Spartan Herald January 2019

Building Community Empowering Learners Inspiring Creativity

A New Year and A New Story

Hello Schmucker Families,

Happy New Year! We are glad to have our Spartans back at school today. We trust the break was restful and relaxing. Now we are ready to jump back into learning!

We always start our week with reading, and this is a great time of year to reflect on literacy. We know that literacy is at the root of all students' academic success. Strong reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills are needed in all content areas. Today, students must be able to consume multiple sources and analyze these sources to articulate their thoughts and opinions. This emphasis is one of the reasons we dedicate every Monday's advisory class to reading. Please talk with your child about what they are reading. With trips to the library during their language arts class, they always have opportunities to find books they love. This morning I highlighted some great reads on WSMS. We are also looking forward to our One Book One School program that will come in the spring.

With your child in mind,

Lavon Dean-Null


Drop Off Procedure

Schmucker Parents,

We wanted to take a moment to remind parents of some information about dropping off and picking up your child. First of all, only students that walk to school will be allowed to enter Door A at 8:50 a.m. We try to avoid having any students dropped off prior to 8:50 a.m., as adult supervision begins at that time. All car riders must enter the property from Fillmore Street and assume a position in line as it wraps around the building towards Door F (south end of the building). Please do not release your child(ren) from a vehicle before reaching Door C, E, and F. Remember to keep the car rider line moving so please refrain from stopping when the line is motion towards the designated drop-off areas. When the bell rings at 8:50 a.m., students are allowed to leave your vehicles and enter the building at Doors C, E, and F only. Also, if students come to a before school event, they should be dropped off at the time the event begins. They should enter Door A and sign in once they arrive. Please pay attention to the adults helping to supervise the area, so that they can continue to move vehicles up in a safe and orderly fashion. These same rules apply in the afternoon. All car riders should load vehicles at or near Doors E and F. To help speed up the process, we will release all of the remaining students to go to the front of the building once the car line is no longer extending onto Fillmore Avenue. Please do not ask your child to exit through the front doors and meet you in the parking lot. This requires him or her to cross the traffic line and with safety in mind we want to avoid this. We thank you for your help in this matter.

Remember, these plans are designed to allow for safe loading and unloading of vehicles and we need your cooperation for it to work as intended. Safety is our number one priority, and we thank you for your cooperation.

Go Spartans,

Lucas Fry

Welcome & Congratulations

Please join me in welcoming Mr. Rohrbacher to the Schmucker family! He will be joining us as the new Computer Teacher for 2nd semester. He is a graduate of Bethel College and taught Freshman World Geography at Penn High School before joining us! He is passionate about helping kids reach their potential and it is evident that building relationships while teaching the content is his top priority. In other congratulatory news, two of our teachers, Mrs. Biek (Campoli) and Mrs. Heck (Piazza) got married over break and we are so happy for them! We will have more wedding celebrations later this year as well! Additionally, Mrs. Curless, our Health and PE teacher and her husband, welcomed a sweet little girl to their family over break! We are so thankful for such a strong sense of family here at SMS and love watching it grow!

Kristyn Martin

Important Dates

January 9 - Hearing Screening (7th Grade)

January 11 - Early College Scheduling with Penn Counselors

January 16 - End of 2nd Grading Period

January 16 - PHM 6th Grade String Festival, 4pm - 8pm

January 18-25 - Register for Summer PE Lottery on PHS website

January 21 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day - No School

January 22 - 5 Star Kick Off - Winter Season

January 23 - NJHS Induction Ceremony, 6pm SMS Cafeteria

January 29 - Vision Screening (8th Grade)

Check out all events on our Website calendar: SMS Calendar

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. The concept is simple. You purchase gift cards and a rebate is given back. Other PHM schools that have been participating have purchased almost $800,000 worth of gift cards and earned about $56,000 in free money! Sounds too good to be true? It’s not! It is truly free money!

Here is why: There are over 700 retailers that sell their gift cards to Scrip at various discounts. You order these gift cards from Scrip at full face value, and the PTO, as the non-profit organization, receives the rebate. In our case, the PTO puts 90% of that rebate into your child’s school DC account and puts 10% into the PTO fund, but you still receive the full value of the gift card - it’s a win-win!

Here is what you must do to participate:

STEP 1: Sign up on

STEP 2: Email Include the student's name (first and last) and the parent's name (first and last) to receive the Scrip code.

STEP 3: Enroll at (with the code you receive from the Scrip Coordinators).

We are accepting the no-hassle Presto Pay format offered by Scrip. All payments are made directly from your bank account to Scrip, rather than writing checks to the PTO. It's a quick and easy way to order ScripNow and use it within minutes. Also, reload with no need to wait for SMS PTO to confirm your check cleared.

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

Assessment For Selected 8th Graders

If you have an 8th Grade Student, please see this information in regards to National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

English Letter & Spanish Letter

Monday, February 11, 2019, 7:00 p.m.

DMS PTO in Partnership with Discovery Middle School presents an evening of Options for High School and Saving for College. Please join us at Discovery Middle School for presentations by Elkhart Area Career Center and by the College Savings 529 Plan. More details to come.

