Middle School Newsletter
September 14, 2018
MS. WRIGHT'S WRITINGS…
Kindness Starts with One. One cup of coffee, one smile, one compliment, one word of encouragement, one hug, one________ .
During the summer, as I was preparing for this school year, I spent a lot of time reflecting on what our students need in order to be successful in life. Many different needs came to mind but one in particular kept popping up...being a kind individual. What if we explicitly model and teach the importance of kindness to our students? Would this have an impact on them in their future? The answer that I always settle with is unequivocally yes. We would be giving our students an advantage over others who may not possess this character trait.
Be KInd. Two simple words yet at times it can be so difficult to be kind. When I was meeting with staff prior to school starting, the message I was shared with them was this: we will intentionally help our students build the skills it takes to treat others kindly. I explained that this work will not be easy or quick but it is absolutely necessary.
Kindness can be demonstrated in many different ways. It is shown in the way we speak to one another as well as how we treat one another. Here are just a few examples of kindness I witnessed: Two MS students helping a younger student who was upset at recess; a 7th grade class put kindness notes in all of their peers lockers; three different teachers shared how their students are staying after to help them after school; a staff member noticed a flat on another staff members car on a Friday afternoon and stopped to change it without being asked, and students in Ms. Bottoms class created rocks with kind messages on them (be sure to look at the picture below).
A simple act of kindness can make a world of difference in someone’s day or even life. This is what we want all of our students to understand. Our goal is that while your child is part of our PCS family they will feel kindness from others, as well as spread kindness to those they encounter. I encourage you to recognize when you see your child demonstrating an act of kindness, no matter how big or small. If you would, please revisit the quote at the top of my newsletter and ask your child what will their “one” be? I would love to hear their responses.
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. Teacher pages will be available soon. Once they are active you will be able to directly contact your child’s teacher through their individual page. You will also have easy access to their social media accounts. In the meantime, if you need to contact a teacher please do so via email or give them a call. There is also a “contact us” button on the website if you are not entirely sure who you need to contact with a question, we will pass it on to the right individual. If you would like to go back and read previous newsletters please just click on the month button as we will archive all the newsletters.
As yet another form of communication we will continue to update the marquee outside the middle school building. Be sure to check it out for important dates, reminders, and other fun information! This will be updated frequently to continue to give our PCS family communication in an entertaining way. Be on the lookout for fun trivia questions as well as some good humor!
8th Grade Hoodies...
8th Grade Families, hoodies are almost here! Students have finished and voted on a design for the Class of 2019 apparel. This year, we are offering sweatshirt and tee shirt options. These will be considered dress code for 8th graders only, but please remember that tee shirts are still expected to be tucked in. Watch for order forms to come home around Monday, September 17!
Note from Mrs. Gray...
As some of you may know, we've been fortunate to have Kids in the Middle come into our school for the past 2 school years. Their primary focus is to work with kids and families going through a divorce or separation but they did all kinds of groups based on family need. While this was a great resource for us we were notified today that that have lost 100% of their school based funding. So, we will NOT be hosting them this year. They do offer an in house scholarship program for kids/ families who are specifically needing support from Divorce and separation. Please feel free to reach out to them if you are interested in attending one of their groups. They can be reached at:
Kids in the Middle- 314.909.9922
2650 S Hanley Rd #150, St. Louis, MO 63144
6th Grade-In 6th grade ELA, we are reading the exciting novel Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief. As we study this novel, we are exploring ways in which Percy is a hero and making connections to what it means to be a hero in our real world! In Lit Lab, we are working hard on CEJ writing. CEJ stands for claim, evidence, and justification, and is the way in which we expect students to write complete answers throughout many subject areas in middle school. Our students are learning quickly how to support their ideas and opinions with strong evidence through this writing technique!
7th Grade-The weather is attempting to cool down, and we are digging deeper into new material and challenging skills. Students worked hard this week applying their short-answer writing skills to respond to real life news articles. The CEJ writing format is a skill that they learned in 6th grade, and one that students will be building on throughout their time in middle school. We've really appreciated this group's effort and hard work fine-tuning their writing skills. In Language Arts, students took their first mid-unit assessment and began to make connections between the class novel and real world texts and news. Homework is becoming a daily expectation, so make sure your child is checking their planner each night and getting everything done to be prepared for class.
8th Grade-8th grade readers and writers are developing their skills by practicing close reading strategies, including finding the gist and citing evidence. Students are using the book Inside Out and Back Againby Thanhha Lai to help them practice. They should be able to easily answer questions like, "What is the text mostly about?" and "How did the character feel? How do you know?" Try asking them tonight!
As writers, they are currently working on developing ideas into drafts. We just introduced the idea of flash revision in order to improve their writing. Talk to your students tonight about what they have been including in their writer's notebooks, maybe they will even share an excerpt!
Train your brain! Have some fun trying to solve this problem as a family.
