Views at Valley

November 2019

A Note from Mrs. Johnson

Hello, Valley Mills Families!

As the month of Thanksgiving is upon us, I have so much to be thankful for. I am thankful for such amazing students and families that are so invested in our school. I am also thankful for my amazing staff that work so hard to make sure your students are learning and being safe! Being a part of the Valley Mills family is a privilege that I hold dear to my heart.

As the days get colder, please make sure your students are dressing for the weather. We will still take students outside for recess unless it is colder than 20 degrees temperature and/or wind chill. So, you need to make sure your students come with a coat, hat, and gloves. If you are struggling to get those for your student, please reach out to the front office.

Also, you need to keep an eye on the news, as well as social media for alerts on inclement weather. Our teachers are working very hard to prepare e-learning for your student. More information on that will be pushed out as the time comes.

Tomorrow we will honor our Veterans. I am so thankful for the sacrifice so many have made to ensure our freedom in the United States. Please talk with your student about the seriousness of the ceremony tomorrow. We want our guests to know that they are special to us and to feel honored.

Thank you for all you do to make Valley Mills the best school it can be. Have a great week!


Rebecca Johnson


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Dates to Remember:

11/5- Volley Clinic (see flyer below) Tuesdays 11/12,11/19,12/3,12/10

11/8- Veterans Day Program

11/12-PTO meeting

11/25-11/29- No School, Fall Recess

12/2-12/20-Santa Shop

12/19-End of Semester 1

12/20-1/3-Winter Recess-No School

Second Steps


This month, our schoolwide theme is empathy. In our morning announcements and school assembly we’ll be reminding students to have empathy, identify their own and others’ feelings, notice and respect same and different feelings, and show compassion. Compassion involves saying kind words or doing something helpful to show you care how another person feels. When students can identify, understand, and respond in a caring way to how someone else is feeling, it helps create a positive and accepting school climate.

Second Step lessons specifically teach about empathy. You’ll be receiving Home Links describing why empathy is important and including fun activities to do with your child to help him or her identify feelings and practice showing empathy and compassion. We hope you find them helpful.

Please tell your child’s teacher if you have any questions about how you can help your child learn to identify feelings and show empathy and compassion at home.


Every Friday our sixth graders meet with their first grade friends to do fun reading projects.
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Recess is a vital part of each child’s school day. However, recess is a privilege per teacher discretion. Weather permitting, our children may go outdoors for recess. A heat advisory would mandate indoor recess. During the winter months, 20 degrees is the rule for temperature and/or wind chill. A child will be kept in from recess for up to three days upon receipt of a parent’s note. If for some reason your child should not go outside for an extended period of time (three or more consecutive days), you must send a written request from your doctor.

In Our Community

4-H Genealogy Project

Julie Ferguson, Decatur Township 4-H Director, is offering a unique opportunity to all Decatur Township students (although this is a 4-H project, you do not have to be a 4-H member to participate). On October 18th, from 10:00am to noon, students are invited to the Decatur Township Library Branch to learn about researching their genealogy. A person with several years of experience in genealogy will teach the students how to use and will donate paperwork, notebooks, and materials to help the students begin research on their genealogy. Students are asked to bring their own tablet, but four laptop computers will be available to use/share for those without a tablet. Students below grade 3 should have a parent/guardian to help navigate the websites. Questions may be directed to Julie Ferguson at

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Lunch with some of our township Heros

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Our MSD Decatur Township Firefighters will come to Valley Mills the first Friday of every month, on rotation visiting with our 1st-4th graders.

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We will be selling popcorn on Fridays during lunch/recess. All proceeds go to our VM student fund.

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Girls Volley Ball

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Lunch Information

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Inclement Weather Information

Inclement Weather Information

  • Posted January 25, 2019

MSD Decatur Families,

MSD of Decatur Township continues to prioritize Student Learning, Safety and Customer Service as part of our district Mission. The safety of our students remains our top priority.

As you know, Indiana weather is extremely unpredictable so please review the information below regarding factors that may impact school delays and closings.

  • Freezing Rain/Sleet: The most unpredictable weather variable is freezing rain/sleet. Freezing rain/sleet is temperature sensitive and fast-occurring. It begins and ends with little notice. When freezing rain/sleet are predicted, the decision regarding school is delayed until the latest possible time in an effort to observe the most current and local conditions. Such a decision generally will be made in the morning.

  • Snowfall: Much more predictable than freezing rain/sleet. Meteorologists generally give a 2 inch variable when predicting snow accumulation. Because the variation in actual snowfall, when compared to predicted snowfall, the decision regarding school status is delayed until the snow accumulation indicates a need for action. Such a decision, except in extreme situations, will generally be made in the morning.

  • Extreme Cold: Temperature prediction is increasingly accurate. MSD Decatur Township uses the hourly temperature predictions for its zip code from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( If air temperature is predicted by NOAA to be -10 degrees or below (the starting point for wind chill concerns with calm wind) at 7:00 a.m. the school will consider a two hour delay for the start of school. If the air temperature is predicted to remain at -10 degrees or below at 9:00 a.m. the school will consider closing. Such a determination will be made as early as possible, perhaps the evening before, but certainly by 6:00 a.m. in the morning.

  • Extreme Wind Chill: Wind chill prediction is not as accurate as temperature prediction because wind speed is more variable by time and location. While NOAA observations and predictions are based upon the open conditions of the Indianapolis Airport, these conditions are often different in some of the wind barricaded neighborhoods of MSD Decatur Township. If wind chill is predicted by NOAA to be -19 degrees or below and local wind conditions are predicted to mirror the airport wind conditions at 7:00 a.m., the school will consider a two hour delay for the start of school. If the wind chill is predicted to remain at -19 degrees or below and local conditions mirror the airport wind conditions at 9:00 a.m., the school will consider closing. The variability of wind speed will likely cause this decision to be made in the morning.

Communication about school delays and closings will be sent to all parents via School Messenger, our district notification system. Phone calls are scheduled as early as 6:00 am., the district Facebook page, the district app and twitter account will also provide up to date delay and closing information.

MSD of Decatur Township respects a parent’s determination regarding their child’s attendance at school during inclement weather. If school is open, or delayed, because of inclement weather, the school will respect the parent’s decision to keep their child at home. Parents are expected to contact the school and inform school officials of their determination. The student will be counted as absent, per state code, and students will be given an opportunity to complete their academic work in the same manner as an excused absence from school.

eLearning Days effective Feburary 2019. MSD of Decatur Township Schools may call eLearning days due to inclement weather. Students will not attend school they will have their assignments posted on our LMS-Canvas. Directions will be posted on that platform and students will use their school issued device to complete their work. Students in K-2 will recieve a packet to complete upon their return to school.

We hope this information assists you in better understanding the process that we utilize to make the safest decision for your children. Thank you for your cooperation!


Matt Prusiecki


2019-2020 Calendar

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Valley Mills Elementary

Principal: Rebecca Johnson

Assistant Principal: Stephanie Werner

Lead Teacher: Jennifer Keller

Treasurer: Sheena Turner

Secretary: Toni Leedy

CIS Coordinator: Kiersti Binette

Nurse: Hailey Music

From the Board of Education:

It is the Board’s commitment to provide a safe, positive, productive and nurturing educational environment for all of its students. Any individual who believes a student has been or is the victim of discrimination, bullying, or harassment should report the situation to the building principal or designee or complete the School District’s Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying report form, which is available online at