Middle School Newsletter
October 19, 2018
MS. WRIGHT'S WRITINGS…
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, we spend a great deal of time with your child. As parents you are trusting us with what is most precious to you. I found that when my youngest daughter Finnley transitioned from elementary school to middle school, I felt a little left behind. As a working mom I haven’t been able to attend every field trip or school event. I did however always have a strong relationship with her teachers. When she entered middle school I found myself navigating new territory. She now had 6 new teachers versus one and I wondered what all these new relationships would look like. I soon realized that they each might look different but that wasn’t necessarily bad. As I mentioned in last week’s writing, middle school is such a special time for our kids. We need to show them that we still want to be connected to their school, but how involved should we be? What is the right balance?
Last week I had the opportunity to meet Finnley’s teachers during her conference. This was a great opportunity to for me to get to know these individuals that spend so much time with her. While I didn’t spend an extended amount of time with each teacher, I was still able to get their perspective on how she was doing in their classes, both academically and socially.
Next week we will have conferences on Wednesday and Thursday (see below for specific times). This time allows you to not only meet with your child’s homebase teacher but all of his or her other teachers as well. While this time may be designated to see your child’s academic progress, it is also an opportunity to build relationships with your child’s teachers. During this time you can learn how you can partner with teachers to ensure your child is reaching his/her potential.
In addition to conferences next week, I also want to invite you to please join us this Saturday at the Fall Festival. I know many times middle schoolers feel that having their parents present at events can be “embarrassing”, but I really want to encourage everyone to attend. This is a great family event where your child can socialize with his or her peers and you can can get to know other parents and staff as well. By joining your child at school events you are sending your child the message, “I am part of the school community and I care about your education.”
If you have suggestions, ideas or questions about how you could partner with us, I would love the opportunity to talk with you. I have no doubt that together, we can provide an amazing educational experience for your child.
1st Quarter Conferences…
The end of the first quarter is upon us and it is time to host conferences. Conferences will be held on the following days: Wednesday, October 24th: 4:00-7:30 pm and Thursday, October 25th: 12:00-1:00 pm, 2:00-4:00 pm and 5:00-7:00 pm. 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.
It is important and necessary that you bring your child to the conference. They have an important role to play. We will not release the report card to your child until we have conferred with you. Conferences are mandatory. Please call or email your homebase teacher in advance if you are unable to attend and we will reschedule at that time.
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.
Please join us for our first Parent University Night of the 2018-2019 School year! The first topic will be about Digital Citizenship and, as parents, how we monitor and help our kids navigate this new world of technology. Dinner will be provided. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org with how many will be attending in your family. See attached flyer for more information.
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.
A Note from Southwest Foodservice Excellence (SFE)...
This Tuesday was our first fresh fruit and veggie snack. This is something we will be doing every few weeks to promote health and wellness with our students. Students will enjoy various fruit and veggies and discuss the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Teachers have checked the allergy lists, but if you have any questions or concerns, please let your child's teacher know. Thank you!
SFE Cooking Classes are back! Grades 3-5 will be participating in a healthy cooking class courtesy of our food provider, SFE. A chef and/or dietician will be teaching groups of 15 students (3 per class) how to cook something healthy as well as discussing other nutritional information. This takes place in our elementary cafe for about an hour during the school day. Students will be chosen at random, and offered the opportunity to participate. Students who have not participated in the past will be chosen first. Classes started this week with 3rd grade and will continue throughout the year.
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.
In ELA, 6th grade students just finished their first analytical essay of the year about the myth of Prometheus. Ms. O'Brien and Ms. Deason are so proud of all of their hard work! We are excited to be beginning some new myths in class as students continue to study Greek mythology. In Lit Lab, students are using their knowledge of "The Hero's Journey" archetype studied in ELA to make connections to someone they consider to be a real life hero. Students will be presenting their information next week.
With autumn officially here and first quarter coming to an end, it is safe to say this year is off to a great start. Seventh grade has just finished their first novel, A Long Walk to Water, and this week in Language Arts the students have put their knowledge to the test, taking an assessment to show what they know through text analysis of both their novel and the non-fiction texts that have provided essential background knowledge. Students are continuing to further develop their skills of crafting well-written constructed responses and have really shown an eagerness to grow as learners while beginning to grasp the concept of context through their Context Storybook Projects, completed in Literacy Lab. In the upcoming weeks, seventh graders will be working on their literary analysis essays and at the start of November, they'll be on to their next novel, Lyddie. Please encourage your student to check their planners and complete any homework they may have each night. We appreciate your ongoing support and look forward to quarter two!
