September 22, 2023
We are currently in full swing with our academics and after school activities. It has been great to see our families out at sporting events supporting our student athletes. We are asking for your support from home making sure our students are working on improving their executive functioning skills. These skills include using our assignment book on a daily basis to plan ahead with homework assignments and planning ahead for future assessments. We use this book as a communication tool between home and school. Please support us in asking your student to stay organized and on top of their school work.
Next week, we will be introducing our students to ALICE safety training. The ALICE Training Program stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. It equips both staff and students with safety options, situational awareness, and survival skills for various emergency situations in school and life. The ALICE Program empowers students to make informed decisions during emergencies and enhances their overall safety awareness. It equips them with strategies to respond effectively in different situations. Our campus safety officer (CSO) will be presenting to our students on Tuesday, September 26th by grade level throughout the school day.
I also wanted to remind you that there is NO SCHOOL on Monday, September 25 due to the Yom Kippur holiday. We hope you and your family have a fun and restful weekend.
Mrs. Mary Kay Puchalla
Calendar -- Look Ahead and Plan
Monday, September 25th --- NO SCHOOL
Tuesday, September 26th --- Day 1 ***Falcon Period***
Wednesday, September 27th --- Day 2
Thursday, September 28th --- Day 3 ***Falcon Period***
Friday, September 29th --- Day 4
Monday, October 2nd --- Day 3
Tuesday, October 3rd --- Day 4 ***Falcon Period***
Wednesday, October 4th --- Day 5
Thursday, October 5th --- Day 6 ***Falcon Period***
Friday, October 6th --- Day 1
On Tuesday, September 26th, our school is scheduled to have a short presentation on school safety procedures based on the ALICE Program.
As a reminder, the ALICE Training program equips both staff and students with valuable safety options, situational awareness, and survival skills for school and life. After having first trained our school staff in the ALICE program, we are now moving toward empowering students to make informed decisions in emergency situations and to enhance their overall safety awareness. Below is a brief overview of the student presentation:
- Middle School Students: Middle school students will meet our feeder pattern’s CSO(Campus Safety Officer) and receive a presentation introducing them to ALICE principles. They will also learn about school-specific safety locations in the event of an emergency.
We know that school safety is a difficult topic, but we would like to assure you that all presentations and exercises that involve students are designed to be age-appropriate. Our primary goal in introducing students to these concepts is to help them continue to feel that our school is a safe, welcoming place where they are free to learn, grow, and enjoy.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this or other safety and security procedures, please contact the WCASD’s Public Safety Supervisor, Rik Thornton at email@example.com.
Safe 2 Say Presentation
On Thursday 9/28/23, all Stetson students will be hearing about Safe 2 Say Something during our Falcon period. Safe2Say Something is a youth violence prevention program run by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General. The program teaches youth and adults how to recognize warning signs and signals, especially within social media, from individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others and “say something” before it is too late.
With Safe2Say Something, it’s easy and confidential to report safety concerns to prevent violent tragedies. Students and parents can access information about the program at the link above or on the Stetson website via the Counselor page.
PTO Information and Opportunities
It was a pleasure seeing everyone at the Back to School Nights. We look forward to a successful year of supporting our students and teachers. How can you help? If you are able to make a contribution to the PTO, please send cash or check (made out to Stetson Middle School PTO) to the school marked PTO contribution. ($25 is the recommendation, but anything is appreciated). We are also continuing with our candy bowls for the teachers: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/805054AA8A72DA7F94-teacher. Keep looking for more information to come throughout the year.
2023-24 PTO Board: Patty Arabia, Vicki Babylon, Nancy Bragger, Jamie Grant, Dee Hurford, Lindsey Rauch
October 24, 25, 26 – Limoncello Dine and Donate – Must use code provided on attached flyer
Sports offered in the fall for 7th and 8th graders include football, volleyball, field hockey, cross country, boys’ soccer, and girls’ soccer. Families should prepare all student-athletes to start their fall sport on the second day of school, except football. All middle school families can complete the PIAA physical registration information required for sports participation online through https://hello.familyid.com/. We do not accept hard copies of the physical packet. Family ID is a secure, user-friendly registration platform that streamlines the registration process and helps the WCASD be more administratively efficient and environmentally responsible. When you register through FamilyID, the system keeps track of your information in your FamilyID profile. Please see the registration link and introduction letter to FamilyID.
