SCH Weekly

Scott E. Miller, Superintendent

Issue 8 - February 24, 2020

Greetings SCH Family,

I would like to encourage all of you to participate in the free employee CHC Wellness Screenings that are currently being offered in many of our buildings. Offering this benefit for free only makes financial sense when we have a high percentage of employees taking advantage of it. Through regular screenings, the overall health costs for all of School City of Hammond is lowered and many times individuals can mitigate the severity of a health issue through early detection. If you haven’t yet signed up, please do so today!



Onsite appointment scheduling:

  • Go to
  • Screened with CHC Wellbeing before? Enter your user name and password in the Individual Login box. If prompted to do so, enter the program code 4274Sch487 Then, click on New Screening Available to start registration
  • First time screening with CHC Wellbeing? In the ‘New Participants’ box, enter the program code 4274Sch487
  • Follow prompts to complete registration and your Health & Lifestyle Survey.

Academic Services

Curriculum Mapping continues this week with the English/Language Arts 3-5 team. The all day mapping session will be held on Wednesday, February 26, 2020, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Administration Center.

Playworks Professional Development

The School City of Hammond has contracted with PLAYWORKS to train designated staff from each of our elementary schools to implement the Recess Implementation Program. This professional development is a comprehensive two day training that introduces the following concepts to our school teams: Introduction to a Healthy Recess, Playground Games, Group Management, Recess Systems and Successful Recess Indicators. Each elementary school is sending a team to the training composed of administrators, teachers and playground aides. Within the next couple of months following the training each school will receive a follow-up consultation visit to ensure that the program is being implemented properly. Each school will also receive the Playworks Game Guide that includes 350 games and $500 worth of play equipment. The funding for this contract will be paid for by the Lilly Grant. This professional development was selected for our schools due to the emphasis that we are currently placing on creating safe school environments that support the social-emotional learning of our students.

Training dates for our elementary teams are:

February 18 & 19 - Lincoln, Franklin & Wallace

February 24 & 25 - Maywood, Irving & Hess

March 2 & 3 - Harding, Kenwood & Edison

March 4 & 5 - Morton ES, O’Bannon & Jefferson

Where the Wild Things Are

Maurice Sendak: The Memorial Exhibition is being held at the Performing Arts Center in Munster, Indiana from February 14 to April 12. The School City of Hammond has partnered with South Shore Arts to participate in a Legacy Foundation Grant that is sponsoring many of our third grade classes to take a field trip to this exhibit. The field trip is titled: In the Gallery with Monsters. The students will be led on a tour of the artwork in the exhibit, enjoy a Where the Wild Things Are storytime and participate in a monster drawing workshop. All student artwork will be photographed and featured on the online exhibit of the South Shore Arts website. In addition, each classroom will receive a copy of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are along with an educational study guide.

Buildings & Grounds

This week, the Buildings and Grounds Department will be focusing on the talented personnel working in the Carpenter’s Shop. John Taylor, Carpenter Foreman has been employed with SCH for 30 years! Don Curtis, Carpenter Journeyman has been with SCH for 10 years. These two dedicated employees visit many SCH buildings throughout the school day. They receive quite a number of work orders from various buildings on a daily basis.

Listed below are just some of the tasks the Carpenter Shop performs during the school year:

  • Cabinetry Install / Repair
  • Carpet Installation
  • Ceiling Install / Repair / Replace
  • Classroom Furniture Assembly / Repair
  • Countertops Install / Repair / Replace
  • Drapes and Blinds Repair / Replace
  • Gym Equipment Repair (Basketball Backboards, Rims, Winches, Supports)
  • Install Temporary Protection for Broken Windows
  • Keys, Lock Install / Repair / Replace
  • Playground Equipment Repair / Replace
  • Repair / Install Hand Rails
  • Respond to Emergency Door Latch Issues
  • Respond to Door and Cabinet Key Requests
  • Shelving Installation / Repair
  • Signs Mounted on Walls
  • Stage Curtains and Rigging
  • Stair Tread Nosing, Railing Repair / Replace
  • Tile Installation / Repair
  • Walls, Studs, Drywall Installation
  • Windows, Installation, Hardware

Food & Nutrition

Final Week of Breakfast Contest!!!

