Middle School Newsletter 

 

September 2019

MS. WRIGHT'S WRITINGS…

When I woke last Saturday morning to the devastating news of what had occurred at two local football games I sat and thought “we absolutely have to have better for our children”! There is so much hurt, confusion and anger in our world right now that I believe we have no choice but to instill hope in our children that it will one day be better. So I sat a bit longer and considered how as a mom ,who happens to be a principal that lives in a city in crisis, how can I begin to bring hope to others??

Well wouldn’t you know it later that weekend I was reading  a short parenting blog and here was the answer...2 minutes. That is all we need everyday to make an impact in a positive way on someone’s life. This could be as simple as smiling at the stranger you pass in the store, lending a hand to the parent that is clearly overwhelmed because their child is having a fit as you wait in the grocery line, holding the door open for the person behind you, sharing your umbrella with someone, asking how the person’s day is going that just took your order in the drive through...I could go on and on. These examples are simply ways that we can spread kindness while modeling for our children how we should and can treat one another. 

Imagine what our world could potentially look like if we ALL took just 2 minutes a day to simply be kind to one another. If we model this behavior in front of our children instead of frustration, irritation and often times hurtful behavior, we are giving them a priceless gift. We are showing them that is absolutely possible to treat one another, even those that we don’t know, kindly. And when we do slip up, because we all will, we acknowledge that and strive to do better next time. 

We are frequently reminding students to speak and treat one another kindly. We also help them understand the why behind this expectation, which is that every student deserves to spend their time at school in a place where they are treated kindly. We model what kindness looks and sounds like in how we speak to one another, look at one another and react to one another. They have slip ups just like we do and we take the time to help them reflect on what they could do differently next time. 

Individually this may be too big of a hurdle but together I have no doubt we can begin to make a change for the better. Will you join me in committing to 2 minutes every day for our children? I encourage you to sit with your child and watch this  video together as the speaker shares her powerful message of hope.


I know we can all agree they deserve the hope that a little kindness brings. 

Kindly,

Kim

314.645.9600 (607)~kwright@premiercharterschool.org  

 

Message from Dr. Schrimpf...

On behalf of all of the other Yellow Vests, I can't tell you how glad we are to be back in session.  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:

  • 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 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

Thanks so much for everything you do.  Have a great day and long, relaxing weekend.

Dr. Schrimpf (the Sign Guy)

Dyslexia Update:

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) recently began requiring all  public schools in Missouri to screen students for dyslexic tendencies annually.  

It is important to note that students who are identified as having dyslexic tendencies are not being medically diagnosed as having dyslexia or suspected of having a disability of any kind.  This screening simply indicates if a student could benefit from additional reading support.  

In accordance with DESE requirements, we will be screening all students in grades K-3.  This screening is a very short assessment conducted by your child’s teacher or a certified reading specialist.  You will be contacted if the results of the screening indicate that your child could benefit from additional reading support.

We will screen all 1st through 3rd grade students within the first 30 days of the school year.  Kindergarten students will be screened later in the school year, after we return from winter break.  We will also be screening any 4th-8th grade students whose teacher indicates that he or she would benefit from being screened.  Parents of 4th-8th grade students can also request that we conduct a screening. If you are the parent of a 4th-8th grade student and wish to request your child be screened, you can contact Dr. Schrimpf or your child’s principal.  

If you have any questions, please contact me or your child’s principal.

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

Safety Awareness…

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 2nd. This system allows us to ensure that visitors have been properly screened before entering our buildings. Please see the attached letter for more details.

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.

IMPORTANT EVENT…

8th Grade High School Night

Our annual HS Night was another huge success. I would like to thank Ms. Walsh organizing and planning this event and the 8th grade team for preparing and supporting our 8th grade students. If you were unable to attend I have attached the packet of information that includes the presentation slides, upcoming high school events and tips to assist you with the application process.

UPDATES…

Department Updates...

ELA…

6th Grade:

6th grade ELA is off to an amazing start! In August we focused on building reading and writing stamina, as well as building community in our classroom. We also began our first novel, Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief. This is an exciting unit where students dive deep into learning more about Greek mythology and analyzing Percy’s character development throughout the story. Stay tuned as we find out if Percy can catch the culprit responsible for stealing Zeus’ lightning bolt!

7th Grade:

These first couple of weeks have been a blast as we have gotten familiar with routines and each other. It seems as though we are all eager to get into our classes and back in the swing of things. As we settle into the school year, we are already beginning to dig deeper into new material and challenging skills. In September, we'll spend our Literacy Lab time brushing up on our CEJ writing, fine tuning the ability to create well-written constructed responses. In Language Arts, students will continue to grow their literary analysis skills while diving into our class novel, A Long Walk to Water. We'll be learning about the country of Sudan and discussing some of the struggles our main character face during 1985 war time as we make connections between the novel and real world texts and news. Homework is going to become a daily expectation, so please make sure your child is checking their planner each night and getting everything done to be prepared for class. It's going to be a great year!

