Spartan Herald

April 2015

From the Desk of the Principal (Mr. Galiher)

Dear SMS Families,

Some may know that I am an avid baseball fan. I grew up playing this sport and experienced many wonderful lessons about life, learning and pursuing a dream. I am reminded of this passion as I draft this letter. Spring is here and opening day for baseball is right around the corner. Little league baseball and softball seasons are about to commence and I can feel the excitement. Babe Ruth once stated, "Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game". I share this quote because it is can serve as a powerful reminder for us and our students. Teachers discussed this quote, among others, with students as they reflected on their own approach and attitude towards learning earlier this year. At SMS, we continue to strive for academic excellence and motivate students to be life long learners. A growth mindset approach to learning will help us all achieve this goal.

I also want to take a moment and recognize our PTO for the many activities they plan that support our school throughout the school year. I am thankful for all of the parents that give back in support of students and teachers. If you would have an interest in finding out how you could be a part of the PTO, please contact me.

Have a safe spring break and Go Spartans!


All students will begin the second round of ISTEP beginning on April 27th. This test will be online and will be administered over several days. Students will take these assessments in their Math and Language Arts class. 6th grade students will also take the Science ISTEP in Science class. Students will be taking several additional assessments during this round of testing. It is extremely important that students are in attendance during testing days to ensure a smooth schedule for the students. Please access the link below for our ISTEP schedule.

We recommend that students not bring their cell phone to school on testing days. It is also important that all students are in attendance when these tests are scheduled.

Parent Letter:

ISTEP Schedule:

Cell Phone Policy:

Language Arts Classes: What students are doing and learning.

6th Grade

The 6th grade Language Arts classes will be working on research-based information writing in the 4th quarter. In this unit, the theme is teen activism. The students will be reading and analyzing numerous nonfiction/informational texts about teens all over the world who are trying to make a difference in education, treatment of animals, bullying, child labor laws, etc. They will also be involved in actively taking notes over the readings to enhance their writing. The students' final writing for this unit will require the children to become an author of a four-chapter book over their favorite area of activism study. Their writings will include credible facts, quotes and citations, and any visual graphics that will enhance their topic. The students will share their finished chapter books with other students in the class.

7th Grade

The 7th grade Language Arts classes are busy researching evidence for their argumentative debates and papers. The topic is "Should Kids Be Involved In Competitive Sports?". Students are learning effective note taking skills, flash drafting, debate conventions and argumentative writing conventions. Students will be able to defend their positions by researching both sides of the issue. As students research, they are learning just how complicated this question truly is.

8th Grade

The 8th grade Language Arts classes will be working on both research and argumentative writing in the 4th quarter. The goal is to teach students to write fair and principled arguments on a variety of topics. The content involves real-world issues - misconceptions, stereotyping, the powerful, and the powerless to name a few. Throughout the unit students will complete two full essays. These essays will challenge the students to use research, evidence, counterarguments, analysis, and standard citations. This final writing unit of the school year will be the last genre to cover in order to fully equip students with what they need to be successful at Penn High School.

One Book, One School

Schmucker Middle School is currently reading Maze Runner by James Dashner as part of One Book/One School. Students and adults alike are having a common reading experience. We had our first trivia question, and this picture is of the winning class. Students will also be able to sign up as teams to take part in a Battle of the Book – Maze Runner that will take place on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. Students may have up to 6 people on their team, and we are taking the first 24 teams to sign up. It will be an exciting time. So, encourage your students to keep reading, so they can enjoy all the activities.

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Glenda's Message to Parents

Glenda's Message to Parents, March 2015

Important Dates

04/01 Student Council Meeting (8:00 - 8:50 am)

04/02 7th Grade Field Trip to Medieval Times

04/03 NO SCHOOL - Good Friday

04/06 - 04/09 NO SCHOOL - Spring Recess

04/16 7/8th Boys Track & Field Meet @ NorthWood (4:45 pm)

04/16 7/8th Girls Track & Field Meet - Home (4:45 pm)

04/20 NJHS Executive Committee Meeting (8:00 - 8:50 am)

04/21 7/8th Boys Track & Field Meet - Home (4:45 pm)

04/21 7/8th Girls Track & Field Meet @ Goshen (4:45 pm)

04/23 NJHS Meeting (8:00 - 8:50 am)

04/23 7/8th Boys Track & Field Meet @ John Young (4:45 pm)

04/23 7/8th Girls Track & Field Meet - Home (4:45 pm)

04/24 6th Grade Field Trip to Chicago Museum of Science & Industry

04/24 PHS Freshmen Mentors visit our 8th Graders (11:15 - 11:45 am)

04/27 ISTEP Testing

04/28 ISTEP Testing

04/28 7/8th Boys Track & Field Meet - Home (4:45 pm)

04/28 7/8th Girls Track & Field Meet @ Discovery (4:45 pm)

04/29 ISTEP Testing

04/30 ISTEP Testing

04/30 NJHS Meeting (8:00 - 8:50 am)

04/30 PTO Meeting (1:00 - 2:00 pm)

7th Gd Girls Basketball Conference & Big 11 Tournament Champions!

