Walt Disney School Update

September 9, 2020

Greetings Walt Disney families,

As I shared with you last week, the PHM Board of Trustees approved a plan to bring our elementary students back to school for in-person learning. We are thrilled to be able to see our K-3 students next week, and our 4-5 students beginning the week of the 21st.

The Walt Disney Return to Learn Plan is attached below so that you can review how the teachers and staff at Walt Disney will welcome back students in a safe environment. (Please note that the building will still remain closed to visitors and to the public until a time TBD.)

NEW DETAILED INFORMATION is shown in a graphic below giving you additional information on our Virtual Learning experience for students choosing to remain virtual.

Additionally, there are PHM produced videos highlighting our transportation & safety protocols, cafeteria safety precautions, and custodial cleaning protocols.

Once you have reviewed the plan, it is very important that you complete the questionnaire (survey) if you have not done so already.

Important notes:

  • If you have already completed this questionnaire, you do NOT need to do it again.
  • If you have not completed it, please do so ASAP.
  • If you you wish to change your response, please EMAIL us directly to indicate that change. Email: Renee Sutherland (rsutherland@phm.k12.in.us) or Kristen Caudillo (kcaudillo@phm.k12.in.us)
  • We would greatly appreciate you completing this questionnaire before Friday, September 11th.
  • In this questionnaire, you will indicate your desired choice for instruction: VIRTUAL or FACE-TO-FACE.

Please remember that on Thursday & Friday, September 10th and 11th, students' virtual learning will be more in an eLearning format with only 1 brief check-in with students each morning at 8:00am. The rest of the day will be recorded lessons with activities and/or assignments. This is to allow our teacher time to prepare their rooms for students on Monday.

Additional information in this newsletter:

  • PHM Kid's Club site if you need to register your child for before and/or after-school child care.
  • There is a link to PHM InfoFinder i site that will provide you with information regarding your child's pick-up and drop-off information should you opt to utilize the PHM transportation busing service.

If you have any clarifying questions, please feel free to contact me of the school office.


Ryan Towner

Walt Disney Intent to Return Parent Survey

This survey is due by Friday, September 11th. Please complete one for each child at Walt Disney. If you have already completed the survey, you do not need to do so again.

PHM Elementary Virtual Learning

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Below is a SAMPLE schedule for a virtual learner. Actual schedules will be sent from the teacher(s) on Monday, September 14th for grades K-3. The virtual instructional day will begin at 7:40am for 30 minutes but the remainder of the day will look differently depending on the grade level.
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Big picture

Additional Information


Before returning on September 14th (or September 21st), please consider the following:


Check with your child EACH morning for signs of illness.

  • If a child has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher, they should NOT come to school. Email waltdisneyattendance@phm.k12.in.us
  • If your child has a sore throat, a cough, diarrhea, severe headache, vomiting, or body aches, consider calling their doctor immediately.
  • If your child has had a close contact to a Covid-19 case, they should NOT go to school. Please contact the school to inform us of a known exposure.

Other Items:

  • Make sure your child has a mask to wear on the bus and into the school on Day 1 (Walt Disney masks and lanyards will also be distributed to students once they are at school.) The first day they should wear a mask from home.
  • Materials that went home in the totes should return WITH your child.
  • Backpacks are fine for student use.
  • Totes AND Chromebooks (with chargers) should also return with students.
  • Refillable water bottles may be brought to school (NOTE: Make sure their name & grade level is prominently displayed. Water bottles that are left behind with no name will be thrown away.)
  • Please fill the water bottle at home each morning. We will have the ability to also fill bottles here at school.
  • Transportation - "Does my child know how they're getting home from school on Day 1?" (If it's by bus, students should know their bus number.)
  • Additional information regarding processes for car rider drop-off and pickup will be shared in a future communication.

SEL Update from Dr. Sears

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) & Mental Health

1. According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning, “Social and Emotional Learning is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.” Based on research especially regarding neurodevelopment and cultural responsiveness, the Indiana Department of Education holds that there are seven core competencies (Insight, Regulation, Connection, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Sensory-Motor Integration, & Mindset), which can be broken down into subtopics. These core competencies need to be intentionally taught to students to help them be successful both now and in the future. For the month of September, the SEL lessons will cover the SEL core competencies of insight, regulation, critical thinking and mindset. More specifically, the lessons will cover the subtopics of the following:

  • Flexible Thinking, which is learning to think about things and circumstances in a new, positive way. For more information, please see P-H-M's SEL resource with info on cognitive flexibility at this link.
  • Identifying Personal Strengths
  • Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals (Setting personal goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, & Timely) ~ For younger students, we are working on "I Can" statements so the students know they CAN and are capable of learning and growing.
  • Developing a Growth Mindset, which is based off the work of cognitive psychology and Dr. Carol Dweck's research. A Growth Mindset means that people believe their talents can be developed through hard work, accepting constructive feedback, understanding that one can learn and grow from a mistake or failure, and embracing the power of the word "Yet" believing their time and efforts will help them to work toward achieving a goal.

2. September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Please check out this newsletter for more information, including resources. Suicide Prevention Newsletter for Parents/Guardians linked here.

3. Indiana law requires that all schools provide age appropriate and research based instruction on child abuse and child sexual abuse to students in kindergarten through grade 12. Penn-Harris-Madison has partnered with the Youth Service Bureau to provide this instruction and will be utilizing information from the “Protect Yourself Rules” curriculum. To learn more about the program, an optional parent information virtual meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. via Zoom. Details regarding this meeting are as follows: