Panther Press

6th six weeks (2012-2013)

A Note from Mr. Agan

Panther Parents,

With just a few weeks left in school, we are able to reflect on many things our students have accomplished this year. Our staff and students have really worked well together to develop their goals into successes.

Most recently, we have had teams competing at the state level and have represented PHMS well. Those areas include Science Fair, Math/Science Team, and Destination Imagination. We even have one of our Destination Imagination teams qualifying to compete at the Global Competition Level. Congratulations are in order for both the students and sponsors of each of these areas.

Looking ahead, we have STAAR and Algebra End of Course testing. Additionally, we will have our final pep rally of the year on May 10th. Our Fine Arts department will be having their final performances of the year . On May 28th, we will have our former PHMS students, that are now seniors, coming back for a reception. Awards Ceremonies will be on June 4th for the 6th grade, June 5th for the 7th grade, and June 6th for the 8th grade, followed by 8th grade Celebration on June 7th.

Just like that, THE year ENDs! Thank you for a GREAT first year!!!

Rocky S. Agan

PHMS Principal

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Counselor's Corner

Summer Information

High School Summer School

Students who are currently in 8th grade may take High School Summer School courses for advancement.

Dates for HS Summer School:

Session 1 (June 17th – July 3rd)

Session 2 (July 8th – July 24th)

Summer School Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Location: Lone Star High School

Middle School Summer School

This is for students who are currently in middle school (6th, 7th, or 8th grade) who did not pass a course(s). Counselors will be in touch with parents of students who will need to attend summer school. Middle School Summer School is only for students who need remediation. There are no courses for advancement at middle school summer school.

Dates for MS Summer School:

June 17th – July 19th

Summer School Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Location: Cobb Middle School

Information about FISD Summer School can be found at:

Summer Registration

This is for new families who have moved into the Pioneer Heritage attendance zone and will be enrolling a child (or children) at Pioneer Heritage for fall 2013. Registration will be in the library at PHMS.

August 8th

11:00 a.m to 7:00 p.m.

August 9th

8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Fall 2013 Important Dates

Cub Camp / 6th Grade Schedule Pick-up

August 16th

7th Grade Schedule Pick-up

August 20th

8th Grade Schedule Pick-up

August 19th

**Stay tuned to the PHMS website throughout the summer for up-to-date information on Back to School events.

6th grade news

World Cultures

This last six weeks of the school year, we will be finishing up Southwest and Central Asia by reading the novel, “The Breadwinner” . It is about a young girl who lives in Afghanistan during the rule of the Taliban and the influence that it has on her culture. We will then move on to South, Southeast and East Asia. During this unit we will talk the other major religions in the world, as well as, discuss some of the more current events, such as the effects of natural disasters in this area and the influence of this region on the global economy. We will finish up the year with a short unit on Australia. It’s hard to believe that it is time for our 6th graders to become 7th graders. It has been a great year and I know that we have all learned a little bit more about the world around us. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to teach your children.


Students will engage in learning about our Earth and Space systems this last marking period of the year. How time flies by! “NO PUN INTENDED!”

Earth Systems (Unit 6A) will cover the structure of the earth, plate tectonics and the rock cycle. NOTE: UNIT 6A WILL HAVE A CBA THAT WILL BE GIVEN THE WEEK OF MAY 13TH

Space Systems (Unit 6B) will cover the solar system and space travel. NOTE: UNIT 6B WILL HAVE A CBA THAT WILL BE GIVEN THE WEEK OF JUNE 3TH

Integrated Language Arts

We have left Philadelphia and the Fever of 1793 behind and journeyed to Denmark during WWII in our new novel Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. The students will be creating WWII collages to depict the setting and time period of our novel. We will be finishing out the year discussing the theme of bravery in this novel.

Our students are getting ready for the reading STAAR test on April 24th as our tutorials are coming to a close. We wish everyone good luck and are so proud of their hard work!!

