Pirate's Cove

News for the weeks of 3/4 - 3/22

Principal's Message

Pirate Parents,

On Monday, March 11, 2019 SD308 Board Member, Lauri Doyle will be at the Plank HSA meeting focused on the upcoming referendum. She will be there to share information about the referendum and answer questions.

The meeting will take place in the Plank Community Room (A103). Enter Door 3 near the Cafeteria. The meeting will begin at 6pm.

This link will give you some basic Facts About the Referendum.

Also, Plank's HSA will be inviting people running for the school board to our next meeting for a meet and greet opportunity.

Tyler Haymond

Plank Junior High School

February Top Pirates

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.

February's Recipients were:

Caring - Xavian Cabezas

Respect - Jacob Woods

Caring - Danny Lawrence

Trustworthiness - Ailyn Aguilar

Responsibility - Nathan Peake

Citizenship - Luis Perez

Plank Home and School Elections

Do you want to get involved? The Home and School has all 5 board positions up for election/re-election. Please let Chris Jackson,chrisjacksonnd@yahoo.com, know if you are interested in running for a position. Elections will be in May. The following positions on the board are:

President - The President of the Association is empowered to preside over the Monthly Board Meetings, and any Special Meetings of the Association. The President assures a chairperson is established for all committees and may serve Ex-officio on all committees except the Election Committee.

Vice President - The Vice President presides at the meetings in the absence of the President, upon request, acts as aide to the President and assumes responsibilities for duties assigned by the President. The Vice President becomes the President upon the President’s resignation or inability to serve.

Treasurer - The Treasurer is required to keep accurate record of all financial transactions of the Association, which are subject to audit at the request of the Home and School Board. The Treasurer is responsible for keeping accurate record of receipts and expenditures, and pay out funds in accordance with the approval of the Executive Board. The Treasurer shall give a financial report regularly at all Association meetings as well as provide the Recording Secretary with a copy of what is presented for the official records. The general books of account will be reviewed annually after the close of the fiscal year on June 30 by an outside party in preparation for submitting annual taxes. A report shall be submitted to the Monthly Home and School Board Meeting in August.

Recording Secretary - The Recording Secretary is responsible for keeping accurate records of the proceedings of this Association. The Recording Secretary also maintains the current Home and School Association By-Laws, a record of all business transacted at each meeting of the Association and all Monthly Board Meetings, and presents the minutes for approval at the next meeting. Minutes should be distributed within seven to ten business days concluding the meeting for review prior to approval at the next general meeting. If this officer is not in attendance at a meeting, it will be the responsibility of another officer to take the minutes, as assigned by the President, or pre-arranged by the recording Secretary.

Corresponding Secretary - The Corresponding Secretary conducts all correspondence of the Board with the direction of the President. Also, the Corresponding Secretary presents all communications that are received by the Association at the meetings. In addition, this officer is also responsible for reminding parents about the Monthly Board Meetings and programs related to the Home and School Association. The Correspondence Secretary shall be appointed to inform the membership through email, newsletters, social media, and the news media on information pertaining to the events held throughout the school year.

HSA Future Planning

The school year is going to be over before we know it. The Home and School is looking for volunteers for the 8th grade planning committee. One big event for this committee to plan the 8th grade bash, an after school party on May 17th. Also to help with organizing the 8th grade t-shirt order. If interested please contact Nancy Vesta, nvesta@comcast.net.

Teacher Appreciation Luncheon

Our next teacher appreciation lunch is Tuesday March 12. The theme is a breakfast buffet. If you are interested in signing up to bring in a food item, here is the link http://signup.com/go/TRGeaHt. Non perishable items can be dropped off any time Monday the 11th, perishable items need to be dropped off by 9am on Tuesday. Thanks for your help.

Shoe Drive

We have over 700 pairs of shoes donated so far for our shoe drive! Thank you to families who have already joined our efforts to raise money for our Care Closet. The more pounds of shoes we collect, the more money Funds2orgs will provide us in exchange for the shoes. There are just a few weeks left to bring in donations. The last day to donate is March 15th. If there are any questions, please reach out to Christine McCree (cmccree@sd308.org) or Caitlin Gannon (cgannon@sd308.org).

Junior High Math Competition @ OHS

When: Thursday March 7, 2019

Where: Oswego High School

Time: 6:00 (plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early)

Who: Open to all 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students

Cost: None

Contact Pamela Campbell at pcampbell@sd308.org for more information.

NJHS St. Baldrick's Donation

Our Plank National Junior Honors Society raised $70 with our Valentine's sales for St. Baldrick's. well done, NJHS!

SIP Day Friday, March 8th

As a reminder, we have a School improvement Day on March 8th. Attendance will only be until 11:40 AM at Plank.

St. Baldricks Event - Make Cancer Walk the Plank

As part of our SIP day on March 8th, we will be holding a St. Baldrick's event from 10:30 - 11:30. We are accepting donations for the event to support local childhood cancer charities. We have already raised over $2,500 in donations! Thank you for all who have participated in donations and to those courageous shavees who will "Brave the Shave." Follow the link below for more information and a link to donate. Contact Josh Edwards at jedwards01@sd308.org for more information on our St. Baldrick's event!


