Fall 2022 Volume 2 - Issue 3
Don't forget these important dates!
- 10/21-10/24: No School - Fall Break
- 10/25: School Board Meeting
- 10/28: HCMS Picture Retakes
- 10/28 : Trunk or Treat 5:30 PM
- 11/3-11/4: K-8 Early Release - Parent Teacher Conferences
- 11/10: Lincoln Picture Retakes
- 11/10 and 11/11: Veterans Day Programs (All Schools)
- 11/15: Jane Ball Picture Retakes
- 11/16: Red Cedars Picture Retakes
On Monday, October 10th, Michael DeLeon from Steered Straight came to both Hanover Central High School and Hanover Central Middle School to talk to our students. He later talked to our staff and parents. The mission of Steered Straight is “To steer youth straight toward making sound, rational decisions through a learning experience that provides a message of reality to help them make positive, informed choices.” DeLeon is the founder of Steered Straight Inc., a non-profit organization created in 2007 when he was released from prison. His goal with youth is to educate them on the extreme dangers of drugs, gang involvement, and other criminal activity.
DeLeon shared his experience of his childhood and his experiences in doing drugs that eventually landed him in prison for 12 years. Since his release, he has received 3 Associates degrees, a Baccalaureate degree in Business Management, a minor in Criminal Justice, and a Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor certification. For the past 12 years, DeLeon travels the country to speak and make a difference in the lives of young people by sharing his story.
Throughout his talk, he asked all of the students, by show of hands, if they knew someone using vapes, marijuana, pills, alcohol, and other drugs. This allowed the students to see how alarmingly common it is for students to be involved in drugs and alcohol. Students were shocked to hear some of the statistics that DeLeon shared with them.
DeLeon talked about the statistics of vaping. The usage of e-cigarettes and vapes in middle schools is about 15% and in high schools is about 30%, according to the CDC. The marketing of these products is aimed at adolescents and is unregulated by the FDA. He also talked about Fentanyl awareness and the dangers of prescription drug misuse, abuse, and overdose. The rate of fatal teen overdoses doubled in 2020 and has now tripled over the past two years, according to the CDC. Marijuana was also discussed and with the legalization of it, youth usage has increased. Kids are hooked early and the media message is that it is a harmless plant that is no more dangerous than alcohol.
After the assembly, we sent out a survey to students to see what this assembly did for them. 70% of students said that the Steered Straight assembly opened their eyes to make a change in their lives. 89% said that they would like to see more assemblies like this in the future for themselves and other students. A lot of students said that the assembly was important to learn about the drastic effects that drugs can have on you. Students also said that they are not doing any drugs and do not have the desire to try them at all.
One student said, "I think it's good to hear from speakers like this one because we can relate to them more, which makes us want to engage in the assembly. He made me feel like he was more of a friend, wanting the best for us as opposed to a school speaker who just lectures on." Another student said, “Prior to the presentation, I had no idea just how harmful habits such as smoking, vaping, drinking, etc. could really be. The presenter used himself and other students to become more relatable to the crowd. Also, he introduced the fact of how young these bad habits could develop, which was a shock and encouraged me to never do this. This assembly was a very effective reminder to not start making these wrong choices early on in my lifetime.”
Staff was also asked about their opinions on this assembly. 97% of our staff recommended that we continue to host speakers like this in the future. Staff expressed that they think the assembly gave insight into the dangers of drugs and encouraged them to talk to adults more. Some staff also expressed the importance of talking about this more in a non-confrontational way, like this, to give the overall message to the students.
Dean of Students at HCMS, Michael Engle said, “Young people are vulnerable and impressionable, and many lack the strategies and confidence to combat social pressure. The message was clear: The decisions you make today will have long-lasting effects on your life. Choose wisely.” Dean of Students at HCHS, Brian Parker said, “I believe the Steered Straight program's sole intent is to show firsthand the effects that early drug use can have and its long-term effects. Michael DeLeon's message is a direct testament and he is able to drive home the message as a former addict himself.”
Director of School Safety and Security at Hanover Community Schools, Michael O’Donnell, expressed his thoughts, “Mr. DeLeon did a great job with our students. His real-life experiences and all the interviews of parents of victims will hopefully hit home for our students and will prevent them from starting to use or continuing to use vaping devices. Peer pressure is a big factor and he addressed those issues also.” The Steered Straight assembly was eye-opening to our students and a majority of them would like to see Mr. DeLeon and speakers like him in the future.
