- Park Crest Middle School
- Principal's Blog
What a Week at PCMS!Posted by Zachary Kleypas on 12/8/2017
Happy Friday! This has been a busy week at Park Crest Middle School! We were at the Capitol (twice), we had Night of CODE, Girls Basketball was visited by VIPs, and today as you know we experienced the 2-hour delay due to the lovely snow last night!
I have a lot to share, and many great pictures. However, if you have not yet found us on Facebook and liked our page I can assure you that you are missing out on a ton of great information throughout the week including countless pictures of our kiddos and our events. You can find us on Facebook using this link: https://www.facebook.com/PFPCMS/
Night of CODE:
Our 1st annual Night of CODE was a HUGE SUCCESS. We had approximately 150 people who came out, despite the wet, rainy weather. I want to again thank our amazing community sponsor Zaxby’s and Owners Mr. & Mrs. Patel for donating meals for every participant to enjoy! I also want to thank our Pflugerville Education Foundation for providing our campus with the $10,000 grant that allowed us to purchase all of the cool technology. Finally, the icing on the cake was that our very own PfISD board of trustees Dr. Carol Fletcher came to speak to our student and families about the importance and future of coding and computer science. This was definitely a night to remember, and something I will look forward to next year! If you didn’t get to attend, please encourage your kiddos to visit Code.org to practice coding while playing from home. Here are just a few pictures from the event:
CODING at the Capitol:
On Monday, a team of students and our very own Ms. Munoz went to the Capitol in downtown Austin to demonstrate their skills and learning around coding. Special guests included Superintendent Dr. Killian, Board of Trustees Dr. Carol Fletcher, Representative Celia Israel, and many more. It is so amazing what our kiddos can do, and I am so glad that members at the Capitol got to see a handful of them in action! Below are just a few of the pictures. More can be found on the WeTeach_CS facebook page: Coding at the Capitol photos
Band at the Capitol:
On Wednesday our band students led by Mr. Lucio and Ms. Pinner traveled to the Capitol as well. Check out the pictures of our kiddos having the opportunity to perform right in the middle of the Capitol:
Gold Medal Attendance:
As I have been saying since we first arrived to school in August, attendance is so important. I am proud to say that Park Crest Middle School had the best attendance rate of all six middle schools and all four high schools in the district for the 2nd 6-weeks period of school! In fact, we were 3rd place in the whole district!!! That is phenomenal work and I truly want to thank you, the parents for that. Even with this great news, we can’t celebrate too much yet. I want to remind you how important it is to send your kiddo to school every day, especially with the holidays coming up. I know how tempting it is to start the holidays early but it really does have an impact on our campus. Let’s continue to lead the district in this important work! I will continue to share our success.
Gold Medal PSAT 8/9 Scores:
College Board, the entity through which the PSAT, SAT, and ACT is given has provided us with some campus, district, and state level results from the Fall 2017 administration. I am proud, but not surprised, to see that Park Crest is performing well above the state average! GO Pumas! This simply goes to show that the work our students and staff are doing in the classroom is really paying off. If our Pumas continue to work hard they WILL be college and career ready in just a few more years.
Students Corner (NEW):
Each week I will share a brief story from a student at Park Crest. It is pretty powerful to hear the experience of our kiddos and the great things happening right here at Park Crest. This week, our story comes from Rachel Calabuig regarding her experience with our upcoming school play:
How cool is that? There is a ton of work that goes into putting on these middle school performances. Kudos to the kiddos and our staff for all of their time, effort and work. I still don’t understand how they remember all of those lines! Some days I can barely remember what I ate for dinner the night before!
Park Crest Teacher Recognized:
You hear me talk about it all the time; building relationships and capturing kid’s hearts is key to our success. Check out this publication in the well-known (in the education world) online journal Educational Leadership. Our very own ELA teacher Mrs. Weigand was quoted in one of this week’s articles:
For the entire article, click this link: EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP ARTICLE
Extra Curricular Review:
Girls basketball: Our girls were on fire this week! All four teams came home with big victories agains the Cele Colts. Not only that, but we had some special guests in the house to watch our Puma. Thanks UT Basketball for the support!!!
Boys basketball: Our boys took on Cele Thursday night. It was an eventful night to say the least and the B teams got to finish their games but the A team games got called off right around half time due to the snow. Some of our kids and fans weren’t too disappointed about the snow however:
One Act Play: Our students performed The Last Night of Ballyhoo on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. The kiddos were fantastic and had their lines down perfectly. We wish them the best of luck as they compete in the UIL One Act Play competition on Saturday!
Playoff Game at the Pfield:
In case you didn’t hear, Hendrickson High School football is still competing in the playoffs. They play Cedar Ridge HS this Saturday at 5:00pm and it is here at the Pfield!
- Time: 5:00 pm
- Location: The PfIELD
- Presale tickets: Students - $4/Adults - $8
- Tickets @ gate: $10
Due to this event being a UIL playoff event, versus simply a PfISD game, some of our typical Pfield rules do not apply:
**Faculty IDs will not be accepted**
**Gold Passes will not be accepted**
**Student-Athlete stickers will not be accepted**
THSCA/TGCA/THSADA/13-6A UIL passes will be accepted
I hope to see you support one of our feeder high schools and PfISD!
You can even buy tickets online through this link: https://tix.extremetix.com/webtix/4572
Next Week’s Preview:
No Puma Den:
Due to our monthly faculty meeting we will not have Puma Den on Wednesday, Nov. 13th. Sorry for any inconvenience but this time to plan and improve as a staff is crucial. Students are encouraged to take the bus or make arrangements.
The band and choir winter concerts are always a real holiday treat. Band performs on Tuesday in the gym and choir performs on Wednesday in the cafeteria. I hope you can make it to at least one, if not both events to see how talented our Puma musicians are! I hope to see you there.
Opportunities to Travel For Our Pumas:
Each year students at Park Crest are provided the opportunity to travel through EF Travelers. This program is not associated with the district or the campus but is led by two of our teachers here at Park Crest. Thus, our students have an exclusive opportunity to participate if you are interested and able. For more information on the next opportunity please click this link: EF Travels Invitation
Park Crest Middle School
“Keep improving, always, in all ways.”
You Won't Want to Miss All This at PCMS!Posted by Zachary Kleypas on 12/1/2017
Happy Friday! I hope you were able to enjoy a restful and rejuvenating Thanksgiving Holiday with family and friends. The week off from school is always great, but also hard to return from and get back into the groove. Nonetheless, we have wasted no time here at Park Crest, as evident by the wealth of information below in this week’s Principal’s Blog. We understand that every minute of instructional time is important and hit the ground running on Monday.
This week I had the honor and privilege of serving on the PfISD District Strategic Planning Committee. It took me off campus for two days which is one of the hardest things for me to do. However, it was time very well spent. The committee consisted of roughly 50 individuals representing principals, counselors, teachers, central office & superintendent, board members, librarians, and many community members. It was great to brainstorm alongside so many people who genuinely care about our kids, our campuses, our district, and most importantly our community. I can honestly say that I am extremely excited and optimistic about the many ideas that were shared for how to make our already great school district even better. It is kind of like we always say here at Park Crest, let’s keep improving, always, in all ways.
Being around so many business owners, city leaders, and community members, once again reminded me of our purpose in education. It is to prepare our students, for THEIR future, by giving them opportunities, experiences, and the knowledge & skills necessary to have every option open upon graduating. Sometimes at the middle school level it is hard to see that connection as we “simply” serve the task of bridging the gap between elementary school and high school. It isn’t until the final moment with our students at their graduation commencement ceremony that we truly see the finished product of our work and the many success stories that it creates. Whether that success entails the work force, technical school, military, college, etc. In line with this, I want to share an awesome visual in our school that was put together by our AVID program. Check out this picture of just a few of our many former Pumas as they embark on their next chapter, and their future:
As a parent myself, and a former Senior Assistant Principal, I don’t want to get too sentimental on you. However, in just a few years this will be your 6th, 7th, or 8th grade kiddo too so enjoy every moment. I am so thankful to get to be a part of the journey!
FOCUS (on grades):
Do you know how to check your child’s grades online? Do you have access to your child’s grades through our online platform FOCUS? Do you check their grades regularly (a few times per week)?
If you answered no to any of those questions, I am going to highly encourage you (as would many of our other parents) to get more connected to your child’s grades through FOCUS. Here is a link to the parent portal https://focus.pfisd.net/focus/ .
If you need more help setting this up, please do not hesitate to reach out to us here at Park Crest. We only have 13.5 school days (half day included in that number) left until Winter Break begins and these grades become final 9-weeks grades. Please encourage your child to utilize EPIC and after school tutorials to seek out assistance if they need more time and help with difficult concepts.
You Won’t Want to Miss This:
Next week on Wednesday, December 6th from 6-8pm Park Crest will be hosting our 1st annual Night of CODE. This event is going to be AWESOME as we debut the numerous new pieces of technology we purchased through our $10,000 campus grant from the Pflugerville Education Foundation. Food will be provided to all participants (while supplies last). Don’t worry about your level of experience with coding, robotics, or technology. This night is all about learning, exploring, and having a great time doing so as a family! I hope to see you here!
