Middle School Newsletter
April 5, 2019
MS. WRIGHT'S WRITINGS…
The Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) testing will begin on Monday, April 8th for our 8th grade students. 6th and 7th grade students will test during the week of April 15th. All grade levels will be tested in ELA and Math and 8th grade will also be tested in Science. We will begin testing daily at 9:00. It is imperative that your child is on time to school as we can’t allow students to enter the classroom once testing has begun. Students who arrive after 9:00 will have to make up their test at a later time, meaning they will miss valuable class time. It is also imperative that student’s get a solid night’s rest as well as a healthy breakfast before testing. Please help encourage your child to do both of these things. During testing your child will not be permitted to keep their cell phone or electronic devices on their person. If they chose not to keep it in their locker their teacher will collect their phone or electronic devices at the beginning of testing and lock them up until testing has concluded for the day. Your child has been made aware of this policy but we would appreciate you reviewing this with them as well. Our students have worked so hard all year to learn and master their grade level content. State testing is nothing more than an opportunity for them to demonstrate how much they’ve grown in a year. At the middle school level in particular, state test scores are important as they are one factor that can influence both high school admission and the classes students are able to take in high school. So please encourage your child to do his or her absolute best and take these tests seriously. Below are a few tips that might be helpful to review with your child before testing begins.
Tip #1: Teach your child that visuals are part of the text.
Students are often required to gather information from photos, captions, drawings, charts, and graphs. You can help by teaching your child to look at all of these materials as part of the total text.
Tip #2: Help your child know how to use text-based support in written responses.
Most of the constructed-response items on the MAP assessments have two parts or require children to explain or show how they arrived at their answers. Children will receive only partial credit for answers to questions that are not supported with specific details or that do not contain an explanation.
Tip #3: Teach your child to preview the test before starting.
Planning the test time will allow your child to pace himself while he is working and decrease stress.
Tip #4: Teach your child to identify all parts of a question.
Teach your child to identify exactly what each question is asking. Some questions have multiple parts, which are often combined into a single sentence with a single question mark at the end. The child should underline each question word (who, what, when, where, why, how and any other word or phrase that indicates a question). By doing so, she can see if a question has multiple parts. Not answering all parts of a multi-part question is a common error.
Tip #5: Teach your child to paraphrase test items, turning questions into statements.
Teach your child to turn questions into statements. The child may underline the question words as described above, and then turn each part of the item into a statement. For example, the question, "Why did the main character play with the ball?" could be rephrased as "The main character played with the ball because ..." This practice allows the child to phrase the question in a way that makes the most sense to him. He is then ready to read the passage and look for answers.
Tip #6: What can a parent or guardian do to ensure successful assessment for their student?
Be aware of the testing schedule.
Be certain that your child has had adequate rest.
Be on time for school.
Avoid scheduling appointments that can be done at a later date.
Have a positive attitude.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
ELA DEPARTMENT UPDATES:
In 6th grade ELA, we just finished our nonfiction text World Without Fish and are beginning the novel Flush by Carl Hiaasen. The two books together will help us understand the effect that overfishing and pollution have on our ocean ecosystems. We are also studying how an author shows his or her point of view through both nonfiction and fiction writing.
7th graders started text-to-film book clubs this week and they are so excited! They had the choice of six different texts and will be reading and analyzing their selections, tackling new genres and higher-order thinking challenges. We're eager to witness them set goals, face new challenges, and most importantly, have great conversations about books!
In 8th grade ELA, we have launched a new research project. Students have the choice to research anything that interests them! We have research topics that range from black holes, gaming, to fashion and more. Ask your 8th grader what topic they chose! They are also finishing up their first unit on the Omnivore's Dilemma. They learned about where their food comes from, and they finished up by advocating persuasively for a specific meal they would like to feed their family. If your students have been talking more about food at home, this is why!
Can you make homemade pizza from scratch using a microwave? Well our explorers are going to do just that in our newest unit called Microwave Menu. Explorers are learning all about how easy and affordable it is to create delicious, budget-friendly foods in seconds using a common microwave. Students are asked to bring in their OWN microwave safe mugs for this unit. Please remind them to bring one to school or reach out if they cannot.
In music this week, we are starting with keyboards/piano. The students are first learning how to label the notes and piano fingering numbers on a piece of music that they pick out, then starting to practice the right hand part. They will then practice the left hand, then put them together. They are doing a great job!
For Enrichment, the students are learning how to tune a guitar with an electronic tuner. They are catching on very quickly.
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…
Teen Science Cafe for students in grades 6-12
Free dinner & presentations
Not Just Pill Counters: A Day in the Life of a Pharmacist
Hosted by St. Louis College of Pharmacy 4588 Parkview Place 63110
Tuesday, April 9 at 6 p.m.light dinner; 6:30-8 p.m. Presentation with hands on activities
Free but register on the website:https://www.academyofsciencestl.org/event/teen-science-cafe-not-just-pill-counters-a-day-in-the-life-of-a-pharmacist/
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
4.8-12.19-8th 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
5.9.19-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