Spartan Herald September 2019

Your Window to the World

Our SMS Community & Celebrations

Dear Parents and Guardians,

In advisory classes these past few weeks, we started embracing our theme this year - Your Window to the World. Students discussed how they personally respond and cope to different situations. They participated in community building circles to connect with other students in their advisory class. Lastly, all students highlighted their personal strengths to then discuss how collectively all these unique abilities make Schmucker such a wonderful and rich community of learners! Please have conversation with your child about all they are doing in advisory class. I know they will have lots to share!

This week the IDOE published the Spring 2019 ILEARN scores. We are continued to be impressed by how our Spartans outperform others across the state by considerable margins. You can click here for more details about PHM's performance on ILEARN. We know our students' success is linked to the support families offer at home and our teachers that work diligently to create engaging lessons to appropriately challenge each of our students. And of course, we cannot forget to highlight all the hard work of our students! Daily our Spartans continue to impress me with their dedication to learning, their positive attitude, and their ability to connect as a school community!

We have much to celebrate here at Schmucker in our first few weeks back at school! Always be sure to check our website for updates and follow us on Twitter (@SMSSpartanPride) for all the recent news at SMS.

With your child in mind,

Lavon Dean-Null, Principal

Schmucker Parents,

As we start the 2019-20 school year, we want to let everyone know about all the opportunities available at Schmucker Middle School. Currently, we are in our Fall Sport Season which includes Volleyball, Cross Country, Football and Cheerleading. For those of you that don’t know, our SMS Team values student involvement and we work tirelessly to find ways to get our students involved in after-school events. We have many different kinds of clubs that can appeal to students with varying interests. For instance, this school year we have our VEX Team (Robotics), Chess Club, Fluid Power Systems (Engineering), Book Club, Magic The Gathering (Strategy Card Game), Yearbook, Art Club, and WSMS.

As the weather changes, additional opportunities come available. For instance, we have Weightlifting, Ski Club, and Basketball Club. In addition to these clubs, we also have several extracurricular academic programs available to students. These include Mathcounts, Academic SuperBowl and Spell Bowl.

Each of these opportunities are available to all of our students. Almost all of these clubs meet after school and adjourn at approximately 5:00 p.m. The only stipulation for student involvement that differs from last year is that each student must build a profile on For more information about RegisterMyAthlete, contact the SMS Main Office with all questions.

If your student has an idea for a new and exciting club, please ask them to come see Mr. Fry in Student Services for more information about how to get started.

SMS Families-

We have already had a wonderful start to year with grade level meetings, our first Social Emotional Learning lesson and the fundraiser kick-off! Our fundraiser efforts continue to help students thrive here at Schmucker and we are excited to see what experiences and opportunities we can further provide through our fundraising efforts. Last year we were able to decrease the overall cost for all of our 7th graders to attend a field trip to Chicago! Similarly, we were also able to decrease the cost for all of our 6th graders to experience Medieval Times. Last year we were also able to sponsor more after school clubs than in previous years and had higher student involvement. The fundraiser also helped us to host more student socials and even a movie social, complete with pizza! If students sell 3 items or more they will be able to attend our Sparty Party as well, which is always a fun community building event. We appreciate your support in helping your student's fundraising efforts to not only help financially aide their Washington DC trip their 8th grade year but to help provide opportunities for our entire school.

Important Dates

September 17 Turn in Mrs. Fields Order Forms

September 18 Washington DC Parent Information Meeting, 6pm-7pm, SMS Cafeteria

September 24 5-Star Fall Season Kick-Off

September 30 Early Bird Yearbook Deadline

Check out all events on our Website calendar: SMS Calendar

Schmucker - Thoughts from our Community

As we look to update our Schmucker School Improvement Plan, we are looking for feedback from all of our SMS community members. Please complete this form by Wednesday, September 11th to share your thoughts.

Schmucker PTO September Newsletter


Please follow us on Twitter! Our handle: @SMSSpartanPride

Yearbook Information

We are pleased to offer this year's Yearbook at a discounted price of $28 until September 30th. Nameplates are $4 until September 30th as well. The price of a Yearbook will become $30, with a $5 nameplate after September 30th.

We understand some families have purchased Yearbooks at the $30 price. Your child's yearbook will have a nameplate unless you'd like the $2 reimbursement. If you would like the reimbursement, please contact our school treasurer, Debbie Pletcher, at

Student Fundraiser

Schmucker Middle School is once again running Mrs. Field's Cookies Fundraising program!! We kicked off our sales on Thursday, August 29th. Any student who sells three or more items will be invited to our annual "Sparty Party". Some students will also be rewarded cash draws based on how many items they sell. The 8th grade students may use their proceeds to off set some of their costs for the Washington DC trip in May. The students received a packet in advisory class on Thursday, August 29th, so please take a moment to look over the material. Remember, all the funds help Schmucker students, staff, and community. Thank you for participating in Schmucker's fundraising efforts, and if you have any questions, please contact Kristyn Martin, Assistant Principal, at or 259-5661.

