2023 Community Connections Fair to be held Oct. 7

The Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation’s ENL Services’ is sponsoring the District’s FREE Community Connections Fair!

Come check out what the Mishawaka, South Bend, and Elkhart communities have to offer to your families!

P-H-M is inviting area businesses who want to participate in the Community Connections Fair to sign up. Click here to request a table at the event. 

The Fair will also include cultural performances from P-H-M students and families. Families wishing to sign up to perform, click here.

Bilingual interpreters will be on hand at the event to assist those families who need it.

Come out and enjoy the many cultural performances and student work that will be on display representing countries from all over the world! 

Please join us! Click here to download and share the flyer.

For more information, please contact:
Rylee Jacobson
P-H-M Elementary ENL Coordinator
(574) 271-8598, Ext. 50913
rjacobson@phm.k12.in.us

“Back to School” Boys Basketball League

Boys in grades 2nd to 8th are invited to participate in “Back to School” Basketball League at Penn High School.

2nd – 6th grade League

DATES: September 24th; Oct. 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd 29th

LOCATION:

  • 2nd-4th, Penn Fitness Center
  • 5th-6th, Main Arena/West Balcony/Aux Gym Time

TIMES:

  • 2nd-4th, Sundays, Noon – 4:00 p.m.
  • 5th-6th, Sundays, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

COST: $99

Click here to register online.

7th & 8th grade League

DATES: September 10th, 17th, 24th; Oct. 1st, 8th

LOCATION: Penn High School

TIMES: Sundays, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

COST: $79

Click here to register online.

Questions? Please contact the League Director Coach Smith if you have any questions at jsmith5@phm.k12.in.us

Fall 2023 Penn Youth Girls Basketball League, 3rd-8th grade

Penn Girls Basketball Head Coach Kristi Ulrich is once again offering a fall youth basketball league 

The “Junior” League is open to girls in 3rd – 6th grades. The “Senior” League is for student-athletes in 7th & 8th grades. All those participating in the ”Senior” league MUST live in the P-H-M District or attend a P-H-M School.

Sign-ups are on Sunday, September 10  from 12 – 2 p.m. in the Penn High School Main Arena. Enter Door D. 

The League runs September 17th – November 12th with a single elimination tournament for all age groups.

All games will be played on Sundays at Penn High School in the Main Arena, Auxiliary and West Balcony courts. Tournament times may vary on Nov. 12th.

Weekly Game Times are:

  • 3rd & 4th grades: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • 5th & 6th grades: 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.
  • 7th & 8th grades: 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Click here to download the PDF with more information and to register.

2023-2024 District Activities Calendar

The 2023-2024 District Activities Calendar was mailed to the homes of P-H-M families the last week of July.

The calendar provides key dates for testing, recess breaks, and school specific events (for the schools that provided the information).

You can click here to view a PDF copy of the calendar. You can also view a one-page of the 2023-2024 school calendar that shows the school year at a glance.

The P-H-M District online (Google) calendar is the most up-to-date. You can add this district and any school calendar to your own personal Google calendar.

Each of our 15 schools also maintains an online calendar that is updated frequently with the school’s scheduled activities and event details. You’ll need to visit your school’s website to add that calendar to your personal Google calendar. 

5th Grade Show Choir performs for special visitors

In February, the 5th grade Show Choir performed at St. Paul’s Senior Living Facility. So when the Choir started training for their spring performance, they thought it would be a good idea to invited the St. Paul’s residents to visit Horizon!

So on Thursday, May 11, the Show Choir hosted a special luncheon, prepared by Horizon staff. After the lunch, the residents stayed to watch the 5th grade Show Choir their in-school dress rehearsal of their “Rock On Concert” 

Needless to say the show, under Mr. Jon West’s direction, did NOT disappoint! 

Running is Elementary Details

Running is Elementary races were postponed until Wednesday, May 3 due to the weather on Monday, May 1.

