Pirate's Cove Newsletter
January 13 - January 21
Upcoming Events and Reminders
Please read the information in The Pirate's Cove Newsletter in it's entirety. This is our weekly communication to bring you up to speed on all important information.
Important information, upcoming events, and details can be found further in the "Cove".
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Monday January 16th
In observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, there will be no student attendance on Monday January 16th. 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.
In this edition of the Pirate's Cove:
- **UPDATED** Principal's Message
- **UPDATED** Chromebook Check out
- **UPDATED** Chromebook Reminders
- **UPDATED** Tardies to class
- Homework and Grading
- **NEW** Course Selection for 2023-24 7th and 8th Graders
- Gift Cards for Plank School Store
- **UPDATED** Plank HSA Information
- Donations for Technology
- **UPDATED** Daily Announcements
- **NEW** Student Spectator at Plank Events reminder
- Junior High Students at Football Games
- **UPDATED** Yearbook Information
- SEL Lunch Groups at Plank
- Student Services at Plank
- **UPDATED** Conflict Resolution
- **NEW** Linden Oaks' Webinar Series: Mental Health Education for Parents and Teens
- Plank Care Closet
- Student Password Portal
- Parent Resources
- Attendance Information
- Important People to Know
- Important Resources
Second semester has begun! Students have a fresh slate in order to determine the grades that they earn for second semester. Completing work and doing their best everyday is a sure way to success and good grades. Please check TylerSIS regularly for grade updates.
Second semester will have a focus on respect at Plank. Character education is just as important as academic education, as we are preparing our children to be successful after junior high and high school. Plank awards Pirate Bucks for positive behavior, and starting second semester, we will be issuing our $5 Pirate Bucks for positive respectful interactions between students or with staff.
Now that we are experiencing the chill of winter, I want to continue to remind families of Plank expectations regarding winter weather wear.
- Winter coats and accessories are to remain in student's lockers. Yes, we can have backpacks in the classrooms, but coats, hats, gloves, scarves, and other outerwear should be kept throughout the day in student lockers. Students with these items will be directed back to their lockers. Blankets need to stay at home.
- Across Wolf Crossing is farmland. With the onset of colder temperatures, small critters like to take refuge in warm places. I would like to make sure that we don't have any unexpected visitors within the buildings. All food must be eaten only in the cafeteria. Lunches and snacks brought from home need to stay in student lockers. Students with these items will be directed back to their lockers.
- Dress for the weather! Sometimes the temperature within the building varies from room to room. If students have long sleeves, sweatshirts, sweaters, and pants, it will help to keep them warm in some of our rooms.
- Stay tuned! As you know, Illinois weather can change drastically and suddenly. Watch for weather alerts and follow the district website for any cancellations due to weather. Keep in mind, plan to send your students to school until a call is made by the district to cancel.
The staff at Plank Junior High is committed to serving the students and parents of the surrounding community. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to partnering with you and your child throughout the year.
Always in partnership,
Plank Junior High School
Chromebook Check out
Plank Chromebook reminders
As we continue our 1:1 initiatives for students with chromebooks, please encourage your pirate at home to:
- Charge their chromebook and bring it every day
- Treat them carefully. If they break the chromebook, the technology department will contact home regarding the cost of the repair.
- Intentional damage to chromebooks are the responsibility of the student and family.
- Use them appropriately. Our Securely web filter notifies administration of inappropriate internet searches or words and phrases that could indicate bullying, threats, or self-harm.
Tardies to Classes
Homework and Grading
Teachers will be regularly updating grades in Tyler. Check the Parent Portal for updates in grades. Students also have access to check their assignments, grades, and schedule in the student portal and on Google Classroom. Homework, projects, tests, and quizzes are all recorded in classes to reflect student grades. Please reach out to individual teachers if there are questions regarding student grades.
Homework is an expectation for all of our students to complete at home. Many students have a study hall, where they are able to complete any homework or receive extra help from teachers, when available. Check in with your child's teacher if you have questions regarding homework.