Advisory Communication

To keep parents updated about what students are learning in advisory class and to remind parents of school events, advisory teachers will be sending out emails to families. These emails will usually be sent out every week. If you are not receiving the emails by next week, please reach out to your child's advisory teacher.

Progress Reports

First quarter progress reports will be handed to students during advisory, the week of the 23rd!


Please click here to watch a short video on Schmucker's Drop-off & Pickup! Also please readabout our car rider line procedures & expectations!

8th Grade Washington DC Information Night

The 8th Grade Washington DC parent information meeting, will be held Wednesday, September 18, 2019. The meeting will be held in the SMS cafeteria,and will begin promptly at 6:00 PM. It will last approximately one hour.

Mrs. Emily Michelin of Hemisphere Travel (our travel partner) will be here to explain our trip's itinerary. We will hand out an information packet which includes the trip itinerary, online registration information, pricing information with deadlines for the three installments, and various forms to fill out (permission slip, behavior contract, health information). We need between 40 and 50 parents to chaperone the trip. We will be handing out parent chaperone packets which will include the criminal background check form which is required by PHM. If you are unable to attend this meeting, you (or your 8th grader) may pick up the information pack in the main office beginning September 19. For more information, please email Mr. Reininga ( or Ms. Scarbeck (

7th Grade Field Trip

The 7th grade class will be taking a trip to Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry

on Friday, March 27, 2020. (Save the date!) We'll be traveling by Royal Excursion motor coach and will be leaving SMS at 8:00 AM and returning to school around 5:30 PM. We will need about 45 parent

chaperones. Your job will be to supervise a group of six students while at the museum. More information will be sent home in October.

Penn-Harris-Madison ENL Services’ Free Community Connections Fair

The Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation English as a New Language Program is sponsoring our third annual Community Connections Fair! This community event is free and is scheduled for Saturday, October 5, 2019, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm at Schmucker Middle School (56045 Bittersweet Rd, Mishawaka, IN 46545). Last year we had TCU, the Better World Books bookmobile, the ETHOS science bus, HeathLinc, Real Services, Sky Zone, St. Joe County Public Library, Mishawaka Public Library, La Casa de Amistad, 4-H brought bunnies, and many more! We also included many cultural performances and student work that represented countries from all over the world! We can't wait to see what this year's event brings. Please join us!


At P-H-M, we value each student and want to help them reach their fullest potential. We can help unlock potential through Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)! According to the Collaborative for Academic and Social-Emotional Learning, it is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. SEL is vital and can offer so many benefits to students, such as an increase in prosocial behaviors, social and relationship skills, emotional wellness, academic success, stress management and the list goes on and on. Since SEL has so many benefits and is crucial for students' success, P-H-M has a unified, systematic focus on SEL and developed goals and initiatives on this front. One of our major goals is to offer SEL lessons to all students. The lessons are based off the SEL competencies set forth by the Indiana Department of Education. In order to teach students these skills, teachers will be delivering Social-Emotional Learning lessons in their classrooms during advisory one day per week. SMS has been doing this for a couple of years. The difference this year is a systematic focus on SEL topics for the entire district while covering the state's SEL learning competencies! In addition, SMS has also partnered with Five Star Life to offer the video curriculum one day per week to coincide with P-H-M's SEL topic. Never before has a partnership like this occurred to help prepare our students to be college and career ready with an intentional focus on SEL. For the months of August, September, and October, we will focus on offering an overview of SEL, and then learning more about self-awareness/insight, mindset, self-management/regulation, identifying strengths and goal setting. If we want our students to learn SEL skills, we must make time to intentionally teach the skills so they can benefit both now and in the future. In fact, research shows SEL can really move the needle in terms of academic performance. Furthermore, if we look down the road, Forbes identified the top qualities employers want in their employees, which are all related to SEL (e.g., ability to work on a team, problem solve, make decisions and communicate). Therefore, we must teach these skills to our students so they can be successful now and as well as later in life. SEL is a value-add to all P-H-M can offer to help unlock potential. For more information on SEL, please visit P-H-M's SEL web page or contact Dr. Jennifer Sears, Director of SEL & Mental Health at


Every student should now have their Chromebook. I would encourage all parents to review our expectations for using technology with your child.

SMS Technology Expectations

  • I will use technology to achieve my learning goals.

  • I will be responsible with my use of technology and will remember that this is an online public representation of me and our school.

  • I will report to a teacher any inappropriate posts, comments or use.

  • I will use school-associated social media appropriately during the school day.

  • I will use appropriate grammar instead of texting language when communicating.

  • I will not reveal any personal information such as: telephone numbers, names, addresses, email addresses etc.

  • I will not post photos or video showing myself or classmates unless authorized by a teacher.

  • I will bring my Chromebook to school everyday fully charged.

