Middle School Newsletter
October 26, 2018
MS. WRIGHT'S WRITINGS…
I remember way back when we actually had face to face conversations with one another or at least we called one another. Now we communicate via email, text and of course social media. These modern conveniences are great, how amazing is it that we can share important moments in our lives with friends and families who we may not see daily?
However, these conveniences can also sometimes cause problems. This week we had Detective Stephanie Stoehner present at our Parent University. Her focus was how to keep our kids safe while online. During her presentation she highlighted ways that kids hide what they are doing on social media and she also recommended apps such as Our Pact that can help parents monitor children’s activity on their phones. While our children may feel as if we are infringing on their privacy, it is our responsibility to help them safely navigate their way in this digital world. There is a false sense of confidence when we are communicating behind a screen. We need to have conversations with our children about appropriate ways to handle conflicts. While it may seem like these conversations fall on deaf ears your children are actually listening and this is just another way we show them how much we love them.
Next Thursday, November 1st, is our Media Literacy Day in the middle school. The entire day will be dedicated to educating our students about how to be safe online and the importance of creating an appropriate digital footprint. More information about this day is included in this newsletter.
Ask your kids about what they learned on Media Literacy Day. It is a great opportunity to either start or continue talking to them about safe media use. As adults, we can also lead by example as children are always observing the adults in their lives. Staff models how to appropriately use social media through posts that celebrate successes and they also send reminders about academics. You can show them the positive ways you interact with media at home as well. If we work together to send a unified message regarding social media I do believe we can make a lasting impact in our children’s experiences. I welcome any further conversation you would like to have regarding this topic.
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.
Media Literacy Day...
PCS Middle School Families,
On November 1st, the PCS Middle School will be engaging in an assembly and activities related to Digital and Media Literacy.
With this, students will be learning more about how to be safe online and what steps they need to take to make sure their “Digital Footprint” (the data trail left behind when people go online) is one that reflects positively on them.
During these activities, students will engage in topics related directly to:
Managing your Digital Footprint
What is and isn’t appropriate to post online
How to keep yourself and your peers safe from “oversharing” online
How to manage online chat
How to identify and avoid sexting related circumstances
In each case, students will engage in analyzing case studies (both fictional and real) of students around the country who have been affected by these online practices and seek to find strategies to avoid dangerous online activity.
We feel that having our students engage in this material will give them the tools needed to navigate the current complexity of the digital landscape and empower them to make sure they are managing their digital footprints and online identities in a positive way.
If you have any questions regarding this event, please feel free to reach out to our Middle School Principal Kim Wright (email@example.com) or the Technology Instructional Coach Johnathan Book (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Notes from Mrs. Gray…
PCS Middle School parents. Please take a few minutes and fill out this parent survey. As we continue to strive to communicate with our families in the most effective and comprehensive manner, surveys like this help us get the most feedback. If you don’t have access to google we will have printed out copies in the office for you to fill out.
If you haven’t had a chance to explore our new website please take a moment to get yourself acquainted with the new features. We will do our best to keep the monthly calendar updated, but please make sure to check my newsletter for important upcoming dates too. Reminder that if you need to contact a teacher and you don’t remember/ have easy access to their email address you can fill out the contact us on the homepage of the website and it will be forwarded to the correct person. Staff bio pages will be added to the website by the end of the month.
Veterans’ Day Assembly…
You and your military family are cordially invited to our 6th annual Veterans’ Day Assembly and reception on Friday, November 9th from 2-3:30pm in the courtyard. Please see the attached flyer for details and an RSVP.
New this year! We would like to create a Wall of Honor for those who have passed. Please see the same attachment for details.
