Sunday, December 11, 2016

News from Mrs. Graves

Upcoming This Week

Toys for Tots Drive Extended Thru Monday!

Boys' Basketball @ Lanier, 5:30 p.m.
Girls' Basketball vs Lanier @POMS, 5:30 p.m.


Holiday Craft Sale

PTO Meeting, 8:30 a.m.
Holiday Staff Luncheon
Choir Winter Concert, 6:30 p.m.

National Ugly Sweater Day

December 17 - January 3

Students Return to School

Holiday Craft Sale
The students in Mr. Wilson's and Mrs. Wilcox’s classes have been hard at work on Holiday Crafts.   They’ve been making Christmas Trees, ornaments, bracelets and Hanukkah items that will be on sale.  There will be a sneak preview of their wares on Wednesday, December 14th during Team Time and then the sale that same afternoon from 2:00 to 3:00 in room A – 126.  

Finals Schedule

Please note, the lunch period assignments may vary from normal lunch assignments to allow for all students taking HS credit courses to have an uninterrupted test period. 

We will not be able to interrupt testing for student pick up.  Please check with your child's teacher in advanced to determine when tests are being administered if you need to pick up early.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

News from Mrs. Graves

Upcoming This Week

Teen Leadership to Host Toys for Tots Drive This Week
Sign and Return Progress Reports

Softball Try-outs for Pitchers and Catchers, 3:45 p.m.
Baseball Try-Outs for Pitchers and Catchers Begins, 3:45 p.m.
Xanadu Auditions, 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Boys' Basketball vs Rice @POMS, 5:30 p.m.
Girls' Basketball @ Rice MS, 5:30 p.m.

Visual Arts Winter Show, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Orchestra Winter Concert, 6:30 p.m.
Softball Try-Outs, Position Players, 3:45 p.m.


Swim Meeting @TH Rogers, 5:00 p.m.
Holiday Band Concert, 6:30 p.m.

Fine Arts, Band, Choir, Orchestra to Nutcracker Ballet
Choir and Orchestra Performance, Premium Outlet
Girls' Basketball Tournament @POMS

Girls' Basketball  @ POMS

Jackets and Dress Code
We continue to have student's out of dress code with jackets that are not royal blue, light gray or white.  Black has become quite popular, but it does not fit the current dress code. Students should not wear black jackets during school. Because there has been some confusion about black as an acceptable color, we will allow students to wear black jackets for the next two weeks. When students return in January, teachers will be enforcing the existing dress code.

In January, our new 8th grade elected officials, Tommy Lai and McHaley Ho will be invited to present recommendations for changes to the dress code to the SDMC.  The SDMC will review the current dress code and make any necessary recommendations to me.

Toys for Tots Toy Drive
Our Teen Leadership class will be sponsoring our Toys for Tots Toy Drive this year.  They will be collecting donations every day this week.  

Barnes and Noble Book Fair
It's not too late to stock up on holiday books & gifts!  Shop online Nov 28 - Dec 9 for 10% back to our PTO.  Be sure to use book fair code #11953825.
Buffalo Speedway @ Holcombe 

Big Thanks for #GivingTuesday
Last week we raised more than $4000 for our fitness track and collected more than 250 pairs of shoes for the Emergency Aid Coalition.  Thank you for your giving spirit!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

News from Mrs. Graves

Upcoming This Week

POMS Holiday Shopping Days - November 28 thru December 3
Barnes and Noble Book Fair All Week!

Boys' Basketball @Westbriar MS, 5:30 p.m.
Girls' Basketball vs Westbriar MS @POMS, 5:30 p.m.


Cluster Leader Meeting, 3:45 p.m.
Swim Meeting @Lamar HS, 5:30 p.m.

Picture Retakes
District Magnet Tours, 1:00 p.m.
Winter Dance Show, 6:30 p.m.
Choir Performs @Bellaire Holiday in the Park, 7:00 p.m.

College Shirt Day
Progress Reports Go Home
TMEA All Region Band Clinic and Concert @Tomplains HS
Adv Guitar Performance @Barnes and Noble, 5:00 p.m.
Orchestra Performance @Barnes and Noble, 5:30 p.m.

Jr. Dance Clinic @ POMS
NJHS Gift Wrapping @Barnes and Noble, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Show Choir Performance @Barnes and Noble, 11:00 a.m.
Dance Company and Crew Performance @Barnes and Noble, 1:00 p.m.

