Middle School Newsletter
April 19, 2019
MS. WRIGHT'S WRITINGS…
Earlier this month I was having a pretty serious conversation with my youngest daughter about her friendships at school. She was having a really tough time navigating her way through the social maze of middle school. As she was sitting on my bed crying, trying to best explain how she was feeling, I found myself wondering why she waited so long to come talk to me. I talk with middle school kids everyday, yet my own daughter didn’t come to talk to me until things got really hard. I also found out she hadn’t talked to any adult at her school. This got me thinking how many of my students are carrying around something that is weighing on them without seeking help.
Of course, we caring adults want to be “there” for our kids when they face a worry that is too much for them to handle on their own. Yet, many kids will not tell an adult about situations that are troubling them. Some kids think they need to handle it on their own; others are distrustful because they have received unhelpful advice in the past. Sometimes kids think that adults will just make the situation worse or are worried about being called a “snitch.” There are many barriers to positive, open communication between youth and adults when it comes to telling or reporting worrisome social situations.
We need to teach young people that it is right to speak up when they are troubled about a situation that is directly or indirectly impacting them. Kids need adults to teach them to speak up against injustice, and they need other kids to support them when they do. Telling an adult and reporting an injustice is not snitching. We know the only way we can provide support and guidance is if we have the necessary information.
An important key to this entails student having access to respectful and reliable adult support for those who are both witnessing or experiencing situations that leave them worried.
For this reason, encouraging students to take action together, with others who feel the same way, is typically more effective than expecting those who are fearful to come forward individually.
We strongly encourage teachers to help foster peer support within our schools — a strategy we adults often forget about or minimize, in spite of our recognition of the importance of peers in the lives of students.
Even with effective peer support, students will still need the active support of adults and of the school community in order to effect change.
Here are some ways you can support your child when they confide in you...
1. Listen to their concerns, without interrupting.
2. Do not judge the “worry”. Be a supportive, caring listener.
3. Check that you understand what they have reported. Ask questions to help you understand. In cases of cyberbullying, or if “evidence” is available, collect and save documentation.
4. Talk about options. Ask for their thoughts and ideas. Offer suggestions and brainstorm possible responses.
5. Offer to help youth with the course of action. Provide assistance, if requested.
6. Find opportunities to check in with your child to see how things are going.
I honestly can’t decide which is tougher, being in middle school, or being an adult who is supporting a middle schooler. Neither will be perfect, both and going to make mistakes and learn from them. But as long as we are always there for our kids, we make sure they know that, and we teach them what to do when they need help, we’ll make it though. They will too.
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
Just a reminder our next half day is April 19th, school will dismiss at noon. Please make sure your students have a way home. If they attend aftercare, it will end at 4:00 pm. If your student(s) are not enrolled in aftercare but need aftercare please let us know ahead of time, half day drop ins are $25 per child. Just remember that students are only allowed 5 aftercare drop ins per year.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com. 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.
7th grade is in need of Kleenex, paper towels and Clorox wipes to get us through the end of the year. We would greatly appreciate any donations you could send with your child or drop off at the front desk. Thank you!
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.
Semi-formal permission slips were sent home earlier this week, please review this with your child. Additionally, 8th grade is running low on clorox wipes, tissues, hand sanitizer, and paper towels. We would greatly appreciate any donations to help us make it to graduation germ-free!
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.
SS DEPARTMENT UPDATES:
We are finishing up our "ancient" Rome Unit. We will be taking our Summative this upcoming Tuesday and Wednesday. We will then start our Rome Project where students will create both the rubric for and a game, code, drawing/ painting, powerpoint, rap/ poem, or anything their minds envision to encompass "Why is Rome important".
The Middle Ages are looming and will begin after the students return from the Middle School trip! We will cover Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Africa that were greatly changed by the Middle Ages.
7th Grade Social Studies spent a week researching a famous slavery abolitionist of their choice. After, they met with other students who researched the same person. Together, in teams, students created artifacts you would have found in a time capsule from this person! A journal--a newspaper article--a picture--a piece of clothing--you name it! Through this project, students analyzed the many ways in which people of all types fought against slavery and made a difference in our history. Next, we will discuss how their efforts impacted what came to be the Civil War.
Carefully measuring ingredients and following a recipe is no easy task but explorers made it look easy this past week. They used their skills to create a delicious pizza in a mug. Explorers have been so excited about their cooking skills that they are now beginning to collaborate as a class to create brownies in a microwave too! This week, they are meeting as a class to determine the ingredients they need and working together to problem solve ways to source their ingredients. Next week, the cooking begins again and our PCS halls will be filled with the sweet smell of success.
This week in music, students have been practicing their piano pieces. Some of them have been very excited and made tremendous improvements! I am very proud of them.
This is my last week (Mrs. Rea) before maternity leave, and we have talked for a few weeks about the plan and the capable sub who will be with them. I will miss them, but I know they will be in good hands!
The STEAM teachers are excited to announce the winners of this year’s Foodie Showcase!! We are so proud of the hard work and enthusiasm displayed by this group of 8th graders. We wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the new healthy snacks on the shelves of our local grocers! Congratulations to the following teams!
Crowd Pleaser: Lil' Cins
Advertising: Tangy Cakes
Packaging/Presentation: Kimchi Rice Balls
Best in Show: Chili Hot Cheezers
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!
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…
FREE FAMILY EVENTS THIS WEEKEND:
Friday, April 19 5- 8 p.m.
Free Family Night at the Magic House in Kirkwood
Free admission for up to 2 adults and 4 children every 3rd Friday
Saturday, April 20 9:30 a.m.- 4 p.m.
St. Louis Science Center Sci Fest: Animal Kingdom Expo
Learn about the unique impact animals have on your life and meet the many animal experts to learn about their professions.
Learn to track wild wolves, pet a therapy dog, feed chickens, brush goats, meet an Egyptian Arabian horse, participate in a sloth talk, meet a zoo veterinarian and more! If you love animals, this is your event.
Sat. April 20 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Fee Free and Jr. Ranger Day at the Gateway Arch
Each year, the National Park Service offers fee-free days in which the NPS entrance fee is waived. At Gateway Arch National Park, the $3 entrance fee is included in each adult Tram Ride to the Top ticket and adult Documentary Movie ticket. On the fee-free days, that $3 is waived. For Junior Ranger Day, kids ages 5-15 learn how to protect and preserve our national parks for future generations during Junior Ranger Day. All events are free.
Sunday, April 21 1-4 p.m.
Bring the Outdoors in at St. Louis Art Museum's Family Sunday
Free family activities and free family tours every Sunday afternoon.
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
4.27.19-Family Night at Panda Express
5.9.19-MS Career Fair
5.21.19-8th Grade Graduation 7pm
April Lunch Menu
Vaccinations Flyer for 7th Grade Families
Menu Changes Note
Rock and Jump Flyer
Career Fair Flyer
Busch Stadium Flyer