Middle School Newsletter
March 8, 2019
MS. WRIGHT'S WRITINGS…
This week I have talked with a few parents about the Momo Challenge. This “scare challenge” is circulating on social media targeting children. It's described as a "suicide game" which combines shock imagery and hidden messaging, and it supposedly encourages kids to attempt dangerous stunts, including suicide.
I know that many of our students have both curiosity and concerns about this challenge. Regardless, if this challenge is real or a hoax, it is important for us to respond to students' concerns without creating additional alarm. If your child brings up the Momo Challenge please take that opportunity to review internet safety with them. I have included the link to a helpful website along with tips to help protect your child from these viral challenges.
Five Tips to Protect Your Child From Viral Challenges
Discuss the online trends among their peers and find out about what games their friends are talking about. It’s important you understand what websites, apps, and social media platforms they are on to help them minimize potential risks.
Have regular conversations with your children about the risks they may be exposed to and how to deal with them, such as cyberbullying, peer pressure and grooming, and ensure they feel able to come and talk to you if they see anything upsetting.
Check their privacy settings. Make sure they know how to make their profiles ‘private’ so they are not sharing personal information to strangers.
Make sure they know when and how to report and block any malicious or inappropriate messages or posts on the platforms they use.
Advise them to be careful about oversharing personal information such as their school, telephone number or anything that identifies where they live and consider not using their full name for their profile.
While your child is at school they are unable to search Momo Challenge as it is blocked by our filter on all student devices. If you need any support dealing with this situation or any online concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
Message from Ms. Walsh…
Please take a moment to read Ms. Walsh’s attached monthly newsletter on the mind of a middle schooler.
A note from the registrar....
It is that time of year again, we are starting our re-enrollment process. If you are new to this process, this is how we determine if students will be returning to PCS next school year. Turning the completed form in, lets us know how many openings we will have per grade level for our school wide lottery in April. Teachers were all given Re-Enrollment Forms to pass out to students this week. Families can also submit a form online instead, to make the process easier https://goo.gl/forms/6HH3h38jF2oDRaNm2 .
Families are required to submit one form per student. All forms (either "Yes coming back" or "No not returning") are due back no later than March 21st. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to Katie Lydon email@example.com or Erin O'Brien firstname.lastname@example.org
Walk For Hope T-Shirt Design
Please see the attached flyer about our Walk for Hope t-shirt design opportunity. This is open to all students K-8.
Parents if you would like to purchase a shirt please see the attached form. This form is only for parents or non-PCS children. All PCS students are given a Walk For Hope shirt at no cost thanks to our PCG group!
Thanks to the hard work of three 8th grade boys we have our new vending machine! We have made sure that the machine is filled with healthy snack options. Students may make purchases from 8:10-8:25, during lunch and from 3:25-3:35 daily.
Spring Book Fair News
Mark your calendars PCS! Book Fair week starts Tuesday, March 19th! We'll be open Tuesday (3/19) 3:30-4:30, Wednesday (3/20) 3:30-7:00, and Thursday (3/21) 12:00-7. All purchases benefit our school.
Volunteers make a difference! Help our students find their next favorite book at our #ScholasticBookFair. Sign up here: (https://volunteer.scholastic.com/#/signup/stLNdSk0Z)
Can't make it to the book fair? We’re now offering a new, cash-free payment option called eWallet, making it easier for kids to buy books! Set up your account today so your kiddo can visit the fair during the school day. Visit the book fair homepage to use eWallet!
Public Library book give aways
The Saint Louis Public Library is sponsoring literacy programs for all ages now through May:
Read-It-Together is for preschool to 2nd grade: Meet Vanessa Brantley-Newton, author of Grandma's Purse and receive a free copy of the book March 23 at 10 a.m. (Schlafley branch)
Reading Pays is for grades 3-5: Pick up a free copy of Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani from any SLPL branch and meet the author on May 8th at 6:30 p.m. (Buder Branch)
Read-It-Forward is for grade 6-adult: Pick up a free copy of Dear Martin by Nic Stone from any SLPL branch and meet the author on March 13th from 7-8 p.m. (Central Branch)
3rd Annual Xpress Yourself Spoken Word Poetry Night-NEW DATE!
You're invited to the 3rd Annual Xpress Yourself Spoken Word Poetry Night with special guest poet Corey Black on Thursday, March 7th from 6:00 - 7:30. Let's support our budding writers and celebrate black history month. All participating students need to attend 2 rehearsals prior to the performance. Students must attend a dress rehearsal from 3:30 - 4:30 on the 7th, and arrive no later than 5:45 to prepare for the performance. Contact Mrs. Daugherty for questions or concerns at email@example.com.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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…
Recently, PCS has been experiencing absences due to Influenza A infections.
