Spartan Herald August 2019

Building Community Empowering Learners Inspiring Creativity

Welcome Back!

Dear Parents and Guardians,

This school year is off to a great start! It was wonderful to feel the excitement and energy in our building today. We welcomed back many familiar faces and also greeted some new students. On WSMS we talked about our theme for this year: Your Window to the World. Through our advisory SEL (social and emotional learning) lessons, student will learn about themselves and also about our SMS community and the greater world.

Below are some highlights from the letter shared with families this summer.

Each month you will receive a copy of the Spartan Herald via email. This newsletter will contain important information about the happenings here at Schmucker Middle School. This first month will be a bit shorter since school has only been in session a few days. The September newsletter will be coming out next week and will contain many more Schmucker happenings and updates!

Communication: Each month parents will receive a copy of the Spartan Herald via email. Please follow us on Twitter (@SMSSpartanPride) to see updates about happenings at Schmucker. Please be sure your email is up to date on your child’s emergency card. Emergency cards will be distributed through Advisory classes.

Positive Behavior Program: In tandem with our SEL lessons, we continue to embrace our Positive Behavior Program and this supports our anti-bullying campaign. Bullying is NOT allowed at Schmucker and we actively enforce that rule! At the start of the year, we will talk with students about our positive behavior initiatives, like our motto (Show Respect, Make a Difference, Set the Bar High). We will continue to review these expectations throughout the school year.

Dress Code: Our dress code focuses on being dressed for “work” instead of being dressed for the beach or the mall. Flip flops and athletic/running shorts are not permitted. Shirts must have sleeves and shorts/skirts must be at the top of the knee. You can access the complete dress code online in the student handbook.

Transportation: You will receive bus route information in the mail from the Transportation Department. We highly recommend that students ride the bus if routed. If students will be car riders, please be sure to review the car rider line procedures and expectations found in the back to school packet and on our website.

Fees & School Lunch: Your fee statement will be mailed after the start of the school year. See our school website to pay for school lunches.

Wellness: Our health curriculum includes a unit on growth and development. If you do NOT want your child to participate in our Wellness Growth and Development curriculum, you must notify your child’s wellness teacher. They will offer an independent assignment to your child.

Student Arrival and Departure: Students may enter the building at 8:50 AM and the final bell rings at 4:00. Students should not arrive prior to 8:50 unless they are attending a before school event. Remember, only individuals listed on your child’s emergency card will be allowed to pick them up from school.

Washington D.C.: Our goal is for all 8th grade students to have the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. Throughout their middle school career, several opportunities will be available for students to earn money for this trip, including school and PTO fundraisers. There is a Washington D.C. informational meeting on September 18th.

Athletics & Clubs: All fall athletic practices have started, but if you are new to Schmucker and interested in participating, please contact the main office. Remember all students participating in athletics must have a physical on file. We offer many clubs and after school activities as well. Announcements about these opportunities will be made on our morning news broadcasts. All students participating in a sport or club must register on Register My Athlete (

Fundraiser: Our all-school fundraiser will kick off on Thursday, August 29th. The revenues will be used for student activities including clubs, intramurals, academic competitions, awards, teacher club sponsor stipends and some academic competition coaching stipends, in addition to materials and resources used by students in these activities.

Chromebooks & Textbooks: Our 7th and 8th grade students should bring their Chromebooks fully charged and be ready to use them on the first day of school. Sixth grade students will receive their Chromebooks on Friday, August 24th. Insurance for the Chromebooks is $25 and covers two repairs. This information will be included in the back to school packets and the deadline to turn in the form is Tuesday, September 13th. All students will receive their textbooks during the first week of school.

Cell Phones & Technology: We continue to encourage students to leave their cell phones at home. If students do need to bring them to school, the phones should be turned off and kept in student’s lockers for the duration of the school day. Additionally, during this school year, students may NOT access gaming sites during the school day (8:50 - 4:00). In the past, this activity has distracted students from learning. Therefore, during the school day, students will use their chromebook for teacher-instructed activities only. We will maximize the 55 minute class periods so that students engage in learning while their teacher is nearby to coach and correct. This concentration during the day will minimize the need for additional work at home (homework). If students use their time wisely during the day, they will have time after school hours for personal activities, as directed by their parents.

