Elementary School Newsletter


September 13, 2019

Dearest PCS families,

Here at PCS we are very lucky to have a hard working parent group. This group, called the Parent Community Group (aka PCG), is a busy group who can always use extra help and hands. The PCG always appreciates its parent volunteers, as do the teachers and students! Keep in mind that by volunteering, you will enjoy interacting with the kids, become friends with other parents, and accomplish things that truly make a difference. Whether you have 30 minutes or a couple of hours, your ideas, your time and your talents are truly needed. They can match your time constraints and interests to needed tasks. They have many ways in which everyone can contribute and they need your ideas and energy! For more information, please contact Lisa Simon (lrsieve@yahoo.com) or Terry Brogan (tbrogan@lashlybaer.com). Please check out the attached flyer for upcoming PCG event dates.

Last Friday the PCG helped me out by organizing and putting on an event for our boys and their mom or another grown up. A fun movie night under the stars took place and, from what I was told, it was pretty awesome! Thanks PCG for your hard work to create a great memory for our families.

Dana Leesman, Elementary Principal 

p: 314.645.9600 x608             e: dleesman@premiercharterschool.org #ThatsPCS #DoKindTakeCarePCS

Elementary School Updates

Meet our teachers…

Over the next two weeks, I will introduce you to our Specialists. These teachers spend at least one class period a week with the elementary students exploring specialized content outside the regular general ed classroom. A few are new to their roles and the school this year and others are seasoned veterans here at PCS.

  • Meet Mrs. Boger (PK-4 Music): Hello! I am Angie Boger and I am excited to be a member of this wonderful PCS community! This year will be my 10th year teaching music. I previously taught at Public Schools in Central Illinois where I've lived until just recently moving to STL. I love what I teach and I hope to transfer that joy and enthusiasm over to my students this year. This year I would like to focus on building a sense of community and belonging in the music room. Along with that comes building pride in students' work and efforts into creating, singing, playing, and performing.

  • Meet Mr. Peterson (2-5 Coding): Hello. My name is Glen Petersen. I’m excited to join the faculty at Premier as the elementary coding teacher. Over the course of the year, the students will learn basic coding language, and apply it to collaboratively create unique games and animations through imagining, planning, and problem solving. As the year progresses we will gradually increase the complexity of the work. Even this early in the year, it has been fun to see their enthusiasm for discovery.

  • Meet Mr. Valandra: Hello, My name is Leroy Valandra and this is my 6th year as a PE teacher here at PCS. I absolutely love it here!!! Everyday I get to work out with students, who I care for very much. I also try to be a positive role model in all of our students life and want to push them in whatever it is they're passionate about. I want the best out of these kids! My goals for this year are to have a positive impact on students everyday, bring new content to the classroom, and to make sure the kids have as much fun as possible while being safe and able to learn. If I’m not at school you can catch me going on a hike, riding my bike, attending boxing class, playing softball or basketball, or anything that has to deal with being active. If I am not being active, I am probably at the food trucks in tower grove park!

  • Meet Mrs. Ramsey (PCS Librarian & PK-1 Library Science): Hello PCS Families! I am excited for this year as we prepare to open two PCS library “branches” to our students! Our upper elementary and Middle School books are housed in the Library/Makerspace located in room 437 of the Middle School Building and our Picture books and Junior Fiction and Non-Fiction titles will be housed in our new Library Space in Building C.  Whether for Library special (pre-K-1st grade) or weekly visits to the library scheduled by classroom teachers (2nd-5th grades), our students will have access to our outstanding collection of books and learn skills to help them grow as readers, digital citizens, and 21st century learners. Here are some of the things our library program has to offer this year:

    • Our program will promote the very best of children's literature to your child with activities designed to help students enjoy the stories even more.

    • We will learn and practice strategies that successful readers use to navigate and understand what they read.

    • We will do our very best to get (or keep) your children "hooked on reading" by recommending specific reading materials to each individual.

    • Each month, we will add new titles representing the latest and most engaging new books for young readers, including quality non-fiction.

    • We are committed to providing books that represent all or our diverse population at PCS and that explore important questions related to community, identity, history, empathy, understanding and equity. Be on the lookout for information regarding “We Stories” kits  available to families who wish to engage in discussions around these topics at home.

    • Library lessons will include good Digital Citizenship, helping your child make safe and ethical decisions when using the Internet.

    • We have several special events in the works, including author visits, 2 book fairs, and the St. Louis Storytelling festival assembly.

    If you would like to volunteer to help in the library, please let me know. I’d love to have you.

School Safety…

Like all schools, we take a great amount of time and put in a great amount of energy in order to make our facilities the safest they can be. Students have been and will continue to be talked to about many of the procedures they can follow. They also will be practicing various drills so they know and understand what to do in case of various scenarios occurring. Our buildings continue to have measures added to help the security and the control of who enters our buildings and how that entry takes place. Our parents and families also play a big role in the maintaining of a safe environment. So what can you do to help… basically follow our visitor procedures!

