Principal's Update

Dear PBL JH Families:
 
Students will be off of school on Friday, February 15th for a Teacher Institute Day.  School will also be closed this upcoming Monday, February 18th for Presidents’ Day.  School will resume again on Tuesday, February 19th with an early dismissal at 2:30pm.  Enjoy your upcoming long weekend!
 
Here are some other items for this week and more:
 
1.  3rd Qt. Midterms:  On Friday, February 8th the 3rd Qt. Midterm came to an end.  On Wednesday, February 13th 3rd Qt. Midterm grades will be posted and finalized for parents and students to review.  If you would like to schedule a parent-teacher conference please contact us and we can arrange a time and date.  Please contact our guidance counselor, Stacy Johnson, at sjohnson@pblpanthers.org if you would like to schedule a conference. 
 
2.  5 Essentials Parent Survey:  Our school has reached the 20% minimum for the parent survey with 5 Essentials.  As of today PBL JH has had 29% parent participation with the survey.  Thank you for taking the time to provide your valuable input.  The survey will remain open until Friday, February 15th
 
Click the following link if you would like to take the survey:  https://survey.5-essentials.org/illinois/survey/parent/login/
 
3.  Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) Testing:  The JH will be completing the 2019 Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) during the month of April.  This is the state testing that has replaced the PARCC testing from previous years in Illinois.  6th-8th grade students will be taking no more than one test session per day for either Math or ELA.  Overall, each student takes three reading assessments and three math assessments.  We spread the assessments out because our students and teachers have both indicated that is the best way and the preferred way.  This year’s results will allow you to see how your child is growing in his/her knowledge and understanding of the Illinois Learning Standards.  The state has released many test items from last year’s assessment to help students, teachers, and parents understand the types of questions that will be asked. 
 
These questions are available at:  https://il.mypearsonsupport.com/practice-tests/
  
Here are some helpful testing reminders so that your child can do his or her best on the test:
 
•    making sure, if possible, that your child attends school on the days of testing
•    making sure your child gets a good night’s sleep the night before testing
•    providing breakfast on the mornings of testing
•    reminding your child to ask the teacher questions if he or she does not understand the test directions 
•    letting your child know that you have confidence in his or her ability to do his or her best
•    advising your child not to stress about the test—just do the best he or she can.
 
4.  8th Grade Dance:  The 8th Grade Dance is set for Friday, May 3rd from 6-9pm in the JH Commons Area.  Here soon our 8th grade students will be voting and selecting a theme.  If you are interested in helping out with the dance preparations there is still time to volunteer.  The next 8th grade dance meeting will take place on Wednesday, March 20th in the PBL JH Art Room at 6:00pm.  Here are some other helpful reminders as you make preparations for the dance:
  • This night is a great event for all of our students, but especially for our 8th graders as they finish their junior high careers.  We recognize the night as an important function, but also try not to make it like a high school prom (i.e. limos, leaving school early to prepare, etc.).
 
  • The school dress code implies for this dance.  For girls, all dresses should have straps (no strapless dresses) and the dresses should be to the fingertip in length.  For boys, we ask that they dress nice and have no excessive holes in their pants.  Overall, we give this guidance so you can make preparations & plan accordingly.  Any student in violation will be asked in private to make the necessary corrections.
 
  • This dance is for our 6th-8th grade students.  Students are not allowed to bring guests from other schools, etc.  8th grade students will receive an invitation for the dance.  All 8th grade students get into the dance for free.  6th-7th grade students do have to pay admission at the price of $5.
 
  • At this time we are also asking for voluntary donations to be made for the 8th grade dance.  Items we are looking to gather are water, Gatorade, soda, candy, etc.  If you would like to make a voluntary donation you can purchase the needed items and drop them off at the junior high.  Any help you can give the parents helping to organize the 8th grade dance is appreciated.  If you have any questions about the items needed you can e-mail Mary Ager at maryrager@pblpanthers.org
 
Have a good day and please contact us with any questions you might have.
 
Yours in Education,
 
Josh Didier, Principal
PBL Junior High School
217-379-9202
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