Pacific Grove Middle School

October Newsletter 2018

PGMS Quarter 1 Heart and Mind Trait: Leadership!

By: Sean Roach, Principal

This year, PGMS faculty, staff and students collaborated in selecting traits of the heart and mind that are important to learn not only for academic success, but success beyond school! Each quarter, we will focus on a high impact trait and celebrate/educate our students on what the trait looks like and why it’s important! Our first trait this year is Leadership. The following are a few of the strategies that we employ to nurture student leadership:

Learning Self-Efficacy

Teaching students about learning strategies can also strengthen self-efficacy. This is different from teaching skills. Being able to turn on the car’s ignition is a skill, but if you'd lost your car keys, you’d need strategies. We can help our students gain the capacity to tackle unforeseen problems by emphasizing comprehension, not decoding; using inductive learning to ask students to identify patterns and not always explicitly telling the "rule" in advance; and helping them learn to categorize information instead of just listing data.

Take Action On Community Issues

We can also develop student leadership by creating opportunities for students to take collective action to improve their community—addressing issues that matter to them. For example, last year, we had three young ladies who orchestrated our student National Walkout Day in support of the students involved in the tragedy in Florida. They explored and taught students and staff the issues involved and crafted a wonderful and respectful ceremony which promoted thought and activism. One of the criteria for active citizenship, the class determined, was to be engaged in improving the community. Students decided they wanted to voice their concern and play an active role in their community.

Teaching Others

Teaching others not only requires students to reread and return to learned material but it also enhances self-confidence and provides good modeling for peers. When employed effectively, this strategy can help students develop the kinds of relationships that are critical for genuine leadership that moves people into collective action. When peers teach one another, they develop respect for each others’ judgment and expertise. After all, how can someone truly be considered a leader if they do not have a following?

Enhance Intrinsic Motivation

The studies described in The Harvard Education Letter identified intrinsic motivation as a key childhood characteristic among adults who became leaders. There are various actions our teachers can take to improve students’ intrinsic motivation. For example, we can build relationships with students so we can learn their self-interests, hopes, and dreams, and be better prepared to more explicitly connect lessons to them. We can praise effort and specific actions more than intelligence (growth mindset), and encourage cooperative learning.

PGMS Community Safety Night

By: Jason Tovani, Assistant Principal

PGMS is committed to maintaining student safety as our number one priority. This includes everything from maintaining safe facilities to building a positive school culture where every student feels connected. It also includes preparing for and responding to school emergencies effectively.

PGUSD has protocols in place to help schools respond to emergencies in the best ways possible. These protocols are taught to students and are practiced throughout the school year as we conduct our safety drills. We think it may be helpful for parents and guardians to know, understand, and reinforce these protocols at home.

Please join us from 6-7pm on October 11th, in the PGMS Auditorium for PGMS Community Safety Night. Mr. Tovani will review PGUSD’s protocols for five types of emergency scenarios - Evacuation, Drop, Cover and Hold, Shelter in Place, Secure Campus and Lockdown/Barricade. Officer Hankes, the PGUSD School Resource Officer, will then speak to parents about keeping our kids safe when they are not in school and are out in the community. Please join us!

If you are unable to make it, please download and review the Big Five Community Packet to familiarize your family with PGMS emergency protocols.

Trying to Delay the Smartphone? There is Strength in Numbers!

Wait Until 8th has your back!

Did you know that the average age a child gets a smartphone is 10 years old and that children are spending between 6 and 9 hours a day on media? Childhood is changing, and the negative impact of too much screen time is hitting kids hard.

I have good news for you though. There is a wonderful resource to help parents delay the smartphone and give their children more time smartphone free.

The Wait Until 8th pledge empowers parents to rally together to delay giving children a smartphone until at least 8th grade. By banding together, this will decrease the pressure felt by kids and parents alike over the kids having a smartphone.

Please note that this pledge is for smartphones only! If you would like your child to have a basic phone that just calls and texts, you still can sign the pledge! The basic phone avoids many of the distractions and dangers of the smartphone.

A pledge becomes "active" once 10 or more families from a grade at a school sign. The organizers designed the pledge this way so you don't have to fear "what if I am the only parent that signs this in my kid's grade." This takes the pressure off because the pledge only kicks in once at least 10 families sign from your grade.

To learn more, please visit

Wait Until 8th on The Today Show

Autumn Break October 15 - 19, School resumes on Monday, October 22! Have a safe Break!

Parent- Teacher Conferences October 22- October 26

Conference sessions are especially important for students who are at risk of failing classes. Parents of those students will have priority in scheduling. IF the teacher has remaining time slots, parents who would like to conference with their child's teachers need to call the office beginning Thursday, October 11. The conferences are scheduled in 15 minute blocks and is in a group setting with the necessary teachers. If your conference needs to be longer than 15 minutes, please email the teachers individually to schedule another conference. There will be one evening session of conferences on Tuesday, October 23.

The entire week (October 22- 26) are Minimum Days. Students will be released from school at 12:11.

Community Service Hours

PGMS values community service and the concept that students should volunteer their time to improve the quality of life for their community. As part of our curriculum and as per board policy, all students are required to complete a minimum of 16 hours of community service hours by the end of their 8th grade year. Community Service Hours are due by Monday, April 22, 2019.

Hours may be earned by volunteering for non-profit organizations. All hours must be completed outside of the regular school day. Pre-approval of projects is highly recommended. Questions or concerns about community service can be addressed by Janie Lawrence, our Counselor, at or 831-646-6568 ext. 304.

Daily Bulletin

The Daily Bulletin is the Video Bulletin that your student watches in Homeroom Period. It announces important information about sports, spirit days, reminders, games, etc... Please click on the "Daily Bulletin" title above to direct you to the page.

