Pacific Grove Middle School

December 2018

Helping Our Teens Deal With Stress

By Sean Roach, Principal

Well, it’s the holiday season and we at PGMS have noticed that some of our students (and staff) are experiencing a little stress. Our focus every year is the social emotional well being of our students as well as their academic success. There have been scores of articles outlining the need for schools and families to learn more about the causes of stress and anxiety in our young people, so my wife (a counselor at Forest Grove) provided me this article from Psychology Today which provides some insights on teen stressors and offers some suggestions for how to lesson teen anxiety.

Psychology Today outlines 10 reasons anxiety has increased in teens:

  1. Electronics provide an unhealthy way to fill time. Using games or social media to avoid boredom or sadness does not give a young person the ability to learn to cope in these situations.

  2. Happiness is always the goal. Parents strive to have their children happy. In response, when a kid feels down, the kid feels like it is not normal to feel that way.

  3. Parents give unrealistic praise to children. Pushing a child to believe they are the best creates pressures that can be unattainable.

  4. Parents put to much pressure on teens. From SAT courses, to multiple sports, to private tutors, parents ingrain in young people's minds that staying busy and being the best is the only way to be successful or get into college.

  5. Young people are not learning how to manage their emotions. In light of all the pressures to succeed, kids aren't being taught how to manage stress which makes them ill-prepared for when stressors like college come into their lives.

  6. Parents feel the need to protect rather than guide, which leads to over protectiveness and the belief that the kid cannot manage life on their own.

  7. Not learning to face their fears. If something causes anxiety, frequently parents will not expose their kid to whatever is causing the fear. In reality exposure is a vital coping strategy.

  8. Parents use their own anxieties to affect the way they raise their children. Feeling guilty by saying no to a child and giving in or not letting a child go to something because it makes the parent nervous can affect how the child views discomfort.

  9. Too much structure in a young person's life limits the amount of free time they have to think, be creative, and manage things on their own.

  10. Kids want to be led by their parents, but in a way that is healthy and influential; not controlling.

Let's Communicate

By Jason Tovani, Assistant Principal

Research on school bullying and harassment shows that school staff can play a powerful role in preventing bullying. That role can include building a positive school culture, adopting and supporting anti-bullying programs, enhancing counseling programs, and more. But more can be done, especially if parents get involved.

Parents are usually very aware of what is going on with their kids outside of school. Changes in friendships, mood swings, increased stress, and traumatic events are common among this age group, and are usually noticed by parents. It is easy to think these are "normal," and to a degree, they are. But, these changes may be more (or less) significant when looked at in the context of what is happening at school. The opposite is true, too; knowing what is going on with a student at home helps school staff understand what they are seeing from a student at a school.

Strong two-way communication between families and school is the best way to prevent bullying and harassment. The PGMS school day is 6.5 hours. A LOT goes on in that time (!), and the more we know about what is going on with our/your students, the more proactive we can be to keep them safe and free from added and unnecessary stress.

If you are aware of anything going on in your student's life that might help us help them, please let Mr.Tovani, Mr. Roach, or Mrs. Lawrence know by calling the school at 646-6568.

Please donate! New and Unwrapped Toys needed for the Toy Drive

PG Kiwanis Club is sponsoring the annual Holiday Toy Drive to benefit local children. Please bring in any new and unwrapped toys to the office. If you bring in a toy, you will receive a Kindness Kard. Thank you!

Attention 8th Grade Parents!

It’s time to honor your 8th grader with a PROMOTION AD! Information and payment for parents’ ads are now being accepted. All ads will be 3.75 by 2.5 inches (business card size). You must submit your ad information and payment of $25.00 to the office by Friday, February 22, 2019.

Please make checks payable to PGMS and note “yearbook ad” in the memo. If you would like to include a candid shot of your child, please email a digital photo, using a 300 DPI or higher, to Ms. Costales ( before February 22, 2019.

Note: There is a limited amount of space available for ads; they will be sold on a first-come/paid, first-serve basis.

Please click below to download the Promotion Ad form.

6th Grade Movie Party

Join your fellow 6th graders to watch Wreck It Ralph 2 on Monday, December 3, at 3:30 pm, at Lighthouse Movie Theater. PTSA will pay for the admission fee and popcorn. Students will need to pay for their drinks, candy, and other snacks. Students must provide their own transportation to and from the event. Eligible 6th grade students can pick up a permission slip in the office. The permission slips need to be turned in at the door at the movie theater on the day of the event.

PG High School Registration for our 8th Graders

On December 20, 2018, look for an email message from the PGHS Counseling Department with a link to the 2019-2020 PGHS Course Catalog. A follow-up letter will be mailed home the first week we return from Winter Break in January 2019.

On Wednesday, January 16, parents are invited to a parent meeting in the PGHS Library at 6:30pm, where HS Counselor Margaret Rice, grades 9-10, will give a presentation to the parents of incoming 9th graders to PGHS.

Mrs. Rice will meet with your students on either January 15 or January 16 in their 8th grade English classes to explain the course bulletin and course selections for incoming freshman.

Mrs. Rice will help them register for their courses for the 2019-2020 school year. Make-ups will be on Friday, January 18 in the PGMS computer lab Room 21, periods 2-3. There will be a two-week window for students to make any changes on-line.

Other upcoming PGHS Parent Meetings for incoming 9th graders all at 6:30pm in the PGHS Library:

• Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - PGMS Honors/AP Night

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 - PGHS Culture Night


Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 21, Minimum Day. Students are released at 12:11 pm.

No School Monday, December 24- January 7. School resumes on January 8. Have a safe holiday!

6th Grade Outdoor Science School

6th graders that are attending Outdoor Science School, will leave on Tuesday, January 15, and return at noon on Friday, January 18. Parents should plan on picking up their student promptly.

Students need to be in front of the school before by 8:45 am for roll call. Buses will depart at 9:15 am.

Students that are NOT going to Outdoor Science School will have an alternative schedule. The students must come up to the office to pick up their alternative schedule on Tuesday, January 15.

Don't forget to bring a sack lunch for yourself on Tuesday!

Not Returning to PG Middle School or going to PG High School?

If your student is not returning to PGMS or going to PGHS for the 2019-2020 school year, please email Mrs. Cochran, at to let her know as soon as possible. Thank you.

Reminder: 8th Graders need a minum of 16 Community Service Hours prior to April 22, 2019 to participate in Promotion and Promotion Activities.

No Detention or Study Hall

There is a Staff Meeting on Monday, December 10, after school, so there is no detention or study hall that day.
2018- 2019 Yearbook Order Form

Prices will increase after December 21, 2018.