Please have the following information when you register:
Health Insurance Information
Current Physical Exam – dated after June 1, 2022
Parent/guardian click the link to register https://www.familyid.com/organizations/g-a-stetson-middle-school
The 6th-grade intramural sports program is held after school (typically starts later in each season) and will focus on basic skills and provide healthy competition. 6th-grade students may use their entrance physical exam for sports participation, so no further physical is required for the year. Students should listen to morning announcements and families should check the Falcon Flash for information. Please call the athletic office voice mail at 484-266-2725 for daily sports information or leave a message for the Athletic Directors, Mr. Andy Logan (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Mr. Jason Wolensky (email@example.com) .
Coaches typically hold informational meetings for fall sports during the first week of school. Meetings will be announced on the morning news and afternoon announcements. PLEASE READ THE WELCOME LETTER ATTACHED BELOW.
6th Grade Intramural Soccer Sign-Ups (UPDATE)
The 6th Grade Intramural Soccer Program is an after school activity in which 6th Grade boys and girls will participate in organized scrimmages, interact with their peers and get physical exercise. Due to field availability, practices will be spread out through September, and October. As of now practices are scheduled for 9/13, 9/15, 9/19, 9/21, 9/22, 9/27, 9/28, 9/29, 10/4, 10/5, 10/6, 10/10. If you would like to sign your child up for 6th Grade intramural soccer please fill out the form in the link (6th Grade Intramural Soccer) by 9/11 . To join the 6th Grade Soccer intramural page on schoology use this access code CJ2F-MSK7-2GVNZ
Feel free to contact Mr. David Loescher with any questions firstname.lastname@example.org
RHS Football Games
Middle School Families,
We’ve had a great first week of school! The energy and excitement from the return of our students has been a wonderful start to the new school year.
In addition to the start of a new school year, we’re also excited about our fall sports. Teams are ready for a successful season! The dedication of our athletes, musicians, and coaches will be on full display on the field. We can’t wait for you to join us in celebrating their hard work.
As we usher in a new season at the high school level, please know that middle school students will not be permitted entry into a West Chester Area School District (WCASD) football game without a parent or guardian present at all times and monitoring their child’s behavior throughout the event.
We appreciate your support and partnership. Our goal is to ensure that we cultivate an atmosphere that promotes school spirit and community. Any middle school student that arrives at a game without a parent/guardian will not be permitted to enter. We appreciate your support of our athletic and band programs.
Falcon Fall Food Truck Fest
Communication will be sent home shortly to gather a head count for this event, but please mark your calendars. We look forward to seeing everyone in the bus loop for a great school and community event!
SMS: International Potluck Dinner (March 7, 2024)
23-24 Stetson Yearbooks
Pre-order your 2023-2024 yearbook now! Yearbooks are on sale for $35 from now until September 29th, 2023. This is the lowest price it will ever be! Go to jostensyearbooks.com and place your order. If you have questions about the yearbook or about joining the yearbook committee, please see Miss Nissi Zachariah in A101A or by email at email@example.com!
Stetson's Got Talent
Get ready for Stetson’s Got Talent on October 18th at 7:00 PM! Join us for a night of extraordinary Stetson talent in the Stetson Middle School auditorium. Tickets are $5 at the door and free for performers. If you've got a talent, audition from September 18th to 21st for a chance to win fantastic prizes for 1st, 2nd or 3rd place. Don't miss this unforgettable night of entertainment and community support! For questions, see Mrs. Bond in G126. 🎤🎉
Sign-Up Genius for Parent and Staff Volunteers
Stetson Reading Olympics
Reading Olympics will begin meeting during Falcon Period towards the end of September! Chester County Reading Olympics is a countywide reading event that encourages students to increase the quality and quantity of books they read for enjoyment. The Reading Olympics Program is based upon the belief that good reading habits form the foundation for a productive and successful life.
