Middle School Newsletter
March 15, 2019
MS. WRIGHT'S WRITINGS…
In past newsletters I have written a lot about student voice at PCS. I’ve shared how we have created a culture where students are empowered to give input into their learning and even lead initiatives. I believe we also excel at providing an environment where students can express who they truly are. A great example of this was last week’s poetry night.
I know many of you were able to attend the Xpress Yourself Spoken Word Poetry Night and I am sure you were all just as impressed as I was with our student performances. Students shared very personal experiences through spoken word. I don’t think I could even begin to explain what this night meant for them so I asked them to reflect on the experience. Please take a moment to read their very thoughtful reflections as well as some of their poems...I promise you will be beyond impressed.
“Being able to express my voice at PCS is a blessing and a great experience. I can come off like a confident person when you first meet me ,but that’s not totally true. I am a bit shy and having the opportunity to let others hear what I have to say helps me with my confidence. I also usually run away when asked to say how I feel about justice because I feel like I won’t be taken seriously and the adults will think that I don’t know what I am talking about. But Poetry Night will be the night that everyone will be able to see me shine bright. Thursday night will be the night when people will know how I feel, it will be the night when everyone hears me say what I truly feel and take me seriously.”
give me the universe for i will treat it with caution
let me have its love, grace,languages, knowledge,culture, beauty, nature, and art
along with anything else it has to offer.
let me have its hatred, pain, remorse, sorrow, bruises, and scars
i will wear them on my chest like a proud soldier.
let me take away all the evil
so we can all finally live with each other in harmony
for that is all that i desire
a world where prejudice, racism, and discrimination
have nothing to do with tomorrow
a world where we can step outside without
fearing societies judgment
a world where everyone is paid equally
a world where people of every
skin color, religion, and race are safe
a world where illnesses aren’t a joke
a world where everyone is equal
a world where we work together to find answers
but this won’t happen
no it won’t happen if we don’t learn
to stop hating each other
it won’t if we don’t start
realizing that we are killing our sisters and brothers
we all need to learn to love each other first
then peace will start to spread
let us be the change,
for the person that we are today will
effect tomorrow and every other day
“Being a part of the “Xpress Yourself Spoken Word Poetry Night” even has been such a great learning experience, and I’m grateful that I got a chance to experience such an amazing thing. This is event allows students to speak out about how they feel and their vision on the world. I got the chance to make new friends and show my vision on the world. The poetry night is an event that is an awakening. We are able to carve a path for ourselves and show our true selves and our view.
Thank you so much for such an amazing opportunity to have fun, make new friends, and share my voice with the world.”
~ Isabella Alamo
The world is cruel
I see that now
Beauty is hidden,
Cruelness is seen,
In those who hurt
And those who kill
You must always be alert.
Beauty is seen
In nature and purity
With kindness within,
But still there’s an insecurity.
Cruelty is a gun pointed at the innocent
With lies galore
For fools and other knaves
To just be adored.
Lies, Death, and Suicide
Or Murder with a touch of Insanity
Perfect for the crazy world we live in
I can’t deal with this inhumanity
Life is kind but sometimes impure
With tricksters, robbers, and liars
People with money think they’re amazing
But others have needs that are dire
Our potential is hidden like our beauty
That hasn’t been seen
We should be kind
Unlike our greed
So show your inner beauty with
“When I'm able to share my voice at PCS, I feel that I am able to speak freely and openly about things that may be troubling me. At times I felt that my voice could never be heard because I'm just a teenager and I thought the color of my skin would limit me. But then PCS along with Ms.Daugherty created The Xpress Yourself Poetry Night and that's when I knew it was my time to shine; that's when I knew my voice could be heard. I did the poetry slam last year in 7th grade it was titled "Who Am I" it was mostly about the stereotypes that I felt. This year my poem is titled "Black Girl Magic" I wanted to bring light on what it truly means to be black and what it truly means to feel beautiful in the skin that you're in. I love the fact that PCS never limits us to what we can do and achieve. Being able to verbally express my thoughts emotions makes me feel one with my school community.” ~Na’Myaih Vessey
Black Girl Magic
Black girl magic is me
And everything within me
When I was growing up I didn’t know what black girl magic was
But I needed to explore what it meant
Black girl magic is a concept of beauty
Women who are powerful and resilient
That is black girl magic I am black girl magic
I used to hide behind the shadows the closed doors
For some reason the light wouldn’t shine
Now I stand proud
My natural curls define me
My brown eyes inspire me
My brown skin lights a fire in me
I will not be held back my black girl magic got my back
Black girl magic is me and everything within
When I was growing up I thought black girl magic could never be me
And then I realized I was born with magic, wonderfully made
My sparkle was in my crown and my magic in my heart
My blackness from a king and Queen that
Will always set me apart. I know longer fear
What society says I am or should be, my future
Will not be tragic because I possess to much
Black girl magic. It didn’t start with me and will
Not end with me but to show hommage I have to show love
To all the black queens before me
Harriet Tubman is black girl magic
Maya Angelou is black girl magic “and still I rise”
Gwen B Giles
Madame C.J. Walker
Marsha P johnson
Shirley Chisholm is black girl magic
My mother is black girl magic
My sister is black girl magic
I am black girl magic
And if you ever forget the magic
You hold don’t you frown lift your head and adjust your crown
Because you are black girl magic
“There are people who are not being able to be heard around the world. But here at PCS we can express our feelings, and our past. You might think were telling you parts of a real life story that you can't relate to. But to us we’re showing you what we been through and how we got through some of it. So express things your way. Take it as courage and show what you want to share. Personally writing poetry helps me develop and relate to someone else's life. PCS is a place for me. Thanks PCS.”