STEAM Night at Plank

Are you interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics? STEAM Night 2019 is scheduled for Wednesday, March 13, from 6 - 8 p.m. Come in and check out some great STEAM demonstrations by Plank staff! Contact our science department for more information on STEAM Night 2019.

Illinois 5 Essentials Survey - Extended to March 15


Parents, students, and teachers across Illinois are being asked to participate in the seventh annual 5Essentials Survey. The survey will take about 40 minutes to complete. It will help create a detailed picture of our school and gathers data on the following five indicators of our success or opportunities for improvement:

  • Effective Leaders

  • Collaborative Teachers

  • Involved Families

  • Supportive Environments

  • Ambitious Instruction

IMPORTANT: If our school has a teacher/student response rate of at least 50 percent, we will receive our 5Essentials Report in April. If our parent response rate is at least 20 percent, these results will also be included!

Currently, Plank has a 24% parent response rate. Your feedback is important and is used to make adjustments to our school functioning. Please take a few moments to complete the survey.

Please know, your identity and survey responses will be kept completely confidential. Also, families with siblings in other buildings, the 5Essentials Survey would need to be taken for both respective buildings. For example, if you have a Plank student and a Long Beach younger sibling, the 5Essential surveys to complete would be for both Plank and Long Beach.

To help us make our school better, please visit https://survey.5-essentials.org/Illinois/ to complete the survey.

Thanks for your help and Go Pirates!

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.

AVID Spotlight: Focused Note Taking

Focused note taking can take many forms, Cornell Notes, two column notes, three column, notes, interactive notes, graphic organizers, etc. During the note taking process, students practice and learn to summarize and reflect on their learning. They are taught how to pull together the most important aspects of their notes and use that knowledge to create summaries that captures the meaning and importance of the content taught. Students are then taught the importance of interacting with their notes to evaluate the information and ideas in the notes, analyze the notes to make connections to what they already know and ask questions to create a greater understanding, and to use the notes as a resource to help them apply and demonstrate what they have learned. Don’t forget to encourage your student to use the 10-24-7 repetition note taking strategy!

Toiletry Drive

Plank Junior High will be sponsoring a toiletry drive after spring break. When traveling, if you have unused toiletry items, please bring in to donate to a good cause. We are collecting these toiletries to donate to Hesed House in Aurora. Questions? Contact our student services team in the office at 630-551-9400.

Junior High District Poetry Contest

Do you have a student who is interested in Poetry? Help them celebrate National Poetry Month by entering the Junior High District Poetry Contest. All open Category Submissions are due April 5th to ELA Teachers. Final Awards Announced End of April.

Upcoming Plank HSA Spirit Night Fundraisers

Plank Spirit Night Fundraising

The following events are Spirit Night Fundraisers. Anywhere between 10% and 20% of profits will come back to the Plank HSA to help fund events like our Pirate Nights and support teachers in the classrooms through our HSA grants. Follow the events below, mention Plank when ordering, and look for the notifications on blackboard and through email for the flyers to support Plank at these restaurants. Thank you!

Red Robin Spirit Night Fundraiser

Thursday, March 7th, 4pm

2860 U.S. 34

Oswego, IL

Mention Plank to return a portion of the proceeds to the Plank HSA.

Salsa Verde Spirit Night

Thursday, March 7th, 11am

2970 U.S. 34

Oswego, IL

Mention Plank to return a portion of the proceeds to the Plank HSA.

Buffalo Wild Wings Spirit Night

Monday, March 11th, 11am

1550 Douglas Road

Oswego, IL

Mention Plank to return a portion of the proceeds to the Plank HSA. We are Team "H."

Buona Beef Spirit Night

Thursday, March 14th, 11am

1230 Ogden Avenue

Montgomery, IL

Mention Plank to return a portion of the proceeds to the Plank HSA.

Culver's Spirit Night

Monday, March 18th, 11am

2781 U.S. 34

Oswego, IL

Mention Plank to return a portion of the proceeds to the Plank HSA.

Giordano's Spirit Night

Thursday, March 28th, 11am

2870 W U.S. 34

Oswego, IL

Mention Plank to return a portion of the proceeds to the Plank HSA.

Spring Athletics Update

  • Boys Volleyball: Open Gym 3/4, Tryouts 3/11, 3/12, and 3/14; Practice starts 4/3
  • Track: Conditioning begins 3/11; Practice starts 4/3
  • Girls Soccer: Tryouts 3/18 and 3/19; Practice starts 4/3
  • Intramural Dates/Times To Be Announced

Student Reminders and Parent Notifications: Cell phone usage and bringing in outside food to share

Cell Phones

We want to encourage students to maintain a strong focus on learning, as well as use their cell phones responsibly at the appropriate times. Please read the guidelines for cell phones below and join us in continually reminding our students why we have these guidelines. These guidelines are also found on page 17 in your child's planner.

  • During the school day, cell phones are to remain off and put away.
  • Cell phones may be used in the cafeteria during lunch times.
  • Cell phones may be allowed for instruction when directed by staff members only.