The PfISD Big Event:
Park Crest already has nearly 100 students signed up for the Big Event! Is your child signed up to participate? This year’s 4th annual event will take place on Friday, March 2nd (which is a school day). As a reminder, the Big Event is a one-day community service project where students from all of the middle and high schools who have signed up will go to various job sites alongside teachers from their campus to perform community service. They will be transported using our Durham buses and will be fed while at their sites. The entire event starts and ends within the school day so participating students can travel to and from school like any other day of school. This is an amazing opportunity for our students and really helps build character and service skills that will last a lifetime. I highly, highly encourage you to consider signing your child up for the event. Please visit the district website for more information about the event: PfISD Big Event Webpage
All students were given a form, but you can use this link if you would like to print out a new one: BIG EVENT STUDENT PARTICIPATION FORM
Gold Medal Idea – PCMS Computer Science Kiddos:
You are going to hear a lot more about this amazing story in the near future because it is an extremely big deal, but for now I want to share some initial information. Park Crest Middle School Computer Science students entered the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest and have been recognized as one of the five State Finalists!! Over 3,000 applications were submitted from Texas. I am so proud of the work from our students, Alexis Gerace, Grace Parrott and their amazing teacher Ms. Perez. Being named a state finalist qualifies you for the next phase of the competition. Their idea was to create a kids travel safely app that helps with safety regarding transportation to and from school. “One of the most difficult problems faced by our rapidly growing community is ensuring that our children are safe at all times whether on or off school property, and when travelling to and from school. Ensuring that our children travel safely at all times is a concern for our entire community.” Please click this link for more information about the contest and our kiddos submission: Samsung Contest Information - Park Crest Middle School
Park Crest Video Announcements:
Doesn’t it seem like there is always something going on at Park Crest? How can you possibly keep up with it all? A great way to do so, and see many of our kiddos showcased is through our DAILY video announcements. Save the PCMS website homepage to the desktop and join us at 9:05 each day through viewing our video announcements from wherever you are! Please know that although we always show the announcements at 9:05ish you can view them anytime, and even see past episodes through our website. Here is a link directly to the announcements PCMS DAILY VIDEO ANNOUNCEMENTS , or you can access them from our website using the helpful image below:
It Takes a Village:
There are so many people who support the work both you and I do in helping to make sure your child is safe, has what they need, and are successful every day at school. The district showcases an individual each month who does just that. This month it is a bus driver for the district, Sandra Mock. Although Mrs. Mock is not typically performing the Park Crest routes, there are many other Heroes like her who care for our kids and make sure they make it to and from school every single day without fail. Check out the video about Mrs. Mock by clicking this link: https://spark.adobe.com/video/7ENbehMcUKWJ0
One Act Play:
Our One Act Play, led by the amazing Mrs. Kelly is gearing up for competition. They will host two performances of The Last Night of Ballyhoo here at Park Crest (tonight and Saturday) before travelling to perform at Hendrickson. This is going to be a great performance you won’t want to miss! Here is some important information regarding times and event pricing:
Girls Basketball took on the Kelly Lane Knights on Wednesday Night in some exciting games! The 8th grade travelled to Kelly Lane and the B team brought home a victory while the A team lost a close one by just 1 point. Meanwhile, the 7th grade teams were successful here at Park Crest. The B team won by a convincing 18 points. The A team however, pulled out a 2-point win in an intense double overtime game!
Boys Basketball also played Kelly Lane this week. The 7th grade team was home and represented us very well, but fell in both games to the Knights. The 8th grade team traveled to Kelly Lane and came home with two big wins!
Next Week’s Preview:
Park Crest Takes Over The Capitol:
Next week Park Crest has been asked to send a group of students to the Capitol on Monday to teach the representatives how to learn coding and robotics! This is an awesome opportunity for our campus and our kiddos. Later in the week, we return as our band has their annual performance at the Capitol. This is an amazing event where Park Crest shows the capitol why we are a Gold Medal Campus – the best of the best. I will be sure to have an update and pictures for you next week!
Partnerships With the Highschool:
Interested in childcare while you shop for the holidays? Want to take your kiddos to see Santa? Here are two opportunities to do just that, all while supporting our high school students!
- Breakfast with Santa – Senior Celebration: HHS Senior Celebration - Breakfast with Santa
- Chior Holiday Clinic: Holiday clinic flyer
Park Crest Middle School
“Keep improving, always, in all ways.”
Much To Be Thankful For at PCMS!Posted by Zachary Kleypas on 11/17/2017
Happy Friday! This was an eventful week at Park Crest Middle School! As we prepare for a much deserved, and honestly much needed holiday break we have so much to be thankful for! On behalf of the faculty and staff I want to sincerely thank our PTO and the many parents who contributed to today’s Sweet Treat event. Each and every staff member was spoiled with a pie, cake, cookies, or other holiday treat to take home and enjoy this Thanksgiving. This means a lot and your support for my staff’s hard work does not go unnoticed. I appreciate you. I want to wish you and your family a wonderful holiday and hope you are able to find time to relax and spend some quality family time together. Students and staff will enjoy an entire week off from school. We return on Monday, November 27th.
One Pride. One Family:
Thanksgiving is a time to relex, watch football, EAT, reunite with family, but most importantly to give thanks for what we have. Along those lines, I want to share with you the culminating results of One Pride. One Family support efforts for Sugar Grove Academy in Houston who was affected by the hurricanes earlier this year. I want to give thanks for the contributions of our PCMS community and give a special thanks to the efforts of one of our generous staff members, Mr. Lindman and his family for their many contributions. Park Crest came together and raised over $1,250. That money was used to purchase what their campus leadership team had deemed most urgent which was new school clothes (uniforms) for their children. We were able to purchase 212 brand new uniforms for their students. We also sent an assortment of encouragement cards from our staff and students (see below).
I wanted to highlight one of many that I found inspiring and enlightening. These kiddos never cease to amaze me.
Sugar Grove will be receiving those new uniforms and our encouragement cards soon. We will also be sending this letter on behalf of the entire PCMS family: ONE PRIDE. ONE FAMILY LETTER. Thank you again for all of your support. This Thanksgiving Holiday we have a LOT to be thankful for in the PCMS community.
Family Kahoot! Night:
Our first annual Family Kahoot! Night, brought to you by our AVID program was a huge success. We had nearly 70 people in attendance which is pretty great for the first time. I hope you will ask a friend who was in attendance because I can promise you all 70 people had a great, and exciting time. The excitement and competitiveness in the room was very apparent! Special thanks to Coach Vecchio our amazing AVID coordinator and her team of AVID leaders who made this entire event possible. After the feedback we received this will definitely be an annual event.
Kudos to our event winners (some participated individually while others in teams):
- Round 1: PCMS Facts –Garret Ping
- Round 2: Social Studies – Brendan O’Mara, Shelly O’Mara, Sean O’Mara and Brian O’Mara
- Round 3: Math - Brendan O’Mara, Shelly O’Mara, Sean O’Mara and Brian O’Mara
- Round 4: Science – Audrey Le
- Round 5: ELA – Alexis Phan
- Grand Champions!!! Brendan O’Mara, Shelly O’Mara, Sean O’Mara and Brian O’Mara
PCMS Art Contest Winner!
As many of you may know, we held our annual student art contest that concluded at the start of this month. The prize for the winning submission is to be featured on a Park Crest shirt, bag, or other item to be sold by PTO. I am proud to announce that we had a ton of great entries this year and the student votes came in close for this years winner. Congratulations to our winning submission which came from 6th grader Lexie Espinoza! Lexi’s art will be featured on an upcoming PCMS item that will be sold by our PTO. Keep an eye out for this awesome item!
Also, congrats to our other great finalists who submitted very worthy drawings. Voting was held in lunch last week, and it was a close finish but #7 came up on top. We definitely have some pretty talented Pumas here at PCMS!
Extra-Curricular in Review:
Please help me in congratulating our Park Crest Pumas who participated in the Pflugerville Falcon Special Olympics. Below are the results of the area bowling competition that the following athletes competed in at the beginning of November:
- Harrison Massey-Bronze Medal
- Isaiah Salmon-Silver Medal
- Marissa Critendon-Bronze Medal
Gold Medal Performances – UIL Academics:
The Park Crest UIL academics team quietly competed in the first UIL Academics meet and brought home 1st place in the district! Our Pumas are proving why Park Crest is such a great place to be, on the field, court and in the classroom. I could not be more proud of this group of kiddos and their fearless leader Mr. Cutter. The teams will compete again in the spring, so stay tuned for more results!
Basketball kicked off the season this week! Girls and boys both competed against Dessau Middle School this week. The girls played Monday after a super quick turnaround from tryouts last week. The 7th grade B team and both 8th grade teams were victorious. The boys played Thursday night and the 7th grade teams played hard but both A and B team came home without a victory. The 8th grade teams battled hard and both teams were victorious. The A team game was especially close and intense. Be ready for a great season if this is a preview of what is to come!
