Tiger Times Newsletter

Pleasantdale Middle School

January 20, 2019

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Total Lunar Eclipse Tonight!

As a former middle school science and math teacher, I am still passionate about how these subjects teach us how to question and make sense of what is happening in our world. One phenomenon that we can see that is occurring tonight is a Total Lunar Eclipse! This is when the Earth blocks the sun from shining on the moon (remember, the moon appears bright in the evening sky because it is reflecting light from the sun). Here are the important times tonight in case you (or your son or daughter) would like to watch. If you can't watch the whole thing (it takes time for this to happen), set an alarm and check it out around 11:00 p.m. this evening and you'll help create awe and wonder about our world. Also, this won't happen again until 2021!


8:36 p.m.-The moon will enter the Earth's outer shadow

9:34 p.m.-The moon will start to enter the Earth's inner shadow


10:41 p.m.-The moon will enter totality and turn completely red (It will stay this way for 1 hour)

11:12 p.m.-The moon will reach the darkest part of the Earth's shadow

11:44 p.m.-The moon will begin to brighten again.

1:48 a.m.-The eclipse will all be over.


For more information, here's a link to an article (remember the times in the article are Eastern Time).

"Like" Movie Follow Up

It was great to see so many of you at the screening of "Like" at LT last Wednesday! This film really made me stop and reflect. It has made me think about the amount of screen time our students are spending connected, my own children are spending on devices, and how much time I'm spending on technology. The fact of the matter is this is such a new phenomenon, we really don't know how it is going to affect all of us in the long-term. Studies are being done right now about the short-term effects and what they are finding is that there are emotional and social changes (increases in anxiety and depression in children and an increase in loneliness self-reported in adults), academic performance influences, attention span impacts, as well as physiological changes occurring (a pre-mature thinning of the frontal lobe of the brain just to name one).


Below are an article and a link to the recent "60 Minutes" video related to screentime. I found both of these resources fascinating and would encourage you to review them. If you can't log-in and access the "60 Minutes" video, the written transcript is below the video.


Is Screentime Altering the Brains of Children?


Groundbreaking Study Examines the Effects of Screen Time on Kids

No School This Monday, January 21

In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Pleasantdale Schools are closed this Monday, January 21. Let's all work hard to ensure Dr. King's message is never forgotten!
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CogAT Testing Wednesday and Thursday this week-Grades 5-7

Please help your child do his/her best by encouraging an early bedtime, providing a healthy breakfast, and having a conversation with him/her about always doing his/her best on classroom and standardized tests. Thank you! The schedule for each day is below--please note that due to the different length of testing sessions, each day has a unique schedule.

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#Realtalk Next Steps: If You Suspect Your Child Is Vaping, Thursday, February 7 at 7:00 p.m. at Pleasantdale Middle School

#Reatalk About Your Child's/Teen's Future, Thursday, February 7, 7:00 p.m., Pleasantdale Middle School Cafeteria/APR


According to a recent survey at LTHS, 29% of freshman tried vaping. 58% of seniors have. This presentation will provide an update of new trends/ science about teen vaping. Parents will leave with tools and talking points to have a conversation with their teen. The LTHS resource/police officers will be present to answer parents concerns and the consequences of using these illegal substances.


For more information, please see the flyer here.


RSVP by emailing Cindy at ckfrymark@me.com

Upcoming Parent Evening Presentations in the Area

The Principals at the Lyons Township middle schools meet regularly to collaborate and share ideas in an effort to best meet the needs of our students, parents, and staff. One of the items that we'd like to begin doing more frequently is to share parent presentations that each of us are hosting in an effort to provide a more diverse offering and more opportunities for parents to learn together about how best to support your children.


#Realtalk about Vaping presenting by the Coalition for a Drug-Free LT on Thursday, January 31 at Park Junior High, 325 N. Park Road, La Grange, IL 60526

6:30-7:00 Tour the Hidden in Plain Sight Room

7:00-8:15 Presentation and Discussion about Vaping

RSVP by emailing Cindy at ckfrymark@me.com

For more information, please see the flyer here.

**Please note that this is the same presentation and discussion that was offered at Pleasantdale Middle School on Thursday, October 25


Ending the Silence for Parents presented by NAMI on Tuesday, February 5 at 7:00 p.m. at

McClure Junior High, 4225 Wolf Road, Western Springs, IL 60558

Let's begin the conversation about mental illness and end the stigma...and the silence. This 1-hour presentation for parents and primary caregivers includes information about mental health warning signs, facts and statistics, and how to talk with your child and how to work with his/her school.

