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Principal's Message - May 11, 2018

posted May 11, 2018, 8:42 AM by llarzelere@pvsd.org
Dear PVMS West Families,

May is our fantastically musical month!  Our bands impressed family, friends, and the community on Monday evening, and on Tuesday morning, they treated the student body to a delightful assembly.  Not to be outdone, our GROWING chorus had their time to shine on stage on Thursday evening. The Chorus in the Round finale was simply beautiful! We are very fortunate to have so many of our students devoted to musical studies here at Middle School West.  Upcoming musical events include the High Note Festival, May 18th; the Talent Show, May 18th; and our Orchestra Concert, May 23rd.

New News:

Eighth-grade Assembly:  Drugs and the Brain - On Monday, May 14th, Middle School West will be hosting two Duquesne University Mylan School of Pharmacy Graduate (Sixth-Year Pharm D) Students who will be presenting to our eighth-graders.  The title of their presentation is "Drugs and the Brain." The content is specific to how drugs of abuse, both legal and illegal, alter the brain and how these alterations cause mood and behavioral changes that can lead to addiction.  If for any reason you are uncomfortable with the topic of this assembly, you may choose to opt out your child by emailing me directly (dmilligan@pvsd.org) between today and the morning of the 14th.

Keystone Algebra I Dates - May 16th-17th.


Talent Show - Friday, May 18th at 7:00 p.m. - You are invited to attend our 14th annual Talent Show!  Come and enjoy a host of talents that will be sure to delight! $7.00 tickets go on sale during lunches beginning Monday, May 7th.


from the Counseling Center - Viking Ambassadors Middle School Transition Pilot – Similar to the high school’s Link Crew, the Viking Ambassadors will act as mentors to our incoming sixth graders.  Seventh-grade ambassadors will serve as fifth-grade tour guides and participate in the Fifth-grade Parent Night as well as the Sixth-grade Orientation.  Eighth-grade ambassadors will serve on a question/answer panel during the fifth-grade tours. In addition, the seventh-grade Viking ambassadors will meet with their assigned sixth-grade homerooms throughout the upcoming school year.  West ambassadors are selected by their team teachers based on good citizenship, academic success, and their dedication to Middle School West.


Coming This Week – Information regarding the sixth graders’ selection of Spanish, French, Coding, or Language Arts – AND – information regarding the seventh graders’ selection of a music (band, chorus, or orchestra) elective…

We will send grade-specific emails/Google Form links.

Sixth graders will be asked to select (Spanish, French, Coding, or Language Arts) to study in seventh and eighth grade.  (Special education students typically opt for Instructional Seminar in lieu of one of these options.)

Seventh graders will be asked to select one of the following:  1) Special Areas Classes, 2) Band and Special Areas Classes, 3) Orchestra and Special Areas Classes, or 4) Chorus and Special Areas Classes.


Debate Workshop for 5th and 8th Grade Students - The award-winning Perkiomen Valley High School Speech and Debate Team is pleased to host a special FREE workshop on the value and benefits of public-speaking skills. Learn about the different types of speech and debate and hear first-hand about the team’s remarkable experiences at Princeton, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania.  Open to incoming sixth graders at MSE & MSW as well as incoming ninth graders at PVHS. When?/Where? Thursday, May 24, 2018, 4:00-5:30, PVHS auditorium. Workshop flyer attached. Register:  https://goo.gl/forms/j7uR8ZSls1xYZT4E2


Guest Speaker:  Dr. Yvonne Kaye - On Friday, May 25, our sixth-grade students will have an opportunity to hear a presentation from Dr. Yvonne Kaye, an international speaker who presents on subjects, such as, but not limited to:  Spirit Soaring, Laughter Roaring, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and Bereavement. Dr. Kaye played an integral part in establishing the SAP program in schools; she has also received the prestigious Matty Muir Award for her work with victims of crime.  Dr. Kaye will be speaking to students in their ELA classes about her experiences as a child evacuee in England during WWII. West’s English teachers have been reading novels about this period of history with their students, and Dr. Kaye will have the opportunity to speak with students in small group settings throughout the course of the day.


Dress Code - We are asking parents to help us support the dress code as we approach the end of school.  The basics: nothing too short, too revealing, or graphically inappropriate. Please keep in mind that West is a climate-controlled building that often runs cold.  Students should keep a sweatshirt, sweatpants, and sneakers in their lockers/gym lockers. Thank you for your assistance.


