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              MIDDLE SCHOOL

I’m always surprised how fast the summer goes. Here it is the first part of
August and we are only about a month away from school starting again. I
know no one wants to hear that, but I am looking forward to school starting.
I like the sounds of students and teachers in the building - the hustle and
bustle of students (teachers too) going to classes, with talking and laughter
heard in the building. That’s part of what a school should be.

We are looking forward to a great start of school. Starting this year, I will be
the grades 7-12 principal and it will be fun to once again, concentrate on
building-level responsibilities. Ms. Timm will be the Dean of Students,
grades 7-12 and in addition to teaching math at the middle school, Mr. Smith
will be the new middle school athletic director. The entire staff and I are
looking forward to a great start of the year and a great 2009-10 school year.

Parents: I want you to continue the involvement and participation you
started at the elementary level, with your young adolescent middle schooler.
Rather than thinking this is a time to pull back, I am asking that you take an
even more involved approach with him/her. A comprehensive education for
your child should not be left to chance at this impressionable age. Starting
with 7th grade, children are setting achievement habits in motion that will
carry on through their high school years and beyond. Their 7th and 8th grade
years are considered “foundational” where many of these will carry over for
the rest of their lives. Their academic achievement, not to mention their
value system, morals, beliefs and levels of commitment are being explored
and formed. You need to make an even stronger commitment to being
aware of all of the forces that are affecting your child and helping him/her
understand them and manage them. This is a critical age for all pre-teens.

I also want to encourage you to get your middle schooler participating in
school activities and athletics. Research has proven that students who are
involved with school activities and athletics, are less likely to become
involved in drugs and alcohol and other illicit activities. Yes, it may
sometimes be inconvenient to have to pick up your middle school child after
practice or rehearsals, but it may be one way of keeping them involved in
wholesome activities.
Help Your Middle Schooler Make
Good Decisions
The pre-adolescent years are often difficult for many students and their
families. It is a time of exhausting growth. Growth of the body. Growth of
the mind.      Growth of special interests through experimentation and
exploration. Some students nearly double their physical size from grades 5
until high school. Sometimes the common sense side of the brain just
doesn’t keep up. That’s why the person inside of that growing body is
sometimes just trying to cope with everything that he/she is experiencing.
We’ve all gone through it and can testify that we made it, but looking back, it
wasn’t easy for a lot of us either. At PEMS we expect our students to have a
lot of energy, not always make the best decisions, and some times they’re
unable to see the end result when trying to figure things out. It is a time for
significant exploration of feelings, emotions, and all of the possibilities this
world holds. Am I making myself clear? This is a time when these students
need more guidance, but at the same time respecting their independence
and their desire to be treated like young adults.

Regular School Attendance is Key
to School Success
Here’s a common scenario we hear in the PEMS/HS office. “He stayed
up late studying and wants to sleep in this morning.” “Her big game is
today and she really wants more rest.” Is it okay to let your middle
schooler skip school?

In a word, “NO.” Attendance in school is very important. Your middle
schooler can’t learn if he isn’t here. Studies show that students who
attend school regularly:
        • Do better in reading and math.
        • Are less likely to drop out later in school. (A first step to
           dropping out is skipping school.)
        • Are less likely to get in trouble outside of school. This
           includes trouble with alcohol, drugs and pregnancies.

Schools where students attend regularly:
       • Are more orderly, which creates a safer school environment.
        • Have teachers who are more committee to their jobs and are
          more likely to engage students in classroom discussions
          and activities. When students feel like they’re part of a
          group, they are less likely to miss school.
        • Have teachers who set higher expectations for their

Parents Are Still the Biggest
Influence on Children
Who’s the biggest influence on your preteen? Is it his/her best friend?
His/her funny and down to earth Language Arts teacher? The cool kid
in third hour science class? The answer is no, no and no. Research
says the biggest influence on your preteen is YOU. Parents still have
the biggest impact on making him/her the person he/she’ll become.

Are your “parental monitoring” skills up to par? Ask yourself:
       • Do I know what my preteen does after school?
       • Do I know all of her friends?
       • Does she know she must call her parents if he/she’s going
          to be late?
       • Do I know where he/she and his/her friends hang out?
       • Do I talk to him/her about what she and her friends are

If you insist on knowing where your child is, make sure he/she knows
where you are. If she must call when he/she’s running late, you should
do the same. The more you model responsible behaviors, the quicker
your preteen may adopt it.

