Middle School Newsletter
May 3, 2019
MS. WRIGHT'S WRITINGS…
This time of year is always so busy as we are wrapping up the school year. At times I find myself just checking tasks off the to do list I keep to ensure that I don’t miss anything. Ironically, in living this way I am in fact missing many joyful moments. So, once again (change takes time) I am reminding myself to slow down and simply live in the moment. Doing so has allowed me to truly embrace these last few weeks of the school year. Whether it was meeting our soon-to-be 6th graders, having lunch with students or chatting with staff I allowed myself to simply soak up each moment. Yes this time of year is exhausting, but it is also filled with so much joy. Today’s Multicultural Fair and Walk for Hope was just one example.
It only takes a visitor a few minutes to see how diverse our school is and this is one of the things that makes our school so beautiful. Today however is a grand celebration where students get to not only learn about others’ cultures but also share about theirs. It was hard to miss the pride beaming from all the students as they participated in the various events.
Many students played an integral role in planning the Multi-Cultural Fair. I asked a few of them to share with me their reflections on the experience. I am sure you will be as moved as I am by their responses.
Planning the Multicultural Fair was a phenomenal experience for me. It's been a day at school that I've always looked forward to all year because I'm always wanting to be apart of this event. To me, the meaning behind it is to explore the different cultures from around the world and dive into their history to see their perceptions on running their civilizations and how that has influenced their future. Inspired by this message I wanted to make my country, culture, and background known to others as well as the many representatives from other countries at this school. One way I've done it is by modeling the fashion that's most relevant to my community. Another way is by sharing stories of the important events or people there. Overall, I'm filled with joy that I've had a chance to be apart of Multicultural Fair and represent my country.
I love being part of our Multi-Cultural fair because it is so empowering to see students of so many different backgrounds, come together and celebrate their differences. There is always a place for someone at PCS and this is mine, in the thick of it all, preparing this day for the school. I have been doing it since I was in third grade and sad to leave in my last year, but I guarantee I will come back to see the peace rally next year!
Have a wonderful weekend.
Ms. Walsh’s Message…
Change is inherent to life. It’s natural. Without it our life courses would be quite dull! If we can convince our children to view these inevitable life occasions as challenges to conquer and most certainly grow from, it may help to reduce some unwelcome anxiety. Dr. Bojana Jankovic Weatherly, MD, MSc, shared a beautiful metaphor for embracing change in her article, 8 Tips to Helping You Thrive During Life Transitions. She quotes her friend and colleague, Dr. Alisa Hoffman, a psychologist in Los Angeles describing change: “An arborist told me that trees need to get blown around because that is the way they grow strong roots. Transitions help to strengthen our coping skills and our confidence so that we can face other transitions in life. Change continues to happen, and our ability to develop good coping and strong shock absorbers are key to moving through the transitions gracefully.” Handling change gracefully; now doesn’t that sound lovely?
For decades, life-span researchers have been studying the effects of transition on our minds and bodies, as well as, the best possible coping strategies for us. Knowing care-givers lead busy lives, I’ve listed below some tips to aid you in guiding your precious child through transitioning him or herself toward a new grade level...
Discuss with your child times they’ve successfully navigated previous transitions.
Remind your child that they have a network of people (parents, grandparents, guardians, teachers, principals, school counselors, etc.) to support them through this transition.
Prepare, prepare, prepare. Talk with your child about what this change may look like daily and that some feeling of anxiety is perfectly normal.
Help your child recognize his or her own strengths, and then point out how these can be used during this time of transition.
Self-care routines are so important for both you and your child. At least eight hours of sleep, regular exercise, and healthy meals help maintain our physical and mental health. Daily routines provide consistency and structure, which certainly help in the transition process.
Maintain your sense your humor. Laughing is cathartic!
As always, your PCS family is with you through your next transition! Wishing you all the best as you wrap up this school year and head into summer.
Middle School Trip…
Middle School Trip:
The Middle School Trip to Colorado was a great first taste of what it is like to head out west. Our itinerary was filled with many activities and new experiences.
Monday we began our trip at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo where the students got to see many different animals with a spectacular view from the top of Cheyenne Mountain. Keeping with the outdoor adventures we went to the Manitou Cave Dwellings to see where the indigenous people lived and built their homes into the side of the mountain. From the cave dwellings we went to the Summit Interquest for bowling, laser tag, and arcade games. All students enjoyed a game of bowling and then threw down in the laser tag gauntlet.
