• May 2022 Newsletter

    Posted by Jacob Minsinger on 5/7/2022

    Focused on Learning for Every Student Every Day

    PRMS Monthly Newsletter

    Each month, I plan to publish a newsletter that will be sent out to parents. In each newsletter, you will find the following: 

    • Highlights of some of the activities and accomplishments at PRMS during the month
    • A section called Food for Thought that will give you suggested resources to review related to some aspect of having a middle school student.

    Building Highlight:

    This month, we want to celebrate the students who participated in our Merit Scholars ceremony on Thursday, May 5th. It was our first in-person Merit Scholars ceremony since 2019. Below, you will see some pictures of the ceremony. A huge thank you to Mrs. Moore and Ms. Pfeifer for organizing the event, and a special thank you to Matthew Farmar, Christiaan van Driel, Madeline Gross, Sanika Das, and Katelyn Rickard for participating in the ceremony. It couldn’t have happened without their speeches and singing. If you missed the ceremony, you can watch it at this link.

    Merit 1 Merit 2 Merit 3

    Food for Thought:

    As we approach the end of the year, we wanted to provide some opportunities for your students to participate in over the summer. This link will take you to a list of summer activities that you can sign your students up for. There are a mix of sports and academic activities.

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  • April 2022 Monthly Newsletter

    Posted by Jacob Minsinger on 4/8/2022

    Focused on Learning for Every Student Every Day

    PRMS Monthly Newsletter

    Each month, I plan to publish a newsletter that will be sent out to parents. In each newsletter, you will find the following: 

    • Highlights of some of the activities and accomplishments at PRMS during the month
    • A section called Food for Thought that will give you suggested resources to review related to some aspect of having a middle school student.

    Building Highlight:

    This month, we want to highlight some of our 7th graders who participated in Read Across America Week with some of our elementary students. Mrs. Krepin’s class created children’s books and recorded them via Flipgrid and also did a live read aloud with students live streaming into our elementary libraries. Here are some pictures of our 7th graders in action! A big thank you to Mrs. Rowe, Mrs. Krepin, and Ms. Vora for all of their work to make this happen!

    Read 1 Read 2

    Food for Thought:

    Believe it or not, we are entering the final stretch of the school year. As we enter this point of the school year, here are some tips for how to help your child finish strong!

    • Maintain a consistent schedule. This time of year, students grow tired and get excited for summer. As they start to drift into summer mode, maintaining a schedule where they have a regular bed time and routine times to complete homework is essential. Middle school students are known for pushing back against routines even though they are most successful when they have them. Reinforcing a consistent schedule will help them finish strong.
    • Set reasonable goals. Now that you have seen their 3rd quarter report card, set some reasonable goals focusing on grades or attendance. A goal like one letter grade improvement in their lowest scoring course is attainable and will give your child something to strive for. Also, follow those goals up with some kind of incentive for meeting them.

     

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  • March 2022 Newsletter

    Posted by Jacob Minsinger on 3/9/2022

    Focused on Learning for Every Student Every Day

    PRMS Monthly Newsletter

    Each month, I plan to publish a newsletter that will be sent out to parents. In each newsletter, you will find the following: 

    • Highlights of some of the activities and accomplishments at PRMS during the month
    • A section called Food for Thought that will give you suggested resources to review related to some aspect of having a middle school student.

    Building Highlight:

    On March 2nd, our students participated in an activity period focused on empowerment. Students heard about influential people in history who were empowered to make a change. They also saw some of their peers and teachers talk about the ways that they feel empowered to make change as well. At the end of the lesson, each student created their own “I am” statements that showcase what personality trait or characteristic empowers them. Kudos to Mrs. Knauff and Ms. Batouyios for leading this effort!

    Empowerment Empowerment

    Food for Thought:

    In keeping with our theme of empowerment, we wanted to offer some ways to empower your children at home. These reflective questions and conversation starters are great for empowering your child to feel good about themselves and succeed with the rest of the school year.

    • What are some things that set your child apart from others? Having conversations about this question can reaffirm your child’s talents and encourage them to use those talents and pursue activities that will help them accomplish their goals.
    • What does your child value most? Talking about the values of both your child and your family. Then, plan a way to share what you value most with the world.
    • What do you enjoy doing as a family? Set time aside to do one of those activities when your child or your family accomplishes a particular goal.
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  • February 2022 Newsletter

    Posted by Jacob Minsinger on 2/8/2022

    Focused on Learning for Every Student Every Day

    PRMS Monthly Newsletter

    Each month, I plan to publish a newsletter that will be sent out to parents. In each newsletter, you will find the following: 

    • Highlights of some of the activities and accomplishments at PRMS during the month
    • A section called Food for Thought that will give you suggested resources to review related to some aspect of having a middle school student.

    Building Highlight:

    This month is Random Acts of Kindness month at PRMS. Along with recognizing acts of kindness through RAMS Way, we are also showing a video that our PRTV students wrote and filmed to showcase how we can all be kind to each other. Here are some pictures of their filming in action.

