Dear PVMS Families,

Spring is in full swing and April is here as it is a short month with only 14 school days.  We hope to see more consistency with warmer weather and of course showers that will help to bring our vegetation to full bloom.  With the change in weather we see our students able to get outside more often than not.   Spring Break is a time to rest and recharge with your families before we start our fourth quarter and the countdown toward the end of the school year.    Sports and other activities have started back up and we have quite the population of students involved with baseball, golf, boys and girls lacrosse, softball, and track.  With that being said, we must stay focused on our goals and continue to work hard as some students develop “Spring Fever” and, recognizably, have busy lives outside of the school day.  Executive functioning and planning the day outside of school is even more important when life becomes hectic.  Please ensure to plan accordingly and finish the year strong academically.

Since our school year is almost three quarters complete, I wanted to take this opportunity to check in with regard to our New York State assessments that will directly impact your children.  As I stated at Back to School Night in September, our goals for this year are personal aspirations and empowerment.  In coming off of a challenging two years where many facets of our life were unpredictable, our intention this year has been to bring stability and improve academic rigor.  We use multiple measures to assess the progress of our students that include New York State assessments (once a year), iReady benchmarks (3 times a year), and ongoing classroom formative and summative classroom assessments.  The data is used for placement with academic intervention support services (AIS) and helps to inform teacher instruction.  Unfortunately, we have seen a rise in the number of students in grades 7 & 8 refusing to take the NYS assessments.  These assessments are developed by New York State teachers and address the standards that all students in the state are working toward all school year.  It is a wonderful opportunity to show off what they have learned and help teachers identify standards they should focus on moving forward.  The test is also untimed.  I encourage you to have conversations with your children about taking advantage of this opportunity!  We rely on this information as the results inform our practices as well as give us insight into the needs of our students.  Please know that our high school has many exams (Regents, IB, AP, etc.) that our students will need to complete, and the assessments offered this year will also help our students prepare for the stamina required of those high stakes exams in future years. 

Although most middle school children do not want parent involvement with academics and social decisions, this is a critical time. Please partner with us in monitoring your child’s homework, academic progress, and social media choices.  Here are a few ways you can support your child:

  1. Check your child’s understanding of reading assignments.  We often find that they have a better understanding when you check for understanding.
  2. Encourage your children to read nightly.  Reading 20 minutes a day enhances their comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, and background knowledge. 
  3. Help your child plan ahead for long-term projects.  Projects are an opportunity for children to express talents and apply themselves in an authentic way.  Projects should be taken seriously and turned in on time!
  4. Check your child’s assignment pad and Power School nightly to make sure all work has been completed.  Nightly homework assignments review and reinforce material covered daily. 
  5. Review class notes with your child.  A quick review of daily notes will aid in the understanding of materials covered and will help prepare your child for the final exams.
  6. Talk to your child about their school day.  Building relationships through communication is such an important aspect of fostering life-long learners.
  7. Monitor your child’s social media presence.  We continue to investigate situations where poor choices are made in group chats, Snapchat, and Tik Tok where students are sharing images and using inappropriate language with one another.  Once this is brought to our attention, we must investigate.  Please help us in monitoring your child and their use of these platforms.

Key Dates 

Spring Break will start on Monday, 4/3/23 through Monday, 4/10/23 and students will come back to school on Tuesday, 4/11/23.

Our PTA Book Fair will take place from Wednesday, 4/12/23 – Friday, 4/14/23 during lunch and recess periods.  Our PTA is looking for volunteers to make this year’s book fair a success!  Please volunteer using the following link.  In addition you will have the option to shop the on-line Book Fair and have items shipped right to your house.  Please use the following link from 4/11/23 through 4/14/23 to do so. 

The third quarter ends on Friday, 4/14/23 and our fourth quarter will begin Monday, 4/17/23.  Please log-on to PowerSchool on Friday, 4/21/23 and review your child’s grades with them.  This is a great opportunity for you to communicate expectations and reflect on the year up to this point.

Our New York State English Language Arts assessments will take place on Thursday, 4/20/23 and Friday, 4/21/23.  All students are to bring independent reading books and sharpened #2 pencils on this day.  Students have worked so hard this year and it is an opportunity to show their skills and apply what they have learned.  Please note that these are untimed, do not impact teacher APPR, and are a great opportunity to practice standardized assessments that students will need to take in high school.  Good luck to all!

The evening of Tuesday, 4/25/23 will be our mandatory Washington D.C. parent/guardian info meeting starting at 6:00PM in our Dining Hall.  All parents and guardians of the 90 students we have going on our trip May 10th – May 12th must attend.

We are excited to announce that our school will host an International Potluck Dinner! 

This is a wonderful opportunity for families to come together and enjoy dishes from different cultures around the world.

The International Potluck Dinner will be held on Thursday, April 27, 2023, from 6:00 to 8:00PM, in the PVMS Dining Hall.

Please RSVP on the Google Form if you plan on attending.

We look forward to seeing you there and sharing this wonderful experience!

The Student Council Spring Fling will be held on Friday, April 28, 2023 from 5:00 – 7:00PM.  There will be more information to come in the next few weeks.

Please note that if you are not bringing a child, just add  n/a to those questions and put your name under Parent/Guardian.

As always, we appreciate your continued support as we continue to keep our children focused on the importance of school, their social and emotional well being and to ensure a successful last few months of the year.


Travis W. McCarty