Duneland School news for parents, students and teachers

Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021 Vol. 56 No. 8


CHS Announces Three 2022 National Merit Semifinalists

Chesterton High School has three seniors who are among the nation’s 16,000 Semifinalists announced in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) competition. These students have completed the first step in the competition for some 7,500 Merit Scholarships, worth more than $30 million, to be offered next spring.

Based on selection index scores on the 2020 PSAT/NMSQT, those CHS senior students cited in the 67th annual competition are Peyton M. Day, Joseph M. Hall, and Ethan J. Kroft.


Homecoming Block Party

This past weekend’s homecoming activities brought many happy memories and smiles from students, staff and families alike. Festivities began on Thursday evening with the annual Homecoming Block party hosted in front of CHS. Families brought their children to enjoy this fundraising event planned by CHS student government. Activities included a bounce house, cornhole, Bozo ring and water balloon toss, tie-dye t-shirts, and the ever popular dunk tank.

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Above, Brummitt students Katilyn Kurz, grade 4 and Chelsea Kurz, Kindergarten look at things to purchase with Lacey Lafata at the Cheer Team fundraising table at the Homecoming Block Party.
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Homecoming Parade

On Friday after school, CHS hosted the annual homecoming parade. CHS athletic teams, student clubs, and several community groups tossed handfuls of candy to onlookers on the parade route that snaked through town. There were lots of smiles by students and parade watchers.
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Homecoming Royals Crowned

At halftime, CHS senior, Dylan Leavitt and junior, Olyvia Clark were crowned as Royals. - Photo by J. Jendrzejczyk.
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Homecoming Game

Later that evening, a packed house watched the varsity CHS Football team defeat LaPorte by a score of 42-6. GO TROJANS! - Photo by J. Jendrzejczyk
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Homecoming Dance

The weekend’s festivities concluded with the Homecoming dance at CHS in which over 1,000 students were in attendance.


Celebrate Your Favorite Duneland School Teacher(s)

Duneland Teacher Selected as Teachers of Excellence

Congratulations to Westchester Intermediate School English teacher Katilyn Toweson for being selected as a September 2021 Teacher of Excellence. Teachers of Excellence is sponsored by Kenneth J. Allen Law Group of Northwest Indiana.

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Help us Nominate DSC Teachers of Excellence today!

Kenneth J. Allen Law Group supports Northwest Indiana teachers who go above and beyond for their students and honors them for their outstanding contributions to education. To learn more about the educators who are Teachers of Excellence or if you know of someone who should be recognized as a Teacher of Excellence, please nominate him or her by following this link.

View DSC Teachers of Excellence on our website.

September is Suicide Prevention Month

September is Suicide Prevention Month. The goal of the annual suicide prevention month is not to prevent suicide on a specific day, week, or month, but rather to encourage wide participation in educational activities that draw attention to the problem of suicide and advocate for prevention efforts. Over the past two decades, suicide rates have risen dramatically across all age groups and in nearly every state, including Indiana.

Voluntary COVID Vaccine Clinic available at Chesterton High School on Sept. 28

The Duneland School Corporation will host a voluntary vaccination clinic at Chesterton High School on September 28 from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. for students, parents and staff members.

Vaccines will be administered by the Porter County Health Department in the CHS Fieldhouse. Vaccinations will include Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Below is a link to the Parent consent form for students under the age of 18.

Consent Form for COVID-19 Vaccination

Download and complete this consent for your student to receive the vaccination.

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COVID-19 Dashboard

The DSC administration has established a COVID-19 dashboard that can always be found on our COVID-19 Support Center webpage. The COVID-19 dashboard (below) will now be updated once per day with all active cases reported, and/or will include cases removed from active status (conclusion of the 10-day isolation period). Daily dashboard emails will not be sent to families and/or staff members this school year. Below is the COVID-19 Dashboard with the latest update available at time of this publication. Please visit the COVID-19 Support Center for the most up-to-date posting.

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DSC COVID-19 Support Center

Duneland families can access our COVID-19 Support Center by visiting our website at www.duneland.k12.in.us and clicking on the COVID-19 INFO link at the top of our website. This link is also available on each of our school's websites in the same location.

DSC Response Plan 2021-2022

The 2021-2022 DSC Response plan was adopted to reflect the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic and will serve as a guiding document for school operations. Due to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, this document is being revised and updated on a regular basis. The most recent UPDATE was 8/18/21. Please consult the DSC Response Plan for details.

Long-Term Capital Improvements

At the Monday, September 13 school board meeting, Gibraltar Design again updated the school board and public regarding the progress on the preliminary plans for the new Yost Elementary School building to be constructed on the current Yost site. Gibraltar will be developing site plans for Yost and the 5-8 buildings (LIS/WIS) that will be the first locations to begin construction in early 2022.