    Kindness 1 Kindness 2 Kindness 3

    Food for Thought:

    We welcome all of our families to join us in Random Acts of Kindness month! As an extension of our school activities, we wanted to offer the following activities that can be done at home or out in the world to keep our theme of kindness going. 

    • Help someone who is struggling to carry their grocery bags out of the store.
    • Give a compliment to someone.
    • Write out thank you cards to soldiers.
    • Shovel someone else’s driveway when it snows.
    • Help out at the local food bank.
    • Make dinner for a neighbor in need.
    • Send a supportive message to a friend.
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  • January 2022 Newsletter

    Posted by Jacob Minsinger on 1/12/2022

    Focused on Learning for Every Student Every Day

    PRMS Monthly Newsletter

    Each month, I plan to publish a newsletter that will be sent out to parents. In each newsletter, you will find the following: 

    • Highlights of some of the activities and accomplishments at PRMS during the month
    • A section called Food for Thought that will give you suggested resources to review related to some aspect of having a middle school student.

    Building Highlight:

    Our musical has been hard at work preparing for their production of Willy Wonka Jr. Below are some pictures of our students in the final weeks of rehearsals. Good luck to the entire cast and crew. Break a leg!

    Musical Practice Willy Wonka

    Food for Thought:

    This month begins the scheduling season for our 8th graders. This can be an exciting yet stressful time of the year. The high school program of studies, which was just approved at the January 10th board meeting, contains a wealth of information about courses and graduation requirements. Pages 9 and 10 of the high school program of studies are a great place to start. 

    Page 9 is the graduation plan. Even though it is early, this page is a great conversation starter for families because it provides the chance to map out the courses that students need to take to graduate. In particular, parents can talk to their students about the elective courses that they can take over the course of their high school career.

    Page 10 is a time management planner, which students can start using now. It gives students a chance to map out an allotment of time for homework, activities, and free time. Practicing time management while students are still in middle school is a great way to prepare students for their high school experience.

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  • December 2021 Newsletter

    Posted by Jacob Minsinger on 12/7/2021

    Focused on Learning for Every Student Every Day

    PRMS Monthly Newsletter

    Each month, I plan to publish a newsletter that will be sent out to parents. In each newsletter, you will find the following: 

    • Highlights of some of the activities and accomplishments at PRMS during the month
    • A section called Food for Thought that will give you suggested resources to review related to some aspect of having a middle school student.

    Building Highlight:

    This month, our Leaders’ Club and Student Government sponsored a food drive for the LIghthouse Foundation. Throughout the month of November, our first period classes collected canned goods in the spirit of giving and friendly competition. Altogether, we donated 600 pounds of food. A shout out to Mrs. Moore and her Leaders’ Club students for making this special event possible!

    Food Drive

    Food for Thought:

    As we close out the 2021 year, we always turn to a tried and true tradition of coming up with New Year’s resolutions. This is a great activity to do with your children since we are approaching the second half of the school year. The following are some suggestions for what to focus on if you want to try this activity with your kids:

    1. Make it specific. Resolutions tend to fall apart when they are too general, especially for middle school students who very much live in the moment.
    2. Set some deadlines. Having a few deadlines always helps to keep students on track with their goal. Think: I will improve all my grades by one grade level by the end of the third quarter.
    3. Celebrate success!: Kids respond to reinforcement when they meet or make progress toward their goal. Ask them what their reward should be for progress. They know what they like better than any of us. 
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  • November 2021 Newsletter

    Posted by Jacob Minsinger on 11/1/2021

    Focused on Learning for Every Student Every Day

    PRMS Monthly Newsletter

    Each month, I plan to publish a newsletter that will be sent out to parents. In each newsletter, you will find the following: 

    • Highlights of some of the activities and accomplishments at PRMS during the month
    • A section called Food for Thought that will give you suggested resources to review related to some aspect of having a middle school student.

    Building Highlight:

    Thanks to our PSA, over 150 students had a great time on Thursday, October 28th at our fall festival! It was a beautiful night with food trucks ranging from tacos to hot dogs and from smoothies to popcorn. A DJ spun the latest and greatest music while our students played games in the front parking lot. Below are some pictures from the event. Thank you again to the PSA for all your hard work!

    Fall Festival 1 Fall Festival 2 Fall Festival 3

    Food for Thought:

    Middle school is a unique time for students and families. Sometimes, we as the adults in their lives are not sure the best way to approach our children when they hit adolescence. This article from the Association for Middle Level Education gives some helpful tips for parents to consider when working with their adolescent children. Here are some highlights from the article.

