Banks Trail Middle School

Teamwork, Responsibility, Ambition, Integrity, Leadership

January 1, 2019

Happy New Year

Dear Timberwolf Families,

We’re back from an extra-long break, and it’s wet out there! I hope you and your children had the opportunity to spend quality time with family, friends, and loved ones during the time away from school. It’s important to take advantage of these moments, so we can rejuvenate, refocus, and approach the new year with a renewed sense of purpose. We ended the month of December with the famous BTMS Dodge Ball Tournament, our amazing band and chorus concerts, and the Student Council Penny War to raise money for our Angel Tree Program. Due to the commitment and generosity of students, families, staff, and community members, we were able to help 10 families with holiday gifts. Well Done Timberwolves!

I wanted to take a moment to share a few cold weather reminders and how they relate to school. During cold weather (generally around 40 degrees or higher) we try to all our students the opportunity to get outside, move, play, and get some fresh air after eating lunch. We encourage & remind students to dress for the weather when they go outside.(please also remember that we do not open the school building for student drop off until 7:45). In the event of any inclement weather, all parents will receive a email, text, and/or call from our school district letting you know about the weather situation (like we did with Hurricanes). If school is dismissed early or cancelled, all after school activities for that day are also cancelled. Please share with your child the information you want them to know in the event of inclement weather (ride the bus home, you will be picked up in the car line, etc.) For those of you new to our area, when we have snow, thinks coming to a halt. This means if you are working in Charlotte, it could take you hours to get to school to pick up a student.

The end of the first semester of school in January can be a busy time of the year for students. Sixth, seventh and eighth graders have some excellent advice about how to be academically successful. I’m always impressed by what they have to say and am sharing it in this month’s newsletter.

Student Advice for Parents

* Check the parent portal and pay attention to an

* Go through binders with your children to get their papers organized but don’t throw away papers that might be helpful in preparing students for any end-of-quarter tests.

* Have a quiet space set aside for students to study at home.

* Sometimes parents need to give students a little space.

Student Advice for Students

* Find study partners—it’s more fun to study with friends!

* Make sure you always do your homework so that your homework grade is always strong.

* Attend working Lunch if more time/help is needed!

* Find out if there is work you need to redo or if there are quizzes to retake.

* Keep your binder organized but don’t throw away important papers.

* Don’t wait until the last minute to study. Take 10 minutes each night to study.

* Believe in yourself!

Teachers will be working closely with students as they finish the semester. Please feel free to contact your child’s teachers if you have any questions about their progress in a class.

As we make our way through the winter months, let’s take advantage of this time and make sure our students continue to approach each school day with purpose. While staying warm(and possibly dry) may be a seasonal focus right now, it’s important to remember that hard work, learning, and achievement develop the invincible summer that our students can carry with them through every season.

Happy New Year,

Michael Pratt


Each month students are chosen to be “Terrific Timberwolves” for reasons such as displaying outstanding leadership, citizenship, school service, good behavior, and performance in their classrooms and throughout the school. “Leaders of the Pack” are then selected among those chosen as Terrific Timberwolves because they exemplify the characteristics found in the T.R.A.I.L. - Teamwork, Responsibility, Ambition, Integrity, Leadership

Decembers Terrific Timberwolves

6-1 - Nirmal Balamurugan

6-2 – Teja Ward

6-4 – Lexi Bellows

7-1 – Rithish Sivakumar

7-2 – Zachary Reid

7-4 – Katie Eubanks

8th – Makayla Lathrop

8th – Pauleen Chinn

8th – Liam Nichol

Related Arts – Lily Marks

Related Arts – Isabella Garcia

December Leaders of the Pack

6th (from 6-3) – Ben Booth

Ben is always willing to go the extra mile in his academics and extracurricular activities. He is involved in student council and helped to organize some fun activities during our spirit week. Ben is a team player and uses responsibility to complete classwork and homework. He is often helping out a classmate or working on his next "project". We appreciate all of the enthusiasm and leadership that Ben demonstrates here at Banks Trail. Way to go!!

7th (from 7-3) – Samuel Socias

Sammy works hard every day in class, and always has a smile on his face. He is often seen helping fellow classmates when they drop something in the hall, or when they need a partner in class, or even if they need a friend to sit with at lunch. Sammy consistently demonstrates the TRAIL through his teamwork, responsibility, and integrity.

8th - Alex Poole

Alex should earn the award of leader of the pack because she is an exceptional student. Alex comes to class with a great attitude and an eagerness to learn on a daily basis. She completes all of her work on time and if she finishes early she helps her fellow classmates who may be having trouble which is nice because it is hard for the teacher to help everyone in class. Alex makes great grades and is always engaged and asking questions during lessons. Put simply, anything you ask her to do will get done and done well. Alex is a great example of how an outstanding student should conduct themselves in and out of the classroom and that is why she is a terrific timber wolf.

Related Arts - Madison Hoyle

Maddie Hoyle is a very sweet and kind young lady. She leads by example and is always quick to help others. She does her best every day and is always prepared for class.

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Spelling Bee

On December 19th, thirty-five BTMS students competed in the BTMS School wide spelling bee. It was tough competition put after several rounds the competition came to and end. Jacob L. was the overall School Champion and Matthew P. was the runner up. These two young men will represent BTMS on February 1 at the Fort Mill School District Spelling Bee.