Community members may review the Long-Term Capital Improvements information that will be continuously updated on the DSC website.

DSC Strategic Plan Timelines

The Duneland School Corporation Strategic Plan provides the focus and alignment for the school district over the next 3-4 year. These timelines were revised as of June 2021 to reflect the necessary adjustments to the plan.

Important Information Parents Need to Know

Safe School - TIP LINE

Do you have a safety or security concern at Duneland that you'd like to make us aware of? Please contact us by email or phone (contact information below), or use our anonymous tip line. Use our Anonymous Tip Line

Parent Observer Account

Parents are encouraged to set up their Canvas observer accounts to monitor their students' progress.

Parents can click this link to view how to set up their Parent Observer Account

Link to the Canvas Log In

Skyward Family Access Quick Guide

Need some help in navigating your Skyward Parent Portal? Here is a Quick Guide with helpful videos attached to guide parents in familiarizing and utilizing Skyward.

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Due to ongoing effects of the COVID Pandemic, many industries are suffering from labor shortages which is causing disruptions and shortages in the food chain. At present, Duneland School's Child Nutrition Department is experiencing unprecedented food order shortages causing many last minute changes to the breakfast and lunch menus. In an effort to communicate these changes to families in a timely manner, we ask that you please check this website daily for any changes to the menu.

Thank you for your patience as we work through these setbacks!

Visit the DSC Child Nutrition page


Student Fall Pictures for Grades K-8

BA - Sept. 17 https://inter-state.com/order Use order code: 60028H

BR - www.mylifetouch.com Use school id: EVT4D7P3W

JA - Sept. 30 https://inter-state.com/order Use order code: 60705JB

LES - Sept. 23 https://inter-state.com/order Use order code: 60497TB

YO - Sept. 23 https://inter-state.com/order Use order code: 60501W

LIS - https://inter-state.com/order Use order code: 60182BA

WIS - https://inter-state.com/order Use order code: 60183YB

CMS - \ https://inter-state.com/order Use order code: 60170XB

CHS - LINK TO ORDER PHOTOS: https://inter-state.com/FlyerEntry/60114T

Trojan Virtual Academy (TVA) Oct. 4 from 2-6 p.m.

Red Cross Blood Drive at Yost Elementary on Oct. 14

Yost has hosted multiple Red Cross Blood Drives over the years. Yost was recognized by the Red Cross for their efforts. The next public drive is Oct. 14 from 3:00-8:00 p.m.
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2021 Hall of Fame Nominations

The Chesterton Alumni Association is seeking nominations for the 2021 Alumnus, Teacher, Administrator, and Support Staff Hall of Fame. Plans are to honor recipients at an annual Alumni Association Dinner Banquet in May 2022.

“Many accomplished and dedicated individuals are not necessarily in the public eye; they are the unsung heroes and quiet warriors among us impacting students and staff every day,” said Jim Hall, CHS Alumni president. “The 2021 recognition committee invites alumni, community members, parents and others throughout the Duneland community to submit their nominations.”

Please consider nominating a candidate for Alumnus, Teacher, Administrator, and Support Staff based on the following qualities:




Exceptional Contributions


Giving Back


Courageous Acts


The CHS Alumni Association is accepting nominations for 2021 year through Wednesday, December 15 at 3 p.m. Those that wish to submit one nominee for each category must use separate nomination forms.

Nomination forms will also be available for pick up at the Duneland School Corporation Administration Center, 601 W Morgan Avenue, weekdays from 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Completed nominations may be submitted electronically to CHSalumniassociation@duneland.k12.in.us; by mailing to CHS Alumni Association,

PO Box 1063, Chesterton, IN 46304; or by dropping off the at the Duneland Administration Center, 601 W Morgan Avenue, Chesterton.

Link to fillable nomination form (Just fill-out and print)

Link to Printable form

DSC Now Hiring..

The Duneland School Corporation is seeking candidates for the following positions:


Child Nutrition associates provide nutrition services to students and staff. Benefit-eligible positions available. Apply online at Click to apply online


Duneland School Corporation Transportation positions (Bus Drivers, Sub Bus Drivers) require eligible persons to operate all school vehicles or (Sub Bus Aides) to assist in the transportation of all special students needing additional attention. These positions are highly responsible roles in transporting and dealing with students and staff on a regular basis. Transportation personnel interact with individuals both inside and outside of the corporation and therefore, must have the ability to present a professional and organized image at all times. Benefit-eligible positions available. Click to apply online


Duneland School Corporation Custodians are required to clean and sanitize all corporation facilities. This position has a highly responsible role in providing custodial services and dealing with students and staff on a regular basis. Custodians interact with individuals both inside and outside the corporation and therefore, must have the ability to present a professional and organized image at all times. Custodians may be required to work in other Duneland School Corporation facilities. Benefit-eligible positions available. Click to apply online


Seeking substitute teachers for all grade levels. To apply for a substitute teaching position, please apply in person at the Duneland Administration Center, 601 W Morgan Ave. in Chesterton to complete an application.

