Middle School Newsletter
April 12, 2019
MS. WRIGHT'S WRITINGS…
I think it is safe to say spring is FINALLY here. Teachers and students have welcomed the amazing weather this week.
With the warm spring weather arriving, daylight savings time in effect and only a month and a half of school remaining, it's not uncommon for kids to lose motivation. Motivation will ebb and flow during the school year and this is a time when students are more focused on counting the days until summer than studying. I am sure you may be losing steam as well. Here are some tips to help your child get through the remainder of this year:
Re-establish old routines. If routines have gone by the wayside, it's not too late to put them back into place. They foster a sense of order and can greatly reduce procrastination.
Reset a study time. Spring sports, school events and summer plans are distracting. Teens are also more likely to be distracted by social media. Set up a routine for a block of time, say 8 p.m. to 8:45 p.m., where social media is turned off and everyone in the family is device-free.
Check nightly to see if your child has homework. Once you know what the assignments are, spend five minutes to list what needs to be done. Consider sitting with your child while they get started.
If you know your child has something due or an exam at the end of the week, help them set up a plan so that they aren’t scrambling last minute.
Set up system where your child may have some time “down” to play outside after a specific amount of time spent on homework.
If possible allow your child to do their homework outside.
We have had a very successful year thus far and I am confident that together we can end strong. I’m so excited about what’s in store for our last 2 months together this year.
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 April 19th, 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.
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
Join us on Thursday, April 18 from 5:30-7:00 PM for our 5th Annual STEAM Night. Pre-K through 8th grade students and their families will enjoy fun and exciting experiences in the areas of science, technology, engineering, art, and technology. Students will have the opportunity to design their own video game, make slime, observe minerals and gems, see bones and artifacts, plant seeds, watch chemistry demonstrations, make a model of a comet while learning about space, hear about STEAM careers, experience a tornado machine while learning about weather, participate in many hands on STEAM activities, and engage with STEAM experts from all over the St. Louis area. STEAM Night activities will be held in the middle school building and students must be accompanied by an adult at all times during the event. We hope to see you there!
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.
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!
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.
Math DEPARTMENT UPDATES:
In 6th grade math, students finished up their unit on dividing factional numbers. Students are now able to explain what dividing fractional numbers mean using models and words. They also discovered the algorithm for dividing with fractions. We used this last week in math to complete, "MAP Bootcamp," where students reviewed math units and got a preview to our next unit over Statistics. I am so proud of the 6th graders' hard work this year, and I know they will do their best on the MAP test this next Monday and Tuesday. Wish them luck!
In 7th grade math we are finishing our unit on proportionality and we are going to begin to discover how proportionality, ratios, and scale factor relate to linear relationships and pre-algebra topics. MAP testing is next week as well and the 7th graders have worked hard to make sure they are prepared and ready to be successful on those two days. Math is about problem solving and progress not perfection, and these 7th graders have made great progress in their problem solving skills. We are excited to get to show what we know!
In 8th grade, we have been reviewing everything we have learned so far this year in preparation for MAP testing. This past week, the 8th graders worked very hard during testing and I am so proud of all the grit that they have shown! They stayed true to our touchstone and came to school every day ready to "do their best". I look forward to finishing the year strong with this group with exciting topics such as scientific notation and the Pythagorean Theorem!
With only a handful of weeks left in the school year, students are working on projects that showcase skills developed throughout the year. It is a pleasure to continue seeing students apply artistic knowledge and experiment with creative techniques. Weekly mini-lessons continue to focus on figure drawing and will do so through the end of the school year.
The gym has been rocking with Badminton over the past two weeks. The students played singles last week and doubles this week. Most of the students have really enjoyed themselves playing this backyard favorite. I showed them a clip of an Olympic badminton match as well to show them that this game can be played as a leisurely game with friends in the backyard at a get together or it can be very competitive all the way to the Olympics. I hope the students continue to use what they learned and play it when the opportunity presents itself. Lifetime activity is what I am focusing on this month of April moving into golf over the next few weeks. I know I will have those students that are not the biggest fans, but some will realize they like it just like they did with badminton.
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…
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.
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:
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.
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…
Forest ReLeaf presents 1 week Tree Camp in Creve Coeur Park for students in 4th- 7th grades
Monday-Saturday, June 3-8 (half day camp 9 a.m-1 p.m.) and Family Day on Sunday, June 9 at 10 a.m.
$50 or full scholarships for qualifying families; snacks and lunch provided
Register at http://moreleaf.org/learn/treecamp/
Fontbonne University, 6800 Wydown Blvd presents:
Girls in Science Summer Research Experience for girls entering 7th-9th grade--Free
Choose a 2 week session in any of the following sciences
Biology June 3-13
Chemistry June 17-27
Ecology June 17-27
Biology 2 July 8-18
Important Upcoming Dates
4.15-16.19-6th Grade MAP Testing
4.17-18-19-7th Grade MAP Testing
4.27.19-Family Night at Panda Express
5.9.19-MS Career Fair
5.21.19-8th Grade Graduation 7pm
April Lunch Menu
Girls on Fire Flyer
Vaccinations Flyer for 7th Grade Families
STEAM Night Flyer
Menu Changes Note
Rock and Jump Flyer
Career Fair Flyer
Busch Stadium Flyer