Click here to register.


Detective Richard Wistocki on Social Media Safety on Tuesday, February 12 at 7:00 p.m. at

Gurrie Middle School, 1001 S. Spring Ave., LaGrange, IL 60525

Retired Naperville Police Detective provide straightforward and practical information for parents about how to supervise your children and keep them safe online.

Click here to register.


Dr. Michael Maniacci on Anxiety and Resistance in Youth on Tuesday, March 5 at 7:00 p.m. at McClure Junior High, 4225 Wolf Road, Western Springs, IL 60558

If you haven't heard Dr. Maniacci speak, you are missing out. He has a wonderful way of connecting with parents using real situations that he's encountered in his many year support youth and families. This 1-hour presentation for parents and caregivers include symptoms of anxiety and list 5 strategies to deal with anxiety.

Click here to register.

Introduce a Girl to STEM Day at LTHS for 6-8th Grade Girls-Saturday, February 23

If you have a current 6-8th grade girl, this 2nd Annual "Introduce a Girl to STEM" (IAGTSTEM) Day may be for you. It is from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at LT's South Campus!


IAGTSTEM Day is sponsored by the (Girls in Engineering, Math and Science) GEMS club is an amazing experience where the aim is to develop the love of STEM in the 6th-8th grade girls in our surrounding community. Research has shown that it's in these junior high years that many young girls lose their STEM passion, and we want to change that. The event will have sessions for each aspect of STEM. The way the day is set up enables each attendee to pick two of the four STEM areas that they are most interested in and learn more in-depth about that area with our high school GEMS leaders through fun games, challenges, experiments and more! Any girls from grades 6th-8th are invited to join us to learn more about the worlds of Math, Science, Engineering and Technology and meet lots of other girls with similar interests. See the information below and on the flyer at the bottom.


In person registration: Jan. 22, 6:00-8 pm Lyons Township North Campus Vaughn Building Lobby, stair entrance across the street from the clocktower


Online registration: Opens Jan. 23 on Lyons Township High School's Web Store, under 'GEMS’


Questions can be directed to:

COMMITTEE CHAIR: Evie Anagnos at ana506230@d204.lths.net

GEMS CLUB SPONSOR: Loyola Pasiewicz at lpasiewicz@d204.lths.net


Introduce a Girl to STEM Day Flyer, Information, and Signup

5 Essentials Student Survey

In the coming weeks, your child will support our school improvement process by taking the 5 Essentials Student Survey. We appreciate the students being able to provide their perspective on our school as a supportive learning environment in which they spend much time.

5 Essentials Parent Survey

On December 17, you received an invitation from our superintendent, Dr. Dave Palzet, to complete the 5 Essentials Parent Survey. This survey is designed to generate a detailed picture of the inner workings of your child's school from the perspective of parents, teachers, and students. In order to receive the most detailed reports from the survey data, we need parent participation. Personally, I have taken the survey for my kids' schools and it took me about 10 minutes. Please help us garner additional feedback by completing the survey at https://survey.5-essentials.org/illinois/survey/parent/login/


Thank you!

Follow Us on Twitter @Pdaleprincipal for updates and pictures of the happenings around the middle school

Tiger Tipline

While it is always best to talk directly to a staff member, we understand that sometimes this can be uncomfortable or difficult for students or parents. At Pleasantdale Middle School, we offer the Tiger Tipline as an anonymous tool for reporting unsafe, uncomfortable, or unkind behaviors and situations. We explicitly teach the students that if they ever see something or hear something that makes them feel unsafe, uncomfortable, or is unkind, either online or in person, they should tell a “trusted adult” which could be parents, school personnel, or other adults in their lives. The Tiger Tipline can be accessed here and we will post the link in Schoology and create a shortcut to the link on the student devices for easy access.

Dates for the Year

If you are like me, you want to know the dates for the year as far in advance as possible. As long as you understand that something may change due to unforeseen circumstances, I’d like to provide you access to the dates we’ve planned for the year (many of which are in the paper calendar you received in the mail). To access the middle school calendar dates, please click here.

This Week...