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Students arrive and leave PGMS in a variety of ways and at several locations. We need to make sure that every child and family member is safe during the busiest traffic times of the day.

Students who walk or bike to school must follow all of the same rules of the road as automobile drivers. They must use crosswalks and stop signs appropriately.

Students must wear a helmet when riding a bike, skateboard, and scooter. Please make sure you bring a lock to lock up your bike in the bike rack. PGMS assumes no responsibility for lost items.

We strongly encourage students to be dropped off and picked up at the back of the school in the cul-de-sac areas. In the morning, students need to wait at the back of the school, by the lunch tables, and not in front of the school.

PGMS Phone Number

Parents please use the phone number 831-646-6568 to call the school. Students are allowed to use the office phone to call you. The phone numbers that appear on your caller ID, if you use that number, it does not ring back to the office so we can't answer your phone call. Please call the school using the 831-646-6568 phone number.

PGMS Auditions for Mary Poppins Jr.

Auditions will be on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, at 3:15 pm, in the PGMS Auditorium. All students who audition will be in the show.

Callbacks for Lead Roles will be on Wednesday, October 10, 2018, at 3:30 pm, in the PGMS Auditorium.

Please prepare a song to sing and bring a list of conflicts (sports, lessons, trips, etc...) that you know of between now and February 2019. Shows are February 1-3, 2019.

For more information, please contact Michelle Boulware,

School Picture Re-take Day

Friday, Oct. 5th, 12:30pm

PGMS Gym during lunch

Picture Re-takes are for the following students:

1. Absent on the day pictures were taken.

2. New students who arrived at PGMS after picture day.

3. If you bought pictures, and you want to do re-takes. You will need to bring in your picture packet.

School ID card pictures will not be replaced with the new picture taken.

Butterfly Bazaar & Parade

Saturday, Oct. 6th, 11am

Robert Down Field

If your student signed up to volunteer, please make sure they check-in at the Volunteer Booth and check out at the Volunteer Booth. Community Service Hour Forms are available in the office and online.The parade starts around 10 am and the Butterfly Bazaar is 11 am - 2 pm.

Fall Sports Pictures

Wednesday, Oct. 10th, 3:15pm

PGMS- In front of the school

Soccer, Volleyball, and Cross Country pictures will be taken after school. Picture order forms will be available in the office as the date gets closer. Please make sure to have your uniform.

7th and 8th grade Girls Volleyball Team will have their picture taken at lunch because of the Away game after school.

Honor Society Breakfast

Tuesday, Oct. 30th, 7:30am


This form of recognition is reserved for students who excel in their academic work. Honor Roll is computed at the end of each quarter for students earning a 3.5 grade point average (GPA) or higher. Invitations are distributed in Homerooms a few days prior to the event. Parents are encouraged to join their students. The PTA and volunteers provide breakfast for the students and their families.If you have any questions about your student's eligibility, please contact the office.

Conduct Club Luncheon

Friday, Nov. 2nd, 11:30am-1pm


PGMS recognizes students who consistently display outstanding citizenship in the classroom. To be eligible to attend the quarterly Conduct Club Luncheon, a student must earn straight O's (Outstanding) on his/her report card during the previous quarter. Eligible students will receive a permission slip a few days prior to the event. Students are responsible for obtaining missed classroom assignments during the event. NO late permission slips will be accepted. More information will be in the video bulletin as the date gets closer.

Costume Dress Up Day

Wednesday, Oct. 31st, 8:30am

835 Forest Avenue

Pacific Grove, CA

If your student wishes to dress up on Wednesday, October 31, they can come to school in their costumes.

Please remind your students the following:

• Appropriate Dress (even for costumes)

• All weapons, pirate swords, knives, bow and arrows, knives, guns, for example need to be left at home.

• No fake blood or excess gore.

• No masks and excessive face paint are allowed. We need to be able to identify you.

If you have any questions about your costume, please check with Mr.Tovani.

PGMS Parent- Student Handbook 2018-2019

If you have any questions about attendance, school dress code policy, sports eligibility, and/or for more information, please click here.

2018-2019 Yearbook Order Form

Please click here for the Yearbook Order Form.

Not feeling well?

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From the Library...

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Mountain Bike Mondays- Monterey

This is a local Mountain Biking Club for 6th to 8th graders that rides in the CSUMB, Ft. Ord, and Toro Park Areas. If you or your student are interested, there will be a parent/student meeting on Thursday, October 4, at 3:15 pm, in Ms. Torres' room 38. For more information please contact


President: Ragni Coleman Secretary: Dana Marshall

Treasurer: Greg Enterline

VP Volunteers: Toula Hubbard

Fundraiser Coordinator: Luciana Morgan

VP Membership: Zoe Roach Parliamentarian: Katie Ryan

Historian: Julie Kavanaugh Staff appreciation: Ali Lyon

In addition we have the following members to our board.

6th Grade Reps: Petula Lee, Katie Selfridge, Caroline Wade, Stephanie Zunich

7th Grade reps: Amy Fallavena, Joey Houde, Sheryl Hanh

8th Grade Reps: Kari Serpa, Summer Coe, Eri Misawa

Website: Perci Paulsell

October 2018

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PGMS Staff Email Addresses

Please click here for to see the Staff Directory.

Parents....These are not thumb drives!

In case you haven’t heard, “Juuling” is a thing, and kids are intrigued. A “Juul” is a brand name e-cigarette, and their popularity is growing. We think you should know, so that you can speak to your student(s) about the potential risks.

To learn more, click on "Juuling" above and watch this PBS News story about Juuling.

Thank you,

Mr. Tovani