SCH Digest

Scott E. Miller, Superintendent

Issue 18 - September 29, 2020

Hi SCH Family,

Thank you for all who participated in the College GO! this past week. I had several people communicate to me the need to emphasize that there are many positive options for our students outside of the traditional 4-year university. As the former CTE Director, I couldn’t agree more. Our message to kids should be that there are many positive outcomes after high school! We are all here to help them find the one that best matches their gifts, abilities, and passion, while also advising them on how viable a career choice might be and the costs associated with achieving it. I believe that sound career advice should take into account both a young person’s hopes and dreams along with the realities of the marketplace. If we focus too much on one or the other, we end up with underemployment and needless college debt or on the other side are those that aren’t reaching their potential because they didn’t develop a grand enough vision for themselves.

For our elementary teachers and staff, this need not be a conversation that waits to middle/high school. Please continue to engage our younger learners with big ideas on how they can maximize their potential and achieve their goals. Help them to see how their innate abilities could one day be used to provide for themselves and their loved ones. Many of us can think back to adults in our lives who saw our potential and encouraged us along our path. We all have that power to positively influence our kids and set them on the right direction.

Have a great week!


SCH Administration Center staff - College Go! Week


ADM Count

Our first ADM count took place on Friday, September 18th. The summary of this count is used by the state to determine the funding that the district will receive. The process is very arduous, tedious, and delicate. Although they may not know it, we appreciate all of the hard work that our clerical staff does to help each other and to make sure that the count is accurate. They spend numerous hours going over the details of our attendance and they were also dedicated to calling the homes of our students to check on them during this process. Mrs. Laine Kaminsky from Secondary and Ms. Holly Cook from Elementary are aware of the time and efforts that our clerks put into this event so they provided them with gift bags as a token of our appreciation.

Mrs. Kaminsky is pictured with some of the gift bags.

ASCA Highlight - Lydia McNeiley

Congratulations to Lydia McNeiley, Scott Middle School Lead School Counselor, on her recent highlight on the ASCA homepage.

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Enchanted Backpack

We are so blessed that Charles N. Scott Middle School was chosen to receive the Enchanted Backpack donation. We know it is going to benefit our school community and stakeholders. Thank you for everyone’s continued support of our school and student services department and dedication to our students, teachers, and families!

Enchanted Backpack is a not for profit organization that works with schools in the Chicagoland area. Every year they work with about 50 schools to deliver a van full of supplies for teachers and students. These supplies include pens, markers, binders, and books. The vans also have games and coats for families. This year Scott Middle School was one of the schools chosen to receive a Mobile Van donation. The value of the supplies that we received is about $20,000. These are supplies we hope to distribute to students and families in the near future. There will also be books for classrooms and supplies for teachers as well. The program is funded through the Lavin Family Foundation and was created to help underprivileged communities and help save teachers money from spending so much money on supplies.

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IDOE Leadership Spotlight

Congratulations to Mr. David Verta, Principal of George Rogers Clark MS/HS, who was highlighted in the September 2020, Vol. 5 issue of #INspirEDleaders (a publication of the Indiana Department of Education).

#INspirEDleaders Newsletter

Leadership Spotlight - Dave Verta

One School One Book

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Precision Machining Academy

After a yearlong partnership with the Lake Shore Chamber of Commerce, Ivy Tech Community College, Center for Workforce Innovation, State of Indiana Earn and Learn, and L & R Innovative Solutions the School City of Hammond Precision Machining Academy was launched in August 2020. The academy features twelve School City of Hammond Area Career Center students that attend Ivy Tech Community College on the Lake County Campus of East Chicago for a portion of their school day to heighten career awareness of Manufacturing.

Manufacturing refers to a large-scale production of goods that converts raw materials, parts, and components into finished merchandise using manual labor and/or machines. The finished goods can be sold directly to consumers, to other manufactures for the production of more complex products, or to wholesalers who distribute the goods to retailers. Manufacturing is one of the upcoming careers in our community.

We are very proud of the effort and commitment from our partners and look forward to future endeavors to enhance the lives of our students and community. Congratulations to the Manufacturing Committee and the ACC for making sure Hammond students are College and Career Ready.

