West Word

A Weekly Update from Perkiomen Valley Middle School West

A Word from Mr. Creeden

It's hard to believe that we are close to the middle of December. We are really looking forward to seeing students in-person or virtually next week. As the holiday season approaches our 9 Days of Stuff-A-Bus rolls on. Please consider donating toys to our bus this year (see below) so we can donate LOTS of toys to kids that really need them this winter. Our bus will be parked in the main lobby all week next week where students can drop their toys off on their way into the building each morning. Parents can also drop off toys at the main office throughout the week as well. Students who wear their spirit wear, decorate a door at home, and bring in toys will be able to earn points for their homeroom. The top three winning homerooms will receive prizes. See more about Stuff-A-Bus and much, much, more below.

Quick Snapshot

  • Hybrid Updates/Reminders
  • Face Covering Update
  • Stuff-A-Bus @ West
  • Prevention Program Coming Next Week
  • School Picture Announcement
  • Counselor's Corner
  • PV West Yearbook Announcement
  • Middle School Winter Athletic Information
  • Counseling Groups @ West
  • Attendance Update
  • West Home & School Information
  • Technology Help
  • PV West on Social Media
  • West Weeks At-A Glance
  • Have a Wonderful Weekend!

Hybrid Updates/Reminders

Face Covering Update

This is a friendly reminder that we do not recommend the use of gaiters as a face covering, given that there are questions over how effective they are at offering protection. If a gaiter must be worn by a student, it should be 2-ply so there is more of a barrier. If you need further guidance on what face coverings are recommended, please visit our website.

Stuff-A-Bus @ West

Here at West our annual Stuff-A-Bus event to support Toys for Tots will continue. The basic mission of the Marine Toys for Tots Program is to collect new unwrapped toys and distribute those toys to less fortunate children at Christmas. To learn more about Toys for Tots please see the video below.

The event will look different this year and will take place during school hours to better follow all health and safety guidelines. There will be 9 days of Stuff-A-Bus Spirit Week starting on Monday (see below for the theme days). We are also asking students to bring in a new, unwrapped toy during these 9 days along with decorate their bedroom or other door at home for the holidays. Students will receive 1pt./day for wearing their spirit wear, 5pts for showing their first period teacher their decorated door on Zoom, and 10 pts. for bringing in a toy. Students can drop off toys they bring in at the main lobby where our bus bin is waiting. The three winning homerooms after the 9 days are complete will receive prizes.

We look forward to this event creating much needed excitement at West, but ultimately encourage and support many less fortunate children during the holidays.

Big picture
Big picture

Prevention Program Coming Next Week

The suicide prevention program called Signs of Suicide will be shared with our 7th grade students this coming Tuesday December 15th or Thursday December 17th. Virtual and in-person students will see this program in Social Studies classes. For more information about this program please see the video below or go to https://www.mindwise.org/what-we-offer/suicide-prevention-programs/.
SOS Signs of Suicide Middle School Program Trailer

School Picture Announcement

Printed school pictures will be distributed during Advisory the week of 12/14/2020. We will communicate picture pick-up times to the parents of those students that are virtual.

Picture retakes are going to be rescheduled.

Counselor's Corner

This month contains both National Special Education Day and Day of Persons with Disabilities. On December 2nd, National Special Education Day recognizes changes in federal legislation that led to the nation’s first federal special education law. On December 3rd, Day of Persons with Disabilities aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. Though both awareness days have different messages, both work towards an inclusive environment for all individuals with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities can include learning disabilities, emotional disabilities, and physical disabilities.

Beginning in 1971, Mills v. Board of Education, ruled it unlawful to deny exceptional children, including those with mental and learning disabilities publicly funded educational opportunities. Court cases like this led to the 1975 Education for All Handicapped Children Act. This federal legislation required states that accept federal money to provide equal access to children with disabilities. In 1990, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act was renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and improved access for all children with developmental delay. Through the years, the act has been enhanced to improve services and standards throughout the educational system.

Working with students with disabilities is an integral part of the role of a school counselor. Not only do school counselors work with children with disabilities, they also help to ensure students are receiving services that they need and assisting students without disabilities that might need additional support. School counselors attend meetings for students with IEPs and are often in charge of 504 Plans. IEP stands for Individual Education Program, what is known as special education, where students with disabilities receive accommodations and modifications to curriculum. 504 Plans are set up with the teachers to provide extra accommodations. School counselors are also a part of the IST process, a program for students in elementary and middle school who need extra support but not as much as a 504 or IEP.

For students with and without disabilities, school counselors act as a liaison between home and school. If you have questions about any service provided feel free to contact your child’s school counselor.

