Superintendent Dr. Stacey Schmidt Selected for National Connected Superintendents Summit Wednesday at White House 

Dr. Stacey Schmidt, Superintendent of the Porter Township School Corporation, has been selected by the U.S. Department of Education as one of 117 top school leaders from across America to participate in the first-ever National Connected Superintendents Summit Wednesday, Nov. 19 at the White House.

Superintendent Schmidt is among exemplary local school chiefs who will be recognized for their leadership in helping transition their districts to digital learning. This unique conference will bring together officials from throughout America to share with one other and the Education Department promising approaches to using technology in classes.

“School districts across the country are helping teachers harness the power of technology to create personal learning environments for all students,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “We want to make sure every child – whether he or she is in the inner-city, in a rural community or on a Native American reservation – has access to knowledge and the chance to learn 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

The White House summit will be followed by a series of 12-15 regional summits that will focus on the digital progress both made and possible by local school districts. The events will also include the unveiling of digital tools that facilitate incorporation of technology into short-term and long-range education planning.

To help spotlight the value of technology in schools, the Education Department is sponsoring a Future Ready Initiative aimed at showcasing outstanding school leadership and strategies.

“The Future Ready Initiative highlights the critical role of district leaders in setting a vision and creating the environment where educators and students access the tools, content, and expertise necessary for thriving in a connected world,” said Richard Culatta, director of the Department’s Office of Educational Technology.

Future Ready superintendents demonstrate effective use of technology in some of the following ways:

  • Fostering and leading a culture of collaboration and digital citizenship;
  • Transitioning schools and families to high-speed connectivity;
  • Empowering educators with professional learning opportunities;
  • Accelerating progress toward universal access to quality devices;
  • Providing access to quality digital content;
  • Creating access, equity, and excellence – particularly in rural, remote, and low-income districts;
  • Offering digital tools to students and families to help them prepare for success in college;
  • Sharing best practices and mentoring other districts in the transition to digital learning.

“Technology has the potential to transform education in America, allowing students to learn more, to do so at their own pace, and to develop the knowledge and skills employers demand,” Culatta said. “And yet, fewer than 30 percent of classrooms have the broadband internet to support today’s education technology needs.”

In June 2013, President Obama announced the ConnectED Initiative, starting with a goal of connecting 99 percent of students to next-generation connectivity within five years. Model schools and districts across the country are using technology to create personalized learning environments; technology will play an increasingly crucial role in the future.

For more on the work of the Department’s Office of Educational Technology, including resources for students, parents and educators, click here.

PTSC Standouts:

Academic All State Honorable Mention Volleyball:  Congratulations to Carrie Kovacik and Lexi Thill on this recognition!  Very well deserved!

Email PTSC standouts to Dr. Schmidt at stacey.schmidt@ptsc.k12.in.us.

Important Dates:

  • All November and December:  A Night Out at Chili’s: PTO is sponsoring a Family Fundraiser at Chili’s for the entire month of November and December (no weekend or hour restrictions). You can visit Chili’s at the Merrillville or Valparaiso location and as long as you have the Chili’s voucher – this is a delicious way to help earn money for your school plus if you purchase a scrip Chili’s card you will earn an additional 11%! Vouchers will be coming home very soon – they will not be available at  Chili’s. Additional copies of voucher can be downloaded from the school website or the PTO Facebook page.
  • Now through December 19, 2014:  Take the Speak Up Survey.  You can access it at http://www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2014/.  Speak Up, a national online research project facilitated by Project Tomorrow®, gives individuals the opportunity to share their viewpoints about key educational issues, particularly concerning 21st century education and technology.
  • November 19, 2014:  Online Day for BGHS and BGMS
  • November 21, 2014:  PTO Fall Fun Fair at BGE
  • November 27-28, 2014:  No School, Thanksgiving Break
  • December 5, 2014:  The Athletic Department and Winter Sports are hosting a Nelson’s Port-a-Pit Night!  *SAVE THE DATE: December 5th, 5-7:30PM, in the high school cafeteria. Invite friends and family for a fun night out! Come for dinner, basketball games, Homecoming festivities, and a raffle! Please see the document below as it is a pre-order form for the dinner. The deadline for order forms is Friday, November 28th. Get your order forms in to ensure your dinner, as quantities will be limited after the deadline and will go quickly! Order forms, along with payment, can be turned into any PTSC main office.

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 10.09.14 AM

  • December 22-January 2, 2014:  No School, Winter Break
  • January 5, 2015:  Classes resume
  • January 16, 2015:  End of 1st Semester
  • January 28, 2015:  Online Day for BGHS and BGMS
  • February 13, 2015:  Snow day make-up day or break day
  • February 16, 2015:  No School, Presidents Day
  • February 18, 2015:  Online Day for BGHS and BGMS
  • March 18, 2015:  Online Day for BGHS and BGMS
  • March 19, 2015:  End of 3rd Quarter
  • March 23-27, 2015:  Spring Break

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.
    • Have you updated your account information in Instant Alert?  Make sure that you have your cell phone number and your email entered so that you will receive the latest updates we send out.  You can update your Instant Alert Account here.
    • 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.
    • We are also looking for bus drivers to drive our extra-curricular runs.  If you are interested, please apply online.  It’s a great way to earn some money and attend extra-curricular events!
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