Here are the top two finishers from each grade level:

6th Grade

Pablo Contreas

Cecilia Creech

7th Grade

Matthew Pearson (Runnerup)

Stewart Sandvoss

8th Grade

Jacob Lavigne (Overall BTMS Champion)

Annie Liu

Congratulations to everyone.

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BTMS competes in First Robotics Event

Students from Banks Trail, Springfield, and Fort Mill Middle School ascended onto Springfield Middle School carrying their designs to stack, carry, and compete. The students in the three schools’ ITE classes competed in the district's first VEX EDR competition. The teachers have been brainstorming ideas and working to put together the events. Students were on teams of three, controlling their robots to move around the playing field stacking yellow cones on top of their alliances mobile scoring goals. Laughter, cheering, and conversations filled the rooms in which the competitions took place.

Each match lasted two minutes and saw two alliances working to outscore the other. The alliances were made up of two teams from each school and assigned to an alliance color of red or blue. After one minute of competition the teams stopped, the controllers were passed to another teammate and the action resumed. After the two minutes were over, the scores were tallied, added to the schools total and lessons were learned. Teams began thinking how to score more points in their next match.

The night was filled with laughter and conversation. Students who had once been classmates, now raced to stack cones higher and faster to score more points for their new school and team. The event started at 5:00 pm and was filled with fast paced action until 6:00. At the end of the night, Springfield had accumulated 199 points and won round one of the Fort Mill Middle School VEX league. The students from the three schools will compete again in December and January. The three schools will each host the event and at each competition, the teams will focus on a new skill. The schools’ scores are tallied and the school with the most points after the January match will be crowned League Champion.

“This evening was a lot of fun”, ITE teacher Bradley Wagner from Banks Trail said. “ I have coached football and wrestling and this was some of the fastest paced action I have been involved in” he went onto say.

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This year our students, staff, and parents have participated in a variety of service learning projects for both our local community and/or national organizations. I am honored to lead a school where service learning projects are a big part of our school culture.

Caps for Cancer

In October we did our Caps for Cancer on Halloween. Students were allowed to wear hats to school that day with a $1 donation. These funds were donated to the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation: Pediatric cancer cure research. BTMS raised almost $400.

GI Go Fund

Did you happen to see teachers wearing jeans the first week of December? That was a result of a service learning project the staff at BTMS completed. Teachers donated to the GI Go Veterans Fund. This organizations helps veterans secure employment, education, health care, and some basic aid for low income and homeless veterans. This year the BTMS staff raised almost $250. Great Job!

Hoops for Hearts 2018

Hoops for Heart rocked! Banks Trail hosted their third annual Hoops for Heart 3 on 3 basketball tournament on Tuesday, November 20th. This is a fundraiser event for the American Heart Association held by the physical education department every year. Congratulations to our tournament winners! Thanks to everyone that made a donation to attend this event. This year Banks Trial students and teachers beat our goal and raised $2,013.

Penny War and Angel Tree

The BTMS students did an awesome job raising over $1000 during the Penny Wars. Our BTMS Student Council with the help our our Guidance Department use these funds along with a very nice discount from Target in Rock Hill (community Partner) to shop for Angel Tree gifts. The BTMS Beta Club then becomes involved and wraps these presents. This year over 75 students were involved between shopping and wrapping. Thanks again to our amazing BTMS Families who continue to help support the service projects going on at our school.

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1. Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently passed or you can't be with loved ones, realize that it's normal to feel sadness and grief. It's OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can't force yourself to be happy just because it's the holiday season.

2. Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events. They can offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.

3. Be realistic. The holidays don't have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. For example, if your adult children can't come to your house, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos.

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We enjoyed seeing everyone at BTMS’ Literacy Night. Here was our table, focused on preparing for the literacy expectations in high school:


We are excited to begin having WyldLife at BTMS beginning in January. We will meet the first and third Thursday of each month from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Students will bring home a permission form that needs to be signed by a parent if they want to participate. If you would like to know more about WyldLife, which is the middle school version of Young Life, please look at the following website. If you need to contact a sponsor from school you can email Mrs. Blasingame at

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PTO News

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The 8th grade dance committee meeting is on Wednesday, January 9th at 8:30am.

The PTO is looking for a secretary for the remainder of the 2018-19 school year. if you are interested in helping the PTO and Banks Trail, please contact the PTO.

December Teachers of the Month

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Upcoming Dates 2019

1/7 - School Returns

1/7 - 5:00 PM Basketball vs SMS Boys Home Girls Away

1/9 - 8:15 PTO Executive Meeting in Cafeteria

1/9 6:00 PM - School Board Meeting

1/9 5:00 - Basketball vs. ILMS Girls Home, Boys Away

1/11 - School Board Visit to BTMS

1/14 5:00 - Basketball vs PKMS Girls Home, Boys Away

1/15 5:00 BETA Club Induction Ceremony

1/16 - Star Wars Wednesday - wear your favorite Star Wars shirt, socks, etc.

1/16 - Vex Robotics hosted by BTMS in Cafteria

1/17 5:00 - Basketball vs. GHMS Boys Home; Girls Away

1/18 - Weather Make-Up Day

01/21 Martin Luther King Holiday - No School for Students

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