Spartan Herald January 2020

Building Community Empowering Learners Inspiring Creativity

A New Year and A New Story

Hello Schmucker Families,

One of our school improvement goals this year was to communicate more about our social and emotional learning initiatives, restorative practices, and school safety practices. I would like to revisit some of our P-H-M safety practices this month. Students safety is our number one priority and there are many supports and plans we have in place to keep students and staff safe.

Mike Seger serves as P-H-M’s Director of Safety and Student Services. He is a national expert in school safety. Mr. Seger was recognized as one of the Most Influential People in Security 2018 by He has facilitated the implementation of the 3-layered approach to student and staff safety in all 15 schools. Please watch the video below to see the details of these safety supports.

Additionally, we encourage students and families to utilize the Safe School Helpline® to report any safety concerns. This is a confidential way to report student concerns about weapons, threats, suicide, drugs, bullying or anything else that threatens the safety of our schools. Details about the helpline is shared with students in various ways. The contact information is listed in the weekly newsletter that is emailed to students every Friday. Also, they have magnets in their lockers that show the helpline details. You can also find more details on our website. Click here to find out how to use the Safe School Helpline®

We prioritize safety here at Schmucker, and we are always happy to share this important information with you. You can also read more about P-H-M safety details by clicking here.

With your child in mind,

Lavon Dean-Null


P-H-M Security

Drop Off Procedure

Schmucker Parents,

We wanted to take a moment to remind parents of some information about dropping off and picking up your child. First of all, only students that walk to school will be allowed to enter Door A at 8:50 a.m. We try to avoid having any students dropped off prior to 8:50 a.m., as adult supervision begins at that time. All car riders must enter the property from Fillmore Street and assume a position in line as it wraps around the building towards Door F (south end of the building). Please do not release your child(ren) from a vehicle before reaching Door C, E, and F. Remember to keep the car rider line moving so please refrain from stopping when the line is motion towards the designated drop-off areas. When the bell rings at 8:50 a.m., students are allowed to leave your vehicles and enter the building at Doors C, E, and F only. Also, if students come to a before school event, they should be dropped off at the time the event begins. They should enter Door A and sign in once they arrive. Please pay attention to the adults helping to supervise the area, so that they can continue to move vehicles up in a safe and orderly fashion. These same rules apply in the afternoon. All car riders should load vehicles at or near Doors E and F. To help speed up the process, we will release all of the remaining students to go to the front of the building once the car line is no longer extending onto Fillmore Avenue. Please do not ask your child to exit through the front doors and meet you in the parking lot. This requires him or her to cross the traffic line and with safety in mind we want to avoid this. We thank you for your help in this matter.

Remember, these plans are designed to allow for safe loading and unloading of vehicles and we need your cooperation for it to work as intended. Safety is our number one priority, and we thank you for your cooperation.

Go Spartans,

Lucas Fry

Welcome & Congratulations

Happy January!

As we begin the new year we continue to provide multiple opportunities for students to be involved in our SMS community. Our band, orchestra and choir classes are preparing for ISSMA Solo and Ensemble competitions and our choir will also begin preparing for Circle the State. Our wrestling team and girls basketball team have started practicing and look forward to competing soon. Additionally, our Art Club, Game Club and Magic the Gathering Club are meeting on a regular basis. We are looking forward to forming our Academic Superbowl Teams and also seeing how our FLUID Power team does in competition!

There will also be a 7th grade social on Friday, 1/17/2020 from 4:00-5:30. There will be a DJ in the cafeteria, pizza and snacks available as well as an area for games and to socialize! Students can purchase tickets the week before for $2. We will also be hosting our first every FAMILY GAME NIGHT! That will take place on 1/31/2020 from 4:00-6:00. Please come and join us for snacks and a variety of games--families, including siblings are welcome! We are also excited to begin our One Book One School program during Advisory on 1/21/2020! We will be unveiling the book next week--so please feel free to ask your student about it!