    1. Encourage students to make a daily list of tasks. This goes along with what we reinforce at school about filling out their planners. Middle school students are working toward independence but need some help to get there. A daily list of activities or assignments will help them get to that independence we all want for them.
    2. Be a good listener. A lot of middle school students don’t like to answer questions from their parents, but there are moments when they will want to open up. In those moments, be an active listener, validate their feelings, and avoid asking questions that may make them feel defensive.
    3. Use humor when correcting minor things. Save the serious talk for serious issues. Things like cleaning their room or doing the dishes are best handled with humor. They will still get the message without turning the issue into a power struggle.
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  • October 2021 Newsletter

    Posted by Jacob Minsinger on 10/11/2021

    Focused on Learning for Every Student Every Day

    PRMS Monthly Newsletter

    Each month, I plan to publish a newsletter that will be sent out to parents. In each newsletter, you will find the following: 

    • Highlights of some of the activities and accomplishments at PRMS during the month
    • A section called Food for Thought that will give you suggested resources to review related to some aspect of having a middle school student.

    Building Highlight:

    At the end of last year, we were very excited to get a second PROF grant to support our collaboration space. Mrs. Kelly and Mrs. Deal have been working hard to get the space up and running with their GATE classes. Below, you will see our students setting up the 3-D printer that was provided by PROF for the space. Soon, students will be using the Arduino circuit board kits in partnership with Pittsburgh Technical College.

    3-D 1 3-D 2 3-D 3

    Food for Thought:

    This month, PRMS is having a site visit to be redesignated as a School to Watch. This designation is given by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform and is an honor that PRMS has held for 15 years. Every 3 years, we are up for a redesignation, which includes submitting a new application and having a site visit. Site visitors will come to PRMS to examine how we meet the needs of our students in the following 4 categories:

    • Academic Excellence
    • Developmental Responsiveness
    • Social Equity
    • Organizational Structures and Processes

    This article gives an overview of what PRMS has done to be recognized as a School to Watch so far, and we are working hard to be redesignated again this year.

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  • September 2021 Newsletter

    Posted by Jacob Minsinger on 9/7/2021

    Focused on Learning for Every Student Every Day

    PRMS Monthly Newsletter

    Each month, I plan to publish a newsletter that will be sent out to parents. In each newsletter, you will find the following: 

    • Highlights of some of the activities and accomplishments at PRMS during the month
    • A section called Food for Thought that will give you suggested resources to review related to some aspect of having a middle school student.

    Building Highlight:

    As we welcome all of our students back to school, we have some exciting updates to announce! First, we have a refurbished library space. Thanks to Mrs. Rowe and Mr. Zimmerman for working last year to plan out the new space, which will be an awesome space for our students. It comes with comfy chairs for small group work, independent study spaces, and moveable bookshelves to allow for large group meetings. You can see a preview of the space in the pictures below.

    Library 1 Library 2 Library 3

    Over the summer, we also added some updates to our collaboration space! Thanks to Mrs. Kelly, Mrs. Deal, and support from the Pine-Richland Opportunities Fund (PROF), we added Arduino circuit kits, a 3-D printer, 3-D pens, and monitors for digital group projects.

    With both of these spaces, we hope to provide our students with opportunities to collaborate with each other and unlock their creativity.

    Food for Thought:

    When we meet with students at the beginning of the year, we encourage them to try at least one club or sport this year. We ask that you reinforce that with your children. Students can find the clubs and activities on page 11 of the student handbook. Here are just a few of the clubs listed there.

    • PRTV club
    • Drama club
    • Ecology club
    • Jazz band
    • Leaders club
    • National Academic League
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  • May 2021 Newsletter

    Posted by Jacob Minsinger on 5/11/2021

    Focused on Learning for Every Student Every Day

    PRMS Monthly Newsletter

    Each month, I plan to publish a newsletter that will be sent out to parents. In each newsletter, you will find the following: 

    • Highlights of some of the activities and accomplishments at PRMS during the month
    • A section called Food for Thought that will give you suggested resources to review related to some aspect of having a middle school student.

    Building Highlight:

    This month, we celebrate the accomplishments of our middle school musical! 38 of our students came together virtually and in person to put together a stellar production of Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr., The Movie. Through the magic of green screens and video editing, our middle school students are bringing you classic songs like “Just a Bill” right to your TV or laptop. Get ready to learn about the function of a conjunction and all the persons, places, and things you could think of. More information about the musical, including how to stream it, can be found here.

    Musical Musical 2 Musical 3

    Food for Thought:

    The month of May always comes with a buzz of excitement. It is the culmination of a hard year’s worth of work and a time for reflection. Our students make us so proud. May can also bring with it a set of challenges for parents to keep their children engaged for the home stretch of the marathon that is the entire school year. This resource from Edmentum has some useful tips for how to keep your children engaged all the way through June 9th. Below are some of the highlights.

     

    • Give in to the great outdoors. Now more than ever, it is so important to give your children some time outside. With the weather warming up, encourage your children to get out and take in some sunlight (whenever the Pittsburgh grey skies clear up).
    • Provide some incentive. Giving your children tangible rewards for accomplishing goals is so important for this time of year. Tie these rewards to things like finishing their homework for the night or spending 20-30 minutes reading or studying for an upcoming test. These may seem like normal tasks, but for students who may be losing steam, a little motivating boost can go a long way.

     

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