Spartan Herald March 2019

Building Community Empowering Learners Inspiring Creativity

Setting the Bar High - Academics

Hello Schmucker Families,

Hopefully, we will be heading into spring soon! I know we are all looking forward to warmer weather. March is a very important month for academics. We have four weeks before spring break and our teachers are planning many engaging and challenging lessons. As we look forward to ILEARN testing in April, it is imperative that students are focused and doing their very best everyday! We want our student to Set the Bar High for their academic achievement! Here are a few suggestions for families to discuss academics this month.

- You can always see how your child is doing by checking HAC and Canvas.

- Students review their grades and set goals every Friday in Advisory class. Please ask them about their goals and if they are achieving them.

- If you have questions or concerns about your child's progress, please email their teachers. Also, our counselors, Mrs. Eck and Mrs. Hoover, are always willing to help.

- Click here to check out details about ILEARN.

We are so proud of the hard work our students do here each day! Thank you for partnering with us to help our Spartans reach all their academic goals.

With your child in mind,

Lavon Dean-Null


ChromeBook Care

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.

Helpful Hints:

  • Protective cases are available for purchase in the IMC for a one time fee of $20.00. These cases are designed to protect Chromebooks for everyday wear and tear.

  • Speak with your children about not walking through the halls while playing on their Chromebooks. Our halls are crowded and students need to be alert at all times.

  • Charging your Chromebook in safe area that does not allow for the chords to tripped over or pulled out will help to save the Chromebook from additional damage.

Random Acts of Kindness

February was such a wonderful month for our Spartan family! Between the Valentine's Day gifts that students were able to purchase for one another, the Random Act of Kindness Week sponsored by our National Junior Honor Society and the 6th Grade Movie Social, we were busy being thankful! Everyday I am reminded of how incredible our students are. We saw students purchase Valentine's for other students who they thought may not otherwise receive one. We felt the impact of students writing positive notes around the school, handing out gum to students they may not know and spreading so much love to our teachers and staff! We witnessed students from different friend groups come together to hang out after school and watch a movie of their choice and socialize with one another. We are fortunate to have wonderful students who do the right thing every single day but the kindness shown this past month was inspiring. Leave it up to our students to remind everyone that, "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."

Important Dates

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

March 6 - NJHS Induction Ceremony, 6:00 pm, SMS Cafe

March 7 - NAEP Testing (Make-Up from Snow Day)

March 7 - PTO Meeting, 1 pm at SMS

March 8 - 7th Grade Social

March 9 - Young Authors' Conference, 8:00 am - 12:30 pm

March 11 - 8th Grade Choir Concert, 6:00 pm

March 25 - End of 3rd Grading Period

March 26 - 5-Star Kick-Off Spring Session

March 28 - 6th & 7th Grade Ladies Choir Concert, 6:00 pm

April 1 - 5 - Spring Break

Check out all events on our Website calendar: SMS Calendar


Next Gen Day

Next Gen day is an event that takes place during the Robotics competition at the high school. Kids from ages 5-13 accompanied by an adult came come to Penn High School on March 9th and have some hands on experience with coding, robotics, and other fun activities. It starts at 11 and families can entire through Door D at Penn High School.

Robotic News!

Penn High School will once again host the FIRST Robotics St. Joseph District Event on Saturday, March 9 and Sunday, March 10.

Plan on coming out and enjoying the excitement of more than 40 high school FRC robotics teams from Indiana and Michigan battling it out on a basketball court-sized field with four-foot tall, 120-pound robots! Join more than 5,000 students, coaches, mentors, parents and fans during this one-of-a-kind two-day event!

Penn-Harris-Madison ENL Services’ Free Community Connections Fair

Please join us at the Community Connections Fair presented by PHM's English as a New Language program. Community businesses, organizations, and school representatives will be at Schmucker Middle School on March 23, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Some of the featured displays and information booths could include: Teacher's Credit Union, Better World Books, St. Joseph County Parks, Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library, SBCSC Adult Education, Welcoming Michiana, La Casa de Amistad, Eden Child Care, Adult Education, Early Childhood Alliance, ETHOS Innovation Center, Welcoming Michiana, Dr. Angie's Dental Health Exchange, Indiana Migrant Regional Service Center, Saint Joseph Health System, Star Martial Arts, International Cultural Exchange Services, Costco Wholesale, Gallery 2910, Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana Michiana, The Music Village, and PHM ENL.

Choir News

Circle the State With Song-This past Saturday, February 23rd, at 4:30 PM, 15 students from Schmucker Middle School performed with students from nearby schools in a combined mass choir of 190 singers in the Circle the State With Song Festival! The festival and performance was held at the Goshen College Performing Arts Center. Our students had the pleasure of working with Clinician Dan Andersen, a well-renown choir director from the Indianapolis area. He has been a choir director for 36 years and has no plans to stop teaching anytime soon! One of the very best piano players around and our very own former Spartan, Allison Secaur, was the accompianist for the event!