Homecoming court included: for freshman, Teagan Cundary and Nickolas Tormey, for sophomores, Ava Cryderman and Anthony Rayski, for juniors, Alexandria Burroughs and Joseph Lopez. Our senior candidates were Stephanie Mancusi and Luka Zakman, Abigal Opilka and Kyle Haessly, Marissa Reid and Josh Austgen, Mia Sikma and Zach Zychowski, Madyson Verbish and Gannan Howes, and Kasey Anderson and Tony Bartolomeo. Anderson and Bartolome were crowned Homecoming King and Queen.
We hope everyone enjoyed spirit week, the game, and the dance.
RTI at HCMS
Response to intervention (RTI) is a three-tiered approach to identify and support students that may be struggling in English/ Language Arts (ELA) or math.The three tiers include: Tier 1, students are able to complete grade level curriculum, Tier 2, students are struggling on grade level curriculum but differentiation is happening in class where the use of small groups helps support them, and Tier 3, students are places in the ELA or math lab class to work in a small group setting on remediation skills.
RTI in schools is important to help support students that are non succeeding or struggling in their current grade level. RTI teacher at Hanover Central Middle School (HCMS), Stephanie Lowry, says, “We are able to work with students in a small group setting on remediation skills for ELA and math to help fill in any missing gaps in their education and be confident applying those skills to their grade level classroom.” In the RTI classroom, they work with 3-5 students in a group. Skills are targeted based on the NWEA data and foundation skills of the grade curriculum maps. They work on setting goals and keeping students organized.
HCMS is one of the few schools that actually have RTI classes built into their schedule. We also have licensed teachers to be in the positions needed for the students. Every quarter, the RTI teachers meet with their grade’s team of teachers and guidance counselors to determine the tiered students. Student tiers change based on progress or struggles that have happened throughout the quarter.
All the work that is completed in RTI is done in class. The RTI teachers try to build positive relationships with the students and want them to enjoy coming to their classes. Mrs. Lowry and Thomas Martin (principal at HCMS) presented “RTI: A Continuum to Success” at the Indiana School Board Association conference. During this presentation, they discussed how the RTI program at HCMS has evolved into what it is today.
Students in ELA or math labs do not have Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs) for the content they are working on and these students are not labeled as special education.
Mrs. Lowry said, “I have always enjoyed working with students who struggle. When a student is able to make that connection or have a ‘lightbulb’ moment, I love seeing their sense of accomplishment and positive attitude shine through.”
House Prize Wheel at Red Cedars
Bear down on bullies
October is Bully Prevention Month! Lincoln Elementary in Cedar Lake, IN was visited by Staley Da Bear, the official mascot for the Chicago Bears. Staley was thrilled to see so many of the students and staff in their Chicago Bears swag. In the assembly, students were taught how to “Bear Down on Bullies” inside and outside of school. The students also learned about the different types of bullies. Staley handed out prizes for answering trivia questions about both bullying and the Chicago Bears.
Staley has some experience being bullied. A little white rabbit, named Fluffy, has been teasing Staley for his hairy back and his big, stinky bear feet. Staley had to do a thorough sweep of the Lincoln gym to make sure that Fluffy wasn’t around. He took the time to give us advice as to how he combats bullying.
There are 5 ways to combat bullying, according to Staley Da Bear. The first way is, “Stop and walk,” where he demonstrated walking away from bullies, with the optional hair flip to add a dramatic flare. The next option is, “Stick up for what’s right,” in which he gave examples of what to say to bullies to get them to stop. The third way is, “Include, don’t exclude,” where Staley invited someone that was getting bullied to join him and his friends at recess, to get him away from the bully. Another choice is “Adults can help,” where Staley asked the students for examples of different adults that can help, like parents, teachers, and principals. The final way is, “Respect,” which is simple, treat others the way you want to be treated.
Bullies come in many different forms. There is a “Big Mouth Bully,” that will use words to hurt others. A “Hands-on Bully” is someone that uses physical force, like punching and kicking, to bully others. There is also a “Butt-Out Bully,” that intentionally leaves others out to exclude them from activities. A “Cyberbully” is someone that uses technology to bully others, like on video games, social media, and texting. Finally, an “All Around Bully,” is someone that does a variety of things like use words, force, exclusion, or technology to bully others.
Staley taught the students what types of bullies there are and how to combat them. Staley also gifted the school a banner to remind us to “Bear Down on Bullies.” Staley did his signature butt bounce down the aisle of students. He also DJed, where he and all the students and staff did the Cha-Cha Slide. Students got to high-five, hug, and talk to Staley. Teachers and students had the opportunity to take pictures with Staley Da Bear. Lincoln Elementary will have that banner to remember the great experience they had with Staley.