SCH Weekly

Scott E. Miller, Superintendent

Issue 4 - January 27, 2020

Hi SCH Family,

With the shocking passing of Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and the 7 other people who lost their life in the helicopter crash, it serves as a strong reminder of how fleeting life can be. For myself, it is also a reminder of how important it is to treat each day as a gift and to minimize time spent on things and activities that do little to add life to others. I think it’s also a reminder to practice forgiveness, as we recognize that we are not guaranteed another opportunity to make things right with someone.

So my encouragement in this time of tragedy is to remember the amazing opportunity we all have to forever change kids lives for the better. Many of them are far too acquainted with death, and our ability and willingness to demonstrate kindness and love to them will have a lasting and noticeable impact. Our inability or unwillingness to do so will have an impact too. I know you’re with me in choosing the former instead of the latter.

Thank you for all you do for kids.


Academic Services

Happy Chinese New Year!

The Chinese New Year celebration began on Saturday, January 25, 2020, and will be a two week celebration ending on February 8, 2020. Our School City of Hammond Chinese teachers and their students will be participating in a number of activities to celebrate the New Year.

On Sunday, January 26, the six Guest Chinese teachers (Yang Fan, Yin Pan, Lu Zhengrui, Deyu Kong, Yungfang Zhou and Chen Ting) along with Mrs. Mayerik and Mrs. Kaminsky kicked off the celebration by attending a Chinese New Year celebration with members of the Confucius Institute at Valparaiso University (CIVU.) The celebration was held at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Center. The Shanghai Chinese Orchestra and Zhejiang Shaoju Opera Theater performed.

The teachers and their students will be doing cultural activities this week in their classrooms to celebrate Chinese New Year.

In addition, on Sunday, February 2, 2020, the teachers and students will be participating in the New Year Celebration sponsored by Valparaiso University starting at 1:30 p.m. on the Valparaiso University campus.

HERO in Education Award

HEF nominations for the "HERO in Education Award" are due January 27th. Winners will be recognized at the dinner on 3/19/20. You can access the nomination form from the link above. As a reminder, any SCH staff member can nominate a candidate.

The Mayor’s Luncheon

The School City of Hammond and the office of the Mayor of Hammond have a partnership called the “Mayor’s Lunch and Learn” program. Throughout the school year the mayor of Hammond visits each of our secondary schools and spends an hour with approximately 20 middle or high school students during their lunch period. During that hour Mayor Thomas McDermott shares his story with the students, talks about the latest developments in the City of Hammond and then fields questions from the students. The program is coordinated by Mrs. Theresa Mayerik, Assistant Superintendent for Academic Services and her assistant, Laine Kaminsky. The mayor visited Scott Middle School on January 15th and is scheduled to visit the following schools on the dates below:

  • Wednesday, January 29th - Clark High School
  • Wednesday, February 26th - Area Career Center University
  • Wednesday, March 11th - Hammond High School
  • Wednesday, April 8th - Morton High School
  • Wednesday, April 22nd - Gavit Middle School

Food & Nutrition

Calling for Nominations for the 2020 IDOE School Food Service Employee of the Year Award!! Find the nomination form HERE.


For the 23rd year, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) is providing formal recognition for school food service employees who contribute significantly to the health and learning capabilities of students. This award was created to recognize the outstanding achievements of school food service employees who excel in the areas of customer service, attitude, professionalism, and teamwork.

If you need any help filling out an application for a food service employee please reach out to Christine Clarahan and she can provide you with information to help fill out category 3 of the application (about professional development).

Nominations are due by Friday February 21st.

Hammond Academy for the Performing Arts

Know someone interested in the performing or visual arts?

HAPA has auditions just around the corner. Please visit HAMMONDAPA.COM

Check out our newest program HAPA Sessions. We will regular showcase our amazing talented students. This is our first episode!

Celebrate and Cheer for our HAPA Senior Nadia Bonds as she competes in THE ONE – a yearly event held on Chicago’s Southside to showcase amazing vocalists. Nadia is slowly rising into the finals and could use all the support of our Hammond Community. Please consider attending and voting for her!