In the event students don’t follow the expectations, the following interventions will take place:

  • Staff will ask student to put the phone away.
  • Staff will ask to take the phone, and turn into the office.
  • IF students don’t comply a conduct referral will be written.
  • Administration will address the behavior, parents will be contacted to retrieve the phone.

Outside Vendor Food and "Table Parties"

Is not allowed to be brought in for students during lunch periods. Please do not drop off food for special student occasions or personal lunches. Students will be required to eat in the main office.

“Table parties” are also not allowed, where food items or drinks are brought and shared. Please understand this is a safety concern for students in the lunchroom.

OEHS Junior High Night

Interested in theatre? Love being on stage or in the wings? Join us for the third “Junior High Night” hosted by the East Theatre Thespians! The night will include theatre related activities, including games, audition prep, confidence building, and technical theatre.

There is a $5 registration fee to attend this event. Click here to register.

What: East Theatre's Junior High Night
Who: Students in 6th-8th Grade Interested in Theatre
Where: Oswego East High School - Door 5 (side of school nearest to Harvey Rd.)
When: Tuesday, March 19th, 5:00-7:00 pm

***Parents must come to Door 5 at pick-up and drop-off to sign in/out their son/daughter***

Contact information:
Isabelle Dale (ETT Secretary & Jr High Night Planner): 22000787@students.sd308.org
Nicole Chandler (Theatre Director): nchandler@sd308.org

OEHS Welcome to the Pack

Parents and current 8th grade students who will be attending Oswego East next year are invited to attend a fun filled night on April 11th at OEHS!

Students will join us for a mixer led by student leaders with games, prizes, and a chance to meet other Future Wolves. Parents will attend break out sessions on various topics of interest.

The Link for the Flyer is attached

April 11, 2019 | 6:00-7:30 pm

Oswego East High School

Parents in the PAC

Students in the Blue Gym

Illinois Science Assessment

All eighth-graders at Plank will take the Illinois Science Assessment (ISA) March 15. The ISA aligns with our new Illinois Learning Standards in science. This assessment helps families understand how well students are performing academically and see whether they are on track to succeed in college. The ISA represents Illinois’ commitment to preparing all students for college and careers, including in the high-demand science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The assessment also satisfies federal accountability requirements.

The ISA is designed to reflect classroom experiences. Many students who took the assessment last year said the ISA seemed more like instruction than a test. Students do not simply select an answer and fill in the bubble of a multiple-choice test. Rather, the ISA pushes students to apply their knowledge when they give answers, thus better preparing them for higher education and a career. All students deserve the opportunity to demonstrate what they know; they get to see how knowledge is applied to real-life situations.

The ISA is an hour-long summative assessment. The results provide administrators with important data to help them make broad curriculum decisions at the school and district levels. But classroom educators will not use the results to make teaching adjustments year-to-year for individual students.

We encourage you to talk with your children about the importance of doing their best on the ISA, while communicating that the assessment yields only one piece of information about them and their school’s progress. Students’ attendance, classroom work, homework, projects, performance on local tests, participation in sports and extracurricular activities, and contributions to the school’s climate and culture all help them grow and learn.

We all work together to ensure Illinois students build a cohesive understanding of science over time. Thank you for your role in developing lifelong learners and successful citizens.

Illinois Assessment of Readiness

Our students take federally required assessments every spring. These assessments help us understand how our students are growing academically, compared to their peers across the state. The state uses this information to provide more support and resources to the schools in the greatest need. This year, the English language arts and math assessment for grades 3-8 is called the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR).

The Illinois Assessment of Readiness, formally PARCC, is almost exactly the same this year as the assessment that students took last year, only slightly shorter. The Illinois Assessment of Readiness measures the same Illinois Learning Standards and includes the same high-quality test questions that teachers and students have become familiar with over the past four years.

Our students should feel confident showing what they know and can do on the Illinois Assessment of Readiness, even with the new test name and new look.

The Illinois Assessment of Readiness will change over the next few years, as the state works to make it more useful to schools and families. Next year, we will have the results back from the test much more quickly. The year after that, the test will adapt to each student, so we gain a better understanding of where each individual student is in their learning. We will continue to be able to measure students’ growth from year to year throughout these improvements.

In preparation for these improvements, all students must take the Illinois Assessment of Readiness online. Some of our students will take the assessment online for the first time this year. This transition will help our students be prepared for success, and we thank you for your support. National studies have shown no significant difference in students’ performance between paper and online assessments. We will ensure all our teachers and students have the support and resources they need to make this transition smoothly.

Our students will take the Illinois Assessment of Readiness during the below listed windows. Within these windows, each elementary and junior high will determine building specific student assessment schedules.

• Elementary Grades 3rd – 5th: Monday March 11 – Friday March 22, 2019

• Junior High Grades 6th – 8th: Wednesday April 3 – Friday April 26, 2019

If you have questions about the Illinois Assessment of Readiness, please reach out to Danielle Lee at dlee@sd308.org. As always, we encourage our students to do their best every day. Thank you for your partnership in your student’s academic success.