Spartan Herald Decemeber 2018

Building Community Empowering Learners Inspiring Creativity

Setting the Bar High at Schmucker

Dear Schmucker Students and Families,

Show Respect, Make a Difference, and Set the Bar High is our SMS motto. These actions are carried out by our students on a daily basis. From the classroom to the bus to the court, our students continuously show SMS Pride! Here are few highlights from last month.

Show Respect: During the 5 Star discussions held during advisory class, students talk about ways they can respect and support their peers. Our 8th grade SPARC mentors do an outstanding job of setting this example for 6th grade students. We also want to thank all our families who were able to attend our Veterans Day Program. Our students were able to show their respect and appreciation to veterans through a program that included musical presentations, writing pieces and many other special presentations.

Make a Difference: Our National Junior Honors Society students made a difference by celebrating a spirit of Thanksgiving! All students wrote what they were thankful for on a feather and then NJHS students used them to create a huge turkey in our hallway. Check out Twitter (@SMSSpartanPride) for photos! Also, Student Council organized a very successful food drive. The themed days created excitement and we had many students who participated. These opportunities allow our students to make a difference in our building and in our community.

Set the Bar High: As we move toward progress report time, we are talking a great deal about how we set the bar high for academic achievements. During advisory classes on Friday, students continue to review their grades, reflect on their progress, and set goals. This is an important habit that will result in many student successes. I also encourage parents to check out resources available to become more informed about ILEARN, the new state assessment. You can find out more details here.

I am daily impressed by our SMS Spartans and how they continue to Set the Bar High in all aspects of their school lives!

As we approach the holiday season, I hope you enjoy your time with family and friends!

With your child in mind,

Lavon Dean-Null


Think Safety


Winter is here! As a precaution, please encourage students to wear appropriate shoes for the white snow and black ice they may see in the morning, and even after school as we get into the mid-winter months. If you drop-off or pick-up your child, be sure to use extra caution in the line by allowing additional space between you and the car in front of you. Please remind students to wait to exit/enter the vehicle until they are in front of the school door they will be using. Our goal is to avoid slips, trips, falls, and accidents altogether by preparing students for winter conditions. Thank you for thinking safety!

Winter Events: A new season is a great time to remind everyone of the many opportunities available to students at Schmucker Middle School beyond the school day. Upcoming events include Boys/Girls Basketball games, wrestling, Winter Orchestra Concerts, Choir Concerts, and Band Concerts.

Students can also participate in clubs including, but not limited to: Chess Club, Art Club, Ski Club, Math Counts, TEAMS, Magic The Gathering, Basketball Skill Training, Fluid Power Systems and VEX Robotics.

Practices, meetings, games, concerts and all events can be found on the Schmucker Middle School calendar here.

Cafeteria Expectations

Student lunches are a great time for students to socialize, and meet up with their friends they may not have classes with during the day. However, given only a half an hour, the cafeteria staff and supervising teachers want to make sure that the time for students is well-spent. Our focus, as always, is to keep our Spartan motto to show respect, make a difference and set the bar high. Showing respect is using good manners (saying please and thank you), using a voice level for conversation, and responding to adults who are supervising. Making a difference is being friendly and polite, asking someone who doesn't have a seat to sit with them, and helping to clean up even when the mess may not be theirs. To set the bar high in the cafeteria means being being on time, cleaning up after themselves, and keeping that positive attitude. Thanks for reviewing these expectations with your kids, and as always, we appreciate your support!

Important Dates

Dec 3rd - 7th & 8th Grade Choir Concert, 6pm.

Dec 4th - 8th Grade Parent Night, 6pm, SMS Cafe

Dec 7th - NJHS meeting has been Rescheduled for Dec 12th 4pm - 5:30pm

Dec 10th - Penn Showcase, 6:30pm at PHS

Dec 12th - Poinsettia Flower Pick-Up, 4pm-6pm, SMS Gym

Dec 14th - NJHS Applications Due

Dec 20th - 6th & 7th Grade Ladies Winter Concert, 6pm

Dec 24th - Jan 6th - Winter Recess

Check out all events on our Website calendar: SMS Calendar

Please read our November PTO newsletter by clicking the link below!

A message from our Gold Star Counselors for 8th Grade Parents

Parents of 8th Graders!

It's almost time to schedule the Class of 2023 for Penn High School! Here are some important dates to have on your calendar for the upcoming months:

December 4 - Penn Counselors meet with 8th Grade Parents 6:00-7:00 p.m.

December 10 - Penn Showcase (Plan to attend to see classrooms and learn about electives and activities at Penn)

January 11 - Early College Scheduling with Penn Counselors (appt time will be emailed to you before Winter Break)

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

(Summer School Dates: Dates are June 10-28; July 8-26)

February 14 - Confirm registration and pay for Summer PE if chosen for lottery

Early February (date TBD)- Have electives chosen and pink sheet turned in to SS teacher to create final Penn Schedule with SMS Counselors

August 2019 - Become a Penn Kingsman!

May 2023 - Graduate from Penn High School!

Mrs. Hoover and Mrs Eck are available to parents through voicemail and email.

Students can make an appointment to see their school counselors by using the online google form.

  • Go to Schmucker’s website and select “Guidance” and “Counselor Appointment Form”
  • Complete the “School Counselor Appointment Form”
  • Be sure to CHECK YOUR EMAIL. Your counselor will email you with an appointment date and time.

