Spartan Herald

February 2016

Dear Spartan Families,

ISTEP testing is approaching. Please read the important information shared in this newsletter regarding 2015/2016 testing dates.

Also, don't forget to visit our website regularly for important information about our school and check out our social media outlets to stay informed. Our website continues to improve with additional content added regularly. Enjoy the warmer weather we will all experience this weekend.

Go Spartans!

Sean Galiher





Important Dates

Feb 1 - 5th Grade Parent Meeting (6:00)

Feb 2 - 5th Grade Parent Meeting (6:00)

Feb 12 - Recess Day

Feb 15 - President's Day Recess

Feb 24 - 6/7/8 Band Concerts

Check out all events on our Website calendar: SMS Calendar

ISTEP Update

Final 2014/2015 ISTEP results were mailed home to families the end of January. Please review these final results with your child and help encourage them as we prepare for this year's testing.

We are approaching the beginning of the 2015/2016 ISTEP calendar that begins in March. Students will be testing during the week of February 29th. The Applied Skills ISTEP schedule is below. Please read this letter to learn more about how to prepare for ISTEP this year.

3/1: Language Arts (paper and pencil) 9:25-10:30

3/2: Language Arts (paper and pencil) 9:25-11:00

3/3: Math (paper and pencil) 9:25-10:30

3/4: 6th Grade Science and 7th Grade Social Studies (online) in classrooms

ISTEP+ 2016 Policy on Electronic Devices

Project TBK #tbksms

Check out this story about a school-wide project sponsored by NJHS and Student Council. I encourage parents to tweet random acts of kindness using the hashtag #tbksms.


We have avoided eLearning so far this year. Please remember that eLearning will look differently this year in the event we need to cancel school due to the weather. The first canceled day will be made up on April 29th. Any additional snow days will be eLearning days. All students will receive their instruction and assignments via Canvas on the actual snow day. Students without internet access will access their assignment on a shared Google Doc on their chromebook. All assignments are due 2 days after a snow day.

Message from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz

Parent Message: Winter 2016

February Advisory Activities

1. 5 Star Lessons (Fridays)

2. Read Days

3. School-Wide ISTEP Lessons

5 Star Activities

Topics for February are listed below. Ask your student about these topics during the weekend. We show a video to all students on Fridays and teachers facilitate discussion questions relative to each topic.

1/29: Courage to Upgrade Academics

2/5: Bully Downgrade (Courage to "step-in" or "stand-with")

2/19: Responsibility Time Upgrade

3/4: Money Upgrade

Peer Buddies

Our Peer Buddies group will be meeting on Tuesday, February 9th after school to celebrate Valentines Day. Students will stay after school until 5:30 to participate in Valentine activities. Student should be picked up at 5:30 at the main entrance.

National Junior Honor Society

It has been a busy couple of months for National Junior Honor Society! In December we organized a Candy Cane Gram Sale and it was a great success. We sold 300 candy canes! We also have been in the process of promoting kindness around SMS. Members took on the challenge of writing notes of kindness to every student that attends our school. We will continue this kindness initiative and document it on Twitter using the hashtags #TBKSMS and #SpartanPride2K16. January was also an exciting time in NJHS because we invited 56 new members into our NJHS chapter. The new member Induction Ceremony takes place at the end of January, each school year. Lastly, you may have noticed Mrs. Eck has been transitioning out of her sponsorship role in NJHS. She is going to miss the members and experiences greatly, but is thrilled that Mrs. Charnow will be the sponsor of NJHS beginning second semester. Please feel free to contact Mrs. Charnow with any questions you may have.

21st Century Scholars Registration

21st Century Scholars Registration

Scholars’ families must be at or below the 2015-16 income maximums at the time they apply (except for students placed in foster care).

If you think your student would qualify, please visit the website to register:

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School Resource Officer

Some of you may have noticed the additional police car in our parking lot. We have many people that help our students to be successful every day at Schmucker Middle School and Penn-Harris-Madison school corporation as a whole. One of the exciting additions to our adult support this year comes in the form of school resource officers (SRO'S) on campus. SRO's are actual police officers that provide additional time to our students outside of their normal working hours. They walk the halls with our students helping to open lockers and chatting with our kids while providing an added measure of safety and security. We appreciate having our SRO's at SMS!

SMS Sports

The girls basketball team and the wrestling team have begun their seasons full of many practices, hard work and dedication to their sport. Their actual games and meets will begin during the first week of February. Please plan on attending some of these events at Schmucker Middle School. All of these events occur on Tuesdays and Thursdays of each and every week through February and much of March. Come out and support our Spartan teams.


MathCounts team practices continues on Wednesday mornings. Practice will start at 8:00am in room 216. Ten SMS students will compete at Notre Dame Saturday morning February 13. Practices will continue until then, and beyond if the team advances to state competition.

8th Grade - Washington, D.C. Trip

Schmucker 8th grade students are invited to attend the Washington, D.C. field trip from May 23 to May 27. A reminder to think ahead because the final payment will be due to Hemisphere on March 24, 2016.

7th Grade - Save the Date

The 7th grade class will be taking their annual ​community outing on May 19th, 2016. Students will visit the campuses of Bethel College, and the University of Notre Dame.

Additional details will be shared soon.

6th Grade - Save the Date

The 6th Grade class will be taking their annual field trip to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago on May 31st, 2016. Additional details will be shared soon.