Spartan Herald


Please check out this short message from Dr. Dean-Null

Oct 2 2020

Student Newsletter

Each week Ms. O'Brien sends out a newsletter to all students. This is a great resource for students because it includes reminders about upcoming events, options for students to request an appointment with their counselor and details about the Safe School Helpline. Please see an example below.
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Schmucker Picture Days are next week!

Students A-L, Wednesday,October 7th

Students M-Z, Friday, October, 9th

Virtual Students after school, Wednesday, October 7th @ 4pm-6pm

Parents please use this link to order school pictures online:

Student Led Conferences

Student led conferences will be held on Monday, October 19th and Tuesday, October 20th. More details will be coming soon about the format this year.

Fall Break - Friday, October 23rd and Monday, October 26th

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PHM Vacancies

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!


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.

Safety First!

Physical Safety: In recent preparations for our students return to in-person learning, there were several changes made to Schmucker Middle School in order to ensure a safe and orderly learning environment for all students and staff. Over the summer two additional hand washing stations were installed outside of the cafeteria to provide more options for students to clean their hands throughout the day. Another added feature was directional signage around the building to help with the flow of traffic during arrival, passing periods, and dismissal. We have also arranged for certain student groups to use designated restrooms in order to limit exposure, which will help in potential contact tracing scenarios. As many of you have seen through social media outlets, our cafeteria was recently outfitted with protective barriers to further our mission of keeping students safe while here at SMS. These protective barriers were designed specifically for our tables and have created an additional level of safety precaution while students are enjoying their lunches and the company of their classmates. Lastly, as students returned to school, they were each provided with two SMS masks and a lanyard for them to wear while here. It is important to remember to wash the masks between each use for the safety of your students and others.

We also want to continue to think safety when outside of the building. It is an expectation that masks are also worn outdoors during arrival and dismissal. Parents play a significant role in other outdoor safety measures, so we ask you to please slow down if you drop off and/or pick up your child from school. As we work to refine our systems throughout the next few weeks, it is important for families to be cautious and aware of students crossing traffic. Additionally, please remember to enter the car rider line from Jefferson.

Psychological Safety: Psychological safety is just as important as physical safety. Throughout the district, critical social and emotional learning topics have been incorporated into daily instruction. While students are not currently attending Advisory class, our PE/Wellness Staff is delivering these important lessons to the SMS student population. Additionally, our counselors and teaching staff continue to monitor and check in with students in the Virtual and Hybrid Models to ensure that everyone is feeling safe and at their best. If you have any concerns about your student or another student, please notify the school as soon as possible or call the hotline.

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.


Join us for the Zoom for Education Virtual Fitness Challenge! This brand new event is perfect for the whole family, from the experienced runner to the casual walker. Run solo on your treadmill, with your family around the block, or find a new place to explore! Not a runner? Choose your way to move (swim, bike, hike, row, dance, play a sport, or do cartwheels if that's your thing) to complete a 1 Mile, 5K, or 10K challenge anytime between Friday, October 9 and Sunday, October 11.

Zoom for Education will include exciting contests, fun surprises, PLUS...the top FIVE schools with the most participants (% of enrollment) will win $1,000!!! Grab your friends and family from across the country to join you in this exciting virtual movement that promotes healthy lifestyles and supports your P-H-M community. Price is $10 per person.

Please visit for more information and updates.

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:


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.

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.

SEL Resources

In order to share information about stress and stress management in a new way that is easily accessible to P-H-M's parents/guardians, Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation SEL & Mental Health has united with community partners from Notre Dame, Reflections Counseling, Oaklawn Psychiatric Center, and Youth Service Bureau via a virtual panel format to create a video. The video includes a brief overview of the neurobiology of stress and what may be happening in our bodies due to COVID, tips for healthy stress management, the importance of modeling stress management for our students, helping to create a sense of psychological safety, information about supports offered at the elementary and middle schools through Youth Services Bureau, and how to access supports via P-H-M's counseling offices at the middle and high school. Please find the link to the video here:

A very special thank you to our own incredible experts, including our amazing counselors. Mrs. Autumn Stout from Discovery, Mrs. Nancy Block from Grissom, Mrs. Stacy Eck from Schmucker, and Mr. John Westra from Penn High who were an integral part of this panel. Thank you also to our awesome community partners, Dr. Nancy Michael from Notre Dame, Dr. Heather Holleman and Dr. Jennie Knapp both from Reflections Counseling, Ms. Kim Neff from Oaklawn Psychiatric Center, and Ms. Laurie Ellis from Youth Service Bureau.

P-H-M SEL & Mental Health Panel with Community Partners: Stress Management - Fall, 2020
The SEL Lessons for October will focus on the SEL Competencies of insight, regulation, collaboration, and connection. Specifically, we will teach students about concepts that fall under the umbrella of Emotional Intelligence; understand how their emotions can impact their body and touch on the concept of neuroplasticity of our brains; what empathy is and how to show it to others; and how to demonstrate care and concern for others in appropriate ways.

Sharing Multiple Perspectives

This year our Schmucker staff will be exploring ways to meet the diverse needs of all our students. During recent meetings, we discussed understanding our personal perspectives and how those perspectives shape our view of the world. These conversations are related to our exploration of the book Becoming a Globally Competent Teacher by Ariel Tichnor-Wagner, Hillary Parkhouse, Jocelyn Glazier, and J. Montana Cain. We look forward to continuing this book study with our staff.


Teachers and staff are going above and beyond during these uncertain times. Find a way to say THANK YOU! The minimum donation is $20 per recipient and the money received is used to fund future grants for programs that wouldn't otherwise be possible due to budget cuts. Your special person will receive a note and congratulatory pin acknowledging your donation. All donations to the Foundation are tax deductible. We are also taking credit cards as payment. Forms can be downloaded at Thanks for your continued support for the P-H-M Education Foundation where our mission is to support excellence in education at P-H-M schools! Questions can be emailed to

Digital Library

Attention SMS families:

Schmucker has a new digital library of e books students can now access at home. It's called Junior Library Guild Digital. This is a great service because there are no limits to the number of students who can read a book (so no waiting for it to be freed up!) and students can read as much as they want on it. It's a bit like Netflix for books, as there are about 30 or so titles that students can choose from, and they rotate out about every 2 months. Students can also bookmark, highlight, take notes, etc. on what they're reading as well. This is a fantastic resource for our IMC, and I'm so excited for students to use it!

Students can find the login at: Digital Library or they can access on the SMS website under "Students" "Library" and then "JLG Digital"

Students can login where it says “Sign in to personal account”
The login is:
ID+initial (uppercase)
ID+PHM (uppercase)

Here is a quick video tutorial to help!


Students can email me at with any questions!



Our first NJHS Virtual Meeting is Monday, October 5th at 9:00 am. We will elect our 2020 Executive Board at this meeting. NJHS members need to check their emails for the Google Meet details. . The email also includes details on HOW to become an Executive Board member.

Our first service project will also be discussed. We will be collecting socks during the month of October to donate to the Center for the Homeless in South Bend. Stay tuned for more details!

Helpful Contacts