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Principal's Update: End Of Year Events, Project Cornerstone, CAASPP, Construction, May Fete and Paw Prints

Hello JLS Families, It’s hard to believe we are already in May.  Last week we wrapped up our CAASPP testing, we celebrated with a Spirit Week and “Flower Fest” dance party, and this week, every JLS Staff Member has enjoyed the extra treats from Staff Appreciation Week.  THANK YOU for donating goodies, giving your time, or even writing a nice email to show a JLS staff member your family appreciates them.  We only have 18 days left in our school year, and we are so grateful to you for being an important part of our community.  We ALL have a lot of accomplishments to celebrate!   We held our final Community Zoom this morning, and we had about 90 families tune in to hear the presentation.  Here is our Slide Deck.  Also, you can view previous Community Zooms on the JLS webpage.   Below are some important pieces of information for you to be aware of.  They include:

  • JLS End Of Year Events: May & June 2022
  • JLS Site Council Update: SPSA Plan and Project Cornerstone Reminders
  • CAASPP Testing Update: Make-ups Continue
  • Looking Ahead to Construction: New Library, New Wellness Center, New Front Office Building
  • JLS Band in tomorrow's May Fete Parade & PAW Prints

  Important End Of Year Events: May 10: High School Transition Panel for 8th Grade, 7:30pm, zoom link to come May 11: PTA General Meeting, 8:45-9:30 AM, zoom link here May 13: 7th Grade After School Party, 1:45 - 3:30pm; sign up to help volunteer here May 14: 8th Grade Parent Poster Pick Up, 9-10:30am (pick up poster for YOU to decorate for YOUR student) May 24: YCS Monthly Service Activity, 3:30-4:30 PM May 27: 8th Grade Great America Trip May 30: Memorial Day Holiday, No School May 31: *NEW DATE* Special PTA General Association Meeting, 8:45 - 9:15 AM, zoom link here June 1: 6th Grade Field Day (10:15-11:40am, during school), details & volunteer opportunities to come May 31-June 2, 2022: Special Bell Schedule!   June 2: Last day of school; Minimum day - 12:40pm dismissal June 2: 8th Grade Promotion Ceremony, 6-7:30pm, for students and families June 2: 8th Grade Promotion Party for Students, following Ceremony JLS Site Council Update - SPSA Plan and Project Cornerstone Reminders: Thanks to all Site Council Members: Judy Lukensmeyer, Jeff Downing, Julia Lee, Elizabeth Fee, Joe Yribarren, Darren Margie and Bernadette Saint John as staff representatives, Derek Mulkey, Indira Priyadarsani, Alison Chao, Maribel Ramirez as parent representatives, and Niev Sanghani, Gia Cicero, Shira Porat and Ren Lin as student representatives. With their input, the Final Draft of our SPSA Plan was approved by the JLS Site Council on Monday, April 25 and submitted to the District Office on Wednesday, April 27, 2022. Additionally, our Site Council has worked with Project Cornerstone to bring SEL Modules to all JLS families.  Please explore the following with your family!

  • Module 1, “Re-Entry Plan” includes this video (this is a previously available resource) 
  • Module 2, “Meet Your Brain” includes this video (this is a previously available resource) 

New Releases!

  • Module 3: “Decision-Making/Risk Assessment” includes this video and this flyer
  • Module 4: “Boundaries & Peer Pressure” includes this video and this flyer.
  • Module 5: “Leadership & Sharing Power” includes this video and this flyer
  • Module 6: “Time Management & Goal Setting” includes this video and this flyer

For more information, check out the Project Cornerstone website. Our Site Council will be sharing out a survey to collect feedback from families who have used these resources.  Thank you! CAASPP Testing Update: Make-up Tests Continue Over the last few weeks, JLS students have taken the following standardized tests:

  • Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for English Language Arts (ELA) - April 19 & April 20 
  • California Science Test (CAST) (Grade 8) - April 21 & 22
  • Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments for Math - April 26 & 27

The assessment results allow PAUSD and JLS Middle School to evaluate our student achievement on State standards and identify the challenges and successes to better serve our students. To learn more about these tests go to the Starting Smarter webpage, or review the Parent Guides to Understanding.

While the majority of our make-up tests are now complete, there are still a handful of students who will continue to be pulled to finish testing next week.  These students will receive a call slip next Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.  If you have questions, please contact our CAASPP Site Test Coordinator, Kim Lohse ( Looking Ahead to Construction - Starting Summer 2022: PAUSD School Board approved plans for our project in February 2020. Here is the Board Agenda Item, and linked here is the presentation. The main parts of the project target three improvements:

  • A new Library space (where the JLS Office is currently located)
  • A new Wellness Center and Counseling Offices (where the Library is currently located)
  • A new Front Office Building, located along Waverley Driveway (where the 800s portable classrooms are currently located)

Timeline: Phase 1 of the Construction Project will begin Summer 2022.  We expect the project to be complete within two years.   May Fete Parade & Paw Prints Issue 7: Our students are absolutely amazing.  This week, our Band students have been practicing playing and marching for tomorrow’s May Fete Parade with Ms. Billin, and our student writers (“Newsies”) recently published their 7th issue of our digital newspaper, PAW Prints #7, with the help of Ms. Valero.  Please join me in supporting and celebrating their accomplishments! As always, if you have any questions about any of the topics in this message, please reach out to any member of the JLS team.   Happy (early) Mother’s Day! Chris Grierson, JLS Principal (

Additional Contact Information: Donna Hankins, 6th Grade Counselor ( Kim Lohse, 6th Grade Administrator ( Arvind Arya, 7th Grade Counselor ( Jeff Downing, 7th Grade Administrator ( Adriana Flores-Ragade, 8th Grade Counselor ( Hanisi Accetta, 8th Grade Administrator ( Carol Cannon, JLS Health Tech ( Jamey Boccio, JLS Attendance Secretary (