Hello from PE! Last week we did some lead up activities to Flag football. We worked on throwing the football, positioning, routes, and formations. Sounds like a lot to work in 50 minutes, but the students did amazing learning so much about the game. This week we have put all of those things into action and have been outside on the field playing games. The middle school students have had so much fun playing and cooperating with each other, it has just been a pleasure to be a part of. I am really looking forward to seeing so many of our units in action this way with smaller numbers and longer class periods. Over the next few weeks we will be doing our annual Fitnessgram Fitness testing, which is never a student favorite, but a necessity by state standards. These tests can get very boring for the students at these age, but I do remind them that we send scores into the state to evaluate our school, so they need to do their best. Please encourage them to do their best on these test and show their highest level of fitness! Please make sure we have your correct email as I will be emailing the results.
Remember you can always reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and Follow PE on twitter @PremierPE and instagram @pcsphysed
We've been busy in STEAM using the engineering design process to create the logo for the 8th grade hoodies; focusing the connection to technology and art. Students selected the winning design and hoodie color by popular vote. Order forms will be coming home soon!
High school was a great success; we were so impressed seeing students putting to use their communication and networking skills that they learned in our second project, "Intro to STEAM." Students practiced using their elevator speeches and created their own business cards and ID badges after identifying individual strengths and discussing what it means to be a 'steam professional'.
Beginning next week students will develop 21st century skills through rotations that reflect one or more aspects of the STEAM discipline, ultimately leading to the point where our students are STEAM capable and future ready! Each course lasts 3 weeks and students will work with a new teacher for each rotation.
A brief glimpse of these rotations can be seen below:
Ms. Lesch: Book making & Self-Publishing (Art & Engineering Focus)
Mrs. Wohlgemuth & Mrs. Hussey - Beauty in Unusual Places (Art & Math Focus)
Mrs. Daugherty - Startups with Passion (Engineering, Technology, and Math Focus)
Mr. Book - Coding and Computer Science (Science & Technology Focus)
The 6th grade students participated in the Egg Drop Challenge this week during the MS Makerspace enrichment course! Students were responsible for engineering a protective device for a raw egg that they named and decorated. After placing the egg inside the device, students dropped it from the balcony in the courtyard. We discussed conservation of materials and scarce resources before they used their $10 budget to get supplies to build their egg droppers. Materials included cardboard boxes of various sizes for $1 each, clear bubble wrap at $4 a sheet, and packing peanuts at $6 per scoop to name a few. Follow us on Instagram @ pcsmakerspace for pictures and videos. Also, check out the introduction video for the "Ninja Baby Challenge" on YouTube and subscribe to the PCS Makerspace YouTube channel to watch some quick student presentations of their designs.
Let Me Run:
Let Me Run sign ups are coming to a close. If you have a 4-8th grade boy interested in the running team, please go to letmerun.org and complete the registration. Scholarships are available if needed. Please reach out to Ms. Mijatovic (email@example.com) or Ms. McAdams (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
Girls on Fire:
Girls on Fire Needs Your Help!
Girls on Fire has officially started. The participants are on their way to reaching our goals, including knowing and loving themselves inside and out, being confident, reaching their highest potential and inspiring others to "ignite their amazing." You can help! Do you know any professional women, especially in the medical field, veterinary science, art or photography? Please refer women to participate in our networking event in the spring. For more information, contact Mrs. Daugherty at email@example.com.
Cheerleading practice will be starting next week! Practices will continue throughout the year on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Parents of cheerleaders, please make sure to attend our parent meeting after practice on Wednesday, September 12 at 5:00 pm in Coach Hayes' room.
The 7th and 8th grade soccer season has started! The first practice will be on Monday, September 17th from 3:30pm - 4:45pm. The players will need to bring a change of clothes, shin guards, and plenty of water! The game schedule will be sent home with the players as soon as the coaches receive it. If you have any questions please contact Ms. Thomas or Ms Lemmon. We are looking forward to a great season!
REMINDERS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Fall Peace Rally Writing Contest…
On September 21st we'll be celebrating our annual Fall Peace Rally in the courtyard from 9-10am. I'm excited to announce that Fredbird® will be joining us at the end of this year's Fall Peace Rally!
As a connection to this year's theme, #Allin4PCS, we're challenging our students to write about how they are all in for PCS. This can be done in a variety of ways: write a poem, a song, a letter, an essay, etc.
Pre-K - 2nd grade students can write with a parent or as a whole class. 3rd-8th grade students can write on their own or with a friend!
Please use the form below and be sure all submissions are turned in by the end of the school day on September 18th. A winner from each building will be chosen and will get their picture taken with Fredbird® after the rally!
BAC reminder for families...There is a half day on 9/21. School dismisses at noon and aftercare will end at 4:00 pm. If you are not signed up for aftercare, but need to use aftercare that day it will be a $25 drop in per child. If you would like to utilize aftercare on this day please email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call (314.645.9600) Mr. Lydon.
Middle School Trip…
Are you registered for the Middle School Trip to Colorado? We still have spots to fill if you are interested! Below is a checklist to make sure you have done everything necessary to sign up:
Register through AST online using the directions attached.
