Spartan Herald February 2020

Show Respect - Make a Difference - Set the Bar High

Schmucker Community Events

Hello Schmucker Families,

Our Spartans are very busy this month! Every week student receive a newsletter from Miss O’Brien that details all the events happening at Schmucker. Parents, you can always check our school Google calendar on our website.

- We were glad to welcome many people to our first family game night. It was a huge success. The idea of the game night came from our students. It was wonderful to see their great idea in action!

- Thank you to the Penn Chinese Club for hosting a Chinese New Year Celebration this year in the Schmucker. Our students enjoyed eating Chinese food, playing Chinese games, and other activities.

- Ski club, 5 Star, game club, and art club are a few after school clubs that are in session now. Students should listen to WSMS announcements and check the weekly student newsletter for more details.

We have many ways for our students to be involved at Schumcker and we encourage all of our students to try a club or sport!

With your child in mind,

Lavon Dean-Null


Technology Update

Our Technology Department has asked that I take a few minutes to outline some key information in reference to Chromebooks. As you all know, going to one-to-one has brought our students into the forefront of public education. However, with that comes new responsibilities for our teachers, students and staff. Due, in large part, to the number of damaged units and the overall number of insurance claims filed here at S.M.S., we need parents to assist children and the P-H-M Corporation with educating our young people about the correct way to care for their Chromebook.


  1. Ownership: PHM retains sole right of possession of the Chromebook and grants permission to the Student to use the Chromebook according to the guidelines set forth in this document. Moreover, PHM administrative staff retains the right to collect and/or inspect the Chromebook at any time, including via electronic remote access; and to alter, add, or delete installed software or hardware.

  2. Substitution of Equipment: In the event the Chromebook is inoperable, PHM has a limited number of spares for use while the Chromebook is repaired or replaced. This agreement remains in effect for such a substitute. The Student may NOT opt to keep a Chromebook or to avoid using the Chromebook due to loss or damage.

Damage or Loss of Equipment:

  1. Responsibility for Damage: The student is responsible for maintaining a 100% working Chromebook at all times. The student shall use reasonable care to ensure that the Chromebook is not damaged. Refer to the Standards for Proper Chromebook Care below, for a description of expected care. The student and parent will be responsible for all damage, including the cost of a replacement Chromebook, caused by misuse or negligence of the Student that is not covered by the warranty.

  2. Responsibility for Loss: In the event the Chromebook is lost or stolen, the Student and Parent will be billed the full cost of replacement.

  3. Actions Required in the Event of Damage or Loss: Damaged and/or lost Chromebooks must be reported immediately to the Student Helpdesk. If the Chromebook is stolen or vandalized while not at PHM or at a PHM sponsored event, the parent shall file a police report.

  4. The Chromebook MUST be kept in the supplied protective cover at all times. Chromebooks not kept in the protective cover will not be covered by the insurance repair program.

  5. Do not attempt to remove or change the physical structure of the Chromebook , including the keys, screen cover or plastic casing. Doing so will void the warranty, and families will be responsible for 100 percent of the repair or replacement.

Cell Phone Reminders: Reminder that if a student brings a cell phone to school it is to be turned off and kept in his/her locker throughout the duration of the school day. In the case of a student having his/her cell phone during the academic day the following steps are taken:

  • 1st Offense: student is able to pick up the cell phone from the main office at the end of the day

  • 2nd Offense: student is able to pick up the cell phone from the main office and student calls parents to inform them that if it is taken away again the parent/guardian will have to come get the phone

  • 3rd Offense: parent/guardian needs to come and pick the phone up from SMS office

One Book One School

I have enjoyed working with Miss O'Brien on our One Book One School. We've started this year's book, and we are so excited for it!! This year we're reading The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen. It follows the story of Sage, a young orphan, who is one of three children chosen by a rich man to pretend to be a lost prince. It's a fun and action-packed book! So far students seem to be LOVING it! Most students are at about page 75-100. But even better, I've already had lost of requests for the second book in the series already :)

Important Dates

February 7 - Teacher Job Fair, 12pm-6pm

February 10 - PHM School Board Meeting, 7pm

February 11 - 4.0 Breakfast for 2nd Grading Period, 8am

February 17 - Presidents' Day/Recess Day

February 20 - 8th Grade Vision Screening

February 20 - Vaping Education & Prevention Community Meeting, 6pm, PHS Door C

February 21 - 6th Grade Social, 4:00pm-5:30pm

February 24 - School Board Meeting, 7pm at Horizon

February 26 - Band Concert (6/7/8th Grade), 6:30pm

February 27 - Choir Concert, 6pm

March 2 - 8th & 7th Grade Ensemble Choir Concert, 6:00pm

March 3 - 5th Grade Instrument Selection Night, 4:30pm - 8:30pm

March 4 - 5th Grade Instrument Selection Night, 4:30pm - 8:30pm

Check out all events on our Website calendar: SMS Calendar



Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) is a conference for girls in middle school (Grades 6-8) that will take place on Saturday, April 18, 2020 at Notre Dame. This day-long event will include hands-on activities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). At the conference, girls will get a chance to meet STEM role models and learn more about careers in those fields. Our ultimate goal is to motivate girls to become innovative and creative thinkers ready to meet 21st Century challenges.