1. Raptor System, new this year:

  • In an effort to maintain the highest level of safety and security, PCS will now be using the Raptor Visitor Management System beginning on Tuesday, September 3rd. This system allows us to ensure that visitors have been properly screened before entering our buildings. Please see the attached letter for more details.

2. Parking Lot:

  • We really appreciate your daily cooperation in getting all of our kids to and from school safely every day. Now that we are back in the swing of things, we wanted to take a minute and send out a few reminders. The main thing to remember is to be patient with other parents and team members and respect the directions of the team members in the parking lot. They are working hard to ensure the safety of all, especially the students.

    Elementary/Middle School Lot & Sublette Ave:

    • At the curve at the Elementary School, the drive moves to two lanes. Once you have chosen a lane, stay in that lane until given direction to merge again after the Middle School crosswalk where one of our team members directs traffic.

    • Students being dropped off should not exit into the middle of the two lanes. Students should always exit curb side depending on what lane your car is in.

    • After your student is dropped, do not change lanes. The left lane is not the pass through lane. Our team members will assist in keeping lanes moving.

    • During morning drop off, please make sure you pull all the way to the curb before dropping a student on Sublette.

    • Turning left from Sublette to Macklind and making a U-turn on Sublette really snarls up traffic during drop off and pick up.  Also a reminder that there is now a stop sign on Macklind coming up the hill to Sublette.

    • During afternoon pickup, please make sure you pull all the way over to the curb on Sublette Ave and do not park or sit in the bike lane.  It is illegal and blocks other cars in. Also, cars that are pulling out cannot see around cars parked in the bike lane.

    • Out of kindness for our neighbors, please do not park in front of any of the driveways of the homes or businesses in the neighborhood

    Early Childhood Lot:

    • Please only drop students off when you are in a drop off space. If you are not in a drop off space numbered 1-5 please have your students wait in the car. It is not safe to have students dropped far down in the parking lot as much car movement is taking place. Team members will assist students in getting out of car.

    • In morning, please pull up to furthermost drop off space. These spaces are numbered 1-5 and we try to fill all five when getting students out of car. This allows us to move cars through the drop off lane faster. Even if stopped briefly to allow students and parents to cross at crosswalk, please wait to unload until drop off spaces have been filled.

    • This year, there is not a through lane in the circle drive in the morning. If dropping, please wait patiently for the line to pull forward.

    • In the afternoon, do not block in others in the lanes. If there are no spaces, please use street parking or continue to drive until a space opens up.

    • !!!!!!!! When exiting onto Fyler Ave, please note that you can go both right and left and that the exit lane splits. Traffic back up happens most frequently because of everyone wanting to turn left. Turning right (even if needing to head to Kingshighway area) may be just as quick so please consider that option!

. 3. Lockdown Situation:

  • We would also like 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.

. 4. General Visitor Guidelines :

  • Buzz into the door you are entering and if asked, please state reason for coming to the school. When you come in, please come directly to the office window, sign in, and get a visitors badge/sticker.

  • All guests at PCS will sign in and out in the office and wear a visitors tag. No adults should be in the hallway without a badge or a visitors tag. No adults will have access to classrooms unless appointments have been made or teachers have been called by the main offices.

  • If you are walking your child into the building, please remember we are trying to build independence in our learners. Please leave promptly and respect our instructional time. Also, if you are dropping off late (after 8:30 am), please allow your student to walk independently to class after signing in.

  • If we don’t know or recognize someone who is requesting to pick up a student, we will always ask for identification. Please understand that we have over 1000 students at our school. Even though you might recognize us, if we don’t recognize you, we will ask for ID so be sure to bring it with you. We are not trying to make it difficult for you, we just want to make sure all students are safe and are interacting with or leaving with approved people on the child’s pick up list.

  • When you are buzzed in, please do not hold the door for others. We know this can be uncomfortable but reassure the person entering behind you that these are our safety procedures.

  • After 3:10, no early dismissals will be allowed. At that point, normal dismissal is close enough and parents will be asked to wait outside. Dismissal is a chaotic time, so teachers needs those few minutes to make sure students are ready to leave for the day and not be interrupted with multiple calls into the room for students to leave early.

Free/Reduced Meal Status 2019-2020

As a reminder, Free/Reduced lunch statuses from the previous school year are expiring here soon! 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 (form attached)! 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 bhuebner@premiercharterschool.org

Fitness Center…

We are so excited about our new "Don't Quit!" fitness center from the National Foundation of Governors' Fitness Councils (NFGFC). For this year, the fitness center will be used for 5th-8th grade PE classes.