Pre-AP classes will be starting our final Literary Analysis Unit by Reading the novel, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis. Student will be participating in Literature discussion circles and will be honing their active reading strategies. We will be studying symbolism, characterization and the fantasy genre.


Math students are geared up and prepared for the math STAAR on April 23rd. They have a lot of preparation and practice behind them. Good luck to everyone who has worked so hard!

On another note, lots of math still to come this year.

We will be working with fractions, decimals, integers at more advanced level and preparing students for several things they will need to be successful next year. The unit 6 CBA will be in late May.

7th grade news

Texas History

Texas History has just finished cattle and ranching uint. The students were very excited building their own ranch and creating their own brand. We are now discussing the discovery of oil and the affects it has on technology in the 1900’s and today. After oil we will be learning about WWII and how Texas was involoved with the war. Exciting new things are on the way!


7th grade science students will continue their study of Ecology. We have two units of study left this year! They are: 1. Watersheds (weathering, erosion, and deposition). Students will explore the water cycle, the movement of water across land, and the role of aquifers. Emphasis will be placed on identifying our source of drinking water and the effects of runoff and pollution on our aquifers. 2. Catastrophic Events (hurricanes, tornados, and volcanoes). Students will investigate the cause of these events, study the methods used by scientists to predict a natural disaster, and revisit the natural process of restoration through the steps of ecological succession.

Integrated Language Arts

In writing we have just completed our STAAR test. We are now working toward our Reading STAAR which is on April 24th. After the STAAR test ILA will be working in the Springboard books as we study the influences of advertising on the choices we make. We will continue to study writing as well as we study persuasive writing in connection with the advertising.

In the on-level classes, we have just completed the novel Out of the Dust which is a story that has taken place during the depression. The students have really enjoyed it.


We are so proud of the hard work the seventh graders did in preparing for the STAAR test! We are confident that you all did well.

Currently, the PreAP math students are studying the 8th grade math objectives in readiness for the CBE they will take on May 21st. Please see the e-mail you received in April for more information about this test.

The Math 7 students are learning about rational numbers. Now that they are almost in 8th grade, the students are performing all operations with mixed rational numbers (including integers, fractions and decimals) and solving equations involving rational numbers as well.

8th grade news

U.S. History

In the final unit on Reconstruction we will go over the hard times that our country had trying to reunite itself back together. We will specifically go over the economic, social, and political problems that happened in the South and how they can sometimes still affect us today. STAAR is just around the corner and we are getting ready for that!!! DO NOT let your students not finish their STAAR Review packets. This will help them tremendously in studying for their STAAR Test!!


The year is zooming by at light speed!! The Science fair competition was a big success once again here at PHMS, with one of our projects placing second in Chemistry and one placing 3rd in Earth Science, and that was at the State meet in San Antonio. Impressive!!

Students have transitioned from physics to chemistry in the classroom—learning about the periodic table, atomic structure, chemical formulas and equations.

It is also that time of year for the Science STAAR test which will be at the end of April. Several students are attending special tutoring classes being held before and after school on Mondays and Fridays. All students should be reviewing their Science info, reflecting on past lessons, and getting prepared to do their best!!!

Integrated Language Arts

The Challenge of Comedy

If laughter is truly the best medicine, then a study of challenges would not be complete without a close examination of the unique elements of


Overcoming challenges is often easier when we are able to look at the humorous side of life. However, finding humor is not always easy; it can be a challenge in itself.

This unit explores the common elements found in humorous writing, as well as the difficulties encountered when attempting to write or perform comedy.

This unit defines common features of humorous texts through short stories, play excerpts, anecdotes, essays, poems, comic strips, and film clips.

You will use a variety of learning strategies to focus on the characteristics and specific challenges of comedy as you read, write, view, analyze, and perform humorous texts.