Veterans Day 2018

Schmucker Middle School was proud to host Veterans and SMS family members. A special thanks to Lieutenant Colonel Andrew J. DeKever for being our inspiring guest speaker. We were proud to have lunch provided for our students and their special Veterans.

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 -

Intramurals & Clubs

Students should keep their eyes on the SMS website calendar and their ears on the WSMS morning announcements to learn of the fun activities to enjoy through our intramural program. The intramural coordinator will be making arrangements for space and supervision for a number of activities as the year progresses. Come and join in the fun!

Current Clubs & Intramurals:

Magic the Gathering

Fluid Power


Intramural Basketball

Chess Club

Ski Club is forming, click here for the detailed packet!

Keep an eye out for Academic Bowl Team information!

An important note from NJHS

The Schmucker NJHS December 7th meeting has been rescheduled for December 12th from 4:00 - 5:30pm. We will be making blankets for the Mishawaka Center for Hospice Care at that time. In other NJHS news, invitations for the new class of NJHS members went out before Thanksgiving. Students who have earned a 3.5 or higher for five consecutive grading periods received an invitation to join. Students who received an invitation will find the application on the Information page in the NJHS Applicant module on Canvas. The application must be submitted through this Canvas course by December 14th at 4:15 pm. Applicants will also need to complete an essay on December 4th, 5th, or 6th. Students will need to come to the library at 8:00am OR stay after school to complete the essay on one of these days.


The annual Holiday Thank-a-Teacher program will run from November 12 thru December 7, 2018. This is the perfect opportunity to thank that special teacher, bus driver, office secretary, librarian, or any other P-H-M employee that has made a difference in your child's life. The minimum donation is $20 per recipient and the money received is used to fund future grants for programs that wouldn't otherwise be possible due to budget cuts. Your special person will receive a note and congratulatory pin acknowledging your donation. All donations to the Foundation are tax deductible. We are also taking credit cards as payment. Forms can be downloaded at Thanks for your continued support for the P-H-M Education Foundation where our mission is to support excellence in education at P-H-M schools! Questions can be emailed to

Wellness Information

Healthy Students = Increased Academic Performance

Penn-Harris-Madison Wellness Policy Overview

In 2004, the US Congress authorized funding for nutrition programs and added new requirements for schools. Each school district was required to develop and implement a school wellness policy. The PHM School Board of Trustees approved a new Wellness Policy #8510 in spring 2006. You can go to our website,, to review the entire policy.

A committee of parents, health specialists, and educators wrote the policy. The committee worked to address on campus nutrition, physical education, physical activities, food and beverages, along with other school activities that promote student health. Here are some highlighted items.

  • No soda pop of any kind will be available to students during the school day.

  • A focus on nutrition education will be seen in the classroom and lunchroom.

  • Wellness information will be shared with parents on a regular basis.

  • Parents will be requested to provide only healthy treats to school functions.

  • Food fundraisers will not be consumed during the school day.

  • Students will be encouraged to engage in physical activity daily.

  • All food provided to students during the school day will comply with state and federal child nutrition regulations.

  • Fast food and other commercials foods are not to be carried in for student lunches.

Please help us grow healthy, active children. Work with us to support this policy at school. Watch for additional information about our commitment to wellness through the year.


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.


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.

A Special Message from PHM Technology


If you missed the deadline to enroll in the school Chromebook repair plan, there is still a chance to participate. After further review, the PHM Technology department has decided to offer insurance throughout the school year. To participate you will need to bring in the filled out repair plan form, payment, and your student's Chromebook for review. The Chromebook must be damage free and in working order to participate in the repair plan.

To minimize damage to chromebooks, please remind your child to keep their chromebook in its case at all times.


Every student should now have their Chromebook. 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.

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.

Consent To Publish student work and photographs

PHM requires schools to receive permission from parents to publish student photos and work. If you have not returned this document, please access the link below, print the document and return signed to school. We must receive this document from every student.

Consent To Publish Student Work and Photographs

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.

Homework Requests

When a student is absent, we urge the student or parent to check Canvas and/or Home Access Center for homework information.

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:

School Messenger

The corporation uses a School Messenger tool to announce snow days and delayed start days. Our plan is to utilize School Messenger this year as an additional communication tool from our administrators to parents and students. Please make sure that your student's emergency card contains your most current, preferred email address to facilitate our use of this communication.

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.

Student/Family Opportunities

Often during the school year an opportunity for your child or your family arises where you believe that the educational value of an experience is a good reason to miss school. In most cases, however, these opportunities are not considered "excused" absences. In order to take advantage of this experience and still be considered "excused", a parent or guardian must receive permission from the principal at least one week in advance. You can contact the principal by phone or email. However, if he does not receive any notification of the absence, it will be considered "unexcused".


The PHM Board of School Trestees' policy requires that any prescription medication must be accompanied by written permission from the student's parent or guardian, and in compliance with written instructions from a physician. Prescription medication forms are available in the school's Main Office or Health Office or by clicking:

Prescription Medication Form

Also now for middle school students - pain relievers, Tums and cough drops will be supplied and provided by the school's Health Office if proper documentation is on file. This form can be obtained by clicking: NON-Prescription Medication Form This option is only available to students 12 years of age and older who follow the package instructions for people 12 years of age and older. If you or your doctor request a dosage other than the recommended dosage on the bottles/packages of our stock over-the-counter medications, documentation would be required the same as if it were a prescription medication.

Student Hours

8:50am - Bus Arrival

9:00am - First Bell

9:05am - Classes Begin

4:00pm - Dismissal

4:10pm - Bus Departure