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Principal's Report December 1, 2017

posted Dec 4, 2017, 5:20 AM by llarzelere@pvsd.org   [ updated Dec 4, 2017, 5:27 AM ]

Dear PVMS West Families,
 Can you believe it?  We only have three weeks of school before our winter break!  Our winter sports teams have started practicing, and there will be many events and activities taking place this/next month.  Please read on for event-specific information….

Parent/Teacher Conferences – West’s faculty and staff would like to thank the many parents and guardians who were able to attend conferences during Thanksgiving week.  Please know that, in addition to these scheduled days, conferences are available throughout the school year if/when student needs arise.  Parents need only contact a counselor or a team member to schedule before, during, or after school appointments.

End of First Trimester – Today marks the end of our first trimester as well as the first Viking Block rotation.  Seventh- and eighth-grade students will be choosing new Viking Block activities before the winter break; however, the activities themselves will not begin until the week of Jan. 1st.

Our Title I Team Grows - MS West welcomes both Mrs. Susan Reynolds and Mrs. Sharon Newell, part-time Title I (Mathematics and ELA support) paraprofessionals.  Both ladies will be pushing into mathematics or social studies and ELA classes as well as providing targeted academic support during period ten.


from West’s Music Team - The Winter Concert is this Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.  MS West’s bands, chorus, and orchestras have prepared an ambitious and entertaining musical program, and our students are excited to perform!  (This also means that our ensembles are in their final preparations.  If you are the parent of a student musician, please ask him/her to play/sing their music for you.)  Our music students will perform for their peers on the morning of the 6th.


from the Athletic Department:  Guiding the College-bound Athlete – For athletes, grades 8-12, and their parents…Where?  PVHS Auditorium, When?  12/6/17, 7:00 p.m. – Learn how to…1) get recruited, 2) become academically eligible, 3) get a scholarship or grant, and 4) and set up college visits.  Attendees will receive a free SAT/ACT Prep DVD valued at $350.00.

MS West Musical Auditions - Auditions for the school musical Beauty and the Beast, Jr. will be held on December 11th with callbacks on the 12th.  Those who would like to participate are reminded to return the completed audition materials to Mr. Sands in room 104.

Stuff-A-Bus Spirit Week (December 11th - 15th)

11th, Monday:  Color War Day (6th:  Red, 7th:  Blue, 8th:  White)

12th, Tuesday:  PJ Day

13th, Wednesday:  USA Day

14th, Thursday:  Beach/Hawaiian Day

15th, Friday:  Holiday Gear/Ugly Sweater Day

Start planning your spirit week outfits.  Prizes will be awarded to the homeroom that earns the most points throughout spirit week!  


Character Education Program - Officer Stephen Rinker, of the Lower Frederick Township Police Department, will be joined by Montgomery County ADA Alec O’Neill, from the Family Protection Unit, to discuss Social Media and Cyber-safety with our students on December 12th.

Heroes’ Breakfast, 12/13/17 – It is a time-honored West tradition for our Jump Start teachers and students to honor our local first responders.  Special thanks to the PVYB board members for supporting this event, West’s cafeteria staff for preparing breakfast, PVSD students for creating hundreds of holiday/thank-you cards, and West’s Select Choir for providing entertainment.  (If you see multiple emergency vehicles in our parking lot on the morning of the 13th, there is no cause for concern!)

Stuff-a-Bus, 12/15/17 – PVMS West’s annual Stuff-a-Bus event will take place on Friday, December 15th from 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.  The cost for admission is one new, unwrapped toy or $5.00.  All proceeds of Stuff-a-Bus will benefit Toys for Tots.  There will be raffles, stage events/competitions, dancing, Bruster’s, Chick-fil-A, and an old favorite – Pie the Teacher in the face!  All activities support the main objective of the evening – to stuff a decorated bus with toys!  We hope our students will join us for this fun-filled, charitable evening!  The regional distribution center, serving all PVSD localities, is the (old) Red Hill, PA firehouse.  The scheduled distribution date is the morning of 12/16/17.

