Pirate's Cove

News for the week of 1/6 - 1/17

Principal's Message

Pirate parents!

We have started our second semester of school. I want to share with all families that when we have the start of a new semester, we often will have schedule changes for students. These changes are because of the semester change to new classes like our electives, or are a result of our MTSS process. Sometimes schedules are adjusted to accommodate needs within our master schedule. We try to keep student schedules consistent as much as we can when there is a schedule adjustment, since students and teachers have developed relationships with each other. If your child's schedule adjusts at the semester, that is normal. If you have questions regarding schedules at the semester change, please reach out to the Plank Main Office.

We are beginning to plan our end of the year events for students, such as 8th Grade Recognition Night and Pirate Palooza. The official dates of these events are tentatively scheduled, and are subject to change based on Severe Weather days. There will be more information to come as it pertains to these events in the coming months. I you have questions, please reach out to the Plank Main Office to get them answered.

January and February is when we see the most extreme temperature changes. Now that the weather is cold, please make sure that your child is prepared for the weather. This also includes wearing warm clothes during the school day. In addition, with the cold weather comes increased chance for illness. Though we encourage regular student attendance, children who are running a fever or experiencing vomiting will be sent home. Our illness guidelines are found in our student handbook, as well as online on the district website.

The staff at Plank Junior High is committed to serving the students and parents of the surrounding community. We want to provide multiple opportunities for students to showcase their talents, and grow as young adults through academics and social emotional learning. Our focus is to prepare our students to be ready for college and future careers. 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 thaymond@sd308.org. We look forward to collaborating with you and your student throughout the year.

Always in partnership,

Tyler Haymond


Plank Junior High School

Top Pirates - December

When students are caught exhibiting one of the Six Pillars of Character, teachers nominate students to earn the "Top Pirate" designation. Staff will do a drawing on the last Wednesday of each month and pull six names; one student per pillar, any grade level. Students will be recognized over the intercom in the morning, and will then be asked to go to Student Services to receive a free donut and a "Character Counts at Plank" bracelet. Congratulations to our Top Pirate

Milanni Glover - 7th grade (not pictured)

Skye Kirkwood - 8th grade

Alexa Tepoxtecatl - 6th grade

Lexy Sanchez - 7th grade

Nathan Cristanujaya - 6th grade

Jonathan Bustos - 6th grade

ACCESS Testing Starts Monday

Next week, a number of our students will begin taking the WIDA ACCESS test, which is an English language proficiency assessment administered every year to help school districts monitor the English language development of students identified as English language learners. Students who will be testing were given information regarding the test and their testing schedule today to bring home and share with their families. A copy of the letter that was sent home can also be found here.

Early Release - January 17th

Just a reminder that next Friday is an early release day. Students will be dismissed at 11:40.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Monday January 20th

In observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, there will be no student attendance on Monday January 20th.

8th Grade AVID Selection Starts Soon

The selection process for the 8th grade AVID elective class is starting!

AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. It is a schoolwide college readiness system of support with a structured approach to a rigorous curriculum that will help develop students’ writing, content knowledge, and academic skills. Students enrolled in the AVID elective are hardworking, determined to do their best in school and reach their goals, and like to work collaboratively with their peers. The AVID elective targets those students who are academically in the middle (earning B's and C's), have the desire to go to college and the willingness to work hard, have good attendance and little to no discipline problems, and may be the first in their family to attend higher education. Additional information can be found at http://www.avid.org/what-is-avid-secondary.ashx.

Students enrolled in the AVID elective course will:

  • be enrolled in at least one honors class

  • participate in weekly tutorials

  • learn academic and social skills not targeted in other academic classes

  • attend presentations from college and career related speakers

  • attend field trips to local colleges

  • participate in a positive peer group

Below is the AVID elective application. There is a selection process to be accepted into the AVID program that involves completing the application and participating in a student interview . Enrollment is limited.

We would like to invite you to the Plank AVID Parent Information Night on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 at 6 pm in the Plank cafeteria. The meeting will provide detailed information on the AVID elective class offered to only 8th grade students next year.

We encourage anyone who believes the AVID Program may be a good fit to complete the application. Applications are due to Mrs. Gannon by Wednesday, February 19, 2020, after which we will then begin the student selection process for the 2020-2021 school year.

Please contact Caitlin Gannon, AVID Coordinator at (630) 551-9414 or cgannon@sd308.org, for more information regarding the AVID elective class at Plank.

We hope to see you at the AVID Parent Information Night!