  • I will use the blue case the school provided me to protect my Chromebook at all times.

  • All school rules and consequences apply.

Chromebook Insurance

Families may purchase insurance at a cost of $25.00 for the 2019-2020 school year. We MUST receive your form and payment on or before Friday, September 13, 2019. You may purchase insurance after this date, however, your student's Chromebook will be examined for damage prior to insurance being activated.


Schmucker is thrilled to begin a fifth year with our eighth grade leadership and mentoring program called SPARC, or Spartan Peer Alliance Raising Connections. We are excited about the success of this program and look forward to another great year! We currently have nearly 40 mentors eagerly awaiting the opportunity to make a difference at SMS. SPARC mentors have been assigned to each sixth grade Advisory class. The SPARC members will actively participate in a variety of ways every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday during this time. Sixth grade students are encouraged to ask their mentors questions about SMS, organization, study tips, or anything else that 8th graders might be able to help with. SPARC mentors are looking forward to setting an example of what it means to Show Respect, Make a Difference, and Set the Bar High as they work with your sixth grade students throughout the year!


5-Star's Fall Season will kick off soon! Five Star's FEARLESS Leadership day is right before that! See Poster for more details! Find out all about Five-Star at their website, here!

PHM Education Foundation

The P-H-M Education Foundation supports the school corporation by fully funding the Kingsmen Art Gallery, fulfilling grants to support Robotics in the middle and high school plus innovative sensory tools for focused learning for elementary students.

This month, the Education Foundation was selected by Portillo’s to receive a donation of up to $2500 and I need your help!

  1. Go to
  2. ORDER ONLINE for delivery or pick up (drive thru or in the store)
  3. That’s it!

Not sure when to buy Portillo’s?

  • There are 2 college home football games… Easy drive thru on your way to tailgate!
  • Hosting a birthday party or away game viewing party? Portillo’s!
  • Ready to change up your lunch time meeting routine… You got it, just ORDER ONLINE and we will receive 20% of your order!
  • Feel free to order (and pay) in September for future orders and we will receive the credit!
    • Who wants to cook on Halloween and check off your Christmas Party carry-in NOW!

To put $2500 into perspective, it would cover the Young Author’s Conference allowing students K-5 to participate in a 1⁄2 day event featuring a children's author and activities to support writing skills!

Thank you in advance for your YUMMY donation!

P.S. There is also a party on September 18th with $1 Chocolate Cake! Come join us to celebrate their 500th day in Mishawaka!


Sports Update:

Our fall sports are in full swing here at SMS. Our teams have performed well so far and we have some exciting events coming up. Please mark your calendars now to attend our sporting events! On Tuesday's and Thursday's you are sure to catch and exciting volleyball game or a challenging football game with our terrific cheerleaders cheering on our team. Or you could see our top rated girls and boys cross country teams in action. Please plan to come out to SMS this fall and support our Schmucker Spartan teams!


Students should keep their eyes on the SMS website calendar and their ears on the WSMS morning announcements to learn of the fun activities to enjoy through our intramural program. The intramural coordinator will be making arrangements for space and supervision for a number of activities as the year progresses such as open gym, soccer, and basketball. Come and join in the fun!

TEAMS update

This summer our students worked hard to prepare and compete at the Nationals TEAMS (Testing of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science) Competition in Washington DC. This group made it to the semi final round for their prepared presentation on artificial intelligence ranking in the top 12 in the nation. We are excited to see what this year brings with a topic of a greener environment.

Message from club Fluid Power

Big picture

Transportation Policy


If your child is planning on going home on another bus with a friend, it is important to remember that the bus driver needs permission from the school office. The office will grant permission if we have a note from both parents (sending and receiving) and if the bus is not full as determined by the Transportation Center. We cannot, however, permit boys and girls to go home together even if they have parental permission. Parents would need to make these arrangements on their own after school hours.

Wellness information

Clothing necessary for participation in Wellness class activities throughout the school year is as follows:

Shorts: athletic style, any color, five inch inseam or longer (no cut offs)

T-shirt: yellow or gold - short sleeves

Shoes: tennis shoes with ties for securing to the feet - no vans, mules, canvas ballet flats


All clothing should be labeled with student's first initial and last name (no nicknames). Please visit our Schmucker website for further instructions, guidelines and policies for our wellness classes:

Families can get help with lunch & Textbook Fees

We encourage families who are struggling to meet expenses to apply for the National School Lunch Program's free and reduced-price lunch. The application is easy to complete (one per household) and includes a place to indicate that you also want to apply for textbook assistance. It's a good idea to take advantage of this program early in the school year. For answers to frequently asked questions, application or more information, click here:


Check out the P-H-M website for an online listing of non-school events & activities agencies have asked us to share with P-H-M families:

Student Hours

8:50am - Bus Arrival

9:00am - First Bell

9:05am - Classes Begin

4:00pm - Dismissal

4:10pm - Bus Departure