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National Junior Honor Society

Schmucker's NJHS ran a very successful Penny Pincher fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House of Michiana. On March 12 they were able to make a $1,150 donation to Becky Summers, the President and CEO. Ms. Summers was very excited about our donation. As of this year, SMS has raised over $20,000 for our local Ronald McDonald House. Way to go Spartans!

Band and Orchestra celebrate another successful year at ISSMA Contest!!

Congratulations to all of the Band and Orchestra students for their OUTSTANDING performances at Penn on March 20th and 21st at ISSMA contest. Here are the results:

6th Grade Orchestra – Gold “With Distinction”

7th and 8th Grade Orchestra – Gold (missed “With Distinction” by ½ a point)

6th Grade Band - Gold (missed “With Distinction” by ½ a point)

7th Grade Band - Gold “With Distinction”

8th Grade Band - Gold “With Distinction” This is the first band class to receive Gold “With Distinction” as 6th graders, 7th graders and 8th graders.

Thank you to all of the parent volunteers for your help on Friday. Thank you to all parents for helping your child turn in the goal sheets. Consistent practice habits makes a huge difference in your child's musical growth. Your support is greatly apprecited!

We are looking forward to our end of the year Pops concert in the SMS cafeteria:

Band – Wednesday, May 20

Orchestra – Thursday, May 21

Dress Code

This is a reminder about our dress code. Thank you for your cooperation.

Students are to wear clothing that covers all parts of the body from the neck to above the knee. All shirts, blouses, dresses, and other top clothing must have sleeves. All pants, slacks, jeans, skirts, and shorts shall remain at the top of the waist. Tights, nylons, and spandex pants must be covered to mid thigh. At no time should any undergarments be visible. Student dress should reflect respect and pride in each individual student and the school community.

Mid thigh is defined as halfway between the hip (belt line) and the knee. Part of reflecting respect is understanding that each student's main purpose for being at school is learning. Keeping this in mind, a student should dress comfortably and not to draw attention to oneself.

From your Guidance Counselors

Looking for summer plans? Consider enrolling your student in a summer residential camp hosted by the Gifted Education Resource Institute (GERI) at Purdue University. GERI has been serving gifted, creative, and talented students since 1974. Every summer, students from around the world come to Purdue and experience programs designed to stimulate their imaginations and expand their abilities. Students also enjoy a variety of recreational activities and a chance to get a taste of college life while living on campus in Purdue’s residence halls. Sessions are in July and run one week for those who have completed 5th or 6th grade and two weeks for those who have completed grades 7-12. Scholarships are available on a limited basis, so please act quickly to apply. For more information, please review the GERI 2015 Summer Residental Camp Application or Further questions can be directed to Elizabeth Yoder at

Welcome to Schmucker

7th Grade Students

The 7th grade class field trip to Medieval Times in Schaumburg, Illinois, will be here soon!!! Approximately 300 students, 10 teachers, and 55 parent chaperones will embark on this wonderful journey on Thursday, April 2, 2015. Students will need to have a ride to and from school that day; our chartered buses will leave the Schmucker parking lot at approximately 8:15 AM and will return at approximately 4:45 PM.

8th Graders – Washington, D.C. Trip

Final Payment for the Washington, D.C. trip is due March 27, 2015 and should be sent directly to Hemisphere Educational Travel. Hopefully, Schmucker will have a large number of travelers in late May. Remember that we will have fund raising opportunities throughout the year to help with the cost of this trip.

