French Middle School

November 2021 Newsletter

Upcoming Events

  • Nov. 2-- Election Day
  • Nov. 5-- Vision/Hearing Retakes
  • Nov. 7-- Daylight Savings--Fall back one hour
  • Nov. 8-- Junior Achievement @9:45am / PTO Fundraiser--Culvers Night
  • Nov. 9-- Red Wheel Fundraiser Items Pickup from 5-7pm
  • Nov. 10-- Junior Achievement @ 7:50am
  • Nov. 11-- Veteran's Day / PTO Meeting @ 5:45pm via zoom
  • Nov. 15-Nov.19-- American Education Week
  • Nov. 19-- Quarter 2 Midterms
  • Nov. 24-Nov. 26-- No School- Thanksgiving Break
  • Nov. 25-- Thanksgiving Day

It was wonderful to see so many parents and students at our parent/teacher conferences. We had a 94% attendance rate! Students did a great job leading the conference with their slide show regarding 1st quarter accomplishments. If you were unable to attend, it is not too late to reach out to your student’s AB teacher to get important information.

Please continue to send your student with a mask each day. All patrons visiting the school must have a mask as well. We appreciate your support and help in keeping our school community healthy and in session.

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Red Wheel Fundraiser Pick Up

Our Red Wheel fundraiser with PTO has concluded. Merchandise pick up will be November 9th from 5-7pm in the commons at French MS. This is the only pick up time scheduled, so please mark your calendars. Most items are frozen, therefore it will be important that items are picked up and delivered to customers in a timely manner. Our Falcons earned a little over $2200 for our PTO. Le’Naiya Johnson was our Top Seller! She will earn a gift card from PTO! Thank you to all that participated. Our PTO uses the money to help fund our end of the year party, Night of the Rising Stars. They also purchased a Cricket machine for our school. Students and staff will use it to create rewards for students and items for school store. In addition, PTO always funds a field trip for each grade level by paying for bussing.

Thank you Massage Therapists

We would like to give a big thank you to 3 massage therapists who provided free chair massages for staff during our last professional development day. It was a great self care treat to staff who signed up. The 3 therapists included… Mr. Terry Jones with Magic Touch Massage, Mr. David Ford with Blind Touch Massage, and Ms. Faye Miller with Massage and PEMF Therapy.

Home Sports Games

We are now allowing students to attend home games at French MS. Students must have eligibility points, passing all classes with C’s or higher, and have their badge to attend. Masks continue to be required for all patrons in the building. Students wishing to attend TPS events off campus for middle school or high school must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. All middle school sports cost $2.

2nd Quarter Reminders

Our second quarter is underway and ends on Dec. 17th, midterms on November 19th. Late work for the first half of the quarter will be due by end of day Nov. 17th. All Falcons need to monitor grades and missing work in TylerSIS. Congratulations to all honor roll students for1st quarter. You can view our 1st quarter honor roll slideshow here!

Junior Achievement

We are so excited to be partnering with Junior Achievement again this year! Junior Achievement’s mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed. The inspiration piece comes from community volunteers who not only deliver our lessons, but share their experience. In the process, these volunteers serve as role models helping to positively impact young people’s perceptions about the importance of education, as well as critical life skills. Preparation involves our proven lessons that promote financial capability, work and career readiness, and business ownership. Many volunteers from our community will be speaking with our students on November 8th and 10th in the core content areas of work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy—Junior Achievement hopes to ignite the spark in young people to experience and realize the opportunities and realities of work and life in the 21st century.

PTO Fundraiser Night--Culvers

November 8, 2021 from 4-10pm patrons can visit Culvers at 1035 SW Wanamaker Rd and help support the French Falcons. During the event, 20% of the sales that evening will be donated back to French to help support the many projects/needs for the school. You must show the flier at the time of purchase either on your phone or a paper copy. The ice cream flavor of the day will be Snickers Swirl. Hope to see you there!

