Spartan Herald April 2019

Building Community Empowering Learners Inspiring Creativity

ILEARN & Summer Opportunities

Hello Schmucker Families,

I hope everyone enjoyed spring break and especially the warm weather these last few days! Students returned rested and ready to jump back into learning.

Starting on April 22, our students will have an opportunity to demonstrate their skills and knowledge on ILEARN. This state assessment measures achievement and growth according to Indiana Academic Standards. As you know, ILEARN is new this year, and you can access many resources on the IDOE's website. Click here to access the page for families.

During the week of April 22nd, students will take the language arts portion of the assessment, and during the week of April 29th, students will take the math component. Sixth grade students will take science portions starting on May 6th. Students will take the tests in their content classes. For example, they will take the language arts assessments in their language arts class. While we have tried to keep to our normal routines as much as possible, there will be days where classes are longer or class periods are in different orders to accommodate testing. More details will be sent out closer to the testing times to remind parents and students about the days they are testing. It is very important that your child is in attendance each day of testing.

Please remind your child to stay rested and be prepared for the assessments. They will take the assessments on their Chromebooks, so please help ensure that your child's Chromebook is charged each day. Cell phones and smartwatches are not allowed in testing classrooms. We encourage students leave these items at home during ILEARN week.

ILEARN is an opportunity for our kids to show off all they know! Please encourage your child to go into this testing time with confidence and an attitude of hard work!

On another note as you look forward to summer plans, I would encourage you to check out summer opportunities that are offered by P-H-M. The link below will connect you to academies and camps.

Summer 2019 P-H-M Academies & Camps

With your child in mind,

Lavon Dean-Null


Welcome to Schmucker

Schmucker families,

During Spring Break, all P-H-M schools installed a new Visitor Management System to improve and enhance the safety and security for students, staff and community members. As a result of this new program, visitors (ex: classroom guest speakers, tutors, parents and family) will now be required to present a valid photo ID, which may include a driver’s license, State issued photo ID, or passport every time you enter a P-H-M facility. All approved visitors will have a picture taken at each visit and receive a temporary badge that must be visibly worn at all times. All visitors must return to the Main Office and check-out at the front desk, returning the badge at this time. Please be patient with our Main Office staff, as you come into Schmucker Middle in the coming days to allow for all of us to learn our new system and processes together. We thank you for thinking safety!

Mr. Fry

Here are some additional details about what visitors should expect: Safe Visitor Solutions

Spring has Sprung!

I'm sure most of you will agree with me that finally getting into the spring season is a welcomed event! With spring, comes a change in apparel. I'd like to you remind you all of the middle school dress code policies. You can find exact wording in the handbook (Student Handbook) beginning on page 20. A good rule of thumb is that dressing for school is not the same as dressing for a party, the mall, the beach, or a concert. Based on what we've seen in the past, here are a few critical reminders:

  • Students are to wear clothing that covers all parts of the body from the neck to above the knee.
  • All shirts, blouses, dresses, and other top clothing must have sleeves. "Cold shoulders" in girls' tops are trendy and acceptable if there are no spaghetti straps involved.
  • All pants, slacks, jeans, skirts, and shorts shall remain at the top of the waist. At no time should any undergarments be visible. For boys, this means, NO SAGGING.
  • Upon entering the building during the school day all students are to remove any hats and other head coverings.
  • Pants/jeans with holes, tears or shreds in areas normally covered by undergarments should not be worn.
  • All footwear must be secured to the foot, so flip-flops and slippers are not allowed.

​This is not an exhaustive list, but covers some general parameters. When in doubt, choose something else you're certain meets the dress code. Students breaking the dress code are given the option of calling home for a change of clothing, but if needed, the school has spare clothes students will be asked to wear for the remainder of the day. ​

Thank you for your support and enjoy the spring weather!

Mrs. Martin

Important Dates

April 7th - Student Council Meeting, 8:20 am

April 7th - 7th Grade Field Trip to Chicago

April 19th - Recess Day

April 22nd - May 17th - ILearn Begins

Check out all events on our Website calendar: SMS Calendar


Note from the Counselors!

Current 6th and 7th graders recently received information about next year's elective choices. Students currently in Chorus (6th or 7th), Explorations (7th), PLTW (7th), or Art (7th) received an email with a google form to fill out for next year's elective choice. Students were asked to fill out the form and submit by Tuesday, April 9th with a parent electronic signature.

