Sunday, December 13, 2015

News from Mrs. Graves

Upcoming Events

Monday, 12/14  TESTING BLUE
Period 1 & 3 Finals

Tuesday, 12/15 TESTING GREEN
Period 2 & 4 Finals
Winter Orchestra Concert, 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, 12/16  TESTING BLUE
Period 5 & 7 Finals
Fall Dance Concert, 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, 12/17  TESTING GREEN
Period 6 & 8 Finals
SLL Fieldtrip
SDMC Meeting, 3:30 p.m.
Winter Choir Concert, 6:00 p.m.

Friday, 12/18  CHARGER
No after school care - Full School Dismissal, 3:30

Final Exam Schedule

Not all students will participate in Midterm/Final Exams in all classes. Teachers will communicate information about end of semester tests and final exams through the cluster websites. All students will follow the above schedule so as not to disrupt classes with some children out for exams.

Parents' Guide to Midterm/Final Exams
Students in high school credit classes (Algebra, Geometry, IPC, Theatre I, AP Spanish and 8th gr Language classes) will take midterm examinations December 14-17.  Other students may take an end of semester test or regular common assessments, but it will be counted as an ordinary test, not as an official midterm.

Pin Oak students in high school credit classes take midterms which are administered according to high school rules.  It is good to be aware of how this affects them:

·      The score on the midterm:
o   is not part of the grade average for the third grading cycle.   
o   is averaged with the three cycle grades to yield the overall grade for the semester.
Example:         1st six-weeks average:    86
                        2nd six-weeks average:    82
                        3rd six-weeks average:    93
                        Midterm exam grade:     90
  Semester grade:    88  

       There is a very strict academic honesty policy.  Cheating on a midterm will result in a grade of zero, without opportunity to rehabilitate the resulting grade average.  In the above grade calculation, the semester grade would be  (86+82+93+0)/4 = 65.  So, the student fails the entire semester and does not continue in the course for the spring semester.
We expect Pin Oak students to uphold high standards of integrity.  We hope that not only will they avoid cheating, but also they will do their best to avoid even an appearance of cheating. We expect that they will not receive inappropriate help or give someone else inappropriate help.  As we discuss appropriateness with them, we confirm that talking about the content of an exam is an example of inappropriate help.

Big Weekend Wins for POMS
This past weekend we made some big wins. Congratulations to...
  • 8th grade Girls' Basketball Team, who took first place in the POMS Basketball Tournament, 8th grade Division.
  • 7th grade Girls' Basketball Team, who took second place in the POMS Basketball Tournament, 7th grade Division.
  • POMS Chess Team who took 1st place in the TH Rogers Chess Tournament.
Exciting New Classes Available for Spring
We are thrilled to offer some new elective opportunities for Spring.  
  • Urban Agriculture
  • Comics and Graphic Novels
  • Computer Science and the Sciences
  • Game Design II (Coding)
  • The Real World (Personal Finance)
  • Bioengineering and World Health
  • Wings & Wheels (History and Model Building)
House Principals are finalizing schedules this week.  Students will receive their new schedule when they return on January 5th.  We will start the day in Advocacy.  In most cases, all core content classes will remain unchanged.

Ms. Howell's Retirement
Please join me in thanking Ms. Howell for her tremendous service to Houston ISD and Pin Oak Middle School.  As you may have already heard, she will be retiring at the end of this month.  Please take a moment to stop in and say thanks for the friendly smile, gentle spirit and dedicated service. She has been a tremendous help to me, and the many principals she has served alongside.  

Big Thank You 
... to George Mickelis and family, owners of Cleburne's Cafeteria for the generous donation for the teacher appreciation luncheon on December 16.  Cleburne's Cafeteria continues to be a strong supporter of Pin Oak Middle School with sponsorship throughout the year.

Corporate Matching Gifts
POMS PTO is so grateful for the generosity shown by parents in their gifts of time and donations.  As the year comes to a close, please check with your employer about their matching gifts program. It's a simple way to double the impact of your donation!  Questions? Contact Jodie Rephlo at

POMS Giving Tree
This holiday season consider gifting POMS, and leave a lasting marker of your child's time at Pin Oak. Purchase a metal leaf ($300) or granite stone ($1000) to honor your student, teacher, club, or athletic team. Place your order by December 18th at for an early spring semester installation.  Contact Lauren Earthman ( if you have any questions.

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