PV West Yearbook Announcement

West students and families! PV West yearbook adviser, Mrs. Muscatello, is asking for your photo submissions (high resolution jpg) to feature in the 2021 Junior Voyager. We are looking for photos of students engaged in virtual learning. This includes all specials like art, phys ed, band, orchestra, choir, and tech ed, as well as core subjects. Submissions can be sent to dmuscatello@pvsd.org. It's a very different school year and your contributions will help us document it for West posterity! Thanks so much!

Middle School Winter Athletic Information

Winter sports practices for both middle school athletes and high school athletes has been put on hold until January 4. Per the orders of Governor Wolf https://www.governor.pa.gov/covid-19/sports-guidance/, all extracurricular activities are suspended in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. While I know this is disappointing to many, we also need to do our part to help stop the spread of this virus and we will return to sports when the situation is best for everyone.

Counseling Groups @ West

The Counseling Center will be offering student counseling groups during the 2nd marking period. All groups will be created based on the information gathered from our student needs survey that will be shared with students. Parents are also encouraged to refer their children to any of the counseling groups listed below by contacting William Montgomery (wmontgomery@pvsd.org)

  • 6th Grade Life Support- (During Advisory on Fridays) A loss group for anyone who is dealing with the death of any loved one in his or her family.

  • 7th Grade Life Support - (During Advisory on Thursdays) A loss group for anyone who is dealing with the death of any loved one in his or her family.

  • 8th Grade Life Support - (During Advisory on Fridays) A loss group for anyone who is dealing with the death of any loved one in his or her family.

  • SAFE Collective- (Tuesdays at 3:15 on Zoom) An after school club developed to work directly with students to create equity and actionable change within the PVHS community. SAFE Collective provides a judgement free space for students to have open discussions regarding race, gender expression, ability, and shape. From there we are developing actionable solutions and restorative justice practices to create change.

  • Lunch Bunch Friendship Group - (During lunch on Mondays and Fridays) for all students maintaining friendships while we are socially distancing at school and virtually. This will be an in-person group only.

  • LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Questioning) A group for students identifying as LGBTQ to create a safe and a judgement free space in school.

  • Executive Functioning/Study Skills - (During Advisory on Tuesdays) for anyone who wants additional help organizing or studying.

Attendance Update

On your child's report card you will see a daily attendance summary. Calculating daily attendance has changed recently to accommodate the virtual as well as hybrid learning that is taking place. To calculate daily attendance please refer to the information below.

Middle School Daily Attendance

0-99 minutes absent = No Absence

100-199 minutes absent = 0.25 day absent

200-347 minutes absent = 0.50 day absent

348-400 minutes absent = 1.00 day absent

If your child will be absent or missing any class time, please send an email (from the email you have listed in our new SIS system) to:


This will count as your call-out AND parent excuse. Please indicate in your email the date of absence, student’s grade and the reason for the absence. An absence is considered unexcused when the child’s school has not received an email providing an acceptable reason for the absence within a 3-day period.

You may also call our attendance line at: 1 (484) 977-7210, option 1. If you do this, you would still need to submit an email with the above information in order for it to be excused.

Any medical notes should be scanned in. When back to school (in person), any Dr.’s notes should be placed in the Attendance Box, right outside the Guidance Department.

If you have any questions at all, please contact Brenda Continelli at bcontinelli@pvsd.org.

West Home & School Information

We have a limited supply of the orange Perk Valley Strong t-shirts in Adult XSmall, Small and Medium. Email pvmswesths@gmail.com if you’d like one. Only $10.

Our next Home & School Zoom meeting is January 12 at 7pm. If interested in attending please email PVMSWestHS@gmail.com. All parents are welcome!

Home and School page http://mswest.pvsd.org/home/home-school

Technology Help

It is expected that students come to school with a fully charged Chromebook. Students need to bring their Chromebook and charger to school every day. Students will be able to charge their Chromebook at designated times during the school day if it is running low on power.

Email for Tech help, helpdesk@pvsd.org

Tech Support Zoom Room (Available 7:30 am to 3:30 pm, M-F)


PV West on Social Media

We would love to have you join our social media accounts to stay updated on the latest West news and happenings. Please see below on where to find each of our accounts.

West Weeks At A Glance

9 Days of Stuff-A-Bus (12/7 - 12/17)

December 14 & 15 - Hybrid Group 1 on-site

December 15 - Signs of Suicide Prevention Program presented to 7th grade Group 1

December 16, 17 & 18 - Hybrid Group 2 on-site

December 17 - Signs of Suicide Prevention Program presented to 7th grade Group 2