Safe but still dangerous
We might be safe
We have safety
But we have thoughts, that can't be shared
We might be good, but bad inside
For our thoughts and the actions around us
Can we have safety near us
Can we have safety around us
Why do fairy tales end up with secured happiness
Life might not be safe all the time
Or even at all
But think what you have now is good enough
But to other people your just nothing
People think differently for a while
Until they realize their thoughts are wrong
So can it change to be right
I know that I didn’t have the courage in my early teen years to express myself like these students did last week. I feel so fortunate to have been able to part of this experience. I am truly so thankful to be part of this really big family where we support and encourage one another to express ourselves and be who we really are.
The end of the third quarter is upon us and it is time to host conferences. Conferences will be held on the following days: Wednesday, March 20th: 3:30-6:00 pm and Thursday, March 21st: 1:00-3:00pm. You may come at any point during the above times. Please plan for these conferences to last 10-20 minutes in length. You should plan to meet with your child’s homebase teacher first to receive the midterm report. Then, you may conference with any of the other teachers.
Conferences are mandatory for students that are at risk. If your student is at risk, their homebase teacher will call to set-up a conference with you. Their report card will not be released until a meeting is attended with your child’s homebase teacher. It is important and necessary that you bring your child to the conference. They have an important role to play.
If your student is not at risk, it is not required that you attend conferences. However, if you would like to still meet with your child’s teacher, you are free to come during the times listed above.
Message regarding BAC for 2019-20…
Dear PCS Families,
Our primary goal with our Before and After Care program is to provide a safe, engaging and enriching experience for all participating students. In order to do so, each year we limit enrollment to 225 students. 2019-2020 will be no different, we will again be limiting enrollment to 225 students, evenly distributed among all 9 grade levels.
After speaking to parents over the course of the last few years and analyzing BAC enrollment, we believe that the most equitable way to distribute spots in BAC to all our families, old and new, is through an enrollment lottery. This is the same way that we fill open spots at the school.
We will begin accepting applications for BAC on April 1st and hold our BAC enrollment lottery on May 1st. This schedule will allow us to notify all families who applied for BAC if they were accepted or not before the end of the 2018-2019 school year.
We have also decided to offer a special, early bird enrollment lottery for all families who have submitted applications by April 15th. We will fill as many spots as we can on April 15th and fill any remaining spots on May 1st.
As a school of character, we believe strongly in the importance of equity and believe that this enrollment system is in line with our core ethical values. I am happy to answer any questions about this policy change and look forward to hearing from you.
Dr. Mike Schrimpf
Assistant Head of School
Message from TLC…
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education values the opinions of all parents in Missouri’s schools. We would appreciate you taking the time to respond to this brief survey about the special education services your child receives. This survey is confidential; your individual responses are not shared with the school district or anyone else. Only a summary of all responses is provided to school districts in order to help all schools improve education for our children. You may complete this survey by using the link below. Please complete this survey by April 30. Thank you very much for providing your input.
Go to http://spec.education/ and enter the access code to the right. Access Code: GBPKLL
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Erin O'Brien email@example.com
This is how we PCS: Around the world in 1 day.
2019 Multicultural Fair! May 3rd!
Peace Rally 9-10 in the courtyard
Walk for Hope 10-11
Lunch & Class Meetings 11-12
Performances/Multicultural Fair 12-3
We're excited to announce a new format for our annual Spring Peace Rally and Multicultural Fair. While some things have stayed the same (Peace Rally, Walk for Hope, and awesome cultural experiences), we've changed how students will experience the day.
This year performances will be scheduled for classes and each grade level will be learning about the cultures of a particular continent within their classroom!