Pizagel's 8th Grade Internship

This year 8th graders will get to participate in a career internship with Pizagel’s Pizza. This is part of our career development program. Ms. Barnett and Ms.Ryan will be working with the 8th grade AB classes. They will teach proper dress, interview techniques, and application and resume procedures. Each month 6 students that qualify will be chosen to represent French as interns at Pizagel’s Pizza. The students that are chosen will work for two weeks on Thursdays during lunch. Students will shadow a team member at Pizagel’s and learn about the different areas in a restaurant. Students will also get to have lunch provided by Pizagel’s after they work their shift. We are excited about this opportunity for our students and think this is a great opportunity for students to learn how to apply for a job, how to interview for a job, and how to work with others as they enter the workforce. We are thankful to have Pizagel’s partnering with us and look forward to working with them in the future. If you have any questions please feel free to contact our counselors at 785-438-4150.


Naviance is Topeka Public Schools new college, career and life readiness program. Our French Falcons have been learning about their interests and learning styles, thinking about their study skills and making study plans, exploring careers and connecting careers to their interests. We will continue to do lessons in Naviance all year including for high school enrollment. Students will use the Naviance program through their high school years to explore colleges and scholarships. You should have received login information from the district for a parent account that will include all your students. If you have not received this, please let the counselors know and they can get it to you. And to help you navigate the site there is an intro to Naviance video located on the French website under the family resources tab.

PARS Drug Prevention

Lynn Smith, community prevention consultant, from PARS/Safe Streets visited our 7th and 8th grade classes in October to teach about the dangers and consequences of using drugs. His presentation included a Jeopardy style game that covered the topics of vaping, prescription drugs, alcohol and marijuana. Students had fun playing the game, and they learned that the choices they make can have positive or negative consequences. Lynn is a great resource for our community and we were fortunate to have him visit.

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Red Ribbon Week

Each year during the last week of October we participate in Red Ribbon Week. Red Ribbon week is a national drug prevention campaign. This year we were fortunate to have a guest speaker from prevention and recovery services teach a lesson on the dangers and reasons not to use drugs and alcohol to all of our 7th and 8th graders. Our student council and builders club members took part in reading daily announcements to offer reasons not to use drugs and alcohol. And, the week also included a spirit week with different dress up days to go with the theme of Drug Free, Looks like Me. Students had fun participating in the dress up days and also learned some important reasons to choose to be drug free.

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American Education Week

November 15th - November 19th

American Education Week was first celebrated in 1921. Begun as part of an effort to raise America’s literacy rate after WWI, American Education Week now serves as a special opportunity to shine a light on the great things that public schools do. The theme for this year’s celebration is Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility for Making Connections.

During the week, each day has a special focus.

  • Monday is AEW Kick-Off Day (sno-cones Gr. 6)

    • Everyone is encouraged to wear boots along with western wear to kick off the week.

  • Tuesday is Social Media Share Day with Parents

    • Students will share some of the day’s events/activities by participating in a Social Media Blast from the classroom so parents can see what is happening at French Middle School

  • Wednesday is Education Support Professionals Day (sno-cones Gr 7)

    • The support staff will be honored with thank you Falcon Grams and a treat.

  • Thursday is Educator for a Day

    • All students will be encouraged to dress for their future careers.

  • Friday is College Educators Day (sno-cones Gr 8)

    • Everyone is encouraged to wear the gear of their favorite college.

    • Teachers and staff will wear their Alma Mater gear.

Bully Prevention

What is Bullying?

It is considered bullying when the person is being hurt, harmed, or humiliated with words or behavior.The behavior is repeated, and it is done intentionally.

Types of Bullying include:

Non-Physical Bullying-This is name-calling, insulting, or other behavior that would hurt others’ feelings or make them feel bad about themselves. This also includes “exclusion” such as starting rumors, telling others not to be friends with someone, or other actions that would cause someone to be without friends, etc.

Physical Bullying – This is pushing, slapping, grabbing, flicking, poking, pinching, tripping, or other violations of personal space.

Severe Physical Bullying/Violence – This is punching, kicking, biting, pulling hair, spitting, or any similar behavior that could result in injury to others.

Harassment – This is racial, ethnic, or sexual name-calling or other severe harassment.

At French Middle School bullying is not tolerated. If it is determined that someone is bullying they will receive consequences that are listed on our bullying rubric.

All students received bullying and sexual harassment training during our first week of school during a presentation by our counselors. Students also will participate in bully prevention lessons during AB as part of our Second Step (SEL) Social Emotional Learning program.

