Focus on Education

January 2018

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Brickies will shine in 2018! As many people make resolutions in the new year for hopes and dreams, the most important factor is a commitment with a plan to reach those goals. This Focus on Education highlights the Work! Work! Work! mantra of our Brickies. From academics to performing arts, you will see but a sample of success from students who commit, persevere, and achieve at high levels! In addition, you will see how they are kind and compassionate to others in the community. While these are characteristics we pride ourselves in that we want all of our Brickies to possess these qualities, as adults we must continue to have high expectations for our children. Please look at important opportunities and information in this newsletter to keep our kids safe. Happy 2018! The future is definitely bright!


Peggy Buffington, Ph.D., Superintendent

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Help your child succeed by setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals!

You can work with your students by helping them set specific, measurable, achieveable, results-focused, and time-bound (S.M.A.R.T.) Goals!
Our students can login into Google and access these forms. You can do this together and have them submit to their teacher. Monitor progress together!


Student Plan to Achieve My S.M.A.R.T. Goal -
https://goo.gl/forms/qle9Kv4RAgfnte7k2


S.M.A.R.T. Short-Term Goal Setting Worksheet -
https://goo.gl/forms/l0AlcQs4UwdApvAr1


3rd Quarter S.M.A.R.T Goal -
https://goo.gl/forms/Gfoo13evpbWqdJMG2


4th Quarter S.M.A.R.T Goal -

https://goo.gl/forms/VRsMP9RIBv7xrKvJ3

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Congrats To Rebecca Meyer For Becoming A SAT Practice Gold Star Winner!

As a Junior in high school, Rebecca quickly realized that the best way to get accepted into a college would be through standardized testing scores. For most of her Junior year she pushed preparing for the SAT and focused mainly on her grades. "After all, an index score which is comprised of a student's SAT/ACT score, GPA, and class rank, is used to determine a student's quantitative likelihood of being accepted in a school."

She knew that the day was coming where the SAT would be taken and needed to be prepared. So she decided to start practicing on Khan Academy, mainly because it was a requirement by her English teacher. At first, Rebecca had a negative mentality towards Khan Academy which prevented her from finding it to be very useful. But, it was for her grade in her class so she got to work on it. Surprisingly, this extrinsic motivation becomae much more intrinsic once she kicked her attitude to the curb and found herself increasing her levels. As her levels increased, so did her scores!

Her favorits aspect about Khan Academy is how they allow users to construct their practice schedule and send daily reminders to keep studying! Khan gives her specific problems, passages, and material based on what she missed when taking the dignostic quizzes and while working through the practice problems. All at the individuals pace! Khan Academy helped Rebecca to recognize her strongest and weakest subjects in the test so that she knew what need to be worked on.

FInally, game day arrived for the SAT test. She made sure she got 8 hours of sleep, a healthy breakfast, and prepared all of the things the night before. Earlier this month, Rebecca received a notification acknowledging her dedication and resulting success from practicing on Khan Academy. The award recognized that me collective time on Khan Academy resulted in over 20 hours! Although she has no intention on receiving an award, it verified her hard work and persistence that was put into increasing her SAT scores.

The best news! 20 hours of practice on Khan Academy is associated with an average 115 point score increase from a PSAT/NMSQT to the SAT - nearly double the average gain without Khan Academy. Score gains are even consistent across gender, family incomes, race, ethnicity, and parental education level.

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HMS Students At The "We The People" Competition!

As we knew from last month, our Hobart Middle School worked hard and achieved a second place finish at the We the People competition which lead them down to Indianapolis to complete at the finals. These students took part in a simulated Congressional hearing against other leading teams with our Constitution as the topic. The first round was impressive as was the second according to the judges with Mr. Whiteman, Hobart Middle School Dean adding, "I'm stunned at the depth of their answers." They took to the competition with grit, determination, and grand knowledge! Though they did not finish with a first, second, of third place this time - they came home with an humbiling experience and are excited for what next year will bring! Great job Brickies and way to represent!
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Our Hobart Strings Perform With The Northwest Indiana Sympohony Orchestra!

Our Hobart Strings had an outstanding performance as the played Holly Jolly Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, Let It Snow, and Light the Candles as part of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra's sold out Holiday Pops Concert at the Star Plaza Theatre. It was also the last time Hobart wil be performing in the infamous Star Plaze which made the night even more honorable.

