Pirate's Cove

News for the week of 1/31 - 2/7

National African-American Heritage and History Month

National African-American Heritage and History Month starts on February 1st and continues through the month of February. We celebrate the important contributions, heritage, and culture of men and women of African descent.

The origins of National African-American Heritage and History Month go back to 1926, when Dr. Carter G. Woodson established Black History Week. For years, the second week of February was reserved to coincide with the birthday of Abolitionist Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, the week of recognition was expanded to a month, and since as been designated the month of February.

We will be celebrating the different family cultures all year at Plank. Students will have announcement slides, in-class and school-wide opportunities to learn of the significant cultural contributions from African-American men and women throughout history.

Principal's Message

Pirate parents,

Pirate parents,

Each 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. As parents, you also have a voice on how we can improve Plank. Take a few minutes to complete the survey by following this link. http://survey.5-essentials.org/illinois/survey/parent/. Surveys close on February 14th. In order for me to view results and make improvements based on parent survey results, I need 20% of my parents to participate. Currently, 9% of parents have taken the survey. I still need survey results from roughly 100 more families in order to receive results. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey by clicking on the link above. There are two weeks remaining to provide feedback through this survey.

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

January Top Pirates

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 Pirates.

Fizzah Khan 8th grade

Jessica Brooks 7th grade

Fernando Anaya 7th grade

Mario Ramirez 6th grade

Max Santillan 6th grade

Ryley Mennella 7th grade * not pictured

ACCESS Testing Continues This Week

Continuing this week, a number of our students will take 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 are testing were given information regarding the test and their testing schedule last week to bring home and share with their families. A copy of the letter that was sent home can also be found here.

Dress for the Weather

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.

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!

Incoming 6th Grade Choir

Attention Families of Incoming 6th graders: if your student is interested in signing up for choir in 6th grade, follow the link below for more information. There are no fees to join, and no experience is required!


Men's Pirate Choir

Attention all Plank Boys

Men's Pirate Choir is starting in February. If you are interested in signing up for the new Men's Pirate Choir, following the link below for more information. Hang out, have donuts, meet new friends!


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.

Help us make cancer walk the Plank - St. Baldrick's 2020

ARRRGH!! Help us make cancer walk the plank!!

On March 6th 2020, the Pirates of Plank Jr. High will be uniting in our efforts to send Cancer to Davy Jones' Locker! In-order for this to happen we need your help. Your donations will help us set sail on our course to battle such a scallywag. Please join our cause.

Join this St. Baldrick's event, and whether you decide to shave your head, volunteer, or donate, we hope you'll be a part of the excitement!

The St. Baldrick's Foundation is a volunteer-powered charity that funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. government.

Reach out to Mr. Edwards with questions.


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

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!

Kindergarten Registration

See the flyers below for information on Kindergarten Registration