Giving is a very personal thing. People have strong feelings about how they give, whether it is giving of their time, their talents, or through monetary gifts. There are so many ways to contribute to improve the lives of others. As you think about how you will give this holiday season, I would ask that you consider helping us improve the health of our community by giving to the multi-purpose fitness track. You can make a difference on #GivingTuesday by considering Pin Oak for your charitable contribution. Gifts of all sizes, $5 to $1,000 are welcomed and appreciated! No contribution is too small. Together we can make this a reality and improve the green space our children and community needs.
Image result for sneakers clipart can make a difference too! Every kid deserves a clean, well-fitting athletic shoe. Please consider donating a new or gently used pair of athletic shoes.  Boxes for your donations will be set up on Tuesday at the main entrance and the back entrance near the buses.  

Holiday Shopping Days!
Please consider visiting our local business sponsors this week.  A portion of your sale will go back to Pin Oak!

Finals Exams
Final exams are scheduled for our high school credit courses for the week of December 12-16.  Also that week, some classes will administer end of semester tests.  Please watch the cluster blogs for more information.  

We will be using a modified schedule that week.  You will receive that next week, here, in Charger Buzz.

Magnet Application Deadline Quickly Approaching
Our 8th graders have so many options for high school in Houston. The deadline for submitting applications for HISD magnet programs is earlier this year, on December 9, 2016.  Don't miss the application deadline!  Ms. Vasquez in the House C office or Ms. Castillo in the House A office can assist with applications.  Please feel free to reach out for assistance.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

News from Mrs. Graves

Upcoming This Week

"No Missing, No Late" Signatures Due
PTO Sponsored Staff Appreciation Dessert Buffet
Girls' Basketball @Pershing, 5:30 p.m.
Boys' Basketball vs. Pershing @POMS, 5:30 p.m.

Choir & Theatre Fieldtrip
2nd grading Cycle "No Missing, No Late" Free Dress
No Afterschool Activities

WEDNESDAY, 11/23  
Thanksgiving Holiday

THURSDAY, 11/24  
Thanksgiving Holiday

FRIDAY, 11/25  
Thanksgiving Holiday

Great Turn Out at Bellaire Fun Run
Saturday's community event was a huge success!  Pin Oak was well represented with runners, artists, and NJHS volunteers.  In fact, Pin Oak is bringing home the hardware for "School with the Most Participation" and we are celebrating.  Every one who participated in the event on Saturday is invited to wear their red 2016 fun run shirt to school on Monday. We will invite all in their shirts to come to the cafeteria during TEAM Time for a photo to go into the local newspapers.

New Instagram Account
On Saturday at the Boy's Basketball Tournament I was encouraged by some 7th graders to start a school Instagram Account.  Gotta give the public what they want!

This account will exclusively post pictures and messages from and for school related events.  The school account will not "follow" any other accounts.  I will monitor the comments and block any users who make inappropriate comments.  I am hopeful this will be a good way to communicate directly with our digital natives through social media.

I want to invite POMS students to follow on Instagram at pinoakmshoustonisd.  And mom and dad, you are welcome too!

Reminder About Avenue B
It is very important to me that we are good neighbors.  I am starting to receive complaints again from our neighbors on Sunburst and Avenue B.  They are frustrated with the traffic during morning drop off and are concerned about the safety issues that arise when our parents are making uturns in the street and blocking the path for emergency vehicles.

Please use the designated drop off areas in the main circle driveway or in the south HCC parking lot.  These are supervised areas for drop off every day.

Giving Thanks and Finding Ways to Give Back
This week I will find time to slow down and reflect on the many blessings in my life.  I sincerely hope that you and your family have the same opportunity.  I will probably get started on my holiday shopping this weekend and pick up a few toys for the Toys for Tots Drive, but after the hustle and bustle of Black Friday shopping, I will also look for other opportunities to make a difference for others.

#GivingTuesday was born out of that same idea.

This year, on Tuesday, November 29, 2016, Pin Oak Middle School is participating in #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving.

Last year, more than 45,000 organizations in 71 countries came together to celebrate #GivingTuesday. Since its founding in 2012, #GivingTuesday has inspired giving around the world, resulting in greater donations, volunteer hours, and activities that bring about real change in communities. We invite you to join the movement and to help get out and give this November 29.

