Middle School Newsletter
February 1, 2019
MS. WRIGHT'S WRITINGS…
Seven years ago I found myself confused, frustrated and disappointed. My youngest daughter, Finnley was in first grade and was having a terrible experience. Finnley has ALWAYS been very social, extremely talkative (not sure who she gets that from), impulsive and at times forgetful which was beginning to impact her school day.
As an educator, with a focus on early childhood, I know exactly how crucial the early years are as children begin to develop their perception of what school will be like for them. Unfortunately, my little girl was slowly but surely beginning to hate it. Everyday after school she would get in my car and proceed to tell me how she ended up “in trouble” again for not staying in her seat, talking too much or not following directions. Enter my confusion...this child loved school up until this year, how did we get here? After meeting with her teacher it became clear that her teacher was not going to “put up with” her talking, forgetfulness and off task behavior. As a former classroom teacher, I was able to understand how hard her job can be, while also sharing different strategies I was using at home to help Finn focus. I thought a partnership would help everyone to have a better year. Unfortunately though, it was a year of mostly frustration and disappointment...my hope for a partnership fell on deaf ears.
Nine months later I found myself feeling relieved and supported. We survived the year and that summer Finn was also diagnosed with ADHD. To be honest, this wasn’t a surprise but somehow the diagnosis gave me relief. I was able to educate my sweet seven year old on how her brain is wired differently, but beautifully. She began to realize that her spunk and enthusiasm were what make her so special. I made sure every teacher she had moving forward was aware of her diagnosis as well as what interventions were currently working best for her. The remaining four years of elementary school were absolutely amazing due to incredible teachers who gave her boundaries but met her needs.The ADHD diagnosis helped them understand that at times she can’t control her body, can’t follow multi-step directions and isn’t trying to be rude by talking. Finn was receptive to reminders to focus and suggestions to take breaks because these reminders were given with kindness and not out of frustration. Together, all of us, Finn included, learned how to capitalize on her outgoing personality and love for learning and her love for school returned quickly.
Full disclosure, I wish I could tell you that I have been just as gracious at home but I can’t. I have been so frustrated when she wouldn’t go to sleep after having a crying fit for an hour (I am so thankful for the weighted blanket) or when she “forgets” for the 20th time to feed the dog or when she says hurtful things impulsively, that I literally didn’t know what to do. I would then be so disappointed in myself...I do have a masters degree in counseling, I should know what to do here, right? Somewhere on this journey with Finn I have come to realize and accept that we are both only human and we will make mistakes along the way. Could she do better at times as she gets older? Of course. And could I be more understanding and patient? Absolutely. But something we do all the time is reflect, on our behaviors and our reactions, so that we can continually try to improve.
I have read countless articles, books, and blogs on ADHD so that I have all the information I can to give her all the support she deserves. I only wish I had an opportunity such as our upcoming Parent University (flyer also attached) on ADHD. What a gift that would have been to meet with other parents and educators who “get it” and would do anything to help their child be successful. I hope you take advantage of this valuable night. I don’t say my daughter has ADHD but rather my daughter has an ADHD diagnosis because that is only ONE part of who she is. Maybe I am biased because she is my daughter, but I know Finn is going to do great things in life. Her sass, spunk and passion for all things she loves is infectious and I am so honored to be her mom.
Global School Play Day
Today, kids have very little time where they play with one another without a screen in front of them or someone planning their activities. Wednesday, February 6th is Global School Play Day which is a dedicated day that allows students to play games and enjoy one another’s company. We are choosing to participate in this day because we see the value in play and the benefits our students will gain from participating. We are asking students to bring in their favorite game (card or board game…remember no screens) to share with their peers. Students will also be permitted to dress down on this day. Please visit this website for more information on the Global School Play Day and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have.
We are so excited to officially invite the PCS community to attend the 3rd Annual Xpress Yourself Spoken Word Poetry Night on February 28th from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Intermediate Cafeteria. This is an opportunity for us to celebrate Black history and honor the diverse voices of PCS students. Students who are recommended or volunteer for the program will recite original poetry, read a notable poem, or contribute to the program in some way. Teachers are already working with students to produce great poetry. Next week, students will receive information on how to be a part of the program as well as a parent letter with more details. Get excited about this great showcase of talent at our school. See the attached flyer.
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!
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
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 for 7th grade families regarding required vaccinations prior to starting 8th grade.
Students have been doing a great job working through the Geometry unit! They have learned how to find the area of irregular shapes as well as develop algorithms based on gathered data. This week, students have transitioned to folding and designing nets into packages, and finding the surface area and volume of these 3-Dimensional shapes. Next week, they will be preparing for their Geometry unit test, and immediately following, they will start their Algebra unit!
In 7th grade math we are finishing up our unit on scale factor and learning how images are scaled up and down but stay a similar shape. We will then start our new unit in February where we discover how we can use proportional relationships to solve real world problems including money, recipes, and percents. Take a chance to discuss how rates and ratios are used in these areas when you are shopping or cooking with your 7th graders and have fun with proportions!
