Elm Road Express September 2021

"Putting Dreams into Flight"

From The Office of Mrs. Beers

We are off to a great start to our school year. Students are doing a great job learning and following our SOAR guidelines. Our SOAR guidelines focus on Safe, Organized, Accountable and Respectful choices. Each day as I walk through classrooms I am impressed by our students. Our returning Eagles have done a great job of welcoming (in) new students this year. I see students forming great friendships, working hard and following procedures.

Our community garden is in full bloom! If you have not visited our garden, feel free to stop by after school one day and pick some vegetables. Our students have had the opportunity, through our STEM rotation, to see the garden and learn more about how it works.

We are excited for picture day at the end of this week. Please make sure to complete the online order form if you want to buy pictures of your child this school year.

Picture Day is: Sep 03, 2021

Order Code is: 60169Z

Your link to order is: https://inter-state.com/FlyerEntry/60169Z

I'm so thankful to be back at Elm Road with incredible staff, students and families!

Mrs. Beers

Notes from the Office

  • Student is Sick: Parents please call the attendance line and provide an explanation for their child's absence no later than 9:00 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 absence, student may not return until the office is called with the reason for your child's absence.
  • SOAR shirt orders are due on September 3rd, checks payable to Elm Road School. There will not be another opportunity to order the shirts this year.
  • Please return forms from the first day packets.

Dates to Remember

Sept 2- 5th Grade Virtual Parent Info Night 5:30-6:30

Sept 3 - Picture Day

Sept 6 - Recess Day -Labor Day

Sept 17- PHM Silver Mile Bash 4-6:30

Sept 27 - PTO Meeting 6-7pm Virtual

Oct 13 - End of 1st Grading Period

Health Room News

Reminders regarding Covid testing:

  • We can not accept home Covid tests.
  • Students can either do a rapid via a medical provider and get an official negative result or they can do the long test
  • When a student is considered a close contact, and you choose to have your student tested to return on day 8, the test must be the longer test (PCR test) not a rapid test. This test can be done on day 5-7 of their quarantine.
  • Please send an extra mask with your child in case the one they are wearing becomes wet or soiled. Remember to wash their masks often.
  • Please remind your children to have their masks on as they arrive at their bus stop, get on the bus, and get out of their cars.

Car Riders

  • Students and staff safety are 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 for the students' safety. 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.
  • We are having cars pull around the corner, into the bus pick up/drop off area after buses have loaded/unloaded as means to keep cars moving through. If someone waves you around the corner, please follow the corner and pull up to the next person.
  • Please help your child memorize their car rider number. This helps dismissal go a little quicker!
  • Students have received a tag with their car rider number on it, once they notified us they will be picked up at the end of school. Please hang this from your rearview mirror to help us identify your car.
  • If your child is going to be a car rider who is picked up at the end of the day, please email pfadden@phm.k12.in.us to get a car tag if you have not already received one.

Welcome New Staff

Meet our New Title 1 Reading Specialist

Hello Elm Road Families!

My name is Elaine Garton, and I've transitioned to the Title I Reading Specialist position at Elm Road. My role will be to assist students with their foundational reading skills to help every Eagle grow into a successful reader. I will support students in grades 1 through 5 in small group settings where individual student needs are addressed through instruction using research-based curriculums. I will assist with monitoring the reading progress and growth of our students, and help teach where there may be unfinished learning.

We will be continuing our Soaring Readers program this year which encourages students to love to read with monthly "Reader of the Month" nominations from each classroom teacher. Each student who is nominated by his/her classroom teacher each month will receive a book of their choice and a certificate. These students will also be listed in our monthly newsletter. We will have our first Soaring Readers in September and would love for you to help engage your child to love to read at home.

Since Elm Road is a Title I school, it is also part of my duties to inform families about our Title I program and services. Please refer to these slides and the survey regarding our Title I program and services.

I'm excited to be rejoining the Elm Road Family and am looking forward to a great school year where many young minds will flourish with reading. Thank you for your partnership and dedication to our incentive of growing a love for reading.

I am more than happy to always answer any question you may have about reading services. Please reach out to me with your questions.