Next 2-weeks Preview:
Park Crest Middle School
“Keep improving, always, in all ways.”
Gold Medal Week at PCMS!Posted by Zachary Kleypas on 11/10/2017
Happy Friday! This has to of been one of my favorite weeks thus far this year. Why you ask? Easy, because so many of our kiddos were able to have remarkable, memorable experiences here at Park Crest. Whether it was our Volleyball teams competing in the distirct playoffs, our theatre arts students traveling to the Renaissance festival and/or UIL, our band students competing for Regional spots, Academic Honor Roll Breakfast, and of course, our Veterans Day Assembly. We understand at Park Crest that grades and academics are extremely important, but there is nothing more important than the lessons and skills we teach kids everyday outside of the content in the classroom. I am so proud of our Pumas and their many Gold Medal accomplishments this week.
A Reminder from PTO:
Each year just before Thanksgiving the amazing PTO and parents of PCMS put together a beloved event for the staff at Park Crest. This is the annual Thanksgiving PTO Desserts for staff members. Each year each staff member is given the opportunity to select a dessert that was either bought or baked by the PCMS community.
I just checked the sign-up sheet and there are still spots available and we would love your support. To sign up to participate and share a dessert with your child’s teacher please use the link below:
Veterans Day Assembly:
I want to start by genuinely thanking all of our Veterans for your service to our contry. We are so fortunate to be able to come to work and school each and every day in a free and safe country. Today's ceremony, and tomorrow official Holiday, are for you.
As expected, this years event was AMAZING! The theme this year was "We Don't Know Them All, But We Owe Them All." Students, staff, and numerous honored guests were treated to two guest speakers and a series of student performances from our band and choir in honor of all of our countries veterans. Our guests speakers included Captain McFarland and Lieutenant Colonel Lane who were both extremely motivating and inspiring. Aside from our outstanding speakers, my favorite part again this year had to be the playing of Taps. Overall, this was such a powerful and moving assembly. Please ask your child about what they thought when they get home today. I cannot give enough thanks to our amazing Mrs. King who coordinates this entire event every year. We are so grateful to have her as part of the PCMS Family. I also want to thank our two amazing art teachers Mrs. Daniel and Mrs. Kempf for theier amazing backdrop they made just for this event. Please visit our PCMS facebook page for pictures of the event: PCMS FACEBOOK PAGE Also, check out these pictures below:
Please use this link to read a little bit more about our guest speakers: VETERANS DAY ASSEMBLY SPEAKERS
On Saturday, our girls took the court for the PfISD middle school volleyball playoffs. This new format for ending the season was extremely exciting and gave the athletes a taste of what high school sports will be like. Although I spent the majority of my time watching our 8th graders play their last ever game as a Puma over at Weiss, I am proud of the work of all of our teams. Win or lose, every season is always a huge success because of the experiences that our kiddos learn through being part of a team. Not only that, but the pride I see in our students and in their parents, guardians, and accompanying fans makes me proud to be a part of the Park Crest family!
I want to give a special thanks to our Gold Medal coaches; Vecchio, Munoz, Christian, and Girls Coordinator Coach Hinojos. As I am sure many of you know, these coaches put in countless hours to help our athletes be successful and be able to compete at a high level.
Football Playoff Games:
Our football team concluded their season this week as well. Unlike volleyball, where they competed in a bracketed playoff, football was seeded into games based on their regular season record within their pool. Based on our successful season both 8th grade teams played in the championship games and our two 7th grade teams played in the 3rd place games. I am proud to announce that ALL four teams were successful in their season ending game. In fact, our two 8th grade teams brought home the coveted district championship trophy and will be receiving a banner to hang in our gym for all to see for many years. I am so proud of all of our athletes and their great season.
Just like with our girl’s athletics coaches I want to give a special thank you to our boys coaches; Wilson, Prine, Elliot, and Coordinator Coach Lauve. You will not find a better group of committed middle school boys coaches anywhere.
I present you with the 2017-18 Pflugerville ISD 8th grade B team football District Champions!
I present you with the 2017-18 Pflugerville ISD 8th grade A team football District Champions!
Theatre Arts Visits the Texas Renaissance Festival:
On Tuesday Mrs. Kelly and her Theatre Arts students visited the Texas Renaissance Festival to be transported into an experience unlike many others. At the festival students were able to see individuals who were taking on a new persona through costumes, accents, and mannerisms. This experience is exactly like what they are expected to accomplish through theatre arts. What better way to learn how to transport their future audiences into a story, than to join one themselves!
REGIONAL Band Members:
After two rounds of fierce competition against students from Round Rock, Manor, Georgetown, Hutto, and Pflugerville, we are pleased to announce that 12 of our Puma Band members earned a chair in the Region 18 Region Band. They will be performing on Saturday, December 16 at the Round Rock ISD Performing Arts Center. Way to go, Puma Band!
Pictured (from right to left)
David Sanchez, 6th Chair Alto Saxophone, Concert Band Grace Parrott, 7th Chair Euphonium, Concert Band Mia Bachtel, 6th Chair Horn, Symphonic Band Genesis Moffett, 11th Chair Clarinet, Concert Band
Madelyne Ziegler, 6th Chair Horn, Concert Band Daniella Vargas, 1st Chair Trombone, Concert Band Karely Garcia Hernandez, 11th Chair Trumpet, Concert Band Rachel Tran, 10th Chair Flute, Symphonic Band
Nathan Roque, 8th Chair Alto Saxophone, Concert Band Golden Nguyen, 7th Chair Clarinet, Concert Band Brianna Gunsch, 12th Chair Flute, Symphonic Band Naomi Roque, 8th Chair Clarinet, Concert Band
Academic Honor Roll:
This week wasn’t just about fun and games though. On Tuesday we honored our first nine weeks honor roll recipients. Any student who received all A’s or all A’s and just 1 B on their report card was recognized. As you can imagine, at a school like Park Crest who has high academic expectations for our students, this is no easy feat. That being said, we had over 20% of our students, or over 190 students recognized at the event! I hope that we can make this number grow each nine weeks! How can we do it? Continue to emphasize to students that every assignement in every class matters. Be proactive with studying and preparing for tests and visiting teachers for tutorials after school as much as necessary.
Big Game Tonight:
If you can weather the cold, there is a huge rivalry game brewing tonight at the Pfield! The Hendrickson Hawks take on the Pflugerville Panthers. Since Park Crest splits after the 8th grade and students attend both of these schools, I expect to see a lot of Pumas in attendance. If you plan on attending, the Hendrickson side will be the “home” side of the stadium and the Pflugerville side with be the “away” side. Guests will NOT be able to change sides once they enter the stadium.
Park Crest teacher, Ms. Layman, was recently recognized in a national publication for her work with Explore America travels. This work has impacted many Pumas and we are so proud and thankful to have Ms. Layman as an advocate for student experiences in, and outside of school. Check out this blurb from their recent newsletter (disregard that those who are not from Pflugerville sometimes neglect the all-important Pf).
Next 2-Week’s Preview:
Kahoot! Family Night:
Our 1st annual Kahoot! Family night is quickly approaching. The event will be held in the PCMS cafeteria on Tuesday, November 14th from 6-8pm. Students, parents, and staff are invited to participate in a fun and interactive night of trivia! Questions will be based off of questions from students homework, notes, and tests from this school year. Come on out and compete as an individaul or a team to see if YOU are smarter than a middle schooler! The winning team/individual will recieve special recognition and a trophy!
The Rumble in the ‘Ville:
Due to incliment weather the game between the Pflugerville Falcons Special Olympics team and the Pflugerville Police Department was rescheduled to Wednesday, November 15th. I hope to see you there for this fun event!
I often hear from students and/or parents that it is okay to miss the day before or after a holiday because “not much is going on at school anyways...” Please know that this is a huge myth! The day before and after a holiday are crucial to two things:
- They are times when teachers and students conclude lessons and either wrap up or start up important information. Missing either of these times can put your child at an academic disadvantage.
- Attendance matters to our campus every single day. If we work so hard to get our kids here every day and have just one bad day, it can completely disrupt all of that hard work. Remember, the attendance of our campus affects our academic state accountability and how much money the state provides to our district and thus our kiddos.
Please make sure that your kiddos make it into school on those days.
We have been granted an entire week for Thanksgiving break again this year, so please enjoy all of that time with family and friends. It is the perfect time for our kiddos and our staff to recharge and regroup. Please, please, please, take a moment between now and then to send an email to your child’s teacher(s) simply wishing them a happy holiday and thanking them for what they do each day for your child. Those kind notes are what keep our hard working teachers going day after day.
To you, as the parents, guardians, and supportive members of the community, I thank you for your yearlong support and for sending us such great kiddos each and every day. As I have said before, and I will continue to say throughout the year, YOU are an important piece of the puzzle to our success, and we understand that although we get to be with these kiddos for a long part of each day, they have a support team at home as well. Together, let’s continue to make this a Gold Medal- the best of the best- school year at Park Crest Middle School!