Choices for 7th grade are*:

Chorus 7

PLTW and Careers: (3 quarters) and Careers (1 quarter)

Art and Careers: (3 quarters) and Careers (1 quarter)

Explorations 7: (2 quarters of Art, 1 quarter Personal Finance, 1 quarter PLTW)

Choices for 8th grade are*:

Chorus 8 - Musical Production

Chorus 8 - Ensemble

PLTW and Careers: (3 quarters) and Careers (1 quarter)

Art and Careers: (3 quarters) and Careers (1 quarter)

Explorations 8: (2 quarters of PLTW, 1 quarter Personal Finance, 1 quarter Art)

Student Tech Support (by application only; Students should see Mrs. Riley or Mrs. Hollenberg in the IMC).

*Further course descriptions for these classes are on the google form sent to students.

Students currently in BAND or ORCHESTRA did not automatically receive the email and google form. If students are wanting to change electives for next year, they need to speak with their teacher, who will give them a form to request a course change for the next year. The form must be signed by the student, teacher, and parent, and returned to Student Services. Students will then receive the google form in an email to mark their elective change for next year.

If students or parents have questions about electives for next year, feel free to email Mrs. Eck (Last names A-K) - or Mrs. Hoover (Last names L-Z) - .


The Schmucker Administration Team, along with Safety and Security Director Mike Seger, would like to remind all parents about our procedures when dropping off or picking up your student at SMS. In order for drop-off line to work as intended, parent should enter the car rider line by coming onto PHM property off of Jefferson Blvd. At that point, families should fall into line as it wraps around our property (football field). What needs to be avoided is the u-turns being performed on none P-H-M property. In order for SMS to maintain a positive relationship with our neighbors, we ask for help your help when bringing your child to and from school.

Also, we encourage all families to utilize P-H-M Transportation when possible.


Do you like bubbles? Well, if you do, you’ll enjoy the Silver Mile Bubble Bash!

Highlighted changes for this year’s event:

  • Earlier start time, 8:30 a.m.
  • 1.5 mile and 5K route options
  • Lower early bird prices:$20 for adults, $10 for students
  • The school with the most participation will win a Gaga Ball Pit or 9 Disc Golf Baskets ($2,500 value)!
  • And more bubbles!

Saturday, May 4

8:30 a.m. – Noon

Penn High School

Register online today! Early Bird Registration is available until Sunday, April 21 ($20 for adults, $10 for students)!

The Student Talent Show starts at 9 a.m.

The Health & Fitness Expo will be in the cafeteria where everything from free health screenings by presenting sponsor Saint Joseph Health System to numerous businesses showcasing their health-related items will be offered.

And don’t forget about the Silent Auction!

The Silver Mile Run is the largest fundraiser for the P-H-M Education Foundation and all the proceeds go towards providing innovative P-H-M teaching grants, scholarships to students, staff development, and other corporation-wide initiatives.

A Note for track parents

Preliminary and Finals for Track, are at Concord during the second week of May. These events are only open to the top 2 people in each event. Coaches will determine who the top 2 participants are, based on their performance at the regular track meets in April. Help the track coaches encourage your child to do their personal best at each and every track meet. If you have any questions, please contact Coach Foster at or Coach Sears at


NJHS helped SMS recognize the International Day of Happiness on March 20th. Every Schmucker student made a petal describing what makes them happy. These petals were gathered to make a colorful display by the office


In April, we will be electing a new executive board. NJHS would like to thank Sobia Ahmed, Reagan Ludwig, Joanna Rajkumar, and Daisy Huber for setting the bar high this year as our executive board! They were an amazing team and accomplished a great deal this year!!

Meet the Author of One Book One School!

Does your student consider themselves an author or a lover of writing? Would they be interested in pursuing a career in writing one day? Would they be interested in meeting the author of Greetings From Witness Protection!?

Jake Burt, author of Greetings From Witness Protection, will be visiting Schmucker Middle School on Monday, April 15th.

Students will have the opportunity to meet Jake Burt and ask him questions about being an author and the writing process.

How can your student take part in this opportunity?

  • Write a one-page essay about what writing means to you. What inspires you as a writer? Why might you want to be an author one day? What questions would you ask the author on April 15th if you had the opportunity?

Students can email their essays to Ms. Turpin at by 4pm on Thursday, April 11.

Stress Reduction & Test Taking

Is your child experiencing stress related to test-taking? Do you wonder if he/she has "test anxiety?" If so, please click here for this resource as a reference for ideas to help your child when stress levels sore during the testing season.

Five Star Life Information for Parents

Do you want your student to develop their leadership skills?

… to be challenged academically?

… to have a positive mindset?

If you answered YES, FIVE STAR LIFE is for YOU!

Your middle school student will be connected to an INCREDIBLE “Coach” who will challenge them to succeed academically and connect relationally with peers and adults. Students along with their peers are assigned to a team led by a trained FSL volunteer coach who will work with the team for the entire season. Sessions include interactive activities (including trips to Summit, our 300-acre training facility) and engaging in character-building lessons focused on Five Star’s Core Values: Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Sacrifice, and Courage.

