Spartan Herald


Hello Spartan Families,

It has been a wonderful start to March with so many students back at SMS! We have hit the ground running with community building and other fun initiatives as a way to bring us together again. We spent time each morning for the past few weeks collaborating and fostering community spirit with our 6th and 7th graders through trivia questions, circle questions, reviewing our SMS motto and deciding on a class power word! Our winning classes have enjoyed prizes ranging from our Chromebook stickers, our #webelieveinus masks, t-shirts and more! We look forward to our interactions with the 8th graders next week. I am so proud of our students and how they have adapted to some of the changes here at school--they continue to work hard and show their true grit and spirit.

We would also like to thank our PTO members for the gift cards, stickers and gum as we promote our school wide Mathia initiative, continue with lunch trivia and provide other opportunities for students to earn a prizes.

With your child in mind,

Dr. Lavon Dean-Null

Order Your Yearbook Now!

Click below to order your yearbook

Local Author Visit

Some of our 8th grade SMS students got an incredible opportunity to meet local South Bend author Lisa DeSelm. Ms. DeSelm's book, The Puppetmaster's Apprentice, a beautiful retelling of the Pinocchio fairytale, was recently published in October of 2020. Students met with Ms. DeSelm via Google Meet on Monday, February 8th. She spoke to students about her writing process, how she gets inspiration for her stories, and how her story came to be published. She also gave students some advice about the creative process for their own writing. The highlight of the event was the question & answer portion. Students were able to ask insightful questions such as "What do you do if you get writer's block" and "What happens when you have an idea in your head, but when you write it down, you can't make it make sense." Both the students and Ms. DeSelm had a wonderful time, and we are so lucky she spent this time with us!

For participating in the event, students received a copy of the book, thanks to the generosity of our wonderful SMS PTO! They partnered with the fabulous Kathy Burnette of the Brain Lair bookstore in South Bend to provide these books for students. Kathy is a former PHM librarian who opened her bookstore in 2018. What a treat for us to support a local author and a local business! Students were absolutely thrilled to get their own copies of the book! This was such a fun and successful event!

Click here to visit the Brain Lair!

A big thanks to The Brain Lair for their help in making these author visits possible! We are thrilled to continue our partnership with this local business.

National Junior Honor Society

The Schmucker Chapter of the National Junior Honor Society is pleased to welcome 57 new members to our group! These students fulfilled all of the required elements of the application process and exemplify the 5 Pillars of NJHS: Scholarship, Character, Service, Leadership, and Citizenship. We do not have a firm plan for an Induction Ceremony as we wait to see what rules we will need to follow for large gatherings in the spring. We will update members with specific details as soon as possible. We look forward to working with these awesome leaders at SMS!

Notre Dame Regional Science Fair

Congratulations to 6th grader John Gutierrez for his participation at the virtual Notre Dame Regional Science Fair on Saturday. John's project, "Battery vs Solar: Speed Race" earned four distinguished awards. John was given awards for the "Broadcom MASTERS Rising Stars Competition Junior", "Building a Brighter Tomorrow Junior Award" and the "Notre Dame Energy Top Junior Energy Related Award." In addition to this, John was selected to participate in the Indiana state science fair later this month! Great work, John!

Follow us on Twitter! @SMSSpartanPride

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Attention 7th & 8th Grade Girls

Girls’ Track will be starting soon! We will have a virtual meeting on March 18th at 6:00 pm and our first practice will be on March 22nd from 7:30 am-9:00 am. We will practice Monday-Friday mornings that week and then Monday-Thursday the following week because we don’t have school on Friday, April 2nd. After Spring Break we will practice every morning unless we have a meet that day. You will receive a calendar at our meeting on the 18th with our full schedule. You need to sign up at and have a physical on file to practice. Please fill out this form if you are interested in joining the girls’ track team. The link to the virtual meet will be emailed to the student’s email provided on the form. If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Ludwig


Mrs. Ludwig

Girls’ Track Coach

Room 212

Join the Schmucker Boys' Track & Field Team!

The first day of practice for the 2021 SMS Boys’ Track & Field team is Monday, March 22...

- Have you registered on so you are able to join us from day one?

- Are you ready to run fast, jump high, fly far, and/or throw far?

- How about improving your times and working as a team on a daily basis?

- Or maybe you want to set your sights on beating a school record?

- Also - did you know that participating on the track team is a great way to keep you in shape for other sports and activities such as: baseball, basketball, football, wrestling, skateboarding, hockey, rugby, windsurfing, hang-gliding, frisbee, volleyball, foosball, lacrosse, zip-chipping, Fort-Nite-ing, roller skating, Roller Derby, ping pong, dance, and many more?

Come to the first practice and be part of the SMS Track Team for 2021!

For the Boys’ Track & Field team, the first meeting & practice is Monday, March 22 from 4:15-6 pm in the gym.

Please SIGN UP for track by using the Google Form that can be found on the SMS website or in the SMS Newsletter.