Finally my eyes open and I take a look around to only find myself surrounded by water. I jump off my floatie in hopes of being able to swim to shore. Beginning to panic, I start to grasp for my breath.
“MAMA!” I yell.
My hands push the water so I’d be able to move forward. Suddenly a wave covers my body and I'm drenched in water. My eyes spot two women in the distance and a scream escapes my mouth.
“Help!” My nose is facing the sky completely in order to stay above water.
And that's just a sample of the type of writing that 8th graders have been producing. I have been blown away by the skill and craftsmanship your students have shown. They have worked to add dialogue, sensory descriptions, and intentional pacing to bring their stories to life. If your students haven't shared their writing with you yet, beg them to share now! The growth they have shown is tremendous, and we are so eager to see what is in store for these budding authors in the future!
Practice your problem solving at home with this puzzle from the Math Department!
A cell phone and phone case cost $110 in total. The cell phone costs $100 more than the phone case, how much was the phone case?
Answer from last week:
How can you add eight 8's to get the number 1,000? 8 + 8 + 8 + 88 + 888
Music...Hi! I am so excited to be teaching music to the amazing students at Premier Charter School. This year, I hope to build a safe and encouraging musical community that encourages the students' voice and choice. My goal is to see students learning various instrumentation and vocal techniques, create projects that showcase the type of music they enjoy, while along the way learning musical theory that corresponds to their grade level. Building relationship with students and parents is very important to me, so I hope to hear from you in the future!
Explorations Academy...Explorers have continued to address the question "how can we use design skills to build a better world?" They have been using their creativity and drawing skills to express their design and construction ideas through a sketch or description. Check out their unique blueprints on Instagram @explorationsacademypcs
Quest...The Quest field trip to see Black Violin in concert was a success. Students who attended enjoyed the message of defying stereotypes. The fusion of violin and hip hop was captivating, impressive, and entertaining. Everyone left with great connections for our Quest explorations. The music opened their eyes to the possibilities of classical instruments! Stay tuned for postings from our trip on Instagram @mrsdlovesquest.
Makerspace open house during conferences
Wednesday 4-6 pm, Thursday 3-6 pm in the Middle School Library/Makerspace
Stop by before or after your student's conferences to see our developing Makerspace and examples of student projects, try out some Maker activities (lego wedo, bloxels, makey makey, and more), and meet Makerspace facilitators, Mrs. Ramsey and Mrs. Daugherty!
Girls on Fire:
The girls completed their second session on Redefining Beauty with discussions about beauty stereotypes in the US, body image, and shifting ideas on personal insecurities. Next week, we'll be discussing beauty standards around the world to round out this topic. The shopping trip this past weekend was a success complete with support for each other as the girls tried on outfits and Bubble Tea!
Committee meetings for fundraising, marketing, and leadership/service have started on Wednesdays. These rotate and are usually once a month. Look out for the Girls on Fire calendar to be sent via email. All special events are updated as details are ironed out. Please follow Girls on Fire on Instagram @girlsonfireignite.
Tight 20 has worked hard in creating an interactive and fun week raising awareness to stand against drugs. Your child is encouraged to participate in our dress down theme days, see attached flyer, and engage in enrichment activities during their study hall time. This is a great time to talk with your child about the effects of drugs and how to say, "No".
Let Me Run:
The boys have started the season strong: lots of cheering, lots of running, and lots of amazing team building. Please remember to send the boys to practice with water so they can stay fully hydrated during their training. An additional reminder is that practice is cancelled on October 24th due to conferences. Encourage your boys to run a little bit each weekend so they can keep their fitness up; feel free to join them on a run. They would love it, and you might too!
The PCS teams had a great time playing against each other last weekend! This weekend the 7th grade team will have a soccer game on Saturday at 9am, please arrive by 8:30am. The 8th grade has a game at 10am, please arrive by 9:30am.
The cheerleading team will be running a booth at the fall festival this weekend! The girls are so excited to be participating in such a fun event. Stop by and see us!
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 and dance.
