Updates from Prairie Vista

January 12, 2021

Dear Prairie Vista Families,

Last night (Monday, January 11, 2021) the Penn-Harris-Madison Board of School Trustees adopted two resolutions pertaining to COVID-19. One is related to P-H-M staff paid leave in relation to COVID, the other deals with the length of quarantine time for students and staff identified as close contacts through contact tracing. You can read both resolutions by clicking here.

Effective today, Tuesday, January 12, 2021 pursuant of the Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation Resolution for Reducing Quarantines approved last night, P-H-M Administration is reducing the minimum COVID quarantine period from 14 days to 10 days for staff and students consistent with the CDC’s revised recommendations. P-H-M Administration is making the change after consulting with the St. Joseph County Department of Health. According to the new CDC guidelines, people identified as close contacts of a COVID positive person must quarantine from the last date of contact with the positive case. The CDC recommends a quarantine period of 14 days, but on December 2, 2020 also gave local Health Departments the option to reduce that minimum length of time to 10 days IF no symptoms were reported during daily monitoring. The new guidelines also include the following:

  • After day 10 without testing

After stopping quarantine, you should:

  • Continue to watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure

  • If you have symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact your local public health authority or healthcare provider

  • Wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet from others, wash your hands, avoid crowds, and take other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19

What does this mean for students? For P-H-M students (and staff) who start a quarantine period beginning today, January 12, 2021, the quarantine period will be a minimum of 10 days, not 14 days. Students who started their quarantine period prior to today, January 12th, and were told that the quarantine period was 14 days, and are still within their quarantine period, will be informed that they are now allowed to return to school any time after the expiration of the 10th day of quarantine if they are symptom free (see the qualifiers listed above).

P-H-M’s “Return to Learn: District Overview” working COVID safety plan has been updated to reflect these new changes. Please visit your schools’ website for “Return to Learn” building specific plans for more details regarding specific procedures and protocols in place for each building.

PLEASE NOTE: The number of days that a person who is COVID positive must isolate remains 10 days; the CDC did not make a change to the isolation period. For more details from the CDC about when, how long and why a COVID positive person must isolate, click here.

There are a number of parent resources posted on P-H-M’s “Return to Learn” page on the District’s website; please visit www.phmschools.org/ReturnToLearn. Along with screening tools, guides on isolation and quarantine, the Indiana Department of Health COVID FAQ, you will also find a link to P-H-M’s Positive COVID Dashboard where we track the number of student and staff cases reported to us.

Following the COVID safety protocols that P-H-M has put in place will help mitigate and lessen the spread of COVID in our schools. We appreciate your partnership and cooperation in helping keep our schools safe for students and staff.

Stay healthy and well,

Keely Twibell

Principal, Prairie Vista Elementary School


The end of the grading period and the first semester will be on January 14th. Report Cards will be available in Skyward on Friday, January 22nd.

At the end of the second quarter, your student will receive a regular PHM report card. All areas should be marked with the exception of music, physical education, and responsibility for self. While lessons have been provided in all of these areas, including those focused on the social and emotional aspect of learning, we want to target assignments aligned to end-of-year expectations in order for students to be successful in their next grade. We greatly appreciate the hard work and dedication of our students as they have participated in all aspects of the curriculum. The progress report is one component of parent communication related to each student's acquisition of grade-level standards, however, we encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher if there is an area you would like additional information.


In Indiana, students can be identified as high ability based on achievement or aptitude. We are required to give nationally normed tests to test for high ability. We use the CogAT tests to measure aptitude and NWEA tests to measure achievement. Students can be identified as high ability in language arts and/or math.

In February we will begin our high ability identification process for this school year. We will administer the CogAT tests to the majority of our kindergarten, second grade, and fifth-grade students. Students that were previously identified as high ability in both subject areas will not take the CogAT tests. Students that were previously identified as high ability in one subject area will be tested for the other subject area.

Students who score in the 70%ile or higher on a CogAT test will proceed to the next level of our identification process which is NWEA testing. We usually give the NWEA tests to our currently identified high-ability students so that we can progress monitor their progress. The middle schools appreciate recent NWEA scores for our current 5th graders as they can assist with class placements for 6th grade. This testing will occur in March. If you would like to view the flowcharts for our identification process in kindergarten, second grade, and fifth grade, those can be found on our website High Ability and Enrichment.

All high ability testing will be done in home schools and not current virtual schools. During the testing, we will follow the school, county, and state social distancing, personal protective equipment, and safety guidelines.


Please complete the following survey even if your child has already been identified as high ability. If you choose to have your child participate in the testing, we will send more specifics about the testing when schedules are determined.


Martin Luther King Jr. Day

No School: JANUARY 18



Meals for 100% Virtual Learners:

  • We will have meals available for the 100% virtual learners from all schools.
  • Meals will be distributed at 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday and may be picked up at any of the following sites:
    • Penn High School Door K – Enter the back of the building off Jefferson. Door is at
      the driveway by the playground.
    • Grissom Middle School Door H – Enter back parking lot off Elm
    • Horizon Elementary School Door B – Enter back parking lot

  • It will be the same type of bag with only four meals on Wednesday and six on Friday.
  • Students do not need to be present for the parent or guardian to pick up meals.
  • Student ID’s WILL NOT be required.

*Meals will not be provided on Recess Days.

Menus for all schools and virtual learners can be found here.


The link below provides daily start times should school be delayed 2 hours due to inclement weather. Please remember that start times, as well as bus schedules, are all delayed by exactly two hours. Please note that Kids Club does NOT provide morning services on days that school is delayed.


Be sure to check our Facebook Page! We try to post a lot of pictures of students and classroom activities. Our page is private and if you would like to join the Prairie Vista Facebook, send a request to the following email address: ktwibellprairievista@gmail.com.

You can also follow us on Twitter at Prairie Vista Pumas @PVPumaPride


Attached below is a resource for parents that helps provide information regarding when students should isolate and quarantine and for how long. This resource is provided by the Indiana Department of Health.

Students who are isolated or quarantined will NOT be enrolled into a virtual classroom. They will remain under the guidance and instruction of their current in-person teacher who will provide make-up work for the time the student is absent.

Back to School Checklist...


Check with your child EACH morning for signs of illness. - See graphic below

  • If a child has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher, they should NOT come to school. Email prairievistaattendance@phm.k12.in.us

  • If your child has a sore throat, a cough, diarrhea, severe headache, vomiting, or body aches, consider calling their doctor immediately.

  • If your child has had close contact with a COVID-19 case, they should NOT go to school. Please contact the school to inform us of a known exposure.


  • Students must wear a mask on the bus and into the school.

  • Refillable water bottles may be brought to school. (NOTE: Make sure their name & grade level is prominently displayed. Water bottles will be thrown away if they are left behind with no name).