Parents of English Language Learners (ELLs)

From January 14 to March 1, English Language Learners (ELL) in grades kindergarten through twelfth grade will participate in the administration of the WIDA ACCESS for ELLs® 2.0 language proficiency test. ACCESS 2.0 provides a standardized measurement of academic language proficiency for ELL students throughout the state of Indiana, and in other states. With this information, we are able to monitor individual ELL student progress on an annual basis. Please visit for more details

Yearbook Reminder

The Schmucker Middle School's 2018-2019 Yearbook is on sale! To guarantee your student(s) get their personal copy of the yearbook, you must pre-order. The cost of the yearbook is $30.00. You can send in your payment or order online -

One Book/One School Coming Soon

The beginning of the third quarter will bring another year of One Book/One School to Schmucker Middle School. The committee has come up with some exciting activities to go along with our book. Each student here at Schmucker will get a copy of the book we will be reading. That copy is theirs to keep. Be sure to talk to your student to find out the title of our book for this year. We are very excited to start!


Members of the NJHS made 30 blankets to donate to the Mishawaka Center for Hospice. Thank you to all who donated their time and extra blankets!

The NJHS Induction Ceremony will take place on January 23rd at 6pm in the SMS Cafeteria. Inductees will receive a letter in the mail informing them of their acceptance to the 2019 Schmucker NJHS.

21st century scholars

Free $$ for college!

The 21st Century Scholars program is need-based assistance which will help students have the ability to go to college who otherwise may not be able to afford it. The program can save you and your family thousands of dollars on higher education past high school, as well as connect you and your student to other great resources.

The deadline for this opportunity to enroll is JUNE 30 of a student's 8th grade year. Once this date has passed, students cannot enroll while at the high school. Please take the time to visit to learn more about the program and enroll your student right away before this opportunity is no longer available. Email or call your child's school counselor if you have further questions.

8th Grade Parents

We would like to remind you about some important events we shared with you recently. There are a number of activities and opportunities your family will want to be aware of as we enter into this important time.

January 11 - Early College Scheduling with Penn Counselors (confirmation letter and appt. time was mailed before Winter Break, students will receive passes on 1/10)

January 18-25 - Register for Summer PE Lottery on PHS website (Summer School Dates: June 10-28; July 8-26)

February 1 - Selection notifications for Summer PE (selected students will be emailed - Students still must REGISTER if they are selected.)

February 5 - Receive OFFICIAL pink course selection sheet with teacher recommendations

February 8 - Pink course selection sheet due to Social Studies teacher

Week of 2/11 - Schedule classes with school counselor

February 14 - Deadline to register and pay for Summer PE (at Penn High School) if chosen for lottery

Feel free to email your student’s counselor if you have questions as these dates approach.

Stacy Eck (Last names A-K)

Andrea Hoover (Last names L-Z)


8th grade trip to Washington, D.C.

This is a reminder that the second payment of $300 is due to Hemisphere Travel no later than

January 31, 2019. In case you've misplaced it, the Hemisphere Web Code is 19TA12964.

This is also a reminder to students that unless you are rooming with your chaperone parent, you

will be assigned to either a triple room or a quad room. A few students have registered for

single-occupancy rooms but this is not allowed. I encourage all of you to please log in to the Hemisphere website

and check to see that you (students) have registered for either a triple or a quad.

(PLEASE NOTE that chaperones should register for either a single room or a double room.)

Also, there are still some students who've not told me with whom they are rooming.

Please contact me as soon as possible or I will have to make the roommate decision for you.

Any questions? Please contact Ms. Scarbeck: or come see me in room 320.


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.

Penn's Summer 2019 PE Classes

Information about Penn's Summer 2019 Physical Education lottery for current 8th graders (next year's Freshman class) is posted on our Schmucker website. Here is the direct link:


January is a busy time for a few sports. Once we return from Winter Break our wrestling team and girls basketball teams will be getting started. There are 21 weight classes, so it is truly a sport for everyone. Come out and try wrestling because you might find that you like it. The 7th and 8th grade girls basketball teams will be having try outs once we return and both teams will be practicing hard. The wrestling team will open their season on Tuesday, January 23 by hosting Concord here at SMS! The 7th and 8th grade girls basketball teams will open their season as well on January 23rd traveling to Concord. The teams will play every Tuesday and Thursday through the rest of January and all of February. Come out and support our Spartan teams!

Protected by Raptor

The Raptor security tool is a visitor management software that will scan a visitor's information against the National Sex Offenders database. All parents and visitors will need to report to the main office with a valid, government-issued ID. This ID is needed only on your first visit. Once you are entered into the Raptor system, your information is saved for any future visits. A picture ID tag will automatically be printed which you will wear for the duration of your visit that day. You are asked to submit your ID tag to the office when you leave the building. Our goal is and always has been to keep our students, staff and visitors from any and all harm.


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 - Buss Arrival

9:00am - First Bell

9:05am - Classes Begin

4:00pm - Dismissal

4:10pm - Bus Departure