Park Crest Middle School
“Keep improving, always, in all ways.”
November Begins at PCMS!Posted by Zachary Kleypas on 11/3/2017
Happy Friday! With October behind us, November means holidays are just around the corner. Can you believe that we are only two weeks from our first holiday break, Thanksgiving? We have a ton of events and activities going on this week, and the upcoming weeks which gives us all a ton of opportunities to come out and support our amazing Pumas. In addition, it is so important that students utilize each day to take care of grades, study, and complete homework. This 9-weeks is actually shorter than nine weeks and with the two holiday breaks it can be one of the hardest nine weeks for students to keep up with grades. However, if we both continue to emphasize every homework, assignment, and test we can stay caught up and have a super successful closure of the first semester. What do I suggest to help your child be successful?
- As a parent, check FOCUS as often as possible. Although our students are learning to advocate for themselves, it is important to keep an eye on their grades as well. As a parent myself, I don’t feel bad advising you that it is not enough to simply “ask them if they have any homework”.
- Send your child to afterschool tutorials to complete any missing assignment or test retakes. Utilizing tutorials throughout the 9-weeks will help your child get more individualized support. Tutorials during the last week of the 9-weeks are always jam packed because kids, just like many of us, procrastinate from time to time. I always tell them, “it is so much easier to keep up, than to catch up.” Don’t wait until the final hour to bring grades up.
- Help them use their PCMS agenda to calendar out upcoming tests/assignments and set aside time to study.
In addition to making sure we focus on grades, I want to also ask that we please focus on attendance. When the weather changes it is incredible important that we all bundle up each day in appropriate winter clothing, wash our hands as frequently as possible, eat well, and get plenty of sleep so our body can rejuvenate each day so that we can avoid getting sick. I also know that it can be very tempting to get a head start or late return during the holiday breaks. I ask that you please not do that because those days are extremely important to instruction and have a huge effect on our yearly attendance rate. Did you know that the attendance rate of our campus affects the amount of money that the state gives to our district and thus to our campus? Did you also know that the attendance rate is used in our campus performance accountability; how we are rated compared to other schools of a similar size and students? Long story short, every student matters, every day. It matters to their success, and to ours as a campus. Thank you in advance for helping us keep our campus attendance rate high during the month of November and December.
Now let’s check out all of those events I mentioned were taking place:
PCMS Fall Dance:
Last Friday PCMS hosted its first dance of the school year which was coordinated by our amazing student council students and their sponsor Mrs. Akuretiya. I have to say, the dance was PACKED. We had more students in attendance than any dances last year, and perhaps many of the years prior to that. In talking to the kiddos who were there it was clear that they had a great time! Check out the pictures below of our transformed cafeteria and many student costumes.
And how about our Student Council student leaders who made it all possible? We couldn’t have pulled it off without their leadership, dedication, and volunteer efforts that night:
Our 2nd annual Literacy Night and accompanying Book fair were a HUGE success! We had over 200 people roaming the halls of Park Crest, desperately trying to complete each task in order to find the vaccine before the zombies took over! I want to give an enormous thank you to Ms. Flores who coordinated the entire event! She was supported by numerous teachers and staff members who volunteered their night to bring this experience to life for our kiddos. Just another example of how amazing the staff at PCMS is. Check out the pictures below of our kiddos as they complete the various Literacy based tasks that were scattered throughout the halls.
A near disaster with regards to the vaccine occurred, but we were able to relocate it just in time to save the students!
Unfortunately, not everyone made it out… Our poor Park Crest cheerleaders sacrificed so much, for the success of others:
This week we recognized our students who are committed to being at school and have PERFECT attendance. Through a partnership with Zaxby’s we were able to provide all of our kiddos with perfect attendance for the 1st 9 weeks with a certificate and a gift card for a FREE Big Zack Snack! We will continue this award for the 2nd and 3rd nine weeks. I want to also take this moment to recognize you as parents for making the commitment to getting your kiddos here to school each and every day. It is so important that they are here and in classes in order to be an active part of the learning environment.
A Word from PTO:
Each year just before Thanksgiving the amazing PTO and parents of PCMS put together a beloved event for the staff at Park Crest. This is the annual Thanksgiving PTO Desserts for staff members. Each year each staff member is given the opportunity to select a dessert that was either bought or baked by the PCMS community. To sign up to participate and share a dessert with your child’s teacher and supporting staff please use the link below. Information about how to drop off the dessert on the day before Thanksgiving Break, Nov. 17th, will be provided closer to that date: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0C4AA9AC2DA1F49-park
- Gold Medal Band Performances:
On Saturday, October 28th, Park Crest band students competed against other band students for a placement in the Region 18 District Band. Those who scored high enough will be advancing to Region Band auditions on Saturday, November, 4th. Over 300 students auditioned and we are proud to announce that 23 of our Puma Band members earned the District Band distinction, with 13 moving on to the next level of competition. This is a huge accomplishment. I am so proud of all of our Puma band students. Way to go, Puma Band!
- Rachel Tran Flute District Advancing to Region
- Brianna Gunsch Flute District Advancing to Region
- Katherine Davis Flute District
- Naomi Roque Clarinet District Advancing to Region
- Golden Nguyen Clarinet District Advancing to Region
- Genesis Moffett Clarinet District Advancing to Region
- Emily Duncan Clarinet District
- David Sanchez Saxophone District Advancing to Region
- Nathan Roque Saxophone District
- Jaden Jamis Saxophone District
- Peter Dinh Saxophone District
- Karley Garcia Hernandez Trumpet District Advancing to Region
- Andrea Ladinos Trumpet District
- Bianca Anderson Trumpet District
- Mia Bachtel French Horn District Advancing to Region
- Madelyne Ziegler French Horn District Advancing to Region
- Ethan Visness French Horn District
- Amanda Burgess French Horn District
- Daniella Vargas Trombone District Advancing to Region
- Grace Parrott Euphonium District Advancing to Region
- Nathan Tran Euphonium District
- Saeed Muhammad Tuba District Advancing to Region
- Michael Dezeeuw Tuba District Advancing to Region
District Band picture attached (Not pictured: Daniella Vargas and Ethan Visness) More pictures of our awesome kiddos can be found on our Park Crest Facebook page. You can access it (and like it) using this link: https://www.facebook.com/PFPCMS/
Football concluded their regular season on Monday night against the Pflugerville Panthers. This was the last game of the regular season leading into the playoffs!
The regular season has officially ended for volleyball. That means it is time for the playoffs! Based on the regular season records each team in the district was given a spot in the tournament bracket. Games will be held this weekend, 8th grade at Weiss HS and 7th grade at Connally HS. Winner of the tournament will be crowned district champs! Please see below for round one start times for each of our four Puma teams, and come out and cheer on our lady pumas.
Here is a link to each teams playoff bracket:
Next TWO Week’s Preview:
The football team also finished their regular season play this year. Unlike volleyball they will not be participating in a multi game tournament to crown a district champ. Instead teams are placed into one of three games based on their record within their regular season pool. Our regular season pool was PCMS, Kelly Lane, and Cele. Each team will play one game to determine their final district ranking. Our two 8th grade teams are in the championship game and have the opportunity to bring home a district championship banner, if they can win their game. Below is a schedule of each of those games and when/where they will be played.
Zaxby’s & Special Olympics:
Wednesday, Nov. 8th is going to be another Spirit Night for PCMS. This week it will be at Zaxby’s near Park Crest from 5-8pm. Simply stop in and order dinner, and part of the proceeds will go to Park Crest PTO!
After you grab some dinner, head over to the Pfield to watch the Pflugerville Special Olympic flag football team, The Pflugerville Falcons take on the Pflugerville Police Department! It will be a fun event for the whole family. Information regarding both events, including ticket prices and details can be found below:
Veteran’s Day Assembly:
Our Veteran’s day assembly is always an incredible event. Set with keynote speakers, performances from our student groups, and other memorable moments, it is one of those events that leaves a lasting impression on our students and staff. Coordinated by our very own Mrs. King, this year’s event is sure to be another treat. We invite all veterans and their families to please join us for the event. Guests may arrive at 8:40AM for refreshments before the assembly.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Pflugerville Pfling. The community is invited to attend the 3rd annual Pfoundation Pfling, sponsored by St. David’s, from 8:30 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Nov. 11 at the Pfield, 1440 West Pecan St. Attendees can visit with different vendors and compete in the first ever, Pfun Challenge Course. Vendors will offer kid-friendly games and giveaways. There will also be live music, a photo booth and refreshments at the event. The purpose of the Pfoundation Pfling is to celebrate education and raise funds to provide resources for PfISD students and teachers.
Pfun Challenge Course (FREE)
Show up. Sign up. Compete. Teams of three or more players will choose a team name and race through the obstacle course against an opposing team. There are eight unique challenges ranging from agility ladders, team skis, hula hoops, an emergency response relay and more! Team times will be placed on a leader board tracking the fastest competitors. See obstacle course rendering below.
