Pirate's Cove

News for the week of 11/1 to 11/8

Principal's Message

Pirate parents!

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) released our annual School Report Card on Oct. 30 at www.illinoisreportcard.com. The Report Card shows how well our school is progressing on a wide range of educational goals. We are proud of our students’ growth in the areas that we were underperforming last year. Our Plank students demonstrated growth in all four of the student subgroups that were identified in the previous year. Due to the growth that our students made on our state assessment within these student subgroups, Plank is proud to announce that we received a designation as a “Commendable” school. We have room to grow, and I am excited to see how our students perform in the coming year. There is a link to our letter below that further explains our school designation.

Next week we have parent teacher conferences. I signed up for my own conferences for my children, and I look forward to engaging in the conversation surrounding academic progress and in class behavior. Both of my children are opposites. My son is very math centric; my daughter is an artist. It is always interesting to hear what teachers have to say about where they are academically. I invite parents to engage in these conversations with the teachers at Plank. We have group and individual conferences signing up now. If you have received a link from one of your child's teachers, please follow it to schedule a time to meet. As always, our teachers want to make those home connections. If you would like a phone call, email, or in person conference, please reach out to our teachers to establish a meeting.

On November 11th, we are hosting our annual Veteran's Day Recognition Assembly. We invite parents and community members to attend our Veteran's Day assembly, starting at 1:50. We ask that guests arrive and check in our main office at 1:30 so that we can ensure seating for our recognition ceremony.

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

Plank Parent teacher Conferences

It is that time of year again, where teachers will reach out to families to set up meetings during November 7th and 8th for parent conferences. During this time, teachers will share the progress that students are making, their performance in class, behavioral performance, and work in partnership with you to best deliver a school experience for your child.

Teachers will send one of two notifications; a notification that a conference is requested at this time, and a notice that a conference is not needed. We do invite all parents to sign up for conferences with their teachers, whether it is in person, phone calls, or through email. We want to make sure that we have those open lines of communication with our families to share in all of our students successes and assist with struggles as a team.

Conferences on Thursday begin at 4:00 PM and end at 8:00 PM. On Friday, Conference times are scheduled with teachers between the hours of 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM. If you feel that you would like to conference with a teacher, please send them an email or phone call with your requests.

Plank JHS Book Fair

The book fair is coming to Plank! It will be held in the LRC on November 5th and 6th during school hours and November 7th and 8th during PTC hours. Hope to see you there. Proceeds go to Plank Junior High in purchasing new titles for our LRC.

There's still time to volunteer for the book fair! We will need helpers on Wednesday, November 6th and Thursday, November 7th.


Book Fair Link

Dual Language classes celebrate el día de los muertos

Mrs. Escobedo's Dual Language Spanish language Arts Classes took time on Friday to celebrate el día de los muertos. Her class celebrated el día de los muertos with an altar in class. Students create a nicho and brought in pictures of loved ones. Here's a picture of our altar.

Veterans Day 2019

Please mark your calendars for Plank Jr High's annual Veterans Day Assembly starting at 1:50 PM on Monday, November 11, in our school gymnasium. We welcome all veterans and their families for this memorable and honorable event. Please share this with anyone who has served is active duty and part of the Plank Community. We also invite families to create a personal page to celebrate their family service to our country. Follow this link to Mrs. Thill's class page to find the google presentation to add a slide. We thank you for your dedicated service! Please reach out to Donna Thill or the Plank main office for more information.

Future Wolves Night

Oswego East's Future Wolves Night is on November 14th from 5 to 8 PM. Join in the wolfpack as the OE staff reviews course offerings and elective classes for future freshman. See the attached PDF link below for details.

School Fundraiser

Our schoolwide fundraiser has concluded. We raised over $5,000 to support our Collaborative Learning and Student Space project based on our preliminary results.

If there is still have fundraiser money that hasn't been turned in, please send it in to our main office ASAP. Thank you!

Plank ESSA Designation - Commendable

As stated above, Plank was designated as a Commendable school based on the growth from each of our student subgroups. Our staff is proud of the incremental growth that we are making towards closing the achievement gap, and we will not slow our efforts to continue to grow our students. Here is a link to the Illinois State Report Card.

One Book, One School

Introducing One School, One Book at Plank Junior High. The book we will be reading is Crossover, by Kwame Alexander. Throughout the next several weeks, students and staff will be reading Crossover. This will also be a featured title at our upcoming Book Fair. Crossover will be available at the book fair for $8.99 plus tax. Students will also be able to check out the book from the LRC as well as the public library (but copies will be limited from the libraries). Various activities will take place culminating in a collaborative event at our Literacy Night to be held later this year.

Washington DC Trip for 8th grade

Hey 8th Graders!!

It's not too late to sign up for the Washington DC Trip over this school year's Spring Break, March 22-24, 2020!

Email Mr. Linden (mlinden@sd308.org), Mrs. Carino (mcarino@sd308.org), or Mrs. Beane (jbeane@sd308.org) for registration information.

2021 International Travel Opportunities

Dear Parents,

Your student is invited to join us on a once-in-a-lifetime international travel experience with their peers during SUMMER 2021 TO ITALY/GREECE AND COSTA RICA!!! There is limited space available on a first-come, first-serve basis for this opportunity. I am asking all parents to attend a meeting in order to learn more (details in link below).

Please come to hear all the details including destination, itinerary, and cost of this trip as well as the official opening of enrollment!