Ready, Set, Kindergarten Registration for 2021-2022

Internet Connectivity

Families without internet due to financial hardship have access to programs from two local providers.

Comcast Internet Essentials:

  • Families that qualify for public assistance programs such as the National School Lunch Program, Housing Assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI and other programs may also qualify for the Internet Essentials program from Comcast.

  • This program offers internet for as low as $9.95 per month.

  • Additional options and services are also available

  • More information is available at this Comcast link

Frontier Lifeline Program:

  • Families that qualify for public assistance programs such as the National School Lunch Program, Housing Assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI and other programs may also qualify for the Lifeline Program from Frontier.

  • More information is available at this Frontier link

Contacting IT Support

The Duneland School Corporation IT department is committed to making hybrid and remote learning models as successful as possible. To get your problems solved as fast as possible:

  1. Open a new Freshservice ticket:
    1. AV number is typically located on a sticker on the back/bottom of the device
      1. Serial number is also acceptable
  2. Open a Freshservice ticket by sending an email to: helpdesk@duneland.k12.in.us
    1. Please be sure to include email address, student or staff name, and a description of the problem
  3. Please use the above best methods to contact the DSC IT Department.


Mrs. Bye, TVA'S administrative assistant, can assist TVA students with technical issues during the school day. Please email jbye@duneland.k12.in.us or call our new line at 219-983-3743. Mrs. Bye will answer and then work with the IT Department to find resolution.


District Events are available on the Duneland School website at www.duneland.k12.in.us. Click on CALENDAR at the top of the page for a month by month calendar. You can even customize the calendar to see events for the schools your students attend.


Dunes Learning Center Programs

On May 7, 2019, residents living in the Duneland School Corporation boundaries voted to continue a twenty-two cents ($0.22) tax levy originally approved in 2012, for the purposes of maintaining the current educational and operational programs of the Duneland School Corporation. This general operating referendum will expire in 2026. Each month, the DuneNews will highlight a different initiative or program being funded by referendum dollars. The Duneland School Corporation thanks the community for their support, and in turn, pledges to be innovative and responsible stewards. This month, DSC highlights our Dunes Learning Center Programs.

Each year, Duneland Elementary 4th grade students embark on a learning experience called Frog in the Bog at the Dunes Learning Center with their teachers. In addition, the 3rd grade participates in the Winter Program. These unique learning opportunities are made possible through a partnership between the Dunes Learning Center and the Flora Richardson Foundation. Dunes Learning Center programs utilize a hands-on, interdisciplinary approach offering outdoor experiences and minds-on discovery to engage a variety of learning styles. The learning adventure begins at school with materials and activities provided by the Dunes Learning Center. At camp, students explore a classroom without walls where lessons come to life in nature. Follow-up activities allow students to transfer their experiences back into their studies, school and community.

For more referendum information, visit: https://www.duneland.k12.in.us/domain/367

NorthShore Clinic for ALL DSC Students located at CMS

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Duneland School Corporation has partnered with NorthShore Health Services to establish a school-based health clinic that is now located in Chesterton Middle School.

This partnership will provide access to healthcare for ALL Duneland School students.

Some of the services include:

  • Strep Throat
  • Ear Infections
  • Immunizations
  • Sports Physicals
  • Treatment for pink eye
  • Rashes
  • Behavioral health services and referrals

Duneland parents interested in using the school-based clinic for their child will need to have a signed consent form on file. Consent forms are available from your Duneland school nurse or can be obtained at the NorthShore clinic where the visit is scheduled.

Currently Open:

Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Call: 219-983-3776 x7020 to schedule an appointment

Pictured at right is nurse practitioner and Chesterton resident Shawn Kroft taking a student's blood pressure at the clinic.

Duneland Schools Spirit Store

Did you know that Duneland Schools has an online Spirit Wear Store where you can buy your Duneland spirit wear?

Purchase your CMS/CHS student P.E./Strength Training uniforms (shorts and t-shirts) online and arrange to have them delivered to your home or pick up at the store.

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CHS Cheer Camp

I want to sign up! Click on the image below to enter the Cheer Camp site

Chesterton Baskeball Club

Interested? Click on the image below to enter the Chesterton Basketball Club registration site.


The DuneNews is the Duneland School district newsletter. This newsletter has important information from the district, including messages from the Superintendent. Please read this publication to stay informed about things happening in the district.

The DuneNews is emailed each Thursday afternoon to all Duneland families through their school related email address. It is also posted on our website at www.duneland.k12.in.us/dune-news along with all archived issues; and on the DSC Facebook and Twitter. If you are not receiving your emailed issue of the DuneNews each week please email Bridget Martinson.