Chester County Reading Olympics is designed to inspire students to read for pleasure and learn the value of teamwork at the same time! In addition to helping students develop a habit of daily reading for pleasure, the Chester County Reading Olympics provides students with the opportunity to have interactive discussions with their peers on the content of the books.
The teams come together in the spring, typically at TCHS at the Chester County Intermediate Unit in Downingtown, to compete in a trivia like competition about the books they’ve read.
If you are interested in participating, please either send Mrs. Mesi a Schoology message or see her during homeroom in A108!
Falcon Flyer Newspaper Club
Who: Students in 6th, 7th and 8th grade
What: The Falcon Flyer Newspaper Club
When: Wednesdays from 3:00-4:00 p.m., starting on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023.
Where: Room B106 (Mrs. Claffey’s room)
Request permission to join the Schoology group with the code XJ22Z-TS78B
Students are actively involved in writing, photography and graphic design for the on-line student newspaper, which is published 3-4 times per year. Any student who is interested but has a schedule conflict is encouraged to see Mrs. Claffey. Students can write assigned articles in their free time and submit them for publication. New members are welcome to join throughout the year.
For more information, contact Cindy Claffey, firstname.lastname@example.org.
WCASD Mentoring Program Community Day
Picture Day Make-Ups 10/5
Back To School Reminders
Stetson Middle School enforces the WCASD Attendance Policy and PA State attendance laws related to absences and tardies. Students are required to be in attendance daily to keep current with school work. When your child must be absent, please call our absence line as early in the day as possible (please do not call the nurse.) Automated phone calls are sent out by the district to notify families of absences every day, regardless of whether the absence is called in or not. If you would prefer to avoid that automated phone call, you can email a note on the morning of an absence to Heather Mazza at email@example.com, this would also serve as a parent note.
Call 484-266-2710 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
before 9:00 am
IMPORTANT! Submission of Excuse Notes for Absences
After an absence, a parent or doctor’s note must be submitted to the Attendance Secretary or emailed to email@example.com within three days of the student's return to school, or the absence will be considered unexcused/unlawful. Emailed excuse notes are acceptable, as long as they are received within three days of the absence.
Arrival / Dismissal Procedures
Thank you for your cooperation with the start of this new school year. We have had a very successful start of the school year in regards to drop-off and pick-up. We enjoy seeing our parents smiling faces, waves, and cute dogs!
Student Drop-Off/Pick-up: Safety is the top priority at Stetson. Please use the designated lane to drop off/pick up students. There will be only one lane available for drop-off and pick-up in the morning and afternoon. Prepare for long lines and plan accordingly. Students may be dropped off as early as 7:30 am. Stay in the car line and follow staff members’ instructions. You will find the carline traffic flow map attached below. Please review the map and feel free to reach out with any questions. Students may only enter or exit cars at the designated cones. Student drop-off and pick-up can be challenging with the high volume of cars that enter the campus. We appreciate your efforts in helping keep our students safe during this time.
Due to the start time of the staff workday, students can only enter school after 7:30 am unless directed by a teacher for a pre-determined appointment. Students dropped off before 7:50 am will be directed to wait in the cafeteria (6th grade) or LGI (7th and 8th grade) until dismissed to lockers/homeroom.
Being on Time to School: Homeroom begins at 8:05 am and ends at 8:15 am. Students arriving late to homeroom (after the homeroom bell rings at 8:05 am) must report to the office for a late pass. The administration will handle lateness following the WCASD Attendance Policies and PA State Laws.
a. All Stetson students who are assigned and ride a bus that arrives late will NOT be marked late due to the bus’s late arrival.
b. A student who is driven to school and dropped off in the car line will be marked late if the student is not in their homeroom when the homeroom bell rings at 8:05 am.
If possible, please try to refrain from making appointments during school hours. We understand that at times this is unavoidable, so if your child must leave school early, a student must present a written request by a parent to the office upon arrival at school. Stetson’s Attendance Secretary, Mrs. Mazza, will then give a pass with the dismissal time to your child to share with their teacher at the designated time. Emailed early dismissal notes are not permissible. Keep in mind that only a doctor’s note will excuse an Early Dismissal. Any Early Dismissals, prior to 1:50 PM will be counted as a Parent Note.
Please see the School Board Policies section of the WCASD website to access more information about the WCASD Attendance Policy.