Meeting Details:

Thursday, November 21st


Cafeteria @ Plank Jr HS

Use Door #3 to Enter

***Please click here to RSVP by Monday, Nov. 19th***

Plank Home and School Messages

We love our teachers! The next Teacher Appreciation luncheon will be Tuesday, November 5 with a Western BBQ theme. Sign up to donate food, drinks, or your time, and show our teachers how much me appreciate them! https://signup.com/go/YsHJdeM

The concessions booth will be open for all of our home basketball games and wrestling matches. We need Plank parents to join our concessions team! Contact Jacquie Bucher at kplankhsa@gmail.com if you are able to help with concessions.

We truly appreciate parent support in all of these events and activities!

Do you have the new box top app? The next generation of box tops is here. We still collect clipped box tops but this new app is so easy to use. Scan your receipt within 14 days and if any applicable products are bought, instant rewards.

Plank Top Pirates - October

When students are caught exhibiting one of the Six Pillars of Character, teachers nominate students to earn the "Top Pirate" designation. Staff will do a drawing on the last Wednesday of each month and pull six names; one student per pillar, any grade level. Students will be recognized over the intercom in the morning, and will then be asked to go to Student Services to receive a free donut and a "Character Counts at Plank" bracelet. Congratulations to our Top Pirates!

October's Recipients:

Hayden Mulacek - 6th grade

Evan Mollet - 7th grade

Miles Mosher - 7th grade

Adrian Washington - 6th grade

Erving Ortiz - 8th grade

Luisa DeLeon - 8th grade

Art Accomplishments

I am thrilled to share that this year we had many students place in the Chicagoland 4x5 Art Exhibition held at Oswego High School. This year 62 schools entered and they chose 178 works to receive awards.

1st Place (2D Traditional Art) = Diego Rodriguez

Honorable Mention (2D Traditional Art) = Addie Peter

Honorable Mention (2D Traditional Art) = Aiden Ploger

Honorable Mention (2D Traditional Art) = Alex Carranza

Honorable Mention (2D Traditional Art) = Jack Mancuso

Honorable Mention (2D Media Arts) = Kyle Kereere

I am so excited and proud for these students and their artwork. Congratulations on this great honor.

Toys for Tots

This Monday 11/4 we will be starting our annual Toys for Tots drive during homeroom. Please donate as many toys as possible from then until December 11th!

Our goal is 2000 toys this year.

Remember for every NEW UNWRAPPED toy donated, students write their name on a ticket and place it in the envelope. That gives them a chance to deliver the toys with a friend to the Fire Department on the 13th and get breakfast at the Fire Department.

Tickets will be collected each day at the end of homeroom.

The winning Homeroom will get to choose a student to smash a pie in Mr. Edwards face during the Hoops For heart Assembly!!

Please, please, please, get the word out and get as many NEW and Unwrapped toys as possible!

The Plank P.E. Department will be helping participate in the annual Toys For Tots toy drive this year. Like last year we will be giving the option for the students to donate $.25 a day to get out of warmups. All donations and optional and have no effect on students grades. The proceeds will go to the toy drive to help area families during the holidays. If you have any questions please email Mr. Edwards at JEdwards01@sd308.org.

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Homework Hotspot

Just a reminder that we have the homework hotspot. Student assignments are listed here for the entire building. Students also are using their assignment notebooks to write down their assignments. I recommend making a bookmark of homework hotspot on your browser so that it can be checked regularly by your child.

Student Council

Student Council will meet on November 18. Pickup time is promptly 4PM.

Fusion Project

We have a great opportunity for all the girls at Plank and I excited to share it with you. Starting Thursday, November 14, The Fusion Project will be offering their program to our girls each Thursday after school. The mission of this group is to empower young girls by building their self-esteem. They seek to help girls flourish and lower their risk of being victimized. Each week the program will focus on important issues such as bullying, anxiety, finding your voice, social media safety, healthy body image, and other relevant topics. This program has been successful in other Oswego Junior High schools and we are pleased to be able to offer this to all girls at Plank. Whether your daughter is in 6th, 7th or 8th grade, I believe this program will benefit her.

If your child is interested in the Fusion project, there will be forms available in student services. Please encourage your daughter to attend!

The program will run every Thursday 3:10-4:30 in LRC beginning November 14.

Elyssa's Mission Presentations

Students in 8th grade 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.

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.

Parent Letter - English

Parent Letter - Spanish

Homework and Grading

Teachers will be regularly updating grades in Tyler. Check the Parent Portal for updates in grades. Students also have access to check their assignments, grades, and schedule in the student portal. Homework, projects, tests, and quizzes are all recorded in classes to reflect student grades. Please reach out to individual teachers if there are questions regarding student grades.

Homework is an expectation for all of our students to complete at home. Many students have a study hall, where they are able to complete any homework or receive extra help from teachers, when available. Check in with your child's teacher if you have questions regarding homework. Again, the link to homework hotspot can be found by following the link. When students keep up with their homework, they are more likely to perform better on the tests and quizzes in the classroom.

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

Substitute Teachers Needed at Plank!

Plank Junior High School is looking for substitute teachers. If you have your substitute teaching certificate and you have a passion for working with children, we would be happy to have you as a guest teacher in our building! Please reach out to Human Resources by following this link. There are links to an online substitute application, handbook, and contact information all available there. I hope to see you guest teaching in our building soon!

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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2019-2020 Plank Yearbook Sales are Online!

Have you placed your order for the 2019-2020 yearbook? All yearbook orders are now placed online. The deadline for reduced cost of $25 ends in December. All orders are placed online through the link located below and on the Plank Homepage. We are getting close...whomever orders the 100th yearbook will get a FULL REFUND, as a thank you. Plank Yearbook Orders 2019-2020

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