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A Truly Inspiring Day of Learning

As educators, we aspire each and every day to create opportunities for learning and growth for every student.  Some days we are more successful at accomplishing this goal than others.  Fortunately, April 20, 2018, was one of those days where learning was at its very best at Pleasantdale Middle School!   In fact, it was a "banner day at PMS!" in the words of one staff member.

To start the day, students attended three Career Day sessions.  In collaboration with Junior Achievement, a non-profit organization whose goal is the inspire and prepare students to succeed through career education, students were exposed to a variety of career presentations like cardiologist, plumber, food blogger, graphic designer, and project manager.  These speakers shared with students what kind of education and classes they took to prepare for their careers, their day-to-day job responsibilities, and advice on maintaining positive work relationships. 

Following Career Day, all staff and students par…

A Message About Earth Day from the PMS Recycling Club

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Since Earth Day is Sunday, April 22, we thought it was fitting to spend some time with our Pleasantdale Middle School Recycling Club and Principal Sonntag to talk about the recycling efforts here at PMS.  Take a few minutes to read through their interesting interview below...

Mrs. Knapik:  What is the name of your club, and what does your club do?

Students:  We are the Pleasantdale Middle School Recycling Club.  We are students who skip recess to help our school recycle on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays every week.

Mrs. Knapik:  Why do you think recycling is important?

Students:  The environment is getting so polluted, and people are throwing litter everywhere.  It's really important that we help our environment because it needs help, and this is the only earth we have.  The environment helps us by giving us fresh air and water and supporting animal life.  Recycling is for anyone.  It is helpful, and people in the future will appreciate it.

Mrs. Knapik:  Earth Day is this Sunday, Apr…

2018-19 Action Steps

In Pleasantdale schools, we have a clear focus on doing what is best for students, families, and staff, and to that end, we have created a roadmap to that provides us with the direction we need to build a better school district. This plan, which we call our Strategic Blueprint, focuses on three main areas for improvement: Building Learning Capacity, Building Learning Environments, and Building Human Capital. It is within these three categories that we create action steps to help us achieve our district’s mission: To create a community of inspired learners. Our plan lays out a vision of a better district and also the steps that we will take to make this vision a reality. It allows us to focus our work and maintain a high level of return on our improvement efforts.

Having worked in education for nearly 20 years, I have found that this type of organized improvement effort is rare. Schools are often “please all of the people all of the time” organizations, and teachers and administra…

An Experience Unlike Any Other

Last week, Pleasantdale Elementary opened its doors to our families for the annual Experience Elementary. However, unlike previous years, this year the experience for families was much more interactive. In conjunction with our school theme, We're Going Places, and Dr. Seuss Week, the school was transformed into an interactive learning playground. Every staff member was engaged in the transformation. While the focus of the evening is on the classroom and allowing students an opportunity to show their families what they do in class, we modeled how Pleasantdale Elementary School is a great place for students because every single adult works together to create learning opportunities for our students.

Students and families were welcomed into a world where learning is valued and creativity is celebrated. Inside classrooms teachers had set up Work Stations, a component of our new Bridges math resource. Students were able to show their parents how Work Stations are part of their learning …

Get Inspired at Summer Academy!

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Can you remember a time in your life when you tried something new for the first time and it sparked a new hobby or passion?  Or how about a time when you stopped to reflect on a day of fun, and you ended up realizing how much you had learned and grown?  The goal of Pleasantdale's Summer Academy is to provide these types of moments for our learners!  We want to inspire greatness and spark new interests in our students this summer!

Summer Academy will be held at Pleasantdale Middle School from June 11 - July 6, Mondays - Fridays (no class July 4), with three sessions of hour-long classes offered from 8:50 AM - 12:00 PM.  We are so fortunate to have our dedicated Pleasantdale educators who have wide-spread interests and expertise that they are ready and willing to share with our current PreK - 7th grade students!

2018 Summer Academy Class Offerings:
Get Ready for Kindergarten (PreK)
Fun with Literacy (PreK - K)
Games Galore (PreK - 1)
Adventures with the Polish Language (Grades K - 3…

More from Our Students!

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This month we have brought you many perspectives on the Pleasantdale Portrait of a Graduate, from our school leaders to student voices.  Last week, Mrs. Knapik talked to some of our middle school students about their learning experiences that support our four characteristics in our Portrait of a Graduate: becoming knowledgeable and empathetic communicators, respectful and creative problem solvers, passionate and confident individuals, and collaborative and responsible global citizens.  This week, we will round out our coverage by hearing from our elementary students.

In 4th Grade, students worked on Genius Hour projects.  First, students selected a topic they were interested in and formed a question they wanted to answer.  Next, they researched the answer to the question and gathered information. Finally, they had a choice in how they put together everything they learned and presented their information to their class. Genius Hour allows students to dig into their individual interests,…

A Few Words from Our Students

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The last two weeks you have heard from Mr. Sonntag and Mrs. Tomei about the Pleasantdale Portrait of a Graduate as seen through their eyes at school.  This week, we are going to go straight to the middle school students themselves to see what they think about how some of their learning activities are helping them to be knowledgeable and empathetic communicators,respectful and creative problem solvers, passionate and confident individuals, and collaborative and responsible global citizens.

In 5th grade, students research a topic for a Passion Project in Mrs. Lewellyan's STEM class.  Using online research and interviews, students created a product (newspaper, slideshow, flier, video) to present their learning to others.  This is what some of the students said about their experience:

Liam D. researched 9/11.  "It helped me [be a better communicator] because when I presented it to other adults, and I made a newspaper as my final product, I had to think about, 'are people going …