Will your child be 4 years old on or before August 1st of the upcoming school year?

The Porter Township School Corporation is gathering information to make a decision about offering a half day (either morning or afternoon) preschool program five days per week for children who will be 4 years old on or before August 1, 2018.  We are gathering information about those who would like to enroll for August of 2018 in order to make an informed recommendation to the school board about programming for the 2018-2019 school year.  This would be a fee-based program, taught by an Indiana licensed teacher, and located at Porter Lakes Elementary School.

If you would like to get your child’s name on the list for this potential program or if you would like more information, please call Porter Lakes Elementary School at 219-477-4933 extension 5000.

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What do I do when I’m having a tough day or when I need a dose of inspiration?  The answer always resides in our students!  Whether it is having a conversation with them, visiting a classroom, or interacting in the hallway–they always remind me of what is important and provide me with a valuable perspective–one that is uniquely theirs.

This month at our board meeting we had the chance to learn from some amazingly articulate BGMS students.  I will let their teacher, Kristin Schumacher, tell you about the project and then some of the student responses will follow.  Our future is bright in the hands of these great, young minds!

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PTSC Standouts:

Thank you to all who attended (and played in) our School Safety Basketball Game last Friday night!  Congratulations to the Porter County Sheriff’s Department on their victory!  If you would still like to support school safety at PTSC, you can still donate even though you were unable to attend the game.  Drop your donation off (or mail to) the PTSC Central Office and your donations will be used to increase our School Resource Officers at PTSC!

Do you have a standout to include in this section?  Email PTSC standouts to Dr. Schmidt at stacey.schmidt@ptsc.k12.in.us to make sure your standout is included.  She counts on you to send her updates all can celebrate PTSC student accomplishments!

Important Dates:

  • Approved 2018-2019 Calendar
  • March 13:  End of Third Quarter
  • March 14:  BGMS and BGHS Online Day
  • March 20:  Wake Up Call Stairway to Heroin Educational Series–for those age 21 and above (this is a great opportunity, and if you cannot make this one at Chesterton, you can go to Lake Central on March 1 from 6:30-8 pm, or Highland High School at 6:30 pm on April 11th, or Lake Station High School at 6 pm on April 25th.)

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  • March 26-30:  Spring Break, No School
  • April 2:  Snow Day Make-Up Day (Currently we will not have school this day–fingers crossed!)
  • April 18:  BGMS and BGHS Online Day
  • April 25:  Kindergarten Round Up

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  • April 30:  “Why Teens Kill” presentation by Frank DeAngelis, former Columbine High School Principal, and Phil Chalmers, leading authority on teen violence (see below for more information)

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  • May 24:  End of Quarter 4 and Second Semester
  • May 24:  Last Day for students
  • May 25:  Potential Snow Day make-up day
  • May 28:  Memorial Day
  • June 1:  BGHS Graduation

Things to Know/Do:

  • Now hiring substitute teachers! Please contact Linda Dusek at the administration building if you are interested in substitute teaching and she will help you start the application process and discuss qualifications.
  • Do your friends and neighbors know how to find our weekly updates? Even if your neighbors don’t have kids in school tell them about our weekly updates so they can hear the great news of what happens at PTSC!
  • Every Wednesday is a 30-minute delayed start. If we have a 2-hour delay, students will arrive at school 2 hours after the regular start time for the building.

School Safety (Part 2)

As we continue to make this a top priority at PTSC, I have been asked by a few different people what a parent can do to help!  Great question!  Here are three ideas:

  1.  Reinforce the idea that if you see something or hear something–say something.  This goes for parents, too.  Telling a staff member immediately is one of the most vital roles you can play in keeping our schools safe.  Encourage your children to do the same.
  2. Be involved in your child’s social media and online interactions.  Do you know what direct messages are happening on Snapchat and Instagram?  Are you watching text exchanges or gaps where some have been deleted?  This is a daily role for a parent in today’s digital age.
  3. Come to our Porter County Sheriff’s Department vs. PTSC Staff basketball game on Friday night.  All monies collected go to benefit the PTSC school safety fund.  Can’t attend the game?  You can still make a donation to the PTSC school safety fund.  We will use these funds as we increase the number of School Resource Officers we have on a daily basis at PTSC.

