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Kindergarten Graduation a Success!

  The kindergarten students have completed their first year of school and got to experience what it is like to move on to the next grade.   The gym was packed with family, friends and many smiles on June 2, 2017 to help Horizon’s Kindergartners celebrate their achievements and congratulate them on moving on to first grade next year.   Congratulations to all of the students and families!   Please check out the pictures below.

Horizon Named a Four Star School

The Indiana Department of Education announced on Friday, May 26, 2017 the 2015-16 list of Four Star Schools and Horizon, along with eight other P-H-M schools, have earned that distinction--the most the District has ever had!   P-H-M's other Four Star Schools are Discovery, Madison, Mary Frank, Meadow's Edge, Northpoint, Penn, Prairie Vista and Schmucker. Meadow's Edge made the list for the first time; Meadow’s Edge is one of  P-H-M’s five Title 1 schools.   Horizon has been recognized consistently as an Indiana Four Star School in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Click here for more information on Horizon’s “Points of Pride.”   To qualify as a Four Star School, the school must have received an “A” rating for the 2015-16 school year, tested at least 95% of students on ISTEP English/Language Arts and Math, and be in the top 25th percentile on ISTEP and ECA participation and passing rates. This list is based on 2015-16 school data. Click here to see the full list of criteria.

"Josh's Swing" is dedicated

Monday, May 22 was a day of celebration and remembrance for a former Horizon first grader and his teacher.   Joshua Ackerley was a first grade student of Mrs.  Joann Hartline’s in 2011-2012. Josh died in the Fall 2016 after a long illness.  Mrs. Hartline applied for WNDU and Martin’s Supermarkets “One School at a Time” grant shortly after his death.    In Josh’s memory, Mrs. Hartline worked to have a new wheelchair-accessible swing added to Horizon’s primary grades playground. She then applied for the “One School at a Time” grant from WNDU and Martin’s with the goal in mind of being able to add more play equipment for students with disabilities to Horizon’s primary playground—a fitting lasting tribute to Josh that will continue to benefit other children for years to come!   The Ackerley family and many of Josh’s former classmates (now sixth graders at Discovery) were on hand today not only for the check presentation, but also for the ribbon cutting and official dedication of “Josh’s Swing.”  May 22 hold’s special meaning for Josh’s family and friends because it would have been Josh’s 12th birthday. Mother Tracey Ackerley cut the ribbon and also unveiled an engraved memorial marker at the ceremony.   WNDU’s Tricia Sloma was on hand to present the $1,000 grant check to Mrs. Hartline.   The memorial marker was made possible through the generous donation of Tony McDonald from South Bend Memorial Works. 

More “Giving Trees” Planted at P-H-M Elementary Schools

The weather couldn’t have been better on Wednesday morning (May 10) for Penn Biology teacher John Gensic (2016 Teacher of the Year) and his nearly 100 Early College Biology students.   Gensic and his students departed on buses headed for Horizon, Elsie Rogers and Mary Frank Schools to plant dwarf fruit trees with the help of an estimated 324 elementary students. Today was the final step of the Phase 1 planting phase which began in the spring of 2016 at Horizon Elementary.   The “Giving Trees” project was the brainchild of Gensic, P-H-M’s 2016 Teacher of the Year and top 10 finalist for Indiana TOY. The project was made possible by a 2016 grant from the P-H-M Education Foundation . Funding this year was a combination of grant money, Gensic’s P-H-M TOY grant money from the Education Foundation, and a donation made by Springhope Farm.   The idea behind the project is for students to participate in a real world event that not only focuses on improving the local environment, but also provides food for the Penn-Harris-Madison school community. It is Gensic’s hope that all the students involved in the project, elementary and high school, will be inspired to become agents of change leading the charge for a healthy environment and community.   The “Giving Trees” project is a four-phase plan with Phase 1 completed on the final planting day on May 15 at Elm Road Elementary. Phases 2, 3 and 4 will be the harvesting of the fruit for use in P-H-M’s schools; and if all goes well, Gensic also hopes to provide fruit for the local community.   When all the planting is done, there will be a total of 64 fruit trees planted between Horizon, Mary Frank, Elsie Rogers and Elm Road. Out of the 64 trees, 40 are apple and 24 are pear trees.   Academically, this project will have the high school students focusing on Indiana Biology Standards 2 (matter cycles and energy transfer) and Biology Standard 3 (interdependence). The elementary students will also focus on Indiana Science and Language Arts Standards as a way to reinforce this great experience.   Please check out the pictures below taken at Elsie Rogers Elementary.  