Illinois 5 Essentials Survey

Every year, we administer the Illinois 5 Essentials Survey. I use this information as feedback on how to best improve the function and accessibility of our school. Take a few minutes to complete the survey by following this link. https://survey.5-essentials.org/illinois/status/school/plank-junior-high/

One Book, One School

Introducing One School, One Book at Plank Junior High. The book we will be reading is Crossover, by Kwame Alexander. Throughout the next several weeks, students and staff will be reading Crossover. This was also a featured title at our Book Fair. Students are able to check out the book from the LRC as well as the public library (but copies will be limited from the libraries). Various activities will take place culminating in a collaborative event at our Literacy Night to be held later this year.

Annie Junior at Plank

Plank Jr. High School is proud to announce their Spring Musical: Annie Jr! All important audition information is located on Google Classroom. Sign up for the class using the code: k584tp

All students can play a role! Auditions are just to see where you fit best. Info about tech/crew will come later. Thanks!

Washington DC Trip for 8th grade

Hey 8th Graders!!

It's not too late to sign up for the Washington DC Trip over this school year's Spring Break, March 22-24, 2020!

Email Mr. Linden (mlinden@sd308.org), Mrs. Carino (mcarino@sd308.org), or Mrs. Beane (jbeane@sd308.org) for registration information.

Plank Home and School Messages

HSA News

Plank Skate Night - Jan 12

The next Plank Skate Night is Sunday, January 12th.

This event is for Plank students only, held at Aurora Skate Center from 5 to 7pm.

Please be sure to pick up students promptly at 7pm.
$6 admission, $4 skate rental

Plank Staff Appreciation Lunch - Jan 14

Let's start the new year by showing our teachers & staff how much we appreciate them!
Sign up to help out or donate for our staff appreciation soup & salad bar, Tuesday, January 14th. signup.com/go/nYBxupf

We truly appreciate parent support in all of these events and activities!

Do you have the new box top app? The next generation of box tops is here. We still collect clipped box tops but this new app is so easy to use. Scan your receipt within 14 days and if any applicable products are bought, instant rewards.

Plank student headed to First Lego League State Competition

Zoya Siddiqui in 6th at Plank is headed to FIRST LEGO League State Competition with her her team Phoenix Cubitects. Follow the link to read the patch article. Congratulations, Zoya!

Homework Hotspot

Just a reminder that we have the homework hotspot. Student assignments are listed here for the entire building. Students also are using their assignment notebooks to write down their assignments. I recommend making a bookmark of homework hotspot on your browser so that it can be checked regularly by your child.

Parent Portal in Tyler SIS

Our new student information system is Tyler SIS. This is taking the place of eSchool. Log into the link below if you are looking for updated grades, information, attendance, and the features of the former e School Home Access. Watch for updates on how parents can use the Portal on our website and in upcoming newsletters.

Tyler Parent Portal

Substitute Teachers Needed at Plank!

Plank Junior High School is looking for substitute teachers. If you have your substitute teaching certificate and you have a passion for working with children, we would be happy to have you as a guest teacher in our building! Please reach out to Human Resources by following this link. There are links to an online substitute application, handbook, and contact information all available there. I hope to see you guest teaching in our building soon!

Parent Toolkit

If you are looking for outside resources to help with your young adult, try parenttoolkit.com. There are many different options on this website that can connect you with resources to questions that many parents have.

Parent Teen Connect


ParenTeenConnect.org, a free website for parents and their teens created by the makers of the Second Step Program, is a great resource for middle school families. It provides expert advice and practical tools for dealing with real parent-teen issues.


At ParenTeenConnect.org, you can hear from real parents and teens about the issues that cause conflict in their lives—including screen time, independence, responsibility, and communication—and get expert advice. Visit ParenTeenConnect.org at home with your child, select a topic together, and get talking!

2019-2020 Plank Yearbook Sales are Online!

Have you placed your order for the 2019-2020 yearbook? All yearbook orders are now placed online. The deadline for reduced cost of $25 ends in December. All orders are placed online through the link located below and on the Plank Homepage. We are getting close...whomever orders the 200th yearbook will get a FULL REFUND, as a thank you. Plank Yearbook Orders 2019-2020

Big picture

Miles of Smiles

We have a new dental provider here in the district, Miles of Smiles. They will be offering dental exams sometime in the Spring. Dental is due for all 6th and 9th graders so all current 6th and 8th grade students who participate, their exam will qualify for state requirements. Attached is the flyer that gives specific information about the services being provided along with the form. Please fill out the form and return it to school no later than January 17th, 2020. You can email it to kjenkins@sd308.org, fax it to 630-551-9697 ATTN: Nurse or bring it into school.