Safe School Sites Visit

On Tuesday, September 8th, the School City of Hammond opened its doors in three of their elementary schools as Safe School Sites. The host schools are Harding, Irving, and Maywood Elementary schools. Upon visiting the sites, many of the students stated that they were very happy to be back in school. One stated that, "it beats being at home." Not only were the students delighted about coming to school, Superintendent Miller had a good time during his visit to the sites. Harding Elementary School's principal (Ray Liskey) also enjoyed having a little normalcy in the building. The tour also included a visit to one the many great teachers of SCH who have chosen to teach from the their classroom. As you can see from the picture above, Mrs. April Casmir-Grisham students are very attentive.

Secondary Heroes

The pandemic has placed the entire world in a position of doing things differently. This is especially true for the classrooms across the nation. The School City of Hammond took numerous steps to ensure that our children receive an effective education in a remote setting. Our teachers work very hard to make this a reality so it is very reassuring when our teachers receive accolades from our parents like the one that is shared below.

Ms. Patricia Joyner at Clark Middle School you ROCK!

"I was listening to Gracie's 7th period English Language arts today. I really like how Ms Joyner did the OWA #2 Who is the G.O.A.T. ? Superman vs Batman. This lesson reminded me of Mr. Turner on Boy Meets World. How he taught the kids at their level. Many students understand comic heroes. Me and my husband really liked the lesson. Ms Joyner did a wonderful lesson."

Thank you

H. Sampson

Food & Nutrition

Please help us continue to encourage your students to go get our nutritious and delicious free school meals daily. Visit to see list of all meal sites/bus stop meal sites. Some answers to common questions your students/families may have:

Question: Do students need to be present to get the meals?

Answer: No they do not. Any adult/older sibling can pick up meals as long as they provide the person taking meal counts with the following info:

  1. Name of the student
  2. Name of the school they attend (even if not an SCH school)
  3. Student’s Grade level
  4. If you are picking up for those who are too young for school just their name and birth date

Question: Can I walk up to a meal site if I don’t have a car?

Answer: Absolutely! You can walk, run, bike, etc to any of the schools with curbside meal service

Hammond Academy for the Performing Arts

The Wizard of Oz: Young Performers Edition

We are also pleased to announce our full cast for the Wizard of Oz (a virtual trip down the yellow brick road):

Dorothy - Angelita Velez (Understudy - Mariel Patterson)

Aunt Em - Taylor Ballard

Uncle Henry - Tyran Smith

Hickory/Tin Man - Jamarion Evans (Understudy - Rick Landeros)

Zeke/Lion - Jasmine Poindexter (Understudy - Jalen Sutton)

Hunk/Scarecrow - Mark Navarro (Understudy - Isabel Velez)

Miss Gulch/Wicked Witch - Henry Clifford (Understudy - Joyce Fearance)

Professor Marvel/Wizard - Mr. Greg Easton (Understudy - Daniel Feliciano)

Glinda - Angie Tuazon (Understudy - Justice Campbell)

Apple Tree 1 - Dariana Clark

Apple Tree 2 - Joyce Fearance

Apple Tree 3 - Emiliano Garcia

Doorman - Christian Ontiveros

Oz Woman - Isabel Velez

Guard - Jalen Sutton

Optimistic Voices - Select Ensemble *

Winkie guards - Select Ensemble +

Jitterbugs - Ensemble

Winged Monkeys - To Be Determined


Ballard, Taylor, Beal, Deavion*, Bozzo, Abby*, Bryant, Kennedy+, Campbell, Justice, Chandler, Amor, Clark, Dariana*, Edwards, Alaya, Fearance, Joyce, Feliciano, Daniel+, Garcia, Emiliano+, Jackson, Kiera*, Lucas, Emily*, Macon, Layla*, Needham, Haylee*, Ocasio, Soelys, Ontiveros, Christian+, Patterson, Mariel*, Ramos, Jade, Riddle, Mackenzie*, Scott, Isabella, Smith, Tyran+, Stokes, Destiny, Sutton, Jalen, Swaim, Chloe, Velez, Isabel, Ward, Amare+, Williams, Yasmine

Elementary and Middle School students can still join the production by filling out the interest form:

She Kills Monsters

The School City of Hammond is one of the few districts doing art amidst a pandemic. We are fortunate to be offering a full-scale production entirely online. SHE KILLS MONSTERS is a brilliant piece that explores loss, identity, and human connection. We hope you will tune in! Ticket information will be coming soon.