Complete the attached Student Traveler Information page and turn in to Ms. Rhine
Turn in $100 deposit of cash, check, or money order to the front office or to Ms. Rhine
If you are having any issues with registering online please call the toll free number at the top of the page and tell them you are with the Premier Charter School Group. The deadline for all deposits will be Thursday, September 20th. Please reach out to Ms. Rhine if you have any questions.
Middle School Trip fundraiser forms are due on Wednesday, September 19th of this coming week. Please turn in your forms and money to Hannah Florence at the middle school front office or Katelyn Slattery, middle school TLC teacher by Wednesday. Thanks so much!
Fundraiser orders & payments need to be turned in. Due date is today.
Mark your calendars!! October 20th is Fall Festival & Trunk or Treat. These are two events you don’t want to miss. Both events will take place at PCS. Bracelet order forms will be sent out in a couple weeks. If you are able to volunteer for an hour or two we would really appreciate the help. Please email Terry Brogan (email@example.com) to sign up.
If you would like to be on the parent email group, send your email address to Terry Brogan (firstname.lastname@example.org). 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
Free/Reduced meal forms are available in every buildings' front office. These forms can also be completed and submitted within the Parent Portal.
Please be sure to complete your Free/Reduced meal application as we ask all families to have one on file. Even if you do not believe you will qualify we ask all families to have one on file as this does affect meal pricing, BAC pricing, and has positive funding implications for PCS as a whole.
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.
Fri/Sat Sept 14-15
Forest Park Balloon Glow (Friday evening) and Balloon Race (Saturday beginning at noon)
The Oldest & Most Well Attended Balloon Race in the World celebrates it's 46th year.
Balloon Glow activities for kids open as early as 5 p.m. on Friday evening and Saturday's festivities start at noon with the Launch of the Hare Balloon at 4:30 p.m. and the Hounds Balloons at 4:45 p.m.
Fri/Sat/Sun Sept 14-16
Greentree Festival in Kirkwood Park 111 S.Geyer Road
A family friendly festival all weekend long. Food, Music and the ever popular Folk Life Festival showcasing craftsmen of the America's past-- think blacksmith, silversmith, coppersmith, soap maker, and my favorite--the 18th century surgeon!
Fri Sept 14 7:30 p.m.
Star Wars The Last Jedi Free at Westport Plaza at I 270 & Page Blvd--on the grassy hill overlooking the lake adjacent to Worldwide Technology
Bring the kids, your own food, drinks & a blanket; even Fido is welcome (on a leash)
Sat Sept 15 10:30 a.m.
Free Pajama Party with Book Illustrator, Daniel Wiseman at Left Bank Books 399 North Euclid in the Central West End
Illustrator Daniel Wiseman reads from his new book, "When Your Monkeys Won't Go to Bed." Wear your PJ's and you'll be entered into a drawing for a free book.
Sat Sept 15 Noon to 11 p.m.
Old Webster Jazz Fest
Free & Family Friendly Non stop Jazz and Blues Fest from 2 stages in Old Webster
Bring the kids, strollers, and lawn chairs
Wed/Thurs/Fri Sept 19, 20, 21 all programs start at 6:30 p.m. and last 1 hour
Ulysses S Grant Historic Site 7400 Grant Road in Affton presents
Civil War to Civil Rights: A Family Friendly Living History Series featuring 3 Historic Interpreters
One hour dramatic portrayal with first person historic interpreters exploring themes of slavery, Reconstruction, and African American efforts to secure Civil Rights. This very special free program is held outdoors under a tent with chairs provided.
Wednesday, September 19 meet Frederick Douglas as portrayed by Charles Pace
Thursday, September 20 meet Martin Luther King, Jr. as portrayed by Stephon Ferguson
Friday, September 21 meet Harriet Tubman as portrayed by Kathryn Harris
What do Historic Interpreters do? Historic Interpreters are actors who dress in historically accurate costumes and have extensively studied the lives, writings, and occupations of the character they portray. They essentially become the person they portray, striving to give the public an accurate view of the person and their place in history. Historic interpreters bring the past to the present!
Sun Sept 16 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Great Music of Many Faiths
Join Soprano Christine Brewer & the 442s for this Free Interfaith Concert at the acoustically perfect Sheldon Concert Hall behind the Fox on Washington Avenue. In addition both adult and children will perform with members of the St. Louis Symphony in a concert which promotes harmony among people of diverse faiths and backgrounds.
Important Upcoming Dates
9.17.18 & 9.19.18-Heart and Sole Practice 3:45-4:15
9.17.18-Soccer Practice 3:45-4:45
9.19.18-Tight 20 Meeting 3:45-4:15
9.19.18-Tom Evans Fundraiser due
9.19.18-MS Trip Fundraiser (TJ Pizza) Due
9.20.18-Board Meeting 4:30
9.21.18-Fall Peace Rally & Early Dismissal
9.25.18-Family Night at JJ Twigs
10.20.18-Fall Festival and Trunk or Treat
11.9.18-Veterans' Day Assembly
Free and Reduced Meals Application
All In For PCS Writing Contest
Family Night Information
MS Trip Traveler Information Sheet
MS Trip AST Online Instructions
Let Me Run Flyer