Home and School/Talent Show Bake Sale - Home and School will be selling baked goods and snacks before the show and at intermission.  We are looking for baked goods donations. Please sign up if you are interested in donating. All donations should be dropped off at the school office by the end of the day on Friday, 5/18, or if you are attending the show, you can bring the items directly to the bake sale tables when you arrive.


Yearbooks - The yearbooks are coming! The PVMS West 2018 yearbooks will be distributed on Wednesday, June 6th! Copies of the Junior Voyager will be available for purchase on June 6th- 8th in the main lobby during homeroom; the cost is $30.00 cash or check made out to PVMS West. Quantities are limited.  (A reminder to all students: Please refrain from defacing or writing inappropriate material in others’ yearbooks. Offenders will be required to purchase and replace vandalized yearbooks. Thank you.)

The 8th Grade Dance – This is a very special event for our eighth-grade students.  Many of the students refer to this dance as a "formal,” but we dissuade students from the term "formal" as there is only one true formal, the Prom. In terms of dress, we encourage students to dress as they would for a school photo.  Collars on the boys are appreciated but they are not required. Dresses for girls are welcome, but blouses and slacks are acceptable. Dresses should have a modest neckline, and we will not permit dresses with "cut-outs.” (Shrugs can be a wise accessory.)  Students who arrive in cut out dresses will be sent home to change.

Regarding transportation, we do not permit limousines. If a student arrives in a limousine, we will send the limousine home with the students.

Finally, we will be encouraging students to come in groups as we downplay the potential "date" aspect of this dance.

I trust that these expectations provide parents with timely information as this event approaches. We work very hard to make this a special event while keeping it appropriate for the grade level. Each year students and faculty alike have a wonderful time. Please contact the West office with any questions.


Remaining Grading Periods - The end of the fourth vector will be April 23rd.  The end of the third trimester, fourth quarter, and fifth vector will be June 13th.


Last Day of School – The last day of our 2017-2018 school year will be Wednesday, June 13, 2018.  A reminder to all that June 11, 12, and 13 are half days for students. Also, the 13th will feature our Eighth-grade Awards.


from the Counseling Center:

Attendance/Absences – If you know your child will be absent from school, please be sure to contact Mrs. Brenda Continelli, our counseling secretary, at bcontinelli@pvsd.org or by calling our office at 484-977-7210.  Also, please remember to send in excuse notes, detailing the date of the absence, reason for the absence, and a parent signature, within three days of the absence(s).  For more information, please click on Attendance Guidelines under the Parents tab.  At MS West, Student Attendance Improvement Plans are initiated by district-adopted attendance letters and implemented by our social worker, a counselor, and/or an administrator in conjunction with a parent(s).


from the Nurse’s office:  Parents of Sixth-grade Students:  Sixth-grade students require the Tdap and Meningitis vaccinations prior to the start of seventh grade.  Please utilize this time and the summer months ahead to make sure your child is up to date on all vaccinations prior to the beginning of the next school year.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding this, please don't hesitate to contact our school nurse, Mrs. Lind, at 484-977-7210 ext. 4, or email her at clind@pvsd.org.  Your attention to this is much appreciated.


Important reminder: If your child is sick or injured in school, please remind him/her to go to the nurse and refrain from calling or texting you directly.  If a student calls or texts during the school day to be picked up by a parent and is not seen by the nurse, the early dismissal will be unexcused.  Please remind your child to go to the nurse if he/she is sick or injured in any way.

Important Dates:


14 – 8th Grade Assembly, “Drugs and the Brain”

15 - Inservice Day, No School for Students

16, 17 – Keystone Algebra I Exam

18 – Talent Show, 7:00 pm

23 - Orchestra Concert, 7:30 pm

28 - Holiday, No School


11, 12, 13 - Half-days Inservice; 13 - Last Student Day

Have a wonderful weekend!


Donna Milligan, Principal, PVMS West

A reminder to parents:  If you ever need clarification or assistance with anything mentioned in my reports or if you have general questions, please call (484-977-7210, ext. 3505) or email (dmilligan@pvsd.org).  I will be happy to assist you.