French Middle School

September 2022 Newsletter

Upcoming Events

  • Sept. 5-- No School- Labor Day
  • Sept. 8-- PTO Meeting @ 5:45pm
  • Sept 9-- School Pictures
  • Sept 16-- Midterms Due
  • Sept 21-- Family Fitness Night @ Hummer Sports Park @ 5:30pm
  • Sept 23-- Back to School Dance from 6:30-8:30 (7th & 8th grade only)
  • Sept 30-- Red Wheel Fundraiser begins and runs through October 21st
  • Oct. 7-- Last Day of 1st Quarter

The Falcons are off to a great start for the 2022-23 school year. We currently have 436 students enrolled and a few more trickling in each day. Our Meet the Teacher Night was a huge success. We enjoyed meeting many of our families. Thank you to PTO for providing delicious ice cream treats and raffle prizes. Congratulations to the following prize winners:

  • Student winner: Jonah Tevis Galloway

  • Parent Winner: Edward Whitlock

  • Teacher Winners: Mrs. Campbell & Ms. Lassiter

We are well on our way into our 1st quarter. Midterms will be visible in Tyler September 16th. Please stay connected with your student's teachers. If you are having any difficulty reaching any teacher please let Mrs. Wagner and I know so we can assist. Tyler is the place to log onto weekly to check grades, missing work, and attendance. A strong bond between home and school in addition to open communication is the foundation for building a positive relationship and ensuring your student finds success this school year. ~Mrs. Hoffman

MAP Testing

This year our district is moving from Scantron testing to MAP testing. MAP stands for Measures of Academic Performance. We will administer the MAP in the areas of reading and math to all 6-8 grade students. This assessment will be given in the Fall, Winter and Spring. This assessment helps teachers to identify academic strengths and areas for growth as they relate to our state standards. MAP results assist teachers in determining instructional next steps. We assessed students in the area of Reading August 24-25 and Math 29-30. We look forward to reviewing these results with parents during our Fall Parent/Teacher Conferences.

School Pictures

Sept 9. Students will be bringing home a picture packet if you want to order pictures. Please send the packet back with your student on picture day. Retakes will be October 21. To pay online go to and enter the following code FM389436

Order your FMS Spirit Wear Today

Here is the link to our online school spirit wear store.

Orders close September 23rd. All orders will be processed *after the order closes* and delivered together to the school in mid-October unless shipping is selected.

For DELIVERY TO SCHOOL please follow the following steps:
-Select shipping
-Use your name and the school's address, 5257 SW 33rd St, Topeka, KS 66614.
-Select delivery
Orders choosing delivery will pick up their order from French after completion in early October.

Shipping is also available if you prefer items to come directly to your home.

Chromebook Tips

When student Chromebooks start acting up, kids bring them to Mrs. Kelley, in the media center. Of course, luck would have it that the moment your student needs help it’s after school hours, and frustration is mounting.

Here are a few things you can try and provide some resources in order to sidestep the stress of troubleshooting on your own.

These are our “when in doubt” steps. It can be irritating to be asked, “Did you restart your computer?” but the fact is, sometimes that’s all it takes. If you’re not sure how to do any of these steps, there are tutorials posted on the media center Google Classroom (code: cfv2ii4). They do not need to be completed in any particular order.

  • Update the device. At the end of an update, you will often be told to restart the device. If so, that will cover you for the next step too.

  • Shutdown the device. Sometimes people think that closing or signing off will have the same effect. It’s not the same. Hold the power button until it’s completely turned off.

  • Sign out and remove the student’s account. After signing out, there is a partial triangle next to the student’s name. Click that, select the “remove” option and repeat a second time. (If there are other users on the device, remove those too. Some issues are caused by a problem with the other account.

  • Clear browsing data. Go to the three dots, choose “more tools,” choose “clear browsing data,” for time range select “all time,” then I usually select everything that won’t affect passwords. Then “clear data.”

Some issues will need to be addressed by our technician, but hopefully this will help with smaller issues.

Family Fitness Night

Join us for the 12th annual TPS Family Fitness Fun Night, September 21, 2022 at Hummer Sports Park-515 S.W. Tuffy Kellogg Drive. TPS provides information for families and the community on education and healthy living in a positive and fun atmosphere “for all ages” in a safe and socially-distanced setting. (Rain date September 28, 2022) The event will run 5:30-7pm.

Welcome Back Dance

All 7th and 8th graders are invited to a Back to School Dance on September 23rd. The dance will be from 6:30-8:30. The dance is $3 and open to all 7th and 8th graders that attend French. Hope to see you there!