Over 70% of participants raise their GPA or maintain a 3.0 GPA! Spots fill up fast and you do not want your student to miss out on this life-changing opportunity! Sign them up TODAY! Questions? Contact us today! THESE OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE FOR ALL STUDENTS IN GRADES 6-8 (they do not have to be in Five Star). See the attached flyer for more information, or go to

Notre Dame Regional Science Fair

3 Schmucker students participated in the regional science fair at Notre Dame on March 2nd. Please recognize these students for their outstanding work and their willingness to do a LOT of work on their own time!

Greta Lannon (7) - Project: The Power of Noise: Do Sound Waves Affect the Viscosity of NonNewtonian Fluids?

-1st place ribbon

-BROADCOM Masters Rising Stars Competition recipient

-Spirit of Science Award (invitation to present her research at the Notre Dame COS-JAM)

-IUSB Junior Researcher Award in Physical Science

-Nominated to participate in HSEF (the state science fair) . Only 6 middle school students from the region are chosen to attend the state science fair, so this is a big deal!

Matias Dahl (7) - Project: Inhibitors of Metastasis Pathways

-1st place ribbon

-Spirit of Science Award (invitation to present his research at the Notre Dame COS-JAM)

Gwyneth Lannon (8) - Project: Vacuum Veracity: Testing Vacuum Insulated Water Bottles

-2nd place ribbon

Mass Mutual Parent Night for parents of children with disabilities

PHM is proud to host, in conjunction with Mishawaka and South bend Schools, Mass Mutual Parent Night. Please click here for an informational flyer. This event will be held on Tuesday, April 30 at SMS from 6:00-7:00 pm.


After we return from Spring Break, our 7th and 8th grade girls and boys track meets will be nearly every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the rest of April and early May. Our coaches are very excited about this year's teams as we did very well last year in the Big 11. Make sure you get out to see our Spartan runners, jumpers and throwers this season! You won't be disappointed.​


Students should keep their eyes on the SMS website calendar and their ears on the WSMS morning announcements to learn of the fun activities to enjoy through our intramural program. The intramural coordinator will be making arrangements for space and supervision for a number of activities! Come and join in the fun!


WSMS is recorded to Youtube ALMOST every day. (Technology!) If you would like to watch our daily announcements, check it out!

Here is the link to the channel if you want to publish it to parents.

How Your Child Can Connect to Schmucker Happenings

We have many ways Schmucker Spartans can find out about school happenings.

1. Each morning students produce a newscast on WSMS that highlight upcoming events.

2. Every Monday students are emailed a Student Newsletter. This publication includes the weekly menu, important dates like athletic events and clubs, and important announcements and reminders.

Consent To Publish student work and photographs

PHM requires schools to receive permission from parents to publish student photos and work. If you have not returned this document, please access the link below, print the document and return signed to school. We must receive this document from every student.

Consent To Publish Student Work and Photographs


Check out the P-H-M website for an online listing of non-school events & activities agencies have asked us to share with P-H-M families:

Lunch Menus

The April menu is available online at

Schmucker Scrip Program

Scrip is a national fundraising program for non-profit organizations. Over 30,000 different organizations use Scrip; the district PTO’s have been running this program for years.

For more information click here for more details on our SMS website.

Student/Family Opportunities

Often during the school year an opportunity for your child or your family arises where you believe that the educational value of an experience is a good reason to miss school. In most cases, however, these opportunities are not considered "excused" absences. In order to take advantage of this experience and still be considered "excused", a parent or guardian must receive permission from the principal at least one week in advance. You can contact the principal by phone or email. However, if he does not receive any notification of the absence, it will be considered "unexcused".

Homework Requests

When a student is absent, we urge the student or parent to check Canvas and/or Home Access Center for homework information. If a student has been absent three days, and you still feel the need for a formal homework request, you may call the office to do so and then pick up their work at the end of the next school day.

School Messenger

The corporation uses a School Messenger tool to announce snow days and delayed start days. Our plan is to utilize School Messenger this year as an additional communication tool from our administrators to parents and students. Please make sure that your student's emergency card contains your most current, preferred email address to facilitate our use of this communication.


Canvas is a LMS (Learning Management System) that is used in PHM. Teachers can put content online for students, make announcements and provide assignments. All parents are enrolled in the Canvas course of their students as observers. As observers, you can see the content, but are not able to interact with it. Please access the links below to learn more.

To keep you organized, you can also download the Canvas app for your phone or tablet.

Student Hours

8:50am - Bus Arrival

9:00am - First Bell

9:05am - Classes Begin

4:00pm - Dismissal

4:10pm - Bus Departure