In the final weeks of Algebra our students will graph quadratic equations, compare graphs of other parent functions, find the parts of a parabola and solve the function using several methods. Finally, students will determine whether a linear, exponential, or quadratic function best models a set of data. After the Algebra E.O.C. Exam on May 7th , the basic geometric foundations will be introduced in preparation for High School. Have a wonderful summer.

Pre-AP & 8th Grade Math

We are not slowing down after STAAR! We are learning Algebra and building a strong algebraic foundation for next year. Please encourage your students to work hard and if you have not done Algebra in a few years, you may want to take a peak before Freshman year too! I have enjoyed teaching you student all year and hope that you all have a great summer break!

Pioneer Band

We have had SUCH a great Spring!

Honors Band received an “Excellent” on stage and a “Superior” in sight reading for UIL!

Symphonic Band received a “Superior” on stage and in sight reading for UIL!

Beginners have their solo contest coming up on April 18th and Sandy Lake on April 26th!


May 1 @ FHS Percussion only – beginners 4:30-5:30pm/ 7-8 graders 5:30-7:30pm

May 4 @ Heritage HS Percussion only – ALL perc from 9am-noon

May 4 @ Heritage HS Percussion Concert at Heritage HS @6pm

May 10 during school Pep Rally (Music Crew shirt for those playing)

May 16 3:45-4:45 Beginner After School Practice – REQUIRED @ PHMS

May 17 6:30-7:45pm Spring Concert @ WAKELAND HS

DRESS: Best Dress for Beginner Band

Concert Black for Advanced Bands

Arrival (call) Times: Beginner Band 6pm (stage at WHS)

Honors Band 6:15pm (band hall at WHS

Symphonic Band 5:45pm (stage at WHS)

May 24 1-11pm REWARD FIELD TRIP to Six Flags!!!


6&7th grade Auditions/Playing Exam : Week of May 28th - during class

May 29 3:45-4:45pm Ice Cream Club PARTY!! The party is for people who have earned

their way onto the wall!

May 31 Instrument home for summer (check out school instruments)!

June 1st 3-8pm @ FHS 8th only – Band Fest @ FHS

Check out all the dates for band activities on the Band Google calendar:

Orchestra News

Upcoming Orchestra Events:

Tuesday, April 30th– Beginner Orchestra Rehearsal 3:45-4:30

Thursday, May 2nd– Beginner Orchestra Rehearsal 3:45-4:30

Friday, May 3rd– Beginner Orchestra to Peak Music Festival

Tuesday, May 7th– SPRING CONCERT and AWARDS 6:30 p.m.

May 21st-23rd– Orchestra Placement Auditions for 2013-2014

Friday, May 24th– SIX FLAGS

As the year is winding down, don’t forget to look into Orchestra Summer Camps! There are several camps that happen within the DFW area that would be a great fit for your child. It is important that your child continues to play their instrument over the summer to keep all their technique fresh . We have private teachers that are willing to teach over the summer, a list will be emailed out as soon as it is finalized.

Please look at the upcoming events at the top of this page. Our Spring Concert is on Tuesday May 7th starting at 6:30 p.m. Throughout the program we will also be presenting awards to students. This concert will be a little longer than our previous concerts due to awards.

If you have any questions or concerns please email me at!

If you have not been receiving my weekly emails, be sure to update your email address with our school.

From the Nurse

For many teens, it’s hard to bypass a fast food restaurants; So if fast food is on your plate, here are some things to keep in mind when making healthy choices.

Watch out for “mega-sizing.” Whether it’s super or mega size, what’s with the big servings? Restaurants entice consumers with the package deal, so that, for just a little more money, you get a lot more food—whether you need it or not. Be discriminating. Are you really that hungry? Why not share your mega meal with your buddy and really save some money? Or just get the smaller versions of these items. You’ll end up spending less money.