Our department wrote for multiple grants to receive this funding to provide incentive prizes for our secondary schools for best breakfast participation. The Department of Food & Nutrition is not allowed to use our federal funding for cash/incentive prizes – but thanks to grant funding from Action for Healthy Kids and No Kid Hungry we were able to have this 20 week contest! It is our sincere hope that the habits formed around getting breakfast during these 20 weeks carries over long past the contest. Study after study after study shows that students who regularly eat breakfast:

  • Children who eat breakfast at school — closer to class and test-taking time — perform better on standardized tests than those who skip breakfast or eat breakfast at home
  • Students who eat breakfast the morning of a standardized test have significantly higher scores in spelling, reading, and math, compared to those who do not eat breakfast
  • Student academic achievement increases, especially for math, when schools offer the School Breakfast Program
  • Students who participate in school breakfast show improved attendance, behavior, and academic performance as well as decreased tardiness
  • Providing breakfast to students at school improves their concentration, alertness, comprehension, memory, and learning
  • Children who eat breakfast show improved cognitive function, attention, and memory
  • Consuming breakfast improves children’s performance on mathematical tasks, vocabulary tests, demanding mental tasks, and reaction to frustration

The winners will be announced on Friday March 6th at 9:00am via our Social Media Pages ( & as the highlighted end to National School Breakfast Week 2020 (March 2nd – 6th)


  • 1st Place = $7,000 for a principal approved school-wide activity/thing/event/etc.
  • 2nd Place = $3,000 for a principal approved school-wide activity/thing/event/etc.
  • Most Improved = $1,000 for a principal approved school-wide activity/thing/event/etc.

Hammond Academy for the Performing Arts

Girlhood, the musical opens this Thursday. In partnership with writers,composers, and lyricists from around the country, HAPA has partnered in the development of a high school premier musical. Our students have developed a band new spin on this wonderful song cycle. PLEASE check us out. Additionally, we continue to accept applications for the HAPA program. HAMMONDAPA.COM

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Head Start

A special thanks to Superintendent Miller, representatives of the SCH Head Start Policy Committee, members of the Board of School Trustees, and Morton Principal, Mary Rykiel and Assistant Principal, Alan Walczak for their attendance and participation at the Policy Committee/Board of School Trustees dinner meeting/training on Thursday, February 20. Head Start’s vision statement regarding parent involvement includes: support parents as primary educators, nurturers, and advocates for their children; provide every parent with opportunities for a significant experience in Head Start; and ensure that parents are involved in making policy and program decisions for the Head Start program. All three tenets were woven into the events of the evening. The dinner allowed for meaningful conversations that provided insight into the experiences and views of Policy Committee representatives, Board members and administrators. The presentation shared additional information about the who, what, and why of Head Start and how the roles of and partnership between the Head Start Policy Committee representatives and Board of School Trustees work together to support the SCH Head Start program. The partnership was put into practice as members of both groups provided suggestions for getting the word out about Head Start. Thanks again!!!

Human Resources

Wishing a very Happy Birthday to all the staff members who have birthdays this week and those who had a birthday last week!

Birthdays from February 16th through February 22nd:

Deborah Abad, Benita Baldazo, Charmain Basile, Robin Bellamy, LaMaudia Bentley, Sarah Betustak, Laura Burbridge, Mary Jean Champion, Gina D’Angelo, Lorraine Deal, Venita Devine, Siobhan Fagen, Nathaniel Foor, Frank Gonzalez, Bertha Guzman, Jerry Haney, Mark Hennessee, Constance Jackson-Aytch, Brenda Jendreas, Toni Koch, Laurie Kujawa, Margaret Loebbaka, Marisha Luckey, Brian Marcinkevicz, Theresa Marton, Erik Martinez, Pamela McField, tina Meece, Larry Moore Jr., Mary Moreno, Kimberly Morris, Valerie Nappi, Sandra Ortiz, Susan Perez, Denise Polen, Melissa Rhodes, Alisha Rivera, Brenda Rivera, Monica Robinson, Caroline Rosas, Linda Scharber, Timothy Scoleri, Diana Sloan, Nichelle Small, and Ylanda Wilson

Birthdays from February 23rd through February 29th

Jeffery Allard, Jasmine Baker, Cherita Bell, James Bigham, Stephanie Bondi-Smith, Wynette Brown, Crystal Broz, Bobbie Burns, Norma Carreon, Bonita Cieslak, Chrissy Cole, Romans Delgado, Daniel Downs, Lori Evanich, Okeisha Howard, Laurie Hudgens, Arthur Latiker, David Lewis, Janet Magallanes, Nathalie Martinez, April Massa, Windy McClean, Jeannette Melcic, Adrian Moreno, Lucinda Murphy, Alicia Myers, Leigh Neace-Coffey, Tina Neyhart Patteson, Lindsay Palko, Linda Palumbo, Elizabeth Perez, Veronica Prieto, Jill Ranzy, April Scott, Betty Serwacki, Janice Smith, Erica Stotts, Denise Szany, June Tiller-Craig, Jamie Trubach, and Obdulia Villanueva

Special Education

Children Mental Health Awareness-Building Resiliency

There is a global crisis in the mental health of young people. As many as one in eight young people suffer from some form of a diagnosable mental illness, (Harmelen and Ford, 2020). That translates into three to four struggling children in every classroom. With mental health services woefully underfunded and overstretched, it is critical that schools understand how to build the strong emotional foundations that all young people need to thrive.

