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!
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:
P-H-M Elementary ENL Coordinator
(574) 271-8598, Ext. 50913
“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
- 2nd-4th, Penn Fitness Center
- 5th-6th, Main Arena/West Balcony/Aux Gym Time
- 2nd-4th, Sundays, Noon – 4:00 p.m.
- 5th-6th, Sundays, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
7th & 8th grade League
DATES: September 10th, 17th, 24th; Oct. 1st, 8th
LOCATION: Penn High School
TIMES: Sundays, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Questions? Please contact the League Director Coach Smith if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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).
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.
Running is Elementary School results
After the postponent of the original race date on Monday, May 1 due to rain, students were able to show their stuff on Wednesday, May 3.
The one mile run, sponsored by P-H-M’s Education Foundation, is held at Penn’s Cross-country course, which is located behind Elm Road Elementary School. Post race snack donations were donated by Costco.
This annual event encourages fitness, healthy choices and wellness. Fourth and fifth graders, from all 11 P-H-M elementary schools 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 one mile race. Approximately 640 students participated this year! The students are cheered on by their fellow students, their families, principals, teachers and running coaches; it’s amazing to see the dedication and hard work the students put in to complete the race. Visit P-H-M’s Facebook page to see a full photo gallery.
Cindy Batalis (P-H-M’s 2009 Teacher of the Year and physical education teacher at Mary Frank Elementary School) began the yearly tradition of Running Is Elementary back 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.
CONGRATULATIONS to all the students who participated! It is a tremendous accomplishment to complete a one-mile cross country course race. Below are the race results show 1st, 2nd, and third place winners.
5th Grade Girls Winners
- 6:56, Bib #2, Bittersweet
- 6:57, Bib #513, Northpoint
- 7:04, Bib #213, Horizon
School Team Rankings:
- Elm Road
5th Grade Boys Winners
- 6:01, Bib #510, Northpoint
- 6:25, Bib #536, Prairie Vista
- 6:26, Bib #541, Prairie Vista
School Team Rankings:
- Prairie Vista
4th Grade Girls Winners
- 7:20, Bib #42, Bittersweet
- 7:31, Bib #381, Meadow’s Edge
- 7:46, Bib #569, Horizon
School Team Rankings:
- Prairie Vista
4th Grade Boys Winners:
- 6:34, Bib #553, Prairie Vista
- 6:44, Bib #206, Horizon
- 6:51, Bib #196, Horizon
School Team Rankings:
- Prairie Vista
Here’s a breakdown of the schools’ shirt color:
P-H-M Named 2023 Best Community for Music Education
Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation was named among the Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) in the country by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation for the 10th year in a row!
Now in its 24th year, the 2023 Best Communities for Music Education program has recognized 830 school districts and 78 schools across the country for the outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students, and community leaders and their support for music education as part of a well-rounded education for all children. This NAMM Foundation celebrated and recognized K-12 music teachers in school districts who found creative ways for the “show to carry on” despite schools moving online or to in-person settings where masks were required not only for student musicians and instruments.
In our elementary schools, music class is part of the regular curriculum following state standards. Students are instructed in both vocal and instrument classes. Beginning in 6th grade, P-H-M students at our three middle schools (Discovery, Schmucker and Grissom) have the opportunity to choose choir, orchestra or band as their music elective. Students at Discovery also have the option of choosing Piano Lab. Schools from elementary all the way up to Penn High School also perform musicals.
Penn High School offers the Fine Arts & Communication Academy as part of its unique academy structure. The seven academy design provides Penn students with relevant and meaningful coursework taught in smaller, supportive environments where each student is known well by his teacher and peers. Nearly a third of Penn’s total 3,500 students are enrolled in the Fine Arts Academy with the majority being involved with music programs, either Choir, Orchestra, Band or another music program.
To qualify for the Best Communities designation, P-H-M answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.
Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. In a series of landmark studies by scientists and researchers at Northwestern University a link was found between students in community music programs and life-long academic success, including higher high school graduation rates and college attendance. In another study from the University, it was discovered that the benefits of early exposure to music education improves how the brain processes and assimilates sounds, a trait that lasts well into adulthood.
Beyond the Northwestern research, other studies have indicated that music education lays the foundation for individual excellence in group settings, creative problem solving and flexibility in work situations, as well learning how to give and receive constructive criticism to excel.
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:
- Educational Assistants, starting at $16.42
- Teacher Aides, starting at $15.35 per hour
- School Bus Drivers, up to $25.00
- Food Service, $15.03 – $25.40
- Custodians, $17.74 – $23.96
- Kids Club Childcare Assistants, starting at $13.38
*click here for more info on hourly wages for 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
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 email@example.com.
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.
- 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).
- 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.
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.
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