Pirate's Cove

News for the weeks of 8/30 - 9/6

Principal's Message

Pirate parents!

September starts after our Labor Day weekend. As a reminder, there is no school on Monday. School resumes as normal on Tuesday morning. Please enjoy your Labor Day weekend!

Once we start getting deeper into the school year, instructional expectations and work expectations increase for students. We have high standards for our students, and we expect that the work done at home is completed and turned in. We also know that students have other obligations outside of school. We try to balance out the work expectations throughout the year to try and limit the ebbs and flows of projects, tests, and quizzes. One way we help students manage their organization is using their assignment notebooks and their AVID Organizational Utility Binders. Talk with your grade level teachers if you have questions or want to know more about the work expectations for your child.

The staff at Plank Junior High is committed to serving the students and parents of the surrounding community. We want to provide multiple opportunities for students to showcase their talents, and grow as young adults through academics and social emotional learning. Our focus is to prepare our students to be ready for college and future careers. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me and we can work together to find solutions. I can be reached at 630-551-9400 and thaymond@sd308.org. We look forward to collaborating with you and your student throughout the year.

Always in partnership,

Tyler Haymond


Plank Junior High School

Parent Portal in Tyler SIS

Our new student information system is Tyler SIS. This is taking the place of eSchool. Log into the link below if you are looking for updated grades, information, attendance, and the features of the former e School Home Access. Watch for updates on how parents can use the Portal on our website and in upcoming newsletters.

Tyler Parent Portal

Student Portal in Tyler SIS

New this year EACH student at Plank can access their grades through the Tyler SIS Student Portal. You can access it via an app on your phone OR on a web-enabled computer or tablet.

This is a great way for all students to monitor grades and progress. It helps to track assignments, quizzes and tests. This is a unique log in only for each individual student.

Students can download the app for Android devices at: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tylertech.sismobile&hl=en_US


Apple devices at: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/tyler-sis-student-360/id972117000

Additional log in information can be found at: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1YbiVcOOBvLaEX5wJBuDFR4YkKVKg8z7T?usp=sharing

Second Step - Advisory at Plank Jr. High

Dear Pirate families,

We want your child to be successful in school, and that means going beyond the basics. Excelling in academic classes is important, but students also need to know how to learn, make good decisions, handle strong emotions, and get along with others.

This week, we'll began the Second Step Middle School Program, which focuses on skills and concepts that are designed to help students both in and out of school. Every Thursday, students will participate in these Advisory activities to build upon the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) standards. These include:

Mindsets and Goals: Students learn about ways to grow their brains and get smarter, along with research-based strategies for achieving goals and handling difficult situations.

Values and Friendships: Students learn to identify their personal values and use those values to make good decisions and build strong, positive relationships.

Thoughts, Emotions, and Decisions: Students learn the positive role emotions play in their lives, how to handle unhelpful thoughts and strong emotions, and specific strategies for calming down.

Serious Peer Conflicts: Students learn how to identify and avoid serious conflicts, resolve conflicts that can't be avoided, think about other people's perspectives, and help stop bullying and harassment at school.

As an AVID school, we are working to prepare our students to be college and career ready. Skills that employers are looking for are "soft skills," or skills that are not technical in nature. These skills include Communication, Teamwork and Collaboration, Professionalism, Self-Management, Initiative, Critical and Creative Thinking, and Global Fluency and Perspective, according to ParentToolkit, which synthesized a 2011 Harvard University study titled Pathways to Prosperity, along with other employment studies.

If you have any questions about the Second Step Middle School Program, please do not hesitate to contact the teachers or administration at Plank for more information. Thank you for supporting your child in learning the skills and concepts that lead to success in school and in life.


Tyler Haymond


Parent Toolkit

If you are looking for outside resources to help with your young adult, try parenttoolkit.com. There are many different options on this website that can connect you with resources to questions that many parents have.

Parent Teen Connect


ParenTeenConnect.org, a free website for parents and their teens created by the makers of the Second Step Program, is a great resource for middle school families. It provides expert advice and practical tools for dealing with real parent-teen issues.


At ParenTeenConnect.org, you can hear from real parents and teens about the issues that cause conflict in their lives—including screen time, independence, responsibility, and communication—and get expert advice. Visit ParenTeenConnect.org at home with your child, select a topic together, and get talking!

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Plank Care Closet is Now Open!

We are excited to share that Plank's Care Closet is now open!! The Care Closet provides relief to students and their families who are experiencing hardships and are in need of basic hygiene supplies, school supplies, non-perishable food items, lack of weather appropriate clothing, etc.

This is a FREE resource for students and families to provide items they may not be able to afford. While this would be offered to all students, the intent is to share these items and resources with students and families that truly cannot purchase them on their own. The use of the Care Closet is confidential. Simply scan the QR code on the flyer which can be found on the link below! You will then fill out a Google Form using your student's ID #. Your items will be available for pick up in the Main Office the following day! Please contact Plank counselors or social workers with questions.

We are able to stock the Care Closet because of the generosity of or community. If you would like to make a donation, monetary or items, to the Plank Care Closet please contact our counselors or social workers. Currently, we are in need of new or gently used jackets.

Thank you!

Plank Student Services Team

Student Reminders and Parent Notifications: Student Dress

Student Dress

The warm summer weather is here. As a friendly reminder, there are some dress guidelines that we want all students to be sure to adhere to, right out of the student handbook.

