2024 PHM Elementary Spell Bowl Results

Tuesday, March 19 was P-H-M’s annual Elementary Spell Bowl event. Student 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade teams from all 11 elementary schools compete. Click here to see the photo gallery below.

Below is this year’s “leaderboard”:

3rd Grade Winners:

3rd gr. winners, Northpoint

  • 1st place- Northpoint with 29 points, coached by Nichol Monday
  • 2nd place- Prairie Vista with 27 points
  • 3rd place tie – Bittersweet, Horizon and Mary Frank each with 22 points

4th Grade Winners:

4th gr winners, Northpoint

  • 1st place- Northpoint with 30 points, coached by Jen Payne
  • 2nd place- Bittersweet with 29 points
  • 3rd place- Prairie Vista with 27 points

The 5th grade competition was very close with Northpoint and Bittersweet neck and neck. The tiebreaker words were: panache, soup du jour, fluorescence, pharmaceutical and Albuquerque.

5th Grade Winners:

5th gr winners, Northpoint  5th gr 2nd place, Bittersweet

  • 1st place- Northpoint with 38 points, coached by Ros Morehouse 
  • 2nd place- Bittersweet with 37 points
  • 3rd place tie – Prairie Vista and Horizon each with 26 points

Overall Bittersweet did so well that when the 5th grade team came out on stage to be recognized, the other students and parents cheered, clapped, and gave them a rousing round of congratulations!

Bittersweet team recognized  Bittersweet recognized

The teams spend weeks preparing for Spell Bowl with their teacher coaches. They may study word lists, learn about derivations (e.g., Latin roots) and rules (e.g., capitalization, pluralization), and how to spell correctly under pressure.

The format of the Spell Bowl is more like a written test. The emcee reads a word and uses the word in a sentence, the students listen and then write it on paper within a 15-second time limit. The students’ written entries are reviewed by a panel of judges and then their score is posted in front of the audience. Each correct word spelling is worth one point.

The annual event is held in Penn High School’s Center for Performing Arts to not only accommodate all the student teams, but also the students’ “fans,” which are their family, friends and other staff from their home schools!

Mrs. Cassie Scarsella, P-H-M’s High Ability Coordinator, manages the Spell Bowl and works to assure that it is a positive and enriching experience for students. Academic competition can give students confidence, increase their motivation to sharpen their skills and abilities, and expand their opportunities to receive recognition.

2024 Young Authors’ Conference, Books & Bots

This year P-H-M Education Foundation’s Young Authors’ Conference is partnering up with the Next Gen Robotics event to bring you Books & Bots!  This event blends literary innovations with robotic creations. It’s a wonderful opportunity for P-H-M students in Kindergarten – 5th grade. Click here to view photos on Facebook from last year’s Young Authors’ Conference; click here to view photos of the 2023 Next Gen event.

The event will start at 9:15 a.m. in Penn’s Fitness Center.  There will be the three rotations at three locations within Penn High School. Families and students will visit each station for 45 minutes, with a 15 minute break in between. The rotations will be an author visit, reader’s theater, and fun with the bots! Next Gen (the bots area) will be open until 1:00 p.m. Registered participants will receive a S’more with confirmation details the week of February 26. You and your student’s rotation schedule and starting location will be provided in the S’more.  If you have any questions after receiving the email, please contact ccussen@phm.k12.in.us.

Please enter Door D. Parking is available in the front of Penn, at Schmucker Middle School, and in the parking lot near River Valley Church. Click here to access a Penn Building Map. Once inside Penn, look for “Books and Bots” signage and please arrive at your room between 9:00-9:15 a.m. With record attendance expected, plan plenty of time to park and walk to your designated area.  

Books & Bots is completely FREE! Thank you to the P-H-M Education Foundation and P-H-M Superintendent Dr. Jerry Thacker and his wife Donna Thacker for covering the cost of the YAC for the second year in a row from the proceeds of #GivingTuesday donations.

NEW THIS YEAR … both events will be held at Penn High School!

While the events are FREE, registration is required! 

Registration is NOW OPEN! Click here to register today!  Registration closes Friday, February 23.

One parent only must accompany students! Younger siblings may not accompany adults.  Due to the planned activities and available space, this experience is for your young author and one parent.

As part of the morning activities, students will participate in two rotations: one with well-known children’s author and speaker, Carolyn Crimi; and the other with Jocelyn Dupuis.  Following these rotations, students will enjoy spending time exploring technology, with an opportunity to share a piece of their piece of writing on a FlipGrid or online writing platform. 

Thanks to Better World Books, parents can purchase ahead of time Carolyn Crimi books online and then bring them to the March 2 event. Click here to preorder your student(s) books.