Head Start

Head Start students engaged in some hands-on music learning last week with veteran music educator, Jason McInnes. Jason is a multi-instrumentalist that has been a faculty member at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, a harmonica and songwriting resident in the Chicago Public Schools, an elementary music teacher, and a presenter in various venues (e.g. Comer Children’s Hospital, festivals in Mexico and England). He offered Head Start students the opportunity to explore various instruments while he worked alongside providing guidance. His presentation/teaching style were a perfect fit for our Head Start students. He has presented in SCH Head Start classrooms for a number of years and is a favorite of staff and students. He can be reached at

Human Resources

Wishing a very Happy Birthday to all the staff members who have birthdays this week!

James Adams, Mercedes Barber, Marisa Beemsterboer, Sonia Blakeley, Kimberly Doppler, Felicia Elliott, Denette Ethridge, Cathy Fisher, Marissa Goldman, Tracey Hardy, Deysa Hernandez, Debra Hingst, Jason Jendreas, Lauren Keilman, Jennifer Kellstrom, Emily Kolat, Kristin Kolat, Denise Labus, Spencer Lemmons, Linda Loera, Joy MacDonald, Amanda Martinez, Guillermo Martinez, John Miles, Cynthia Navarro, Deborah Newman, Juan Ortiz, Debra Peters, Samantha Poteete, Kathryn Province, Melanie Richardson, Esperanza Rodriguez, Gerrit Ross, Zachary Scriff, Stephanie Sharp-Przekwas, Stephanie Short, Daniel Soto Gonzalez, Deshawn Stevens, Megan Tiscareno, Alan Walczak, Ann Williams, and Kimberly Zavala


Complex passwords can be the bane of our existence - They always need to be changed and are very difficult to remember. This process can be made much easier by employing a password manager: an application that creates, remembers, changes, and stores these passwords for you. Just remember a single master password and the password managers do the rest of the work. Lastpass, Dashlane, and 1Password are three of the most highly rated. The first two have a free version, and subscriptions for any of them are usually around $3-5/mo. If you feel you need it.


The US Department of Transportation has enacted new legislation regarding drug and alcohol screening for all CDL drivers. First, it has increased the amount of drivers required to have random alcohol and drug screens increased from 25% to 50% annually. Secondly it created the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Clearinghouse in order to promote safer roadways for all drivers.

The Clearinghouse has been put into place to keep accurate electronic records of drivers with CDL’s for drug and alcohol screening. All future alcohol and drug screening results will be inputted into this electronic system and kept within a driver’s record.Current drivers will have to register within the Clearinghouse by creating a username and password and give consent for School City of Hammond to do a query of record. A query is a check of your record and must be done at least once a year for all employees that hold a CDL license. There are two types of queries, limited and full. In the event something is flagged then a full query will have to be done. All new employees will have full queries conducted prior to being recommended for employment. Failure to consent to queries means that employment will be suspended or terminated as we must conduct to be in compliance with the new federal law.

SCH Events

Monday, January 27th

  • Clark MS Girls Basketball - 5 p.m.
  • Edison ES - Cheerleading - 3:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
  • Edison ES - Dance - Black History Celebration Rehearsal - 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Hess ES - “Make it a Good Night Monday” live read aloud on Facebook - 7 p.m.
  • Hess ES - Survive Alive (1st Grade) Field Trip

Tuesday, January 28th

  • Clark MS/HS - Boys Basketball vs. HAST - 5:30 p.m.
  • Clark MS/HS - Girls Basketball vs. EC - 5:30 p.m.
  • Edison ES - Soccer Game (Students vs. Staff) - 3:15 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Edison ES - Chess - 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Edison ES - Chorus - Black History Celebration Rehearsal - 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m
  • Hess ES - Survive Alive (1st Grade) Field Trip
  • Irving ES - Purdue Nutrition Class for Parents - 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
  • Lincoln ES - Student Council Meetings - 3:30 p.m.
  • Morton HS - Swimming Invite (Clark & West Side) - 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, January 29th