8th grade math has started discovering how linear equations can be represented in graphs, tables, and equations. We started our unit with a task about party planning that allowed students to uncover what slope and y-intercept mean in a real world situation. They will continue to work on linear equations and find where they appear in our every day life. Rather than learning the phrase "rise over run" to represent slope, students have been able to really see what slope represents and connect it to what they know about unit rates from 7th grade. By the end of the unit, students will be able to write slope-intercept form given a description, table, graph, or a set of points!
Here is your Math Department problem of the week!
A small number of cards has been lost from a complete pack. If I deal among four people, three cards remain. If I deal among three people, two remain and if I deal among five people, two cards remain. How many cards are there?
Solution from last week: 141
Last week, we took the 8th grade class to Hidden Valley Ski Resort to learn an activity that was outside of most of the kids comfort zone. It was so fun to see the students flourish at something new and different to them. We hope that at least some of them will ski again, and not just do this one time. Skiing can be a lifelong activity, which is one of the purposes of showing the students that there are many things out there to keep them active for their lifetime. I am glad the weather was just chilly for us and the Polar Vortex waited till this week to settle in.
In class last week we played indoor soccer to get our heart rates up. The students do a great job playing the game and having fun. This week we started our basketball unit which will last several weeks. The students are really focusing on sportsmanship throughout the small sided games that we are playing this week. The importance of getting their heart rate up, having fun, and remember there is no trophy at the end of the game. Each player has different skill level and we want everyone to be included in the games.
Next week field day t-shirt forms will be coming home, so look for those early in the week. They will also be included in next weeks newsletter.
7th Grade Parents…
Your child will be bringing home a letter on our upcoming health unit. Due to the subject matter in this unit we do need parental permission for your child to participate. I have also included the letter and permission slip in this newsletter. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
Studio work is in full swing in the art room; students are imagining, designing, and creating their way into second semester. For the month of February, mini-lessons will respond to an ever-popular student interest: hand-lettering! Weekly lessons will give students the tools and tricks needed to make a variety of lettering styles by hand - from bubble letters to calligraphy. Stop by the art gallery bulletin board (outside of the art room) to see all of the creations.
Do you want:
to discuss and celebrate ideas with fellow students?
to make an impact with your words?
a platform and opportunity for your voice to be heard?
to give your own TEDEd Club talk?
Then is for YOU! Meeting Day and Time: Wednesday’s 3:30 - 4:30 pm,
Feb. 6-May 22nd
Club Members will engage in a series of Explorations designed to help them present an amazing Club talk on an idea that they are passionate about. Along the way, Club Members will become experts in: • Identifying the elements of a great idea • Researching, developing and presenting an idea • Creating visuals to tell a compelling story • Using best practices for camera, lighting and sound!
Print and return the attached permission slip. Space is limited and open only to Middle School students.
Leader contact information:
Mrs. Wohlgemuth (ext. 417) firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs. Rutan (ext. 119) email@example.com
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 girls will have their next game against Bayless on Wednesday, Feb 13 at 4:15 pm.
Cheerleading practice will continue on Wednesdays and Thursdays after school
REMINDERS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Middle School Trip…
Middle School Trip: Colorado 2019
If you have any questions regarding the trip please email Ms. Rhine, email@example.com. 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.
It is time to start thinking about getting your group ready for our Annual Trivia Night. This is night you don’t want to miss out on. We are looking for donations for our silent auction as well as volunteers to help run the event. Please see the attached flyer for more information or email Terry Brogan at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lisa Simon at email@example.com.
Fun Around Town…
Friday Feb 1 4-7 p.m.
Free Kid Fit Kid Free Admission on First Fridays at The Magic House in Kirkwood: Chinese DancingReservations required on the following website:https://www.magichouse.org/events-programs/events/
Saturday Feb 2 10 a.m- 3 p.m.
Winter In the Woods Festival featuring Maple Sugaring
Rockwood Reservation 2751 Glencoe Road in Wildwood, MO
Free admission & free parking, No reservations needed but check website for parking/shuttle bus instructions
Saturday, Feb 2 Various Times
Take Your Child to the Library Day at various St. Louis County Branch Libraries
A variety of activities are scheduled for children and parents at various county branches. While you are there you can also learn about exciting new programs available at the branches such as borrow a telescope, borrow a musical instrument, or sign up to become a teen reading buddy or get yourself a reading buddy.
Saturday, Feb 2 8:30- 2 p.m. (and throughout February)
Bald Eagle Days at Pere Marquette Park in Grafton, IL
A site interpretter will present an program on bald eagles. Visitors will distinguish juvenile and mature eagles, learn what eagles, eat, why they migrate to the midwest and more. Reservations required by calling 618- 786-3323. You will drive to an observation are. Please dress warmly and have a full tank of gas.
Important Upcoming Dates
3.20 & 21.19-Conferences
3.23.19-PCS Trivia Night
4.8-12.19-8th Grade MAP Testing
4.15-16.19-6th Grade MAP Testing
4.17-18-19-7th Grade MAP Testing
4.27.19-Family Night at Panda Express
Panda Express Flyer
Poetry Slam Flyer
February Lunch Menu
Parent University Flyer
Girls on Fire Flyer
Vaccinations Flyer for 7th Grade Families
TEDEd Permission Slip
Trivia Night Flyer
7th Grade Health Permission Slip