REMINDERS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Middle School Trip…
The second Middle School Fundraiser for the trip to Denver, CO was passed out on Thursday, October 18th during study hall. If you are in need of another form please reach out to Ms. Slattery at firstname.lastname@example.org or her extension 435 to have one sent home with your student. This fundraiser will run until Thursday, November 1st. Friendly reminder that you may send in a money order, cash, or that the checks must be from the students guardians. Money is due the same time as the forms. Please let Ms. Slattery know if you have any questions.
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
Tomorrow is our annual Fall Festival. This event is a family fun event for a fall afternoon. That evening please join us for Trunk or Treat and our First Annual Chili Cook Off!! All events are held at PCS. Please see the attached flyers for more information. If you are able to volunteer for an hour or two we would really appreciate the help and you can sign up here.
If you would like to be on the parent email group, send your email address to Terry Brogan (email@example.com). You will receive updates on upcoming events, etc. Please take a moment to like the parent FB page if you are on FB.
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. Oct 19 3-6 p.m.
City Green Fall Festival 4260 Manchester in the Grove Neighborhood
City Greens Market, a non-profit grocery store in The Grove, invites the community to its annual Fall Festival. Kids and families are encouraged to participate in the free festivities, including a chili cook off, face painting, a petting zoo, bobbing for apples and more. Fall Festival attendees will receive 20 percent off a City Greens Membership, which provides access to local, organic and sustainably produced groceries at-cost. https://stlcitygreens.org/
Sat., Oct. 20, 6:30-8 p.m.
Ghosts of the Arch Grounds Stargazing Event
On the present-day site of Gateway Arch National Park once stood a French colonial village, a thriving riverfront port and a warehouse district. Learn about the adventures and misadventures of St. Louis’ historical figures such as Thomas Targee, James Eads and Kenneth Swyers, and how they helped shape the history and lore of the area. Attendees should meet “Sky Ranger” Rich Fefferman at the water feature outside the new circular glass west entrance of the Gateway Arch, which faces Fourth Street and the Old Courthouse, for both the interpretive talk and stargazing.
Sat. Oct 20 10-11:30 a.m.
Free Family Morning at the National Blues Museum
615 Washington Blvd. Downtown St. Louis
The National Blues Museum (honoring the music, not the hockey team) is hosting a family morning event with free admission for families, and will include live music, scavenger hunts, story time, hands-on activities, and crafts! It will also include our 'Musical Petting Zoo! Normal admission is $15 for adults & $10 for kids so this is a great opportunity to see the museum for free! Reservations needed: 314-925-0016 ext 432 https://www.nationalbluesmuseum.org/event/family-day-at-the-national-blues-museum-3/
Sat. Oct 20 8 a.m. set up; 9 a.m.-noon clean up; pizza noon- 2 p.m.
River Des Peres Trash Bash Volunteer Opportunity
Join Great Rivers Greenway District, the River des Peres Watershed Coalition, Missouri Stream Team, Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District and City of St. Louis in their fight to clean up the rivers and creeks within the River des Peres watershed. The 16th annual River des Peres Trash Bash is taking place on Saturday, Oct. 20, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The clean-up will last from 9 a.m. to noon with a celebration and appreciation pizza lunch at Willmore Park from noon to 2 p.m. Volunteers will also be rewarded with musical entertainment and prizes for the “best” trash finds
Sun. Oct 21 2-4 p.m.
Special Needs Trunk or Treat
Concordia Lutheran Church 505 S. Kirkwood Road (aka Lindbergh Blvd)
For many kids with special needs trick-or-treating may not be an option due to sensory difficulties, anxieties, dietary restrictions or even the physical restrictions of their own neighborhoods. For this reason, the Special Needs Ministry will be hosting an inclusive, accessible and sensory-sensitive Trunk-or-Treat event for special needs children of all ages & their families. Free but reservations necessary: http://www.ckhome.org/trunkortreat/
Important Upcoming Dates
10.20.18-Fall Festival and Trunk or Treat
10.24.18 Conferences 4-7:30
10:25.18 Conferences 12-7:00
10.25.18 Early Dismissal
11/8- Board Meeting 4:30
11.9.18-Veterans' Day Assembly
11/15-Literacy Ball and Book Fair 5:30-7:00
Free and Reduced Meals Application
Family Night Information
MS Trip Traveler Information Sheet
MS Trip AST Online Instructions
Fall Festival Flyer
Red Ribbon Week Fyler
Parent University Flyer
October Lunch Menu