Learning Hub

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Library Lines

The students in 2-5 have been enjoying our library and checking out books. New in the Library this year is that our fiction chapter books are shelved in their genres. I think it will be more fun for the students to find books they enjoy and also introduce them to new genres they might not have tried before.

We will be teaching our K-1 grades how to check out books during September. Please help your children take responsibility for the books they are borrowing by being sure to keep books in a safe place and returning them within two weeks after they have checked them out. They all know how to "SOAR" in the library! Just ask them!

The STEM Lab is up and running and all students are experiencing the fun of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Mrs. Linda Knapp


Music at Elm Road

We are kicking off another year in music! My name is Mr. Marks. This is my second full year here at Elm Road and my sixth year of teaching. I look forward to what we will be able to accomplish this year!


Welcome back friends!! I, Andrea Shell, am the Youth Development Specialist at Elm Road Elementary. I am available to assist families with resources they may need. I also see students individually and in small groups to work on academic, social, and/or emotional issues in order to help them be more successful in school. Reminder - All students receiving services need to complete the permission slip EACH year.

I am looking forward to another happy, successful school year!!

You can reach me during school hours at 259-3743 if there are any questions. Thank you!

Social Emotional Learning Updates

A message from Dr. Sears, director of Social-Emotional Learning & Mental Health

At Penn-Harris-Madison, we want to equip our students with the skills they need for success both now and in the future. One way we do this is through Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons for all students. SEL is the knowledge and skills essential for wellbeing as well as personal and professional success. It includes teaching, modeling, practicing, and reinforcing these skills (Indiana Department of Education (IDOE)). The IDOE has seven (7) competencies/main SEL skills, including the following:

  • Insight: The ability to know your emotions and how they affect your thoughts and actions (important for self-confidence, self-esteem, empathy, and recognizing one’s strengths and areas of growth).

  • Regulation: The ability to recognize and manage one’s emotions (builds self-control, self-discipline, and impulse control).

  • Connection: The ability to have strong social awareness, giving students the ability to take the perspectives of others and empathize with people of diverse backgrounds and cultures.

  • Collaboration: The ability to work well with others (builds positive communication and conflict management skills).

  • Critical Thinking: The ability to make constructive choices and understand metacognitive strategies to enhance learning (builds responsible decision making, analytical and critical inquiry skills, which are necessary to approach learning from an innovative, creative, multicultural, and ethical lens).

  • Sensory-Motor Integration: When one is aware of their body and sensations in order to manage transitions, change routines, increase alertness for learning and improve regulation.

  • Mindset: The ability to demonstrate cognitive flexibility and a willingness to learn, which is critical for perseverance, adaptability, self-discovery, resilience and giving/receiving constructive feedback.

In order to intentionally teach these skills, Penn-Harris-Madison has created SEL lessons for our students based on Indiana Department of Education’s SEL standards/learning competencies. The lessons are taught by the classroom teacher one time per week (with the exception of a few weeks due to the school calendar). At the elementary level, the lessons are taught based on the teacher's schedule. For more information, including an opportunity to view the SEL slide decks prepared for students to view with their class, please visit the P-H-M website at this link. During the 21-22 school year (SY), the slide decks will be released on P-H-M’s website prior to being taught. They will be released in roughly 9-week increments to align with grading quarters. The lessons for the 21-22 school year will start the week of August 30, 2021. Below is a summary of the lesson information for September.

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What's Happening in Gym

Welcome back and a warm welcome to new students/families to Elm Road School! I am excited to be back for another fantastic year of fitness. I would like to introduce/welcome back Sarah Sime to the gym at Elm Road. She will be teaching our kindergarten gym classes this year. I will be teaching first through fifth grade.

Our view at Elm Road is that physical education is much more than recess, more than a time to play. It’s a time of learning. Our first goal is to help children improve their movement skills. In addition to helping children become more skillful, we attempt to make them feel good about themselves as movers so that they’ll feel more confident to participate in physical activity outside of school. If children are given a good foundation of skill development, cognitive understanding and positive attitudes towards physical activity, they’ll be on their way to becoming adults who desire the benefits of a physically active, healthy lifestyle. A letter was sent home in the back to school packet to inform you of your child’s specific days and times for physical education.