8th Grade:

In language arts, 8th graders have started reading Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai. In this book, students will practice their inferring skills while monitoring character development. We will also be exploring the question: What is home? Consider beginning this conversation at home too, the answers can be enlightening. It can also be helpful to read with your student or at least ask them about their reading on a weekly or biweekly basis. The book is linked above. 

Literacy lab has started off well with lots of independent reading, and we are getting ready to begin writing. Everyday we have planned time to allow students to read and write independently, please encourage this at home too, especially 10-20 minutes of nightly choice reading (this will increase as the year goes on!). It's amazing how much a student can improve in school by simply reading more often. We look forward to a great partnership with families this year, and we are excited to watch these kids grow!

-Mrs. McAdams-Velten (Mrs. McV) & Mrs. Anzalone (Mrs. A)


Science…

6th Grade:

As September rolls on in, 6th-grade science will begin our first unit of the year, chemistry. We will start by exploring the advantages and disadvantages of synthetic and natural materials. Then we will build the skills needed to understand chemical reactions by learning all about atoms/elements. Students will observe a variety of chemical reaction demonstrations and participate in a few experiments themselves. This year is off to a great start!

7th Grade:

Our students in 7th grade are so happy to welcome Hulk Smash the box turtle into our science classroom. We have been working hard to set up a classroom climate and environment that is safe and comfortable for all organisms inside. I am very excited to kick off our first unit learning about physical science. We will be learning about the flow of energy and how we can work to speed up or slow down the transfer process.

8th Grade:

In 8th grade science we will start off the year by learning about space. Students will explore how a planet's mass and gravity are related, and how planets stay in orbit. We will finish off the unit with a field trip to the Challenger Center at the beginning of October. 


Math…

6th Grade:

In September, 6th grade Math will be focusing on factors, multiples, and operations which will build a strong foundation for the makeup of numbers. We will be solving real word problems and identifying if they need to determine the LCM or the GCF. We will also be using factors to master the Distributive Property. At the end of the month, students will start their second unit on Decimal operations - adding, subtracting, and multiplying with decimals!

7th Grade:

7th graders will be learning about theoretical and experimental probability and chance events in real life situations. We will then get into 2D geometry and learn about angles and properties of triangles. We will continue to learn expectations, learn about each other, and learn how to grow our mindset to be successful at solving problems.

8th Grade:

As soon as school started, the kids got to dig their hands into various puzzles. Some were harder than others, but it was great seeing the students work together and not give up! This week in Algebra, students worked on their engineering skills. Students tested a bridge's strength by dropping pennies on it until it collapsed. After collecting the data, we then learned the difference between linear and nonlinear relationships. In 8th grade math, we discovered how transformations are in almost every video game we play! Students explored the early stages of Ms. PacMan and realized how often we need geometry to have a little bit of fun! It's been a great two weeks so far and good things are still coming!

SS…

6th Grade:

In social studies, the students are finishing up the beginning of the year research projects, where students had to compile multiple sources of information to learn about a chosen country. The students had a lot of fun learning about the timelines of their countries and researching many new things about their chosen topic. We did a segment on tourism to add to their research. In September, we are going to develop an understanding of geography skills and how people use geography skills to solve real problems. After the foundation of geography is introduced, we will move into our first history unit on Mesopotamia. 

7th Grade:

Seventh graders are now beginning to dive into curriculum -- starting with the first Americans! Who lived here before European exploration? Learners will dive into the diverse civilizations and find out what actually happen to them over time.

8th Grade:

In 8th grade Social Studies class we have been working hard to build community

and establish norms to ensure a successful school year. The students will be learning World Geography this year and we have started with the Five Themes of Geography. We are looking forward to learning about new places and new cultures this year!

Pathways…

Instrumental Music:

6th graders have just finished a unit on drumming. This concluded with small groups of students writing and performing short pieces for a small percussion ensemble! Next week we will start a unit on piano.

7th and 8th graders have spent the last two weeks learning a song with 6 different parts and multiple instruments. They got to perform the piece for their teachers at the end of the week! Next week students will begin their independent study of either the piano or guitar!