 

PTSC Standouts:

Congratulations to our 63 BGHS Choir Students who competed in the State ISSMA Solo & Ensemble Contest on Saturday, February 17 at Perry Meridian High School in Indianapolis.

7 Ensembles earned Gold, 1 Ensemble earned Silver and all 8 Soloists earned Gold bringing the totals for BGHS Choir to 17 Silver Medals and a whopping 148 Gold Medals!!!  Woohoo!!!  

They have all truly worked hard to make Boone Grove proud!

 

Do you have a standout to include in this section?  Email PTSC standouts to Dr. Schmidt at stacey.schmidt@ptsc.k12.in.us to make sure your standout is included.  She counts on you to send her updates all can celebrate PTSC student accomplishments!

Important Dates:

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  • March 8:  Choir Concert:
    Hello Boone Grove Community! Please join us as the Choir Department Presents: 
    A ChoraTribute to Broadway
    Thursday, March 8 at 7pm in the Boone Grove High School Aux. Gymatorium.  The cost will be Adults $4 & Students & Kids $2 
  • March 9:  Wolf Pack Fish Fry and School Safety Basketball Game

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  • March 13:  End of Third Quarter
  • March 14:  BGMS and BGHS Online Day
  • March 20:  Wake Up Call Stairway to Heroin Educational Series–for those age 21 and above (this is a great opportunity, and if you cannot make this one at Chesterton, you can go to Lake Central on March 1 from 6:30-8 pm, or Highland High School at 6:30 pm on April 11th, or Lake Station High School at 6 pm on April 25th.)

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  • March 26-30:  Spring Break, No School
  • April 2:  Snow Day Make-Up Day (Currently we will not have school this day–fingers crossed!)
  • April 18:  BGMS and BGHS Online Day
  • April 25:  Kindergarten Round Up

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  • April 30:  “Why Teens Kill” presentation by Frank DeAngelis, former Columbine High School Principal, and Phil Chalmers, leading authority on teen violence (see below for more information)

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  • May 24:  End of Quarter 4 and Second Semester
  • May 24:  Last Day for students
  • May 25:  Potential Snow Day make-up day
  • May 28:  Memorial Day
  • June 1:  BGHS Graduation

Things to Know/Do:

  • Now hiring substitute teachers! Please contact Linda Dusek at the administration building if you are interested in substitute teaching and she will help you start the application process and discuss qualifications.
  • Do your friends and neighbors know how to find our weekly updates? Even if your neighbors don’t have kids in school tell them about our weekly updates so they can hear the great news of what happens at PTSC!
  • Every Wednesday is a 30-minute delayed start. If we have a 2-hour delay, students will arrive at school 2 hours after the regular start time for the building.

Thoughts on School Safety

I’m sure my thoughts and your thoughts have been on similar topics this week–mourning the tragic deaths of the students in Florida, struggling through the difficult conversations surrounding violence in our society, and then the one that has always kept me up at night–keeping our students safe at school.  This has been always been true for me, not just in light of the most recent tragedy.

In speaking with Lieutenant Jeremy Chavez (Porter County Sheriff’s Department, and PTSC School Resource Officer) this week, he shared some things that I thought were helpful.  I’d like to share them here with you.  Lieutenant Chavez said:

“I am often asked what I think of the “right” answer or what my thoughts are on the school shootings and the means and/or measures that are appropriate to stop them. Unfortunately, I have no “right” answer or cure all to stop these horrific acts. I do however believe we can take steps to greatly reduce our chances of something like this occurring in our building(s).

First off, we must all realize that we are ALL part of the solution. Its not one single person. Its not the SRO in your building or the principal or the superintendent or etc etc. Its all of us. We all must actively participate in the safety process and we must all be the ears and eyes for any signs of trouble or “red flags” that we may come across.

