SCH Weekly

Scott E. Miller, Superintendent

Issue 1 - January 7, 2020

Dear SCH Family,

Welcome back to school and I hope each of you enjoyed some time away with your loved ones. A new year and a new decade represent a chance for each of us to set new goals and grow as professionals and people. I encourage each of you to foster a growth mindset in 2020 and to keep your focus on serving the kids, even when challenges abound. Amidst all the changes it will undoubtedly feel overwhelming at times, but grounding yourself in a kids first mindset will see us through. The entire district leadership team and I look forward to working alongside you to make 2020 a great year for SCH.

- Scott

Food & Nutrition

Fundraisers Involving Food

Are you a staff member who oversees a school group that does fundraisers? Do those fundraisers involve food? If they do – please make sure that you are including the Fundraiser Appendix sheet in your application for fundraiser approval. Per USDA regulations – any food sold during the school day that is meant to be eaten during the school day has to meet strict nutrient guidelines – this includes fundraisers. SCH can still do fundraisers of food during the school day – but if the items don’t meet the nutrient guidelines the items just can’t be eaten during the school day. For more information click here.

For the Fundraiser Appendix sheet to attach to your food fundraiser application please click here:

Hammond Academy for the Performing Arts

This week, HAPA welcomes Nicholas Waxman in a partnership with Eltham College, in Victoria, Melbourne. Mr. Waxman is an accomplished actor and multiple award winning teacher and director. He comes to Hammond with an interest in working on arts curriculum development, rubric assessments, and developing a holistic creative arts culture and community. Eltham is in a similar devlopmental process and we hope to engage in continued mutual growth and development for arts service.

Human Resources

Wishing a very Happy Birthday to all staff members who have birthdays this week!

Lissette Acosta, Raechel Adam, Stevie Anderson, Nicole Aponte, Melissa Baker, Tabitha Balio, Kimberly Balitewicz, Maria Bonilla De Penate, Bethan Brown, Susan Carpen, Blanca Carrillo, Reyna Castrejon, Kimberly Chenault, Joyce Chumley, Lela Colvin, Water Cotton, Boyzie Coutler, Patricia Deane, Richard Fantin, Jill Gajewski, Gina Good, Diana Goodman, Sophia Ibarra, Jennifer Isbister, Angel Jackson, Larry Johnson, Sean Kinsey, Monica Korzenecki, Robert Kujawa, Shaun Kun, Maria Magana, Candace McLaughlin, Barbara Micka, James Miles, Joey Miller, Erin Mueller, Blanca Nieves, Alex Peck, Robert Perry, Janice Peterson, Elizabeth Pittman, Connie Pruitt-Alley, Danielle Pryor, Loraine Renfroe, Daniel Rex, Jeffery Ritter, Barbara Roberson, Carla Rodriguez, Rhonda Safstrom, Tiffany Sangster, Mary Schons, Alison Simon, Rhonda Sutphin, Sandra Tinoco, Colette Weitknecht, Melonee Widelski, Erica Wolfe, and Leslie Yanders.

Special Education


Thanks to technological advances, we have gone from the bulky Walkman to the tiny iPod that we can take just about anywhere. This increases our exposure to music, Podcasts, or other types of audio programming. The type or quality of headphones or earbuds can vary, but what people should know is that high volume levels can be damaging to hearing.

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders reports that 85 decibels is the minimum level at which hearing can be damaged. The Oregon-based public health partnership Dangerous Decibels reports that a portable music player with stock headphones at maximum volume can reach over 100 decibels and can cause damage in a short period of time. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia reports that today roughly 17 percent of teenagers show some signs of hearing loss. Whether the headphones are used for learning or leisure, it is best to closely monitor the volume level.

In regard to education, the good news about headphones is that they can be used to help children with sound sensitivity. The constant clamor in the cafeteria, gym, student assemblies and even music class can cause significant anxiety in students with Autism. When appropriate, giving them the option of using noise cancelling headphones when they feel overwhelmed is empowering and provides them with a positive coping strategy for dealing with their disability.


