French Middle School

August Newsletter 2022

Upcoming Events

  • August 10-- First day for 6th grade
  • August 11-- All Students
  • August 15-- First day for Fall Sports Practice
  • August 18-- Meet the Teacher Night @ 6pm
  • September 5-- Labor Day No School
  • September 9-- School Picture Day
  • September 9-- PTO Meeting @ 5:45pm

On behalf of the French MS Faculty I would like to welcome back all returning Falcon Families. I want to extend a special welcome to all new Falcon Families. We are excited to begin the 2022-23 school year at French MS. Sixth graders only will begin school on August 10th. All students will begin fall classes on August 11th. Our school calendar is up to date with upcoming events and located on our school website. We also have a few new faces joining our staff. We look forward to greeting all families at our Meet the Teacher Night in August. Student schedules will be finalized and posted in TylerSIS after August 1st. We are still enrolling new students, so schedules are subject to change as we balance classes. Again welcome back to another Frenchtastic year at French Middle School! We can’t wait to see you and your student.

Student/Parent Handbook

School Supply List (PE Uniforms are not required. Students can keep a pair of athletic shoes in their locker if they choose to for PE class.)

~Mrs. Hoffman


Approved students who live 1.75 miles from the school qualify for busing services. Only students who qualify for busing will be allowed to ride the bus. Friends are not allowed to ride with regular bus riders. Bus riders must use the bus stops provided by the transportation department. Bus routes will be posted in TylerSIS after August 1st under the transportation link located under the Daily Student Activity link. Please remember busing services are a privilege for students who qualify and students are expected to follow all bus expectations in our student handbook. Masks are encouraged but not required. Questions regarding busing can be answered by TPS transportation department at 295-3910 or Kansas Central Bus Service @ 233-2009

School Hours

School hours are 7:50 am to 2:45 pm. Our front doors open to all students at 7:30am. Students who walk or who are car riders use our front drive and doors. Bus riders and bike riders enter through the back parking lot and back doors. Bike racks are located in the back parking lot by back doors near tennis courts. Students who are not involved in supervised after school activities need to be off campus by 3:10 pm.

School Communication

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We also email a monthly newsletter to all families. Staff mail home Falcongrams periodically throughout the year to highlight student progress and success. All staff can be contacted via email. Staff email addresses can be found on our school website and in TylerSIS. Finally parents can sign up to view Google Classroom activities by signing up through the classroom teacher. Staying connected to FMS and classroom teachers is critical to your student’s success.

Technology Reminders

All students will be issued a chromebook & charger to use throughout the school year. All textbooks are online so chromebooks are vital and utilized everyday. Students are responsible for charging their chromebooks at home each night and bringing them to school each day. Students are responsible for keeping their chromebook & charger clean and in good working condition just like any textbook. Families are responsible for any damage or repair costs that may occur. All classrooms have headphones available for student use. However students are allowed to bring their own headphones. All wireless and bluetooth headphones are NOT allowed at school! We would also like to remind students and parents that all cell phones and other non school issued electronic devices are to be off and out of sight during the instructional day. The safest place for them, if brought to school, is in student lockers. We do not investigate lost/stolen personal electronic devices brought to school. We appreciate your support and assistance in keeping these distractions out of our classrooms.

New Staff

We would like to welcome the new staff members to French Middle School. We are very excited they have chosen to join our Falcon family.

Susan Hamilton-6th Grade Math

Mrs. Hamilton previously taught math at French before adventuring to another school only to realize French is the place to be! Mrs. Hamilton is a sucker for her grandkids and spends every free moment with them! We are excited to have her back and look forward to a great year!

Brenda Hahn-Science

Mrs. Hahn is joining us from Scott Dual Language. Her passion for science led her to us. She will bring a lot of excitement and enthusiasm to French and our science department.

Amy Galey-Special Education

Ms. Galey recently moved to Topeka from Colorado. It seems as though the heartland has captured her heart! Ms. Galey has 10 years of experience in special education and a passion for creating lessons that ensure all students are successful. We are happy to have Ms. Galey at French!