Student dress and personal hygiene is the responsibility of the student and his/her

parent or guardian. Student dress and/or accessories should not be disruptive to the school environment and/or education process and personal hygiene must meet reasonable standards of health, cleanliness, and safety. Wear clothing as it is intended to be worn; undergarments should not be visible. The following provides examples of clothing and/or accessories that cannot be worn and/or must not:

Display comment, picture, or contain slogans, weapons or designs that are obscene, profane, lewd/vulgar, symbolize or represent profanity or sexual innuendo; may reasonably forecast disruption to the educational process;

a. Displays or references drugs, tobacco products or alcoholic beverages;

b. Is suggestive and/or disruptive (e.g. extremely tight fitting, cleavage-baring, fails to cover the midriff, halter-tops, sheer/see-through, strapless, tops with thin straps, short shorts, skirts, or dresses that are above mid-thigh), and/or shredded clothing,

c. Hats, headwear, sunglasses, unsafe footwear, coats, bandanas, gloves, chains, and spikes must be removed upon entering the building.

Inappropriate student dress may result in a conference with an administrator, a change into proper attire and/or parent/guardian contact. Students may be asked to remain in the office until proper attire is obtained. The administration has final determination on appropriate dress and consequences for inappropriate dress.

Plank SpiritWear

Plank Spiritwear orders are available for all parents and students! Follow the link on the picture to view the full order form. Orders can be placed online here.

Plank Home and School Elections and Openings

Our Plank Home and School has new officers elected! If you are interested in filling in some of the open positions, our next meeting will take place on June.

President - Jacquie Bucher

Vice President - Rachel Keys

Treasurer - Robyn Mellas

Secretary and Corresponding Secretary are open positions. If you want to get involved, Plank HSA will provide the opportunity!

A Message from Plank Home and School

Would you like to get involved? Home and School is still looking for a recording secretary and corresponding secretary. Our meetings are on the second Tuesday of every month from 6p-7p. If you have any questions, or would like to join us, please let Jacquie Bucher, President of the Home and School know at kplankhsa@gmail.com

Our First Pirate Night will be held on September 6 from 6 to 8 PM. If you are interested in volunteering, please use the email above to contact our HSA.

2019-2020 Plank Yearbook Sales are Online!

Order your Plank Yearbook Online here! Early orders are $26.

Plank Yearbook Orders 2019-2020

AVID Schoolwide at Plank Junior High

AVID schoolwide brings together instruction and the culture of our school to ensure the college readiness of not only the AVID elective students, but the academic performance of all students. All teachers are using WICOR strategies to develop and strengthen students writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading skills. Each parent newsletter we will be highlighting a WICOR strategy we are using at Plank. WICOR stands for Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, and Reading. Teachers are incorporating activities and strategies in their classrooms to reinforce WICOR and create meaningful and engaging lessons for students. Simply put, teachers are incorporating these as best teaching practices to allow all students to access their education.

AVID Spotlight: Collaboration

Collaboration in classrooms may look different based on the content area that is being taught. Collaboration in a PE classroom will look very different than collaboration in a math classroom. However, all students need to have this skill in order to develop the skill across all content areas. Collaboration in classes may look like students talking with one another about the work, partner sharing during an activity, or providing feedback on another student's work. Students expectations are to work with one another towards a shared goal, be respectful, and to be able to give and accept constructive feedback to one another. These are necessary skills that are transferable to the workplace once our students leave the school arena, and enter the workforce.

Edutopia is an educational blog that many educators follow. An article on the benefits of collaboration can be found following this link.

Plank Cellphone Expectations

In an effort to help provide consistency between the Junior High buildings in regards to cell phone usage and access, Plank is revising the building cell phone usage expectations for students. Previously, students were able to use their cell phones at any time during lunch times. They had access to any and all social media platforms, text messaging, phone calls, and video games. Starting the 2019-2020 school year, the expectations will change for students use of cell phones during these times at Plank. The new expectations for students will limit their access to cell phone usage during the student’s lunch periods, aligning with the other buildings in the district. Students will need permission from a staff member in order to access and/or use a cell phone during their lunch period.

This doesn’t mean that students are not allowed to bring their phones to school. During the school day, when any student is in a learning environment setting, access and use of cell phones will be limited to teachers providing students the permission to use the phone. This will include the lunchroom, during study halls, in the LRC, classrooms, and hallways. The expressed language in the student handbook states that students are to have their cellphones turned off and out of sight during these times except as approved by building administration, which is the same expectation from the 2018-2019 school year. This will continue, and include the lunchroom as an area that students will need the permission to use their cell phones.

Health Alert: Vaping | Illinois Department of Public Health

More than 10 cases of severe pulmonary disease have been reported in adolescents in Wisconsin, primarily in southeastern Wisconsin in the counties of Milwaukee, Waukesha and Winnebago. Three suspect cases have been identified in Illinois (Kane and Cook counties). Information on products used will be collected to try and identify a particular source. Read the full Health Alert here.

E-cigarettes and Youth: What Parents Need to Know

Talk with Your Teen About E-cigareetes: A Tip Sheet for Parents

Coming Soon... Elyssa's Mission

Starting next month, students will be participating in Elyssa's Mission presentations. This is an evidence based program that helps to provide depression awareness and suicide prevention training for students in junior high.

This program will be presented to all students. Below are the program dates by grade level (each student will only attend one of the dates.). More information will be shared with parents the weeks before presentations at grade levels.

7th grade: September 24th and 26th during health and PE classes

6th grade: October 22nd and 24th during science classes

8th grade: November 19th and 21st during science classes

Please contact our counselors for any additional information regarding the program.

If do not want your child to participate in the Elyssa's Mission program, please contact your student’s school counselor via phone or email.