Welcome back! Hopefully everyone had a wonderful holiday and was able to get some well deserved rest. Now that “gift return” season is in full swing, be wary of scams, primarily by email, from what appear to be banks, vendors, and credit providers. Emails stating “your refund couldn’t be processed” or “your payment was rejected” occur much more frequently this time of year. Be sure to verify the sender’s address is valid. When in doubt, call your bank or the vendor directly!


“Stop Means Stops”

NHTSA is launching a social media campaign to remind drivers on the dangers of illegally passing a school bus. The greatest risk to a child isn’t riding a bus, but approaching or leaving one. This time of year it is dark when kids go to school and maybe even when they leave in many parts of the country, more kids are riding the bus due to cold weather and there could possibly be wet, slick, snow covered or icy roads. That’s why as a driver it is especially important to pay attention.

SCH Transportation Department in partnership with the NHTSA will be posting the links and messages below to it’s Facebook Page to highlight.

Friday, Jan. 3, 2020: (Stop means stop)

Students are going back to school following the holiday break. Remember: STOP means STOP! Watch the proper way to stop for a school bus, and what NOT to do. Learn more at

Monday, Jan. 6, 2020: (Don’t be this driver)

Did you know that the greatest risk to a child isn’t riding a bus, but approaching or leaving one. STOP means STOP! As you’ll see in this video, it’s just not a bus you’re stopping for, it’s a bus full of students.

SCH Events

Monday, January 6th

  • Teacher Work Day
  • Hess ES - “Make it a Good Night Monday” live read aloud on Facebook - 7 p.m.

Tuesday, January 7th

  • Administration Center - School Board Meeting - 6 p.m.
  • Lincoln ES - NWEA Testing Begins
  • Morton HS Girls Basketball @ Hobart HS - 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, January 8th

  • Bowman Academy Girls Basketball @ Clark HS - 5:30 p.m.
  • Clark HS Boys Wrestling @ Whiting HS - 6 p.m.
  • Hammond HS Coed Swimming @ Clark HS - 5 p.m.
  • Morton HS Freshmen Basketball @ Illiana Christian - 5:30 p.m.
  • Morton HS JV Girls Basketball @ Illiana Christian - 7 p.m.

Thursday, January 9th

  • Calumet HS Boys Basketball @ Clark HS - 5:30 p.m.
  • Lincoln ES - Professional Development - 8 a.m.
  • Lincoln ES - Science Olympiad Tryouts (Grades 4 & 5) - 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Morton HS - HAPA Open House - 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Morton HS Freshmen Basketball @ EC Central HS - 6 p.m.
  • Morton HS Wrestling @ Hammond Baptist - 6 p.m.

Friday, January 10th

  • Clark HS Girls Basketball @ Hammond HS - 5:30 p.m.
  • Gavit HS Boys Basketball @ Morton HS - 5:30 p.m.
  • Irving ES - Student Regional Federal Credit Union - 8:30 a.m.
  • Irving ES - Parent Volunteer Training - 9:15 a.m.

Saturday, January 11th

  • Clark HS Boys Wrestling @ Hanover Central - 9 a.m. (Lake County Championship Tournament)
  • Morton HS Wrestling @ North Newton - 9 a.m.
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SCH Highlights of the Week

Franklin ES

5th grade students at Franklin recently researched different Christmas/Holiday traditions from around the World to learn more about how people celebrate. This included many countries and cultures. Students gathered information, created google slide presentations and presented them to the class. The students were so excited about this project that during the 2nd round of presentations when Mrs. Grohar (Principal) came in to check them out, students who had already presented wanted to go again so Mrs. Grohar could see them! What an amazing learning opportunity and integration of technology!

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Wallace ES

The students and staff of Wallace Elementary School ended the year by taking a virtual trip to the country of Kenya, where they learned to be kind-hearted and caring. Through storytelling, music, interactive videos, the Kindness Adventure showed our students how differences make experiences and friendships special. As we begin this new year, we want to encourage everyone to Choose Kindness and make a difference in the world!

Stay Informed

An update from the Superintendent is distributed at the beginning of the week.

View previous weekly updates from Mr. Miller here.

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