NO Puma Den on Wednesday, Nov. 15th:
Please note that there will be no Puma Den on Nov. 15th due to a campus-wide faculty meeting. As always, students will be allowed to wait out front for rides but it is recommended that they take the bus or are picked up around 3:35 when school lets out.
Park Crest Middle School
“Keep improving, always, in all ways.”
Red Ribbon Week at PCMS!Posted by Zachary Kleypas on 10/27/2017
Happy Friday! What an amazing week this has been. In talking to many of our students, this was the best week of the year thus far. Hard to top a week that consists of Red Ribbon Week, a pep rally, and an early release day all in one week. Not to mention tonight is the Fall Dance! I hope to see your kiddos later this evening.
As I have mentioned before, and will mention again, here at PCMS we understand that “If you have a child’s heart… you have a child’s mind” – Flip Flippen. That quote comes from one of Park Crest’s main focuses in putting the pieces of the puzzle together, and that is our focus on Capturing Kids Hearts (CKH). This week I got to attend an amazing professional development through CKH called Process Champions alongside ten of our teacher leaders. This professional development was geared around helping us even further hone the things we intentionally do on campus to build relationships. My teachers and I came back so fired up and inspired. I am sure you and your children will see the impact in the short and long term.
Along those same lines of building relationships, sometimes it is good to balance the high expectations and consistent focus on student achievement with simply having fun and being a bit silly. This week our kiddos got to enjoy many spirited days thanks to Red Ribbon Week. Wednesday was definitely one of the favorite days as students filled the school in their cute and cuddly onesies. I saw Winnie the Pooh, Mario, Pikachu, Lilo and Stitch, Dragons, Teddy Bears, Wonder Women, and much more. Check out these pictures of our spirited participants.
Today, Friday, was crazy sock day for our students, but our staff had a little surprise up our sleeve! To show that we have the ability to be a bit silly too we secretly arrived at school in our “educationally focused costumes” in preparation for tonight’s Fall Dance. Check out a couple of our fun pictures and see if you can guess which PCMS Staff member they are:
Now, I know I might have a reputation of being a bit formal with my daily suit and tie attire, but I also know how to have a bit of fun myself. I surprised not only the kiddos but also the staff in my “Student’s First” costume today. We pride ourselves in making decisions about the campus, based first on the needs of our students. That is evident every single day on campus. In that spirit, I dressed, as best as I could, as a Proud PCMS Student. It took some of our kiddos until about 3rd period to realize it was me:
We had an awesome first pep rally of the school year. The school morale after an event like this is always at an all-time high. Students filled the gym to watch the cheerleaders perform, the band play, and support our football and volleyball athletes. Wish you could have been there to see it? Well you can by checking out this awesome 360 picture of the event: PCMS PEP RALLY!
Also worth noting is that a long standing tradition during our pep rallies is the earning of the Spirit Stick. The spirit stick goes to the loudest and proudest grade level who can scream, shout, and holler in support of our athletes. Historically, it has been an award that is consistently claimed by our 6th graders. This year was no exception. Those 6th graders can scream to a frightening, but fun level. Check out this picture of some of the proud 6th graders as they hoist the Spirit Stick in the air in worthy celebration.
I am so proud of our 13 Pumas who auditioned in this year’s regional choir. Check out this special congratulatory message we received because of the outstanding 13 Pumas who represented PCMS, and their Gold Medal performance:
“I want to complement Tyler Groft and the Park Crest Middle School choir students for their hard work! On Saturday, there were 13 students from your school auditioning with hundreds of other students from our region, which includes 23 school districts north and east of Austin. To prepare for this, the students spent the past couple of months learning 4 very challenging songs. On the day of the audition, students had to overcome their nerves to sing excerpts from two of those songs individually for a panel of 5 music professionals. The judges selected the top 30 students per voice part to be part of the All-Region Choir. The students who participated in this audition process went above and beyond, and they gained valuable, real-world experiences from it.
Congratulations to 4 students (listed below) from Park Crest Middle School who have earned a spot in the All-Region Choir! They will have the opportunity to work with a clinician and give a concert at the Klett Center for the Performing Arts in Georgetown on Saturday, November 4th at 4:30 p.m. You are invited to join us at this concert, which will be free and open to the public.”
8th Grade Women:
- Harlow Hurley
- McKenlee Wilson
7th Grade Women:
- Anavelle Urbina
- Caedran Yeidel
Gold Medal - Park Crest Cafeteria Staff:
Want to know why Park Crest is such an amazing campus? It is because no matter who you are or what you do at PCMS, everyone here cares about kiddos. But don’t just take it from me, check out this short video that was included in a recent Superintendent’s message, about Park Crest Middle Schools Cafeteria Manager, Melba Blakely:
While we are talking about the cafeteria, it is that time again for the annual Holiday canned food drive. Check out the flyer below for more info:
It is that time again, when students travel back to their EPIC 1.0 classrooms to learn about the student character trait of the month. This month’s trait is being a leader. We believe that a leader is an individual who knows the way, shows the way, and goes the way. A leader can be anyone, anytime, who leads others positively by example and action. Park Crest’s success relies on leaders to help guide and encourage others to be the best they can be and follow the Park Crest expectations. To follow along with us in our lesson, please click this link: NOVEMBER EPIC 1.0 PRESENTATION
PfISD Big Event Forms:
I am extremely excited to announce that we have begun the kickoff for the 4th annual PfiSD Big Event. The Big Event is a one-day community service project where students from PfISD go into the community with teacher leaders to perform various community service opportunities. Participation is open to all 6-12th grade students in PfISD. The only requirements are a completed participation form and passing grades in all classes at the end of the 2nd 9-weeks. The event will take place this year on Friday, March 2nd and I can assure you that your child will NOT want to miss this amazing opportunity. Last year over 3,000 students from PfISD went into the community and made a positive impact. Your child will be coming home today with a form to be signed. These forms can be returned to school as soon as Monday of next week. Please encourage your child to participate and get their form turned in asap. Here is a link to the PfISD Big Event page on the district website for more information: http://www.pfisd.net/Domain/1455
Little Hawks Cheer Workshop:
Check out this fun Cheer workshop going on at HHS this weekend for any interested kiddos. Here is a link to registration details: CHEER WORKSHOP
Football took on the Kelly Lane Knights this week. The 7th grade travelled to KLMS and played hard, but came up short. However, the 8th graders showed why they are still undefeated this year with two big wins at home. Next week’s game against PMS is the last regular season game before we move into the “playoff” games.
Volleyball played on Thursday night against the Cele Colts. 8th lost in some close matches while both 7th grade teams were victorious. Their next competition will be on Saturday, Nov. 4th when the district middle school volleyball playoff tournament begins. The tournament runs from 9AM – 1PM. When we know official seeding and game times we will communicate that out.
Kickstart competed a few weekends ago and our kiddos as usual did amazing. I have just received the results for our Pumas and wanted to share them with you as a proud principal. You will also notice some names of some former Pumas who represented us well.
Next Week’s Preview:
Halloween, Tuesday Oct. 31st:
Although I hope that every kiddo who wants to trick-or-treat has a great Halloween evening, we are not allowing costumes here at Park Crest. Unfortunately, it simply causes too much of a distraction and becomes too much of a personal opinion on what might be considered appropriate in a school environment. For that reason, I politely ask that you save all outfits and festivities for after school. Thank you in advance.
Veterans Day Assembly:
Friday, Nov. 10th is our annual Veterans Day Assembly. We would like to officially invite all veterans and their families to join us for this spectacular event. Honored guests will be provided snacks, refreshments, and a light breakfast both before and after the event as well as priority seating. The event will include a guest keynote speaker and performances from our students. The assembly will run from approximately 8:45AM – 10:00AM.
Kahoot! Family Night:
Are you smarter than an average middle schooler? Come show off your skills with a fun Kahoot! (similar to trivia) night at Park Crest Middle School. Families and friends are welcome to come compete on a team or solo. This will be a fun night for everyone. Save the date now so you don’t miss out!
Park Crest Middle School
“Keep improving, always, in all ways.”
1st 9 Weeks in the Books at PCMSPosted by Zachary Kleypas on 10/20/2017
Happy Friday! This was a great week at Park Crest. You could really tell that the 9-weeks was coming to an end because kiddos and teachers were working tirelessly to close out the grading period. As we close one chapter, the next one begins. I am optomistic that we are going to find ways to make an awesome start of the school year even better during the 2nd 9-weeks! Below is a recap of this weeks activities followed by a list of numerous important events coming up next week. I hope you enjoy!
Gold Medal - The Kennedy Project:
Have you heard about what a Park Crest Puma has been working on? It has been coined the Kennedy project and is pretty spectacular. Click on this link to read the article for more information: THE KENNEDY PROJECT
Staff in the Spotlight:
I would like to recognize a few of our recent staff members of the week! Check out these three most recent staff members of the week. Talk about awesome Pumas!