Health Office Reminder -  Parents of sixth-grade students are required to submit a physical form for your child.  Physical forms can be found on the PV Website under Parents/Forms and must be completed by your physician and submitted as soon as possible.  In addition, parents of seventh-grade students are required to submit a dental form.  This form can also be found on the website.  Failure to submit these required forms results in examinations by our school physician and dentist in the spring.  If you are not sure if you've sent in the required forms, please contact the school nurse, Mrs. Lind at 484.977.7210, ext. 4.

Ski/Snowboarding Club – Informational packets and permissions slips have been distributed to students who expressed an interest in this club.  Please ask your child to share the materials with you.  Permission slips are due no later than 1/5/18; it is important to know that participation is limited to forty-five (45) students.  If you need to speak with an advisor, please email Mrs. Sabol (dsabol@pvsd.org) or Ms. Doran (ddoran@pvsd.org).

from the Counseling Center - There will be an eighth-grade class assembly concerning North MontCo Technical Career Center, NMTCC, on Tuesday, 1/9/18. There will also be a tour of NMTCC for interested eighth-grade students. Please contact the counselors of PVMS West for more information.

Activity Fee Reminder – All seventh- and eighth-grade activities are subject to an activity fee.  These fees, including any/all materials fees, should be directed to Mrs. Barber in our main office.

Ankhor Math Tutoring – Ankhor Math Tutoring, based at PVHS, provides a free online service for students in grades K-8 in our school district.  Our own high school students provide online tutoring, outside of school hours, at a mutually agreed upon time between the high school tutor and younger student/student’s parent.  Tutoring occurs one hour each week through collaborative documents, video chat, and an online whiteboard.  This is all provided for via the Ankhor website (https://ankhor.org/).

Create an Ankhor Math Tutoring account -

1.) Parents should go to the registration page on the main website, https://ankhor.org/#/register-here.

2.) Enter the PVMSW Verification Code: S001008B5m93.

3.) Select the type of account they wish to create (Learner).

4.) Follow the remaining instructions for signing-up.

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).

Reminder about Attendance Law Changes – In November, 2016, Governor Wolf signed into law new school attendance provisions.  Act 138 of 2016, rewrites a substantial portion of the Public School Code that addresses unexcused absences and truancy.  These new provisions are in effect beginning with the 2017-2108 school year.  Essentially, if a student is absent without a note from a parent/guardian citing an acceptable reason (as per the Student Handbook), the absence is classified as unexcused.  If students accumulate three unexcused absences, they are considered “truant.”  Six days or more of unexcused absences is considered “habitually truant” and subject to consequences that may include the filing of a citation in district court.  When students accumulate ten total days of absence, excused or unexcused, the district requires a note from a doctor for any subsequent absences.

As part of the new legislation, the state is encouraging schools and families to work together in understanding unexcused absences and how students can be supported when they struggle with attendance for any reason.  The school district will develop a “Student Attendance Improvement Plan” in its efforts to address attendance issues.  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).

Fall/Winter Attire – With the winter months ahead, it is time to think about school delays, early dismissals, and school closures.  In the event of inclement weather, families will be notified via the Blackboard Connect/Connect 5 system, which informs families of delayed openings and school closures.  If a call is not received in your home and you listen to the radio or television stations, our school district closing number is 317.  Please talk with your child about procedures for an early dismissal from school.  Please be sure to update your contact information via the Home Access Center (HAC) or by notifying our office of any changes to your emergency contact numbers or email addresses.

Students are outside on the bus deck for five-fifteen minutes in the morning before the school day begins.  As the temperatures drop, please be sure your child wears appropriate attire to be outside.

Notes from Home and School - Our Home and School has been in communication with the local food pantry; as a result, West plans to keep a food collection bin in our main office.  As it is filled, H&S will empty the bin/deliver the food.

Important Dates – December:

12/5 - Band, Chorus, and Orchestra Concert, 7:30 p.m.

12/12 - Assembly, Dangers of Social Media, during school day

12/13 – Heroes’ Breakfast

12/15 - Stuff-A-Bus, 5:30 p.m.

12/22 – Last (December) Day for Students, Winter break – 12/25/17-1/1/18


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.