  • Clark MS/HS - Boys Basketball vs. EC - 5:30 p.m.
  • Edison ES - Cheerleading - 3:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
  • Edison ES - Dance - Black History Celebration Rehearsal - 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Edison ES - Girl Scouts - 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Hess ES - Survive Alive (1st Grade) Field Trip
  • Kenwood ES - Awards Day
  • Lincoln ES - 100th day of School (Dress like you're 100)
  • Morton HS Girls Basketball @ Lake Central - 5:30 p.m.
  • Morton HS - Freshman Basketball vs. Lake Central - 6 p.m.

Thursday, January 30th

  • Clark MS Girls Basketball @ Scott MS - 5 p.m.
  • Clark MS/HS Girls Basketball vs. Steel City Academy - 5:30 p.m.
  • Edison ES - Soccer - 3:15 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Edison ES - Brownies & Daisies - 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Hess ES - Survive Alive (1st Grade) Field Trip
  • Irving ES - Parent Workshop (McColly Real Estate) - 9:30 a.m.
  • Morton HS Freshman Basketball @ Highland - 6 p.m.
  • Morton HS Swimming @ Highland - 6 p.m.

Friday, January 31st

  • Edison ES - Basketball Practice (followed by game) - 3:30 p.m.
  • Hess ES - Book Fair Preview
  • Kenwood ES - PBIS Assembly
  • Lincoln ES - ROAR Assemblies
  • Lincoln ES - No preschool
  • Morton HS - Boys Basketball vs. Hobart - 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, February 1st

  • Morton HS Wrestling Sectionals @ EC Central - 9 a.m.

SCH Highlights of the Week

Eggers MS

Flashback from Eggers E-Girls who attended the Sistah Strut 5K run or walk for breast cancer. They were the guests of Johnnie Dee (Program Director for WGCI & appears on Black Ink Chicago), Leon Rogers and Kendra G (WGCI radio personalities).

Franklin ES

On Friday Jan 24th, during the monthly PBIS assembly at Franklin Elementary, they had a special guest...Reggy from the Mascot Hall of Fame! He wanted the students to know how important attendance is at school especially to keep up with learning. Reggy came to announce a special attendance competition! The class with the best attendance now through mid May will get a cupcake party with Reggy! This is in addition to our monthly attendance competitions we have to help motivate students and parents to make sure there child is at school, every day, all day, and on time.

Hess ES

Last week, our Hess scholars reflected on the importance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day during library time. Our media para, Miss Rigot, invited students to complete an “I Have a Dream” activity where students described what dreams they aspire to accomplish. Their writings are posted in the main hallway by the library.

Lincoln ES

We were inspired by our 4th grade Junior Achievement sessions and our Defined STEM curriculum to create a new innovative book bag for a specific target audience. Each group was given the same book bag and given the creativity to design it, in order to best meet the needs of the audience. The students will be responsible for presenting their design through a google slide presentation to the marketing team. Once the book bags and presentations are complete, we will be inviting parents to hear our pitch. Here are some progress pictures.
Mock Interviews - 5th Grade Students

Dana Howe’s 5th grade students conducted mock interviews today. They blew us away.

Maywood ES

Big picture

O'Bannon ES

Mrs. Parkes’s Kindergarten class visited the office to perform their Little Snowman song! Great Job Kindergarten Superheroes!

Please click on the link (Google Drive) below to see the video.

Scott MS

Scott Middle School attended the community celebration Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Purdue University Northwest on January 21, 2020. We had approximately 50 students attend the event and were one of only four schools invited and the only middle school present. Our scholars were inspired by the keynote speaker, Dr. Vanessa Allen-McCloud, President and CEO of the Urban League of Northwest Indiana, among other guests.

Stay Informed

An update from the Superintendent is distributed at the beginning of the week.

View previous weekly updates from Mr. Miller here.

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