February 5, 2023

In this Spartan Scoop:

  • National School Counseling Week Highlight
  • Upcoming Science Curriculum Open House
  • Modeling Eclipses: Students in Action
  • Interventionist Highlight
  • ILearn System Readiness Test: 2/8
  • Upcoming Job Fair
  • PTO Excellence + Newsletter
  • Continued Focus on Indiana Academic Standards + Letter from Dr. Jenner

National School Counseling Week

National School Counseling Week helps to focus public attention on the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems. National School Counseling Week highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students be successful! We are lucky to have three amazing, dedicated and student centered counselors here at SMS! If Mrs. Shaw, Mrs. Hoover or Ms. Watt have made a positive impact in your student's life, please feel free to reach out to them this week! Our counselors, along with our Youth Service Bureau Specialist, Mrs. Giden, help support students daily in our Student Services Office.

Science Open House

We are excited to share an opportunity for our P-H-M community to review K-12 science resources. The Indiana Department of Education has updated our science standards to include the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). In order to provide quality resources to our teachers, we are reviewing several programs that are aligned to the updated standards. This open house provides an opportunity for teachers and families to review the resources and to provide feedback for consideration. We welcome you to visit the open house at the Learning Center at Schmucker Middle School (Door D) on Thursday, February 9th between 3:30-5:30 PM.

Modeling Eclipses

Science fun as 6th grade students modeled lunar and solar eclipses.

Academic Interventionists

We are so lucky to have Mrs. MacFarlane and Ms. Koteskey serving our students and staff as our Academic Interventionists! Ms. Koteskey works with students focusing specifically on math skills and standards and Mrs. MacFarlane works with students on reading and writing skills and standards. Both interventionists meet with students either 2 or 3 times a week (depending on groups) for 30 minutes a day. Mrs. MacFarlane and Ms. Koteskey also push in to language arts and math classrooms each period for the first 20 minutes each day to provide additional instructional support. Our students benefit greatly by having such passionate, motivating and knowledgeable interventionists at SMS!

ILearn System Readiness Test

As we gear up for testing season, our students will be participating in the System Readiness Test on Wednesday(2/8) during 2nd hour. This test will last approximately 15-20 minutes and is not meant to test student achievement but rather the technologies associated and necessary for ILearn testing. Students should take extra measures to bring their charged chromebook with them to class!

Job Fair

Looking for a job with flexibility around your student's school schedule? Do you know of a friend or family member looking for a great place to work? We're hiring positions from Bus Drivers to Educational Assistants. Some positions start out as high as $23.75 an hour. Come to our Job Fair on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2:00 - 5:00 p.m., Schmucker Middle School (Door D). Click here for more details on the Job Fair and to apply if you can't make it.
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PTO Excellence

Our PTO continues to go above and beyond with supporting our students and staff here at SMS. PTO worked with Tossed ToGo for the January Staff Appreciation and it was nothing short of wonderful! A tasteful display of a variety of salads was an appreciated pick me up for our deserving staff members! We recently had a meeting to discuss ways the PTO can support students directly and I'm excited for future opportunities. Our next meeting will be on February 16th and students will be highlighting electives offered in the 7th and 8th grade! We hope you can make it.

Continued Focus on the Indiana Academic Standards

Knowing there is dialog around the state about the Indiana Academic Standards, we continue to follow the direction of the Indiana Department of Education and Dr. Jenner as provided in this letter. If you have any concerns about your child's education, please work with your child's teacher for clarification or reach out to me at anytime!
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Information From Previous SMORES

Opportunities for Students

Science Academic Team

If you have a student who is interested in science and would like to be a part of our SMS Science Academic team, please have your student email Mrs. Wagner at or stop by room 229 for more information!

Kindness Club

The SMS Kindness Club will meet on Wednesdays after school. Kindness Club was started by current SMS students who want to have a positive impact within our school and the surrounding community. Kindness Club meets in room 307 on Wednesdays until 5:15 p.m. Please email Mrs. Lightcap at for more information.

Novels Club

The Novels Club will continue into the second semester! Students are meeting every Friday morning when school is in session at 8:15am in room 208. Please see Mrs. Gish if you have questions.

Cell Phone Reminder

Just a friendly reminder that students should not have their cell phones on them during the school day. Cell phones should be off and in your student's locker. Should your student need to get a hold of you during the school day, we have a phone students can use in the main office. Please see our Code of Conduct verbiage covering this item. We appreciate your help and support in maintaining student focus on academics and minimizing outside distractions.

22. Possession of electronic equipment and cell phones; the school supplies most electronic equipment necessary in school. While students may possess cell phones and electronic devices on school property, students are prohibited from turning on their personal devices or allowing them to be visible during the school day without permission of a staff member

Community Fitness Opportunities

As the weather quickly shifts from fall to winter, the school district is happy to pilot free fitness opportunities for the P-H-M community. This will take place four (4) days per week at the sites listed below.

Who is eligible to participate: The P-H-M Adult Community and Staff (no students). This includes residents of the school district and non-resident parents/guardians of attending students.

What: Access to walking/jogging tracks, open gym/basketball courts, and weight room.

When: Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at the sites listed below. Note: The fitness centers will be closed during designated school recess dates.

Weekly Schedule:

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Questions? Please see the assigned staff at each site to help answer your questions.

Order Your Yearbook Now

Click here to order a yearbook. You can also share your photos here, enter schumucker for the school code.
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COVID Home Tests

The state has provided COVID home tests free of charge for students. Limit 1 kit (2 tests) per student. Interested parents/guardians should pick them up from the office while supplies last.

Parent Involvement Opportunities & Employment

PTO Members & Volunteers:

Please see the PTO Newsletter for the month of February.

Educational Assistant: If you or someone you know has a passion for helping students succeed and feel yourself to be a life-long learner, problem solver and collaborative team member, then this is the position for you! Please reach out to me ( if you would like to talk about the details regarding this position.

Universal Substitute: If you or someone you know loves being in the classroom, and collaborating with teachers and students, then please reach out with interest or questions to me at ( The daily rate for this position is $115 and there is flexibility within the schedule.

Pay School Fees Online

Click the button below for more information.

Safety Update: How Can Parents Monitor On-Line Activity


Families have the option of receiving weekly emails outlining your students online activity while using Chromebooks. This online service is free and it gives parents an opportunity to maintain a safe learning environment at school and at home. Please click on the attached links to learn more about how Securly can help you.


If you see something, hear something, say something! The Safe School Helpline is a convenient, confidential way for anyone to report information about situations that might affect safety at any P-H-M school or building. You can call the number any time of the day or night to report concerns about unsafe or potentially disruptive activities or situations including drug or alcohol abuse, weapons, harassment, bullying or threats. All calls are completely confidential.

Helpful Contacts