To report bullying students, staff and parents may use the on-line report system on the French website.

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Congratulations to the varsity and Jr. varsity volleyball team on an undefeated season and city championship by defeating Jardine and Landon in 2 sets. This was the 4th consecutive 501 championship. Way to go girls and coaches!

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Congratulations to the boys football team on their victory vs Landon to end the season. What an exciting game and way to end the season.

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Upcoming Fall Sports

Girls basketball season is now underway. We started the year with 43 girls after school in the gym. Varsity and JV have been selected and will practice after school with the B team practicing in the morning at 6:30. Games are Tuesdays and Thursdays, with the final play night on Wednesday Dec. 15 @ Highland Park High school at 6:00. All regular season games start at 3:15 and are usually over by 5:30. Games cost $2.00 to enter. Game dates can be found on our school website calendar. Students who meet the criteria are allowed to attebd home games. Students must be accompanied by a parent/guardian for all games off campus.

Boys Soccer is also underway and is going rather smoothly now. The game format will be a full varsity game of two 30 minute halves, followed by a 20 minute half for non varsity players. Games will be played at Hummer sports park(westside soccer field) and Topeka West soccer field. Admission will be charged at both and is $2.00. Because all soccer games are off campus, students must be accompanied by a parent/guardian in order to attend.

Boys Basketball will start Thursday Jan. 5th. Boy’s games are held Mondays and Thursdays, starting at 3:10 and are over by 5:30. Make sure that you have your sports physical completed before the first practice. Now is the time to make sure that assignments are getting turned in and your grades are up. Students MUST pass 5 classes in the 2nd quarter in order to play basketball in the 3rd quarter. DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!


We would like to remind spectators that French Middle School is a member school of the Kansas State High School Athletic Association (KSHSAA) and is governed by their rules. One of those rules which, we completely support is Rule 52 which states:


Section 1: General Regulations (apply to grades 7-12)

Art. 1: SPORTSMANSHIP is a general way of thinking and behaving. The following sportsmanship policy items are listed below for clarification:

a. Be courteous to all. (Participants, coaches, officials, staff and fans)

b. Know the rules, abide by and respect the official’s decisions.

c. Win with character and lose with dignity.

d. Display appreciation for good performance regardless of the team.

e. Exercise self-control and reflect positively upon yourself, team and school.

f. Permit only positive sportsmanlike behavior to reflect on your school or its activities.

We hope that you can attend the games this year to cheer on the Falcons!

Tips to prevent holiday stress and depression

The holiday season often brings unwelcome guests — stress and depression. And it's no wonder. The holidays often present a dizzying array of demands — cooking meals, shopping, baking, cleaning and entertaining, to name just a few.

But with some practical tips, you can minimize the stress that accompanies the holidays. You may even end up enjoying the holidays more than you thought you would.

When stress is at its peak, it's hard to stop and regroup. Try to prevent stress and depression in the first place, especially if the holidays have taken an emotional toll on you in the past.

  1. Acknowledge your feelings

  2. Reach out

  3. Be realistic

  4. Set aside differences

  5. Stick to a budget

  6. Plan ahead

  7. Learn to say no

  8. Don't abandon healthy habits

  9. Take a breather

  10. Seek professional help if you need it

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Incentive for Good Behavior

$250 was awarded to Ms. Jones to help assist with her project, Incentives for Good Behavior. The way this project works is that students meets with Ms. Jones and set school specific personal goals. Rather that be attending school regularly for 5 days straight, raising a bad grade up to a passing level or no significant behavioral issues for a week. Whatever the student and social worker deems an area that needs improvement in order to be successful in the school environment. The student then picks an incentive that is motivating to them. Sometimes it's McDonalds for lunch, a soda, or a bag of chips. If the student meets their goal, they are awarded their incentive item. Then the amount of time to earn the next incentive extends until the targeted goal no longer needs assistance to achieve.

6th Grade History Project

The Topeka Public Schools Foundation granted Ms. DeWitt with a $1,042 check to provide the 6th grade students at French Middle School with an Art in History project. When the students study Ancient China in the second semester, they will study the TerraCotta Warriors that guard the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. Art in History has made a replica of the TerraCotta Warrior in pottery form. Each student will receive one with paint, brush and sponge to complete their warrior. All students will take their warrior home. Ms. DeWitt is excited and thrilled for her students to experience this unique project.