8th Gd Year End Backyard Carnival Celebration

Schmucker 8th Grade Carnival Ticket Sales will be Monday, April 13 - Friday, April 24 during both 8th grade lunch periods (beginning 1 week earlier than previously communicated in PTO Newsletter and Spartan Herald). Tickets are $10 and include food, entertainment, and "Penn Class of 2019" T-shirts (T-shirts are only guaranteed if ticket is purchased by Thursday, April 16). There will be a "cash cab", photo booth, DJ, balloon artist, and games with prizes! The event is scheduled for Friday, May 1st from 6:00 pm-8:30 pm. This is a celebration you definitely won't want to miss!!!!! If the ticket price is prohibitive for your student, please contact Mr. Galiher directly. If you would like to donate food or chaperon a specific shift, please click on the link below to view the online sign up sheet. Thank you for any support you can give!
Click here:

2015-2016 Freshman Sports Physical - Penn

Penn will host the annual Sport's Physicals with the doctors from St. Joseph Regional Medical Center. This event will take place on Tuesday, May 19th in the Aux gym at Penn from 3:15 pm - 5:00 pm (approx) and is only for high school students and incoming freshmen. This physical will cover them to participate in athletics for the 2015-16 school year. The cost is $25 (checks made payable to: Penn High School) Please spread the word and encourage your athletes to participate in this wonderful opportunity. Saves us from the hassle of waiting on physicals!

The physical must be completed on this IHSAA Physical Form, or the Penn Athletics website. Athletes and/or parents must complete the form, including all parent/student signatures, prior to attending. The doctor will fill out their portion (page 2) during the physical.


The annual Spring Thank-a-Teacher program will run from April 13 thru April 24, 2015. This is the perfect opportunity to thank that special teacher, bus driver, office secretary, librarian, or any other P-H-M employee that has made a difference in your child's life. The minimum donation is $20 per recipient and the money received is used to fund future grants for programs that wouldn't otherwise be possible due to budget cuts. Your special person will receive a note and congratulatory pin acknowledging your donation. All donations to the Foundation are tax deductible. We are also taking credit cards as payment. Forms can be downloaded at Thanks for your continued support for the P-H-M Education Foundation where our mission is to support excellence in education at P-H-M schools! Questions can be emailed to


The Silver Mile Run for Education and Health and Fitness Fair will take place on May 9 this year at Penn HS. This event is the largest fundraiser for your P-H-M Education Foundation where we work every day to enhance the educational experiences of our P-H-M students! Please go to to register for either the 5K run/walk; 1 mile timed run (NEW); or 1 mile fun walk for more information. The Run for Education events will start and finish on our Penn Track again this year! The new 1 mile timed run, a great event for kids and adults, will run entirely on the Penn Track. Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center will again provide free health screenings. The Silent Auction will have many items to choose from including braces, golf certificates, ND tickets, and many restaurant gift certificates. Come on out and support our event! There is something for everyone! for more information

21st Century Scholars

We want to remind the 21st Century Scholars or their parents to contact the North Central Regional Support Program Office if there has been a change of address or phone number. This is necessary to help ensure that Scholars and parents do not miss opportunities such as: college campus visits, workshops, informational sessions or activities for parents. Most importantly, it will help ensure that Scholars do not miss their scholarship opportunity. A roster of the 21st Century Scholars will be forwarded to Schmucker’s Guidance Office. The 21st Century Scholars phone number is 574-239-2380.

Study Club and Rose-Hulman’s Homework Hotline

Students, if you are looking for extra help with your schoolwork, please feel free to attend Study Club on Tuesday and/or Thursday mornings from 8-8:50am in the IMC. This is a great opportunity to be proactive with your schoolwork and ask questions if needed. Also the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology offers a free Homework Hotline for help with math and science. Call 1-877-ASK-ROSE or visit Pamphlets regarding this hotline are available on the counter in the main office.

From the Library

World Book online is now available at school AND at home. You can access this site by typing in the following URL: The log-in is schmucker, and the password is spartans. This link is also available on the Library home page within the Schmucker website home page. Enjoy!

Homework Requests

When a student is absent, we urge the student or parent to check the Home Access Center for information or call and listen to teachers’ voice mails, which often give the homework information for each day. If a student has been absent three days, and you still feel the need for a formal homework request, you may call the office to do so and then pick up the work at the end of the next school day. Please refer to p. 19 in the Student Handbook found in the front of the Student Planner for further information.

Transportation Policy

If your child is planning on going home on another bus with a friend, it is important to remember that the bus driver needs permission from the school office. The office will grant permission if we have a note from both parents (sending and receiving) and if the bus is not full as determined by the Transportation Center. We cannot, however, permit boys and girls to go home together even if they have parental permission. Parents would need to make these arrangements on their own after school hours.

Social Media

Helping Students Learn: Growth Mindset
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