Bullying Prevention

Bullying Prevention is taken seriously by French Middle School. We provided bullying and sexual harassment prevention lessons to all students on the first day of school. We also re-visit the topics throughout the year with our Second Step lessons. We work with students to understand the difference between conflict and bullying as well. French has an online bullying report form for parents and students on the school website. Once the report is made, the counselors investigate to get a better picture of what has occurred. Once a report is verified it is turned over to administration for consequences per the bullying matrix. If you are unsure if something your student has reported to you is bullying or not please don’t hesitate to let us know about it. And if it continues to happen let us know again. We do investigate each report and consequences are increased after each verified incident.


Meet the teacher night was a success! The PTO Board enjoyed talking with students and their parents at Meet the Teacher night. We were able to raffle off some great door prizes for our students, parents, and staff!

A special thank you to our PTO sponsors that have generously donated so far this year to support our school!

Pepsi-Linpepco , Johnny’s Tavern, Old Navy, El Ranchito, Pizagel’s, Fat Shack, The Pennant, Walmart, El Mezcal, Sonic and West Ridge Lanes


We are on Facebook. Please like and follow our page to get up to date PTO information.


Fundraisers are a big part of what the PTO does to help raise funds to improve the learning experience for our students at FMS to include fun activities, equipment, materials, special projects, etc.


Sertoma Duck Race-has started

*Ends Sept 17th

*50% of funds spent comes back to French Middle School PTO

*The other 50% of the funds raised goes to support local nonprofit agencies in Topeka

*Every duck purchased enters you into a drawing to win prizes

Red Wheel-Kick off September 30th

-Stay tuned for more information


All parents are automatically members of the French Middle School PTO so there are no dues to pay! There are vacancies in various committees, and a variety of ways to help support the PTO. We would love for you to join our next PTO meeting to see how you can support the school. Let’s show our children how important their education, and their school is by getting involved!

Some ways you can help:

*Chaperone a dance *Help set up for events, meals, etc.

*Create flyers, etc. *Donate food, drinks, etc for events

*Share your expertise


September 2022

8th – PTO Meeting (5:45 pm)

-Guest Speaker, Officer Campbell will talk about safety measures at FMS

17th-Sertoma Duck Race Drop and winners announced

20th-FAME after school activities start

21st-Family Fitness Day at Hummer Sports Park

23rd- 7th and 8th grade dance

30th-Red Wheel Fundraiser Kick off

Meet Wilson the Therapy Dog

Wilson Carl Sagan Wood is a professional therapy dog at French Middle School and belongs to Jenny Thayer-Wood, instructional coach at French. Wilson, a Labradoodle, started his training as a puppy in 2018 and became certified after extensive training and passing multiple tests to comply with the district’s requirements. He and his trainer/owner work as a team to provide companionship and relief in anxiety-provoking situations to students and staff. Most of his days are spent just hanging out with kids. He is full of personality and has been known to break out into a tail-chasing episode while walking down the hall. The students get a kick out of his tricks, with “whispering” being one of their favorites. Wilson has been lucky enough to meet some pretty important people, including the US Secretary of Education. He has appeared on the news several times, and he even has his own social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter--TikTok coming soon!) When he’s not at French Middle School, he can be found hanging out with his human family, his cat “sisters,” and his pet chickens out on the farm.

Boys and Girls Club

“Boys & Girls Clubs of Topeka Teen Center now has openings available for kids’ 6th – 12th grade. The Teen Center is an afterschool program that focuses on Academic Success, Good Character & Citizenship, and Healthy Lifestyles. Members are transported from all USD 501 secondary schools to the Teen Center and parents/guardians can pick up anytime before 7pm. We also operate during all school days out (except for major holidays), breaks, and typically all snow days. When school is not in session, we are open from 7am – 6pm. We serve snack and dinner after school and breakfast, lunch, and snack on school days out. The annual fee is ONLY: If salary is under $39k = $10 A YEAR. If salary is over $40k = $20 A YEAR.” Reach out to Ashley Rudolph at or (785) 234 – 5601 ext. 306 for more information!”

Social Emotional Back to School Tips

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Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics

Building Thinking Classrooms (BTC) is a teaching and learning practice that emerged from over 15 years of research into how teachers can transform their classrooms from a space where students mimic to where students think. BTC is giving students the opportunity to truly problem solve-- what we do when we don't know what to do. Students are getting stuck. They will think and get unstuck. This is the learning process: try, fail, try again.

In a thinking classroom, students work daily with random groups of students in the class on vertical surfaces such as whiteboards. Students express their ideas, question each other, extend their thinking, and learn from one another. After two short weeks, we have seen an increase in student confidence, perseverance, and engagement.

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Scouts BSA

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    • Students who test positive for Covid-19 at school will be isolated and sent home for quarantine.

    • If your student tests positive outside of school, please complete the TPS COVID-19 SELF REPORTING FORM located on the district website:

      • If there are more than one TPS students in the household, this form should be completed for each student.

      • Nursing staff will use this information to determine quarantine requirements for each household student.

    • Any student who tests positive, will need to quarantine at home for 5 days “after” symptoms begin, or 5 days “after” testing if they have no symptoms.