As a way to support Better World Books’ mission of providing books to children around the world to do their part in achieving global literacy, a collection box will be set up near Penn’s Door D for families to donate their gently used books.

BACKGROUND ON CAROLYN CRIMI:
Carolyn Crimi enjoys snacking, pugs, Halloween, and writing, although not necessarily in that order. Over the years she has published 19 books for children, including Weird Little Robots, Secondhand Dogs, Don’t Need Friends, Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies, Where’s My Mummy?, There Might Be Lobsters, and I Am The Boss of This Chair.  When she’s not snacking, Carolyn enjoys giving author talks to elementary schools all over the country.

BACKGROUND ON JOCELYN DUPUIS:
Also as part of Young Authors’ Conference, participants and parents will also enjoy an interactive experience with P-H-M’s extraordinary Jocelyn Dupuis.  Jocelyn has a passion for music education and the performing arts. As a music teacher, she has taught many students to enjoy music as well. 

*Questions, please contact Candace Cussen at ccussen@phm.k12.in.us.

Penn Orchestra Performs Elementary School Pops

“Captain Jack Sparrow” made an appearance at Penn High School today (Tuesday, January 30) performing the Pirates of the Caribbean theme song for 4th and 5th grade students. This mini concert is a great way to introduce students to instruments they might not be familiar with as they think about what possible instrument they might want to pursue in middle school. In P-H-M middle schools, students can pursue orchestra, band or choir as a Fine Arts elective.

Students got a real treat … the Orchestra’s drummers performed a sown written by Senior Clayton Hopper; it was called “March of the Clumsy.” All the drummers performed it together to demo percussion.

Penn Orchestra Elementary School Pops

Due to scheduling logistics, only half of P-H-M elementary schools participated traveled to Penn for this year’s show. The other half attended last year. That way every P-H-M student will see the show in either 4th grade or a 5th grade. 

Take a look at the photo gallery below …

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Elsie Rogers Receives Grants

The P-H-M Education Foundation has wrapped up the grant announcements for the 2023-2024 school year; and it’s been a big year with tons of recipients. Elsie Rogers was the recipient of two grants for a total of $1,059.90!

Jodi Cramer-Berry and Jessie Kinney applied for and received $809.95 to purchase six Beebots, a charging station, and coding mats to bring innovation and hands-on learning into the classrooms. The kits will introduces foundations of computer programming to students allowing teachers to transform traditional lessons into engaging, interactive experiences fostering critical thinking, problem-solving and teamwork amongst students.

We also applied for and received one EZ Grant:

  • $249.95 for 5th grade students writing and publishing tools

This cycle the Foundation Grants Committee awarded $42,819.63 in funding to 15 EZ grants and 20 traditional grants. Click here for the full list of funded grants.

PHMEF has moved to one grant cycle per school year, now moved to the Fall, to allow teachers and schools time to put their grant dollars to good use right away.

Executive Director Jennifer Turnblom traveled across the district to surprise various grant recipients with the good news of their funding amount. Grants awarded this year cover a wide array of innovative programs and activities from $10,000 to Grissom Middle School to purchase keyboards for the music room to fishing poles for Penn’s Fishing Club.

Click here to see the photo gallery on the District’s website of the check deliveries or click to follow PHMEF’s Facebook page.

Mrs. Flanagan Receives P-H-M Impact Award

Superintendent Dr. Jerry Thacker awarded three more P-H-M teachers with the Impact Award today (Monday, October 2). Dr. Thacker visited Walt Disney Elementary, Elsie Rogers Elementary and Grissom Middle School. Awards handed out this time around were to the following teachers:

  • Matt Serge, 3rd grade teacher at Walt Disney
  • Kara Flanagan, 1st grade teacher at Elsie Rogers
  • Josh Kelver, 8th grade ELA teacher at Grissom Middle School

The P-H-M Impact Award is presented to educators who have helped their students achieve individual academic growth on their formative assessments over time. All P-H-M teachers across the district are dedicated to helping their students achieve personal academic success. The P-H-M Impact Award is shining the spotlight on those teachers who are showing the most significant overall student growth during the 2022-2023 school year. They are prime examples of how our teachers and students achieve P-H-M Excellence!

Dr. Thacker popped in and surprised the teachers with the help of the school principals, Disney’s Dr. Higginson, Elsie’s Christy Campbell, and Grissom’s Jenn Sinclair. Dr. Thacker was also joined by P-H-M administrators Assistant Superintendent Dr. Heather Short and Director of Professional Development Dr. Lavon Dean-Null.

