French Middle School

September 2023

Upcoming Events

September 4-- No School

September 6--Late work for 1st half the quarter due

September 8-- Mid terms

September 12-- FAME Session 1 starts

September 14-- PTO Meeting @ 5:45PM

September 19-- FMS Family Food Truck Night @ 5PM

September 20-- Family Fitness Night @ 6PM

September 22-- Late Night in the Nest (7th & 8th Graders) 6:30-8:30

September 29-- Red Wheel Fundraiser starts

Note from the Principal

The school year has gotten off to a Frenchtastic start. Students are already learning like their hair is on fire! We enjoyed meeting families at Meet the Teacher Night in August. Please stay in consistent communication with teachers. We want to work as a team to help your student reach their potential.

Just a few beginning of the year reminders…

  • Consistent and regular attendance is crucial for student success. Students are considered truant after 3 consecutive unexcused absences, 5 unexcused absences in a semester and 7 unexcused absences in a school year. Once students reach 10 absences regardless of being excused or unexcused, a doctor’s note is required in order for the absence to be excused. Please be sure to communicate with our front office when your student is absent. Absent students need to check google classroom for assignments and email teachers with questions. Students are responsible for obtaining and completing assignments assigned during their absence.

  • All students who walk to school or are car riders enter and exit the building from the front. The back parking lot is for bus drop off and pick up only. In order to keep our front drive traffic flowing before and after school, that cars do not stop in the center lane. We ask cars to pull over to either curb to drop off or pick up students. This allows the center lane to remain open for cars to move through. It also allows for students to safely enter and exit their cars.

  • 1st Quarter Midterms: Midterms are just around the corner. September 8th will be halfway through our first quarter. Any missing work from the first half of the quarter will be due on September 6th.

Again thank you to all families for a successful start. On behalf of the FMS Faculty, we look forward to a positive and productive school year.

Sertoma Duck Race French MS PTO Fundraiser

Calling all Falcons! Help out PTO and local community resources by adopting ducks at the Sertoma Duck Race. French MS PTO will receive 50% of the proceeds raised in purchasing ducks. The rest will go back to the community sponsoring Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys&Girls Club, Capper Foundation, TARC, Meals on Wheels, Topeka Rescue Mission and more.

Duck adopters have a chance to win great prizes and even a car! Prizes will be listed on website:

Online adoptions continue up to the race. Just click on

And look for French MS PTO.

  • Ducks are adopted for $5 each

  • Family of 5 ducks for $20

  • Flock of 12 ducks for $50

  • Oodle of ducks (27) for $100

Remember,FMS gets 50% of profits & you can purchase up to 10 am the day of the duck race. Adopt now through Sept. 16, 2023. The duck race will take place at Lake Shawnee!

FMS Food Truck Family Night

Our PTO would like to invite all families to enjoy a meal and meet other families at our first food truck night at French MS. September 19th the Burger Bus and a dessert truck will be available in our back parking lot. Families can enjoy the football game after school and then dinner as well. We hope families will join us and have an opportunity to meet other FMS families by sharing a meal. Bus will begin serving around 5pm until 7:00pm. Families can dine in our commons area or bring lawn chairs to eat picnic style outside. We hope to see you there!

Here Comes the Bus App

Families can stay updated on transportation during the upcoming school year by downloading the Here Comes the Bus app!

  • View the real-time location of your child’s bus.
  • Access the app from your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
  • Receive push notifications or email alerts.
  • Send your child to the bus stop at just the right time every time.

How to get started:

  1. Download the Here Comes the Bus app* or visit
  2. Sign Up by going to the Here Comes the Bus website.
  3. Enter school code 29036 and click “Next” followed by “Confirm”
  4. Complete the “User Profile” box
  5. Under “My Students,” click “Add.” Enter your child’s last name and student ID number
  6. Once you confirm your information, you’re ready to begin using Here Comes the Bus!

Text Messaging Service Sends Alerts to TPS Families

Topeka Public Schools utilizes the SchoolMessenger system for web services and to deliver text messages to families in the district. Alerts come straight to your mobile phone with important information about school events, school closings, and more.

Parents and guardians can participate in this free service by sending a text message of "Y" or "Yes" to the TPS short code number 67587. You can also opt-out of these messages at any time by simply replying "stop" to one of our messages.

View our communications document in English and Spanish to learn more about how Topeka Public Schools communicates with families throughout the school year.

Don't forget to follow us on social media! We're active on Facebook, X, Instagram, and YouTube.

