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Principal’s Message Happy Spring! I hope you were able to enjoy a relaxing Spring Break. We are on the downward slope of the year and hope to finish strong! Beginning April 22nd, students will begin ILEARN testing. This is the standardized test that is replacing ISTEP. These tests are untimed so we have arranged for larger blocks of time for testing to ensure students can finish. This means we have had to make adjustments to our daily schedule. A schedule will be sent prior so you are aware of basic times students will be testing and any other changes. There are many events scheduled as we finish up the school year. Spring sports and concerts are in full

swing. Our spring play is also the weekend of April 26th. We wish you all the best of luck! As this is the last edition of this year’s newsletter, I would like to take this opportunity to wish our current 8th graders and families the best of luck as they move on to their next phase in school. I am proud of the leadership we have seen this year from our students and know they will continue to do great things. We look forward to hearing all about them in high school. Make us proud! Thanks for all you do, Deanna Pitman


Cougar Connect Administration

Mrs. Deanna Pitman Mrs. Trudy Young Mr. Dan Perdun Mr. Darren Monke

APRIL 2019

Principal Assistant Principal Assistant Principal Activities Director

Carmel Middle School

300 South Guilford Carmel, IN 46032 Phone: (317) 846-7331 Fax: (317) 571-4067

Volume 2 Issue 5




Parents Needed to Serve on the 2019-2020 PTO Board The Carmel Middle School PTO is recruiting for the 20192020 Executive & General boards. There are a number of leadership opportunities open for next school year. Email Madhavi Pappu, CaMS PTO Vice President, at to learn more or express your interest. Eat Out & Support the CaMS PTO We hope you can join us for the last CaMS Dine Out nights of the school year! When you place your order, make sure to mention that you are dining in support of Carmel Middle School, and a percentage of your order will be donated back to the CaMS PTO. •

Tuesday, April 16, 5 pm – 9 pm at Red Robin, 14599 Clay Terrace Blvd, Carmel. Enjoy one of Red Robin’s delicious gourmet burgers or other numerous tasty menu offerings as you support CaMS.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019, 4 pm – 8 pm at Blaze Pizza, 12607 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Carmel. Enjoy fresh, made-from-scratch dough topped with your choice of healthful, artisanal ingredients, baked in a blazing hot oven. It’s fast-fired, perfectly crisp pizza perfection and simple salads, with the added bonus of supporting CaMS students.

AND also on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, Noon – 9 pm at Yogurtz, 12561 N. Meridian St., Carmel. Stop by Yogurtz to create your own cold treat with your choice of a number of yummy mix-ins as you support CaMS.

5th Grade Transition Night Current 5th graders and their parents are invited to stop by the PTO table at the 5th Grade Transition Night on Wednesday, April 24th from 5:30 pm – 7 pm to learn more about the many CaMS opportunities and programs.

WANTED: Box Tops! Don’t forget to turn in Box Tops, even as we wind down the school year! Parents can bring Box Tops to the front office, or students can turn them in at the bookstore during open hours. (Students can earn one Dum Dum sucker for every 10 Box Tops they turn in at the bookstore.) Donating to the CaMS PTO Thank you to all the CaMS families who have supported the PTO this year! Your donations have helped provide a number of programs & opportunities for CaMS students & staff! To learn more about how the CaMS PTO has used your generous donations to benefit the school, see our social media posts for our “Your Donations at Work” series ( It’s not too late to help support the CaMS PTO. We are still accepting donations!

CaMS PTO Pantry Packs The Pantry Packs program provides small meals and snacks weekly to CaMS students who qualify through the counseling department. We are thankful for the support we have received from school and community groups this year. At this time, canned tuna or chicken, macaroni and cheese, applesauce cups, and canned fruit are most in need. Food donations can be dropped off at bins located outside the CaMS main entrance. Financial donations can be made at If your club or business would like to host a food drive, or if you have questions, please contact Anne-Marie Monty or Amanda Swearingen at CMSPantryPacks@


SCHOOL SAFETY Greetings Cougar parents! Safety is an ever present concern in the world in which we currently live. It is our honor and responsibility to instill in all of our students that they are responsible for their own safety. This means that even when they are outside of the school environment that they stay vigilant to potential dangers. Our students have been trained since they were in Kindergarten on staying safe in various settings and under differing circumstances. Please have a conversation with your child/children about what their response would be if something bad happened out in the community (i.e. Grocery store, Doctor’s Office, Movie Theater). I think you may learn something from them that may keep you safe in the long run. Officer Matthew Broadnax