Course Selection Information for current Plank 6th and 7th Grade students
Current 6th and 7th grade students can start making their elective course selections in the Tyler Portal for the 22/23 school year starting 1/9/23. Course selections must be entered no later than 1/20/23. Counselors will be going into classrooms on Tuesday, January 10th and Wednesday, January 11th to explain the course selection process to students.
Core classes will be recommended by teachers. Students and parents are only selecting course electives at this time. You and your child will login through the Tyler SIS website to complete the elective course selection process. Course selection can not take place on the Tyler App. To login, please use the following link.
Below are links for elective course descriptions and directions on how to select courses in the Tyler Portal in January 2023.
List of 7th and 8th grade elective courses and descriptions
Directions to enter course requests in Tyler Portal
Reach out to your child’s school counselor if you have any questions.
School Store - Gift Cards and Donations Needed
One HOT item students can 'purchase' with their Pirate Bucks can be gift cards to local businesses. Plank - and our HSA - is not able to purchase gift cards with our allocated budget. So, we could use your help.
If you are moved to do so, please think about purchasing $5 gift cards to local businesses (McDonalds, 7-11, CVS, Subway, Dunkin Donuts, or other businesses you can think of that kids love). Any gift cards purchased can be brought to the office - ATTN Melanie Reicher.
THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!
Home and School Meetings
The Home and School needs you. Come get involved! Feel free to reach out to Felice Jernstad, current president at email@example.com with any questions or to let her know you'd be interested in planning school events.
HSA plans to have a table at Orientation for any families that would like to inquire, give suggestions, or join!
President: Felice Jernstad - firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President: Aneesh Dhodapkar - email@example.com
Treasurer: Cindy Cheney - firstname.lastname@example.org
Recording Secretary - Veronica Adame - email@example.com
Corresponding Secretary - Michelle Peterson - firstname.lastname@example.org
Tyler Haymond - principal email@example.com
Lauren Munson - teacher representative, firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Spectators and After School Events
1. Have your Student ID present at games
2. Sit in the student section, unless accompanied by a parent
3. Pick up is at 6:15. Please have all rides at this time
4. Behavior expectations remain the same as they are during the school day
5. Come support your Pirate Teams!
2022 Yearbook Pre-Sale - FINAL ORDER DATE IS JANUARY 31
Our Schoolwide Goal is 500. If you want your Plank Yearbook for the 2022-2023 school year, here are some important deadlines!
- Save money - order by NOV 30. After November 30th, presale prices increase
- Purchase a yearbook AD/Tribute - purchase by Dec 16. Ads need to be designed and submitted no later than Dec 31
- ABSOLUTE FINAL purchase deadline is JAN 31, 2023
Get your Plank Yearbook today!
SEL Lunch Groups at Plank
Plank Junior High School's student service team will be offering Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) lunch groups. Groups are designed to meet students’ needs through fun activities, such as games, art, teambuilding, discussions, etc. Groups will meet once a week during lunch and will be facilitated by school counselors, social workers, school psychologist, and/or school speech pathologist.
*Based on the student needs assessment, the following groups will be offered this year:
Connections - students will work on social skills to help build positive relationships with their peers.
Student Empowerment – for students who are feeling sad, depressed, stressed or anxious and need help processing their feelings and learning coping strategies.
Grief Group - for students who are experiencing grief from the loss of a significant person through death.
Family Group - for students who are experiencing family struggles, such as divorce and separation of parents.
Mindful/Yoga Group - students will learn and practice mindfulness strategies and yoga to help reduce stress.
Academic Success Group - students will learn skills to improve their academic performance such as organization, study, and time management skills.
Pride Group - to provide a safe place for students who identify as LGBTQ+.
If you are interested in your student participating in a group, complete the linked permission slip and turn it into student services by Friday, September 23, 2022.
Student Services at Plank
We hope the first few days of school are off to a great start for both you and your student(s).
This year, we are fortunate to be able to add a new counselor (Ms. Fabiola Perez) to our Plank Pirate Crew. With this addition, we wanted to take some time to (re)introduce you to our Plank Student Services Team, so you know who you can go to if/when support is needed.