Head Start

During their "live" virtual lessons Head Start students will be learning breathing techniques to help them learn self-regulation skills and to lessen stress. One of the breathing methods used in Conscious Discipline is STAR breathing - Smile, Take a deep breath And Relax. It works for grown-ups, too! Try it now or some other time this week - take three deep STAR breaths and notice the difference it makes!

Human Resources

Wishing a very Happy Birthday to all the staff members who have birthdays in September!

Laura Alamo, Emily Allen, Thomas Allen, Crystal Anthony, Sandra Barrera, Linda Batey, Natalie Bevil, James Boland, Michelle Boland, Tonisia Boone, Janet Bowen, Katherine Broadnax, Sheree Broomes, Paige Brown, Scott Brown, Elizabeth Bustamante, Ronald Caldwell, Juanita Camacho, Emily Carlson, Andrea Caston, Lisa Childs, Nicole Church, Lois Coto, Edward Cox, Doreen Crook, Mariaoliva Cruz, Diane Del Rio, Michelle DeLao, Joan Denny, Robert DiFiore, Kevin Dix, Brandon Dorsey, Stephen Dull, Denise Eismin, Wanda Enriquez, Sarah Farrell, Beth-Ann Faught, Billy Featherly, Maria Finger, Karen Finn, Angelica Flores, Mireya Flores, Arana Fossett, Yviette Frame, Jennifer Frank, Thomas Frank, Michele Frostick-Haas, Crystal Fuller, Cristian Garcia, Leticia Garcia, Yasmin Garcia – Hernandez, Taylor Garrison, Nancy Gomez, Janette Gottschalk, Myrna Hackett, Nathan Hartz, Jennifer Hedrick, Kelly Henley-Raices, Irma Hernandez, Denise Hitt, Nicole Holley, Tamara Huzzie, Anna Jacobs, Kristine Johnson, Kyana Johnson, Stacey Johnson, Tabitha Kelley, Abigail Kennedy, Beth Kinley, Robin Kowalski. Kerry Kuc, Steven Lach, Lynn Lange, Sharon Latham, Heather Lint, Lisa Lipkovitch, Raymond Liskey, Crystal Lopez, Francisco Lopez, Lorena Lopez, Elaine Lovick, Jessica Lovick, Kim Lozano, Bryan Lucas, Eva Macheca, Katen Mahoney, Sheryl Malone, Diamond Mance, Kimberly Martinez, Nancy Martinez, Eboni McClellan, Peggy McHugh, Kathleen McNamara, Anne Melby-Morrison, Melissa Mendiola, Sunshine Miranda, Angel Morales, Maricela Morales, Rena Morales, Stephanie Moran, Malline Morris, Travis Morris, Sandra Navarro, Shelly Needham, Tymisha Newson, Thomas Niksich, Cherly Nolbertowicz, Karen Nolan, Eric Osorio, Pamela Otero, David Pardonek, Mary Patka, Bessie Payton, Dawn Phillips, Christopher Powers, Melissa Pusateri, Carlos Reed, Molly Reed, Melanie Rigot, Martha Rosas, Denise Ryan, Lidia Serrato, Timothy Sieman, Gayle Slattery, Bertha Sosa, Jeffrey Spencer, Patricia Stanford, Natalie Stringer, Crystal Taylor, Zachary Tincher, Robert Trost, Wendy Udovich, Stephanie Vargas, Laura Walker, Romelle Walton, Rhonda Warren, Sade Watson, Janice Weber-Klein, Mark Webster, Amanda Wells, Bernadine White, Aquanis Windham, Jennifer Young, and Jose Zepeda.

Language Development Program

The Language Development Program would like to Congratulate Elena “Helen” Cruz on her recent retirement!

Elena Cruz was part of the former Bilingual Education Program and Language Development Program. Elena has worked 29+ years in multiple schools in School City of Hammond and Hobart Township. We appreciate Elena for her years of dedication to English learners! Wishing her a very happy retirement.

