Pirate's Cove

News for the week of 10/4 to 10/11

Principal's Message

Pirate parents!

The end of our first quarter comes next week. Don't forget to check grades with your child regularly so that grades don't sneak up and surprise you. Our teachers also reach out regularly to provide grade updates through phone and email. If you have questions about grades, please do not hesitate to talk with your child and give one of our teachers a call or send an email. All of our staff has their contact information on our school website. The link to the teacher pages for contact information is provided here.

Read through the newsletter below for information on what is happening at Plank. There is a lot of great things going on. There are new features to the newsletter, available at the bottom of the page. You can change your setting to high contrast, for easier reading. You can also translate into a number of different languages for increased language accessibility. Also, if you have feedback to share about our newsletter, please feel free to share. You also have the ability to like and share the newsletter, if you so choose.

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

Plank Home and School Messages

Tonight is our Zombie Run. It's not too late to sign up, only $30. We will be taking registrations at the event. Shirts are not guaranteed at the run, but will be delivered within a couple of weeks after.

We will have snacks and drinks for our runners after they have run safely from the zombies. If you'd like to help with donating towards our snacks and drinks after the run, please go to https://signup.com/go/tZWzGVk

Want to come help during the run, we are in need of adult volunteers along our run path. Please know you could be get messy because the zombies will be on the loose. To volunteer to help along the route, please go to https://signup.com/go/YwBxriG

We still need help in the concessions booth for all our home games. We have a couple games left for this fall season. Winter season, basketball and wrestling are next. Contact Jacquie Bucher at kplankhsa@gmail.com if you would like to help with concessions.

Do you have the new box top app? The next generation of box tops is here. We still collect clipped box tops but this new app is so easy to use. Scan your receipt within 14 days and if any applicable products are bought, instant rewards.

Save the date: our next Pirate Night will be November 1 from 6pm-8pm. $2 entrance fee and ID to get in. School appropriate costumes will be allowed. No masks, weapons or look-alikes, inflatable costumes will be allowed. The theme will be Dia de los Muertos. Students must be picked up promptly at 8.

Join us for our next HSA meeting October 8 at 6 pm in the community room.

Student Council

Student Council will meet on Monday, October 7, 28 and November 18. Pickup time is promptly 4PM.

Substitute Teachers Needed at Plank!

Plank Junior High School is looking for substitute teachers. If you have your substitute teaching certificate and you have a passion for working with children, we would be happy to have you as a guest teacher in our building! Please reach out to Human Resources by following this link. There are links to an online substitute application, handbook, and contact information all available there. I hope to see you guest teaching in our building soon!

Plank Band Concerts

The Plank Jr. High Band program hosted two concerts this week. Each of the grade level bands did a wonderful job playing, led by out fantastic directors, Jessica Shields and Adam Hawthorne. Well done, Plank Bands!

Illinois Music Educators Festival Nominations

Congratulations to the following students for making the District 9 Illinois Music Educators Festival:

Students from Right to Left:

Isabella Rivera- 8th Grader- Chorus

Ryan Kunitzer- 8th Grader- Jazz Band II

Nathan Keys- 8th Grader- Jazz Band I

Ryan Weaver- 7th Grader- Junior Band, and Jazz Band I

Plank SEL groups are Forming Now

Plank Junior High School's student services team will be offering Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) groups for each grade level. Counseling groups provide a supportive environment to discuss student problems and concerns and work towards a goal and gain skills with others who are experiencing similar issues. Groups meet once a week during lunch and will be facilitated by our school counselors, social workers, and school psychologist. Students completed a needs assessment survey at the beginning of the school year to identify the top areas students need support in. Based on the results of that survey, the following SEL groups will be offered this year:

  • Social Support– for 6th grade students only who are struggling with making friends, maintaining relationships with their peers, and getting along with others.

  • Student Empowerment – for students who are feeling sad, depressed, stressed or anxious and need help processing their feelings and learning coping skills.

  • Grief Group - for students who are experiencing grief from the loss of a significant person through death.

  • Family Group - for students who are experiencing family struggles, such as divorce and separation of parents.

  • Mindful/Yoga Group - students will learn and practice mindfulness strategies and yoga to help reduce stress.

Below are the links to the counseling group permission slips, which are due to the student services office by Wednesday, October 9, 2019. Please contact your student's school counselor with questions.

6th Grade Permission Forms

7th and 8th Grade Permission Forms

Plank Drama Returns!

Mr. Fauth is sponsoring the Plank drama program this year.

The fall play will be Check Please, one of the most popular plays of recent years to be produced by junior highs and high schools. Check Please follows a series of blind dinner dates that couldn't get any worse -- until they do.

Click here for more information

Picture Retakes

Picture Retakes will be Tuesday, October 8. If your child needs another picture form, have them stop in to student services to pick one up.

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

Plank JHS Book Fair

The book fair is coming to Plank! It will be held in the LRC on November 5th and 6th during school hours and November 7th and 8th during PTC hours. Hope to see you there. Proceeds go to Plank Junior High in purchasing new titles for our LRC.

Boys Basketball Tryouts

7th Grade Boys Basketball:

Tryouts are coming: What do you need to do?

First, you need to make sure that you have your physical in to the nurse. Second, register for tryouts online by following the link to 8 to 18.

Come to tryouts:
Monday, Oct 21 - 3:15 to 5

Tuesday, Oct 22 - 3:15 to 5

You must attend both days to be considered for the team.

See Coach Johnson with Questions.

National Hispanic Heritage Month - September 15th through October 15th

National Hispanic Heritage Month began on September 15. We celebrate the important contributions, heritage, and culture of Hispanic and Latino Americans.

Hispanic Heritage Month, whose roots go back to 1968, begins each year on September 15, the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile and Belize also celebrate their independence days during this period and Columbus Day (Día de la Raza) is October 12.

We will be celebrating the different family cultures all year at Plank.

School Fundraiser

In early October, we will be working with World's Finest Chocolate to start our schoolwide fundraiser. This fundraiser is set to kick off on October 9th with grade level assemblies. Last year, chocolate sales were expensive, costing $8-10 dollars for chocolate, and people who purchased chocolates needed to wait to receive their orders. This year, students will have the opportunity to sign out boxes of chocolate with persmission slips in order to have the chocolate on hand, and can deliver directly to people in the moment. The best part? Each chocolate will be only $2!

Our goal is to raise $12,000 in order to turn our Plank Multi-Purpose Room into a Collaborative Learning and Student Space. We are imaging a comfortable learning environment that blends technology with collaboration, with comfortable alternative seating to help inspire learners to work together in problem solving.

Plank Zombie Run

Our annual Zombie Run will take place on October 5th at 6:30. Registration is $30 for the event ends at 6:00. See the Flyer below and in Peachjar for more details.
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Parent Toolkit

If you are looking for outside resources to help with your young adult, try parenttoolkit.com. There are many different options on this website that can connect you with resources to questions that many parents have.

Homework Hotspot

Just a reminder that we have the homework hotspot. Student assignments are listed here for the entire building. Students also are using their assignment notebooks to write down their assignments. I recommend making a bookmark of homework hotspot on your browser so that it can be checked regularly by your child.

School Safety Information

Plank engaged in a few emergency drills this week. We practice these drills so that we are prepared in the event we need to act in the best interest of the safety of our students. We practiced our ALICE Lockdown drill and a Severe Weather drill this week. If you are looking at additional information on school safety and drills, follow these links in English and in Spanish.

Parent Teen Connect


ParenTeenConnect.org, a free website for parents and their teens created by the makers of the Second Step Program, is a great resource for middle school families. It provides expert advice and practical tools for dealing with real parent-teen issues.


At ParenTeenConnect.org, you can hear from real parents and teens about the issues that cause conflict in their lives—including screen time, independence, responsibility, and communication—and get expert advice. Visit ParenTeenConnect.org at home with your child, select a topic together, and get talking!

2019-2020 Plank Yearbook Sales are Online!

2019-2020 Yearbook orders are all placed online. The deadline for reduced cost of $25 ends in December. The 100th yearbook ordered will be FREE!!! Enter each child separately and include their Second Semester HR teacher when ordering. Order yours bu clicking on the link. Plank Yearbook Orders 2019-2020

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Plank Care Closet is Now Open!

We are excited to share that Plank's Care Closet is now open!! The Care Closet provides relief to students and their families who are experiencing hardships and are in need of basic hygiene supplies, school supplies, non-perishable food items, lack of weather appropriate clothing, etc.

This is a FREE resource for students and families to provide items they may not be able to afford. While this would be offered to all students, the intent is to share these items and resources with students and families that truly cannot purchase them on their own. The use of the Care Closet is confidential. Simply scan the QR code on the flyer which can be found on the link below! You will then fill out a Google Form using your student's ID #. Your items will be available for pick up in the Main Office the following day! Please contact Plank counselors or social workers with questions.

We are able to stock the Care Closet because of the generosity of or community. If you would like to make a donation, monetary or items, to the Plank Care Closet please contact our counselors or social workers. Currently, we are in need of new or gently used jackets.

Thank you!

Plank Student Services Team

Parent Information - Attendance and truancy

One measure that the state uses to determine a school as a commendable school is improvement in chronic truancy rates. For parents and students, this means to make sure that your child is here at school regularly. I certainly understand that there are events that are completely unavoidable as families, and sometimes vacations can only be taken during certain times of the year. As a principal, I completely understand that. Please be mindful, every absence from school, whether it is an excused absence or not is accounted for in the school's chronic truancy rate data. This counts towards 20% of our schools total rating designation. A missed day for illness or for attending a doctor's appointment isn't going to affect the rating. However, when a student is missing %10 or more of the school year, it does affect our designation.

Of course, please keep your child home if your child is sick. I only ask that we are mindful of student attendance. Thank you!

Homework and Grading

Teachers will be regularly updating grades in Tyler. Check the Parent Portal for updates in grades. Students also have access to check their assignments, grades, and schedule in the student portal. Homework, projects, tests, and quizzes are all recorded in classes to reflect student grades. Please reach out to individual teachers if there are questions regarding student grades.

Homework is an expectation for all of our students to complete at home. Many students have a study hall, where they are able to complete any homework or receive extra help from teachers, when available. Check in with your child's teacher if you have questions regarding homework. Again, the link to homework hotspot can be found by following the link. When students keep up with their homework, they are more likely to perform better on the tests and quizzes in the classroom.

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.

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.