ILearn & AIR Ways: We are committed to making our school day focused on learning and mastery of grade level standards, so that all students will be successful! Throughout this school year, we will continue to use AIRWays benchmark and interim assessments to monitor students’ preparation for ILearn. Students worked very hard on ILEARN last spring and scores will be coming out soon. This spring (April 20th - May 15th), students will take ILearn again. We look forward for students to use this opportunity to demonstrate their learning.

We want all students to be appropriately challenged and find happiness in learning! We appreciate all you do to partner with us to make this happen! If you have any questions, please email me at

With your child in mind,

Lavon Dean-Null, Principal

Task Force Information

For the 2019-2020 school year, there is an intentional focus on the middle school levels, with specific attention to school improvement plans related to behavior, mental health, and social-emotional learning. Due to this focus, at the June, 2019 School Board meeting, it determined a Superintendent's Advisory Council would be formed for the district. Additionally, Middle School Task Forces would also be created at each middle school. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear from our parents, community and staff and work together to find solutions. We are looking for parents/guardians of current P-H-M middle school students to apply to be on the Superintendent's Advisory Council and/or the Middle School Task Force at your middle school student's respective school. The applications are live now and will close Friday, August 30 @ 4:30 p.m. Please consider applying for this wonderful opportunity so your voice is heard and to make a difference. For more information as well as a link to the application process, please visit P-H-M's website.

Yearbook Information

We are pleased to offer this year's Yearbook at a discounted price of $28 until September 30th. Nameplates are $4 until September 30th as well. The price of a Yearbook will become $30, with a $5 nameplate after September 30th.

We understand some families have purchased Yearbooks at the $30 price. Your child's yearbook will have a nameplate unless you'd like the $2 reimbursement. If you would like the reimbursement, please contact our school treasurer, Debbie Pletcher, at

Important Dates

August 26 - 7th and 8th Grade Meet & Greet 5:30 - 6:30 PM

August 29 - Fundraiser Kickoff

September 2 - Labor Day, no school

September 4 - Picture Day

Check out all events on our Website calendar: SMS Calendar

Skyward Update

Please be sure your email and all other details are up to date on your child’s Skyward Account. The link to enter Family Access is

In Family Access, you will view your student’s attendance, grades, upcoming assignments, and other important information. Your children will have their own accounts, where they will check grades, complete online assignments, and more. To learn more about Family Access, be sure to check out Skyward’s parent toolkit at If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the PHM Help Desk at

Once you login please take a moment to fill out your emergency contact information in the provided form.

Follow the link below to reset the password on your User account and begin using Family Access.

Reset Password

If you already have a Skyward password set up, please disregard this message and Click Hereto log in.


Please click here to watch a short video on Schmucker's Drop-off & Pickup! Also please readabout our car rider line procedures & expectations!


Please visit to join the directory, explore volunteer opportunities and receive messages from the PTO about upcoming events. Just register for an account (you can use your same email and password from your MySchoolAnywhere.comaccount, if you had one) and follow the prompts to update your information and sign up for volunteer opportunities. Also, be sure to like us on Facebook at Schmucker Middle School PTO for up to date communications.

PE clothes and Spirit Wear orders are due by August 30th. Look for order forms in your back to school packets. You can also order online at . Orders should be in mid September and students will be able to pick them up at school. Thank you for supporting your SMS PTO!


August 26th is the 7th and 8th Meet & Greet. Students and parents will rotate through their child's schedule this evening. This event starts at 5:30 PM and families can go straight to Advisory class. You will hear highlights about advisory and teachers will share the weekly routine. For content classes, teachers will explain what students will be learning and experiencing throughout the year. This is a wonderful time for our 7th and 8th grade families to meet their teachers and learn more about Schmucker. We look forward to seeing you!


Check out the P-H-M website for an online listing of non-school events & activities agencies have asked us to share with P-H-M families:

Student Hours

8:50am - Bus Arrival

9:00am - First Bell

9:05am - Classes Begin

4:00pm - Dismissal

4:10pm - Bus Departure