FAME (After School Program)

Session 1 will begin Sept 12-Oct 20. The program runs each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday that school is in session.Students will have tutoring and time to complete work before joining an enrichment club hosted by French staff. Clubs include: swimming at the YMCA, Board Games, Architecture, Technology Fun, Tabletop Role Play and others. You can click on the link below to sign up. Spots are limited and fill up quickly! Session 2 will begin Nov. 7-Dec. 14. Session 1

Red Wheel Fundraiser

Red Wheel fundraiser will kick off September 29. This is the largest fundraiser PTO does and the proceeds go back to French Middle School in the form of new equipment/supplies/improvements/etc. Students will receive order packets that day and will be ready to start selling. Orders are due by Oct. 20, 2023. Stock up on those holiday goodies! Items will be delivered November 7.

Family Fitness Night

Join us for the 13th annual TPS Family Fitness Fun Night, September 20, 2023 at Hummer Sports Park-515 S.W. Tuffy Kellogg Drive. TPS provides information for families and the community on education and healthy living in a positive and fun atmosphere “for all ages” in a safe setting.

Spirit Wear

Our PTO will be running the FMS Spirit wear orders this year. Help support your favorite falcon by purchasing some great t shirts/sweatshirts/hoodies. Order forms coming home early September.

Late Night in the Nest

7th and 8th graders are invited to our first “Late Night in the Nest'' of the school year on September 22nd from 6:30-8:30. We will have a DJ, dancing, snacks/drinks, open gym, open computer lab, and board games. All 7th and 8th graders are invited. We are also kicking off the district food drive and are asking for donations. If you bring in a canned food item you can enter for $2, without a canned food the cost will be $3. We hope to see all 7th and 8th graders there!

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Fall Sports Update

The French sports teams are off to a great start again this year. We made it through the week-long record breaking heat wave and hopefully it is the last for the season. Thank you for the flexibility in your schedules as practice times were altered. While not ideal, the morning workouts were much needed and beneficial.

Cross Country

Excited to announce that currently French has 40 runners- which is more runners than all other middle schools combined. French will be able to enter all meets with a complete team in every grade level, which increases our chances for awards.


The volleyball team has a large number with 40 out and should compete for the top of the district once again. Our varsity and JV has many returning starters from last year's team, as well as some new athletes. Our B team is practicing hard every morning at 6:15 getting better every day. We are excited to see the first matches.

Girls Tennis

The 7th and 8th grade girls tennis team is 10 girls strong. They have been getting better each and every day we have been able to get on the courts. We have a lot of new tennis players, who by the end of the season will be coming home with medals from tournaments. Mr. Ritter (boys tennis coach), with the help of Maximus tennis club, secured several rackets for French. If your girl is in need, see Mr. Renfro for a loaner for the season.


The football team has been hitting it hard, and are overcoming the early heat and the pains of full pad contact. We currently have 52 boys out who practice daily after school from 3-5:30. The early morning practices we much needed to get into full pads and full contact before the quickly approaching first contest.

Info for Athletics:

We, in Topeka Public Schools, are in position to utilize athletics as a part of a total educational program. We encourage all young people to learn the fundamentals of each game and to participate in each sport to the limit of their abilities. We further encourage all young people to learn and understand the rules of the game so that they may enjoy athletics in the future, as well as the present, as good spectators. Athletes and spectators are an important part of the game and should at all times conform to accepted standards of good sportsmanship and behavior.

Requirements for athletics:

Must pass 5 classes the previous quarter to be eligible.

Must have an updated physical signed by a licensed physician and head concussion sheet signed by parents.

Must have eligibility points left for the current quarter, each student starts with 10 points.

Must participate in practice to participate in games.

Must follow the coach's rules and guidelines to be in good standing.

Must be passing all classes the week of a game to be eligible to play in that weeks game.

Practice times

Cross Country- 300-4:30

Girls Tennis- afterschool from 3:00- 4:30

B VB- 6:15 AM- 7:30 AM

Varsity& JV VB- 3:00 PM- 5:00 PM

Varsity &JV FB- 3:00 PM- 5:30 PM

Equipment/clothing needed for practice

Football may want to bring older shirts and shorts to wear under their pads. All football equipment will be issued by the school, outside equipment is not allowed due to safety reasons.

Volleyball girls may want to purchase knee pads, or wait to see if the coach has extra to loan out.

Tennis rackets are available to borrow from the school or use your own.

Head Coaches-

Cross Country-Ms. Ryan

Tennis- Mr. Renfro

Varsity VB- Ms. Hirt

Varsity FB- Mr. Mellen

All questions to be addressed by Tim Wilson, Activity Coordinator,- 438-4162 or

Please see our school website for more detailed information as well as calendar of events.