PHMEF Awards more than $16,000 in Spring Grants

The Penn-Harris-Madison Education Foundation recently announced the recipients of the Spring 2017 grants—with grants totaling $16,640!   Traditional Grant Recipients   Kelso’s Kit: Tools for Kids – Horizon Elementary – Joann Hartline’ Grade K-5  —  300 students; Awarded: $636.73 Kelso’s Kit includes 23 comprehensive lessons that help children make good choices and solve conflicts on their own. The kit will give classroom teachers and/or college practicum students additional tools needed to help students with their everyday life difficulties. iPod Touches for Walt Disney’s A/V Team   iPod Touches for Walt Disney’s A/V Team – Walt Disney Elementary – Robi Davidson, Emily Beeden; Grades K-4  —  510 students Awarded: $597 The purchase of the iPods (3) will allow the AV team to record live broadcasts and to connect to other forms of media. In addition, the iPods will allow the team to explore new technologies such as music recording, computer coding, app review, and more extensive photo and video editing.   Wiggling Our Way to Success – Mary Frank Elementary – Lindsay Helman; Grades 3  —  40 students; Awarded: $1,432.34 Alternative seating at Mary Frank will support students who have difficulty focusing. In addition, these seats provide health benefits that include increased metabolism, motivation and engagement, creating better oxygen flow to the brain, and improve core strength.   Strumming Our Way To Musical Success – Horizon Elementary – Jon West and Jeannie Chettleburgh; Grades K-5 — 650 students Awarded: $1,170 Recently, due to the increase use by pop performers, the Ukulele has quickly risen in popularity. The creates a phenomenon whereby students are expressing a desire to learn to play chords and sing with the Ukulele. The teachers intend to use this natural interest to continue to each the Indiana Music Standards using Ukuleles.   The Walking Classroom – Moran Elementary – Louise Black; Grades 5 — 80-90 students Awarded: $3,950 Student learning is not limited to sitting in the classroom. This program would allow for a class to walk around/throughout the hallways while listening to pod-casts lessons. Each student audio device is preloaded with 111 pod-casts that are aligned with the 5th grade Common Core curriculum covering language arts, social studies, and health topics.   Documenting Bat Activity in an Urban Habitat – Elm Road School – Jackie Anderson; Grade K-5 —  520 students Awarded: $323.61 From a school’s FIRST Lego League team, this bat house is located on the edges of the school ground. A remote camera, with infrared lighting, will allow students to observe the natural patterns of bats.   Penn Orchestra – Barrage 8 –  Penn High – Ann Tschetter (P-H-M’s 2017 Teacher of the Year); Grades 9-12 —  20 students Awarded: $450 Earlier in the year, Penn High School hosted an international string group – Barrage 8 – whose focus is to introduce student to the new eclectic and contemporary side of being a string performer. Furthermore, Penn currently houses contemporary music performing groups in band and choir, but not orchestra. This inspired the teacher to create a before or after-school group where students would take their classical training to a “show” format. Students will learn a wide variety of popular, ethnic jazz, and show tunes. The grant will support purchasing 5 musical instruments for students to perform.   Cafetorium Acoustic Development – Grissom Middle – Heather Baker; Grades 6-8 —  600 students Awarded: $5,181.39 The school’s cafetorium is used for numerous events throughout the school year, including meetings and conferences. The current sound situation involves outdated technology and bare walls to enable a massive amount of reverb and echo. A new system would increase the quality for musical performances, student news programs, athletic events, and student body assemblies.   Serving Students with Calming Sensory Tools – Elm Road – Audrey Kim; Grades K-5 —  520 students Awarded: $800 As an educational assistant, the teacher has helped students with anger and behavior issues using sensory tools. Students have enjoyed using manipulative tools to help them calm down. Creating boxes that are readily available for students to help channel their frustrations in appropriate ways.   EZ grant recipients ($250 or less)   Occupational Therapy Materials: Mary Frank Elementary – Tess Weaver; Grade PreK-8; Awarded: $246.67 Book Clubs in the Classroom – Not Just for Adults; Prairie Vista Elementary – Karen Hlade; Grade 5; Awarded: $244.43 Electronics Components for Updated Physics Curriculum; Penn High School; Jonathan Lockwood; Grades 11-12; Awarded: $225 Aquaponics Experiments to Promote a Sustainable Food Future; Penn High School – John Gensic; Grades 9-12; Awarded: $247.99 It’s All About the Bass Bow; Discovery/P-H-M Middle School Orchestras – April Oppenheim; Grade 6-8; Awarded: $234 Bike to Build Muscles! Walt Disney Elementary – Kathy Greve; Grades K; Awarded: $250 Take a Stand; Discovery Middle – Murray Weaver; Grades 6-8; Awarded: $250 Pay Attention! Elsie Rogers Elementary – Stefanie Hanks; Grade K-5; Awarded: $245 Table Top Easels; Penn PALS/Elsie Rogers Preschool – Alison Minegar; Grades Preschool; Awarded $250 As a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization established in 1996, the PHMEF develops alternative sources of income to support learning while strengthening the partnership between schools and community.   Since the Foundation’s inception, more than $520,000 have been distributed in innovative teaching grants supporting P-H-M teachers, staff, and students. Click here to see the grants awarded Fall 2016. The Grants Committee is comprised of Foundation board members, community representatives, and a P-H-M administrator who evaluate each grant application.   Dedicated business leaders, administrators, and community volunteers, representing a cross-section of the school community, serve as the board of directors. PHMEF supports education through awarding innovative teaching grants, scholarships to students, staff development and other corporation-wide initiatives.   PHMEF’s funding comes from special events such as its premier Silver Mile Health & Fitness Fair, Donna & Dr. Jerry Thacker 5K Run/Walk for Education, the State of Indiana from the purchase of Read On Education License plates, Corporations for Education, Thank a Teacher, Entrance to Excellence bricks, and individual donations.  