Chicken and fish are not always the best choices. We tend to think poultry and fish are better for us than red meat. It’s not necessarily so. Fast-food restaurants often bread and fry chicken and fish. The end product can have as much or more fat and calories than a hamburger. Choose chicken or fish that is broiled, baked, or grilled. If you’re not sure how it’s prepared, ask. There are even apps for your cell phone that can tell you the nutrient info for some fast-food chains.

Order a side salad instead of fries. Salads are a great way to “beef” up your vegetable intake without the beef. Watch out, though. Salads can be a big calorie buster too. Heavy dressings and added items in salads, such as crispy strips, croutons, nuts, etc., can make a salad have as many calories as a burger and fries—or even more. Just two ounces of ranch dressing (about one of those packets) provides 20 grams of fat. That’s as much as in a quarter-pounder. Go for the “lite” or reduced-fat dressings, or use less of the heavier ones.

Try different menu items. Many fast-food restaurants offer more than just burgers and fries. There are often nutritious choices, such as soup, baked potatoes, salads, yogurt, milk, or bagels.

Choose a nutritious thirst quencher. Teens today are getting over 10 percent of their daily calories from soda and other sweetened beverages. Regardless of the flavor or the manufacturer of the product, most soft drinks are nutritionally about the same. They provide lots of calories in the form of added sugar, but few other nutrients. Some sodas, especially cola beverages, also contain caffeine, an addictive stimulant that you don’t need.

Sherry Ratcliff, RN, BSN

News from the Theater Department

Art Department News

Art supplies for next year will be available for purchase at the beginning of next year. Check out the Art website at:

Panther Tidbits

Lady Panthers

The Lady Panther Track Team had an amazing season this year. Brianna Bellehumeur set a new record in the Girls 2400 Meter run with a time 9:23:00 shattering the old record by 7 seconds! Tinashe Gandhle also set a new shot put record with a throw of 35” which is her personal best!

All of our 8th graders who qualified for the district meet placed in their events:

Aaliyah Salas, 300 Hurdles (2nd), Triple Jump (2nd)

Rylie Edwards, 800 Meter Run (2nd) , 300 Hurdles (4th)

Tinashe Gandhle, Shot Put (3rd place)

Lora Taylor, Discus (4th place)

The 7th grade Lady Panthers took 2nd place in district this year with the 4 X 100m relay coming within .58 of the school record.

7th Grade Girls:

4 X 100m Relay (Caeser, Miller, Sample, Brazil) 2nd place

4 X 200m Relay (Caeser, Marzullo, Miller, Brazil) 1st Place-District Champs

4 X 400m Relay (Mason, Toombs, Rives, Miller) 2nd Place

Christina Mason, 100m Hurdles (3rd place), 300m Hurdles (1st place-district champ)

Ashley Rives, Long Jump (6th place)

Sydnee Roberson, Discus (5th place)


Yearbook Distribution Day is May 31st!

The PAID list is posted on the bulletin board outside room 709 (opposite the library). Students need to check it before May 12th to be sure their order is listed.

Miss the Deadline???

If we have any extra books sent from the plant to sell, we’ll be making announcements and putting up signs at school prior to the Distribution Day, May 31st. It’ll be first come, first serve, $40.00 cash.

STAAR and EOC Testing

In the State of Texas we are now taking STAAR, State of Texas

Assessments of Academic Readiness for students in 3rd—8th grade.

Students in 9-12th grades, as well as those, taking Algebra 1 or Geometry in the Middle School, will be taking End of Course (EOC) exams.

Below is the testing calendar, please make sure your students are

present on all testing days.

To find additional information about the STAAR test, use the attached link to

access the parents information page for state testing.

April 23rd:

6th and 7th Math

April 24th:

6th and 7th Reading, 8th Science

April 25:

8th Social Studies

May 7th:

Algebra EOC

8th grade students who do not meet standard of the 1st administration of the 8th Grade Math or Reading STAAR, will be required to re-test.

Retest dates are: Tuesday, May 14th for 8th Math & Wednesday, May 15th for 8th Reading.