Tuesday we started off our day at Cave of the Winds Mountain Park. So many fun things at this location. Groups participated in a virtual reality roller coaster ride, took a haunted tour of the caves by candle light, and gem stone panning. Then, we drove to the Garden of the God's for an outdoor hike. We got lucky with the weather and had a wonderful time with Great views.
Wednesday we met up with new tour guides to help show us around Denver. We began with a tour of Hammonds Candy Factory. From there we went to the Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank to check out some interesting facts about money and budgeting. We rounded out our day by taking a tour of the University of Denver College where a current student gave us tips and information about the University. Our dinner was at the Hard Rock Cafe where we were able to see a short performance by a live band.
Thursday was our final day in Colorado. The weather was our best yet with sunny, clear skies and low winds. We started the day at the Denver Botanic Gardens. Each group explored and compared the beautiful garden to our own STL botanical garden. The final stop of the trip was to the Museum of Nature and Science. Here the students explored 3 levels of awesome exhibits. The museum also had an IMAX theatre where we saw a documentary called Superpower Dogs. What an emotional way to end the day!
This trip was filled with learning experiences and growth on so many different fronts. As chaperones and we are so pleased to share that on more than one occasion our students were complimented on our respectful behavior and kindness. Truly showing the core values of our school.
I appreciate all of the hard work and dedication that everyone has put in to make this a successful trip; it truly would not happen without everyone pitching in. Hopefully everyone has a restful weekend.
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
Just a reminder our next half day is May 10th, 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
Middle School Career Fair…
PCS families and community members, we need your help! We are looking for volunteers to participate in our middle school career fair. You're invited to come share your talents, skills and career advice with our students to help them discover potential career paths. The career fair will take place the morning of Thursday May 9th from 9am to 11am. If you'd love to participate, please contact Maria Hansen at 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!
Cultural Fashion Show!
Time to show off your culture!
We are interested in learning about traditional clothing from different cultures. We invite anyone (adults and students) to participate in this year’s cultural fashion show at the Peace Rally on Friday, May 3rd at 9am.
We would also love to have any adult come and teach about their culture on this day to small groups. Displaying artifacts and/or pictures, teaching a traditional dance, demonstrating how to make a traditional food, and/or showing a short film are just a few ideas of how you could share your culture with others.
If you or any family member is interested in the fashion show, teaching about your culture, or even just helping at the Multicultural Fair, this would be GREATLY appreciated!
Please contact any ELL teacher if you are able to help out!
314-645-9600 ext 249 or send in a note.
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.
7th grade is in need of Kleenex, paper towels and Clorox wipes to get us through the end of the year. We would greatly appreciate any donations you could send with your child or drop off at the front desk. Thank you!
8th grade is having a FUNdraiser at Rockin' Jump to help raise money for our end of year activities (like formal). Please see the attached flyer for more information.
Semi-formal permission slips were sent home earlier this week, please review this with your child. Additionally, 8th grade is running low on clorox wipes, tissues, hand sanitizer, and paper towels. We would greatly appreciate any donations to help us make it to graduation germ-free!
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.
Grade Level UPDATES:
While our friends were off exploring the snowy west, those of us who stayed back had a great time holding down the fort.
In Science class, Mr. Graczyk had a design challenge where students designed and created model rockets with the goal of launching them into the great beyond (over the school fence). We had several successful designs and learned a lot about rocket science and aerodynamics in the process.
In ELA, each home base worked together to write, film, and produce "Middle School 101" presentations for next year's sixth graders. These presentations will be shown to 5th graders to help them adapt and be successful as they transition into middle school.
In Social Studies, we are finishing up Rome with a creative exploration of Roman Civilization and starting on the Medieval final project. Students began researching topics such as the Crusades, the Knights Templar, the 100 Years War, the Bubonic Plague, Viking Excursions, and the Ottoman Empire.
In Math, students have been having fun and working hard in groups to design their own pizza restaurants! Components of the project include: drawing a layout of their design that meets given constraints, calculating the area of their restaurants as well as the furniture they have drawn on their plans, optimizing the price of their menu while considering the cost of the ingredients, and creating a powerpoint to sell their design to investors! On Thursday, students will be going to the City Museum. Students earned this field trip by making good behavior choices and making sure all of their assignments were completed!