POMS will be participating in #GivingTuesday in two ways:
One, we will be raising donations of all sizes for our fitness track campaign.  POMS is halfway toward a goal of raising $80,000 for the construction of a new half-mile fitness track that will encircle the playing fields.  The track will be used by all POMS students and the community.  We invite you to help us build the track by donating at

Two, POMS will be giving back on @GivingTuesday by asking students to bring in a pair of new or gently used tennis shoes.  The tennis shoes will be collected and given to the Emergency Aid Coalition, an interfaith organization that collaborates to provide temporary assistance in the form of food, clothing and other basic needs, with an emphasis on serving the working poor.

Get Ready! Make a gift to the fitness track campaign at Donate a pair of shoes.  Spread the word about #GivingTuesday by sending this email to friends, neighbors, and colleagues.

Holiday Shopping Days are just around the corner!  November 28-December 3
Check the PTO website for the local businesses that are giving back to POMS.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

News from Mrs. Graves

Upcoming This Week

NJHS Meeting, TEAM Time
Baseball Interest Meeting, 3:45 p.m.
Boys' Soccer Try-Outs, Round 1, 3:45 p.m.
Parent Ed: Understanding AP & IB, 6:30 p.m.


Early Dismissal, 1:00 p.m.
Boys' Basketball @Meyerland MS, 3:30 p.m.
Girls' Basketball vs Meyerland MS @POMS, 3:30 p.m.

Boys' Soccer Try-Outs, Round 2, 3:45 p.m.
District Magnet Tours, 1:00 p.m.
SDMC, 3:50 p.m.

Boys' Basketball Kinkaid Tournament
TMEA All-Region Orchestra, Cinco Ranch HS

Boys' Basketball Kinkaid Tournament
TMEA All-Region Orchestra, Cinco Ranch HS
Bellaire Fall Fever Fun Run

Parent Education: Understanding AP & IB
On Monday evening, we will host representatives from Bellaire HS, Lamar HS and Reagan HS to explain how their schools support the most rigorous levels of instruction at the high school level.  Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate offer many advantages for earning early college credit.  Learn more about the advantages of each!

POMS Shopping Days Just Around the Corner
Just after Thanksgiving many of our community businesses are rewarding your loyalty with a portion of your sales going back to Pin Oak!  Shop local and help make a difference for Pin Oak!  

High School Magnet Application Deadline Approaching
Friday, December 9th is the final deadline to apply for a magnet program for the 2017-18 school year.  We are here to help!

Questions?  Need help with the online application? Contact Ms. Vasquez in the House C office or Ms. Castillo in the House A office for assistance.   

Thanks for Lending a Hand!
The Egg & I
Pin Oak would like to thank The Egg & I at Meyerland Plaza for generously sponsoring the Book Fair's "Books & Breakfast." Parents and students enjoyed breakfast burritos and coffee while shopping the book fair last week. The Egg & I also donated surprise coupon envelopes which were passed out at the book fair. We appreciate their support of the Pin Oak Book Fair!

Bellaire Pink's Pizza
We want to give a big Charger THANK YOU to "Pink's Pizza" in Bellaire for providing dinner to our faculty and student volunteers this past Wednesday evening for our Boundary Option Open House Night! Great pizza from our local Pink's!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

News from Mrs. Graves

Upcoming This Week

7th gr Football vs Meyerland MS @POMS, 5:00 p.m.
Swim Try-Outs Begin @Lamar HS, 5:30 p.m.

ADVO - Online Safety Lessons
Election Day

ADVO - Online Safety Lessons
Special Olympics @Butler Stadium
Girls' Soccer Try-Outs, 3:45 p.m.

ADVO - Online Safety Lessons
PTO General Meeting, 8:30 a.m.
District Magnet Tours, 1:00 p.m.
Girls' Soccer Try-Outs, 2nd Round, 3:45 p.m.
Magnet Open House for Prospective Families, 6:30 p.m.

Report Cards Issued
Boys' Soccer Paperwork Due by 4:00 p.m.
Region Orchestra Sectional Rehearsal, Cinco Ranch HS, 5:30 p.m.
6th grade Winter Glo Dance


5K Run/Walk & 1 Mile Children’s Run
Saturday, November 19, 2016

Register now at before early bird pricing ends!  Pin Oak receives $5 for every registration from the POMS community!

Absences and Make-up Work
When your child is absent, whether from one class or the entire day, it is important that he or she go to the teacher to get make-up work. Also, please remember to send a note to the main office.  