Kristyn Martin

Important Dates

January 15 - End of Second Grading Period

January 16 - Swiss Valley Ski Club, 4:15pm-9:15pm

January 17 - 2021 China Excursion Parent Meeting, 7:30am at Discovery Middle School

January 17 - 7th Grade Social, 4-5:30pm

January 20 - Recess Day - Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 21 - 5 Star Winter Kick-Off, 4pm

January 23 - Exceptional Education Forum, 12pm at the ESC

January 23 - Swiss Valley Ski Club, 4:15pm-9:15pm

January 28 - 8th Grade Vision Testing

January 31 - Family Game Night, 4-6pm

Check out all events on our Website calendar: SMS Calendar

PTO News

Mark your calendars! The next Restaurant Night is Tuesday, January 14th at Five Guys in Mishawaka (located at the University Park Mall). Five Guys will donate 20% of fundraiser sales to the PTO PLUS an additional $1.00 for every milkshake you order. Gift card purchases count towards our total! Stop in anytime that day and let the cashier know you are supporting Schmucker Middle School PTO. This lets them know your order is for the fundraiser.

Our next staff appreciation event is next week! Please consider donating an item to make the event a success. Click the link below to sign up for a donation. Items need to be dropped off in the office on Monday, 1/13.

As always, thank you for supporting Schmucker PTO!

Parents of English Language Learners (ELLs)

From January 13 to February 28, English Language Learners (ELL) in grades kindergarten through twelfth grade will participate in the administration of the WIDA ACCESS for ELLs® 2.0 language proficiency test. ACCESS 2.0 provides a standardized measurement of academic language proficiency for ELL students throughout the state of Indiana, and in other states. With this information, we are able to monitor individual ELL student progress on an annual basis. Please visit for more details.

Please see below for our January Exceptional Ed Forum

Big picture

One Book/One School Coming Soon

The beginning of the third quarter will bring another year of One Book/One School to Schmucker Middle School. The committee has come up with some exciting activities to go along with our book. Each student here at Schmucker will get a copy of the book we will be reading. That copy is theirs to keep. Be sure to talk to your student to find out the title of our book for this year. We are very excited to start!


The December NJHS service project was blanket making for the Center for Hospice Care. We were able to donate 30 tie blankets this year!

Invitations will be going out soon to potential new members. Students earning at least a 3.5 GPA for 5 grading periods in a row will be invited to apply for membership. Teachers will be asked to give input regarding student attitude, effort, and behavior, and then applications are reviewed by a committee.

Students who receive an invitation must adhere to the timeline! No late applications will be accepted!

Yearbook News

Schmucker Families have until January 17th to order a yearbook with a name plate on it. The cost is $30 for the yearbook and an additional $5 for a nameplate.

Yearbooks will still be available to purchase until sold out.

*Please note yearbooks will be passed out at a later date.

Lost & Found

There will be a table near the SMS cafeteria with all lost and found items. The table will be set up for 1 week, 1/13-1/17, for items to be picked up by students. Please note, after the 17th, all unclaimed items will be donated.

SMS Academic Super Bowl Teams Forming

Junior Academic Super Bowl is a spring academic competition that has a one-time competition on May 2, 2020. Teams are formed of students interested in studying the topic of the year in-depth. This year's topic is "The Roaring 20's" and the teams are starting to schedule practices and start their studying and research!

If students are interested, they should contact the coach for the subject they'd like to join:

Math: Ms. Foster -

English: Mrs. Hoover -

Science: Mrs. Wagner -

Social Studies: Ms. O'Brien -

8th Grade Parents

We would like to remind you about some important events we shared with you recently. There are a number of activities and opportunities your family will want to be aware of as we enter into this important time.

  • February 3: Students will receive a hard copy of the pink Penn Course Menu request (“pink sheet”) with teacher recommendations for core classes. Students will also receive a digital copy via email.

  • February 10: Students turn in completed pink course request to Social Studies teacher. All elective choices must be indicated. Initial “Pathway” choices on reverse side should also be indicated.

  • February 14, 3:00: 8th Grade Summer PE registration and payment acceptance will close.

  • Week of February 17: Middle school counselors meet with students during Social Studies to input high school course requests into Skyward.

  • August 2020 - Become a Penn Kingsman!

  • May 2024 - Graduate from Penn High School!

Feel free to email your student’s counselor if you have questions as these dates approach.

Stacy Eck (Last names A-K)

Andrea Hoover (Last names L-Z)

8th Graders: Summer PE Registration Opening Soon!