We would like to remind spectators that French Middle School is a member school of the Kansas State High School Athletic Association (KSHSAA) and is governed by their rules. One of those rules which, we completely support is Rule 52 which states:


Section 1: General Regulations (apply to grades 7-12)

Art. 1: SPORTSMANSHIP is a general way of thinking and behaving. The following sportsmanship policy items are listed below for clarification:

a. Be courteous to all. (Participants, coaches, officials, staff and fans)

b. Know the rules, abide by and respect the official’s decisions.

c. Win with character and lose with dignity.

d. Display appreciation for good performance regardless of the team.

e. Exercise self-control and reflect positively upon yourself, team and school.

f. Permit only positive sportsmanlike behavior to reflect on your school or its activities.

We ask parents of athletes to schedule time to discuss any concerns with coaches outside of game days. We hope that you can attend the games this year to cheer on the Falcons!

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Social Emotional Back to School Tips

Adolescents need between 8 and 10 hours of sleep each night.

Sleep helps…

  • Your brain develop and function

  • You pay attention

  • Improve your memory

  • Clean out toxins in your brain

  • Prevent feelings like anxiety and depression

Make Time for Self-Care

Self-care is about meeting your basic needs so you can be physically, emotionally, and mentally healthy.

Self-Care Activities

Listen to music

Do yoga

Read a book


Watch a movie

Talk to someone

Play with your pet

Take a nap

Write in a journal

Go for a walk

Take photos

Try something new


Create art

Play a video game

Cook or bake something

Spend time in nature

Write a poem or a story

Make a video

Do a puzzle

Develop Meaningful Relationships

Developing relationships with your teachers and peers helps create a positive. school environment.

Characteristics of positive relationships:

  • Support others

  • Be empathetic

  • Actively listen

  • Use clear communication

  • Resolve conflict

  • Be a positive influence

Bullying Prevention

Bullying Prevention is taken seriously by French Middle School. We provide bullying prevention lessons to all students in September and participate in Second Step lessons and Boys Town social skill lessons throughout the year. We work with students to understand the difference between conflict and bullying as well. French has an online bullying report form for parents and students on the website. Once the report is made, the counselors investigate to get a better picture of what has occurred. Once a report is verified it is turned over to administration for consequences per the district bullying matrix. If you are unsure if something your student has reported to you is bullying or conflict, please don’t hesitate to let us know about it. And if it continues to happen let us know again. We do investigate each report and consequences are increased after each verified incident.


There are new Chromebooks for students this year, and many of the students are excited to have touchscreens. They have heard us say that the glass screen is more fragile (and more expensive) than the previous version. You may want to see if your student remembers these tips for keeping their Chromebooks in good condition:

  • Keep device closed while walking with it.

  • No stickers on the inside of the device (Easy to remove stickers are fine for the outside covers.)

  • Check to see that there is nothing in the way before closing the lid.

  • Keep food and drink away from the device.

  • Be careful about carrying the Chromebook in a backpack–some students forget that there is a piece of glass in there and toss the backpack or lean up against it

  • When it’s not in use, be aware of where it’s placed…might someone step on it or sit on it? Could a pet damage it?

In case you want to consider a case for your student’s device, we are now using the Lenovo 300e Chromebook 2nd Gen. This link will show you an example of a case that would fit.

Chromebook Case - gumdrop

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All students entering 7th grade are required to have a Tdap (tetanus booster) and a Meningococcal vaccination on file. If your student has had the vaccines, but you have not yet submitted that information for their file, please forward a copy to Nurse Besenyi as soon as possible. If your student is new to the district, ALL vaccination records will need to be sent. You may email records to or fax to (785) 271-3609 or send a paper copy directly to the school. Student immunizations must be up to date by September 30th, or your student may be excluded from school until records are received.

Medications At School

Students are not allowed to carry medications with them during the school day. All medication including prescription and over the counter medications such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen must have proper paperwork in place and all medications must be kept in the school nurse's office. (This includes cough drops.) Exceptions can be made for Inhalers and Epi-Pens, with an additional form. If you have questions please contact Nurse Besenyi for the appropriate forms.


Request to Administer Medication This form is required for any/all medications prescribed by a physician or healthcare provider, including Inhalers, Epi-Pens, or for any medication taken on a daily basis. This form will require the prescribing physician’s signature and a parent or guardian’s signature before the medication can be administered.