Yearbooks Are Now On Sale

Yearbooks are now for sale on for $45. We sell out every year so be sure to buy yours today. Also be sure you receive an email from Balfour confirming your purchase. If you don’t receive this it means your transaction is not complete.  Questions? Contact Ms. Beckman at

Big Thanks!
So many people make ChargerFest happen every year!  This year it was bigger and better than ever with more students involved with International Festival, our fine arts performances, a fantastic book fair and an incredible community carnival.  Thanks to our co-chairs, Jenny Hanks and Monica Weber, and all our volunteers, students, faculty, friends and families that made the day a really wonderful time for our school community!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

News from Mrs. Graves

Charger Buzz exceeded 77,000 Views last week!

Upcoming This Week (REVISED)

Boys' Basketball Practice Begins, 3:45-4:45 p.m.
7th gr Football @Westbriar MS, 5:00 p.m.

8th gr Football vs. Westbriar MS @Butler Stadium, 7:00 p.m.

Choir/Orchestra Renaissance Festival Field Trip
Fall Book Fair Begins

Book Fair
District Magnet Tours, 1:00 p.m.

College Shirt Day
Book Fair
Adv. Theatre UIL Clinic @Westbriar

Adv. Theatre UIL, Westbriar MS
Book Fair
ChargerFest, Noon-4:00 p.m.

Proposition 1: Know Before You Vote
Still have questions about Proposition 1?  The HISD website has a great video that explains the ballot language of "attendance credits." 

As district employees we are not allowed to share our political viewpoints in an attempt to persuade you to vote one way or another.  

Swim Try-Outs
Due to a scheduling conflict with the Lamar High School pool, POMS Swim Team Tryouts have been re-scheduled for MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7th at 5:30pm.  Only students who have already submitted paperwork are eligible to tryout.  If you have any questions, please see Coach Johnson (Boys) in A-121, or Coach Coffman Fujiwara (Girls) in C-112.

Fall Book Fair
Pin Oak will be holding our Fall Book Fair benefiting the Pin Oak Library.  The book fair is location in the DLL in the back of the library.

Parents and students can come browse the great selection and buy books before, during and after school.  The book fair will be open from 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, November 2-4.  On Saturday, November 5th, during ChargerFest, it will be open from noon-4:00 p.m.

Thursday morning, November 3rd, is our "Books and Breakfast" beginning at 7:30 a.m.  This is a great opportunity to come spend time with your student, enjoy free breakfast and support the library all at the same time.  We hope to see you then!

Run (or Walk) to Support Pin Oak Middle School
Calling all Pin Oak students and their families to participate in the Bellaire Fall Fever Fun Run on November 19.  The Bellaire Fun Run features both a 5k walk/run and a Childrens' Run, and benefits Bellaire area school, including Pin Oak Middle School.  Every student and their family members who sign up at, a donation of $5 will be made to Pin Oak Middle School to benefit the new fitness track campaign.  There's even a chance for Pin Oak to win a traveling trophy for having the most participants.  So, get fit and benefit the fitness track!

Condit Elementary challenged the other Bellaire area schools, as we can't leave a challenge unanswered!  Mr. Merz, Ms. Riegler, Ms. Hill ad Ms. Reid will be participating for POMS, competing against the other Bellaire area school teams.  Let's cheer them on!

BTW, not into the early morning fun run scene?  Want to find a way to contribute?  You can register to "sleep in" ad receive a sleep mask instead of a runner t-shirt.  Or, consider making a donation directly to our Fitness Track Campaign at

Developing Good Study Habits
I recently read a blog post from Edutopia that featured some really practical ideas for parents to help you child develop strong study habits.  Check it out!

Top Ten Things I Learned From My Day as a 6th Grader
10. The library is a really nice way to start the day.
9.   Working in groups is a great way to feel connected and learn from each other.  
8.   I had plenty of time to get to class because by shadow buddy was very organized about what materials to take each time we went to the locker. Nice job, Cecilia!
7.   Bottom lockers are really hard to get to, even with my cluster mates kindly offering to let me go first.
6.   Remembering the locker combination is not an easy thing.  Is 2 out of 3 good?
5.   Long division with decimals does not come easily when your regular job allows for a calculator.
4.   Forgetting your lunch money in your locker happens to the best of us.
3.   Praise from your teacher feels really good - "You are on the right track. Keep going."
2.   Positive body image matters! Right, Coach?
1.   Pin Oak students are incredible!  They work so hard!  #totalrespect

