The Tiger Times

November 8, 2019


The MSD of Decatur Township is Student Invested, Community Connected. We prioritize Student learning, Safety and Customer Service, fostering a support system for our families.

A Note from your Principal

Dear West Newton Families,

I am inviting you to attend our annual Veterans Day Program on Mon., Nov. 11 beginning at 8:30am. Our students and staff take this opportunity each year to thank our Veterans for their service to the United States of America. This is such a beautiful program that is both touching and solemn.

We have new Tiger Wear order forms that have been sent out to all families. You can find more information about this within this newsletter, too. Our students love to show their Tiger Pride when the school has a Tiger Time or other special events. Orders are due soon so check with the office if you need a new form sent home.

Thank you for sharing your child with us each day!

With Tiger Pride,

Principal Strube

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Mrs. Janica Humphries ~ Assistant Principal

Dear West Newton Families,

I am truly honored to accept this new role as Co-Assistant Principal and I look forward to working with Mrs. Strube, Mr. Werner, as well as the rest of our staff who are filled with enthusiasm about education and dedicated to the success of every student.

I am currently entering my 19th year in education. I have spent 17 years as a special education teacher (13 of those years have been at West Newton) and 2 years as a lead teacher.

Outside of work, I am the proud mother of three beautiful children. My oldest, Patrick is a junior. My son Nicolas is a freshman and my youngest son Chandler is in preschool. I am supported at home by my wonderful husband, David.

My goal as Assistant Principal is to continue providing the leadership that will facilitate a school environment that is safe and respectable, and work to support students both academically, socially, and emotionally.

Working together, I am confident that we will continue to provide our students with many opportunities to grow.

Janica Humphries

Assistant Principal

Chris Bright ~ Lead Teacher

Mr. Chris Bright is now West Newton's Lead Teacher after serving as a teacher in grades 2, 3, and 5 at West Newton for 22 years. He is excited to support the teachers and students of West Newton in his new role!

Sarah Brown ~ 2nd Grade Teacher

I was born and raised in Champaign, Illinios. I have lived in Louisiana for the past 12 years. We relocated this summer to be closer to family. I have been married to my wonderful husband, Clifton, for 10 years. We have 2 daughters, Kenzee and Preslee. This will be my 8th year teaching. I have taught 4th, 5th, library and STEM enrichment classes.


From the gym…

First of all, many thanks to 4th grader, Lillian Goddard, for renaming October in the gym to “Booktober!” It’s perfect because each week, three or four books were presented and then we played games with storylines based on the books. Most students really enjoyed learning about new books and authors. Hopefully their interest was piqued enough to seek out a few of the books (or the movies based on the books) to share at home.

One of the books I feature each year is Frankenstein. It’s a classic horror novel, but what makes it more interesting and the reason I include it, is because the author, Mary Shelley, was just eighteen years old when she began writing the story, and she self-published it in 1818 when she was 21 years old. I use this book as an example for our students to know that even as young people, they can accomplish anything if they’re willing to work hard enough, even write a timeless, classic horror novel.

If you read last month’s notes from the gym, you’ll remember I was excited to introduce the Quidditch game that is detailed in the Harry Potter series. Some classes were VERY enthusiastic about playing Quidditch (perhaps because they had read the series?), and others weren’t particularly interested. It did require a certain amount of imagination and role playing and that may have put some students off as well. Overall though, it was a fun game to introduce AND watch!

This month, in November, we’re doing a three-week unit on team handball. It’s an Olympic sport and plays somewhat like a combination of basketball and soccer. Most of the students enjoy this unit. If you would like to see what team handball is about, check out this YouTube video link of the USA Team Handball team:

Finally, November is a time of reflecting on the many blessings that we’re grateful for, and one of those blessings at the top of my list is our students. They make me smile, laugh, challenge me, and sometimes grow my patience, but I can’t imagine being anywhere else. Thank you for sharing your children with me! I’m honored and humbled by your trust! Mrs. W


The days are getting chillier as fall continues to winter! It is VERY important that your children are dressing appropriately to prevent any health issues related to the cold! Please make sure they are coming to school with a jacket/coat as they will still continue to go outdoors for recess if weather permits. As the temperature continues to drop, please also make sure your child has appropriate head gear on such as stocking caps and/or scarfs (FYI-heat is released thru your head)! Also make sure they are wearing gloves during very low temperatures to help prevent frost bite! Remember, just because it’s not snowing does not mean the cold cannot do damage to your little ones!! As always, THANK YOU for helping to keep all our tiger cubs healthy and ready to learn! J

Paige Ison, RN

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SMENCIL PENCIL SALE $1.00 ~ November 11th, 13th, and 15th

Smencils are scented pencils made from recycled newspaper which makes them a wonderful "Green Fundraising Product". Smencil scents are Strawberry, Blubble Gum, Grape, Jelly, Kiwi, Pineapple, Blueberry, Orange, Blue Raspberry, Rootbeer, and Black Cherry.

