Panda News

November 1, 2021

Welcome to the Panda News!

Greeting Panda Nation!

I hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween weekend. It was a perfect weekend for ghouls and goblins.

Tomorrow is our PTO Spaghetti Supper fundraiser. We will be selling tickets until 6 p.m. this evening on the PTO website. A limited number of dinner tickets will be available for purchase at the event. Raffle ticket sales will stop at 9 p.m. Tuesday night. Raffle tickets may also be purchased on the PTO website.

Parents, we want to thank many of you for assisting in helping us build and maintain a positive culture. We have realized that many of our issues are stemming from negative social posts that demean or are harmful to students and sometimes even teachers. Thankfully, Instagram realized one of these harmful sites as a form of bullying and removed it. Unfortunately, while trying to maintain objectivity, we have noticed that Pershing's Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages are not being used for the original intention of being an informational resource for our community. We have found parents' frustrations and complaints posted. While we respect your opinions, we ask that you, for future reference, forward them to an Assistant Principal or myself to ensure they are addressed and handled as best as possible. Thank you for your assistance in helping us remain Panda Proud!

We have so many great things happening at Pershing and we want to make sure we are highlighting those, including Pershing students doing things outside of school. If you would like me to highlight your student for something they are doing outside of school (i.e. Boy/Girl Scouts, church, community service, outside sports), please send me a picture and a brief description and I will post on social media and include in our newsletter.

Have a great week Pandas!

Steven Shetzer, Principal

Week @ A Glance

November 2

  • Election Day
  • Spaghetti Supper (6-8 pm)

November 4

  • Virtual Magnet Tours (1 p.m. & 6 p.m.)

Pershing Spaghetti Supper

Pershing's PTO Spaghetti Supper fundraiser is back! Please plan to join us on November 2 from 6-8 pm in our courtyard. See the flyer below for more information.

Gifted & Talented Information

HISD has extended the Gifted and Talented testing application deadline to November 11th. If you are interested in having your child tested for GT, please visit the information on our website.

GT testing will take place on Saturday, December 4 and Saturday, December 11. Students are only required to test on one of the days. Testing will begin at 8:30 am. and end around 3:30 p.m. More information will be sent out to those parents who submit an application.

Dress Code Reminder

Parents, this is a reminder that Pershing Middle School does have a dress code policy. While we are being flexible in not disciplining students about dress code, we do need students to follow it. We are seeing an increase in students wearing Crocs, slides, and jeans. Black jeans are allowed during the week; however, blue jeans are only allowed on Fridays or if the student has a free-dress pass. Please help us by reminding your student to be in dress code.
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We love that our students are enjoying skateboards once again and we want to encourage them; however, we are going to require students to turn their skateboards in to the Assistant Principal's office (Room 120) each morning. They may retrieve them at the end of the school day. We are doing this to discourage students from riding them in the hallways and in the courtyard during the day. We want all of our kids to be safe.

We Got Spirit, How About You?

What an amazing Spirit/Red Ribbon Week we had last week. Our 8th Grade Football Team won over Pin Oak on Tuesday, making them undefeated for the season. In addition to dressing up for theme days, students got an opportunity to participate in a Homecoming Pep Rally and a pre-game Tailgate Party. Thank you to all who supported our Homecoming Week efforts.


This past summer, House Bill (HB) 4545 was passed. The purpose of HB4545 is to provide accelerated instruction for any student who did not pass STAAR grades 3-8 or who did not take STAAR in Spring 2021. For those students who did not take STAAR, Pershing has already administered a beginning of the year TEA approved assessment. Students who scored at approaches or above on those tests are exempted from the HB4545 requirements. Students who did not score at approaches or above or did not pass STAAR in the Spring, will be required to participate in accelerated instruction. Many of our students who need accelerated instruction have already been scheduled in math and reading intervention classes. For those who have not, they will participate in accelerated instruction during Homeroom, after-school tutorials, and Saturday tutorials.

On Friday we sent home letters to all students who are required to participate in accelerated instruction. Please take a moment to read the letter. HB4545 requires that students be in groups of no more than 3, unless a parent opts to allow us to increase the size of the groups. The parent notification letter sent out on Friday provides a place for you to opt-out. You can also opt-out by completing the form in HISD Connect.

For any student in 6th grade required to participate in accelerated instruction, Pershing must hold an Accelerated Learning Committee meeting. All meetings will be held via MS Teams. The date and time of your meeting appears on your letter. A calendar invite was sent out last week, if we had your email address. If we do not have your email address on file, we will be calling you to set up the meeting. Please make every effort to attend the meeting on your scheduled date and at the scheduled time.

If you have any questions regarding HB4545, you may reach out to Ms. Curtis or your child's counselor.

Wellness Wednesdays

Each Wednesday students will be participating in SEL lessons during Homeroom. The Counselors are working on putting together our first series of lessons, focusing on Peer Relationships. Over the course of four weeks, students will complete the following lessons:

  • What Makes a Friend
  • I've Got Your Back
  • Talk It Out
  • Battle the Bullies

The lessons take 40-50 minutes each and include a mini-lesson, to be delivered by the Counselors via MS TEAMS, and then an activity that teachers will facilitate.

Our first lesson will be on Wednesday, November 3rd, and all Homeroom teachers and students will participate. I've included a letter regarding this first series of SEL lessons and some suggested home activities you can engage in with your student. We hope that you will partner with us and continue the work we do at home.

Caught Being Awesome

Pershing students are "Empowered by Diversity, Inspired by Success, & Committed to Lifelong Learning"