The races will still take place at Elm Road Elementary, 59400 Elm Rd, Mishawaka.

WHEN: Introductions start at 2:50 p.m.
Race Order
5th Girls: 3:00 p.m.
5th Boys: 3:20 p.m.
4th Girls: 3:40 p.m.
4th Boys: 4:00 p.m.

PARKING INFO:
South Bend Orthopedics: 60160 Bodnar Blvd, Mishawaka
Grissom Middle School: 13881 Kern Rd, Mishawaka
Shuttles start at 2:30 p.m.

ALL Runners picked up no later than 4:30 p.m. at Elm Road Elementary School. Runners may leave following their run and checking out with the coach.

Horizon Teacher’s Aide Mrs. Julie Mead Named Employee of the Year

P-H-M Superintendent Dr. Jerry Thacker wrapped up his busy week of surprises this afternoon at Horizon Elementary School by naming Teacher’s Aide Julie Mead as the Classified Employee of the Year. Dr. Thacker and Horizon Principal Amy Fadorsen popped into a kindergarten class where Mead was leading a Reading Learning Club session. Mead was so taken off guard she didn’t realize the award was actually for her until Dr. Thacker said her name. Click to watch the video below, and click here to view the photo gallery on the PHM website.

Mead first came to P-H-M as a parent. All of her three children have attended P-H-M schools and she says grateful for all the opportunities P-H-M has provided for her children and now herself, “Best decision we could have made, not only for our three kids, but for our family as a whole. Not only have they had wonderful educational experiences, but I’ve been able to find a job that is more like a family at Horizon.”

Mead started working at P-H-M in January 2019 as a Universal Substitute at Horizon. A year later she transitioned to a Teacher’s Aide position, staying at Horizon. This school year, Mead has also become an Early Learning Academy Teacher’s Aide–the only ELA Teacher’s Aide at Horizon! 

Mead loves that she’s able to interact with students and staff throughout the building, “The job of a TA is a unique one. You spend so much of your day in small time frames all over the building. I touch each grade level daily. I get to learn about each and every year these students spend in the building and I get to help them year after year grow in their learning.” Mead says she’s found her calling as a TA, “I count it a blessing to be able to help so many all over the building! … There is so much joy in my day to be able to see those little lightbulbs go off above the students’ heads.”

Mead is appreciated not just for the assistance she provides in the classroom, but for what she does  outside the classroom as well. Her list of school activities include: leading staff after school workouts, helping coach Horizon’s “Running is Elementary” teams, taking care of Horizon’s outdoor learning space known as the environmental lab, serving as a school traffic guard through VSS, and organizing a school blood drive for staff and the community.

Horizon teacher Jeffrey Hardman, who nominated Mead, explains how important she is to the building community “Mrs. Mead social emotional personality to help and lift up those around her is above and beyond what is needed in our workplace. She brings a cheery and secure personality to work each day.” Hardman also states her “positive behaviors have left us all feeling better at the end of the day.”

There were two surprise announcements earlier this week for P-H-M Teachers of the Year. On Monday, April 24, P-H-M Superintendent Dr. Thacker surprised Walt Disney Music Teacher Mr. Robi Davidson naming him P-H-M Elementary Teacher of the Year. The next day (Tuesday, April 25) he surprised Penn High School AP History Teacher and Tennis Coach Mr. Eric Bowers and named him Secondary Teacher of the Year. Julie Mead was named Classified Employee of the Year on Friday, April 28.

The Teachers of the Year and the Employee of the Year awardees are officially recognized at P-H-M’s annual Employee Recognition & Retiree Dinner which will take place Wednesday, May 17th.

Support Staff Job Fair, Feb. 15, 2023

Looking for a job with flexibility around your student’s school schedule? Do you know of a friend or family member looking for a great place to work?