It is very important that you have had an athletics physical for this school year and that you sign up on if you haven’t already done so. You are NOT allowed to participate in any practices until you are registered!

If you have any questions, please contact one of the coaches. The boys’ coaches are Mr. Black, Mr. Imel, and Mr. Sears.

Thank you,

Coach Sears

- Head Coach

6th Grade Choir

The sixth grade choirs kids are putting together a photo montage to go along with our songs. This will replace a spring concert for us. Parents, please double check that you have updated the photo consent portion on Skyward. This will allow Mrs. Wisler to include your child's photo in this project. If you do not want your child's photo to be included, you can also note this on Skyward. The final product will be shared with parents of choir members so you can get a glimpse of the fun in the music room this year. Thanks for sharing your music makers with us at SMS!

Car Rider Line Procedures & Expectations

Keeping our students safe is our top priority at Schmucker Middle School. Please review the following information about the car rider line procedures and expectations. It is important that everyone adheres to these guidelines, so we can maintain a safe environment for our Spartan families, follow traffic laws, and respect the surrounding residential neighbors.

*Be aware that school day has changed and we’ll now begin at 9:35.


Our procedural plans for the Car Rider Line will be a bit different than in years past.

All vehicles must enter the property from Jefferson Blvd. onto Pershing St. and then onto Fillmore St. to assume a position in line as it wraps around the building towards Door F (south end of the building). When the bell rings at 9:20 a.m. All vehicles that have entered the SMS parking lot are permitted to allow students to disembark from the vehicle and enter the building through Doors A, C, E, and F only. At that point, our staff will control the flow of traffic to allow for the maximum number of cars to wrap around the building to Door F before releasing students again. While we understand some students may have classrooms near certain doors, we ask for your cooperation with these procedures to make sure that all SMS students are in attendance at the start of our school day.

Student Expectations

  • Wear a mask at all times!

  • Social distance when possible.

  • Be prepared with your personal belongings nearby and easily accessible for prompt exiting and entering the vehicle.

  • Remember to get in and out of the vehicle quickly and safely.

  • At the end of the day, watch closely for your ride. You are responsible for locating your vehicle and walking to your vehicle.

  • Exit your vehicle from the passenger side of the car only, directly onto the sidewalk.

  • Always be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to traffic and others.

  • Follow all directions of traffic supervisors and teachers.

  • Respect other’s personal space and keep your hands to yourself.

  • Stay on the sidewalks to avoid walking on the grass or in the pick up area.

  • Please model our SMS Motto - Show Respect, Make a Difference, Set the Bar High!

Parents and Guardians Expectations

  • Refrain from using cell phones when driving. For the safety of our students, please refrain from any distractions while moving in line.

  • Students cannot be released from vehicles prior to 9:20 a.m.

  • To be respectful to our neighbors, enter our property off of Jefferson Blvd. by turning North onto Pershing St. Please refrain from performing u-turns on private or school property.

  • Yield to P-H-M buses entering or exiting school property on Fillmore Road.

  • Please show respect by following all directions of traffic supervisors and teachers.

  • Be attentive to the traffic flow and pull forward with the flow of traffic.

  • To ensure the timely and safe arrival and departure of students, stay in one line and pull your car up as far as you can along the curb.

  • On occasion, you may need to go around another car. When pulling around another vehicle, be extra cautious by looking for other cars and pedestrians.

  • Remain in vehicles at all times during arrival and drop-off.

  • Do NOT park in the lot and direct your child to cross traffic.

  • Students are NOT allowed to cross traffic to be picked up at Pennway or Penn High School.

  • All P-H-M properties are non smoking facilities.

  • Please model our SMS Motto - Show Respect, Make a Difference, Set the Bar High!

It is important to remember that we have a high volume of car riders each day, and we strive to make our arrival and dismissal procedures as safe and efficient as possible. You are an important part of our community and your cooperation helps to keep our students safe.

International Travel

With safety as our top priority, we want to make certain that our families are aware of the CDC's recent Order (effective 1-26-21) related to international travel. This link provides more details as well as access to frequently asked questions. It is critical that families who might be contemplating upcoming international travel abide by this Order including all required post-travel quarantines.

Please understand that if you are planning to travel outside of the country while this Order is in effect, your child(ren) will need to quarantine for the specified number of days after returning to the United States. We must comply with this Order in an effort to maintain a safe learning environment for our students and staff.

Checking Grades & Report Cards

Parents, when you are checking on your child's grade, please be sure to check Skyward. Canvas does not always have all the assignments and assessments listed. For the most accurate grades, Skyward is best. Remember you can always email your child's teachers if you have any questions.

The grades you see on the Classes screen are “live” from the teacher's grade book and will typically match what you see on the report card. At the end of each marking period, the grades are finalized and then the Report Card is shown on Skyward.

Attention 8th Graders!! High School Scheduling Information

Please note, this information is subject to change.