3 IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER April 22 – May 17 – ILEARN Testing April 26-28 – Spring Play May 1 – Band Concert – 6th Grade May 3 – Band Concert – 7th & 8th May 6-10 – Teacher Appreciation Week May 8 – Art Show May 15 – Orchestra Concert May 22 – Choir Concert May 23 – Core Celebration May 27 – Memorial Day – No School May 29 – 8th Grade Dance May 30 – Final Course Selection Changes Due May 30 – Student Last Day

ATTENDANCE Absence, Late Arrival, Early Pickup: 24-hour Attendance Voice Mail: (317) 846-7331

Please call before 8:00 AM and select OPTION 1 if: • Your student will be ABSENT. • Your student will be LATE. Note: Students must arrive by 11:30 to participate in an extracurricular activity. • Your student is leaving school EARLY.

Personalized Attention. Proven Results.




5 EASY TIPS TO PREPARE FOR STANDARDIZED TESTING SEASON Help your child become a confident and prepared test-taker. For most around the country, the month of March kicks-off standardized testing season and that can leave parents feeling overwhelmed. Whether you have a grade schooler preparing for the state’s standardized test or a high schooler preparing for the SAT, testing can be stressful for the entire family.  We hope this will help you start planning a few months out.  There’s no secret formula when it comes to passing a standardized test. It’s important to remember that anxiety may hinder performance for the test taker, so take a deep breath and read through a few practical tips to help your child prepare for standardized assessments. 1. Take practice tests. Many Department of Education state websites offer practice tests, which can help prepare children with understanding the test expectations, including the content and mechanics. SBAC and PARCC give assessments in many states and offer good examples of practice tests. If the test format seems familiar on test day, kids are more likely to feel comfortable and know what to do. 2. Promote a positive attitude. Parents should promote a positive attitude towards learning and testing. Kids need to take tests seriously and be strategic, but also feel confident and mentally prepared. Parents can help children feel prepared for the test by encouraging children to visualize success on test day. In other words, ask children to close their eyes and imagine themselves taking the test and feeling great about it. 3. Discuss what to do if you finish early. Sometimes kids finish the test early. It’s important to discuss that this is a good opportunity to double check and verify their answers for accuracy. Parents can coach them to review certain questions that were hard and use the process of elimination to rule out some of the answer choices.

4. Eat well, exercise and rest. In the weeks leading up to the test, it is important for students to have adequate sleep (eight hours is recommended), eat balanced meals, drink plenty of water, and get exercise. Foods high in protein, and water help to stimulate the brain. Exercise, such as stretching and walking, helps to supply the brain with oxygen. Eating a healthy breakfast before school, particularly on the day of the test, gives the body the fuel it needs to maintain long periods of concentration.

5. Plan enjoyable and relaxing activities. Trying to squeeze a little more preparation in immediately before the test is not advised because it can lead to feeling overwhelmed. Studying the day before or day of the test leads to increased anxiety and should be avoided. Instead, plan enjoyable activities to feel relaxed and ready. ______



5 WAYS TO GET YOUR TEEN TO TALK TO YOU Because talking to teens requires another skill set entirely.


Marie Rossiter ·October 9, 2017 Talking to teenagers can feel like talking to someone from another world. Your formerly chatty child suddenly keeps his mouth shut tighter than the security at Fort Knox. Even simple questions like “How was your day at school?” get a reaction that would be more appropriate to an intense interrogation scenario. And when a teen actually does want to talk, she seems to hear things her own way, or speak in ways her parents don’t understand.

2. Don’t Get Too Emotional If you knew someone was going to explode at you, would you want to talk to her? Probably not. I have had to work on this for many years. Sometimes, when your teen tells you something, you get angry, scared, frustrated, etc. However, it’s important to not fly off the handle during these conversations. Getting overly emotional will only backfire when you want your teenager to share their true feelings.

Is it just me, or does anyone else think teenagers sign an agreement once they turn 13 to keep everything a secret? I have a 19-year-old and 15-year-old daughter. Sometimes, I feel like beating my head against the wall in frustration from trying to get them to open up to me. Over time, though, I’ve found a few good pieces of advice on how to encourage teenagers to start sharing. And yes, this even covers some difficult topics like sex, drugs, mental health and their future. Some tips I’ve read along the way from other parents going through the same thing. Other tidbits I’ve had to learn the hard way on my own. If you’re ready to start laying the foundation to get your teen talking to you, then here are five tips to help you out:

3. Listen Actively To Your Teen I have a confession. I give my teenaged daughters a lot of grief over how attached they are to their smartphones. Sometimes, I have to say something two or three times before they actually hear me. That gets me pretty ticked off. But here’s the issue: I do the same thing to them. When they ask me something and I’m working on the computer or on my phone, I only half-listen.