More information and detailed schedules will be coming soon, but we wanted to give you the date and times so you can add them to your calendar now.
Also, if you're interested in donating your time or expertise, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Some things parents are doing: demonstrating a dance, organizing contacts with community partners, teaching how to prepare a traditional food, serving a traditional food, and more!
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)
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 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…
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 science is currently halfway through our ecology unit where students are exploring the interactions organisms have with one another and their ecosystem. For our Unit project, students chose a Missouri ecosystem to focus on, and our unit studies will culminate on field experience to Forest Park where students will take part in water quality study and work as ecologist collecting data through a fish sample. Spring arrived early at the science class, this week we welcomed the 2nd batch of quail to the incubator. Our quail chicks should be hatching in the first week of April, and the students are I are incredibly excited for their arrival.
7th grade science is mid-way through the Force and Motion unit. Students have been working hard to integrate math into the science classroom. We will see that connection the most in this unit as it is physics based. Calculating kinetic energy really challenged students and helped sharpen skills to help use equations. We also conducted a lab to help test the mass of an object and the height at which it was dropped. Using science notebooks in the classroom is a great way to stay organized! The students will be working towards their end of unit challenge using K'Nex building parts to create a car design that will help minimize the injuries during a collision.
In 8th grade science we are wrapping up our chemistry unit. The students have learned about the periodic table of elements and how to balance chemical equations. We also created some endothermic and exothermic reactions! Our final unit will cover ecology and the classes are working on a plan to hatch some eggs!
Hello from the Physical Education world. We have been quietly doing our thing and getting sweaty in the gym. Last week we played hockey in hopes of bringing the Blues some good luck. This week we started playing Ultimate Frisbee in the gym. We are inside the front gym this week with hopes to get outside to play the game in a more spread out area soon. PE has a lot planned in the coming weeks after Spring Break with field day right around the corner on May 10.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
REMINDERS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Middle School Trip…
Middle School Trip Update:
The Middle School Trip to Colorado is right around the corner! Our final numbers are in and we have the final trip cost set at $975.00. Please remember as discussed at the beginning of the year the trip cost could fluctuate as students are added and dropped. This is $26 less than the expected $1,001.00 cost that was presented at our first parent meeting. Be sure to check your account with AST to ensure that you have all payments in and have the full $975.00 paid.
A parents ONLY meeting is scheduled for the first Wednesday after spring break, April 3rd from 6:00-7:00 pm. At this meeting we will discuss the itinerary and go over any questions you may have regarding the trip. We will also discuss what our Middle School Trip 101 meetings look like for your students at school. Come with any questions or concerns you have.
One of the activities that we are really looking forward to is the Cave of the Winds Lantern Tour. Students will get to tour Williams Canyon and even participate in a ropes course!
MS Trip IMPORTANT DATES:
Parents ONLY meeting: Wednesday, April 3, 6:00-7:00pm
Trip Dates: Sunday, April 28 - Friday, May 3
*Students are not permitted to attend school Friday, May 3. Please plan accordingly for pick-up Friday morning.
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.
Please see the attached updates from SFE on activities from the last month, as well as upcoming events and menu changes.
Fun Around Town…
Saturday, March 16 at Noon
St. Pat's Downtown Parade 20th & Market
120 entries including marching bands, floats, clowns, character balloons and over 5000 marchers.
Sunday March 17 at 11 a.m.
St. Pat's Dogtown Parade fromTamm & Oakland to Tamm & Manchester
Join the Ancient Order of Hibernians Family Parade at 11 a.m. and outdoor events all afternoon until 6 p.m.
This weekend promises warmer temperature and sunshine; the perfect weather for outdoor family fun and St. Louis has plenty of places to choose from which you can experience both day & night!
For a list of favorite family hiking spots check out the following options:
Saturday, March 16 6:15- 9:30 p.m.
Call of the Wild: Spring Peepers & Timberdoodles
Missouri Department of Conservation & Busch Memorial Conservation Area in St. Charles, MO is inviting the public to take a short walk (1.5 mile) after dark to discover the critters making mysterious sounds in the night. You will learn to recognize the courtship calls of Timberdoodles & Spring Peepers-two harbingers of a Missouri Spring. Free but registration required at https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZGF.
What's a Timberdoodle? What's a Spring Peeper?
Important Upcoming Dates
3.23.19-PCS Trivia Night
4.3.19-Parent ONLY MS Trip Meeting
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
5.21.19-8th Grade Graduation 7pm
March Lunch Menu
Girls on Fire Flyer
Vaccinations Flyer for 7th Grade Families
Trivia Night Flyer
Parent WFH T-Shirt Order Form
Menu Changes Note