I do not have every social media account or access to every single post that someone may make nor would I have the time to view every single one. But our students for example do and they occasionally may come across things that they could report to a teacher, parent or other adult that could be looked into. Time and time again I read or watch news feeds (most recently the Florida shooting) of students or others that are being interviewed after a tragic incident in which the person interviewed will say they weren’t “surprised” that it was so and so. Or they will say they recall seeing a disturbing social media post prior to the incident occurring. When I see these things it makes me think that there possibly could have been an intervention that possibly occurred. Maybe just….maybe had that Snapchat, Tweet or Facebook post been made known, things may have ended differently. Who knows?? Just a thought.

Statistics show that almost every school shooting that has ever occurred were well thought out plans that had been planned for months and even years. The point is, these shooters more often then not don’t wake up one day and suddenly decide they are going to go shoot up a school. Look at the 3 most prolific shootings to ever have occurred…Klebold  & Harris (Columbine)…Cho (Virginia Tech) and finally Lanza (Sandy Hook) and you may recall when their homes were searched they found maps, pictures and well organized plans for their deadly destruction. All of these things are clues and we must work together to watch for these signs or warning flags. For every school shooting you hear of, there are at least a dozen or so that were thwarted because some brave soul came forward and alerted authorities to a red flag or something they had observed.

I’ll end with this. The bottom line is that we must talk to our students and empower them to take a part in their own safety. Unfortunately, I cannot be in every classroom or every corner of every building at one time. We must all work together. We must act together.

I will steal a line that I’m sure we’ve all heard. “IT TAKES A VILLAGE”.  Think about that and how it applies to this idea I am suggesting.  

The answer is you, me, everyone. It is all of us.”

I know for many parents I have heard that they know PTSC works hard to make school safety a priority.  But they want to know how they can help.  I think Lieutenant Chavez nails it–when he said it is all of us.  If you see something, hear something–say something.  That goes for parents and students.  Tell teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, principals, the school resource officer, guidance counselors, coaches–say something.  I can tell you that there are many situations I know of where are students have done this and it has allowed staff members to make sure that students are OK and families are aware and have resources that they need.  This is the way we can all be involved in keeping our schools safe.

Mr. Parrish (ben.parrish@ptsc.k12.in.us), our Chief Safety Officer, put this together this week that I thought was helpful to share with you as well.

The safety and security of Porter Township students is our top priority.  At Porter Township, we live and breathe school safety every day.  We have an extensive school safety plan that is rooted in current best practices and has been developed in collaboration with school safety specialists, the Porter County Emergency Management Agency, local law enforcement, the countywide School Safety Commission, and our district School Resource Officers.  The school safety plan is continuously evaluated and reviewed to afford our students the highest level of safety.  We can’t share specific details regarding our response plan, as that would compromise the plan and put students and staff at a disadvantage, but we do want to share the following points regarding our plan:

  • In June of 2014 we conducted a complete overhaul of our response plan and safety protocol.
  • We have 12 Indiana Certified School Safety Specialists on staff, and will be sending additional personnel to receive this training in the Fall of 2018.
  • In February of 2017, we expanded our School Resource Officer program to include three Porter County Sheriff’s Department officers allowing us to have an officer in the school district each day of the week.
  • PTSC utilizes a multifaceted approach to school safety, including providing assistance and support to students for mental health and family issues.
  • We stress to students and staff if they “See Something, Hear Something, Say Something.”
  • Our staff conducts thorough investigations, that include our School Resource Officers, and take appropriate actions when provided information regarding potential threats.
  • The district provides extensive training to all staff (teachers, custodians, bus drivers, administrators, cafeteria staff, office staff) on how to respond to an active assailant and how to best keep your kids safe.
  • Staff and students conduct training drills in all school buildings multiple times a year.
  • We have specific protocol, and provide continuous training for our office staff regarding allowing individuals entry to our schools.
  • All district personnel utilize the School Guard App. Learn more at http://schoolguard.guard911.com/

Most importantly, school safety is everyone’s responsibility.  It takes a multifaceted approach and the dedication of all staff, students, parents, and community members to make our schools as safe as possible.  I can assure you that the safety of our students is our top priority and we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that we are doing everything we can as a school district to combat potential acts of school violence.”