STEM Engineering:

In the 6th GradeSTEM Engineering Pathway, students are developing a better understanding of engineering and its disciplines.To explore the main branches of engineering of mechanical, civil, electrical, and chemical, the 6th graders in this pathway will be creating and designing in mini-challenges. Focusing on the engineering design process and persevering to arrive at a final creation, students will end their STEM Engineering rotation exploring food engineering and mechanical engineering. They will create the “perfect gummy bear,” using their own rubric to evaluate their creations. Students will also work to develop robots that help keep their client’s (teachers and staff) rooms tidy. All projects will help students develop perseverance and 21st century skills.


7th and 8th graders in the STEM Engineering Design course are exploring the main branches of engineering and its sub-disciplines. By the end of 1st quarter, students will have experienced solving problems related to various types of engineering. 7th and 8th grade students will participate in mini design challenges and projects such as sneaker design, backpack design, car crash dummies, the perfect gummy bear, and the paper table challenge to name a few. These challenges will give them ideas of the area of engineering that they might want to focus on later in the course. They can choose their own problem to solve in the area that interests them, which involves developing a plan and/or a working model to solve their problem. For example, students who have just learned more about the discipline of audio engineering in our class by creating their “Engineering Super Powers Theme Songs” might later develop and mix a new school spirit song to be played at PCS events to get the crowd excited. All projects will help students develop perseverance and 21st century skills.

STEM Computer Science:

STEAM: 

We have so much going on in STEAM Pathway during the month of September! Each class brainstormed and decided what they were interested in investigating and creating as a group. 5th grade will be designing and printing 3D models to showcase as a class. 6th grade is working on developing a STEAM machine that will combine 3D printed models, robotics, and art work in to a Rube Goldberg machine that will represent their class. 7th grade has decided to combine their individual interests and talents by creating personal pieces that will then fit together as a representation of their group. 8th grade is in the beginning stages of planning a fall themed project. We spent the first couple of weeks getting to know each other, building class norms, practicing the engineering design process, and experimenting with some of the materials available in the STEAM lab. I'm looking forward to all of the great work that the students accomplish this month!

Visual Arts:

In the Visual Arts Pathway we are going to be starting new units in September.

  • 6th Grade: Students are learning all about color theory! We will be applying this knowledge towards examining and creating our own Pop Art pieces.

  • 7th Grade: We are going to be diving into the world of graphic design. Students will be learning all about logo design and how technology and art can go hand in hand.

  • 8th Grade: Our unit will be all about street art and how this unique art form is often used as a way to raise your voice.

7th and 8th grade students are also busy in pathways working on commissions from staff at PCS. This will allow them to have a chance to have their original artwork shown throughout the school! To see more of what we are up to in the Visual Arts pathway, follow Ms. Hayes on Instagram @HayesPCS

PE:

Hello from PE! We will be finishing up our Tabata fitness next week and then moving into flag football.. We will be working on  on throwing the football, positioning, routes, and formations. Sounds like a lot to work in 60 minutes, but I am sure the students will be amazing learners.  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.  We are looking forward to our new Fitness Center grand opening on Sept. 26 as well. So, September is going to be an action packed month.

Remember you can always reach me by email at kbrann@premiercharterschool.org and Follow PE on twitter @PremierPE and instagram @pcsphysed 

Messages from the Nurse…

Talk to your Kids about Vaping

Although cigarette smoking has markedly decreased among middle and high school students, the use of e-cigarettes or vaping as risen astronomically.

Vaping products  are deceptively marketed to youth with flavors such as bubble gum, cotton candy, fudge, and blueberry muffin.  In addition, the vaping industry markets vaping devices that masquerade as USB drives and pens so parents can be completely unaware of their child's vaping habit.

As of today, e-cigarettes available in the U.S. have not been reviewed by the FDA to determine their impact on lung health.  However, it is known that e-cigarettes contain and emit a number of potentially toxic substances. In 2018 the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine released a consensus study report stating that inhalation of harmful chemicals through vaping can cause irreversible lung damage and lung disease.   Youth who use e-cigarettes are at increased risk for cough and wheezing and an increase in asthma exacerbations.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services recommends that any person experiencing unexplained chest pain or difficulty breathing after vaping in the days or weeks prior to their symptom onset should seek medical attention.

For more information on youth and  vaping including photos of vaping devices click on the following link:

https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/Quick-Facts-on-the-Risks-of-E-cigarettes-for-Kids-Teens-and-Young-Adults.html

To start the conversation with your child, you may find the following link from the American Lung Association helpful:

https://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/vape-talk/

Vaccine Records Need to be Compliant by Friday, September 6

Reminder to all parents that Friday, September 6 is the date which all students need to have compliant vaccine records.  

If you received a letter that your child needs vaccines, you can obtain free vaccines without an appointment at the Vaccine Clinic at People's Health Center, 5701 Delmar. Call People's Health at 314-367-7848 for walk in hours. 

