Pirate's Cove

News for the weeks of 8/12 - 8/23

Principal's Message

Pirate parents!

We are very excited to kick off our 2019-2020 school year. It is hard to believe that summer is over and the school year is beginning. Our teachers were very excited to get our students in classes and begin learning about them. Our first few days were spent learning about our new students and building relationships with them.

This upcoming school year, our theme will be "Refuse to Sink." We want our students to "Own" their learning. There are several things that we will work with students this year in order to build ownership and excitement around learning. Students will be setting goals in their advisory classes with their teachers, allowing students to get to know their own performance on STAR and IAR, and be able to reflect on what they do in order to improve. We want students to know why it is important to do their best on these tests, as well as in the classroom, and take ownership of their performance in positive ways. We are focusing building relationships with our students. The first three days of school were spent learning about what makes our students tick; learning personalities and interests through collaborative learning activities. Teachers will work to incorporate these interests into their lessons in order to make learning more connected to interests for students. As an AVID school, students will be working with each other on Cooperative Learning Activities in their classes. This means that they will be working in small groups in activities, learning using speaking and listening as well as writing and reading. This will help our students showcase their understanding in different ways. Finally, we want to empower our students to be self advocates in order to prepare for the positions of the future. We are trying to prepare all of our students for jobs and careers that haven't been created yet. This unique challenge means that teachers will be working hard to develop inquiry and questioning skills so that students are strengthening their skills in problem solving. We may have some challenges to overcome, but we at Plank refuse to sink!

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

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

Curriculum Night

Our Plank Curriculum Night will be held on August 20th with classes starting at 6:30 PM. We will have parents in the gymnasium for a brief introduction and welcome at 6:15. We will see you there!

Plank Picture Day

Student picture day will be August 28th. Watch for the order forms in your child's belongings in the next week.

Plank SpiritWear

Plank Spiritwear orders are available for all parents and students! Follow the link on the picture to view the full order form. Orders can be placed online here.

Plank Home and School Elections and Openings

Our Plank Home and School has new officers elected! If you are interested in filling in some of the open positions, our next meeting will take place on June.

President - Jacquie Bucher

Vice President - Rachel Keys

Robyn Mellas - Treasurer

Secretary and Corresponding Secretary are open positions. If you want to get involved, Plank HSA will provide the opportunity!

A Message from Plank Home and School

Would you like to get involved? Home and School is still looking for a recording secretary and corresponding secretary. Our meetings are on the second Tuesday of every month from 6p-7p. If you have any questions, or would like to join us, please let Jacquie Bucher, President of the Home and School know at kplankhsa@gmail.com

Want to still get a lanyard? The Home and School will have a table at curriculum night with them available, otherwise please send $3 in to the HSA through your student's homeroom teacher and we will send it back to them.

Back to School Skate Night is Sun., August 25th 5- 7 pm. Students must be picked up promptly at 7.
$6 admission, $4 skate rental, concessions sold. Plank students & their families only, closed to the public. Aurora Skate Ctr: 34 W 113 Montgomery Rd, Aurora

Culver's Night

Monday, Aug. 19th, 4pm

2781 U.S. 34

Oswego, IL

Culver's is having their Plank Spirit night on Monday August 19th. A percent of the proceeds will be returned to Plank Home and School.

AVID Schoolwide at Plank Junior High

AVID schoolwide brings together instruction and the culture of our school to ensure the college readiness of not only the AVID elective students, but the academic performance of all students. All teachers are using WICOR strategies to develop and strengthen students writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading skills. Each parent newsletter we will be highlighting a WICOR strategy we are using at Plank.