We’re hiring these positions:

Come out to our Job Fair for on the spot interviews!
Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023
2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Schmucker Middle School (Door B)
56045 Bittersweet Rd, Mishawaka
 

Click here to see the open positions that are accepting applications. If you can’t make it to the job fair, fill out an application online today!

Young Authors’ Conference 2023

Save the date for the P-H-M’s Young Authors’ Conference:

Saturday, March 4

8:30 – 11:00 a.m.

Schmucker Middle School

P-H-M Elementary students, grades K-5

FREE!

Space is limited. Online Registration opens Monday, Jan. 30 & closes Friday, Feb. 17.

 

The Young Authors’ Conference is for P-H-M students in grades K-5. The event, sponsored by the P-H-M Education Foundation, provides an opportunity for students and their parents to meet and learn from a well-known children’s authors. Click here to view the photo gallery of the 2022 event.

This year students and their parents will meet and work with former Notre Dame Leprechaun mascot turned children’s author Mike Brown. Brown’s first book Little Netta’s Gift is the touching story of a “Little Netta’s” compassion to share the gifts of Christmas with other children. Brown is the founder and CEO of SOULSTIR, a social enterprise with a mission of enriching lives by creating “soul-stirring experiences that inspire empowerment and action.” Under SOULSTIR Books, the publishing division of the company, Brown co-authored his second book with Cara Krenn The Leprechaun’s Game Day at Notre Dame. The delightful story describes the family, fun-filled experiences of a Notre Dame home football game told through the eyes of Notre Dame’s first Black student to play the mascot, Brown himself. 

Participants and parents will also enjoy an interactive experience with local illustrator Corey Mann.   As part of the morning activities, students will share their own writing piece in small group sessions with students from other P-H-M elementary schools. (Note:  Students should bring a piece of their writing with them that morning.)  While students are meeting with their peers, parents will join Dr. Michelle Fish, as she explores promoting writing through children’s literature. 

This year, thanks to P-H-M Superintendent Dr. Jerry Thacker and other generous #GivingTuesday donors this year’s Young Authors’ Conference is FREE OF CHARGE to all attendees!

Please note, one parent only must accompany the student attendees. However, keep in mind that students and parents will separate for a portion of the day. This experience is for your young author and parent. However, we’ve found the attendance of younger siblings is not encouraged.

ONLINE REGISTRATION: Registration will open January 30, 2023. Click here to access the form.

CONFIRMATION: Participating students will receive additional information prior to the conference through their home school at the beginning of March.

QUESTIONS: If you have any questions, please contact Candace Cussen at ccussen@phm.k12.in.us.

Indiana Graduates Prepared to Succeed Dashboard (GPS) Launches

Penn-Harris-Madison schools are focused on continuous academic improvement that results in academic success for all students.

Standardized testing, or summative assessment, is one measure of academic success, but it is not the only measure.

In pursuit of providing more comprehensive analysis and to expand upon the data provided by state standardized tests, the Indiana Department of Education publicly launched this week (Tuesday, December 13, 2022) the first iteration of the Indiana Graduates Prepared to Succeed dashboard, or Indiana GPS (click here to view the State Indiana profile).

The description of the Indiana GPS dashboard on the IDOE website states “Together, our mission is to empower Indiana’s educators, families, communities, and employers with a learner-centered, future-focused dashboard that displays how our students are building the necessary knowledge and skills—in all grades and in all schools— through the Indiana Graduates Prepared to Succeed dashboard, or Indiana GPS.”

The IDOE’s goal is to support Indiana’s goal to educate and graduate Hoosier students who can compete in the global economy. P-H-M supports this goal. Students whether they are going on into higher education, directly into the workforce or enlisting in our nation’s military must be prepared to be successful in life beyond high school. Strong and valuable education of today’s youth results in a knowledgeable and skilled adult Indiana workforce for tomorrow.

A student’s access to early education is an essential first step in their academic and overall development. Measuring kindergarten readiness, as well as a student’s PreK-2 literacy progress can provide key indicators of future success across the K-12 continuum.

