Bittersweet Elementary School News

March 3, 2022

Big picture

Greetings Bobcat Families!

Are you as thankful as I am that we are on the tail end of winter headed into spring? While March is often a long month for both students and teachers, knowing that our weather will be improving is a bright spot! And, of course - MARCH MADNESS begins!

We had several students participate in Circle the State with Song last weekend and they did a wonderful job. We are thankful to Mrs. Balbo-Veal for preparing them for this excellent opportunity. Two of our very own Bobcats were even selected to sing solos at the concert! We are very proud! Soon we will be celebrating with some of our students who will be competing in the Spell Bowl, and later this year, with students participating in Running is Elementary. Events are coming back, and we are all really excited about it! There is so much information and upcoming events in this Smore, so I hope you can be a part and join in on the fun! Be sure to read closely-- there are many links embedded throughout this Smore!

Our 2nd and 3rd graders will be testing next week on IREAD-3, the statewide assessment that measures foundational reading skills students have acquired through grade 3. This year, we have the opportunity at Bittersweet to be part of a pilot in which second grade students will also be assessed. If they pass this year, they will not need to take it in third grade. It's online, multiple-choice, timed, and a summative assessment made up of three unique segments that help determine if students have achieved the reading skills necessary. Parents of our 2nd and 3rd graders have already received information about this assessment, but if there are further questions, please reach out to your child's teacher.

During the school day we work on building reading skills and working towards becoming proficient readers in a variety of ways. All students participate in 90 minutes of instruction during our daily reading block and an additional 30 minutes of support each day during W.I.N. (What I Need) time. We are working hard to align all of our resources, supports, and interventions in an effort to get ALL students reading on grade level by the end of second grade!

Our next big statewide assessment comes in April with ILEARN. During the month of March, and into April, our students in grades 3 through 5 will continue to prepare for this standardized test. This preparation has been ongoing and our teachers work diligently to create an environment that is conducive to student success.

As you can see, there is a lot going on in terms of reading at school. We encourage you to make reading a priority at home as well. Take time to read with your child and have your child read to you. Reading together and discussing stories will help your child grow and have a positive impact on their academic performance at school in addition to their overall love of reading. Thanks for partnering with us at home and providing these strong reading experiences and opportunities outside of the school day!

Please do not schedule appointments during testing dates. It is incredibly disruptive to your child to take them out of school on a date that is scheduled for a test unless it is a time-sensitive issue related to their health. There will be no days excused for family vacations during testing dates. If you must take your child to an appointment, the afternoon is better than the morning, when most of the testing occurs. We greatly appreciate your help with this. Our goal is 100% attendance during these days!

Finally, don't forget to "spring forward" your clocks on Sunday, March 13th when daylight saving time begins for 2022.

Wishing you the Luck o' the Irish both in your lives and in your brackets this month!

Together, everything is PAWSible!

Mrs. Carroll

Big picture
A Family Guide to ILEARN and IREAD-3

After clicking this link, click "present" in the corner of your screen to watch the slide show on Indiana's standardized assessments for students in grades 3-5.


March 4: Yearbook Orders are Due

March 5: Young Author's Conference

March 7-18: IREAD window opens

March 9: Spell Bowl

March 13: Daylight Saving Time Begins

March 14-18: Chick-Fil-A breakfast kick-back (6-10am) *Download the app ahead of time*

March 18: Summer School Registration forms are due

March 21: End of 3rd Grading Period

March 24: Ice Cream Social/School Tour Night

March 26: PHM Cultural Connections Fair

April 1: PAWS Reward

April 4-8: Spring Break, no school

April 14: Bobcats Around the World Spring Fest

April 15: Good Friday, no school

April 18-May 13: ILEARN

May 3: Spring Election, no school

May 9: Running is Elementary Event

May 11: Running is Elementary Rain Date

May 12: Walk-A-Thon

May 18 & 19: 5th Grade Camp Experience (two day trips, not overnight... more info to come)

May 25: 5th Grade Concert/Dare Ceremony/Graduation

May 27: Field Day

May 30: Memorial Day, no school

June 1: Autograph Party (during school day)

June 1: 5th Grade Party (after school)

June 2: Last Day of School

June 6-July 1: Summer School for those recommended and registered

Ice Cream Social/School Tour Night, March 24: RSVP NEEDED

We recognize that many of you have not ever been inside the walls of Bittersweet Elementary, and for others, it's been 2+ years. We know you want to see your child's classroom and get an idea of what they see every day. On March 24th we will be having an ice cream event in which you will be able to participate in a scavenger hunt of sorts, and end in the cafeteria with some ice cream. We need to know how much ice cream and toppings to get, so please CLICK HERE to RSVP by March 11th! Please only fill out the form one time for your whole family (not per student).

Last Call for Yearbooks!

Yearbooks are available for purchase NOW! Please click the link below to order your child a yearbook. The cost of a yearbook is $15.00. Click THIS LINK to see what is available. Orders will be accepted through March 4. If you need a code, it is 66335G.

Logan Nose On

The Great LOGAN Nose-On is celebrating its 33rd year. The selling and wearing of the little foam green noses during March have become a LOGAN fundraising and awareness-raising trademark, a one-of-a-kind community tradition. This is a fundraising opportunity that our school looks forward to each year.