Resilience refers to our ability effectively deal with stressful situations. Building resilience involves many factors such as character, understanding our environment and utilizing constructive feedback. Resilience is not about eliminating anxiety, fear or stress. It’s about learning to deal with the inevitable challenges we face in everyday life. Cultivating resilience allows us to face adversity with greater confidence.

We can support young people’s ability to cope with the inevitable stresses of life by providing them with the tools and resources that build resilience. This is where schools play a critical role. Providing young people the skills they need to facilitate good personal interactions will support resilience on an individual level. Buddy systems, peer support networks, and conflict resolution programs can help to build a supportive school community.

Promoting an understanding of mental health is as important as teaching about physical health. Schools can help young people learn to regulate their emotions, make better choices and solve their own problems. Educators can also be aware of any situations that might trigger negative responses and assist students in planning positive responses that might help them cope better.

Schools that promote strong social relationships, provide unconditional support and teach practical self-management skills are likely to have more resilient pupils who are able to thrive both at school and in the community.


Nearly everyone has some presence on social media, but very few secure their data. There is almost always some information visible to the public. Let’s target Facebook. Interested to know what the public can see? Browse to your Facebook page, click your name/profile picture in the blue bar at the top, click the three dots next to “Activity Log,” then click “View as.” This is how any random person sees your page. Want to make your page more private? Browse to your Facebook page, click the down arrow on the right hand side of the blue bar at the top, click “Settings,” then click “Privacy” on the left. Clicking “Limit Past Posts” will remove public access from anything you’ve ever posted on Facebook, and changing some of the other settings here will limit how visible the rest of your page is to the public.


There is no debate that field trips provide opportunity for authentic experiences to connect learning from the text with the real-world. SCH Transportation would love to support all in utilizing transportation services to attend field trips. First, you need to know that Barb Cagle is the go to person for coordination of trips. In her role as field trip/safety coordinator she oversees approval of trips and scheduling.

The process for scheduling a trip begins with the sponsor contacting Barb Cagle to check availability of buses, which should be done at least 3 weeks prior to the date of the trip. Next is entering all trip information onto webtrips, To login use the”name of your school” as the user name (except Morton Ele and Morton HS) and “password1” as the password. Once logged in click on the tap at the top of the page “Enter New Request”. Once all information has been entered the building principal will receive a notice that trips are waiting for approval. After approval from principal, then Barb begins to coordinate your trip. Instructional sheets on field trip procedures and how to enter information can be found on SCH web-page by putting field trips in the search bar.

It is important to know that time and bus availability may inhibit transport using SCH transportation. SCH transportation can accommodate must field trips that are Monday-Friday from 9:30-2 and after 4:00. This time restriction is in place to assure that the buses are available to do AM and PM transport of students from all SCH schools. Weekend field trips typically don’t have a time restriction, so if time is an issue go on a non-attendance day for student.

SCH Events

Monday, February 24th

  • Edison ES - Cheerleading - 3:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
  • Edison ES - 1st Grade Cogat Testing
  • Edison ES - Black History Dance Rehearsal - 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • IHSAA Boys Basketball Sectional Sportsmanship Dinner - 6:30 p.m.
  • Irving ES - Facebook Read Aloud - 6 p.m.
  • Lincoln ES - Food Pantry Team Training with Purdue - 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
  • Maywood ES - Survive Alive Tour (All week)
  • O'Bannon ES - Peace Ambassadors - 3:25 p.m. to 3:55 p.m.

Tuesday, February 25th

  • Clark MS/HS Baskeball vs. Munster - 5:30 p.m.
  • Clark MS/HS - Senior Night
  • Edison ES - Soccer - 3:15 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Edison ES - Chorus - 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.
  • Edison ES - Chess - 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.
  • Edison ES - 1st Grade Cogat Testing
  • Edison ES - 1st Grade Enviromobile Visit
  • Gavit MS/HS Boys Basketball @ EC Central - 5:30 p.m. & 7 p.m.
  • Irving ES - HHCC Community Workshop (Census 101) - 6 p.m.
  • Morton HS - Math ISTEP for Sophomores
  • Morton HS Boys Basketball vs. Crown Point - 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, February 26th

  • Edison ES - Cheerleading - 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.
  • Edison ES - Black History Dance Rehearsal - 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Gavit MS/HS Boys Basketball @ Bishop Noll - 5:30 p.m. & 7 p.m.
  • Harding ES - IREAD Meeting - 3:30 p.m.
  • Irving ES - Wrestling Parent Meeting (4th & 5th Graders) - 3:30 p.m.
  • Maywood ES - Black History Month Event/Celebration - 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Morton HS - English ISTEP for Sophomores
  • O'Bannon ES - Chess - 7:40 a.m. to 8:40 a.m.
  • Wallace ES - Black History Month Program - 9:30 a.m.