Book Fair Information…
Mark your calendars PCS! Our Scholastic Book Fair starts Nov. 13 and runs through Nov. 15 after school and during the Literacy Ball. This year the book fair will be in the Elementary Building room 240. You can visit our online book fair Nov. 7- Nov 20. All purchases benefit our school. Visit our book fair homepage at http://www.scholastic.com/bf/premierchartersch1 Help us make our book fair a success by volunteering! Sign up at https://volunteer.scholastic.com/#/signup/XXyP55f1P
Middle School Dress Down Days…
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…
Hand washing is the single most effective preventative measure that you can take to remain healthy. Teach children to wash hands after using the bathroom, before eating or preparing food, before holding or interacting with an infant,& after blowing their noses or coughing or sneezing into their hands. You can encourage little ones to wash their hands by buying foaming soaps, liquid soap in a bottle featuring their favorite character or superhero, or buying a soap with a fun fragrance. Make sure they scrub for 20 seconds--singing the Alphabet Song while scrubbing will get them to 20 seconds. Hand sanitizers are helpful but not as effective as proper hand washing. It's a good idea to review hand washing technique with your older children too as they are often in a hurry and need to be reminded of the importance of proper hand washing techniques. You may want to review a hand washing video with your child and then practice together. Here are a variety of videos from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/videos.html
7th Grade Update…
Representatives from the Wyman Leaders Program, formerly known as InspireSTL, visited 7th grade classes this week and spoke to students about their program and application process. It is a 10 year mentoring program that supports students throughout their academic journey as well as college and career readiness. Applications can be picked up from Mrs. Batson and are due Friday, December 15th. It is an extensive and lengthy application requiring essays and letters of recommendation, so please assure your child is working on it ahead of time, if interested.
Feel free to reach out to Mrs. Batson at email@example.com with any questions.
8th Grade Update…
Eighth Grade Families,
As I am sure most of you are aware there was an error on your child's 8th grade hoodie/t-shirt.
We have been working with the printing company to rectify this error. Please see the included attachment for the correction they can offer. PCS will cover the cost of this resolution.
If your child would like their hoodie/t-shirt corrected please wash it, have their name/initials on the tag and have them give it to their home base teacher on Monday, October 29th. We will not be able to accept them after Tuesday, October 30th as the printing company will be picking them up that morning. Your child will have their hoodie/t-shirt returned to them no later than Monday, November 5th.
As always please don't hesitate to reach out to me with any further questions or concerns.
6th Grade-In 6th grade Math, students are starting their third unit, "Comparing Bits & Pieces." This week, students completed two "challenge" lessons introducing the focus of the unit: ratios and equivalencies. In this unit students will develop skills in using fractions, decimals, ratios and percents to measure and to compare quantities.
7th Grade-In 7th grade math, we are finishing up our unit on rational numbers. Next week we will take our unit test and begin learning how to measure properties of shapes and construct triangles and quadrilaterals. 7th grade has worked very hard over the past 2 months to grow in our understanding of rational numbers. We learned that taking away negatives is actually the same as adding positives, because taking away a negative is like taking away a debt. We also conquered our fears of working with fractions and decimals, and we've learned that math isn't about perfection, it's about problem solving and progress. Parents, can you come up with another real life example of why subtracting a negative is the same as adding a positive? Share with your 7th grader and see if they agree!
8th Grade-8th grade math has just finished our unit on irrational numbers, square roots, and cube roots. Our first goal of this unit was to discover what the difference is between a rational number and an irrational number. This built on their knowledge from 7th grade! After that, the students learned about square roots and cube roots. They worked extremely hard on figuring out where these square root and cube roots would be located on a number line. Looking towards our next unit, we will be working on solving equations!
Here is your problem of the week from the Middle School Math Department:
I am a three digit number. My tens digit is five more than my ones digit. My hundreds digit is eight less than my tens digit. What number am I?
Answer from last week:
The cell phone case costs $5. The cell phone costs $105. Together they cost $110.
PE...Tchouckball is over and the students did a great job learning a new game. It was very different for them playing this game, but I think for the most part they enjoyed it and we will definitely explore it again. We are now into our Halloween section of PE, where we play some of the kids favorite games for the next two weeks before starting some fitness based activities. This week we played ghost in the graveyard which is an all time favorite of the students. I had a few 8th graders sad to realize this was the last time they would play this game in their grade school career. Next week we will play a few games in class to keep with the halloween theme.