Flu symptoms can include: fever, chills, headache, sore throat, runny nose or nasal congestion, muscle aches, fatigue, and vomiting & diarrhea. Not every one who is diagnosed with the flu will experience all of these symptoms.
Flu viruses are the cause of various types of flu. These viruses can enter your body through your mouth, nose, or eyes. Every time you touch your hand to one of these areas, you potentially infect yourself with flu virus.
Influenza A virus constantly changes which is why flu vaccines are given yearly. The flu spreads by people who are already infected, so it is important to avoid contact with sick people and while sick, limit contact with others. If your child is sick, they should stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone without the use of fever reducing medicine. Teach your child to cover their nose & mouth with a tissue when they cough or sneeze, throw the tissue away, and wash hands properly with soap and water. Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with influenza virus.
For more complete information regarding the flu see the following: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/consumer/symptoms.htm
Please see the attached flyer for 7th grade families regarding required vaccinations prior to starting 8th grade.
6th Grade Social Studies will be having their first debate on Tuesday, March 12. The debate will be about what the Greek Poleis should do at the beginning of the second Greco-Persian War (should they join or fight the Persians?). After the debate reflection and class discussion, there will be a second debate on March 21 (tentatively).
We will be finishing Ancient Greece before Spring Break with Test over the Political, Economic, Religious, Military, and Social factors of Ancient Greece.
7th graders have examined how our countries borders came to be the way they are today. The Louisiana Purchase--the War of 1812--the Mexican American War--and everything in between. Now that our nation has fulfilled its "Manifest Destiny", we will dive in to the most pressing and controversial issue of the 1800s: slavery.
In 8th grade Social Studies, we have started a new unit on Latin America. Besides learning about the history and culture of this part of the world, we will also learn about the impact of immigration. Students will research and gain an understanding of how immigration affects the countries where immigrants are leaving from and the countries where they are relocating. We started our unit learning how immigrants changed America upon their arrival in the 1800's and we will then move to present day.
Here is your Math Department problem of the week!
Students have been playing songs on the guitar this week. One of the songs they have been learning is "Three Little Birds," by Bob Marley. They have really grown this year, from many of them not knowing any guitar chords or techniques, to being able to strum along to actual songs. With the base knowledge they now have, I hope many of them decide to continue learning guitar in the future! This is our last week with guitar, and we will be starting a basic keyboard/piano unit next.
Explorers have been busy authoring their own children's book and are excited to publish soon! Reading to children is an excellent activity for babysitters and next week our explorers will be putting their skills to the test. Using their knowledge of child development and leadership skills, they will be reading their own self published children's book to our buddies in the ECE building.
For the past 4 weeks, our 7th grade 3D modeling students have been engaging in the design cycle by creating inventions to solve problems. We first selected our problems, narrowed those problems into solvable problems, and drafted our initial invention ideas. Below you will see a draft example from Kyan C who is creating an enclosure for endangered animals that humans cannot access without special permission and a key card. His hope is that this large, ecosystem wide enclosure would help end the needless hunting of African Dogs for their pelts, which is quickly moving them closer to the endangered species list. Feedback sessions begin next week!!
This week, the 6th grade coders have been working on creating our own Animated "Google Doodles". On March 21st, the Family Day activity will involve our 6th grade students (as well as 3rd, 4th, and 5th) helping to lead a lesson on creating Google Doodles to showcase their coding skills to younger and older students. Some great examples came out of Mrs Berwick, Mr Gracyzk and Mrs Deason's classes and I can’t wait to see what Mr Orelup and Mrs O'Brien's homebases come up with! See some examples below!
PCS has been busy inventing and creating this year and we are looking for more supplies. Please consider donating the following items:
Glue (all kinds)
Tape (all kinds)
Donation boxes are located outside both cafeterias. Thank you!
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 email@example.com for more information.
REMINDERS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Middle School Trip…
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.
Just a reminder our next half day is March 21st, school will dismiss at noon. Please make sure your students have a way home. If they attend aftercare, it will end at 4:00 pm. If your student(s) are not enrolled in aftercare but need aftercare please let us know ahead of time, half day drop ins are $25 per child. Just remember that students are only allowed 5 aftercare drop ins per year.
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 email@example.com or Lisa Simon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fun Around Town…
Important Upcoming Dates
3.8.19-MS Dance 6-8 Ends promptly at 8:00
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
March Lunch Menu
Girls on Fire Flyer
Vaccinations Flyer for 7th Grade Families
Walk for Hope T Shirt Flyer
Trivia Night Flyer
Parent WFH T-Shirt Order Form