We were one of three Missouri schools to win this award from the governor and Jake Steinfeld, fitness guru and chairman of the NFGFC. We were able to show them that fitness and health is one of our primary goals for our students as well as the love we have for our students! Jake and some of his staff as well as board members etc will be at the ribbon cutting on September 26, 2019.

Here is the website if you are interested in knowing more about this foundation and award.


Vending Machine…

This year we have a vending machine in both cafeterias! We have made sure that the machine is filled with healthy snack options. Students may make purchases from 8:10-8:25, during their lunch period, and from 3:25-3:35 daily.

SFE Update…

Please see the attached newsletter for September happenings and information from our food service provider, SFE.

After School Opportunities...

  • Adventure Club: Please see your child’s backpack today for sign up form for Adventure Club. Hosted by Ms. Briney on Mondays, this club is open to students in grade 2-5.

  • Girl Scouts: If your child is interested in joining Girl Scouts, please see attached form for sign up information.

  • Let Me Run: It’s time to register for our fall season! Let Me Run is a running program for 4th-8th grade boys.  The season begins September 17th, and will run 7 weeks. Our team practices will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:35-5:00pm and we will end the season with a 5K race. Interested? Get a permission slip form from your classroom teacher, during PE or at the front office.  More about Let Me Run can be found online at www.LetMeRun.org

PCG News & Happenings...

  • Upcoming events:

    • Save the date for the annual Fall Festival coming up soon on October 19! Please see the attached flyer for more information.

  • The PCG is a support group for the students, teachers, and parents of Premier Charter School. Parent volunteers promote social and extracurricular activities, which will lead to successful and positive experiences for the students. We want to welcome you and encourage all parents to become involved in PCS. The best way to become involved is to volunteer or help out in any way you can and you can do this through PCG.

  • If you would like to be on the PCG parent email group, send your email address to Terry Brogan (tbrogan@lashlybaer.com). You will receive updates on upcoming events, etc.  Please take a moment to like the PCG parent Facebook page if you are on FB.

  • If you have Box Tops at home, be sure to collect and sent them in for additional fundraising opportunities for the school.  There is a collection box located in the Elementary Building.

Fun in the StL...

Friday, Sept 13 7 p.m.

Ferguson Summer Concert in Plaza 501 501 South Florissant Road


Fri/Sat Sept 13 &14 7 p.m.

Love at the River's Edge This year's Shakespeare in the Streets performance takes place in two different states! Love at the River's Edge is adapted from Shakespeare's As You Like It, set in a duke's court and a bucolic forest. When a young woman is forced to flee her home because of government-sanctioned abuse, she finds love and a new commitment to fighting for her rights. Act one starts on Friday, Sept 13, and Saturday, Sept 14, at 7 p.m. at the corner of Page and Ferguson avenues in Pagedale. The audience will then be transported by bus to the east side of the Mississippi River near the Golden Eagle Ferry in Calhoun County. At the play's completion, the audience will travel by bus back to Pagedale. Free but reservations recommended www.sfstl.com

Sat Sept 14 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Monarch Madness @ Weldon Spring Site Interpretive Center, 7295 Highway 94 South, St. Charles, MO 63304

Discover all things Monarch and celebrate their amazing lives at Monarch Madness. The event is free and open to all! Enjoy kids crafts, games, expert speakers, native garden demonstrations, butterfly tagging, food trucks, music, and more. You can even purchase native plants and collect free seeds in a fun, muddy seed ball activity to support Monarchs at your home.

Fri/Sat/Sun Sept 13-15

Kirkwood Greentree Festival

Continuing throughout the weekend, the Greentree festival includes a parade, an arts and crafts fair, the famous Folklife Festival, food and live entertainment.

Extra credit for all PCS students who spot Mrs. Wissler at the festival and stop by to say hello to Ms. Corich who is the MC at the Friday night Dog Show!


Sunday, Sept 15 1-4 p.m.

Artful Abstraction at the St. Louis Art Museum's Sunday Family Day

Dive into the unknown and abstract during September Family Sundays. Get inspired by The Shape of Abstraction as we investigate abstract art in a variety of forms. Experiment with prints, build structures with new forms, and collage with mixed media. Free 30 minute family tours start at 2:30 p.m.

Upcoming Important Dates...

  • 9.19.19: Peace Rally

  • 9.20.19: No School - PD Day

  • 9.25.19: Family Night at Smokin’ Barrels

  • 9.25-26.19: Vision Screening

  • 9.26.19: Fitness Center Ribbon Cutting @9:00 am

  • 10.18.19: End of Quarter 1

  • 10.19.19: Fall Festival

  • 10.23-24.19: Conferences

  • 10.24.19: Noon Dismissal - Conferences 12:00-7:00

  • 10.25.19: No School


Be sure to check us out on social media... Twitter, Facebook, Instagram!  All teachers & classrooms have accounts where you can check out pictures and happenings.