We continue to read, learn, collaborate with others and revise our plan as needed.  Please continue to be part of our team and if you see something or hear something, say something!

 

Important Dates:

  • Approved 2018-2019 Calendar
  • March 13:  End of Third Quarter
  • March 14:  BGMS and BGHS Online Day
  • March 26-30:  Spring Break, No School
  • April 2:  Snow Day Make-Up Day (Currently we will not have school this day–fingers crossed!)
  • April 18:  BGMS and BGHS Online Day
  • May 24:  End of Quarter 4 and Second Semester
  • May 24:  Last Day for students
  • May 25:  Potential Snow Day make-up day
  • May 28:  Memorial Day
  • June 1:  BGHS Graduation

Things to Know/Do:

  • Now hiring substitute teachers! Please contact Linda Dusek at the administration building if you are interested in substitute teaching and she will help you start the application process and discuss qualifications.
  • Do your friends and neighbors know how to find our weekly updates? Even if your neighbors don’t have kids in school tell them about our weekly updates so they can hear the great news of what happens at PTSC!
  • Every Wednesday is a 30-minute delayed start. If we have a 2-hour delay, students will arrive at school 2 hours after the regular start time for the building.

Parent Survey for the Indiana Graduation Pathways

I have posted previously about the proposed Indiana Graduation Pathways. In December, the State Board of Education approved those Pathways, despite many hours of testimony primarily against the plan as it was presented. While there were good ideas within the plan, many of us feared that it was too fast to approve a plan that had so many details left to be developed.

I have been asked by the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents to serve on a Superintendent’s advisory panel to the State Board of Education as they prepare guidance documents on the new Graduation Pathways. In order to provide me with some insight for that group as well as to provide guidance on what we need to develop at PTSC, I have developed a short survey to get your feedback and input to drive the guidance documents developed. The survey is not long, and if you would be willing to take a few minutes to complete it I would greatly appreciate it!

Indiana Graduation Pathways Approved Plan 

PTSC Indiana Graduation Pathways Panel Survey

PTSC Standouts:

Congratulations to BGMS student, Ty Knight on being chosen by Senator Charbonneau to be a Senate Page!  Great work!

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Congratulations to our BGHS High School students who performed in the Madrigal.  The Madrigal Performance was recently featured on Lakeshore PBS’ Segment “Eye on the Arts.”  Fantastic and great work to all involved!

Do you have a standout to include in this section?  Email PTSC standouts to Dr. Schmidt at stacey.schmidt@ptsc.k12.in.us to make sure your standout is included.  She counts on you to send her updates all can celebrate PTSC student accomplishments!

Important Dates:

  • Approved 2018-2019 Calendar
  • January 24:  BGMS and BGHS Online Day
  • February 14:  BGMS and BGHS Online Day
  • February 16:  Snow Day Make-Up Day (Currently we will not have school this day–fingers crossed!)
  • February 19:  President’s Day–No School
  • March 13:  End of Third Quarter
  • March 14:  BGMS and BGHS Online Day
  • March 26-30:  Spring Break, No School
  • April 2:  Snow Day Make-Up Day (Currently we will not have school this day–fingers crossed!)
  • April 18:  BGMS and BGHS Online Day
  • May 24:  End of Quarter 4 and Second Semester
  • May 24:  Last Day for students
  • May 25:  Potential Snow Day make-up day
  • May 28:  Memorial Day
  • June 1:  BGHS Graduation

Things to Know/Do:

  • Now hiring substitute teachers! Please contact Linda Dusek at the administration building if you are interested in substitute teaching and she will help you start the application process and discuss qualifications.
  • Do your friends and neighbors know how to find our weekly updates? Even if your neighbors don’t have kids in school tell them about our weekly updates so they can hear the great news of what happens at PTSC!
  • Every Wednesday is a 30-minute delayed start. If we have a 2-hour delay, students will arrive at school 2 hours after the regular start time for the building.