To ensure that all students remain healthy and successful in school, students will not be able to attend school after Friday, September 6 without a compliant vaccine record.

As Needed Use of Steroid Inhaler Just as Effective as Daily Use

A St. Louis research study on children with mild asthma concluded that daily use of steroid inhalers showed no better results than "as needed" use of steroid inhalers.

This is good news for parents who are concerned with the cost of steroid medication and its side effects.

The study concludes that children with mild asthma using a steroid inhaler containing beclomethasone on an "as needed" basis were able to reduce their steroid inhaler use by almost 75% while achieving the same results as children who used a steroid inhaler daily regardless of their symptoms.

The research study was conducted by Washington University and pediatricians throughout the St. Louis area on children with mild asthma ranging in age from 6-17.  

 For more information regarding this study see the following link:https://source.wustl.edu/2019/08/children-with-mild-asthma-can-use-inhalers-as-needed/


Dental Van…

This fall, Gateway to Oral Health Foundation will again offer dental care to PCS students.

If you would like your child to participate in this program, please complete and return the dental consent form that was distributed during August conferences.

Dental Consent Forms are due back on Friday, September 6 and dentists are scheduled to come to PCS the first week of November.

Other News…

Fitness Center:

We are so excited about our new "Don't Quit!" fitness center from the National Foundation of Governors' Fitness Councils (NFGFC).

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.

https://natgovfit.org/

FRAM…

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!   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

Vending Machine…

Thanks to the hard work of three former 8th grade students we have our a 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.

Dress Down…

Beginning in September 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.


STUDENT CLUBS:  

Let Me Run

Middle School Boys, are you interested in a running club? If you have any interest in track or cross country, this is the club for you! Starting later in September, the Let Me Run team will practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school. Go to letmerun.org to sign up. Reach out to kmijatovic@premiercharterschool.orgor cmcadams@premiercharterschool.org with any questions.

Drumline

Drumline acceptance letters will be sent home today. The first rehearsal will be this Wednesday, September 11th, from 3:30-4:30pm.

ATHLETICS:

Cheerleading…

REMINDERS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

Middle School Trip…

Middle School Trip: NYC

Wow what a great turn out for our parent meeting! I was so happy to see so many parents and to share information about our trip this year. If you are still on the fence on if your child is planning to go please remember that the deadline to sign up is Wednesday, September 18. All paperwork and the $100 deposit should be turned in on or before this date. Parents can turn in the paperwork and deposit to Mrs. Seppi at the Middle School front office.

Missed the meeting and want more information? A few important things:

Trip dates: Sunday, April 19 - Friday, April 24

Tentative trip cost: $1,027

Registration deadline: Wednesday, September 18

TJ's Pizza Fundraiser Due Date: Wednesday, September 18

Please remember that this is an optional trip. No student is expected to go and all students who do not attend will be well taken care of at school with fun activities. If you would like more information on the trip or missed information please take a look at the PowerPoint slides attached that were used at the meeting.

Melanie Rhine

mrhine@premiercharterschool.org

314-645-9600 ext. 426



PCG Update…

We have a wonderful Parent Community Group here at PCS. They are always looking for families to get involved in anyway that works best for you.

SFE Update…coming soon

Thurs. Sept 12 7 p.m.

St. Louis Symphony opens the season on Art Hill tonightSt. Louis Symphony and the InUnison Chorus combine forces in this St. Louis tradition that opens the 2019-2020 St. Louis Symphony season.Stephane Deneve debuts as the new SLSO music director at this opening free concert followed by fireworks. Bring a picnic, bring a blanket, and enjoy! No tickets and no reservations are required.https://www.slso.org/forestpark


Friday, Sept 13 7 p.m.

Ferguson Summer Concert in Plaza 501 501 South Florissant Road

https://www.fergusoncity.com/583/Ferguson-Concert-Series


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!

https://www.kirkwoodmo.org/recreation/greentree-festival

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.

Important Upcoming Dates…

9.17.19-Let Me Run Season Begins

9.19.19-Peace Rally

9.20.19-No School

9.25-26.19-Vision Screening

9.25.19 Family Night at Smoky Barrels 11:00-Close

9.26.19-Fitness Center Ribbon Cutting 9:00

Girls on Fire-Tuesday Meetings 3:30-5:00

Included Attachments

  • September Menu

  • Raptor System Letter

  • SFE Newsletter

  • PCS Family Night Flyer

  • PCG Save The Date Flyer

  • Fall Festival Save the Date Flyer

  • Uniform Sales Order Form

  • High School Night Information Packet