Thursday, February 27th

  • Edison ES - Black History Celebration - 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Gavit MS/HS - HS Natural Helpers - 4 p.m.
  • Hess ES - Blood Drive - 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Lincoln ES - 3rd Grade South Shore Arts Field Trip
  • Lincoln ES - Popcorn Sale
  • Morton ES - Book Fair PTA Family Night - 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Morton HS - English ISTEP for Sophomores
  • O'Bannon ES - Family Game Night - 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Friday, February 28th

  • Clark MS/HS Basketball @ Whiting - 5:30 p.m.
  • Edison ES - Basketball - 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Gavit MS - Black History Presentation - 8:20 a.m.
  • Gavit MS/HS Boys Basketball vs. Hanover Central - 5:30 p.m. & 7 p.m.
  • Harding ES - Black History Program - 2 p.m.
  • Lincoln ES - Cool Dads Read
  • Morton HS Boys Basketball @ Portage - 5:30 p.m.
  • O'Bannon ES - Spirit Day (Mismatch Day)

Saturday, February 29th

  • Gavit MS/HS - HS Natural Helpers - 10 a.m.
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SCH Highlights of the Week

Area Career Center

On February 20, 2020, a group of 21 students from the Area Career Center University attended the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute Conference (USHLI) in Chicago, Illinois. This day of the conference was used to introduce this year’s theme: the 2020 Census. Speakers such as David Diaz, a former professional boxer, amongst others, spoke about the importance of the Census and why everyone should participate. Students also had the chance to meet with a variety of colleges. From trade and vocational to major universities and had the opportunity to meet recruiters from each. Many of our students used this opportunity to their advantage as they learned more about potential schools. Not only were students exposed to many colleges, but there was also a presenter that talked to them about how to actually pay for college, including scholarships, grants, and loans. Not only did they leave with a mind full of newfound knowledge, but a bag of goodies from different universities and colleges.

Clark MS/HS

Senior DaJaha Blanton sang at the state Solo and Ensemble contest and earned a Gold medal over the weekend. Congratulations DaJaha!

Middle School Chess competed at regionals over the weekend and I am proud to say that all 3 teams qualify for the upcoming state competition.

Edison ES

Black History Displays

Eggers MS

Keeping in the Spirit of Black History Month, Eggers Middle School was visited by the United Steelworkers Union and N=XT Generation. Several members of this union come to Eggers every year during "Black Labor Week" to provide students with lessons about African-American History. The guests are paired and assigned to each of the social studies classes where they take over instruction for the day. This year's theme centered on the history of the voting rights of African-Americans in our country. Pictured are members of the USW, Dr. Yanders (principal) and Eggers students.

Gavit MS/HS

Singing for the GOLD

Congratulations to Dr. Jones and our choir students. Eight of our students placed gold at ISSMA this past weekend!


Kaelin Rindocks - silver

Mariel Patterson - gold

Arthur Leon - gold

Michael Padilla - gold

Aileen Verdoza-Lueno-gold


Kennedy Bryant - 2 gold in solo, 1 distinguished

Vivian Corona - gold

Jocelyn Ester - gold

Chess Success

Congratulations to our Gavit chess teams as they qualified their 6th and under team of Omar Padilla, Caesar Reyes, Saidie Ghostin, Michael Gonzalez and Victor Meza.

All three 8th and under teams qualified while the A team of Jessica Polovina, Justin Nunez, Aaron Nunez and Collin Nunez took 1st place with a score of 4.5 out of 5. Other team members were Alejandro Glenn, Timothy Cervantes, Gabriel Salazar, Kaleb Hunter, Sebastian Maya, Darion Robinson Alyana Glenn, Benjamin Johnson, Caleb Flanagan, Seenea Boyd, Benjamin Caldera, Julissa Meza and Pablo Cuenca.

Good luck on March 21st Gladiators!!!

Maywood ES

Our Social Emotional Project has been fully funded! Yoga mats and flexible seating options are on their way!

O'Bannon ES

O’Bannon would like to give a shout out to Gladys Ullstam for our SEL/Literacy Stations PD last week! We appreciate you coming to present at some of our PD’s this year!

Scott MS

Scott Middle School students, in collaboration with Geminus Corporation, participated in the Youth L.E.A.D (Leading and Educating Across Domains) Initiative. Through the Youth LEAD Initiative, youth worked together to promote and normalize positive choices and recognize self-efficacy. The program ran for 8 sessions and culminated with a community service project. Our students partnered with Northwest Indiana Meals on Wheels, to pack lunches for seniors in our surrounding area.

Great job Scorpions! A second Youth L.E.A.D group will begin next month!

Stay Informed

An update from the Superintendent is distributed at the beginning of the week.

View previous weekly updates from Mr. Miller here.

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