Elm Road Express March 2021

"Putting Dreams in Flight"

From the Desk of Dr. Soto Kile

This is an exciting month at Elm Road. I hope all students register for the virtual Young Author’s Conference on the morning of March 6. This will be a morning of entertainment, information, and fun. Sign up today! We will also host our Spell Bowl this year on March 10th. Congratulations to all student participants. We look forward to seeing your hard work pay off on this night.

March also brings to mind iRead and iLearn testing. Please make sure to support our students by getting to bed early and having a nutritious breakfast. Please avoid scheduling any appointments during this time. If your child is a virtual learner, please see your child’s teacher for further information on in-person testing requirements. We are eager to have our students showcase their learning and continue to demonstrate proficiency in their grade level skills this year.

iRead Test-March 8-19

iLearn Test-April 19-May 11

Notes from the Office

  • Student and staff safety is important to us!
  • When arriving at the school, please approach from the SOUTH off of Capital. Following this direction, allows our traffic to keep flowing and does not interfere with our buses that are waiting to enter our parking lot to drop off the students. Do not go around the buses. At any time they may move into the parking lot! Use your turn signal, when entering the parking lot, so cars exiting know that it is safe to go. Exit RIGHT turn only.
  • Parents picking up or dropping off children are reminded to have students exit their cars curbside ONLY. Parents, please stay in your car.
  • Pull up as far as safely possible to the next car before having students exit or enter your vehicle. Always follow the directions of the safety patrol assistants.
  • Sick Child: Parents must call the attendance line and provide an explanation for their child's absence no later than 10:00 A.M. on the day of the absence. You can reach the attendance line by calling 574-259-3743. When calling the attendance line due to your student being sick, please include any symptoms your student is having. If an explanation is not given on the same day of the absence, the student will need a doctor’s note to return to school.

Dates to Remember

March 6 - Young Author's Conference @Schmucker 8:45-11:30

March 8-19 IREAD testing (3rd grade)

March 8-9 - Grissom Instrument Selection Night for incoming 6th graders

March 10 - Spell Bowl

March 3-31 - NWEA testing for High Ability

Mar 14 - Daylight Savings Time Begins

March 22- End of the 3rd Grading Period

March 29- PTO Meeting 3-4pm Virtual

April 2 - Recess Day

April 5-9 - Spring Break!

April 19-May 14 - ILEARN Testing

Student of the Month

Congratulations to the following

“Eagles” for their wonderful

“SOAR” behavior

Barnes:Olivia Hernandez &Isaac Knefely

Portolese: Alex Ford & Iris Kohne

Renz: Lindsey DeRoeck & Justin Hall

Bush: Samantha Roberts and Savannah Leach

Hinton: Natalia Mossacato & Cole Ryckeart

Taylor: Olivia Maxwell, Sophia Cyrier, & Allen Miller

Clark: Raelynn Hanthorn & Lily Ferrettie

Richard: Michaela Emmons & Nora Hamper

Tornquist: Claire Vigil, Owen Pitt & Daniel Rivera Rodriguez

Anderson: Jason Hall & Austin Scheibelhut

Miller: Hannah Smith & Ariana Navarro

Myers: Max Shook & Ella Ryckeart

Pillow: Eli Higgenbottom & Isabella Johnson

Cook: Ella Emmons & Dariane Argueta

Freeman: Jackson Blimling & Amelia Menz

Keough: Sarah Javed & Daniel Andrews

Newcomer: Roel Alverez and Ashton Dunn

Kertai: Carter Kajzer & Page Weesner

Mellor: Nora Haab & Lucy Schmidt

Shreiner: Connor Klink,Lexi DiMicco &Bonnie Moore

Daylight Savings Time Begins

Please remember to set your clocks ahead one hour at 2 am March 14th.

Health Room News

  • Students need to arrive at school with a face mask every day and they should be washed several times a week.
  • If their mask is getting wet at recess, send a second one with them.
  • Students should not come to school ill. Please call the office if they need to stay home.
  • Wash your hands often and do not touch your face.

Youth Services Bureau

Reminder that it’s tax time! Families in St. Joesph County may qualify for VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance). This program offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide FREE basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals. Call 2-1-1 between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm Monday through Friday to schedule an appointment.

As always, if you have any concerns, please don’t hesitate to give me a call at 259-3743. Thank you! - Mrs. Shell

Library Lines

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss! We celebrate his birthday each year on March 2nd. Remember the Lorax and caring for the earth, along with so many other of his books that teach about social concerns.

March is also Disability Awareness Month and all classes will be gaining an understanding of what that means and how to be kind to everyone.

In 1st and 2nd grades we are doing read aloud books, group reading, and listening to fun stories. K classes continue to grow their love for books and learning to read. 3rd 4th and 5th graders will be learning about Cultural Diversity.

Our STEM classes are lots of fun with hands-on activities, VR headsets, Sphero Minis, Ozobots, Dash’s, and other Coding classes.

Please allow your students to access the Junior Library Guild Bookshelf on their home computers any time, any day. They can get to it by logging into their class, clicking on the Music/PE page, go to classworks to Mrs. Knapp’s Virtual Library. The second slide will take them to the link to the JLG website to read a variety of books. The selection changes often.

Or try this link:


  1. Click on the orange Sign In button at the top of the page.

  2. All student logins for JLG are first letter of first name + last name + last three of their ID + @phm.k12.in.us. Password is ID + phm.