Band and Orchestra News

Several of our band and orchestra students participated in ISSMA Solo and Ensemble at Northwood High School Saturday, February 2nd. We had 58 soloists, and 40 ensembles perform. Students were given ratings and feedback from the judges with a score to determine the rating for their performance. The top performance score is Gold, followed by Silver, and Bronze.

Here are the medal results!

54 soloist earned Gold

5 soloist earned silver

142 gold medals earned for ensemble players

19 silvers earned for ensembles

These results are because of their hard work and we are so proud of them!!!


The final payment for the 8th grade Washington DC trip is fast approaching. Your payment is due to Hemisphere Travel by March 28. You should be receiving a statement in the mail from Hemisphere Travel showing the amount you owe for your final payment. This amount will reflect any school fund raiser money that has been applied to your account. Also, there will be a mandatory evening meeting in May for 8th grade students and chaperones going on the trip. We will share the date as soon as possible (it has traditionally been on a Tuesday or Wednesday in the middle of May). Behavioral expectations will be discussed, and you will also receive your Washington DC t-shirts, sling bags, and luggage tags.

Final payment is due Thursday, March 28, 2019. Make payment to

7th Grade Field Trip

The 7th grade class will take a trip to Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry on Wednesday, April 10, 2019. Field trip permission slip packets and payment were due by February 22; the date was extended due to the number of snow days we had in January and February. Students will need to be at school by 7:30 AM on April 10 to board the Royal Excursion buses. Buses will leave promptly at 8:00 AM. Remember to pack a sack lunch or bring extra money to buy your lunch at the museum. Students will be in groups of 10 with at least one parent chaperone, and some groups will also have a teacher accompanying them. We will return to SMS between 5:00 - 5:30 PM. Students who normally ride the bus home will need to make alternate arrangements. Note: If you are one of the 35 parent/guardian chaperones, more information will be sent home to you before Spring Break.


This month, NJHS sponsored a week of Random Acts of Kindness. The beginning of the week started with a positive note and sticker for every SMS student. The following day, NJHS members gave out a pack of gum to an unsuspecting student, with the idea that they would then pay it forward by sharing their gum. Teachers were also treated to a Random Act of Kindness! Hopefully everyone had a chance to do their own Random Act of Kindness during the week!

The rescheduled NJHS Induction Ceremony is Wednesday, March 6th. Our next regular meeting is Friday, March 8th at 8:15 am.


Students should keep their eyes on the SMS website calendar and their ears on the WSMS morning announcements to learn of the fun activities to enjoy through our intramural program. The intramural coordinator will be making arrangements for space and supervision for a number of activities as the year progresses. Currently, 6th Grade Basketball is on Tuesday & Thursdays from 7:30 am - 8:30 am. Open gym for all grades is on Wednesday and Fridays from 7:30 am - 8:30 am.

SMS Girls Track 2019

Girls' track begins on March 19 with an informational meeting after school until 5:00. Sign up sheets will be located in the main office starting on Monday March 4th. Announcements will also be made over WSMS with any additional information. Practices are in the morning and track meets are on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Girls' track is open to any 7th and 8th grade girl.

Because it is such a short season, it is imperative that girls have a current school physical on file in the main office PRIOR to March 19. No girl can participate in anything without the physical.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Coach Foster

Note from the Counselors!

Your student's school counselor is just a click away! If a student would like to request an appointment with a school counselor, they can do so easily from any computer. Please check to make sure your student knows how to seek out a school counselor when needed.

Students can use this link to request an appointment.

Student Service Office Supports

We want to remind families that students can find various resources and supports in our Student Service Office. Students can meet with their school counselor, Mrs. Eck or Mrs. Hoover, to receive support in many areas. Mr. Fry and Mrs. Martin, our assistant principals are also located in that office and are always willing to offer support to students. Students can also find our Schmucker Student Report forms in the office. They can fill one of these out if they need support in solving a conflict or if they would like to talk about an issue with an administrator. As the year progresses, we will continue to encourage students to use their voice to be an advocate for themselves and others. The Student Service Office is an ideal place to find needed support!

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.

Consent To Publish student work and photographs

PHM requires schools to receive permission from parents to publish student photos and work. If you have not returned this document, please access the link below, print the document and return signed to school. We must receive this document from every student.

Consent To Publish Student Work and Photographs


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 March 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.

Protected by Raptor

The Raptor security tool is a visitor management software that will scan a visitor's information against the National Sex Offenders database. All parents and visitors will need to report to the main office with a valid, government-issued ID. This ID is needed only on your first visit. Once you are entered into the Raptor system, your information is saved for any future visits. A picture ID tag will automatically be printed which you will wear for the duration of your visit that day. You are asked to submit your ID tag to the office when you leave the building. Our goal is and always has been to keep our students, staff and visitors from any and all harm.


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 - Buss Arrival

9:00am - First Bell

9:05am - Classes Begin

4:00pm - Dismissal

4:10pm - Bus Departure