Art…In the art room, students continue to work in media of their choice: drawing, painting, collage, yarn, or sculpture. While weekly studio time remains the same, enrichment is shifting with the start of the second quarter. Students will begin working on a collaborative weaving project for display in the middle school building; 6th graders prepped their looms this week, and 7th grade will begin next week. If you have any extra skeins of yarn, donations for the project would be greatly appreciated.
Quest...Please see the attached newsletter for your Quest Quarter 1 update.
If you have a 6th grader that is interested in playing basketball please see the attached flyer for sign-ups through the YMCA league.
The 7th and 8th grade soccer teams each have a game this weekend. Please have players arrive by 8:30am for the 8th grade game which starts at 9am. All 7th grade players are invited to play in the 8th grade game as well! The 7th grade game starts at 10:05am, please have players arrive at 9:30am.
Cheerleading practice will continue on Wednesdays and Thursdays after school from 3:45 until The cheerleading team is also hosting our PCS Mini-Cheer Camp on Saturday, November 10th!
All mini-cheerleaders, Kindergarten thru 5th grade, are invited to join us to learn a cheer, dance, and what it means to be a PCS cheerleader! If you are interested in more information, email Miriah Hatfield at firstname.lastname@example.org.
REMINDERS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Middle School Trip…
Middle School Trip families who have students going to Denver, Colorado, the 2nd fundraiser is due this coming Thursday on November 1st to either Ms. Florence at the middle school front desk or to Ms. Slattery. Remember that we accept cash, money orders, or checks but that checks are only accepted from immediate family members of the PCS students. Email or call Ms. Slattery with questions at email@example.com or 314-645-9600 x. 435
Middle School Trip: Colorado 2019
All families that have paid the deposit to the school and registered online with Adventure Student Travel should be prepared to pay the first monthly payment on Tuesday, October 30th. Please be sure to make the $180.00 payment to Adventure Student Travel. You can pay online with a credit card. Please use the account information that was set up through the online registration. You can also mail a check or money order. You must include on a separate paper in the envelope the school name, Premier Charter School, and your student's name. Mail to:
Adventure Student Travel
18221 Salem Trail
Kirksville, MO 63501
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.
BAC reminder for families...Students are only allowed 5 drop-ins for Before care and 5 drop-ins for Aftercare per year. The Before care drop-in fee is $5 and Aftercare drop-in fee is $15 per student. There will be a $25 Aftercare drop-in fee per child on half days; our next half day is October 25th. Also, families that plan on using the drop-in program need to call ahead or email Mr. Lydon at email@example.com
A Note from Southwest Foodservice Excellence (SFE)...
Food Service Survey
At PCS, our goal is to provide our students with a fulfilling experience throughout every day that they are in attendance. Part of our students' daily routine is eating usually at least one meal while at school. We'd like to get your feedback on how you and your student feel about the food offered by Southwest Foodservice Excellence (SFE), our provider for school served breakfast and lunch. Please consider taking this short survey to give us your point of view:
Thank you for you time.
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.
Free/Reduced Meal Status 2018-2019 - Complete ASAP!
As a reminder, Free/Reduced lunch statuses from the previous school year have expired! If you have not filled out an application for this current school year, or are interested in turning one in for the first time, make sure that you do so and turn it into any of the offices ASAP! We ask that all families have one on file as our Free/Reduced Meal numbers have positive funding implications. If you have any questions feel free to contact Ben Huebner at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fun Around Town…
If it's fun, free, and family friendly, it's listed below. Have a wonderful weekend.
Fri/Sat/Sun Oct 26, 27, & 28 Open 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Friday; 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday
Howl-O -Ween at Purina Farms in Gray Summit, MO
Family and Fido Friendly Fall Activities. Well behaved dogs with up to date vaccines are invited as well. Reservations necessary by calling 314-982-3232. No admittance at the door without a reservation.
Free admission but $5 parking fee. There are some activities that have an additional fee.