  3. Begin reading!

Mrs. Linda Knapp


Music at Elm Road

"February is always one of my favorite months in music. As we honored African American History Month, there is a lot of rich history in American music that we can celebrate. We have been studying jazz music. We heard performances by musicians such as Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald. We also have been singing spirituals in a call and response style. Older grades had an opportunity to learn spirituals that would have been sung by enslaved people, and then decode the spirituals to figure out the hidden messages in the song. These songs were used to help the slaves know how to escape and find freedom through the Underground Railroad."

What's Happening in Gym

Throughout the month of February we have discussed heart health with our Kids Heart Challenge and our fitness logs. Exercising 60 minutes a day, eating healthy foods, staying away from tobacco, the importance of a warm up and cool down, finding activities that make us laugh and smile to reduce stress, taking a heart rate and being kind to others have been our physical education focus this month. Thank you for reinforcing the importance of healthy choices at home with your child(ren).

All grade levels have been practicing jump rope skills and are setting personal goals for jumps in a minute and endurance jump. They are also participating in a jump rope ninja belt challenge and earning bracelets for each level of jumps they achieve.

In addition all grades have been participating in teamwork games. They practiced overhand and underhand throwing with “Monster Snowball Fight”. We played “Crab Soccer” to work on kicking and defensive (goalie) skills. And grades 3-5 all played “Snow Forts” to reinforce throwing, blocking and building skills.

A highlight for 5th grade and 1st grade students this month was having the 5th graders work in groups to design a five minute warm up routine. Each fifth grade group came in and taught it to a first grade class. The fifth graders were fantastic leaders for the first graders and the first graders were awesome listeners and tried their best with each warm up routine!

Thank you to all families that are participating in our “Kids Heart Challenge” our school goal was to raise $10,000 while learning heart healthy messages and practicing our jump skills. (Last year we raised over $12,000) The class that has the highest percentage of students registered (with or without any donations) will receive a $200 Amazon gift card for the class. The top five fund raisers in our school will get to go on a scavenger hunt that Mrs. Sime and I have designed. Our last day to register will be March 6th. Next month, we will be sharing the winners of the classroom challenge and our top five fund raisers.

Please remind your child to bring tennis shoes with him/her when coming to school in boots. Tennis shoes are the best choice for a day in the gym or classroom! He/She also needs to bring a water bottle to school for refills throughout the day. Any parent willing to donate dixie cups to our gym would be greatly appreciated for those thirsty that don’t have water bottles!


February in the STEM Lab - our 2nd, 3rd, and 5th graders did a special fingerprinting activity to go along with our Frank Einstein One School, One Book. We are all unique and special! K and 1st graders enjoyed creating beautiful designs on the Weave Silk App to discover the use of color, reflection, and repetition. 4th and 5th graders are using the Sphero Minis and the Ozobot robots to learn about coding and programming. 1st graders have been enjoying Scratch Jr and Coding to prepare them for future activities in using the Dash Robots. Second graders continue to learn Coding, building with planks, and creative learning through play with Legos. Third graders are beginning to explore Cultural Diversity through knowledge of our earth, continents, and communities using google earth and Sheppherd Software. Busy, fun times in the STEM Lab.

Miss Peluso's Reading Corner

Happy March, Elm Road!

This month we will begin preparations for the state standardized assessments for our 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade Eagles. As part of our Title I Program, we recently hosted a virtual information night with the help of our friends at Elsie Rogers. A big shout out to all families who were in attendance for this virtual event, “The Ins and Outs of Assessment." During this session, we discussed Dibels assessments for students in grades K-2, IREAD for students in grade 3, and ClearSight / ILEARN for students in grades 3-5.

The “The Ins and Outs of Assessment" slide deck includes several links to practice items, resources, and sample questions, which you can utilize at home to help your child to prepare for these upcoming assessments. If you have any additional questions, always feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher as well as our Title I staff.

I want to thank our families for their support and perseverance as we continue to help our students to become stronger and more confident readers!

Congratulations to our February SOARing Readers of the Month!

Barnes: Lorelai Sholty & Nolan Kozak

Portolese: Iris Kohna, Miles Shook

Renz: Paul Maxwell & Kaija Jaquay

Bush: Amyah Reina & Zophya Lee

Hinton: Abigail Stewart & Anavaya Hernandez

Taylor: Violet Cotton & Caleb Cummins

Clark: Madison Modlin & Levi Stachowiak

Richard: Jackson Bevis & Warren Habb

Tornquist: Claire Vigil & Zoey Faragoi

Anderson: Emily Smith & Kyle Sweezey

Miller: Harlie Bulger & Jaxon Signorino

Myers: Caedmon Bayer

Pillow: Isabella Johnson

Cook: Riley hoover & Esmeralda Santa-Barrier

Freeman: Anna Modlin & Gavin Fisher

Keough: Brielle Moore & Jace LeVan

Newcomer: Emma Palmer & Garrett Werntz

Kertai: Olivia Ulrich

Mellor: Nora Haab, Nadine Sheikhah, & Emma Kummeth

Shreiner: Bella Hubanks & Priscilla Bowlds-Hurtle

Happy Reading!

Miss Peluso

Title I Reading Specialist



Title I Resources - website

Winter Fun at Recess

Penn Pals Preschool

Big picture

Virtual Young Authors' Conference

Big picture