Mrs. Caitlin Gannon (supporting families with last names that begin with A-H)
Ms. Fabiola Perez (supporting families with last names that begin with I-M)
Mrs. Kelly Hlavacs/Mrs. Jen Modaff (supporting families with last names that begin with N-Z)
Plank Social Workers:
Ms. Regena Alonzo (supporting 6th grade IEP students as well as our Life Skills Program)
Mrs. Maggie Slinger (supporting 7th and 8th grade IEP students as well as our Instructional Skills Program)
Please note, Mrs. Slinger is on temporary leave until mid-September. Ms. Alonzo will be working with Mrs. Slinger’s students during her absence.
Plank Restorative Practices Counselor:
Mrs. Melanie Reicher (supporting all students and staff to implement preventative measures within the Plank School community to support our Positive Behavioral Model)
Plank School Psychologist:
Ms. Stephanie Krug (monitors the completion of case study evaluations/special education reevaluations and participates in Individual Education Plan (IEP) conferences and problem-solving meetings)
Plank Speech Language Pathologist
Ms. Molly Miller (provides speech services for IEP Resource and Instructional Skills Program)
Ms. Zoe Palko (provides speech services for Life Skills Program)
The goal of our Student Services Team here at Plank is to provide comprehensive support and advocate for equity, access, wellness, and success for each and every student. If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to connect with a member from our Student Services Team, please don’t hesitate to reach out; by clicking on a team member’s name listed above, you will be routed to their direct email address.
We are looking forward to a great year!
Linden Oaks' Webinar Series: Mental Health Education for Parents and Teens
Take a look at these FREE webinars that occur every 3rd Wednesday of every month from 6:30-7:30pm. They are led by a member of the Linden Oaks team, experts in the field of mental health.
Linden Oaks' Webinar Series: Mental Health Education for Parents and Teens
Plank Care Closet
Student Password Portal
Follow the links to access the parent resources that we have available.
- A Parent's Guide to Google Classroom - A step-by-step guide to help parents that are unfamiliar with accessing Google Classroom.
- Google Classroom Cheat Sheet for students - Shake Up Learning
- Google Suite Tutorials - A collection of Google tutorials that students will be using with their teachers during remote learning. There are dozens of resources here that cover almost anything you need to know about using Google Suite.
- Parent's Guide to Student Portal - Tyler 360 document that outlines Student Portal access and features.
- Parent's Guide to Google Suite Applications - From Google Docs to Google Meets, this is a guide for parents to use as a reference for all of the available Google Suite Applications.
Plank Attendance Guidelines
Call Asusana Montes-Mijares
Students must be called into the Attendance Line if they are not participating for all or part of the school day (Monday-Friday).
Please leave a message on the Attendance Line noting the reason for the absence. Include all symptoms or the reason for the absence if it is not illness related. Students need to be called in if they will miss a partial day. Please note the class/classes that will be missed in addition to the reason for the absences.
Teachers are keeping attendance through class period If you have questions, please reach out to the individual teachers about these procedures.
Students are considered Tardy if they are not in class on time. Class begins promptly at 8:10 AM. Students who are not in class by this time are considered Tardy.
Important People to Know
Tyler Haymond 630-551-9410 email@example.com
Bailey Campbell 630-551-9412 firstname.lastname@example.org
Katie Jones 630-551-9411 email@example.com
Student Support Lead Teachers
Lead Special Education Teacher
Carrie Quinn 630-551-9497 firstname.lastname@example.org
Lebia Chatman 630-551-9466 email@example.com
Laurie Williams 630-551-9409 firstname.lastname@example.org
Camille Simmons 630-551-9418 email@example.com
Asusana (Susie) Montes-Mijarez 630-551-9408 firstname.lastname@example.org
Caitlin Gannon 630-551-9414 email@example.com
Students with last names A-H
Fabiola Perez 630-551-9416 firstname.lastname@example.org
Students with last names I-M
Kelly Hlavacs and Jen Modaff 630-551-9415 email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Students with last names N-Z
Melanie Reicher 630-551-9496 email@example.com
Restorative Practice Counselor
Regena Alonzo 630-551-9405 firstname.lastname@example.org
Marguerite Slinger 630-551-9416 email@example.com
Denise Salisbury 630-551-9402 firstname.lastname@example.org