The Return of the Scholastic Book Fair

Several students have already expressed their excitement about the return of the Scholastic Book Fair November 29-December 3. (That's the week following Thanksgiving, so the timing might be ideal for gifting.)

Many students enjoy the opportunity to own their own book, and a percentage of our sales comes back to us in credit to purchase more books for the library. It’s a win-win!

We will have a traditional book fair where students can shop in person, and--when it gets closer--we will provide you with a link to shop online if you prefer.

The link below shows a sampling of the books that will be available for purchase. In addition, we always request some children’s titles so you can shop for the entire family.

Sneak Peak! Middle School Book Fair

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Covid “Rapid Antigen” tests and “Rapid PCR” tests are now available for students through the Test to Stay, Learn, Play and Participate program. Before a student can be tested, a completed Consent form must be on file with the school nurse. These tests can be performed at school. Forms can be signed electronically through Tyler SIS Parent Portal or a paper copy can be obtained from the school nurse. Parents will be contacted prior to any testing being done.

  • One consent form per student per school year.

  • Type of test will be determined by symptoms, exposure or individual situation.

  • Students with a negative test result may still need to be excluded from school based on symptoms and exclusion policy (i.e. fever, vomiting, etc.)

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Fever, Chills, Rigors (shivering), Myalgia (body aches), Malaise (fatigue), Headache, Sore throat, Cough, Shortness of breath, Difficulty breathing, Loss of taste, Loss of smell, Congestion, Runny Nose, Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea

Any student who is experiencing ONE or more of the above symptoms while at school, WILL BE “ISOLATED”, assessed and REFERRED FOR COVID-19 TESTING, if indicated.

If a student is experiencing any ONE or more of the symptom listed above they must:

  • Students must have a negative PCR test before they can return to school (negative antigen tests will not be accepted.)


  • Receive an evaluation by their child’s healthcare provider with a written alternative diagnosis (NOT COVID-19), based on the healthcare provider’s recommendation,


  • Isolate their child for 10 days from symptom onset, be fever-free for over 72 hours without taking fever reducing medication, and have improving symptoms

Please report the following situations to the school nurse as soon as possible:

  • Student is experiencing symptoms or has been tested for Covid-19

  • Anyone in the home has been tested for Covid-19 or has tested positive for Covid-19

  • Student has been identified as a Close Contact with someone outside of the home who has tested positive for Covid-19

  • Student has been identified as needing to quarantine based on recent travel

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Bullying Policy

French Middle School will not tolerate bullying of any kind. Bullying is defined as any ongoing verbal or physical mistreatment where there is an imbalance of power, and the target/victim is exposed repeatedly to negative actions by one or more students. Bullying can be direct (physical or verbal), or indirect (exclusion, cyber-bullying, emotional). In order for everyone to feel safe and secure at school, every Topeka Public School has adopted the following rules against bullying. “I will not bully others. I will try to help students who are bullied. I will do my best to include students who are easily left out. When I know somebody is being bullied, I will tell an adult at school and an adult at home.” Students, staff, and parents should report any bullying that they are aware of to administration through the on-line bully report link on the French website. Students who bully others will receive consequences. Our counselors will be visiting 6th, 7th and 8th grade classes in August and September to remind students what bullying is, what we can do to prevent bullying, and what students should do if they or someone else is being bullied.


The Topeka Public Schools, Unified School District No. 501 is committed to affirmative action and equal opportunity. No person shall, on the basis of age, race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, disability, national origin or ancestry be denied lawful access to any appropriate educational service, program or activity provided by the school district. The Title VI and Title IX compliance coordinator is the Assistant Superintendent for Teaching/Learning/Administration. The Section 504/Title II compliance coordinator is the Coordinator of College and Career Ready Services. For employment, the EEO/AA officer is the General Director of Human Resources. All compliance coordinators may be contacted at 624 SW 24th Street, Topeka, KS 66611-1294, (785) 295-3000. The clerk of the Board of Education has been designated to receive and redirect or handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies, regulations and procedures. The clerk may be contacted by calling (785) 295-3045 or by writing to 624 SW 24th Street, Topeka, KS 66611-1294.