Dress Code Policy Reminder
Friendly reminder regarding the WCASD Dress Code Policy:
Students are expected to wear clothing appropriate for school.
Unacceptable attire includes, but is not limited to, attire that is unsafe, unhealthy, disruptive, offensive to generally acceptable community standards, or contains obscene language; any clothing that reveals undergarments; torn clothing or clothing with holes in it; and tight fitting outfits that are inappropriate and/or revealing. During the school year and summer school, the following applies to male and female students:
a. Shirts, t-shirts, and sweatshirts shall not have inappropriate slogans, words, pictures, alcohol/smoking advertisements, etc.
b. No tank tops, no tops that show the midriff or cleavage, and no see-through tops shall be permitted.
a. Dresses, shorts, and skirts shall be at an appropriate length, which has been determined to be no shorter than midway between the knee and the top of the leg.
b. No pants/sweatpants/shorts/etc. with writing located in inappropriate places are permitted.
c. Pants shall be appropriately sized and worn at the waist, and no lower than the top of the hips.
d. Undergarments shall not be displayed.
e. Pajamas shall not be permitted.
a. Coats, hats, hoods, scarves, and the like shall not be worn in the school building, except for religious reasons.
a. No bedroom slippers shall be permitted.
b. Laces on shoes shall be secured.
c. Any footwear that poses a safety hazard shall not be permitted.
a. No chain link belts.
b. Spike jewelry, chains or any other jewelry that could cause injury or constitute a hazard are not permitted.
Spirit Wear & Physical Education Uniform
Students should wear the standard Stetson PE uniform, gray Stetson t-shirt, green gym shorts with white socks, and sneakers. Please print the student's name on the inside of the shorts and in large print on the back of the t-shirt. We also have a limited supply of PE shirts on hand to sell (planning in the morning 2nd week of school) for $10.00. Please see Mrs. Avagliano in the main office to purchase.
Each student will have a locker assigned with a built-in lock. Students must lock the locker consistently and the combination kept private to maintain security. It is suggested that all students bring a combination lock to school to secure belongings in a locker during PE and in the athletic locker rooms.
As a school we are always looking to improve upon our building culture. This year we will be promoting positive relationships and growth with our students using the acronym PRIDE. Pride stands for:
P- Purpose (Having our students do things with intent and determination.)
R- Respect (Showing respect to our peers and adults.)
I- Integrity (Doing the right thing even when no one is looking. Strong moral principles.)
D- Diversity (Recognizing that we all come from difference places and experiences and we respect each others differences.)
E- Empathy (the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.)
One our first day of school, Monday, we held a Town Hall meetings with each of our grades to welcome them back and review expectations and PRIDE was the heart of our presentation. We encouraged all students to practice PRIDE every day at Stetson and we encourage parents to talk with their students about what PRIDE is and how they can show it. We wanted to make adults at home aware in case they hear their student mention it at home. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Falcon Period Explanation
Next week we will be starting to run our Falcon Periods on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the morning. Falcon Period runs as an extended HR from 8:15-8:50. The purpose of this additional period is to provide an academic support period during the school day for students to have the opportunity to complete work, receive remediation/enrichment, and participate in our social and emotional activities. Our bell schedule is adjusted to accommodate for the Falcon periods. Tuesday Falcon Period will concentrate on executive functioning support and Thursday will be focused on social and emotional learning. We believe through these opportunities students can make stronger connections with teachers, counselors, administrators, and peers.
WCASD Lunch Order Updates
Starting this school year there have been some recent updates to our food service program and federal waivers that will affect our cafeteria programs this school year. Please read carefully over the letter below for information about our Free and Reduced Lunch Program, Meals and Menu options and prices, and PaySchools Central Account information where parents can load money onto an account that students can use to purchase lunch at school. For questions about Free and Reduced Lunch please reach out to Colette McLaughlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each student is responsible for knowing their bus number, stop location, and pick-up time. Students should be at their bus stop at least five minutes before the scheduled pick-up time. Per WCASD policy, students are neither permitted to ride a bus to which they are not assigned nor get off at an unassigned bus stop. Bus passes will not be permitted due to continued limited bus capacity. Bus drivers have the right to assign seats on their buses. BUS ARRIVAL TIMES MAY NOT BE EXACT IN THE FIRST FEW WEEKS SO PLEASE BE PATIENT AS WE WORK TO HIT OUR SCHEDULED TIMES.