2017 Silver Mile results

The Silver Mile was held this past weekend (Saturday, May 6).  The first place overall male race winner was Colton Shail, Junior track and cross country runner at Penn High School, with a time of 16:29.9. First place overall female was Erin Moore, 13-year-old Niles student, with a time of 20:07.6.   Meadow's Edge Elementary earned the top participation P-H-M school prize and will receive a $5,000 grant to be used for a fitness/health program.   Coming in at second place was Northpoint Elementary. They will receive a $1,000 grants. The school with the third most student participation was Madison, and they will receive a $500 grant. Overall there were 500 participants in this year’s race.   This year’s Health and Fitness Fair was a huge success featuring health screenings by Saint Joseph Mishawaka Medical Center.     Healthy post-race snacks were provided by Whole Foods Market. Urban Swirl also helped runners cool off with frozen yogurt cups.       Penn Robotics Team 135 setup robot test drives so that younger children could learn to drive robots. And the Kingsmen Cheerleaders lent their face painting talents to make some prettier faces even prettier!  Click here to see a full gallery of pictures.    

Runners Brave Weather for Running is Elementary Race

“Running is Elementary” took place on Monday, May 1 for the 9th consecutive year! Almost 700 students from all 11 P-H-M elementary schools participated in the 1 mile run on the Penn cross-country course located behind Elm Road School.   Although the weather was windy, cold and rainy, the runners’ spirits were high and full of excitement as family, teachers, staff and friends cheered them on.     Each year fourth and fifth graders are encouraged to sign up for the free running club. Designated coaches at each school are then tasked with training the runners for the 6-week club which then culminates with the Running is Elementary Race.   Cindy Batalis (P-H-M’s 2009 Teacher of the Year and physical education teacher at Horizon Elementary) began the yearly tradition of Running Is Elementary in 2008. Batalis’ own love for running and her desire to pass that love on to students is evident in the passion she puts into the Running is Elementary event each year.   The top times for the 2017 Running Is Elementary Race were as follows:   5th Grade Girls       1. Bib 87- 6:14     Elm Road     2. Bib 478- 6:16   Moran     3. Bib 159- 6:26   Elsie Rogers 5th Grade Boys      1. Bib 612- 6:26   Prairie Vista     2. Bib 658- 6:35   Walt Disney     3. Bib 23- 6:39     Bittersweet 4th Grade Girls      1. Bib 293- 7:15   Horizon     2. Bib 48- 7:21     Bittersweet     3. Bib 550- 7:24   Northpoint 4th Grade Boys      1. Bib 144- 6:26   Elm Road     2. Bib 141- 6:37   Elm Road     3. Bib 578- 6:46   Northpoint   Congratulations to all runners for their great spirit and effort!   A big thank you to the P-H-M Education Foundation and Corporations for Education for hosting the event!   Sponsors for the 2017 event: Presenting sponsor – Corporations for Education Royal Excursion, the Hunter Family, and Team Pride Athletics   After Race Snack & Water Donations: Urban Swirl, B&B Organics & Fleet Feet   ​                                     

#GiveLocalSJC: Give Local & Support the P-H-M Education Foundation

