Spartan Herald November 2019

Show Respect - Make a Difference - Set the Bar High

Your Window to the World

Dear Schmucker Students and Families,

Thank you to all our families that attended Student-led Conferences! We hope you were able to get a glimpse into your child's world here at Schmucker. They worked so hard to create thoughtful presentations about their progress and we are so happy you were able to talk with them about their Window to the World. Our students have accomplished so much! We are eager to see how students will continue to Set The Bar High and accomplish many great things this year!

Congratulations to our National Junior Honors students for running the bake sale and pumpkin sale. They raised $950 and this was $350 more than last year! Thank you to all of you who contributed to this cause.

Again, we appreciate all of the work that went into Student-led Conferences. It was a great way for our Schmucker community to celebrate. We hope all of you have a wonderful fall and enjoy time with family and friends over Thanksgiving Break!

With your child in mind,

Lavon Dean-Null


State Mandated Curriculum


Due to an new Indiana law all schools are required to provide age appropriate and research based instruction on child abuse and child sexual abuse to students in grades kindergarten through 12th. We are working with the Family Justice Center, Youth Service Bureau of St. Joseph County and the St. Joseph County Special Victims Unit to provide this instruction for our students. We need all parents/guardians to complete the online permission slip form. This must be completed for each child. This will only take a few moments of your time. Please complete this as soon as possible. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to any SMS administrator.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sparty Party!

We appreciate everyone’s contributions to our school fundraiser! On Friday, November 1, we hosted the annual Sparty Party to acknowledge students who contributed to the Mrs. Fields fundraiser. Throughout the first quarter of the school year, students sold baked goods to raise funds supporting a multitude of events at SMS. A bonus was that those students who sold at least three items were invited to attend the Sparty Party.

Craig Tornquist, the fundraiser representative, will help us award students with prizes for their sales on November 25th. Students with the highest number of sales have increased opportunities during lunch to pull the prize envelopes out of a hat. These students will win various amounts of money.

For one hour after each grade’s lunch today, qualifying students went down to the gym. Students enjoyed racing each other in inflatables! The photo booth was a big hit as well and students have many pictures by which to save these memories. The Sparty Party was a huge success in both raising funds benefiting student activities throughout the school year and providing a time for students to have fun with their peers. Thank you families for all your support!

ATTENTION: Fundraiser pick-up will be on November 14, from 4pm-7pm in the LGI at SMS. Students who only sold 1 or 2 items will be able to take their items home on the bus. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT ALL ITEMS BE PICKED UP ON NOVEMBER 14th. We do not have the space to store all of these refrigerated items. Thanks

Important Dates

Nov 4 - Silver Mile Walk, 6th Grade, During Advisory

Nov 5 - Recess Day

Nov 6 - Silver Mile Walk, 8th Grade, During Advisory

Nov 7 - Silver Mile Walk, 7th Grade, During Advisory

Nov 11 - Veterans Day Program, 9:45am - 1pm

Nov 11 - Ski Club Parent Meeting, 6pm, SMS Cafe

Nov 13 - 6th Grade Band Concert, 7pm, SMS Cafe

Nov 13 - 7th Grade Band Concert, 8pm, SMS Cafe

Nov 14 - Fundraiser Delivery Date

Nov 19 - 8th Graders Visit Penn (During the school day)

Nov 20 - 8th grade Band concert at Penn called Kaleidoscope

Nov 27-29 Thanksgiving Recess

Check out all events on our Website calendar: SMS Calendar

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

Important Action Needed by ALL Families

Indiana law requires that all schools provide age appropriate and research based instruction on child abuse and child sexual abuse to students in kindergarten through grade 12. Penn-Harris-Madison has partnered with the Family Justice Center, Youth Service Bureau of St. Joseph County and the St. Joseph County Special Victims Unit to provide this instruction for our students. P-H-M School Corporation will be utilizing the Teen Lures Prevention curriculum to educate middle and high school students on a variety of safety issues. In November and early December, staff from the St. Joseph County Special Victims Unit and Youth Service Bureau of St. Joseph County will present about ways youth can prevent, respond to and report all forms of child abuse, dating violence and sexual assault. By talking openly with students about what constitutes healthy and respectful relationships, we prepare young people to better recognize and resist all forms of mistreatment. The presentations will be given either convocation style or via video to individual classrooms.

For additional information about the curriculum, please visit The Child Lures Prevention: Think First & Stay Safe website.

Please sign and return the permission form below to notify us of your wishes for your student(s) to participate in this curriculum. You can also fill out an online version of this permission form by clicking here.

A message from our Gold Star Counselors

Parents of 8th Graders!

It's almost time to schedule the Class of 2024 for Penn High School! Here are some important dates to have on your calendar for the upcoming months:

November 19 - 8th graders visit Penn during school - 12:30-3:00 p.m.

December 3 - 6:00-7:00 p.m. - 8th grade Parent Night @ SMS - Penn Counselors meet with 8th Grade Parents

December 9 - 6:00-8:00 pm - Penn Showcase (Plan to attend to see classrooms and learn about electives and activities at Penn)

January 10 - Early College Scheduling with Penn Counselors (appt time will be emailed to Early College students before Winter Break)

February (dates TBD) - Register for Summer PE Lottery on PHS website

(tentative Summer School Dates: Dates are June 8-26; July 6-24)

February date TBD - Confirm registration and pay for Summer PE at Penn Bookstore if chosen for lottery

Early February (date TBD)- 8th grade students turn in pink course requests sheet to SS teacher (with chosen electives) to create final Penn Schedule with SMS Counselors

August 2020 - Become a Penn Kingsman!