Monday, January 21

No School-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day


Tuesday, January 22

6th, 7th, 8th Grade Band, 7:30 a.m., Band/Orchestra Room-with Mr. Gallai

Open Art, 7:30 a.m., Art Room

Gaming Club, 3:30-4:25 p.m., Room 24

Team Tigers, 3:30-4:25 p.m., South Gym

Open Library, 3:30-4:25 p.m., Library


Wednesday, January 23

6th, 7th, 8th Grade Orchestra, 7:30 a.m., Band/Orchestra Room-with Mr. Gallai

Student Council Meeting, 7:30 a.m., Room 25

Open Art, 7:30 a.m., Art Room

Cogat Testing


Thursday, January 24

Band rehearsal, 7:30 a.m., Band/Orchestra Room-with Mr. Gallai

** No morning choir rehearsal**

Open Art, 7:30 a.m., Art Room

Student Council Meeting**, 7:30 a.m., Room 25

**Thursday meetings are meant for the students that cannot come on Wednesdays

Cogat Testing

5th Grade Band, 3:30-4:25 p.m. Band/Orchestra Room-with Mr. Gallai

8th Grade Girls’ Volleyball Tryouts, 3:30-5 p.m., South Gym

Open Library, 3:30-4:25 p.m.

Team Tigers, 3:30-4:25 p.m., South Gym

STEM Club, 3:30-4:25 p.m., STEM Room


Friday, January 25

Jazz Band Rehearsal, 7:30 a.m., Band/Orchestra Room-with Mr. Gallai

** No morning choir rehearsal**

8th Grade Fortnightly, 7-9 p.m., North Gym

A look ahead...

Monday, January 28

6th, 7th, 8th Grade Orchestra, 7:30 a.m., Band/Orchestra Room-with Mr. Gallai

Open Art, 7:30 a.m., Art Room

LT 7th grade Orchestra Festival 10:30 a.m.-2:45 p.m.

Open Library, 3:30-4:25 p.m.


Tuesday, January 29

6th, 7th, 8th Grade Band, 7:30 a.m., Band/Orchestra Room-with Mr. Gallai

Open Art, 7:30 a.m., Art Room

6th, 7th, 8th Grade Band, 7:30 a.m., Band/Orchestra Room-with Mr. Gallai

STEM Club, 3:30-4:25 p.m., STEM Room

Open Library, 3:30-4:25 p.m.

Team Tigers, 3:30-4:25 p.m.


Wednesday, January 30

6th, 7th, 8th Grade Orchestra, 7:30 a.m., Band/Orchestra Room-with Mr. Gallai

ACT Prep, 7:30 a.m., Room 6

Student Council Meeting, 7:30 a.m., Room 25

Open Art, 7:30 a.m., Art Room


Thursday, January 31

Band rehearsal, 7:30 a.m., Band/Orchestra Room-with Mr. Gallai

Open Art, 7:30 a.m., Art Room

Student Council Meeting**, 7:30 a.m., Room 25

**Thursday meetings are meant for the students that cannot come on Wednesdays

ACT Prep, 7:30 a.m., Room 6

Cogat Testing

5th Grade Band, 3:30-4:25 p.m. Band/Orchestra Room-with Mr. Gallai

Open Library, 3:30-4:25 p.m.

Team Tigers, 3:30-4:25 p.m., South Gym

Cooking Club, 3:30-4:25 p.m.


Friday, February 1

Jazz Band Rehearsal, 7:30 a.m., Band/Orchestra Room-with Mr. Gallai

Yoga, 7:40-8:10, South Gym

8th Grade Fortnightly, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Fred Astaire Dance Studio

PTO Sports Night at Lifetime Fitness 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Questions? We're here to help!

Athletics: 708-246-7382

Mr. Mark Dreher, Athletic Director, mdreher@d107.org


Attendance notification: 708-246-3210, extension 5 or email middleattendance@d107.org before 8:20 a.m., please.


Health Office: 708-246-7619

Mrs. Denise Rende, Nurse, drende@d107.org


Main Office: 708-246-3210, extension 0

Mrs. Charlotte Reschke, Secretary, creschke@d107.org

Ms. Maria Cuevas, Clerical Aide, mcuevas@d107.org

Mrs. Brianne Malatt, Assistant Principal, bmalatt@d107.org, 708-246-7373

Mr. Griffin Sonntag, Principal, gsonntag@d107.org, 708-246-7609


Social Worker: 708-246-7505

Ms. Carrie Castaldo, social worker, ccastaldo@d107.org


All Staff Email Addresses