We know that effective literacy skills play a vital role in helping students gain a deeper understanding of the world, explore topics in-depth, and seek credible information. At Penn-Harris-Madison, we have a well-articulated approach to teaching literacy based on the five critical pillars: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. 

All of these components woven together help create a skilled reader. Our daily literacy block incorporates whole-group instruction, small-group (leveled) instruction, explicit phonics instruction, and vocabulary building. 

Our teachers have been trained in order to deliver high-quality instruction that is supported through curriculum resources to meet the needs of all learners. Teachers are in regular contact with parents regarding their student’s progress and instructional goals.

At the elementary level, a couple of the indicators the GPS dashboard measures are early literacy and math growth. See some of P-H-M’s highlights are below; click here to view the full P-H-M GPS profile.

Early Literacy Measures

  • Percentage of PHM 3rd graders showing proficiency on IREAD-3: 88.3%
    • State Goal: 95% by 2027
    • Current State Status: 81.6%, 1 out of every 5 third graders in Indiana is not proficient in key literacy skills

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? 
Students who pass the IREAD-3 assessment by grade three are roughly
35% more likely to graduate high school (as referenced on the GPS information webpage).

Math Growth

  • Percentage of PHM 6th graders meeting their individual growth targets on the math ILEARN: 41.9%
    • State Goal: 45.8% by 2030
    • Current State Status: 34.1% of Indiana sixth graders are meeting their math growth goals

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Early mathematics instruction focuses on concrete concepts before transitioning to more complex ideas after grade six. Students who are meeting growth goals at this critical juncture have a leg up on future math and science learning.

Graduation Pathways Completion

While still in its first iteration, the goal of the GPS is to examine Indiana high school’s graduation and post-graduation data with the goal to ultimately measure long-term success of each Hoosier.
 

  • Percentage of Penn Students who complete graduation requirements: 97.3%
    • State Goal: 95% by 2030
    • Current State Status: 86.4% of Indiana students complete their graduation requirements
  • Percentage of Penn Seniors who completed advanced coursework (Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or Dual Credit) during high school: 75.4%
    • Current State Status: 59.5% of Indiana students complete advanced coursework
  • Percentage of Penn Seniors earning Indiana Diplomas above a General designation (Core 40 or higher): 98.3%
    • Current State Status: 90.1% of Indiana students earn Core 40 diplomas or higher
  • Percentage of Penn Seniors earning high quality college and career credentials: 11.3%.
    Members of the Class of 2021 who earned either an Indiana College Core (ICC) or an Associates Degree was 11.3%–the graduates who completed one or two years of college were members of Penn’s Early College Academy. In 2021, Penn High School ranked FIRST in the state with the highest number of students earning the Indiana College Core (ICC)! Beginning in the 2023-2024 school year, non-Early College students will also be able to pursue an ICC Certificate.

    • State Goal: 60% by 2030
    • Current State Status: 5% of Indiana students earn a college or career credential before graduation, opening doors of future opportunity

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Increased education levels are positively correlated to labor participation, wages, and overall net worth.

COMING SOON:

The second iteration of the Indiana GPS dashboard – which will display all local data, including longitudinal and disaggregated data – is coming soon. Later in 2023, schools will be able to use the dashboard to view authenticated student-level data (not available to the public). 

  • PreK-Grade 2 Literacy – Percentage of PreK-Grade 2 students demonstrating progress in essential early reading skills from one year to the next.
  • Kindergarten Readiness – Percentage of students demonstrating the skills necessary to be considered ready to start kindergarten.
  • Employment & Enrollment – Percentage of high school graduates employed or enrolled 1 year after their expected graduation year. Goal TBD.

Click here to learn more about the Indiana Graduates Prepared to Succeed dashboard.

Click here to view the full P-H-M GPS profile (scroll to the bottom of the webpage to find links to all 15 P-H-M schools–11 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, and Penn High Schoo

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