Parent Involvement Plan:
At Park Crest, we understand that everyone is an important piece of the puzzle that leads to the success of our campus. Students, staff, parents, and the community all play an important role. To that point, each year we develop a Parent Involvement Plan to ensure we reach out and meet the needs of our parents to connect what happens in our campus to those who support us on the outside. Please take a moment to check out the 2017-18 Park Crest Parent Improvement Plan using this link: 2017-18 PCMS PARENT INVOLVEMENT PLAN
Every Kiddo Needs to Eat:
I know I have said it before, but I want to say it again. It is this time of year, every year, that we notice more and more kiddos no longer eating lunch, receiving an alternate lunch from the cafeteria, or simply not eating at all because their yearly Free & Reduced Lunch application has not been properly submitted. Please know that this form must be completed every year, even if your child has received FAR lunch at some point this year. It “drops” kiddos a year from the date they applied last year. It is happening continuously and us administrators are keeping a close eye out for kiddos who are not eating. Please help by taking a moment to apply if you believe you might qualify and have not yet done so this year. Here is a link to the easy form: https://www.myschoolapps.com/Application
Gifted & Talented Nomination Window:
The window for nominations for Gifted and Talented opens Oct. 23rd to Nov. 3rd. Please use this link for more information: GT INFORMATION
Kickstart: Our PCMS Kickstart kiddos travelled to Hendrickson High School last weekend. As we have come to expect, all of our kiddos performed fantastically.
Football: The boys competed Tuesday night against the Dessau Diamond Backs. Both 7th grade teams won at home. 8th Grade A team traveled the Dessau and brought home a win, while the B team finished in a close game with a tie.
Choir Concert: Choir showcased their work with our annual Fall Concert Wednesday night. What a showcase it was! Sgt. Groft and our kiddos were fantastic. I really appreciate how our students introduce each song and give a brief explanation of the origin. The students learn how to sing, perform, and lead in the PCMS choir program.
6th Grade AVID Trip: As I am sure many of you are aware, from first hand experience, or my email updates yesterday, we had a bit of a delay with our AVID field trip. As a pretty big Texas A&M fan, I definitely wanted our kiddos to have a trip to remember when they visited Aggieland. However, bus issues and multiple delays was not exactly what I had in mind. Nonetheless, our kiddos and teachers are rockstars and made the most of a not so pleasant situation. In talking to many of the 6th graders today it was apparent that they still had a great time and enjoyed the experience. The delays on this trip were definitely not ideal, but helped demonstrate to our kiddos that together we can make it through any tough situation. Go Pumas!
Volleyball: Our Lady Pumas also faced the diamond backs and had a great week. All four teams were victorious this week.
Extra-Curricular Pictures: Ever want to see more pictures of our athletes and after school events? Check us out on Facebook. If you haven’t yet liked our Park Crest page, please take a moment to do so. It is a great way to follow our kiddos and their experiences and achievements. You can find us using this link: https://www.facebook.com/PFPCMS/
Next Week’s Preview:
Red Ribbon Week:
Next week is Red Ribbon Week (did you get tongue tied when you read that? I always do). Anyways. The week is in support of an alcohol, tobacco, and other drug and violence prevention awareness campaign observed annually in October in the United States. Check out the fun spirit days below and help your kiddos show their support by dressing in each day’s attire:
Pep Rally Schedule:
Tuesday, October 24th is Park Crest’s 1st pep rally of the 2017-18 school year. We are celebrating the successful volleyball and football seasons and their athletes. In addition, we showcase our band, choir, cheerleaders, and more! This is an awesome time to build school spirit and show support for our fellow students. Below is the adjusted bell schedule:
Early Release Schedule:
Wednesday, October 225th is an Early Release day meaning our students will be released at 12:45pm. Please see the bell schedule below:
Friday, October 27th is Park Crest’s first dance of the 2017-18 school year. The Park Crest Fall Dance is going to be awesome! Put together by our outstanding Student Council students, led by their sponsor Mrs. Akuretiya.
TIME: 6:00 – 9:00PM
6th graders are in the gym for activities from 6:00 – 7:30 and in the cafeteria from 7:30 – 9:00pm.
7th and 8th are in the dance from 6:00-7:30 and in the gym for activities from 7:30 – 9:00pm.
Cost: $5 if bought at lunch on Wed – Fri; $8 if bought at the door Friday night.
We love hosting these dances for our kiddos as an extra way to build school culture and show our kiddos a good time. It is extremely important to me to ask that you please honor the pickup time at the end of the night. Although my teachers and administrators genuinely enjoy spending the evening in this fun filled environment, many have lovely families of their own that they want to get home to.
Make a Difference Day: Easterseals – Oct. 28th 8am-12:
Saturday, October 28th our amazing PTO will be working with Easterseals from 8am-noon, on Make a Difference Day. If you have any old household items you are ready to get rid of, please bring them by the PCMS front parking lot during that time. A donation is made to the Park Crest PTO based on the items brought in. This is the perfect time to clean out the house of those unwanted items.
Save the Date:
I hope to see a bunch of black and teal on Saturday Nov. 8th at the annual Pflugerville Education Foundation Pfling. It is a great time for families to come out and have fun, while supporting PfISD! I hope to see you there. Click this link for more info on the event: PEF PfLING
Park Crest Middle School
“Keep improving, always, in all ways.”
Five Days Made Into Four at PCMSPosted by Zachary Kleypas on 10/13/2017
Happy Friday! This week we were only able to enjoy our kiddos for four days instead of five, but boy did we make the most of it. We were busy at work in classes as we are entering the final week of the first 9-weeks of school and report cards are on the horizon. Extracurricular events were exciting and our kiddos made us all proud to be Pumas. We also enjoyed two events that honored the hard work and character development of our students through the NJHS Induction ceremony and the first Puma Pride Breakfast of the 2017-18 school year. It was an overall great week with much to share. So sit back and enjoy this week’s Principal’s Blog:
Monday, October 9th:
While our kiddos were enjoying a much needed three-day weekend, our faculty and staff were hard at work on Monday. We utilized our time in professional development session ranging from assessments and data, to PLC planning, to utilizing new technology applications, and more! However, the most exciting part about our day was that we were joined by an incredibly motivating and inspiring key note speaker, Dr. Patrick Briggs. Dr. Briggs is the AVID Director of the Southern Region and he came to Park Crest to speak with our staff and the staff from Pflugerville Middle School. His inspiring message centered around our role as educators in helping our students be Gold Medal through providing opportunities and having high expectations. If you want to hear a similar message from Dr. Briggs, feel free to check out his keynote speech at a past AVID Summer Conference and experience his message and his enthusiasm using this link: Patrick Briggs: AVID Conference 2016
My personal favorite part of his speech was when he talked about relational capacity. Simply put, this describes the professional relationship built between students and staff that allows them to have those hard conversations and yet get a positive outcome simply because the student knows that the staff member cares about them. This is exactly what PCMS tries to accomplish through our strategic work of Capturing Kids Hearts. It also makes me think of my own daughter, and how sometimes I have to correct her behavior or mindset during situations when she has made the wrong decision. It is that relationship that we have that allows me to say things that might not make her feel great at the moment, but make her a better person and learn as she grows up because she knows I care about her. That relational capacity with our friends, family, co-workers, students, and even people we barely know is what makes the difference in our impact and success.
Below is a picture of our two schools coming together for this amazing presentation:
End of the 1st 9 Weeks & Tutorials:
The end of the 9 weeks is coming up extremely fast! Here are the things you can do now to support your kiddo in the final week:
- Check your childs grades in FOCUS
- Ensure they have turned in all missing homework and taken all possible retests (if necessary)
- Encourage them to attend after school tutorials as needed
Our hope is that our kiddos will keep improving each 9 weeks. A key factor is helping to encourage our kiddos to use good habits during the entire 9 weeks, not simply at the end. Here are conversations you can have with your child to promote an even more successful 2nd 9-weeks:
- Utilizing their agendas, in class and at home
- Checking their own grades on FOCUS
- Visiting their teachers for after school tutorials
- Asking questions in class
- Taking quality notes during class
- Studying as you go, not the night before a big test
- Taking every assignement and quiz seriously
- Doing their best every day in every thing
- Setting goals, both short term and long term
Puma Pride Breakfast:
Perhaps one of my favorite ceremonies each year is our Puma Pride Breakfast. Our first of four Puma Pride Breakfasts took place Thursday morning before school. It is an invitation only event and is designed for our students who have been nominated by their teacher for demonstrating one of the six character traits from our PCMS Crest. Each staff member is allowed to nominate only one student so it is a very small group. My message to these kiddos was that they have been recognized for their character, and through their actions, decisions, and leadership others will follow. I am so thankful for being at a campus with such outstanding kiddos. It is the students who make PCMS a Gold Medal campus.
NJHS Induction Ceremony:
Today was our NJHS Induction Ceremony where we proudly recognized forty 8th graders for their amazing achievements. Representatives from the Pflugerville High School National Honor Society came to deliver the message of acceptance to each student and speak at our ceremony. Also, PfISD Superintendent Dr. Killian took time out of his busy schedule to join us and give a keynote speech to our outstanding student leaders. I cannot wait to see the great work that this group does for our campus and our community throughout the school year. Beyond just being great students and leaders our NJHS students can typically be seen mentoring nearby elementary students, volunteering in community events, and much more.