It was a first for our new String program to perform with the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra and their professional orchestra conductor, Maestro Kirk Muspratt, as well as the production crew of the Star Plaza Theatre! They also had to memorize all of their music while standing in front of a professional orchestra and chorus, then perform to a SOLD-OUT 3,000 seat theatre!

Finally at the end of the performance, the Maestro complimented our student musicians with a "Bravo Hobart!" as the students finished their final bow and exiting the stage. Congratulations to our 8th grade musicians! We are proud of your dedication and passion for music!

Our Hobart String Program began in August of 2015 with the support of our school staff and community. The have since partnered with area string programs, private lesson staff, and other string professionals to develop the program. In 2017, the Hobart String Orchestra performed at the ISSMA event for the first time, earning gold ratings and a "With Distinction" award. Our Hobart String Orchestra is directed by the talented Brian Grenier and currently has four orchestras with 118 string musicians.

Watch their final selection performed with the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra below!

https://youtu.be/W6JZvHtamt4

Two Brickie Alums Are Extreme Redesign Winners!

Extreme Redesign is an annual 3D printing challenge created by Stratasys, Inc. that invites students to design an original piece of art, jewelry or architecture, or to make an existing design better. This year, extreme redesign features 3 categories:

  • Engineering: Secondary Education (middle/high school students)
  • Engineering: Post-Secondary (university, college, or post-secondary students)
  • Art, Jewelry & Architecture (student of any grade level)

Last spring, two of our 2017 graduates submitted their own design of a new, modern Toothpaste Squeezer. Well, the Extreme Redesign 3D Printing challenge results are in and featured two of our Brickie students in the top 10 out of thousands of entries!!! Congrats Angelo Guarnero and Tre Montique. Click the link below for their Toothpaste Squeezer design!! Way to go Brickies!

Our Brickies Are Big-Hearted!

Our students in the School City of Hobart are great at being aware and active in the community and with it's residents. They constantly look for those in need and lend a helping hand, especially during the Holidays. To say that our Brickies are kind is an understatement, they are Big Hearted!

This year was especially giving with many groups, clubs, and students volunteering their time and effort in the community and the schools. Our high school Brickie Leaders packaged boxes for 34 Hobart residents who are customers of the Hobart Food Pantry and delivered them prior to the holidays. They also sang carols & wished them well which made all of them so grateful! Some of them also vounteer their time on Thursday's at the Early Learning Center to pack after school to weekend food bags to give to Brickies that are in need. Inspiring!

Then our younger Brickies from Liberty Elementary collected food from those at the Linden House! They went there to sing carols, eat some treats, & hang out with the residents! All of their hard work paid off as they were able to put a smile on everyone's face! Impactful!

Another giving star was 3rd grader, Bayee Rouse, from Joan Martin Elementary, who took $60 of money that she had earned and bought as much food as she could for those who utilize the Hobart Food Pantry! She contributed it with the other donations the student council, which she is a member of, donated as well! Awesome job, Baylee!

These were just a few examples of the ways our Brickies give back to the communtiy that helps make us a great school corporation. We as a community do better with each others support and our Brickies sure appreciate it! Thank you!

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Academic Brickyard

“A leader's job is not to do the work for others, it's to help others figure out how to do it themselves, to get things done, and to succeed beyond what they thought possible.” - Simon Sinek


Over the past few months, a group of HHS senior students (Samantha Meyer, Rebecca Meyer, Emily Zanolla, and Paige Nestich) met with our Superintendent, Dr. Buffington, and our Director of College and Careers, Mr. Krieg, and together created the Academic Brickyards. The Academic Brickyards are modeled after writing centers and tutoring centers found at most colleges and universities. During their Success Period, these students (along with some other senior student leaders they recruited) voluntarily give up their time in order to serve others. They meet with their peers to help them with Math or English work. In doing so, they are modeling the leadership skills Sinek points out since they are helping their peers figure out how to solve difficult math problems, work through syntactical difficulties, navigate the blurry lines involved in a citation, apply difficult concepts and mathematical formulas, and other related concepts. Together, they are helping one another succeed beyond what was once thought to be possible.



