News for the week of 9/13 to 9/20
There was a lot of discussion surrounding safety at Plank this week. Between the Lockdown on Tuesday and our Tornado Shelter-In-Place on Thursday, we definitely had our Emergency Response Plans tested. We learned a lot of new things about our plans, and are able to learn from these experiences for continual improvement. I greatly appreciated the cooperation from our families in regards to both of these events. It is not often that we get parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents directly involved in our emergency plans. The patience and understanding that was expressed was incredible. I am very happy that everyone was safe and the staff response to these events kept students calm. We practice these drills so that if we need to respond in a potential emergency situation, staff and students know what to do and how to do it.
This is the time of year when our academic expectations for students start to increase. Now that we have moved beyond the start of the year, students are getting more homework and need to study for upcoming tests and quizzes. At Plank, we have the homework hotspot. If you follow the link, it will take you to the homework hotspot on our school webpage. 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.
We also want to foster independence with our students. Teacher's expectations for independent work and completion will increase throughout the year. We are preparing our students to be active learners and to own their learning. When our junior high students move into the high school, we have to have them prepared to independently have systems of organization so that they can manage their time and work effectively. This starts in elementary school. At Plank, students have their assignment notebooks and Utility Binder to keep themselves organized. We do understand that sometimes we need to help with building independence. Occasionally, we will have locker clean out and binder checks to assist in developing student independence in these areas. If your child needs more assistance in keeping organized, please feel free to reach out to our teachers to develop ways to build their independent functioning. Our school buzzword for this is called "executive functioning."
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 email@example.com. We look forward to collaborating with you and your student throughout the year.
Always in partnership,
Plank Junior High School
Plank Home and School Messages
Join us for Home and School meetings. We meet the second Tuesday of the month from 6-7pm in the community room. Enter through door 3. Thank you to all our parent and teachers, faculty and staff that help volunteer to make successful Pirate Nights! We couldn't do it without your help.
Concessions will be sold at the volleyball games starting around 4:30 pm. We will have pizza, corn dogs, candy, popcorn and assorted drinks. Cash or checks only accepted. If any parent would like to assist with concession sales, please contact Jacquie Bucher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Market Day is back. Go to www.marketday.com and sign up today to get your favorite items delivered right to your door. Pick our school, shop and help with this fundraiser. 10% of every purchase comes back the HSA.
Culver's Spirit Night
Monday, Sep. 16th, 4pm
2781 U.S. 34
Teacher Institute Day - September 20th
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
AVID @ Plank - Focus on Writing
National Hispanic Heritage Month - Starting September 15th
National Hispanic Heritage Month starts 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.
Coming Soon... Elyssa's Mission
Starting next month, students will be participating in Elyssa's Mission presentations. This is an evidence based program that helps to provide depression awareness and suicide prevention training for students in junior high.
This program will be presented to all students. Below are the program dates by grade level (each student will only attend one of the dates.). More information will be shared with parents the weeks before presentations at grade levels.
7th grade: September 26th and October 10th during health and PE classes
6th grade: October 22nd and 24th during science classes
8th grade: November 19th and 21st during science classes
Please contact our counselors for any additional information regarding the program.
If do not want your child to participate in the Elyssa's Mission program, please contact your student’s school counselor via phone or email.
Parent Teen Connect
CHECK OUT PARENTEENCONNECT.ORG
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.
GET TALKING WITH PARENTEEN CONNECT
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!
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.
Plank Student Services Team
Parent Information - Attendance and truancy
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
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
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.