Archive for the ‘Culture of Achievement’ Category

Tour the Renovated Porter Lakes Elementary School!

Come on out to Porter Lakes Elementary School on Thursday, April 13th, between 6-6:30 pm to have our student tour guides show off the newly renovated Porter Lakes Elementary School!  We’d love to see former students, current and former PTSC teachers, parents, and community members as we show off all of the work that happened in a very short window at Porter Lakes this summer!  All are welcome–bring a friend!

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I had to read this email I received about three times to let it all sink in.  I will read it another day when I need a reminder about the amazing students we have in PTSC!  This speaks volumes and I am so proud of all of you!

“I wanted to let you know about the amazing 4th and 5th grade children at Boone Grove Elementary.  As part of their Valentine’s/Friendship Day parties, they decided to bring in donations for our deployed troops.  They brought in almost 2,000 items, from razors and socks to snacks and playing cards.  Several classes also decorated the boxes containing their donations as well as made cards and wrote letters.  Additionally, we raised $120 in monetary donations to give to the troops.  I wanted to give a huge shout out to them for their selfless acts, for thinking about those that are making such scary sacrifices for our country, and especially to ALL the fourth and fifth grade teachers who were so patient, supportive, and letting us use a corner of each of their rooms to store the donations.  I will be meeting with Commander Charles (former Marine) from the USO, Mr. L., and Mr. Fuller this Thursday, April 13th at 9:15 a.m. at Boone Grove Elementary to give him the items the children brought in.” (Thanks, Barb Blashill, for sending this to me!)

Have you heard about Liz Hedger?  Here’s an update on her amazing activities I received last week from her family!  “Just wanted to give you an update on another international swim meet my daughter Liz Hedger, seventh grade Boone Grove MS, just competed in over Spring Break.  We got back Monday from Windsor, Ontario, where she competed in her third CanAm Paraswimming Championships meet … the 2017 Windsor Speedo CanAm Paraswimming Championships.

 Liz, who’s classified in the S6 division, competed from Friday to Sunday. She swam seven events and set personal records in six of them. She won her first CanAM gold medal in the 200 freestyle, dropping her best time by seven seconds, and finished third overall in the S6 classification for both the 50-meter freestyle (45.02 seconds) and 50-meter butterfly (54.47 seconds). In each of those races, the only competitors to finish ahead of Liz were on the Canadian and Mexican national teams, and both are in their 20s.

 She also swam a relay leg on one of two U.S. teams in the 4×50 meter freestyle relay, which was Liz’s first time officially swimming for Team USA in international competition.

 The meet included swimmers of all ages from the U.S., Canada and Mexico, and was used as a time trial by Mexico and Canada to determine their rosters for the 2017 World Paraswimming World Championships, which will be held Sept. 30 to Oct. 6 in Mexico City, Mexico.  Liz’z next big meet will be June 9-11 am in Indianapolis, where she will compete in a World Paraswimming World Series event at the IUPUI Natatorium.  She swims for Mako Swim Team, which trains at Valparaiso University.”

Way to go, Liz!  Way to drop that much time–truly impressive!

To round out this week’s awesome news–how about a TWO full ride scholarships for Boone Grove High School students?  That’s what Bryce Vann and Lukas Steinhilber received last week from Urschel Laboratories!  Outstanding work, Bryce and Lukas!  We can’t wait to see what your future holds!

 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.

Important Dates:

 

  • April 17:  Snow Make Up Day or Break Day (Right now a break day!)
  • April 17-May 5:  ISTEP+ Part 2 Testing Window
  • April 18:  FYSB workshop on Synthetic Drugs

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  • April 19:  BGHS and BGMS Online Day
  • April 24-May 26:  ECA Spring Testing Window
  • May 26:  End of Quarter 4/Semester 2–Last day for students
  • May 30:  Last day for teachers
  • June 4:  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.

Substance Abuse Prevention

Here’s a great opportunity right in our backyard!

Congratulations to Zac Beatty who was one of two to present to the Valparaiso Redevelopment Commission (VRDC) on a plan they designed for the name and logo for the new Valparaiso Bike Sharing program.  Zac did this as part of his Marketing class.  The VRDC selected our students’ name and logo for the new Valparaiso Bike Sharing program.  The new bike sharing program will be started this summer and will link the downtown to bikers from the university and throughout the community.  Check out the photos in the Porter County Career Center’s March newsletter on page 5!

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.

Important Dates:

  • March 20-24:  BGE Book Fair
  • March 21:  BGHS and BGMS Choir Concert at BGHS in the small gym at 7 pm featuring the Magical Music of Disney (Adults $4 Children $2)
  • March 27-31:  Spring Break, No School
  • April 6:  Substance Abuse Prevention event in Portage

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  • April 17:  Snow Make Up Day or Break Day (Right now a break day!)
  • April 17-May 5:  ISTEP+ Part 2 Testing Window
  • April 19:  BGHS and BGMS Online Day
  • April 24-May 26:  ECA Spring Testing Window
  • May 26:  End of Quarter 4/Semester 2–Last day for students
  • May 30:  Last day for teachers
  • June 4:  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.

ISTEP+ Part 1 and IREAD3

Today begins the first section of ISTEP+ testing for students in grades 3-8 and 10.  This section is paper/pencil in grades 3-8 and online for grade 10.  All grades test online during the second part of ISTEP+ coming later this spring.

The IREAD3 testing window begins March 10th for all students in third grade.

What can you do to help your child?  Make sure they get a good night’s sleep, attend school every day, and make sure they start the day with a healthy breakfast.  Remind them to do their personal best, read every question carefully, and try to calm fears and concerns.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher.