Smencils are $1.00 each. Smencils will be sold this week only. All proceeds benefit the Student Activity fund and the Staff Fund.

Smencils will be sold on Monday, Nov. 11th, Wednesday, Nov 13th, and Friday, Nov. 15th


Popcorn is $.50 per bag. Popcorn money will be collected all week and the popcorn will be distributed during the students' lunch time. All proceeds benefit the Student Activity fund and the Staff Fund.

Popcorn days this month will be Friday, November 8th and November 22nd.


Thanksgiving Break is Monday, November 25, 2019 - Friday, November 29, 2019. School is closed and will reconvene on Monday, December 2, 2019.


Our Lost and Found is full of coats, jackets, sweatshirts, lunchboxes and other items. If you are missing anything, please stop by the school to look or ask your student to check the table.

West Newton PTO ~ Events at a Glance


Tuesday, 5th @ 6pm - - - PTO Meeting

Friday, 25th / 6:00 - 8:00 - - - Movie Night


Saturday, 7th / 9:00 - 1:00 - - - Winter Wonderland

Monday 9th - Friday 13th / 8:30 - 1:30 - - - Secret Santa Shop

Friday, 13th / 6:00 - 8:00 - - - Movie Night


Tuesday, 7th @ 6pm - - - PTO Meeting

Friday, 17th / 6:00 - 8:00 - - - Movie Night

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All students have homework each evening which includes reading for 20 minutes, studying word study words, and practicing math facts. Students in grades 4-6 may have extra work for any assignments not completed in class that day.

Practice equals mastery ~ students will gain confidence and show success in the classroom. If you need help with ideas and/or strategies, contact your child's teacher.


All Decatur Township School volunteers must register and be approved before volunteering for the 2019-2020 school year.

To complete the volunteer form now - click here

The application can also be found at

Click on the tab 'Families', then 'Volunteer' to submit an electronic form.

Don't have a computer, not a problem. Volunteer forms are available in the school office.

For more information contact:

Bev O'Toole 317-241-0183 or


Our students need you!

*We CDL Train*

Contact our Transportation Department

317-856-8060 or apply online at

Decatur Township Library Cards

Decatur Township has entered into a partnership with the Indianapolis Public Library. Through this partnership, every year we provide the library with a list of our students, and they match the list with their database of patrons. If a student does not currently have a library card, they will be issued one. This program has been very successful in our schools and in other districts in Indianapolis.

The special card students receive will give them access to all of the library’s digital materials, such as databases of magazine and journal articles, downloadable ebooks, emagazines and audio books. In addition, it will give them very limited access to physical items, such as regular books. Of course, you can change this to a full access card by visiting your library. This is an outstanding opportunity for your student. If for any reason you do not wish for your child to participate, please contact our school office for paperwork to opt out.

Any questions or concerns about the program can be directed to Lynn Hodgkin, Elementary Media Coordinator, at 317-856-2221.

CANVAS Parent Instructions


Support Decatur Township by purchasing a metal "Decatur Proud" license plate. The cost is $5 (cash only) and the profits help the students in our school.


Clipping Box Tops for Education is an easy way to help earn cash for our school. Each one is worth 10¢ for our school! Just look for the pink Box Tops on hundreds of products. All you have to do is clip them and send them to school. Your child can earn personal rewards and rewards for their class or grade level when they bring in Box Tops! For more information on Box Tops, including a list of participating products, go to Be sure to sign up as a member (it’s free!) so you can check out our school’s earnings details and get access to coupons and bonus offers. You can also download the Box Tops Bonus App to earn even more money for our school.

Thank you for your support!


It is the Board’s commitment to provide a safe, positive, productive and nurturing educational environment for all of its students. Any individual who believes a student has been or is the victim of discrimination, bullying, or harassment should report the situation to the building principal or designee or complete the School District’s Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying report form, which is available online at
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