Jordan Gallagher-Social Worker

Ms. Gallagher graduated from Washburn University with her Bachelors of Social Work in 2021 and her Masters in Social Work in May 2022. She is three courses away from completing her psychology bachelor's degree and hopes to officially earn it in May of 2023. She and her fiancé have a lab/husky/wolf mix named Brownie, a husky named Mika, a gray tabby named Odee, and three sugar gliders named Coco, Poppy, and Tonka.

Melinda Smith-8th Grade Math

Ms. Smith is excited to be living in the “big city” now! She comes to us from Southwest Kansas where she taught high school math. She is married and has three children. They are all looking forward to a new city and school!

Preston Brethour-Paraprofessional

Mr. Brethour is a champion for students and wanted to be in a place where he could help make a direct impact on students. He has served in the corporate world in various capacities but has found his way into the education system where he looks forward to mentoring and fostering positive relationships with students. Our Falcons are going to be lucky to have Mr. Brethour working with them!

James Scott- Paraprofessional

Mr. Scott is an Air Force veteran of 21 years. While this will be his first year of working with middle school students he is looking forward to helping them grow a little bit in their education journey. He enjoys the KC Chiefs and spending time with his family. A warm “Frenchtastic” welcome to Mr. Scott.

Alexia Mojica-ELL Paraprofessional

Ms. Mojica will be a great new addition to our staff and be a fantastic support for our English Language Learners. Ms. Mojica will be in and out of a variety of classrooms and may be the friendly voice you hear when you call or get a call from French!

After School Program- FAME

We will start back with our after school program the week of September 20, 2022. The program meets on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3:00-4:30pm in the commons. Session 1 will be Sept 20-Oct 20. Students will attend a tutoring session followed by various activities such as: arts and crafts, science/coding and robotics, art, theater, and swimming at the YMCA. Each session will run about 6 weeks with a 2 week break between sessions. Watch for the registration link in our September newsletter.

Need a Library Card?

Students can receive a free library card through our ongoing partnership with the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, all Topeka Public Schools families will be able to opt-in for a free library card through TylerSis.

Being a student in Topeka Public Schools means you have access to all resources at the public library, including online databases, e-books, digital audio books and streaming videos, as well as all of the physical items at the library or bookmobiles.

Apply for your free library card in the Parent Portal under E-Forms.

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Athletics Information for the Beginning of the Year

Fall sports begin on Monday August 15. Fall sports include Football, Volleyball, Cross Country and Girls Tennis. Information will be sent home the first day of school for those interested in going out for a sport. It is important that you have a physical completed by a doctor before the first day of practice.

Head Coaches

Football- Mr. Mellen

Volleyball- Mrs. Hirt

Cross Country- Ms. Ryan

Girls Tennis- TBD


-Sports are only offered to eligible 7th and 8th graders.

-Students wishing to participate in athletics need to have passed 5 classes from the previous quarter, that would be their grades from the 4th quarter, not final overall grade. Summer school does not count for this rule. If you did not pass 5 classes, you are not eligible to participate.

-Students will need to have a sports physical signed by a doctor dated after May 1st 2022 in order to be allowed to play for that school year. Forms and information can be found at


Physicals need to be ready for the first practice to minimize any loss time by athletes. The first practice for all fall sports (cross country, volleyball, football and girls tennis) is Monday August 15th 2022.

Please note-You are not able to play on a team in the same sport outside of school while playing for a school team during the season of that same sport. This pertains to all sports whether club or rec. Before and after the season is allowed.

Sports Physicals

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Bully Prevention

What is Bullying?

It is considered bullying when the person is being hurt, harmed, or humiliated with words or behavior.The behavior is repeated, and it is done intentionally.

Types of Bullying include:

Non-Physical Bullying-This is name-calling, insulting, or other behavior that would hurt others’ feelings or make them feel bad about themselves. This also includes “exclusion” such as starting rumors, telling others not to be friends with someone, or other actions that would cause someone to be without friends, etc.

Physical Bullying – This is pushing, slapping, grabbing, flicking, poking, pinching, tripping, or other violations of personal space.

Severe Physical Bullying/Violence – This is punching, kicking, biting, pulling hair, spitting, or any similar behavior that could result in injury to others.