Musical Instrument on Bus Reminder
Large or Dangerous Objects
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation regulations mandate that the interior of a school bus must be free of objects which could cause injury. Objects must be secured and the aisles and emergency exits cannot be blocked. The following must be adhered to at all times:
- No items can be placed in the driver’s compartment, doorway, or aisle. These areas must be kept clear to exit in case of emergencies.
- Animals are not permitted on the bus except as otherwise required by law.
- Large musical instruments or school projects are not permitted on the bus unless they can be held on the student’s lap.
- Items may not be placed under seats, as they can become projectiles upon impact.
- Objects that endanger other students are strictly prohibited. Such objects include, but are not limited to, glass objects, large metal objects, and certain sports equipment that is large and cumbersome, including but not limited to skis, skateboards, or ice skates, unless the ice skates are in an enclosed bag.
Accidental Damage Policy:
Our students will be covered for one incidence of accidental damage coverage for each academic year. Any cost of repair/replacement of damage beyond the one incident per year will become the responsibility of the student or parent/legal guardian. This accidental damage coverage will not cover device loss or intentional damage.
Items Not Allowed In School
Cell phones and other unauthorized electronic devices are not allowed to be carried on a person during the school day. If a student chooses to bring a device to school, it must be turned off/silenced and stored in the student’s locker for the duration of the school day. Failure to follow this directive will result in the confiscation of the item and possible further disciplinary action, including, but not limited to, the student’s parent/guardian having to pick the item up from school.
Website & Social Media
Please check Stetson's website often to find updates and school information. You may also keep up-to-date on your child's academic progress by accessing our Parent Portal system. Please follow us on Twitter to check out our latest events and announcements @GAStetsonMS.
State Mandated Screenings Notice
School health mandated screenings are completed each year for all grade levels and are conducted throughout the school year. If your student should not pass a screening, a referral will be sent home with them. Screening results are available in PowerSchool. Please feel free to reach out with any questions.
6th Grade- Height/Weight/Vision
7th Grade- Height/Weight/Vision/Hearing/Scoliosis
8th Grade- Height/Weight/Vision
Change of clothing
The health office has very limited clothing options in the event of a spill or accident. Therefore, we recommend that students keep a change of clothing in their locker and change out for the seasons.
Dispensing of Medications
All medications, even over-the-counter (OTC) medications, must be dispensed by the school nurse. Do not send medications with your child to take during the day. Sending medicines with your child is against school policy and the WCASD Discipline Code. A signed permission note must accompany medications that need to be given during school and a written order from the doctor with type, dosage, and time. A copy of the prescription to the pharmacy is not the same and cannot be accepted. Students are not permitted to bring their medications to school. A parent/guardian must personally deliver the medication to the school nurse, who must secure and dispense the medication. Students are not permitted to dispense medications to themselves. Our Nurse, Mrs. Melissa Czerpak, will be available for early medicine drop-off at various times in August. Please contact her to schedule the medication delivery by calling her at 484-266-2706 or emailing her at email@example.com.
Stetson Middle School Code of Conduct
All students will be given access to an electronic copy of the WCASD Discipline & Records Policy through the distribution of the 1 to 1 laptops. Additionally, the administration will review the policy manual with each grade level during their town hall meeting the first week of school. It is vitally important to review every page of these documents with your child. Each child will be required to verify through a signature that they have received the policy. Knowing what is expected of each student and what consequences are for various offenses will be important to have a successful experience at Stetson Middle School.
West Chester Community Information/Opportunities
Restorative Practices Parent Workshop Opportunity
WCASD is proud to provide parents with an opportunity to learn a little bit more about Restorative Practices and how they function in our school buildings daily. The workshop will focus on Family and Community Partnership as well as School-Wide Practices. This workshop will take place on Wednesday, October 18, 2023 Fugett Middle School: 10-11:30 AM and 6-7:30 PM. Please see the flyer below for further details and registration information.