Halloween Costume Guidelines
Students are invited to dress in costume tomorrow using the following guidelines:
  1. Students may wear a costume that adequately covers their bodies, using the same guidelines as we use with dress code, i.e. no short skirts, no short shorts, no leggings, and no spaghetti straps, strapless tops or halter tops.
  2. Nothing may obstruct the face.  There should be no face paint, no face tattoos and no masks.
  3. No props. Under no circumstances may you bring a replica of a gun, knife, sword, etc.
  4. In light of the recent "clown" drama, no clown costumes are allowed.
  5. Please refrain from anything that may be disruptive, profane or inappropriate.
  6. Students who have PE on Monday, will still be expected to dress out and participate.  Please make sure you have appropriate shoes.
We reserve the right to determine if a costume is disruptive to the school environment, or not in compliance with the dress code standards.  Students who are not appropriately dressed will be asked to change clothes.

Pin Oak Boys' Lacrosse November Clinics
Pin Oak Boys Lacrosse Fall Clinics are continuing!! It is time to sign up for the November clinics, which start this coming Tuesday, Nov. 1.  Go to our website, , for all the information. We hope to see old as well as new lacrosse players! All boys in grades 6-8th may sign up. It is a great way to check out the game. 

ChargerFest is Saturday! 

We need your help!
Please volunteer to work at ChargerFest.
Sign up today at:

Raffle begins Monday!!! 
Students can see the exciting prizes and buy raffle tickets during lunch this week.  Raffle drawings will be held at 3:45 on November 5th.  They do not need to be present to win.

Wristbands and tickets are on sale online until November 2nd. 
Be sure to buy ahead of time at the discounted rate.
Click here to purchase tickets.

*Students can purchase wristbands and tickets this week during lunch w/ cash or check.
*Online orders will be delivered during team-time beginning Monday, October 31st .

For questions, please contact Jenny Hanks at
or Monica Weber at

Charger Fest Performing Groups Schedule

12:30 - 1:00 Stage Band
1:00 - 1:30  Choir
1:45 - 2:15  Orchestra
2:30 - 3:00  Guitar
3:15 - 4:00  Dance

Thank you ChargerFest Sponsors & Underwriters
Fine Arts Performances
Maierson Family
Jungle Climb Rockwall
Decker Family
Nothing Bundt Cakes
Bayshore Surveying, Michael Family, New Star EMS
Game Booths
Barrow, Fisher, Gilder, Madison, McAlpin, Mills, Organ,
Wizig-Barrios, & Woodcox Families
Energy Ogre
Vision Source Meyer Park
International Festival
Cheng, Clark, Hampton, Harper, Hutchinson, McIntosh, Nicodemus, Neumann, Rephlo, Wexler & Woods Families
Redemption Booth
Abaza, Cheney, Clement, Davies, Escobedo-Huh, Moss, Shah,
Skow & Williams Families
Pat’s Landscaping Co.

$1000 Sponsorship Group
Brandt, Felch, Forque, Hochglaube, Kant, Krauss, Malin, Schultz, Sloan,
Torres-Coley & Watts Families
Super Star Underwriters
Basa, Courtney, Hochglaube & DeBorde PC., Madison, McAlpin, Mills,
Shultz & Traylor Families
Idol Underwriters
Carr-Griffiths, Goodman, Harper, Jeanjean, Tackett & Woods Families
Champ Underwriters
Duval, Jarosz, McPherson, Shaw-Guttman, Soeriawinata & Wallach Families

Thank you PTO Corporate Sponsors for your continued support!
Bellaire Orthodontics
Beth Wolff Realtors

Thank you Raffle Prize Donors!
Beth Wolff Realtors – Texans Tickets
Borsos & Shah Families - Fitbit
Courtney Family – Beats by Dr. Dre Wireless Earphones
Dynamo Charities – Autographed Jersey
Hanks & Weber Families – Itunes Giftcard
Little Matt’s & Imagination Toys - Little Matt’s Gift card & Spooner Balance Board
Magpies Gifts & Alva Allen – Swell Bottle & Burlap Tote, both w/Free Monogramming
Vera Bradley – Vera Tote w/ matching Cosmetic Bag
Vision Source Meyer Park – Rayban Sunglasses
Wake Nation Houston – 4 Day Pass

In-Kind Donations from…
Beth Wolff Realtors

ChargerFest Bazaar Vendors
Bellaire FUN RUN
Greater Houston Orthodontics
Kona Ice
Noonday Collection
POMS Agriculture Club
POMS Fitness Track
Trader Joe’s
Wake Nation
Wants & Needs Shop