PTO Taco Bar:
I want to thank our AMAZING PTO and the many parents who donated items for today’s Taco Bar. This was the perfect treat for our staff members after a busy week. Spoiling our teachers for their countless hours and dedication to our kiddos is greatly appreciated. This is by no means an easy job, but we all feel as though we were called to education. Events like this remind us all of your appreciation, and so I want to thank you for providing my staff with that feeling again today.
Gold Medal – Round Rock Chalk Walk:
Once again the Park Crest Pumas led by the amazing Mrs. Daniel entered the Round Rock Chalk walk competition last weekend. Once again, the Pumas brought home the Gold Medal first place prize in their division! I could not be more proud of the amazing work of our students and the amazing message they chose to illustrate in this year’s event. Can you believe the image below was done by middle school students? Pretty amazing how talented our kiddos are.
A Few Bus Changes (starting Monday, Oct. 16th):
- Parents of students who ride BUS 107:
In an effort to increase the efficiency and timeliness of all bus routes within the Pflugerville ISD, we have determined it necessary to make changes to stops located in the Springbrook Glen & Springbrook Enclave subdivisions.
Here is a link to a message that has been sent home to kiddos affected by this change: BUS 107 CHANGES
- Parents of students who ride BUS 91:
Due to consistent overcrowding on Bus 91, we have determined that students living in the VILLAS @ SPRING TRAILS apartments will be assigned to Bus 107. Also, in an effort to increase the efficiency and timeliness of all bus routes within the Pflugerville ISD, we have determined it necessary to make changes to stops located in the Royal Pointe subdivision.
Here is a link to a message that has been sent home to kiddos affected by this change: BUS 91 CHANGES
BOY Parent Survey:
In order to keep improving, always, in all ways, we would like some feedback about your opinions and experiences thus far at Park Crest. I would like to encourage you to complete our BOY Parent Survey using the link below by Friday of next week, October, 19th, 2017 so we can take a look at your responses. Here is the link to the survey: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdiJ7a0Pqb6dC1BUFngAcO9uhefQ5tQS9-hNeO-FWKhreO1Hg/viewform?usp=sf_link
District Staff Member of the Month!
There are over 1,700 teachers in Pflugerville ISD. Now I may be a bit biased, but I am pretty confident that many of the best are located right here at Park Crest Middle School. This month, PfISD recognized the first District Staff Member of the Month for the 2017-18 school year. Well, similar to last year, that individual is here at Park Crest! Our amazing Mrs. Clifford was recognized at Park Crest this week as the Pflugerville ISD September Teacher of the Month. Mrs. Clifford was awarded a PEF grant last year, has been a leader of students and staff in her department, and is always willing to step in, no matter the situation, to help our students and our campus be successful. Please help us congratulate her on this prestigious Gold Medal accomplishment. Check out the celebratory picture of Mrs. Clifford and I, along with amazing HHS AP Mr. Black (nomination committee member)
History has shown that we have many exceptional writers at PCMS. In past years, we have had numerous finalists and champions of local writing contests. This year, I would like to share with you an awesome opportunity for our kiddos to participate in a writing contest honoring Hispanic Heritage Month. Submissions are due by November 1st and winners will be announced in early December. Prizes include a $1,500 scholarship and iPad Minis. The prompt is short and sweet: Write an Essay (500 words or less) Name a Latino, past or present, with whom you would choose to spend a day and explain why. For more information, including where to submit the essay please use this link: HISPANIC HERITAGE WRITING CONTEST
Box Tops & Battery Collection:
Did you know that PCMS collects box tops? How about batteries? Our PTO has a small box located in the front office for collecting box tops. Please send any box tops you have collected in a baggy with your child’s name and grade. We often do contests and your child could win! Also, one of our awesome teachers has placed a small box in the same area for old batteries that need to be recycled. In an effort to increase recycling, she will routinely take them and dispose of them properly. Thanks for your help and support with both of these items.
Gold Medal - Cross Curricular Learning:
Regardless of who your favorite NFL team is, this story is pretty cool. One of our social studies teachers, Mrs. King has been working with the Houston Texans (her favorite team) to provide some amazing educational lessons involving math, statistics, and much more. Occasionally during one of her EPIC 2.0 lessons she invites a group of kiddos to participate in the weekly challenge lesson presented by the Houston Texans. This week Mrs. King was recognized as the Stats Challenge Teacher of the Week! She got an awesome shout out and an authentic Houston Texans helmet signed by Shane Lechler. How cool is that! Below is a brief message from the organization:
A Word from the Library:
Our library is a busy place with learning, reading, testing, and making. We are in need of a few things. Please consider a donation to the library if you have these around the house and would like to “declutter” your space to our benefit:
- Word Board Games
- Jenga game
- Printed patterned Duct tape
- Empty tubs for storage
Thanks for helping and see you in the library! – Mrs. LaMarre
Football took on the Cele Colts this week in four hard fought games. The 8th grade A and B teams traveled to Cele and brought home victories to continue their undefeated streak. 7th grade was home and had a huge cheering section which included the band and our very own PCMS Cheerleaders! The B team was victories while the A team fell in a high scoring showcase.
Volleyball competed on Thursday evening against Kelly Lane. The Pumas played great but had a tough go at it. Our 7th Grade B team brought home a victory while our other teams did not. It goes without saying, that I still could not be more proud of our lady pumas and their effort.
Next Week’s Preview:
To stay up to date with future calendar events, feel free to check out the calendar on our PCMS website using this link: PCMS CALENDAR
Fall Choir Concert:
Want a free date night? Come on down to PCMS on Wednesday, October 18th from 7:00 – 8:00pm to hear Sgt. Groft and his amazing choir students. I cannot wait to hear our amazing students sing their hearts out. I hope to see you there!
PCMS Pep Rally – October 24th:
PCMS will have its first official pep rally of the school year for our students on Tuesday, October 24th. The pep rally will be held at the end of the day and will create a slightly adjusted bell schedule.
Fall Dance – October 27th:
I am excited to announce that our first dance of the 2017-18 school year is just around the corner. Our PCMS dances are organized and run by our amazing student council led by Mrs. Akuretiya. This year’s theme, along with our upcoming Red Ribbon Week ideas, will be decided on and shared with kiddos and parents soon.
Make a Difference Day: Easterseals – Oct. 28th 8am-12:
Our amazing PTO will be working with Easterseals on Make a Difference Day, October 28th from 8-12am. If you have any old household items you are ready to get rid of, please bring them by the PCMS front parking lot during that time. A donation is made to the Park Crest PTO based on the items brought in. This is the perfect time to clean out the house of those unwanted items.
Zombie Apocalypse Book Fair:
YOU. ARE NOT. GOING. TO WANT. TO MISS THIS. (we would love for the whole family to come out and enjoy the festivities and activities).
Park Crest Middle School
“Keep improving, always, in all ways.”
Awesome Start to October at PCMSPosted by Zachary Kleypas on 10/6/2017
Happy Friday! This week was full of great things happening at PCMS. This week’s blog is packed with a ton of important information so take your time and enjoy.
Festival of Bands:
On Monday I had the privilege of enjoying the 14th annual PfISD Festival of bands. Man was it awesome!!! This was the perfect event to have a nice date night with my wife, while also enjoying our outstanding Puma Band. The kids sounded soooo good in the large Pfield Stadium. It is amazing to think that some of our kiddos just started playing these instruments for the first time this year. Kudos to our amazing directors Mr. Lucio and Ms. Pinner. Check out some pictures of our performance of the song Mickey.
Didn’t make it to the Festival of Bands? Check out this video of our performance: PARK CREST BAND AT FESTIVAL OF BANDS
Chick-fil-A Spirit Night:
Monday was also our first Chick-fil-A Spirit night. I stopped in for a quick bite before heading to the Festival of Bands and saw tons of Pumas enjoying dinner and showing their support. This was a great fundraiser which brought PCMS PTO $423.06 from over 136 collected receipts. It makes me so proud to see all of the support PCMS gets from our parents and our community. Together, we can be a Gold Medal Campus – the best of the best!
In the Spotlight - Heroes for Kiddos:
I am so fortunate to be a part of a campus that truly puts students first. We pride ourselves at PCMS in doing our best to keep improving, always, in all ways, to ensure our students have a Gold Medal experience. Who do we have to thank for that? Our teachers and our support staff who go above and beyond every single day. I witness teachers spending their own money purchasing supplies for a kiddo in need, spending their lunch tutoring, staying well beyond the work hours to watch their students perform or compete in an event. I have seen teachers stop what they are doing to give a pep talk, pick a kiddo up who is having a bad day, and even take a moment to teach a life lesson that isn’t found in the curriculum. Every day, every period, you can see staff members going well above and beyond the call of duty because they sincerely care about our Pumas. The concept that everyone is an important piece of the puzzle in this Park Crest family is no understatement. To learn a bit more about our amazing staff members check out our staff biographies on the website located in the Staff Directory using this link: http://www.pfisd.net/Page/6812 Once there, you simply click and/or search any staff member you want to know more about and select “View Website”.