At Elsie, the team caught Kara Flanagan completely off-guard. Her students really got into the surprise. Mrs. Flanagan had the highest growth of all P-H-M Title I first grade teachers! 90% of her students had average or higher growth for their overall Dibels composite growth; and 58% of her students were in the “above average” or “well above average” categories! Check out all the photos of today’s award presentations on Facebook.

Matt Serge was recognized for having the highest growth in ELA of all Title I 3rd grade teachers in P-H-M! Mr. Serge’s class went from 9% (Clear Sight) to 55% proficiency on ILEARN; that’s 21% higher than average Title I proficiency growth!

Josh Kelver had the highest growth class section in 8th grade ELA across P-H-M (15% higher than the second highest class)! Mr. Kelver’s class went from 8% proficiency at the beginning of year, to 75% proficiency on ILEARN. That’s the highest average growth across all 8th grade P-H-M ELA teachers! Because Mr. Kelver’s wife, Ashley Kelver, also works at Grissom, she was able to be included in the the surprise. 

We thank the P-H-M Education Foundation for covering the cost of the awards.

There are more P-H-M teachers to recognize in the days, weeks and months ahead!

What Fans Need to Know Before Heading to Penn Homecoming Parade & Game

Friday, September 29 is Penn’s Homecoming Parade, Fun Zone, Food Trucks & the Penn football game versus St. Joe. The P-H-M Education Foundation is once again sponsoring all the fun and new this year–FIREWORKS after the football game!

The entire P-H-M community is invited to come out for this fun-filled family event. All the fun starts with the Homecoming Parade. Be sure to grab your spot on the route by 5:00 p.m. Parade starts at 5:30!

Here are some things that will be helpful for families as they head out for all the festivities.

Parking:

  • Paid Parking ($3 cash) at these lots:
    • Penn High School (Front Lot & Jefferson Rd. Lot)
    • Softball/Tennis Lot
    • Bittersweet School Lot
  • Free Parking at these lots:
    • Soccer Lot (Bank Lot)
    • Pennway Lot
    • Schmucker Lot (front, Sides & in Back of School)

Penn 2023 Homecoming Map

Fun Zone:

  • 5-7:00 p.m.
  • Penn Baseball Field
  • Teacher Dunk Tanks, Jumpies for elementary students
    • FREE for EVERYONE!
  • Food Trucks:
    • Ben’s Pretzels
    • Junbuggies
    • Keim’s Elephant Ears
    • Kona Ice
    • Prized Pig
    • REAL Grille
    • Rulli’s Pizza
  • Fans will be allowed to take food purchased at the Food Trucks into the stadium. However, no other outside food will be allowed!

Gate & Ticket Info:

  • Penn vs. St, Joe, Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.
  • P-H-M students K – 5th grade get in FREE with paying adult!
  • Tickets are on sale now-Thurs., Sept. 28 online, ticket price is $6 (students & all other age groups same price)
  • Tickets on Friday, Sept. 29 are $7 (online or at the gate) 
  • PHM Employees plus one guest get in FREE, but you must have ID badge & the guest must be with the employee
  • Please remember middle schoolers cannot be dropped off unsupervised. Once in the game, the students are free to walk around. At least one responsible adult must be onsite.
  • Tickets are sold at the North & South gates only!
  • Penn All Sports Passes and tickets (hard & online) are accepted at all gates
  • The Center Gate is reserved for Penn All Sports Passes and online ticket holders only
  • No Reentry!

Fan Safety:

Rules to Remember:

  • No reentry to Everwise Field; once you leave, you are not allowed back in.
  • No outside food or beverages, no insulated cups
  • No backpacks
    • Diaper bags & large women’s purses are allowed
  • Penn does not have a clear bag policy
  • No electronic noise makers
  • No Footballs or Beach Balls
  • No weapons of any kind
  • No alcohol
  • No Smoking/Vaping products of any kind. All PHM school property is smoke free.
  • No open flames at private tailgating

Info on the Penn Student Homecoming Dance on Saturday, September 30 can found on PHMEF’s website. CLICK HERE. 

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

2023 Community Tailgate

This year’s annual Community Tailgate will be a great way to kick off the return of the Backyard Brawl between the Kingsmen and the Mishawaka Cavemen. 

All fans are welcome, Cavemen and Kingsmen! There’s plenty of food for fans on both sides.

Gates open at 5:00 p.m. You must have a ticket to the football game to enter. Once inside the stadium head down to the white tents in the South End Zone, near the Zolman’s Tire & Auto Care South Concession Stand.

For $6 you get your choice of hot dog, hamburger or brat served with a bag of chips, choice of drink, and a cookie. Food tickets for the Tailgate are purchased at the Tailgate.

 

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.