May 2024 - Graduate from Penn High School!

Go to the Penn Incoming Freshmen webpage for more information!

Report Cards Principals Honor Roll

Report cards will be coming home soon. For those students who qualify for Principal's Honor Roll, our 4.0 Breakfast invitations will come soon via SMORE where you can RSVP!

free online/phone/or email tutoring service for grades 6-12 for Math and Science is a website by Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. AskRose Homework Help is a free math and science tutoring service for Indiana students and other students in grades 6-12. Students can call 877-ASK-ROSE, email, or chat live with a friendly tutor to work through and better understand homework assignments.

Ski Club Information

Winter is just around the corner and the SMS Ski Club is forming soon! We will be going to Swiss Valley on 5 Thursdays beginning on January 9th. Students don't have to know how to ski to join! Lessons are provided by Swiss Valley for beginners and intermediates. There will be a brief parent meeting on Monday, November 11th in the SMS Cafeteria from 6:00- 6:30 p.m to give information and answer any questions you may have about ski club. You may also purchase Warren Miller movie tickets for the show on November 15th at the South Bend Civic Theater at that time. Tickets will also be sold before school in room 210 from the 11th-13th, also. We will receive a small portion of the sales to help fun our club. I have been skiing for many, many years and have been a ski instructor, and lived in Vail, Colorado. I am excited to share my love for this sport with the SMS students. I am looking forward to a fantastic ski season. Please click the link to see the information page and a quick sign-up form. Ski Fast, Mrs. Ludwig

Food Drive Information

SMS Student Council and SMS will be collecting non-perishable food items for families in need. This year we will be helping 10 families. The SMS Community can bring in the non-perishable items and donate them to their child's Advisory teacher's classroom. Thank you for your generosity and support! Together, we can make a difference! :)

Food Drive Daily Themes:

All non-perishable items, please

Monday-Fruit and Veggie Day

Tuesday-Potato, Rice, Stuffing Day

Wednesday-Thanksgiving Theme Day (cranberry sauce, gravy, corn bread, j-ello, pudding)

Thursday-Pasta and Spaghetti Sauce Day

Friday-Cereal Day


Thank you to all the SMS students and families that donated new socks for the Center for the Homeless and St. Margaret's House! The SMS Student Council participated in the Soctober Drive from October 21-29 and collected 82 pairs of new socks! We also had a "Fun Sock Spirit Day" on Thursday, October 24! Together we can make a difference! Many people will benefit from your generosity!

The SMS Student Council sold pink packs of gum during all lunch periods from October 14-18. We also had a fun Spirit "Pink Out" day on Friday, October 18th! The SMS Student Council was able to donate $375.00 to the American Cancer Society for Breast Cancer Research! Thank you to all of the students and families that purchased a pink pack of gum! It is a wonderful feeling to help those in need.

A special note from NJHS

The National Junior Honor Society's Annual Bake Sale during conferences was a HUGE success!! Thank you to the members for contributing so many delicious treats and decorating fabulous pumpkins for us to sell! Our grand total for both nights was an ASTOUNDING $950.36!! This money will be used to buy turkeys and baked goods for the Student Council's Thanksgiving Baskets that will go to Schmucker families in need of assistance over the holidays. Thank you to everyone who generously donated to this project!!

Orchestra accolades

A group of our 8th grade orchestra members had a special rehearsal for an incredible concert that took place at Penn on October 23rd. The special guest was string legend Mark Wood! Mark Wood is the inventor of the electric violin and Trans-Siberian orchestra! We are so proud of these kids for representing Schmucker!

7th Grade Champs!

The 2019 Schmucker Spartan 7th grade volleyball team won the Big 11 tournament to become conference champions! Their overall season record was an impressive 20-2. We are very proud of this team for all the hard work and pride they put into this successful season!


The annual Holiday Thank-a-Teacher program will run from November 11 thru December 6, 2019 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

Social-Emotional Learning

For the month of November, the Social-Emotional Learning lessons at the middle school will focus on self-awareness/insight, which refers to the student being able to know their emotions and how they affect thoughts and actions. Gaining insight is an important skill for building self-confidence, self-esteem, and empathy for others. Insight helps students recognize their own strengths and areas of growth.


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!

Currently intramural open gym is running. The first one is Saturday, November 3rd from 11am-1pm!

A reminder from Choir

Seventh and eighth graders in Choir will have a concert on December 4th.

Sixth Graders in Choir will have a concert on December 18th.

Please ask your student about the dress code for these events.


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.


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.

Wellness Information

Clothing necessary for participation in Wellness class activities throughout the school year is as follows:

Shorts: athletic style, any color, five inch inseam or longer (no cut offs)

T-shirt: yellow or gold - short sleeves

Shoes: tennis shoes with ties for securing to the feet - no vans, mules, canvas ballet flats


All clothing should be labeled with student's first initial and last name (no nicknames). Please visit our Schmucker website for further instructions, guidelines and policies for our wellness classes:

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".

Student Hours

8:50am - Bus Arrival

9:00am - First Bell

9:05am - Classes Begin

4:00pm - Dismissal

4:10pm - Bus Departure