Our student leaders are determined to leave a legacy, and this legacy is all about service and helping our Brickies build their skills, knowledge, and competencies brick-by-brick. As leaders, this group of students is already planning the next phase of what these Academic Brickyards could entail. They are meeting with English and Math teachers, talking with Administrators, and most importantly getting feedback from their peers. In addition, they are even utilizing marketing approaches they learn about in their Business courses to promote the Academic Brickyards. They even worked with Mr. Crouch (Radio/TV Instructor) to create a promotional video that was shown to all of the students at Hobart High School, and they worked with our Director of Technology to create Academic Brickyard banners (as displayed) that are now displayed in front of each converted Learning Centers. From time to time, an English tutor may even go over to the Math Lab to get some extra help and vice versa.



Looking to the future, these students are even looking to recruit the next group of student tutors who can pick up where they left off. Leadership, as these students are experiencing, is much like a relay race - they’re running their leg but getting ready to pass the baton off to the next leaders. Not only are our Brickies getting extra help, but our student leaders are also growing as leaders and gaining experiences that will yield dividends for years to come. As these student leaders say, they hope their peers take advantage of this resource and build their knowledge and abilities one number or one word at a time.

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Khan Academy - You Can Keep Learning Anything. For Free. For Everyone. Forever.

Khan Academy is a resource that offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and personalized learning that empowers learners to study at their own pace. Students can work on skills in math, science, computer programming, PSAT/SAT Test Prep, and more. Additionally, parents can coach and monitor their children while they work through the program. Recently, a study was completed that proved that using Khan Academy's free Official SAT Practice is associated with an average score gain of 115 points! Nearly double the average score gain for those students that don't use the free test prep. The Official SAT Practice is free for everyone and personalized for each student. If you don't have 20 hours to practice, don't worry! Shorter periods of time is also correlated with meaningful score gains - in fact, 6 hours of studying can bring an average of 90 point increase! Below you can find the link to the Official SAT Practice, a link to Khan Academy's main site, and the video explaining their recent study and the benefits of using Khan! Get your Khan on!
https://youtu.be/8-pxqeO24Ww
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The Opioid/Heroin Crisis Is Real. Drugs Create Families in Crisis! Let’s Fight This Epidemic United! #BrickieUp #BrickieStrong #BrickiesUnited
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ReThink App For Tweens, Teens, And Everyone!

ReThink™ is an award-winning, non-intrusive, innovative, patented technology that detects and stops cyberbullying before the damage is done! When an adolescent tries to post an offensive message on social media, ReThink uses its sophisticated context sensitive filtering technology to determine whether or not it’s offensive and gives the adolescent a second chance to reconsider their decision. Research shows that when adolescents are alerted to ReThink their decision, they change their minds 93% of the time. In this internationally acclaimed study, using ReThink™, the overall willingness of the average adolescent to post an offensive message reduced from 71% to 4%.

With ReThink™, our goal is to conquer the silent pandemic of cyberbullying that is affecting millions. When cyberbullying occurs, children are often advised to block the bully and tell a parent or guardian. Research has found that 9 out of 10 children suffer in silence - they do not tell anyone. Cyberbullied victims suffer from depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and more likely to drop out of school. Several solutions that are in place today address bullying after the damage is done. ReThink is the first ever solution to proactively prevent cyberbullying before the damage is done. ReThink stops cyberbullying at the root of this issue, before hurtful messages go out on the internet.
ReThink™ provides an important opportunity for adolescents to change their minds and not post hurtful messages online. With a moment to pause, review and reconsider their decisions online, adolescents learn to make better choices on and off of the internet.\

Parents, ReThink™ is a free app that is available for download on Android and iOS devices. Empower your child to make positive decisions online with ReThink. With ReThink, children can learn to think before posting or sending any offensive content that may later regret. Encourage your child to become a responsible digital citizen while enjoying peace of mind.

To install ReThink on an Android Device click here

To install ReThink on an iOS Device click here

To find out more about how you can help, please watch the video from founder Trisha Prabhu below!
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Your Modern Family Website Posts An Eye Opening Article

In this shocking article you can read the statistics of how raising our children has changed and how it is hurting them. Technology and cell phones are a huge part of our lives today and has changed our relationship with our kids from how it was just a few short years ago.


An excerpt from the article states:


"Dr. Twenge started doing research 25 years ago on generational differences, but when 2011 -2012 hit, she saw something that would scare her to the core. This is the year when those having iPhones went over the 50% mark.


