Panther Pride News

Jane Mears Middle School, Anchorage, AK

Friday, November 18, 2022

Panther Pride News is published weekly to keep all members of the school community informed and involved.
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Mears Celebrates Native American and Alaskan Heritage Month

November is Native American and Alaskan Heritage Month. To celebrate, Mears Indian Education program has been hosting a series of events that honor and explore different facets of Indigenous Alaskan culture. Story-teller and youth advocate, Johon Echohawk Atkinson, joined Mears Indian Education students this week to learn and play fun, trust-building games together. Mr. Atkinson offered inspiring words to the group to reflect on. He said, "Culture is prevention, culture is strengthening for everybody. It doesn't matter who you are, or where you are can bring back the balance in this world." Special thanks goes out to Mears staff Ms. Benita Holt, Ms. Jhoana Oliveras, and Ms. Farrah Ashcraft for supporting the heritage event this week. Mears celebrates Native American and Alaskan Heritage Month and honors all of its students who come from many diverse backgrounds. Go Panthers! --Eric

School Calendar: Upcoming Dates and Events

Important Dates Ahead

Thursday and Friday, Nov. 24-25 -- Thanksgiving Holiday

Thursday, Dec. 1 -- Mears/PTSA Family Engagement Night, Anti-Vaping Education Event, guest presenters from The American Heart Association, Mears Library, 6:30pm

Staff Calendar


  • TUES 11/29 -- Mears Staff Meeting

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ASD Student-Designed Book Mark Contest

ASD Library Bookmark Contest

2022 - 2023 Theme is:

Learning for Life @ Our Library

Use your imagination and any ideas relating to reading, literacy and the love of the library!

Entries are due December 9, 2022. Submit your entry to Mrs. Fleming, the librarian. The winning school entries will go to district judging. Entries become the property of the Anchorage School District and may be used in other advertisements.

Entries must:

  • fit the theme and include the phrase Learning for Life@ Our Library™

  • be the original work of the student, whether hand drawn, digital art, or computer generated

  • be the correct size: 7” x 2 ¾” either horizontal or vertical

  • be submitted with the student's full name and grade on the back of the bookmark

No copyrighted characters may be included on the bookmark.

Forms with the correct size template are available in the library.

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November Writing Contest

November's theme is family, culture, and ancestors. Write a story, either fiction or nonfiction, that centers on a cultural tradition or a family object.

See Panther Participation for full details and writing guidelines. Deadline is Wednesday, November 30th.

Here is the link to this month's prompt and details:

Good luck, writers.

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Mears Launches "Finish Strong Campaign" for Quarter 2

Can you believe we are only a few weeks away from the end of quarter two? Counselors are receiving a lot of requests from parents and students on how to finish strong or improve grades. It is very normal for middle schoolers to have missing assignments. They are learning to take greater and greater responsibility, and this is an important time for them to develop self-advocacy skills and to learn how to organize their work. Here are a few tips to encourage more success as we close in on quarter two:

  1. Turn in all missing assignments. Open Canvas and look carefully at all classes for any missing or late assignments. Even assignments with just a few points can make a difference. Keep in mind it could take a day or two for late or missing assignments to be removed from the “missing assignments” column.

  2. Communicate with the teacher. If your child is having problems finding the assignment or understanding what is expected of them, encourage them to email the teacher (Canvas message) with the question and the name of the assignment. If possible, talk to the teacher in person. Communication is key.

  3. Show up. Missing school days means missed instruction time. Student attendance is a powerful, research driven predictor of student success.

The best we can do as parents is to consider the steps above and encourage your student to seek help from their teacher. Being able to independently reach out and ask for help is a crucial part of their development in becoming adults.
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PTSA Membership Drive, Show Your Gratitude and Win a Prize

Every year, Mears PTSA does incredible work to support teaching and learning at Mears. Last year alone, Mears PTSA donated $20,000 in Panther Grants to our beloved teachers.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, please consider showing your gratitude for Mears PTSA by becoming a member. Family members are just $10. To join, please visit MemberHub.

All new members who join by Nov. 30 will be entered in a drawing to win a holiday wreath. The winner will be announced during the first week of December.

PTSA General Meeting Schedule: All Mears Community Members are Welcome -- Second Wednesday of each month @ 5:30pm via Zoom

Semester 1: Dec. 14

Semester 2: Jan 11, Feb. 8, Mar. 8, Apr. 12, May 10

PTSA Zoom Meeting Link

Meeting ID: 981 2989 0912

Passcode: 986530

Join Team PTSA: Volunteer Interest Form:

Please like and follow us on Facebook Mears Middle School PTSA for more information.

To purchase Mears Gear (including gym clothes), visit the Mears Middle School Store

Yearbook is Now on Sale

Mears families can also order online by going to: using access code 13921123 (see the attachment). Please be certain to print and keep a copy of your receipt after completing and paying for the online purchase. Please do not wait to submit your yearbook order(s). Understand that orders made online after 11:59 p.m. on night of March 26, 2022 are not guaranteed a yearbook order. Questions? Please contact the Mears MS PTSA via email at:

We are on Dena’ina Homeland

Mears Middle School acknowledges that we operate and gather on the traditional land of the Dena’ina Peoples and honor, with gratitude, the land itself and the people who have stewarded it throughout the generations.