bubble wrap, cardboard, plastic containers, tape, tin foil. Thank you!
8th grade science has started a new unit on the human body. We will be covering all of the different organ systems, and discussing how they work together. So far we have talked about the skeletal system, muscular system, and digestive system. The students will have a quiz over the major bones of the body and organs in the digestive system on Wednesday.
Here is your Math Department problem of the week!
There is a three digit number. The second digit is four times as big as the third digit, while the first digit is three less than the second digit. What is the number?
Solution from last week: 16 days
15 meters (5m up - 4m down = 1m per day)
On the 16th day, it will only have 5m left, and upon climbing its daily 5m, it will get out before sliding back.
Since we have been back from break, PE has been working hard getting into shape. Last week in class, we did a speed training which had the students sweating and breathing heavy. The students do not always like those PE days, but will eventually see the benefits of why I throw those days in there. This week I went back to a game to help get some teamwork and strategy play mixed in. We have been playing Capture the Flag. The students really work hard and have a really good time trying to win the game. I enjoy watching the different plans that teams come up with to try and get to the other teams flag. Keeping the students energized and enjoying the activities is one of my goals and I hope I am continuing to do that.
The first full studio days of second semester have begun this week in the art room; students are creatively exploring the media of their choice through drawing, painting, and sculpture. This semester, each enrichment session will explore one of the six purposes of art: narrative, expressive, exploratory, functional, celebratory, and persuasive. Students will apply these purposes to guide their own art in the classroom.
In STEAM, we are coming to the end of our rotation unit where students spend 2 weeks in each STEAM class to learn more about each specific area of the STEAM discipline: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.
Beginning at the end of this month, we will be moving to our next unit which has to do with strengthening student's understanding of the food they are eating and provide tools for researching their effects on the body
Over the past two weeks, students have been employing the engineering design process while planning, creating, and improving inventions. 8th graders created wobble bots which competed for best design and farthest wobble. 6th graders created solutions to problems that were encountered by Peter, the main character in The Snowy Day. In some cases, they were able to test their designs with real snow. One of the most notable inventions was fashionable snow shoes made with fabric and foil pans to keep him from sinking in the snow. Please follow us and like our posts on instagram @pcsmakerspace.
Girls on Fire:
Girls on Fire is seeking professional women to participate in our 5th Annual Networking Event on Tuesday, April 16th from 5:30 - 6:30. This event provides an opportunity for the girls to practice networking skills while receiving advice and learning more about various career paths. See the attached flyer for details. Email Mrs. Daugherty at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Eagles girls basketball team currently holds a record of 1 win and 2 losses. Kirkwood girls team has cancelled both games due to a lack of players. Please mark the Tuesday, January 15 game OFF of your calendar. The next game for the girls will be against Confluence Academy South City. This game will be on Tuesday, January 22 at 5:00 pm and the boys will follow at 6:00 pm. Come out to support your PCS girls basketball, boys basketball, and cheerleaders!
Cheerleading practice will continue on Wednesdays and Thursdays after school
UMLS is hosting a cheerleading clinic for students in kindergarten through 8th grade on January 25th. Students who attend will then have the opportunity to cheer with us on January 26th during the men's halftime. Attached is a copy of the flyer for the clinic..
REMINDERS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Middle School Trip…
Middle School Trip: Colorado 2019
Families planning on completing the last fundraiser for the Middle School Trip to Denver, CO, the fundraising packets for Popcornopolis will be passed out on Tuesday, January 15 during study hall. If you child did not get one please reach out to Ms. Slattery at email@example.com, call her classroom phone x. 435 or have them see her. The forms and money are due back on Wednesday, January 30th. Happy selling!
If you have any questions regarding the trip please email Ms. Rhine, firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have specific payment questions please contact Denise Matthews at AST, (877) 397-5700. When calling please tell the AST representative that you are with the Premier Charter School group.
Dear PCS Families,
As the weather starts to turn colder we want to take a minute to remind everyone of our morning drop off and Before Care procedures. All students must be walked into the building and signed in at the office if they are dropped off prior to 8:00 am. If any student is at PCS prior to 8:00 am, we will bring them to before care and will charge the regular $5 drop in fee. In order to maintain a safe student/adult ratio and ensure we have adequate staffing in our BAC program, students are only allowed 5 drop ins over the course of the school year. The safety of our children is our highest priority and we thank you for your adherence to these procedures.
Please see the attached newsletter from our food vendor about some of the great things they have done and upcoming events.
The PCG is a support group for the students, teachers and parents of Premier Charter School.
Parent volunteers promote social and extracurricular activities, which will lead to successful and
positive experiences for the students. We want to welcome you and encourage all parents to
become involved in PCS. The best way to become involved is to volunteer or help out in any
way you can and you can do this through the PCG.
Please take a look at the attached letter and PCG events for the year.
Fun Around Town…
ONGOING FREE EXHIBITS
Free Music Events at Washington University
Free Open to Public No Reservations Needed
Thur, Jan 17 at 7:30 p.m. Danforth University Center Goldberg Lounge
Chamber Music Society of STL featuring Flutist Jennifer Nitchman, Pianist Kelly Karamanov & Bassoonist Vince Karamanov
Sun. Jan 27 at 7:00 p.m. at the 560 Music Ctr. at 560 Trinity Ave in U. City
Puerto Rican Oboist Xiomara Mass and Pianist Peter Henderson
Sat/Sun Jan 19-20Eagle Days at Chain of Rocks BridgeFor a comprehensive schedule of events during the annual Bald Eagle Migration go to:https://greatriversgreenway.org/eagledays/
Mon Jan 21 MLK Day Events--NO SCHOOL
Downtown St. Louis MLK Celebration https://hot1041stl.com/events/dr-martin-luther-king-jr-holiday-celebration-2018/
History Museum MLK Celebration https://www.forestparkforever.org/calendar/2019/mlk-community-celebration-3kn3a
UMSL (Blanche Touhill Auditorium) MLK Celebrationhttps://www.evensi.us/dr-martin-luther-king-jr-holiday-celebration-umsl-blanche-touhill-performing-arts-center/283179185
MLK Canned Food Drive & Free Skate Admission 11:15 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.Skate free at Brentwood Skate Rink 2505 S. Brentwood Blvd in exchange for a non-perishable, non-expired canned food.
Friday, Jan 25 7-9 p.m An Evening with Raptors Powder Valley Conservation Center 11715 Cragwold Road in KirkwoodMeet Missouri Falconers and their hunting partners. Falconry, a sport reported as early as 700 BCE, is still practiced today. The presentation will include info on falconry & how to become a falconer and then you will meet the birds and the falconers.Free Reservations required at mdc.mo.gov/events
Wed Jan 30 7 p.m.U. S. Grant National Historic Site 7400 Grant Road in AfftonFreedom Songs: The Music of Black HistoryFor Free reservations call 314-842-1867 ext 230Presented by: Bright Star Children’s Theatre
This musical revue provides an energetic and engaging approach to learning about Black History. From songs which carried the secret messages needed to navigate the Underground Railroad, to the powerful anthems of the Civil Rights Movement, to the Beale Street Blues, music has long been an integral part of American history which is celebrated in this production. The program was created for children in grades 3 and up, but will be enjoyed by all ages.https://www.nps.gov/ulsg/index.htm
Important Upcoming Dates
1.21.19-1.225.19-School Choice Week
1.24.19-8th Grade Field Trip to Hidden Valley
5-21-19-8th Grade Graduation
PCG Events Calendar
Welcome PCG Letter
January Lunch Menu
Parent University Flyer
Girls on Fire Flyer
Cold Weather Tips
PCS School Choice Week