The Language Development Program along with the Dual Language Program would like to give a very warm “Welcome ~ Bienvenidos” to our new LDP team members!

Clark MS/HS..........Iram Arredondo

Clark MS/HS..........Carolina Alcala

Eggers MS..............Rocio Cuevas

Harding ES.............Donna Dobrijevich

Hess ES..................Denise Hernandez-James

Irving ES.................Cristina Verastegui - (DLI)

Irving ES.................Judybeth Garcia-Torres - (DLI)

Irving ES.................Sandra Chapa - (DLI)

Irving ES.................Andrea Castro (DLI)

Maywood ES..........Marisa DelMuro

Morton HS..............Denise Ruiz

Hispanic Heritage Month

Did you know that celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with your students instills cultural pride? It is very important that they learn and read about the contributions of the MANY famous Hispanic Americans that have made a difference here in the US.

Researchers have found that Hispanic/Latino/Latinx students who grow up informed and proud of their own culture are FAR MORE likely to develop “healthier behaviors” than those who did not. In addition, students who have cultural pride tend to also have a higher self-esteem! They are also far less likely to suffer behavioral problems such as hopelessness, aggression, and substance abuse. When they see their own faces reflected in the history of our country, it creates a connection between them and the past. They begin thinking how they too can contribute and make a difference!

Have fun with it too! Teachers play an important part of instilling cultural pride in our students. ALL students should be proud of who they are, their ancestors and culture, but it needs to be taught and modeled. Talk to your students about how proud you are of your own culture to begin the conversations. This will give every student an opportunity to discuss his/her own culture as well!

There are so many wonderful online resources. Please see the activities below. They are great ways to celebrate cultural diversity and enhance the inclusion of our Hispanic community.

Hispanic Heritage Videos

Special Education


Given the many challenges of the upcoming school year, the special education department will be utilizing a telehealth software program called Blink to assist speech pathologists with providing virtual group and individual therapy. Blink session platforms are secure and completely HIPAA compliant

The Blink software program allows speech therapists to interact, schedule, document and track student progress. Besides a high quality video connection, the program interfaces with other interactive features such as whiteboards, resources, games and screen sharing. A variety of assessment tools are also built into the program to ensure a student's learning goals are consistently updated and effective.

Regional Mental Health

Given the stress of uncertainty during these difficult times, it is important to remind families that Regional Mental Health services are still available for School City of Hammond students. Referrals can be submitted electronically or hard copies which are available at the schools. Emotional, behavioral and motivational issues can be addressed to improve classroom performance. Once the referral is completed, parents will be contacted to see if they are interested in completing an intake and starting therapy utilizing a telehealth format. Questions or further information can be obtained by contacting Regional Mental Health.

Jennifer Gescheidler, LMHC
Service Director-Regional Mental Health

(219) 931-0427


Helpful Information

  • SCH has many options for Technical Support available to both students and staff. You can fill out a form, send an email or call (219) 937-1680. Our Live Technical Support will be available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Teachers please make sure you put in a work order for any technology need as we are actively processing all requests; you should hear back from us soon.
  • If you have a student that still has a need, please have them submit a request form on our on our site.


Transportation has i’s own unique challenges but add Covid to the mixture, it becomes a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle without the picture. As we have returned to school in a modified format, the SCH Transportation Department has shifted its focus to support the Area Career Center, Food Service, Technology, and Special Education departments.

Transportation is currently in place with extra precautions and offered to all SCH students that attend the ACC Career and Technical Education programs. Normally students that attend these programs would go to their high school and be transported from there but due to Covid students are being picked up from their homes. Social Distancing is in place with maximum load of 10 students; students are screened and sanitzed before boarding, and masks are required for all. Buses are disinfected each morning using a solution that neutralizes the virus on surface.

The other main transport in place is food distribution within the community. Food Service and Transportation partnered and identified locations within the community that are away from the school distribution sites. It is our hope to increase the amount of food distributed while easing the burden on families that do not live near a school distribution site. Buses are anchored from 10:45-12:15 each day so spread the word.

Other transport has been Chromebook distribution to homes for Technology. Currently, we are working with Special Education to transport students to receive services within their home schools.

Stay Informed

An update from the Superintendent is distributed monthly.

View previous updates from Mr. Miller here.

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