Harassment – This is racial, ethnic, or sexual name-calling or other severe harassment.

At French Middle School bullying is not tolerated. If it is determined that someone is bullying they will receive consequences that are listed on our bullying rubric.

All students receive bullying and sexual harassment training during our first week of school during a presentation by our counselors. Students also will participate in bully prevention lessons during AB as part of our Second Step (SEL) Social Emotional Learning program.

To report bullying students, staff and parents may use the on-line report system on the French website.

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6th Grade Students:

Students who will be entering 7th grade in the 2022/2023 school year are required to have updated immunizations including: Tdap (tetanus booster) and MCV (meningococcal). If your student has already received these immunizations, please send documentation to the nurse at this time. Students will be required to provide proof of immunization within 30 days of the start of school in the fall.

7th and 8th Grade Students:

If you have not yet provided documentation of your students' most current immunizations, please do so as soon as possible. If your student has not had the required immunizations, please contact the nurse with a schedule as to when you've them done. You may email or fax records to the school nurse: Email: or Fax: (785) 271-3609 or send a paper copy directly to the school.

Please note, students without updated immunization or proof of pending appointments will be excluded from school after September 30th until updated records have been provided to the school nurse.

Medication at School

Students taking medications of any kind must have proper paperwork on file with the school nurse. All medications prescription and over the counter are to be stored in the nurse's office. Contact Nurse Besenyi if you have any questions or need medication forms. 785-438-4156 or


Who we are:

The PTO is a volunteer group of dedicated, hardworking, and positive individuals that work to enhance the learning experience at French Middle School! We hope that you will join us!

2022-2023 PTO Board Members:

President: Heather Lindsey

Vice President: Mashayla Mason-Hibler

Treasurer: Christie Green

Secretary: Kelly Ware

School Principal: Kelli Hoffman

Assistant Principal: Amy Wagner

Members at Large: YOU

What we do:

We work to support FMS with providing a fun learning experience for students via; volunteering at school functions, helping with teacher appreciation week, parent teacher conferences and fundraising to support programs and improvements to French Middle School.

How YOU can help:

  • Attend a PTO meeting (1x a month 2nd Thursday of the month)

  • Volunteer at a school event

  • Help with fundraising

  • Sign up to bring food for Teacher Conferences, school dances, or another event

  • Surprise us- how would you like to contribute!

I am looking forward to a Frenchtastic year and I look forward to working with you!

Heather Lindsey

PTO President

Bullying Policy

French Middle School will not tolerate bullying of any kind. Bullying is defined as any ongoing verbal or physical mistreatment where there is an imbalance of power, and the target/victim is exposed repeatedly to negative actions by one or more students. Bullying can be direct (physical or verbal), or indirect (exclusion, cyber-bullying, emotional). In order for everyone to feel safe and secure at school, every Topeka Public School has adopted the following rules against bullying. “I will not bully others. I will try to help students who are bullied. I will do my best to include students who are easily left out. When I know somebody is being bullied, I will tell an adult at school and an adult at home.” Students, staff, and parents should report any bullying that they are aware of to administration through the on-line bully report link on the French website. Students who bully others will receive consequences. Our counselors will be visiting 6th, 7th and 8th grade classes in August and September to remind students what bullying is, what we can do to prevent bullying, and what students should do if they or someone else is being bullied.


The Topeka Public Schools, Unified School District No. 501 is committed to affirmative action and equal opportunity. No person shall, on the basis of age, race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, disability, national origin or ancestry be denied lawful access to any appropriate educational service, program or activity provided by the school district. The Title VI and Title IX compliance coordinator is the Assistant Superintendent for Teaching/Learning/Administration. The Section 504/Title II compliance coordinator is the Coordinator of College and Career Ready Services. For employment, the EEO/AA officer is the General Director of Human Resources. All compliance coordinators may be contacted at 624 SW 24th Street, Topeka, KS 66611-1294, (785) 295-3000. The clerk of the Board of Education has been designated to receive and redirect or handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies, regulations and procedures. The clerk may be contacted by calling (785) 295-3045 or by writing to 624 SW 24th Street, Topeka, KS 66611-1294.