Pacific Grove Middle School

October 2019 Newsletter

Principal's Message

Screen Time

By Sean Roach

As the first quarter draws to a close, I thought it may be important to continue our dialogue surrounding how our students are interacting with technology. At PGMS, we feel strongly that an ongoing conversation surrounding technology between our school and our parents is essential for the health and well being of our students. Our district has had an ongoing relationship with Josh Ochs from SmartSocial, and our 7th grade students have participated in a digital safety curriculum. I believe that we are seeing the benefits, especially when discussing the lack of cyber-bullying currently. We intend to host a family night, tentatively scheduled for November 7th, where we will show the movie, Screenagers 2. The movie delves into the effects of excessive screen time on the adolescent mind. We will certainly keep you apprised as this event draws near. In the meantime, I have included some important information and resources that you can use to learn more about how your student deals with their screen time (with links embedded) enjoy!

Josh here from

If you are frustrated with your student's screen-time, social media, or video game use, then I have something that might help.

My team and I created a new webinar that will show you why middle+high school students need to work on their digital footprint – even if they aren’t on social media yet.

· Free Parent+Student Webinar: This month’s free social media safety webinar is one of our best yet! I show students how to build a positive online brand in middle and high school (I even give tips for students who aren't ready to be on social media yet). Click here to watch this webinar before we take it down OR become a bronze member of our “Digital Driver’s Ed” to get access to all of our previous webinars at any time.

· New Bad Teen App: BIGO LIVE is a live video streaming social media network that's very popular with students. The emphasis of connecting with strangers on BIGO LIVE is a major red flag that this app is NOT safe. (parent video).

· Free Student Presentation via Instagram Live on 10/3: If you're looking for someone to mentor your student, I'm presenting my student assembly speech on Instagram Live October 3rd starting at 4pm Pacific (7pm Eastern). Consider having your student/family follow me (@JoshOchs) to see when I go live and work with me to build your student's positive online presence.

Here's what you will learn in our FREE webinar:

· Why middle and high school students need to work on their digital footprint – even if they aren’t on social media yet

· An exercise that helps students find their screen time purpose so that it doesn’t become a pastime

· How middle school students can build a personal brand before they start using social media

· How to build your digital footprint without being fake or posting online everyday

· Strategies high school students (and parents!) can use to impress colleges and future employers with their online brand

· How to use Instagram as an extension of your student resume

· Why Facebook can have a huge impact on your digital footprint – even if you don’t use it

· The #1 social network to use if you want to quickly change your Google search results – and how to use it in a positive way

· 3 things students AND parents need to do on LinkedIn to stand out and shine online

Assistant Principal's Message

PGMS is happy to announce our district’s screening of the new Screenagers movie, Screenagers: NEXT CHAPTER.

Film Synopsis:

From the director of SCREENAGERS: Growing Up in the Digital Age comes Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER: Uncovering Skills for Stress Resilience and is about helping young people thrive in our screen and stress-filled world.

Filmmaker and physician Delaney Ruston uses a personal lens and professional eye to help parents flip the script on stress, anxiety, and depression. We follow Delaney as she finds herself at a loss on how to help her own teens as they struggle with their emotional wellbeing. Ruston sets out to understand these challenges in our current screen-filled society, and how we as parents and schools empower teens to overcome mental health challenges and build emotional agility, communication savvy, and stress resilience.

We witness Delaney as she finds her way from ineffective parenting to much-improved strategies. We follow other personal stories of families from an array of backgrounds with a spectrum of emotional challenges. We also observe approaches in schools that provide strategies relevant beyond the classroom setting. Interwoven into the stories are surprising insights from brain researchers, psychologists, and thought-leaders that reveal evidence-based ways to support mental wellness among our youth. The impact of social media and other screen time is incorporated into all the topics raised in Screenagers NEXT CHAPTER and how it may be impacting our teen’s mental health.

What: Screening of ScreenAgers:Next Chapter

When: November 7th, 2019, 6:30pm

Where: PGMS Performing Arts Center, 835 Forest Avenue, PG

Who: Tweens, Teens, Parents, and interested others

Contact: Jason Tovani, PGMS Assistant Principal,

Community Service Hours

PGMS values community service and the concept that students should volunteer their time to improve the quality of life for their community. As part of our curriculum and as per board policy, all students are required to complete a minimum of 16 hours of community service hours by the end of their 8th-grade year. Community Service Hours are due by Monday, April 20, 2020.

Hours may be earned by volunteering for non-profit organizations. All hours must be completed outside of the regular school day. Pre-Approval of projects is highly recommended. Questions or concerns about community service can be addressed by Janie Lawerence, our Counselor, at or 831-646-6568 ext. 304.

If you are a new student to PGMS, please stop by the office to see how many hours you must complete prior to the end of your 8th-grade year.

Autumn Break October 14- 18 No School

Reminder: Parent Teacher Conferences are the week of October 21- 25

Parent-Teacher conferences are scheduled for students who are not doing well in their classes. Ms. Apple will contact the parents to schedule a conference. The conferences are the week of Monday, October 21- Friday, October 25. The conference times are Monday and Wednesday- Friday, 1:00- 2:45 p.m., 15-minute conferences. The ONLY evening conference available is on Tuesday, October 22, 5:00 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.

Conference week is a Minimum Day Schedule; students are released at 12:11 p.m. all week.

Costume Dress Up Day

If your student wishes to dress up on Thursday, October 31, they can come to school in their costumes.

Please remind your students the following:

• Appropriate Dress (even for costumes)

• All weapons, pirate swords, knives, bow and arrows, knives, guns, for example, need to be left at home.

• No fake blood or excess gore.

• No masks and excessive face paint are allowed. We need to be able to identify you.

If you have any questions about your costume, please check with Mr.Tovani

If your student is feeling sick...

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PGMS Parent- Student Handbook

If you haven't had the chance to read the Student-Parent Handbook, please click here.

Going on vacation? Taking A Trip?

Per the Parent-Student Handbook, please fill out the Justifiable Absence Request Form at least two weeks in advance.

Daily Bulletin

If you haven't already, please check out the Daily Bulletin online to find out about upcoming events and what is currently going on in school.

PGMS Phone Number

Please use the phone number 831-646-6568 to call the school. Do NOT call the phone number that appears on your Caller ID. We always answer the phones, so if no one answers during normal school hours, please try 831-646-6568.

2019-2020 Yearbook Order

Yearbooks can only be purchased ONLINE only.

Please click on the link below to order a PGMS yearbook.

School Order Number is 16072

Audtions for Disney Frozen Jr.

Auditions for Frozen Jr. will take place Monday, October 9th at 3:15 in the PGMS auditorium.

Bring a list of conflicts that you may know of between now and February 2020. (Sports, Lessons, Trips, Etc.) Shows are February 1 -3, 2020.

All auditioners will be in the show. Callbacks for lead roles will be on Wednesday at 3:30 pm.

Honor Society Breakfast


Tuesday, October 29th, 7:30 am



More information

This form of recognition is reserved for students who excel in their academic work. Honor Roll is computed at the end of each quarter for students earning a 3.5 grade point average and above. Invitations are distributed in homerooms a few days prior to the event. Parent are encouraged to join their students. The PTA and volunteers provide a breakfast for the students and their families. If you have any questions about your students eligibility, please contact the office.