School counselors are finalizing all high school course requests. If you have any questions about high school scheduling, please contact your child's school counselor.

    • August 2021: Become a Penn Kingsman!

    • May 2025: Graduate from Penn High School!

    Mrs. Eck, School Counselor for Last Names A-K --

    Mrs. Hoover, School Counselor for Last Names L-Z --

Amazing Teacher of the Month

Each month, the South Bend Tribune and Ivy Tech Community College will recognize one teacher as the Amazing Teacher of the Month and they will be featured in print and on our publication’s website.

The Teacher of the Month will be eligible to win a national $5,000 monthly prize for themselves and $5,000 for their school!

Whether you’re a student who’s learned from a great teacher, or a colleague, here’s your chance to recognize an exemplary local teacher.

Nominate an educator to be recognized as the Amazing Teacher of the Month

and show them just how grateful you are for the work they put in.

Make your nominations now at and share this email with your friends and colleagues. The more nominations made, the better the odds are at winning a national prize!

Congratulations to One of our Spartans!!!

Please join me in celebrating Allie Chrise! She was the winner of the Amazing Teacher Award through the South Bend Tribune!!! We appreciate all the ways she supports our kids and are thrilled that her hard work was acknowledged with this award.

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Families of 7th and 8th graders, please consider applying to 21st Century Scholars to obtain FREE MONEY FOR COLLEGE. You must apply by June 30th of your 8th grade year, otherwise you will not be eligible. To apply for 21st Century Scholars, you want to go to the website at and you can apply from there. This website is full of helpful information. Below, you will find step-by-step information on the application process.

On the main page, right around the middle of the page, there will be a link to "enroll" into the program (pictured below). This will take you to information about the 21st Century Scholars scholarship and eventually the application.

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Once you select "Enroll in the Program" you want to go about half way down the page to the ScholarTrack link (pictured below). You have to create an account with ScholarTrack in order to apply.

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Once you create a ScholarTrack account, you will then need to apply. Please note these are TWO different steps. Creating the ScholarTrack account DOES NOT mean you have applied for 21st Century Scholars. When you get to the application process after creating your ScholarTrack account, you will want to have your financial information (salary info. and taxes) handy, because you will have to provide that type of information.

Please let your child's school counselor know if you have any questions.

Community Events

Click on the link below to see community events.

Safety Update: How Can Parents Monitor On-Line Activity


Starting this school year, families have the option of receiving weekly emails outlining your students online activity while using Chromebooks. This online service is free and it gives parents an opportunity to maintain a safe learning environment at school and at home. Please click on the attached links to learn more about how Securly can help you.


If you see something, hear something, say something! The Safe School Helpline is a convenient, confidential way for anyone to report information about situations that might affect safety at any P-H-M school or building. You can call the number any time of the day or night to report concerns about unsafe or potentially disruptive activities or situations including drug or alcohol abuse, weapons, harassment, bullying or threats. All calls are completely confidential.

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PHM Open Positions

Please help us increase the size of our non-certified applicant pool. The link below will take you to the HR page in Frontline for all current PHM vacancies. Please encourage people you know who would be a great fit for our Schmucker community to apply. Thanks!

School Counselor Supports

All students are enrolled in a course named "Class of (Graduation Year)" in Canvas and Skyward. This is not an in-person class, but counselors will use this course in Canvas, as well as emails to parents and students, to communicate important information and availability for counseling services. Students can contact their counselor individually by using the School Counselor Appointment Request Form under the Guidance tab on the Schmucker website. Parents can contact counselors via email or school voicemail.

Technology Details

Technology Login Information: Please use the following instructions for students to access their email, Skyward, and Canvas.

  • Email Login Information:
    Username: first initial + last name + last 3 digits of ID number (example:
    Password: Passwords: ID number + phm (example: 123456phm)
  • Canvas/Skyward Login Information: Username: first initial + last name + last 3 digits of ID number (example: jdoe456)
    Password: ID number + phm (example: 123456phm)

For Parents and Students who need Tech help:

Logging in: If parents are having trouble getting into Canvas or Skyward please direct them to email

Chromebooks: If families are having issues with their Chromebook, they should send an email to

Other information for parents:

Bus Drivers Needed

PHM is in need of Bus Drivers. All drivers begin as Sub Drivers and are guaranteed four hours of work a day at a rate of $19.75/hr. Once a driver is elevated to a route driver they will continue to be guaranteed four hours of work per day. Their pay will be increased to $21.61/hr and they will have opportunities to drive field trips, and athletic events. Trip pay is $13/hr with a minimum pay on a trip being $30. After 60 days of work they will be elevated to a rate of $22.33/hr. These wages are effective 1/1/2021 and all training is provided by the Penn Harris Madison Transportation Department.

Please apply at the link below.


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 today to create an account and set up your preferences for receiving emergency messages from the District.

Visit the PHM website for more information.

Helpful Contacts