Middle School Newsletter
November 9, 2018
MS. WRIGHT'S WRITINGS…
Last week I wrote about the power of our words and how we can use them for good and unfortunately, at times to cause harm. Earlier this week I was having a conversation with Mrs. Gray, our licensed therapist, about this topic. During our conversation she was sharing her thoughts on bullying vs. developmentally appropriate behavior with me. Her knowledge on this topic is extensive so I asked her to share her thoughts with you. Here is what she has to say...
The word “bullying” is a buzzword these days… and for good reason. A lot of us remember our childhoods and we either experienced or saw someone being bullied. It was just accepted then. We just excused it as “boys will be boys” or “girl drama” and adults said things to us like “sticks and stones won’t hurt you” and “oh if he’s mean to you it just means he likes you.” Well. thank goodness it’s a different time now and we know how silly these excuses are. However, it seems that in our good intentions actual situations of bullying vs. age appropriate behaviors can get confused. We are quick to label someone a bully and someone a victim when in fact there are MANY factors in each and every scenario. Each child and situation is unique from the next. Small kids are super honest and might say something hurtful to someone but it isn’t meant to hurt feeling… that’s not bullying. A 4th grader might tell another student they cant play with them. This might seem like bullying, but when looking into the full story the other child doesn’t play fair… they tag rough and might trip the other kids. So, in fact, that child not letting them play is actually advocating for themselves and others. Then there are other times where it’s repeated behavior and intentionally hurtful. ..those are probably bullying. Sound confusing? It can be! The picture below does a great job at explain the differences. So much of what kids learn at school is academic, but there is also the social piece that is critical. How to get along with others, advocate for yourself appropriately and be honest without being hurtful are skills that they work on as well. When working with students we are always look through a developmental lens and consider all perspectives to every story.
As Mrs. Gray notes, differentiating between bullying and age appropriate behaviors can often be difficult. So much of the work we do with our students is helping them navigate through their social experiences. As you talk with your child about their school day, I encourage you to have honest conversations about their interactions with their peers. . As the adults in their lives we can help them learn and grow from their social experiences by listening, validating, and sharing our insight with them. As, always, please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.
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.
Book Fair Information…
The Scholastic Book Fair is only days away! Stop by our new location, room 240 in the Elementary Building, Tuesday through Thursday to do some early holiday shopping! All purchases benefit our school! See you at the Book Fair!
Tues. 3:30-4:30, Wed. 3:30-5:30, Thurs. 3:30-4:30 and 5:30-7 (during the literacy ball)
Can't make it to the Book Fair? Our online fair has already begun and runs through November 20th. Visit the online fair for an even bigger selection of titles at http://bit.ly/pcsonlinefair. Your student can also arrange to make a book fair purchase during the school day through their homebase teacher.
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.
You are all invited to our annual Literacy Ball and Scholastic Book Fair, Enchanted Forest of Books! We look forward to an evening of fun with many different literacy activities.There will be escape room activities with some new twists, Paws for Reading (support dogs), Novel Engineering activities, Puppet Show put on by Teeny Ten, PCS Cheerleaders led activity, and many more! Please see the attached flyer for more details.
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
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.
7th Grade Update…
Representatives from the Wyman Leaders Program, formerly known as InspireSTL, visited 7th grade classes a couple of weeks ago 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.
6th Grade-6th grade is finishing up the geology unit right now where we learned that geologist and paleontologist used fossil evidence to explain past tectonic plate distribution and movements. We will be forcing our way into Physics were we learn about Newton and his 2nd law of physics. The 6th graders will be taking a field trip to the science center on the 19th of this month where we will watch an Imax movie on Panda’s and explore the energy exhibit.
7th Grade-Why did the Europeans leave Europe? Why did they explore the New World? What was their impact? These are all questions 7th graders are tackling in our Unit 2: Three Worlds Collide! Students will participate in journal entries throughout the unit putting themselves into the different perspectives affected by the Age of Exploration.
8th Grade-This week in 8th grade science we are wrapping up our magnetism unit. In class we have talked about magnetic fields, and the different poles and strengths of magnets. Students created a "How-To" video showing how to create a strong electromagnet and presented them to the class on Wednesday. Our next unit will focus on energy and waves.
Here is your Math Department problem of the week. Enjoy solving as a family!