Annual Sports Physicals for P-EMS
Do NOT wait until school begins to get your WIAA athletic physical. All
student athletes require a physical before beginning practice.

Calendar at a Glance
The 2009-10 School year Calendar at a Glance is printed at the end of
this newsletter for your convenience.
Handy Reference Numbers & Website
     Attendance for PEMS: 262-495-7101, then press 7
     Dean of Students, Kari Timm – ext. 2217
     Principal, Bruce Gunderson – ext. 2215
     Athletic Director, Kari Timm – Ext. 2217
     PEASD Business Office: Ext. 2600
     District Administrator, Glenn Schlender: Ext. 2601
     PEMS Website:
     PEMS Fax—262-495-7151

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Palmyra-Eagle Middle/High School Important July Events
     July 27 - P-E Middle and High School Registration Information
     mailed home this week

Palmyra-Eagle Middle/High School Important August Events
     Monday, August 11 P-EMS/HS Registration, noon – 4:00 and 5:00-
     Tuesday, August 12 P-EMS/HS Registration, 8:00-noon, and 1:00-
     Wednesday, August 13, P-EMS/HS Registration, noon-4:00pm and
     5:00- 8:00pm
     Monday, August 25, 6:30pm – P-EMS 7th Grade Orientation
     Tuesday, August 26, 6:30pm, P-EHS 9th Grade Orientation

Palmyra-Eagle Middle/High School Important September Events
     Tuesday, September 1 School begins in the Palmyra-Eagle Area
     School District
                     2009-2010 SCHOOL YEAR
                     CALENDAR AT A GLANCE

Event                                 Day of Week                                   Date
Teachers Report                  Friday-Monday                                      Aug. 28 & 31
Students Report                  Tuesday                                            Sept. 1
PEMS/HS Open House               Wednesday, September                               Sept. 2
Labor Day                        Monday (No School)                                 Sept. 7
Early Release 1:00 p.m.          Wednesday                                          Sept. 23
Early Release 1:00 p.m.          Wednesday                                          Oct. 21
W.E.A.C. Convention              Thursday-Friday (No School)                        Oct. 29 & 30
Early Release 1:00 p.m.          Friday                                             Nov. 6
Parent Conferences               Thursday, 4pm–7pm                                  Nov. 19
                                 Friday, 8am–10am (No School)                       Nov. 20
                                 Monday, 4pm–7pm                                    Nov. 23
Staff Development                Wednesday (No School)                              Nov. 25
Thanksgiving Break               Thursday-Friday (No School)                        Nov. 26 & 27
Winter Break Begins              Thursday (No School)                               Dec. 24
School Resumes                   Monday                                             Jan. 4
First Make-up Day (if necessary) Friday (otherwise no school)                       Jan. 22
End of First Semester            Friday                                             Jan. 22
Staff Development                Monday (No School)                                 Jan. 25
Early Release 1:00 p.m.          Wednesday                                          Feb. 10
Parent Conferences               Tuesday 4pm–7pm                                    Feb. 23
                                 Thursday 7:45-11:45(No School)                     Feb. 25
SWEIO                            Friday (No School)                                 Feb. 26
Early Release 1:00 p.m.          Wednesday                                          March 10
Early Release 1:00 p.m.          Friday                                             March 26
Spring Break Begins              Friday (No School)                                 April 2
School Resumes                   Monday                                             April 12
Early Release 1:00 p.m.          Wednesday                                          May 5
Second Make-up Day, (if neces). Friday (otherwise no school)                        May 28
Memorial Day                     Monday (No School)                                 May 31
8 Grade Recognition              Thursday (Tentative)                               June 10
School Year Ends – Students      Friday (Early Dismissal)                           June 11
School Year Ends – Teachers      Saturday or Monday (In-Service)                    June 12 or14

Please note that the 1st, 2nd, and 4th emergency school closing (inclement weather) days will not
be made up. All other days will need to be made up. If the 3rd day occurs before Jan. 22, it will be
made up on Jan. 22, otherwise there will be no school this day. If the 3rd day occurs after Jan. 22,
it will be made up on May 28. If Jan. 22 is used for the 3rd day make-up and we have a 5th day off,
it will be made up on May 28, otherwise there will be no school this day. The 6th and any additional
make-up days will be added to the end of the school year. (No School) refers to student calendar.
Watch for school newsletters that will identify specific times and dates for your student’s activities.
The complete school calendar, published each summer, will be available in the school offices.