Spartan Herald

October 2015

The start of this school year has been filled with many positive learning experiences for our students. Students have adjusted very well and are showing excitement for their learning. I have been in several classrooms so far and it is clear that our teachers and students are dedicated to our mission.

I want to continue to encourage all parents to visit our website regularly for important information. As you will see, we have a new and improved look and plan to use our website to communicate important information and dates. My goal is to shorten future newsletters. Also, check out our social media outlets located at the end of this newsletter to stay informed.

Go Spartans!

Sean Galiher


Important Dates

October 9 - School Picture Re-Take Day

October 15 - Fundraiser Pick-Up

October 19 - SMS Student-Led Conferences (5-8:15)

October 21 - SMS Student-Led Conferences (5-8:15)

October 23 and 26 - Fall Recess

October 28 - Reports cards sent home with students

Check out all events on our Website calendar: SMS Calendar

Student-Led Conferences

Student-led conferences will look a little different this year. Students will be creating a Google Slides presentation with their Chromebooks to demonstrate what they have been learning in each of their classes. During student-led conferences, students will present this information to parents. Parents will also have the opportunity to talk to teachers during this time. Our goal is to have 100% participation. Please plan ahead to attend one of these nights.

October 19 - SMS Student-Led Conferences (5-8:15)

October 21 - SMS Student-Led Conferences (5-8:15)

Zero Hour Project Lead The Way (Automation and Robotics) 2nd Quarter

8th grade students in band, choir or orchestra have the opportunity to participate in an automation and robotics class taught by Mr. Reininga. This class will be offered before school beginning at 8:00 am during the 2nd quarter. If a student is interested, they should pick up an application in student services. The first 30 students to apply will be able to participate and the class is free.


Students continue to use their Chromebooks as a tool for learning. I would encourage all parents to review our expectations for using technology with your child.

SMS Technology Expectations

  • I will use technology to achieve my learning goals.

  • I will be responsible with my use of technology and will remember that this is an online public representation of me and our school.

  • I will report to a teacher any inappropriate posts, comments or use.

  • I will use school-associated social media appropriately during the school day.

  • I will use appropriate grammar instead of texting language when communicating.

  • I will not reveal any personal information such as: telephone numbers, names, addresses, email addresses etc.

  • I will not post photos or video showing myself or classmates unless authorized by a teacher.

  • I will bring my Chromebook to school everyday fully charged.

  • All school rules and consequences apply.


Canvas is a LMS (Learning Management System) that is used in PHM. Please access the links below to learn more.

Canvas 101 - For Parents

Advisory Schedule

September was a busy month for students in advisory. We spent a lot of time with students talking about our school wide expectations of Show Respect, Make a Difference and Set the Bar High. We also started conversations about internet safety. During the month of October, students will be engaged in the following learning activities:

1. Student SMART goal setting

2. Internet safety lessons

3. Anti-bullying lessons

4. Student-led conference preparation


Mrs. Grover's advisory class were the winners of the CollegeGoWeek trivia challenge!
Big image

Cyber Safety

Mr. Kolin Hodgson, an information security analyst at the University of Notre Dame, will provide Cyber Safety Training to our middle school students. Mr. Hodgson is a cyber security expert and a former student of Grissom Middle School and has been providing the ISC2 certified program training for students under the age of 14 for several years. He will present ideas for cyber safety to 6th graders October 6th, 7th graders on October 7th and 8th graders on October 8th during their social studies classes. We look forward to hosting Mr. Hodgson!

Growth Mindset at SMS

We will continue to talk with students about the idea of a Growth Mindset and its impact on learning. We will teach lessons to students at the beginning of the 2nd quarter. If you want to learn more, please click the link below.

You Can Learn Anything

21st century scholars

We want to remind the 21st Century Scholars or their parents to contact the North Central Regional Support Program Office if there as been a change of address or phone number. This is necessary to help ensure that Scholars and parents do not miss opportunities such as: college campus visits, workshops, informational sessions or activities for parents. Most importantly, it will help ensure that Scholars do not miss their scholarship opportunity. A roster of the 21st Century Scholars will be forwarded to Schmucker's Guidance Office. The 21st Century Scholars phone number is 574-239-2380.

Parents, take these steps to get HAC email alerts!

Parents of middle school and high school students who use HAC (Home Access Center), take note!

Some parents who signed up for HAC email alerts are not receiving them.

For information on the two most common reasons for that, and what you can do to fix them, "Click Here"

Picture Re-Take Day!

Schmucker Middle School has schedule picture re-take day on Friday, October 9, 2015. Pictures will be taken the first part of the day. If you simply didn't care for your pictures and would like another sitting with the photographer, you must bring your first, intact picture packet with you on Friday, October 9, 2015.

Student Arrival Policy

This year, we've had many students that are dropped off at Schmucker before the start of the school day. It is important that we remind students and parents that students should not be brought to Schmucker before 8:00am unless there is a pre-arranged meeting such as athletic practice or tutoring. Dropping your student off before 8:00am may place your child in an unsupervised position and as the weather becomes colder, place them in a potentially hazardous environment as they stand outside in the elements waiting for our staff to arrive at 8:00am. We thank you for your support!

transportation policy

If your child is planning on going home on another bus with a friend, it is important to remember that the bus driver needs permission from the school office. The office will grant permission if we have a note from both parents (sending and receiving) and if the bus is not full as determined by the Transportation Center. We cannot, however, permit boys and girls to go home together even if they have parental permission. Parents would need to make these arrangements on their own after school hours.

Families Can Get help with Lunch & Textbook Fees

We encourage families who are struggling to meet expenses to apply for the National School Lunch Program's free and reduced-price lunch. The application is easy to complete (one per household) and includes a place to indicate that you also want to apply for textbook assistance. It's a good idea to take advantage of this program early in the school year. For answers to frequently asked questions, application or more information, click here:

Textbook Fees

Textbook fee statements have been mailed out. The school will accept cash and checks payable to Schmucker Middle School. All textbook and supplemental fees are due in full or a payment plan must be established by Friday, October 2, 2015. If you have any questions concerning fee schedule, online payment or payment agreement forms, visit Schmucker's website and click on the tab "School Info".

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. Make sure students register online and make the first payment by October 8, 2015.

Fall Athletics

Believe it or not, fall sports are quickly coming to an end and the Spartans represented SMS well in all areas. Leading the way was our 7th grade football team. They went undefeated during the regular season and clinched the conference regular season champions. They will play Elkhart West at Schmucker on Tuesday, 10/6 for the Big 11 Championship. The 8th grade football team finished strong defeating Grissom in their last regular season game and will play at Northridge next Tuesday,10/6 in their playoff game. The girls cross-country team finished 10-1 and will run in the Big 11 Finals on Saturday, 10/3 at Bonneyville Park. The boys team finished strong and will run on Saturday, too. The 7th and 8th grade volleyball teams will begin their tournament playing at Grissom on Monday, Oct. 5. 7th and 8th grade boys basketball will be starting soon. Come out and support our Spartan Sports Teams. Click here: SMS Website


Due to weather and gym usage Mr. Verash will announce the dates and times of intramurals on WSMS. Please pay attention to announcements or contact Mr. Verash concerning intramurals. We will have open gym on the following dates: September 29, October 5, 6, and 7. During the basketball seasons please be aware that intramurals will be in the gym for away games.

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.

PTO Newsletter

Please clink the link below to access PTO information.