Guess My Number:
The hundreds digit is the number of sides on a hexagon
The thousands place is twice the digit in the ten thousands place.
When you add all the digits together, the sum is 23.
The digit in the tens place is half the digit in the hundreds place.
The ten thousands place is the area of a square with a side of 2 inches.
A number is a five digit number. The digit in the ones place is half the digit in the ten thousands place.
Answer from last week: Bruce has 3 cages and 4 parrots.
Music Opportunity…There is a great opportunity here in St. Louis to learn piano for families who may not be able to afford it otherwise. Pianos for People offer FREE pianos and piano lessons for families who qualify. If you are interested, please go to https://pianosforpeople.org/ and apply for a free piano and/or free lessons!
Art...In the art room, students continue to work in media of their choice: drawing, painting, collage, yarn, or sculpture. Last week, students began every class by brainstorming answers to the question: "what artistic skills and techniques do you want to learn?" These ideas will drive intro meeting lessons for the foreseeable future. Improving drawing skills was a popular suggestion, and so weekly lessons will explore drawing media for the remainder of the semester. For example, this week's lesson discussed how and why to use drawing references.
PE...Fitness stations are not always a favorite of every student, but they definitely benefit each student. This week I set up 12 different stations to work out different areas of the body. The students were at each station for minutes working hard before moving on to the next muscle group. The stations consisted of jumping rope, resistance band for bicep and tricep work, some pilates for muscular strength and endurance, power jumping, and some core work were the main areas hit. All of the students work hard and do see the benefits of the workout even though it is not their favorite activity that I plan.
Quest...Please see the attached newsletter for your Quest Quarter 1 update.
Let Me Run:
Our end of season 5K is coming up on November 10 in Tower Grove Park. Any and all are welcome to sign up to run with the boys, or even to run your own race. Click this link to complete registration. The run benefits a worthy cause and your attendance can help with not only that, but to encourage the PCS Let Me Run Boys to have a fun fitness experience!
If you have a 6th grader that is interested in playing basketball please see the attached flyer for sign-ups through the YMCA league.
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…
The second Middle School Trip fundraiser with Yankee Candle ended on Thursday, November 1st. Be on the lookout for the pick up date within the next week or two. Thank you to everyone who participated. The third fundraiser for the trip will be selling Coupon Books which will begin at the end of November.
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, 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
Fun Around Town…
If it's fun, free, and family friendly, it's listed below. Have a wonderful weekend.
Thurs, Nov 8
Two Free STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) Seminars sponsored by the Junior Science Academy geared toward Middle & High School Students
At Grant View Library at Gravois & Musick Road 7-8:30 p.m. The Origin of Life on Earth
At the Zoo Traditional Ecological Knowledge 5:30- 9 p.m. includes a light dinner
Sat/Sun Nov 10 & 11
Free Family Films sponsored by the International Film Festival of St. Louis shown at a variety of venues in St. Louis at various times
Sat Nov 10 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sci Fest at the St. Louis Science Center presents Healthy U.
Make a skeletal avatar of yourself, do an ultrasound imaging acitivity, test your reflexes, strength, posture & balance, use magic lotion to test your hand washing technique then suit up in scrubs like a surgeon, test your vision, see what your eye looks like inside, play a roomful of games about your body & health, see a real brain & more-- all day for free at the Science Center this Saturday.
Sat Nov 10 2 p.m.
Raptor Awareness Show at Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville, IL
Admission is free to Cahokia but donations are appreciated Hours for Cahokia Mounds historic site are from 9 a.m to 5 p.m.
Raptor Awareness Event is free and starts promptly at 2 p.m. No late seating because live birds of prey will be flying during the show
Sunday, Nov 11 is Veterans Day and what better way to honor our veterans than to tour the beautifully renovated Soldiers Memorial Military Museum on 13th & Chestnut which just opened last week. Open to the public and free for all.
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
11.9.18-Veterans' Day Assembly
11.15.18-Literacy Ball and Book Fair 5:30-7:00
11.27.18 Picture Retake Day
12.15.18 Pancake Breakfast with your Grandparents or Special Friend
12.13.18-8th Grade English EOC Exam
Free and Reduced Meals Application
PCG Events Calendar
Welcome PCG Letter
MS Trip Traveler Information Sheet
Literacy Ball Flyer
6th Grade Basketball Flyer
November Lunch Menu