Pirate's Cove

News for the week of 1/24 - 1/31

Principal's Message

Pirate parents,

Next week is "Great Kindness Week" and Plank is celebrating with a Spirit Week! There are a number of ways that students can participate in the Spirit Week through the clothes that they wear, and being kind to one another. We are promoting being kind and accepting others.

Monday: Words can’t be taken back: Wear your shirt backwards

Tuesday: Powered by kindness: Dress as your favorite superhero

Wednesday: Kindness Rocks!: Dress like a rockstar

Thursday: Dream of kindness: Wear pajamas

Friday: Nothing beats kindness: Wear sports gear

It costs our students nothing to be kind, and the value to others can be priceless. Being kind and accepting others combats teasing and bullying, and will positively impact students' mental and emotional health.

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. Students took the survey last week, and provided feedback to us about how they view the 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, 5% of parents have taken the survey. I still need survey results from roughly 150 more families in order to receive results. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey by clicking on the link above.

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

Community Circle Event - January 27th from 4 to 6 PM

Plank has partnered with Equity Team Inc. to host a Community Circle discussion on January 27th. Our goal is to build relationships with families, students, and school, gather feedback to provide a more comfortable and inclusive learning environment for our students, and provide the dialogue to promote future work in strengthening our community partnerships and improve equitable practices.

Our Circle event will take place on Monday, January 27th from 4 to 6 PM, in A103 at Plank Junior High. Parents, teachers, students, and administrators are invited to attend. All materials for our discussion will be provided. If you are interested in participating in the Circle event, click here to RSVP on the Flyer so we can arrange for enough seating.

Dual Language Meeting - Monday January 27th, 5:30 - 6:30 PM.

Faith Dahlquist, Assoc. Superintendent, and Renee Sartore, Director of English Learners, have reserved a time to hear from families on the Dual Language program at the Jr. High, and discuss a plan moving forward to address questions and concerns.

The meeting will be Monday, January 27th from 5:30-6:30 at Oswego East High School.

If you would like to attend this meeting please RSVP to: rsartore@sd308.org and we will let you know which room we are able to reserve at Oswego East.

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!


Lady Pirate Basketball

Lady Pirate Basketball kicks off Tuesday night as the Plank Pirates face off against the Thompson Tigers. Games start at 4:30-for the full schedule, check out the 8 to 18 site: https://il.8to18.com/plank/schedule/basketball/g/all/2019-2020

Plank Schoolwide Geo Bee Finals

Plank’s 14th year participating in the National Geography Bee concludes Friday with the schoolwide competition of 11 6,7,and 8, grade students. Taking 3rd place, Breena Aguirre. In an epic battle of great sportsmanship and determination, Nathan Cristanujaya took 2nd place. Plank Geo Bee Champion is Marc Townsend. He will soon take the digital test to be considered to compete at the state level this spring. Congratulation to all our students in another great season of academic excellence.

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.

2019-2020 Plank Yearbook Sales are Online - FINAL WEEK

Have you placed your order for the 2019-2020 yearbook? All yearbook orders are now placed online. All orders are placed online through the link located below and on the Plank Homepage. The cost is $30. We are getting close... there is only one week left to order your yearbook. Sales end on January 31st. After January 31, we cannot guarantee additional yearbook sales to students. Order yours today!

Plank Yearbook Orders 2019-2020

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.


Plank Home and School Messages

HSA News

Plank Jr. High Pirate Night

The next Pirate Night will be January 31st, 6-8pm!

$2 admission includes dance floor, open gym, and game room.

Concessions will be available for purchase.

This event is for Plank students only. Must present school i.d.

Parents, please consider volunteering to help make this a safe and fun event for our students!

Sign up here: https://signup.com/go/xuGrccJ

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.

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!

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.

Kindergarten Registration

See the flyers below for information on Kindergarten Registration