Request to Take Medication This form is required for over the counter medication that a student may need to take on an as needed basis, such as Tylenol, ibuprofen, or cough drops. Students may only use over the counter medications per the directions on the label, including age and dosage. This form must be signed by the parent or legal guardian.

Permission To Carry Epi-Pen (Medication Release Form) If you wish your student to carry their Epi-Pen on them during the school day, this form must be completed by the Prescribing Physician, the Parent or Guardian, the School Principal and the School Nurse. This form is in addition to the Request to Administer Medication.

Permission to Carry Inhaler (Medication Release Form) If you wish your student to carry their inhaler on them during the school day, this form must be completed by the Prescribing Physician, the Parent or Guardian, the School Principal and the School Nurse. This form is in addition to the Request to Administer Medication.

Medical Conditions

With the change from Tyler SIS to Synergy, student medical conditions did not transfer. Please make sure to contact the nurse if your student has a known chronic medical condition that may require intervention or treatment while they are at school. You may also complete the Anticipated Health Crisis Plan. This will give nursing and school staff directions as to how you as the Parent/Guardian would like staff to address specific situations. This form should be completed for students with conditions including Asthma, Food Allergies, Seizures, Headaches, Frequent Nosebleeds, Heart Conditions or any other condition or disease regardless of whether or not they take medication at school. (This form is required to be completed at the beginning of each school year, previous forms are not kept on site.)


Test to Learn, Test to Know, Test to Play: FREE Covid tests are available for students at school. In order for your student to be tested at school, the Consent form must be completed before the test can be administered. You can find this form on the Topeka Public Schools website, located under the Health Services Department or by clicking the link: Nursing staff will make every effort to contact you prior to any testing, even if the form is on file. Once the form is completed it will be good for the year.



    • Students who test positive for Covid-19 at school will be isolated and sent home for quarantine.

    • Any student who tests positive, will need to quarantine at home for 5 days “after” symptoms begin, or 5 days “after” testing if they have no symptoms.

    • The positive student may return to school on day 6 and must wear a mask through day 10.

      • They must be fever free x24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication and all other symptoms must be improving.

      • The school nurse will contact parents/guardians with exact dates and additional information.

  • CLOSE CONTACT: Regardless of vaccination status and/or natural immunity:

    • Based on date of last exposure to a positive person, (being with 6 feet for 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period:

      • Student should wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days

      • Student will need to TEST on day 5 (if no symptoms)

      • Student will need to TEST any time they show symptoms

  • HOUSEHOLD CONTACT: Regardless of vaccination status and/or natural immunity:

    • Based on date of symptoms of positive person if known, or test date if positive person had no symptoms:

      • Student should wear a well-fitting mask for 15 days

      • Student will need to TEST on day 10 (if no symptoms)

      • Student will need to TEST any time they show symptoms

French Middle School

Kendra Besenyi, LPN

Ph: (785) 438-4156

Fax: (785) 271-3609



French Middle School will not tolerate bullying of any kind. Bullying is defined as any ongoing verbal or physical mistreatment where there is an imbalance of power, and the target/victim is exposed repeatedly to negative actions by one or more students. Bullying can be direct (physical or verbal), or indirect (exclusion, cyber-bullying, emotional). In order for everyone to feel safe and secure at school, every Topeka Public School has adopted the following rules against bullying. “I will not bully others. I will try to help students who are bullied. I will do my best to include students who are easily left out. When I know somebody is being bullied, I will tell an adult at school and an adult at home.” Students, staff, and parents should report any bullying that they are aware of to administration through the on-line bully report link on the French website. Students who bully others will receive consequences. Our counselors will be visiting 6th, 7th and 8th grade classes in August and September to remind students what bullying is, what we can do to prevent bullying, and what students should do if they or someone else is being bullied.


The Topeka Public Schools, Unified School District No. 501 is committed to affirmative action and equal opportunity. No person shall, on the basis of age, race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, disability, national origin or ancestry be denied lawful access to any appropriate educational service, program or activity provided by the school district. The Title VI and Title IX compliance coordinator is the Assistant Superintendent for Teaching/Learning/Administration. The Section 504/Title II compliance coordinator is the Coordinator of College and Career Ready Services. For employment, the EEO/AA officer is the General Director of Human Resources. All compliance coordinators may be contacted at 624 SW 24th Street, Topeka, KS 66611-1294, (785) 295-3000. The clerk of the Board of Education has been designated to receive and redirect or handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies, regulations and procedures. The clerk may be contacted by calling (785) 295-3045 or by writing to 624 SW 24th Street, Topeka, KS 66611-1294.