For more information: "Click Here"

SMS will pay for up to 30 girls to attend this conference. Please complete the online registration and this google sheet. Please select "My school is paying for me" on the online registration form.

6th Grade Social

We are looking forward to another 6th grade social on February 21nd from 4:00-5:30. The concession stand will be open and pizza will also be available. Students will be able to purchase a ticket during lunch the week of February 18th. Students can either use cash or star cards to purchase a ticket. More details will be communicated for students on WSMS in the coming weeks!!

8th Grade Parents

  • 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)

A note from your school counselors

Students always have access to the electronic Counselor Request form. A link to this form is in the student's Weekly Newsletter and can also be found on Schmucker's website, under the Guidance tab. If a student needs to see a counselor or if you believe a student should speak with a counselor, please have the student complete this form. Once a student completes the form, we are able to schedule a meeting. Depending on the issue, we will meet with the student immediately or the same day. Other times, we will meet with them in the days following the submission. It can be hard to guarantee a counselor is available if a student is sent to the office, so often submitting a form is the quickest most effective way for all students to be seen in a timely manner. But of course, in crisis, we will always make sure a student is taken care of. Please contact Andrea, Stacy, or Gretchen with questions!


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.


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.


The Schmucker National Junior Honor Society would like to welcome its newest members to our chapter. On Wednesday, March 11, new 7th and 8th graders will be inducted into NJHS. Dr. Thacker, Mrs. Dean-Null, and a keynote speaker, will be there to offer words of encouragement to these young leaders of our community!

Student Council News!

The SMS Student Council will be having a Valentine's Day sale during all lunch periods beginning on Friday, February 7 and continuing to Friday, February 14th. We will be selling sugar free packs of gum for $1.50, smaller plush valentine animals for $2.50, and larger plush valentine animals for $3.50. This treats will be delivered to the students' 6th period classes on Valentine's Day! Portions of the profits will go to the Ronald McDonald House and to the Humane Society. The Student Council is so excited to help two important organizations in our community! Together, we can make a difference!

Fluid Power!

In early November, then Schmucker Middle School Fluid Power Team went to Daman Products in Mishawaka to prepare for Fluid Power Action Challenge Day. After learning about fluid power, the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students spent time over the next eight weeks engineering their prototypes. Challenge Day is a timed event where the teams have to rebuild their working hydraulic or pneumatic machine using just wood, paper, tubing, syringes, and glue. The machine must be able to pick up objects and move them, one at a time, to various targets on the board. It might sound easy, but each board has varying heights and obstacles that teams need to overcome!

On January 17, our three teams participated in Challenge Day at Notre Dame Stepan Center. Throughout this hands-on learning experience, students learned about the basics of fluid power, teamwork, coordination, and organization, as they experimented and designed their own unique machine. Here are some pictures of the teams at work during Competition Day!

2020-2021 Parent Calendar

The parent calendar is now posted on the website 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.

21st century scholars

Free $$ for college!

The 21st Century Scholars program is need-based assistance which will help students have the ability to go to college who otherwise may not be able to afford it. The program can save you and your family thousands of dollars on higher education past high school, as well as connect you and your student to other great resources.

The deadline for this opportunity to enroll is JUNE 30 of a student's 8th grade year. Once this date has passed, students cannot enroll while at the high school. Please take the time to visit to learn more about the program and enroll your student right away before this opportunity is no longer available. Email or call your child's school counselor if you have further questions.


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.

How Your Child Can Connect to Schmucker Happenings

We have many ways Schmucker Spartans can find out about school happenings.

1. Each morning students produce a newscast on WSMS that highlight upcoming events.

2. Every Monday students are emailed a Student Newsletter. This publication includes the weekly menu, important dates like athletic events and clubs, and important announcements and reminders.


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:

Lunch Menus

The February menu is available online at

Families Can Get help with Lunch & Textbook Fees

We encourage families who are struggling to meet expenses to apply for the National School Lunch Program's free and reduced-price lunch. The application is easy to complete (one per household) and includes a place to indicate that you also want to apply for textbook assistance. It's a good idea to take advantage of this program early in the school year. For answers to frequently asked questions, application or more information, click here:

Student/Family Opportunities

Often during the school year an opportunity for your child or your family arises where you believe that the educational value of an experience is a good reason to miss school. In most cases, however, these opportunities are not considered "excused" absences. In order to take advantage of this experience and still be considered "excused", a parent or guardian must receive permission from the principal at least one week in advance. You can contact the principal by phone or email. However, if he does not receive any notification of the absence, it will be considered "unexcused".

Homework Requests

When a student is absent, we urge the student or parent to check Canvas and/or Home Access Center for homework information. 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 their work at the end of the next school day.

School Messenger

The corporation uses a School Messenger tool to announce snow days and delayed start days. Our plan is to utilize School Messenger this year as an additional communication tool from our administrators to parents and students. Please make sure that your student's emergency card contains your most current, preferred email address to facilitate our use of this communication.


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