Sat/Sun Oct 27 & 28 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Dia de los Muertos at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park
The free and family friendly annual Día de los Muertos Festival celebration features beautifully decorated altars representing a variety of Latin American traditions, live music & dance performances, an art display, food vendors, souvenir printmaking, a procession through Forest Park, and a number of other activities for the whole family.
For a complete schedule visit: mohistory/org/diadelosmuertos
Sat. Oct 27 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Halloween Family Day at the Contemporary Art Museum 3750 Washington Avenue next to the Pulitzer
Enjoy treat, face painting, a haunted dance party, ghoulish art projects & more. All ages welcome. Please register at camstl.org/calendar
Sat. Oct 27 8 p.m.
Monument to the Dream Charles Guggenheim's documentary film about the making of the Gateway Arch will be screened while accompanied by a live performance by the Washington University Orchestra under the baton of Darwin Aquino at the Gateway Arch.
Tickets are free, reservations required by calling 314-935-6543.
Upcoming Missouri Department of Conservation 2 part event:
Thurs Nov 1 6:30 - 8 p.m. at Powder Valley & Sat Nov 3 at Cliff Cave County Park
Age 10 & up Free but Reservations necessary by calling 314-301-1500
Missouri, aka the Cave State, is home to over 7,000 natural caves. On Thursday evening you will learn caving safety and why we need to protect this unique ecosystem. On Saturday, you will explore a cave (helmets and 1 headlamp will be provided for you--please wear rubber boots & bring 2 additional light sources.) Happy spelunking!
ONGOING FREE EXHIBITS
Oct 19, 2018 through Feb 10, 2019
Kehinde Wiley: St. Louis at the St. Louis Art Museum
Artist Kehinde Wiley gained national notoriety for his work on the official portrait of Barrack Obama. Mr. Wiley now is exhibiting portraits of ordinary St. Louisans in his ongoing exhibit at the St. Louis Art Museum; free now through 2/10/19 in Galleries 249 & 250 in the East Building.
Note: Due to construction directly in front of the Art Museum, Fine Arts Drive is blocked in front of the statue of St. Louis overlooking Art Hill but you may reach either one of the 2 free parking lots coming from the Zoo side or from Skinker Ave side but you currently cannot drive past the statue of St. Louis going in either direction.
Now extended through March 24, 2019
Panoramas of the City at the the Missouri History Museum
Panoramic photos of St. Louis as large as 10 feet x 30 feet taken from 1900 to 1950 tell the history of St. Louis is the first half of the 20th century.
Exhibit date has been extended through March 24, 2019. http://mohistory.org/exhibits/panoramas-of-the-city/
Through June 2, 2019
Muny Memories at the Missouri History Museum
The nations oldest outdoor theater celebrates its 100th birthday. Learn about past performances, take a peek backstage, vote for your favorite star, & learn a dance step at the free ongoing exhibit now through next June. http://mohistory.org/exhibits/muny-memories/
Through December 21, 2018
Riverbend Public Art at the Gateway Arch
The 100-foot-long artwork, made of silver, mirror-like material that references the Arch, shows the navigable Missouri River, highlighting it as the primary means of Westward Expansion and Gateway to the West for Lewis and Clark and many others. Riverbend will represent the confluence with the Mississippi on the east and extend westward. Artist Margaret Keller won the Critical Mass for the Visual Arts Public Works Project commission to create this artwork.
Important Upcoming Dates
10.27.18-8th Grade Soccer Game 9:00~7th Grade Soccer Game 10:05
11.8.18- Board Meeting 4:30
11.9.18-Veterans' Day Assembly
11.15.18-Literacy Ball and Book Fair 5:30-7:00
12.15.18 Pancake Breakfast with your Grandparents or Special Friend
Free and Reduced Meals Application
PCG Events Calendar
Welcome PCG Letter
MS Trip Traveler Information Sheet
MS Trip AST Online Instructions
6th Grade Basketball Flyer
Veteran’s Day Flyer
October Lunch Menu