AVID Spotlight: Collaboration

Collaboration is a HUGE part of AVID School Wide...Collaboration is not "group work" that most of us grew accustomed to in elementary school and junior high. Rather than a typical group of four working together would be one student taking on the leadership role, two students doing their part, while the fourth student would typically avoid work, or do the bare minimum, knowing that the leader would end up doing the work to get the grade the whole group would ultimately get in the grade book. With AVID Cooperative Learning strategies, students are held accountable to all do their part. This collaborative work is rarely done for a grade, but rather done through discussion and peer interaction. This creates opportunities for students to interact without the pressure of a grade attached and gives students a better chance to buy into their learning. Some popular strategies used at Plank are Round Robin, Fan and Pick, One Stray, Talking Chips, and Stand Up, Hand Up, Pair Up.

Our first days of school were filled with collaborative learning activities, getting students the opportunity to talk with their peers in structured settings. Teachers planned activities to get students comfortable in the classroom while gaining information about likes and interests so that they can incorporate these into their lessons. Below are some of the pictures from inside the classrooms of teachers on the first days of school.

Big picture

Plank Cellphone Expectations

In an effort to help provide consistency between the Junior High buildings in regards to cell phone usage and access, Plank is revising the building cell phone usage expectations for students. Previously, students were able to use their cell phones at any time during lunch times. They had access to any and all social media platforms, text messaging, phone calls, and video games. Starting the 2019-2020 school year, the expectations will change for students use of cell phones during these times at Plank. The new expectations for students will limit their access to cell phone usage during the student’s lunch periods, aligning with the other buildings in the district. Students will need permission from a staff member in order to access and/or use a cell phone during their lunch period.

This doesn’t mean that students are not allowed to bring their phones to school. During the school day, when any student is in a learning environment setting, access and use of cell phones will be limited to teachers providing students the permission to use the phone. This will include the lunchroom, during study halls, in the LRC, classrooms, and hallways. The expressed language in the student handbook states that students are to have their cellphones turned off and out of sight during these times except as approved by building administration, which is the same expectation from the 2018-2019 school year. This will continue, and include the lunchroom as an area that students will need the permission to use their cell phones.

Student Reminders and Parent Notifications: Student Dress

Student Dress

The warm summer weather is here. As a friendly reminder, there are some dress guidelines that we want all students to be sure to adhere to, right out of the student handbook.

Student dress and personal hygiene is the responsibility of the student and his/her

parent or guardian. Student dress and/or accessories should not be disruptive to the school environment and/or education process and personal hygiene must meet reasonable standards of health, cleanliness, and safety. Wear clothing as it is intended to be worn; undergarments should not be visible. The following provides examples of clothing and/or accessories that cannot be worn and/or must not:

Display comment, picture, or contain slogans, weapons or designs that are obscene, profane, lewd/vulgar, symbolize or represent profanity or sexual innuendo; may reasonably forecast disruption to the educational process;

a. Displays or references drugs, tobacco products or alcoholic beverages;

b. Is suggestive and/or disruptive (e.g. extremely tight fitting, cleavage-baring, fails to cover the midriff, halter-tops, sheer/see-through, strapless, tops with thin straps, short shorts, skirts, or dresses that are above mid-thigh), and/or shredded clothing,

c. Hats, headwear, sunglasses, unsafe footwear, coats, bandanas, gloves, chains, and spikes must be removed upon entering the building.

Inappropriate student dress may result in a conference with an administrator, a change into proper attire and/or parent/guardian contact. Students may be asked to remain in the office until proper attire is obtained. The administration has final determination on appropriate dress and consequences for inappropriate dress.

The dangers of smokeless tobacco products, vaporizers, and electronic cigarettes.

A trend with teenagers is rapidly growing across the country. This is a dangerous trend that is easily accessible for teens and can dramatically impact their health. Many teenagers think that vaping and e-cigarette use is harmless. However, the research is showing that there are harmful chemicals and additives to the fluid that can harm the body. Additionally, teenagers are gaining access to illegal substances in these fluids as well. We need your help in having these conversations with students about these dangers. Unfortunately, schools see an increase of students having access to, using, and sharing these items, and that creates a significant safety concern. See the U.S. Surgeon General's website for more information to take action as a parent.