This year ALL merchandise sales are electronic. We will share a link below for you and your family. If you would like to purchase merchandise this year, please fill out and pay for the merchandise electronically. Feel free to share the link with your family & friends! LOGAN will deliver one bulk order to our school, individually packaged per order, to be given out the second week in March. Then those purchases will be delivered that week!

Next steps:

1. Go to to purchase Nose-On merchandise and see what other Nose-On activities we have for March.

2. The deadline to order is March 18th.

3. Delivery. We will deliver orders in March to schools.

Thank you for your support of The Great LOGAN Nose-On over the years. We couldn't do it without you.

Summer Academies

Two of the academies are now open for registrations - STEM and Visual Arts. You can register today at the link below. Registration forms for the Junior Foreign Language Academy will be available March 21.

Here is the link Summer 2022 P-H-M Academies

Penn Robotics Camp, 2022

I am excited to announce that Penn Robotics has opened their summer camp for 2022. We have many opportunities for students in all grade levels to attend different camps based on their interests. We hope this can reach many students who have an interest in STEM.

Community Connections Fair, 3/26

The ENL group is once again holding their Community Connections Fair. This year it will be Sat., March 26 at SMS from 10 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Information on the Community Connections Fair is available on the PHM website. Come out and enjoy the many cultural performances and student work that will be on display representing countries from all over the world!

Volunteer Information

In the very near future, we hope to have our volunteers return to assisting us at Bittersweet! Please make sure that you follow the guidelines for volunteering at a PHM school. Please CLICK HERE for additional information. Please know that the anti-bullying training component should be completed each year, and background checks should be updated every three years. If you are not sure if you have completed either of these, please give us a call. Background checks usually take a couple of days to get back, so if you are hoping to volunteer sometime between now and the end of the year, please complete this as soon as possible!

Guests for Lunch

We are now having guests in for lunch. Lunch visitors are seated in the cafeteria at a designated table and space is limited due to seating, social distancing, and tables. Please contact the office by phone or email 24 hours prior to your visit to verify that space is available and reserve a spot. Parents joining their children for meals are requested to abide by the Wellness Guidelines and not bring any fast food or other commercial foods into our school for their own consumption or the consumption of others. Please remember that we do not allow soda/energy drinks.

Birthday Celebrations

Due to allergies and PHM's Wellness Policy, we ask that you do not send in food items for birthday celebrations. If you would like to send in something for your child to share with the class, an idea might be a donated book to the classroom library, pencils, stickers, or other non-food items.

Health Related Information

Parents of Fifth Graders::

Please remember to check with your family physician for your child to receive their

MCV4 (Meningococcal), Tdap and 2nd Hep A (if not received yet). These are all required for 6th grade.

Important Reminder:

Please continue to monitor your child’s health every day using this IDOH screening tool. If they experience any of the following symptoms: fever or chills, sore throat, uncontrollable or new cough or shortness of breath or difficulty breathing (especially new onset), diarrhea, nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain, headache (especially new onset of severe headache with fever), or new loss of taste or smell, please do not send your child to school if they have these symptoms.

My View Reading Curriculum

The board officially voted on MyView as being the next reading series for PHM schools beginning in the fall of 2022!

Didn't get a chance to attend the PHM Elementary Reading Open House? We have a resource to learn more about our proposed reading program in our vestibule. Stop in to learn more about the series and take a look at the lesson walkthrough information available to parents and community members. There are a limited number of these, so please just view it in our vestibule and leave it for others to view.

School Closings & Two Hour Delays

There are NO built-in snow days for the 2021-2022 school year. This means the first day school is canceled it is an automatic eLearning day for P-H-M teachers and students. Get a full refresher by checking out our Closings & Delays Procedures at this link: closing and delays


A two-hour delay may be called when indications are that the weather conditions will improve later in the morning. Doors will open at 9:40 a.m. and we will start school at 9:55 a.m. Buses will run their normal routes with pick-up times two hours later than normal. The Here Comes the Bus app can be helpful to use on 2-hour delay days so that you are notified when your child’s bus is approaching the bus stop. Schools will end at their normal time.

Morning Kids Club (the District’s before- and after-school childcare program) is CANCELED when there is a two-hour delay.

School Messenger

Penn-Harris-Madison utilizes the School Messenger® alert notification service to distribute emergency messages, such as school closings, delays and student attendance (for unexcused absences).

Parents are encouraged to visit to create an account and set up your preferences for receiving emergency messages from the District. Instructions for how to set up your account, with step-by-step directions are below, just click here.

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)

P-H-M is committed to helping students reach their fullest potential, which includes the whole child! Please visit the PHM website HERE for various valuable parent resources to help you in supporting your child.
Big picture

Safe School Helpline

The Safe School Helpline® is a confidential way to report student concerns about threats, suicide, drugs, bullying or anything that threatens the safety of our schools. It's Available 24/7. Click to watch a video on how to get in touch with Administration anonymously 24/7/365.

Four Ways to Report to the Safe School Helpline®

Call: 1-800-418-6423 ext 359

Text: TIPS to 614-426-0240


Mobile App: Download the FREE app from the GOOGLE PLAY STORE and the APPLE APP STORE

The app makes it easy to anonymously report a safety or mental health concern using your mobile device to text, call, or submit an online form.

Helpful Links

Forms for Parents

The P-H-M website has almost all forms (some online) and information you may need throughout the school year. Instead of hunting down paperwork, always check here first.

Community Events & Activities

Clicking on the button above will provide you a listing of non-school activities and events made available to P-H-M students and families by area organizations.