  • This was the year that more kids started to say that they felt “sad, hopeless, useless… that they couldn’t do anything right (depression).”
  • They felt left-out and lonely.
  • There is a 50% increase in a clinical level depression between 2011-2015.
  • A substantial increase in suicide rate.Before I give you any more, I want you to look at these graphs and look at how the information correlates to the iPhones being released. They aren’t hanging out with friends nearly as much.....


"Why is this happening? Why are kids more depressed because of electronics?
Think about when we were in school – we didn’t know every time that there was a get-together that we weren’t invited to and we didn’t see pictures of each outing, game, or party.
We didn’t care what we looked like when we were hanging out with friends, because we were the only ones that were there- I can remember sitting around with my best friends in our sweatpants, just laughing – I didn’t wear makeup or care if I had my hair fixed just right, because the worry of a phone or camera wasn’t there.
Think about bullies. When we left the school, we left them. If teasing happened, it didn’t happen at home. It didn’t happen so publicly. Everyone couldn’t see it or know what they were teasing other kids about since they weren’t there. Now, it’s all public knowledge, and anyone can join in or watch. It’s horrifying."


Read the whole article here or visit the link below.

Help ALL Brickies Get A Lunch!

Help Hobart High School students who don't always have the means to eat a lunch by donating to the "Brickie Lunch Box"! This new program will help ensure all student's are eating lunch & getting the nutrients & energy needed to be a successful Brickie.
https://youtu.be/HMIaz60RqT8
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Here Comes The Bus App

Many of our parents and students take advantage of the Here Comes The Bus App and with it's new improvements, it is better than ever! You can view in real-time the location of your student's bus, when and where your child boards or exits the bus, receive notifications when the bus is near, and be able to do this all on your smartphone, tablet or computer! Visit the link below for the easy step-by-step directions and take the worry away!
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PSAT Information Night

Monday, Jan. 22nd, 6pm

Hobart High School Board Room - Enter through Door #1

As you consider a PSAT goal, it is wise to understand the average scores and qualifying scores for various scholarship programs. Taking the PSAT gives you a chance to qualify for several scholarship programs, most notably the National Merit Scholarship program. The PSAT is also excellent practice for the SAT and can help you stand out to colleges. PSAT scoring can be pretty complex and we would love to help explain them to you. Please come to the informative meeting and get all of your questios answered about how they are tested, scoring, and why it is so important!

We encourage all parents of 8th-11th grade students to attend this event and help become informed on ways the PSAT works and how it can benefit your child!

Joan Martin "Informance" with Mrs. Evan's and Mrs. Tilford's Class

Tuesday, Jan. 23rd, 6pm

301 East 10th Street

Hobart, IN

It's Grandparent's Day for Mrs. Evan's and Mrs. Tilford's class and they are hosting an "Informance" for anyone to enjoy!

Joan Martin "Informance" with Miss Jolliff's, Mrs. Backe, and Mrs. Peeler's Class

Thursday, Jan. 25th, 6pm

301 East 10th Street

Hobart, IN

It's Grandparent's Day for Miss Jolliff's, Mrs. Backer, and Mrs. Peeler's class and they are hosting an "Informance" for anyone to enjoy!

HMS 7th and 8th Grade Band Chamber Concert

Tuesday, Jan. 30th, 7pm

36 East 8th Street

Hobart, IN

Enjoy the beautiful tunes of our Hobart Middle School band musicians at their wonderful Chamber Concert! They are an impressive group of musicians - don't miss out on this performance!

FAFSA Completion Events

Tuesday, Feb. 27th, 8-11am

2211 East 10th Street

Hobart, IN

This event is perfect for students and parents looking for help completing the FAFSA are encouraged to attend this workshop being held in the morning and evening. ISM College Planning Team Members willbe at Hobart High School to help families complete the FAFSA on the Web or answer any questions a family may have. Call 942-8521 ext. 3 with questions!

Tuesday, Feb. 27th, 4-7pm

2211 East 10th Street

Hobart, IN

This event is perfect for students and parents looking for help completing the FAFSA are encouraged to attend this workshop being held in the morning and evening. ISM College Planning Team Members willbe at Hobart High School to help families complete the FAFSA on the Web or answer any questions a family may have. Call 942-8521 ext. 3 with questions!

Published by:

Dr. Peggy Buffington and Sarah Ramos

The School City of Hobart does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, marital status, genetic information, or disability, including limited English proficiency.


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