1. Don’t Be a Helicopter Parent Want to get your kid to close up tighter than a clam? Hover. I can almost guarantee they’ll never open up. Yes, the world is a scary place and no one wants to see their teenager struggle. But not giving your child the space to make his or her own decisions can backfire, Deborah Gilboa, M.D., parenting expert, told Parents Magazine. In fact, overinvolvement in our child’s life can cause decreased selfesteem, ineffective coping skills and lots of anxiety.

I’m trying to be a more attentive and active listener with my girls. I hope that showing them 100 percent focus when they talk to me sets a good example. I still have a lot of work to do in this area, but I see progress. Also, once you put down your gadgets or turn off the TV, make sure you give your teen a chance to talk. Too often, parents like to interrupt to give their two cents. Sometimes our teens just want someone to listen to them. They don’t necessarily need our advice.

If we teach our children to fear, how can they feel comfortable talking to us when they have a problem? Many won’t. So give your teen a little space.

Again, I’m guilty of this. One of the things I try to do after I listen to my daughters is ask them, “Do you want my advice?” Most of the time they do, but only if I give them a continued on next page...





chance to fully express their thoughts. Other times, though, I just acknowledge how they feel and let them know I’m there for them. 4. Ask Open-Ended Questions Take it from a mom who knows: If you ask your teen a simple question, that’s the only type of response you’ll get. So, things like “How was your day?” will likely get a “Fine,” in response. Forget the details. To avoid this trap, try asking some open-ended questions. • “What happened in science class today?” • “What did you work on in practice today?” • “What did you like best? Least?” This is also a good way to work your way toward more challenging social questions. For example, instead of asking right away if parents will be home for a party, you can ask, “Who will be there tonight? About how many people?” Then, after you’ve talked for a bit about the party basics, you can drop the big chaperone question. 5. Talk in the Car I swear by this technique. When I tell either of my daughters I want to talk when we’re at home, I get a sigh and an eye roll. Why? Because they know they’re about to get a lecture. However, when we’re in the car, things just seem to come out! We’ve got tunes playing, the conversation tends to flow more freely and suddenly they’re spilling their guts. Most of the time, I don’t even need to pry. Grab those opportunities when you can! I know some of the best chats I’ve had with my daughters happen in the car. The more your teens can feel easier with you, the more likely they’ll come to you for anything.

Parents, please let the sponsor advertisers know you appreciate them!

APRIL 2019


Parents, Carmel Clay Schools is collaborating with the Carmel Youth Assistance Program (CYAP), Orchard Park Presbyterian Church, Merciful Help Center, St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, Carmel United Methodist Church, and Carmel Rotary to provide our families with the opportunity to be part of the Summer Lunch Program. This program, which will run for the 10 summer weeks from June 6th through August 7th, will provide unprepared bags of groceries, ingredients and menus for each of your children. The goal of this program is to provide for the breakfast and lunch meals your child would have received during a normal, five-day week during the school year. It is your responsibility to pick up the meals each week. Below is each location. • Sunday 11:30am – 1:00pm at Orchard Park Presbyterian Church (pick up will be each Sunday from June 2-Aug. 4) (Orchard Park Presbyterian church is located at 1605 E 106th St, Indianapolis, IN 46280) •

Sunday 12:30pm - 2:30pm at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church (pick up will be each Sunday from June 2-Aug. 4) (St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church is located at 1402 W Main St, Carmel, IN 46032)

Wednesday 5:00pm – 6:00pm at Merciful H.E.L.P. Center (pick up will be each Wednesday from June 5-Aug. 7) (Merciful Help Center is located at 1045 W 146th St, Carmel, IN 46032)

ATHLETIC INFORMATION The 2018-2019 winter athletics season is in the books! A few major accomplishments stand out amongst the many successes.  Three eighth grade wrestlers won individual county championships and the 8th grade Girls’ Basketball team finished second in the 2019 Hamilton County Basketball Tournament.  Well done winter athletes!  Baseball, softball and track & field are in full swing!  Come on out and support the many athletes representing Carmel Middle School. Schedules are located HERE.

To be part of this free program, you must sign your family up no later than March 28, 2019. Please contact Mrs. Peregrin or Mrs. Garber to sign up.




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Carmel Middle School Newsletter  

April 2019

Carmel Middle School Newsletter  

April 2019