    • The positive student may return to school on day 6 and must wear a mask through day 10.

      • They must be fever free x24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication and all other symptoms must be improving.

      • The school nurse will contact parents/guardians with exact dates and additional information.


    • For any/all students who are identified as a Close Contact or a Household Contact, please complete the TPS COVID-19 SELF REPORTING FORM located on the district website:

      • If there are more than one TPS students in the home, this form should be completed for each student.

      • Nursing staff will use this information to determine quarantine requirements or to set up a Test To Learn schedule for each student. (The 2022-23 Covid-19/Flu/Strep Consent Form must be on file for each student in order to participate in testing at school)

  • CLOSE CONTACT: Regardless of vaccination status and/or natural immunity:

    • Based on date of last exposure to a positive person, (being with 6 feet for 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period:

      • Student should wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days

      • Student will need to TEST on day 5 (if no symptoms)

      • Student will need to TEST any time they show symptoms

  • HOUSEHOLD CONTACT: Regardless of vaccination status and/or natural immunity:

    • Based on date of symptoms of positive person if known, or test date if positive person had no symptoms:

      • Student should wear a well-fitting mask for 15 days

      • Student will need to TEST on day 10 (if no symptoms)

      • Student will need to TEST any time they show symptoms


All students entering 7th grade are required to have a Tdap (tetanus booster) and a Meningococcal vaccination on file. If your student has had the vaccines, but you have not yet submitted that information for their file, please forward a copy to Nurse Besenyi as soon as possible. If your student is new to the district, ALL vaccination records will need to be sent. If your student has received the Covid Vaccinations or Booster, please provide verification for their file. You may email records to or fax to (785) 271-3609 or send a paper copy directly to the school. 2022-2023 Immunization Requirements


Students are not allowed to carry medications with them during the school day. All medication including prescription and over the counter medications such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen must have proper paperwork in place and all medications must be kept in the school nurse's office. (This includes cough drops.) Exceptions can be made for Inhalers and Epi-Pens, with an additional form. If you have questions please contact Nurse Besenyi for the appropriate forms. MEDICATION GUIDELINES

Request to Administer Medication This form is required for any/all medications prescribed by a physician or healthcare provider, including Inhalers, Epi-Pens, or for any medication taken on a daily basis. This form will require the prescribing physician’s signature and a parent or guardian’s signature before the medication can be administered.

Request to Take Medication This form is required for over the counter medication that a student may need to take on an as needed basis, such as tylenol, ibuprofen, or cough drops. Students may only use over the counter medications per the directions on the label, including age and dosage. This form must be signed by the parent or legal guardian.

Permission To Carry Epi-Pen (Medication Release Form) If you wish your student to carry their Epi-Pen on them during the school day, this form must be completed by the Prescribing Physician, the Parent or Guardian, the School Principal and the School Nurse. This form is in addition to the Request to Administer Medication.

Permission to Carry Inhaler (Medication Release Form) If you wish your student to carry their inhaler on them during the school day, this form must be completed by the Prescribing Physician, the Parent or Guardian, the School Principal and the School Nurse. This form is in addition to the Request to Administer Medication.


If your student has a known chronic medical condition that may require intervention or treatment while they are at school, please complete the Anticipated Health Crisis Plan. This will give nursing and school staff directions as to how you as the Parent/Guardian would like staff to address specific situations. This form should be completed for students with conditions including Asthma, Food Allergies, Seizures, Headaches, Frequent Nosebleeds, Heart Conditions or any other condition or disease regardless of whether or not they take medication at school. (This form is required to be completed at the beginning of each school year, previous forms are not kept on site.)


On Saturday, September 10, Topeka Public Schools will host a mobile drive-thru vaccination clinic in partnership with the Kansas Department of Health & Environment and Harvesters Food Pantry.

The vaccination clinic will serve all ages and offer 1st round, 2nd round and booster COVID-19 vaccinations and be held in conjunction with the Harvester Food Pantry at 9:00 AM at Jardine Middle School. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian and must have a signed consent form. To register for the vaccine clinic, please complete this form.


Test to Learn, Test to Know, Test to Play: Rapid Covid Antigen tests and Rapid Covid PCR tests are available for students. In order for your student to be tested at school, the Consent form must be completed before the test can be administered. Parents/Guardians can find the E-Form on the Tyler SIS parent page. Once you log in to your Parent portal, you will see a yellow highlighted line that states there are New Optional E-Forms available. Once you click “view”, you will then see the 2022-23 Covid-19/Flu/Strep Testing Consent form, you will be given the option to consent to testing, and the form will be immediately available for nursing staff. Please complete this form at your earliest convenience so we have it on file should the need arise. Nursing staff will make every effort to contact you prior to any testing, even if the form is on file. (Flu and Strep Testing are not available at this time.)

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.