Follow Dr. Thacker’s lead and get a jump start on the Give Local St. Joseph County May 9 day-long online giving event NOW!   Starting today, Monday, May 1 you can schedule your gift in advance for the P-H-M Education Foundation. When the 24-hour giving event kicks off on May 9, your gift will already be in ahead of the game!     Penn-Harris-Madison School Superintendent Dr. Jerry Thacker made his #GiveLocalSJC donation May 1 designating the P-H-M Education Foundation.    Make an online donation of $25 or more designating the P-H-M Education Foundation as part of #GiveLocalSJC campaign and 75% of your gift to P-H-M Education Foundation will be paid out to help the Foundation now;25%—plus generous matching funds—will   go into the Foundation’s Endowment Fund to generate annual earnings that will help from now on!  Every dollar donated on May 9 to any of the 67 charities participating in Give Local St. Joseph County will be increased by a share of $2.4 million in matching funds provided by generous sponsors.   So this is your opportunity to maximize your donation to the Education Foundation.  DONATE NOW!   It’s the gift that continues to give!   The Education Foundation supports value add educational programs across the P-H-M school district by awarding innovative teaching grants, scholarships to students, staff development and other corporation-wide initiatives.   Online gifts may be made by clicking here May 9, 2017, starting at 12:01 a.m. and for the next 24 hours, using your credit or debit card. You can also schedule your online gift in advance, any time after the preview period begins on May 1, 2017. If you use a credit or debit card, your card will not be charged until May 9.   If you wish to send a check, please mail it early to ensure receipt by May 9, 2017. Checks are to be made out to the Community Foundation (P.O. Box 837, South Bend, IN, 46624) and dated May 9, 2017, make sure to include “P-H-M Education Foundation” in the memo field. Donations are 100% tax deductible.    

Register Now for 2017 P-H-M Silver Mile on May 6

Mark your calendars for the 12th Annual Silver Mile Run for Education & Health and Fitness Fair, hosted by the P-H-M Education Foundation.  This popular fun-filled family event will take place on Saturday, May 6, from 8:30 a.m. – noon at Penn High School.    Register online today!   The Run for Education includes a 5K Run/Walk, festive Fun Walk around the Penn High School campus and a Timed Mile Run on TCU Freed Field Track.  All events start and finish on the Penn High School track, with finisher medals to all student-age participants. Cost to participate ranges from $12-$45 depending on event.   Head inside Penn High School after your run, walk or stroll, and stop by the Health Fair, Summer Family Fitness Expo and the Silver Mile Silent Auction.  The Silver Mile also features select talent from several P-H-M students groups, tours of the Penn Robotics lab and Art Gallery, Penn Summer Camp registration and much more.  What a great way to kick off Spring and connect with our amazing community!   All proceeds benefit the P-H-M Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support excellence in education in all 15 P-H-M schools by awarding innovative teaching grants, scholarships to students, staff development and other corporation-wide initiatives.   Please click here to register online and be sure to check for event updates.