Pirate's Cove

News for the week of 1/17 - 1/24

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Monday January 20th

In observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, there will be no student attendance on Monday January 20th. Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Day was signed as a Federal Day of Observance in 1983 by then President Ronald Reagan in order to honor the Civil Rights Hero. This was 15 years after the bill was introduced to congress. By the time of the initial observance in 1986, 17 states already had days to honor Dr. King as State Holidays, including Illinois. In 1994, Congress declared Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day as a day of service in honor of Dr. King. One of his endearing quotes states “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?” Dr. King was a model for service, and an advocate for those who serve others and making a difference in their communities. Take time to Honor Dr. King this weekend by taking up a service project and improving something within our community. The website www.Serve.Illinois.gov has a list of opportunities to get students to participate in service activities.

Principal's Message

Pirate parents,

On Thursday, a message went home to 8th grade families regarding physical altercations and fighting at school. Fighting will lead to significant disciplinary consequences, and can potentially lead to criminal charges. Please encourage your students to seek assistance from a trusted adult when feeling upset, and never to physically engage with others. Fighting is inappropriate and dangerous behavior that will not be tolerated at our school. It creates a significant safety risk not only to those students who choose to engage, but also any bystanders who are in the area. Encouraging, participating, or coordinating these actions can also lead to significant consequences for those parties involved. Remind your students that if they hear or see anything concerning, they should report it to an adult at school. Often times, students know about fights through social media prior to one happening. Take some time to talk about school safety, and measures that your child can also take to ensure safety at school. Safety is our number one priority at Plank. If you have any questions or concerns, you may contact the main office to speak to a member of our administrative team.

The staff at Plank Junior High is committed to serving the students and parents of the surrounding community. We want to provide multiple opportunities for students to showcase their talents, and grow as young adults through academics and social emotional learning. Our focus is to prepare our students to be ready for college and future careers. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me and we can work together to find solutions. I can be reached at 630-551-9400 and thaymond@sd308.org. We look forward to collaborating with you and your student throughout the year.

Always in partnership,

Tyler Haymond


Plank Junior High School

Dual Language Meeting - Monday January 27th, 5:30 - 6:30 PM.

Faith Dahlquist, Assoc. Superintendent, and Renee Sartore, Director of English Learners, have reserved a time to hear from families on the Dual Language program at the Jr. High, and discuss a plan moving forward to address questions and concerns.

The meeting will be Monday, January 27th from 5:30-6:30 at Oswego East High School.

If you would like to attend this meeting please RSVP by January 20th to: rsartore@sd308.org and we will let you know which room we are able to reserve at Oswego East.

ACCESS Testing Continues This Week

Continuing this week, a number of our students will take the WIDA ACCESS test, which is an English language proficiency assessment administered every year to help school districts monitor the English language development of students identified as English language learners. Students who are testing were given information regarding the test and their testing schedule last week to bring home and share with their families. A copy of the letter that was sent home can also be found here.

Dress for the Weather

January and February is when we see the most extreme temperature changes. Now that the weather is cold, please make sure that your child is prepared for the weather. This also includes wearing warm clothes during the school day. In addition, with the cold weather comes increased chance for illness. Though we encourage regular student attendance, children who are running a fever or experiencing vomiting will be sent home. Our illness guidelines are found in our student handbook, as well as online on the district website.

8th Grade AVID Selection Starts Soon

The selection process for the 8th grade AVID elective class is starting!

AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. It is a schoolwide college readiness system of support with a structured approach to a rigorous curriculum that will help develop students’ writing, content knowledge, and academic skills. Students enrolled in the AVID elective are hardworking, determined to do their best in school and reach their goals, and like to work collaboratively with their peers. The AVID elective targets those students who are academically in the middle (earning B's and C's), have the desire to go to college and the willingness to work hard, have good attendance and little to no discipline problems, and may be the first in their family to attend higher education. Additional information can be found at http://www.avid.org/what-is-avid-secondary.ashx.

Students enrolled in the AVID elective course will:

  • be enrolled in at least one honors class

  • participate in weekly tutorials

  • learn academic and social skills not targeted in other academic classes

  • attend presentations from college and career related speakers

  • attend field trips to local colleges

  • participate in a positive peer group

Below is the AVID elective application. There is a selection process to be accepted into the AVID program that involves completing the application and participating in a student interview . Enrollment is limited.

We would like to invite you to the Plank AVID Parent Information Night on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 at 6 pm in the Plank cafeteria. The meeting will provide detailed information on the AVID elective class offered to only 8th grade students next year.