Register Here:

  • Summer PE Registration Form will be released on the Penn website Monday, Feb. 3, 2020 at 9:00 a.m.
  • Feb. 3 – Feb. 14, 2020: Fill out the online registration form AND make the $50 payment in the Penn High School Bookstore to secure a spot.

  • Summer PE is both sessions – Approximate dates for 2020 are June 8-26 (Session I) and July 6-24 (Session II).

  • Students must attend all days of both sessions.
  • 4 Hours in the morning, exact times still to be determined. (Summer 2019 times were 8:40 a.m. – 12:40 p.m.).

8th graders: Important Opportunity

All 8th grade students, and their families, are invited to explore the Elkhart Area Career Center's many programs at their annual Open House on January 26 from 1:30-3:30 pm.

All of the programs at EACC offer TUITION FREE college credit and/or industry certification while attending high school. Check out their Facebook and Twitter pages or go to for more information about their programs.


The 8th grade class trip to Washington, D.C. is May 26 - May 30, 2020. Payment #2 is DUE BY January 16, 2020. The cost for payment #2 is $300. Our Schmucker web code/account #: 20TA14140

Please contact Hemisphere Travel (toll-free) if you have any questions: 800/323-6439.

You may also go to their website:

Schmucker does NOT handle any of the money/payments.

The final payment is due by March 26, 2020. You will receive a statement from Hemisphere

with the final payment amount in March.


Our 6th grade class will travel to Medieval Times Castle on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. We will travel by Royal Excursion Motor Coaches. This one-day trip to one of the most authentic Middle Ages experiences will not disappoint! The dinner theater holds about 1600 people and our Schmucker students/teachers/staff/parents fill up about ¼ of the arena. Students will enjoy a FEAST fit for a king, just like in the Middle Ages while viewing a wonderful live performance of knights on horseback jousting and competing in contests and simulated warfare. We will need about 40 parent/guardian chaperones to come with us on the trip. Your job will be to supervise students on the bus and in your general area in the arena. The cost for a chaperone will be approximately $63 per person. We will send home field trip permission slips and chaperone requests information in March. We want to have everything collected and paid for before Spring Break. Student cost will be approximately $47.


January is a busy time for a few sports. Once we return from Winter Break our wrestling team and girls basketball teams will be getting started. There are 21 weight classes, so it is truly a sport for everyone. The wrestling team will open their season on Tuesday, January 28 by hosting Concord here at SMS! The 7th and 8th grade girls basketball teams will open their season as well on January 28the traveling to Concord. Visit the SMS Calendar on our web page to see the full schedule!


Since 2009, PHM students from all three middle schools have participated in the China Excursion, the most recent trip occuring in the spring of 2019. You can view some of the places explored in this slideshow.

This 9 day trip planned for the summer of 2021 departs June 28 and returns July 6 (tentative dates). Students will tour historic sites in the cities of Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai, China. This experience will allow students to explore the ancient culture of China and also witness firsthand the country’s rapid development. The trip to China is aligned to seventh grade social studies standards that focus on imperial China, the Mongol Empire, European colonization, types of government, and trade.

The China Excursion is open to any students currently enrolled in 6th or 7th grade at Discovery, Grissom, or Schmucker. If you are interested in learning more about this experience and itinerary, please plan on attending informational meeting in the Discovery Middle School LGI. The meeting are scheduled for:

Friday, January 17 at 7:30 am

Please park in the west staff parking lot, between Discovery and Horizon.

If you have any questions, please contact James Howard at or Lavon Dean-Null at

A message to 8th Grade Parents from the Health Office

Attached you will find a letter from our Health Office. Please review the immunization requirements for all incoming 9th graders.


WSMS is recorded to Youtube ALMOST every day. (Technology!) If you would like to watch our daily announcements, check it out!

Here is the link to the channel if you want to publish it to parents.


Canvas is a LMS (Learning Management System) that is used in PHM. Teachers can put content online for students, make announcements and provide assignments. All parents are enrolled in the Canvas course of their students as observers. As observers, you can see the content, but are not able to interact with it. Please access the links below to learn more.

To keep you organized, you can also download the Canvas app for your phone or tablet.

Student Hours

8:50am - Bus Arrival

9:00am - First Bell

9:05am - Classes Begin

4:00pm - Dismissal

4:10pm - Bus Departure