In order to provide the best possible experience for your child, open communication and cooperation is a necessity! We have listed several items that will help promote increased effectiveness in physical education classes:

  • Help your child(ren) understand that physical education is a class to learn as with any other subject area. Encourage him/her to have a serious attitude and to try his/her best!

  • Physical activity must be done regularly to achieve health benefits. Therefore, your child’s participation is important. Experts recommend 60 minutes of physical activity every day for elementary students! This means in addition to our lessons, we hope they are finding time to move throughout their non-gym days.

  • Please encourage your child(ren) to dress appropriately and bring a water bottle for physical activity while participating in PE activities. For comfort and safety purposes, he/she should have a pair of securely fitting tennis shoes. Crocs, sandals or slip on shoes are not safe or effective for fitness.

  • Please feel free to contact Mrs.Sime (ssime@phm.k12.in.us) or Mrs. Parisi (dparisi@phm.k12.in.us) if you have any questions throughout the school year.

  • So far we have covered what physical education is and introduced them to safety procedures, fitness activities, warm ups and cool downs.

Debbie Parisi &Sarah Sime

Steering Committee

Application Open for Parent/Guardians & P-H-M Community Members for Consideration to Serve on a Steering Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation is developing a Steering Committee with a focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). This Steering Committee follows the work of the Superintendent’s Advisory Council (SAC) for DEI that took place during the 20-21 school year.

The goal of the Steering Committee for the 21-22 school year will be to examine the proposed action items from the 20-21 SY SAC for DEI and work to help plan next steps for implementation in order to provide Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation’s constituency the opportunity to have input into the corporation’s decision making process toward the achievement of district-wide goals regarding valuing and celebrating diversity as well as working to eliminate racial injustices and discrimination. The committee will include Penn-Harris-Madison administration, teachers, staff, parents/guardians, students, as well as members of the community.

We welcome parents/guardians of current P-H-M students and P-H-M community members to consider applying to serve on the Steering Committee for DEI. All interested parties who wish to seek the potential to serve on the Steering Committee for DEI for the duration of the 2021-22 school year are encouraged to apply. The application to apply can be found online at this link or a hard copy can be picked up from the Educational Services Center (ESC) at 55900 Bittersweet Road, Mishawaka, IN 46545 during business hours (7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday when school is in session). Completed applications and materials may be submitted online may be emailed to Mrs. Megan Landoll at mlandoll@phm.k12.in.us, or mailed or dropped off at the Educational Services Center no later than 4:30 p.m. on September 3, 2021.

The applicants for the Steering Committee for DEI will be reviewed by a group of P-H-M administrators. Then, all applicants will be notified of the decisions via email during the month of September, 2021.

We welcome interested P-H-M parents/guardians and P-H-M community members to apply for this wonderful opportunity to have a positive, lasting impact on Penn-Harris-Madison.


Due to the threat of extreme weather the Silver Mile Back to School Bash has been postponed to Friday, September 17 from 4-6:30pm at Penn High School. We are excited that the new date will coincide with the big rivalry home football game against Elkhart High School and will be a chance for our PHM families to get together and have a great time before cheering on Penn High School.

The Silver Mile Back to School Bash will include a 1-Mile Bubble Bash, Kickball Tournament and Fun Zone sponsored by Sodexo. The 1-Mile Bubble Bash is an upbeat and entertaining mile long fun run/walk starts and finishes on the TCU Freed Field track and follows a multi-terrain course within P-H-M’s campus that includes foam bogs and spirit stations along the way. Registration is $10 per person and includes entry to NEW Fun Zone!

NEW THIS YEAR - Come meet & reconnect with your fellow P-H-M families at the new Fun Zone while enjoying a variety of inflatables sponsored by Sodexo (Cost is $5 per person) or Round up your friends and register your team of 8 members for our Inaugural Silver Mile Kickball Tournament. Organizations, clubs, businesses & families welcome. Final game to be played on Jordan Baseball Field (Registration closes September 15, $100 per team)

The Silver Mile Back to School Bash will also include an expanded Family Fitness Expo and FREE health screenings by Saint Joseph Medical Center. Concessions will be available. Please visit www.phmef.org for more information and updates.

Questions?? Contact Amber Kennedy at amber@phmef.org.

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