We encourage anyone who believes the AVID Program may be a good fit to complete the application. Applications are due to Mrs. Gannon by Wednesday, February 19, 2020, after which we will then begin the student selection process for the 2020-2021 school year.

Please contact Caitlin Gannon, AVID Coordinator at (630) 551-9414 or cgannon@sd308.org, for more information regarding the AVID elective class at Plank.

We hope to see you at the AVID Parent Information Night!

Illinois 5 Essentials Survey

Every year, we administer the Illinois 5 Essentials Survey. I use this information as feedback on how to best improve the function and accessibility of our school. Take a few minutes to complete the survey by following this link. https://survey.5-essentials.org/illinois/status/school/plank-junior-high/

One Book, One School

Introducing One School, One Book at Plank Junior High. The book we will be reading is Crossover, by Kwame Alexander. Throughout the next several weeks, students and staff will be reading Crossover. This was also a featured title at our Book Fair. Students are able to check out the book from the LRC as well as the public library (but copies will be limited from the libraries). Various activities will take place culminating in a collaborative event at our Literacy Night to be held later this year.

Annie Junior at Plank

Plank Jr. High School is proud to announce their Spring Musical: Annie Jr! All important audition information is located on Google Classroom. Sign up for the class using the code: k584tp

All students can play a role! Auditions are just to see where you fit best. Info about tech/crew will come later. Thanks!

Washington DC Trip for 8th grade

Hey 8th Graders!!

It's not too late to sign up for the Washington DC Trip over this school year's Spring Break, March 22-24, 2020!

Email Mr. Linden (mlinden@sd308.org), Mrs. Carino (mcarino@sd308.org), or Mrs. Beane (jbeane@sd308.org) for registration information.

2019-2020 Plank Yearbook Sales are Online - TWO WEEKS LEFT

Have you placed your order for the 2019-2020 yearbook? All yearbook orders are now placed online. All orders are placed online through the link located below and on the Plank Homepage. The cost is $30. We are getting close... there are only two weeks left to order your yearbook. Sales end on January 31st. After January 31, we cannot guarantee additional yearbook sales to students. Order yours today!

Plank Yearbook Orders 2019-2020

Plank Home and School Messages

HSA News

Plank Jr. High Pirate Night

The next Pirate Night will be January 31st, 6-8pm!

$2 admission includes dance floor, open gym, and game room.

Concessions will be available for purchase.

This event is for Plank students only. Must present school i.d.

Parents, please consider volunteering to help make this a safe and fun event for our students!

Sign up here: https://signup.com/go/xuGrccJ

Do you have the new box top app? The next generation of box tops is here. We still collect clipped box tops but this new app is so easy to use. Scan your receipt within 14 days and if any applicable products are bought, instant rewards.

Homework Hotspot

Just a reminder that we have the homework hotspot. Student assignments are listed here for the entire building. Students also are using their assignment notebooks to write down their assignments. I recommend making a bookmark of homework hotspot on your browser so that it can be checked regularly by your child.

Parent Portal in Tyler SIS

Our new student information system is Tyler SIS. This is taking the place of eSchool. Log into the link below if you are looking for updated grades, information, attendance, and the features of the former e School Home Access. Watch for updates on how parents can use the Portal on our website and in upcoming newsletters.

Tyler Parent Portal

Parent Toolkit

If you are looking for outside resources to help with your young adult, try parenttoolkit.com. There are many different options on this website that can connect you with resources to questions that many parents have.

Parent Teen Connect


ParenTeenConnect.org, a free website for parents and their teens created by the makers of the Second Step Program, is a great resource for middle school families. It provides expert advice and practical tools for dealing with real parent-teen issues.


At ParenTeenConnect.org, you can hear from real parents and teens about the issues that cause conflict in their lives—including screen time, independence, responsibility, and communication—and get expert advice. Visit ParenTeenConnect.org at home with your child, select a topic together, and get talking!

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Miles of Smiles

We have a new dental provider here in the district, Miles of Smiles. They will be offering dental exams sometime in the Spring. Dental is due for all 6th and 9th graders so all current 6th and 8th grade students who participate, their exam will qualify for state requirements. Attached is the flyer that gives specific information about the services being provided along with the form. Please fill out the form and return it to school no later than January 17th, 2020. You can email it to kjenkins@sd308.org, fax it to 630-551-9697 ATTN: Nurse or bring it into school.