Do you wonder about the future of standardized testing in Indiana?  Keep your eye on legislation that is developing what comes next in testing. House Bill 1003 has now moved on to the Senate.  ˜This bill replaces ISTEP with ILEARN (“Indiana’s Learning Evaluation Assessment Readiness Network.”) in 2019.

PTSC Standouts:

8 Elementary students participated in Circle the State With Song this weekend.  A lot of practice, time, and preparation goes into this event.  Congratulations to the following students and teacher, Holly Hinchley:

4th Grade:  Sarah Brennan and Jacob Bender

5th Grade: Caden Harretos, Kennedy Blashill, Maddy Martin, Murial Strzechowki, Logan Primeau (2nd year participating) and Ariel Merritt (2nd year participating)

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.

Important Dates:

  • March 3-4:  The Boone Grove Athletic Department is hosting Prompalooza on Saturday, March 4th from 9am – 3:00pm. This is a great opportunity to earn money for your old prom dresses and a great chance to buy a dress for prom at a discounted price.  Attached is a flyer with more information on the event. If you have questions please contact Kim at kimstar@comcast.net.

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  • March 12:  Cut-a-thon at European Style Salon and Day Spa in Valparaiso to benefit BGMS student, Payton Igras, and support her in her battle with Rhabdomyosarcoma.

    The cut-a-thon will be from 1-4 pm ( donation based with a min donation of $10).

  • March 15:  BGHS and BGMS Online Day
  • March 16:  End of Quarter 3
  • March 27-31:  Spring Break, No School
  • April 17:  Snow Make Up Day or Break Day (Right now a break day!)
  • April 19:  BGHS and BGMS Online Day
  • May 26:  End of Quarter 4/Semester 2–Last day for students
  • May 30:  Last day for teachers
  • June 4:  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.

Drive Safe Chicago PSA Contest

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PTSC Standouts:

Congratulations to our BGHS and BGMS Choir Students who competed in the ISSMA Solo & Ensemble Contest at Kankakee Valley Middle School.

The Middle School students earned 86 Gold Medals and 2 Silver Medals.  The High School students earned 144 Gold Medals and 36 Silver Medals, bringing the totals for Boone Grove Choir to 38 Silver Medals and a whopping 230 Gold Medals!  

60 Students, including 11 Soloist and 7 Ensembles, have advanced to the State competition on February 18 in Indy.  They have all truly worked hard to make Boone Grove proud!

Thank you, Ms. Welbourne, for all of your work with these students!  Your hard work and dedication makes all of this possible!

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.

Important Dates:

  • February 17:  Snow Make Up Day or Break Day (Right now a break day!)
  • February 20:  No School, President’s Day
  • February 24:  Empty Bowls from 5:30 pm-7:30 pm

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  • March 15:  BGHS and BGMS Online Day
  • March 16:  End of Quarter 3
  • March 27-31:  Spring Break, No School
  • April 17:  Snow Make Up Day or Break Day (Right now a break day!)
  • April 19:  BGHS and BGMS Online Day
  • May 26:  End of Quarter 4/Semester 2–Last day for students
  • May 30:  Last day for teachers
  • June 4:  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.

Learning in STEM Areas

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) has been the talk among educators for the past few years.  You may also hear about STEAM, which is Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math.  No matter which term you use, PTSC also focuses in these areas.

Recently we added two robotics kits (Sphero SPRK+) at Porter Lakes and Boone Grove Elementary and Middle Schools.  These little sphere robots allow kids to use their iPads to program the robots to complete various tasks.  Teaching kids to code in an engaging way, this is a step beyond some of the basic coding apps we use as kids are able to actually see in real life how the program they wrote actual works (and have to account for real-world problems like the slope in a floor).  Very fun!

Beyond just the push in STEM areas, kids learn a lifeskill even more important–the lifeskill of resilience and what to do when you fail.  As a kid myself that never liked to fail, later in life it was tough for me to persevere when things were not always easy or when I had to try multiple times to come to the outcome I desired.  Teaching kids how to fail, fail fast, and then make a correction to what was being done provides our kids with skills they will use throughout life.

This is true even for adults!  I rolled out an activity for our leadership team using Sphero SPRK+ (and very little instruction) and watched our district leaders all struggle in their own ways until they were able to tackle the obstacle course with their robots after having successfully written their code.  Having the ability to fail the course, not give up, and rewrite their code led to success.  I will also say–it was also an engaging activity whether they tackled it individually or worked as a team!

PTSC Standouts:

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Congratulations to Boone Grove Elementary School on becoming our first school certified through Common Sense in Digital Citizenship!  Teacher Megan Bush led the charge and helped the school achieve this fantastic status.  Thanks to the staff at BGE for all of their hard work to achieve this status!

More great news out of Boone Grove Elementary School!  The BGE Science Bowl team Finished 2nd in the RED division in the STATE!  We await final calculations, but it looks like we may have a 9th place overall finish in the state!

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.

Important Dates:

  • February 17:  Snow Make Up Day or Break Day (Right now a break day!)
  • February 20:  No School, President’s Day
  • February 24:  Empty Bowls from 5:30 pm-7:30 pm

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  • March 15:  BGHS and BGMS Online Day
  • March 16:  End of Quarter 3
  • March 27-31:  Spring Break, No School
  • April 17:  Snow Make Up Day or Break Day (Right now a break day!)
  • April 19:  BGHS and BGMS Online Day
  • May 26:  End of Quarter 4/Semester 2–Last day for students
  • May 30:  Last day for teachers
  • June 4:  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.