This week in 7th grade math we have started and will finish our Ratio Ramen Project. They have been challenged to collaborate in groups to show what they have learned about ratios, proportionality, and linear relationships by creating a scale model of a bulletin board that is all about Ramen Noodles or the topic of their choice. The scale drawings will be put through 2 rounds of voting to determine an overall winner. The group that wins will scale up their drawing to design and actual bulletin board that will be featured through the remainder of the year.
7th grade was all about proportions and a glimpse into the Holocaust this week.
Students researched major camps that were active during World War II across eastern Europe. These camps were developed by Nazi Germany to complete their "Final Solution" in exterminating populations. In tandem, students virtually explored the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and had the opportunity to study a person who experienced the Holocaust first-hand through their online identification card program. They created an art piece, along with a short written piece, to memorialize their chosen person.
Students also had the opportunity to create books that told the story of their 7th grade year.
Financial literacy, community improvement, local farming, and immigration study, oh my! 8th graders have been busy diving into authentic units of study. Some students may be traveling in Colorado, but here at PCS we have been working to explore how what we've been studying affects our lives. In math, students are tackling big topics like how to budget, what the difference between credit and debit cards are, and when to use each of them. Students have completed online modules that provide different simulations for them to work through. In ELA, this week was all about food! Students explored information about Local Farms and Farmers' Markets near St. Louis. They also compared what they eat to different families around the world in addition to completing a novel about a community garden and the impact it had on the people of Cleveland. Social studies class gave students an opportunity to explore the lives of immigrants and people of Hispanic descent in the film McFarland, USA with humor, tears, and discussions.
Quest Project Showcase
You are invited to the Quest Project Showcase, featuring group projects and independent projects from 6th - 8th grade Quest students. See the attached flyer.
What: MS Quest Project Showcase
Date: May 16, 2019
Time: 2:15 pm - 3:15 pm
Where: Makerspace in MS Building
Purpose: To showcase student work, provide an authentic audience and solicit feedback.
Parents and family members who will attend, please email Mrs. Daugherty at email@example.com. Hope to see you there!
Middle schoolers have been busy in the Makerspace. 7th graders made hovercrafts from balloons and CDs. Then, they were electrical engineers, using Arduino circuit boards to make LED lights initiate a launch pattern. This week the 7th graders continued their electronics explorations creating Brushbots to battle each other using simple circuits with motors and cleaning brushes. Before and during MAP testing, 6th graders participated in a series of activities to improve their teamwork. 8th graders come up with great ideas to leave their mark on PCS; some of these ideas are at work and others are being proposed to the key stakeholders.
Girls on Fire:
Girls on Fire Awards Ceremony
Mrs. Daugherty, Mrs. Polizzi, the 2019 Girls on Fire members would like to invite you to the Girls on Fire Awards Ceremony on May 8th from 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. There are nineteen girls being honored. Come to celebrate all of their accomplishments this year. Parents and teachers make sure you have contacted Mrs. Daugherty at firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP. Buy dinner tickets in advance or at the door.
REMINDERS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
You don’t want to miss the PCS choir performance at Busch Stadium. PCS music teacher, Mr. Plank and some elementary students will perform before the game at Ford Plaza at 5:45. Please come out and support PCS. Invite your family, friends, Gather friends and family and join us on May 7th. Tickets are 20.00 (face value 58.00).
Please see the attached updates from SFE on activities from the last month, as well as upcoming events and menu changes.
Fun Around Town…
OMG (Oh, Middle Grade!)BookFestival Saturday May 4th 1-4 pm
Ladue Fifth Grade Center 10900 Ladue Rd, Creve Coeur, MO 63141
The OMG BookFest is a celebration of books aimed at the early to middle grade reader (ages 7-12). OMG is a traveling circus of books and authors that moves from city to city offering kids a chance to meet new and favorite authors in an engaging, high-energy and interactive environment. Readers will experience themed activities and a book signing with 24 OMG authors! Only 1 $5 ticket per FAMILY is required, and your ticket includes a $5 coupon redeemable on any book for sale that day! For more information and to register go to: https://omgbookfest.org/omg-missouri
Important Upcoming Dates
5.9.19-MS Career Fair
5.9.19 Board Meeting
5.9.19 5th Grade Parent Night 5:30pm
5.21.19-8th Grade Graduation 7pm
May Lunch Menu
5th Grade Parent Welcome to MS Night
Vaccinations Flyer for 7th Grade Families
Menu Changes Note
Career Fair Flyer
Busch Stadium Flyer