Taco Teacher Luncheon:
Speaking of amazing support. I wanted to send a friendly reminder that our amazing PTO parents are hosting the annual Taco Luncheon on October 13th. Every year this event comes at just the right time to boost our staff morale as we push through the month before the large holiday breaks. Whether you are an active part of the PTO or not, we would love your help and support. Many of the needs have already been fulfilled but there is still space for desserts and other items. If you are interested in supporting your child’s teachers through this event, please click the link below for more information: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0c4aa9ac2da1f49-teacher1
How does a campus with over 100 staff members and over 900 students stay connected on the important things going on around campus? One of the ways is through our amazing daily video announcements. Every day during 2nd period each classroom utilizes a few extra built in minutes to say the pledge, a few words, and then show the video announcements. Did you know you can watch the announcements with us and find out what all is going on at PCMS? It is easy. All of the announcements are uploaded to the PCMS website and can be found using the “announcement” link at the top of the page (see picture below). Here is a direct link to get you there: PCMS DAILY ANNOUNCEMENTS (I recommend you check out some of the Friday episodes as they have fun pictures taken from all around campus – they are a campus favorite). Special thanks to our talented Ms. Layman and her Broadcast Media kiddos for their work on preparing something for us to enjoy and utilize daily.
EPIC 1.0 Character Education:
As I have mentioned before, we take building character very seriously at PCMS. We believe that it is crucial that we not only teach the academics and extracurricular, but also how to be good people. To do this, we use our PCMS Crest as a guide. Using our PCMS agenda and the built in time of EPIC we have designed lessons to be delivered to every student on campus. This week, we returned to our EPIC 1.0 classes (similar to a homeroom) to discuss the September and October words of the month; critical thinking and effective communication. Ironically, my 8th graders engaged in a rather interesting debate yesterday that was the perfect example of the critical thinking we discussed. The debate was whether or not a fish in the ocean is considered wet? It was pretty interesting to hear the supporting evidence and logic of our kiddos as they debated this topic. Who knew such a question would get them so highly engaged in conversation? To view this week’s EPIC 1.0 lesson so you can be a part of our learning, please click this link: OCTOBER EPIC 1.0 PRESENTATION
This was an interesting week for sports. We were intending to have a big football game against the Kelly Lane Knights on Tuesday, but thunder and lightning had other plans. I do not yet have information on whether or not the game will be rescheduled but I do know that we will get a chance to face the Knights again on the 24th of October. Our ladies competed in volleyball on Thursday in another round robin competition at the high schools. 7th grade teams did great at Connally, B team won both games and A team came back with a win against Westview and a loss to PMS. Our 8th grade teams over at Pflugerville High Schools had a sweep in both the A team and the B team games. It was a great week of volleyball!
Calling All Artist:
We are officially less than one month away from the deadline for your kiddo to put in their submission for the next PCMS shirt design. There is nothing better than showcasing the work of our kiddos. Please encourage your kiddo to put in an application if art is something they are passionate about! No need to be in Art at PCMS to compete. Simply use this link to get a copy of the form and the requirements: TSHIRT ART CONTEST
Next 2-Week’s Preview:
No School on Monday:
In honor of Columbus Day PCMS students will not have school on Monday. Please enjoy this three-day weekend. Meanwhile, our faculty and staff will enjoy an opportunity to learn together through campus PD. Our professional development is extremely important to me as a principal as we always are looking for ways to improve. This year’s October PD experience will include training on technology, data, classroom student leadership, supporting struggling students, and more! I am most excited to announce that we have a featured keynote speaker Patrick Briggs, State Coordinator for AVID coming to inspire and ignite all of us as we move forward. Learning and improving is an important process for all of us, not just our kiddos and we understand and embrace that here at PCMS.
PSAT – 8th grade only:
On Wednesday, October 11th we will be on a non-epic schedule for all students. This is because our 8th graders will be taking the PSAT. All other students will attend classes as normal and will be minimally affected by testing. This free opportunity provided by our district is a great way for our 8th graders to get an early start on preparing for their future. The SAT & PSAT come back with results that provide great benefits for parents and students. Below are three of those benefits:
Our next PTO meeting is Wednesday, October 11th. As always, YOU are invited to join us. We meet in the library from 6:30 – 7:30 and discuss everything from fundraising to campus needs. It is a great time to meet other parents and build new networks. I hope to see you there!
Change in Football Game Locations:
The upcoming football game on Tuesday versus Cele has had some changes. The 8th grade team will be traveling to Cele and the 7th grade team will play here at PCMS. All times and other details will remain the same.
Zombie Apocalypse Book Fair:
We are still a bit of a ways away from our Fall book fair at PCMS. However, I wanted to start getting the word out because you will NOT want to miss our book fair and our Family Literacy Night. This year’s book fair is a zombie theme, and Literacy Night is going to take that experience to a whole new level! Literacy Night is for the entire family and includes pizza, games, and a chance to visit the book fair. I ASSURE YOU, this is an event you will not want to miss at Park Crest. Mark your calendar now for Thursday, November 2nd. Here is a link to check out our book fair ahead of time: http://www.scholastic.com/bf/parkcrestmiddleschool1
Park Crest Middle School
“Keep improving, always, in all ways.”
End of September at PCMS!Posted by Zachary Kleypas on 9/29/2017
Happy Friday! This was another amazing week at Park Crest Middle School. Each week it becomes more and more evident that our kiddos are learning/remembering our campus expectations and our systems and processes are becoming smoother and smoother. We put in a lot of work this week to ensure our expectations were being met in the hallway, classrooms, and cafeteria. The key to our success at Park Crest is that everyone from the students to the teachers, to the support staff, to the principal understand and operate under all of the same expectations. It makes me proud to work at a campus where that is the case!
Parents, I have two tasks for you this weekend as homework. They are simple and quick, but will make a HUGE impact on your child’s success:
- Check FOCUS to view their grades. Here is the website for parent log in: https://focus.pfisd.net/focus/
- Check their PCMS Agenda for these things:
- Are they utilizing the agenda pages?
- What are they learning in class?
- Do they have any homework?
- Does the EPIC section have any signatures?
- Do they have any upcoming tests?
I always like to share a little bit about what is happening in our classes. Although my role as campus principal includes a lot of different facets and looks a little different each day based on the needs of the campus, the part I enjoy the most is being around the kiddos and the learning. Below are just a few of the cool things I saw on campus this week:
In Ms. Perez’s computer science class students were designing and building a boat out of foil to see whose could hold the most pennies. They only got a single piece of foil and had to work together to make the best design. A few teams were able to craft a boat that held 15 pennies!
In Advanced musical theatre students were learning the behind the scenes work of controlling the lights and sound for our musical productions. Below is an image of the lights board used to control the PCMS stage. Pretty impressive, especially considering a current student was leading the training!
In Project Lead the Way (Gateway) students were exploring technology where they learned about the process used to turn ideas into solutions. Below is a snippet I got that perfectly defines the process our young engineers and designers will be using to solve todays problems in our exciting new Project Lead the Way course with Mrs. Rivera or Mr. Martinez.
In the library, Mrs. LaMarre and some of our kiddos were exploring life under the sea with a pair of virtual reality glasses loaned to us by the district! Kids were having a blast as their heads swirled around as they visually traveled beneath the sea! One of our six Education Foundation grants is going towards the purchase of these virtual reality glasses so we will soon have a set for the campus!
There were so many great moments happening in classes all over the school just like this. Please take time each day to ask your kiddo about their experience and their favorite classes here at PCMS.
This was a great week in athletics. 7th grade B team volleyball got a great win against the Cele Colts, and 7th grade B team brought back a win, while our 7th A team and two 8th grade B teams played very well. The Colts took home the victories this time around.
Boys athletics cannot be stopped, even by the pouring rain! It was a great week for boys athletics as all four teams; 7th A & B and 8th grade A &B were victories. The boys are all undefeated at 2-0 for the season.
Next Week’s Preview:
Monday @ Chick-fil-a:
Do not forget to swing by Chick-fil-A in Stone Hill THIS MONDAY for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to support the PCMS PTO and our campus. Don’t forget to simply say that you are there to support PCMS and to save the receipt. Thanks in advance for supporting PCMS, I know I cannot wait for my Chicken Mini’s for breakfast, Spicy Chicken Sandwich for lunch, and Nuggets for dinner.
Festival of Bands:
This is a fun night where the middle school bands of PfISD are able to showcase their skills. I hope to see you at the Pfield for this annual event!
Meeting with the Principal:
Want to learn more about the processes and systems in place at PCMS? Want to know more about our campus data and how our kiddos perform? Come join us for our Campus Academic Advisory Committee (CAAC) Meeting in the PCMS Library from 6:00 – 7:00pm on Wednesday, October 4th.
Park Crest Middle School
“Keep improving, always, in all ways.”