Archive for the ‘Curriculum’ Category

13 Reasons Why

From speaking with a couple of parents, they have learned about the show and that their teens are watching it from conversations with their teens.  It is great when our kids come to us to talk about topics such as this.  However, not every child will start the conversation with us.  It is important to know what our kids are watching and be ready to start a conversation about this.  Looking for some help to guide you through that discussion?  Common Sense Media put out a guide for helping parents talk to their kids about this that you may want to check out.  You may want to watch the show with your kids (if they are going to watch it with or without you–with you is definitely better!)

The National Association of School Psychologists has also weighed in.  In a document they put out, they provide this guidance for parents (along with not recommending “that vulnerable youth, especially those who have any degree of suicidal ideation, watch this series”):

  1. Ask your child if they have heard or seen the series 13 Reasons Why. While we don’t recommend that they be encouraged to view the series, do tell them you want to watch it, with them or to catch up, and discuss their thoughts.
  2. If they exhibit any of the warning signs (found in the document), don’t be afraid to ask if they have thought about suicide or if someone is hurting them. Raising the issue of suicide does not increase the risk or plant the idea. On the contrary, it creates the opportunity to offer help.
  3. Ask your child if they think any of their friends or classmates exhibit warning signs. Talk with them about how to seek help for their friend or classmate. Guide them on how to respond when they see or hear any of the warning signs.
  4. Listen to your children’s comments without judgment. Doing so requires that you fully concentrate, understand, respond, and then remember what is being said. Put your own agenda aside.
  5. Get help from a school-employed or community-based mental health professional if you are concerned for your child’s safety or the safety of one of their peers. See Preventing Youth Suicide Brief Facts (also available in Spanish) and Preventing Youth Suicide: Tips or Parents and Educators for additional information.

As I’ve been writing this, I’ve read a lot online about the show/book.  Here are some resources I found particularly helpful:

My first inclination is to encourage folks to not watch the show.  But reality is our children will be exposed to this type of dialogue and media whether they watch the show or not and we need to be active and engaged in their lives as someone with whom they can discuss anything.  One thing I know for certain:  family support and connectedness are essentials for every child.  Every child needs a significant adult in their lives–be it a parent, and aunt, a teacher, a coach, an administrator, a school counselor, or a close family friend.  Navigating these waters is challenging, and our kids need support.  If you need help as a parent navigating these waters or have concerns about your child, don’t hesitate to contact your building administrator, school counselor, or a community based mental health agency.

Most of all, researching this has made me want to wrap my arms around my boys who are too young to understand all of this and think of the ways each day to give them reasons why they matter.  I know that is the cry of every parent’s heart.  Take time this week to have meaningful conversations with your kids, even if they are about tough things.

NWI Works Council Selects the following Porter County CTE Graduates for Prestigious Outstanding 21 under 21 Future Leader Award:   BGHS celebrates with Kennedy Starcevich on this honor!

Tonight four of our BGHS students will be inducted into the Porter County Career and Technical Center’s Honor Society!  This is a terrific honor!  Congratulations to Hannah Christy, Emily Barton, Truman Maxwell, and Eden Priest on their outstanding achievements!

Here is an outstanding email we received complimenting our student athletes and coaches for the track team that says a lot about our staff, students, and the families in Porter Township (AWESOME!):

“On Tuesday April 11th, your track team traveled to South Central for a meet.  I was one of the moms who volunteered to assist at the throwing events.  This was the first time myself and the other moms were completely in charge of the event and we were unsure of all the technicalities.  Your throwing coach could not have been nicer.  He assisted us with going over rules, explained exactly how to measure throws, and how to check for ‘scratches’.  In addition, your boys, I only helped with the boys events, were some of the most polite students.  Too often the positive behavior is not recognized and I wanted to be sure to let you and your school know what a pleasure it was to work with your student athletes.”

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On Thursday, April 13, 2017, Commander Charles of the Indianapolis Division of the USO came to Boone Grove Elementary to pick up donations the 4th and 5th graders at Boone Grove Elementary collected for deployed troops as part of their Valentine’s/Friendship Day celebration.  The children collected everything from razors and socks to snacks and playing cards.  We had over 2,000 items donated!
Commander Charles is a veteran that served in the Marines for many years before retiring and joining the USO.  He spoke to several students and told them there are approximately 400 troops set to be deployed this month and the items that were brought in by our generous Boone Grove Elementary families and students will be given to these troops as well as sent overseas to others already deployed.  Commander Charles explained to several students how much the troops appreciate any little donation they receive while they are deployed and that they usually only receive items around Christmas, not throughout the year.
Commander Charles also honored Kennedy Blashill with a USO Challenge Coin for her hard work with organizing and taking inventory of the donations received.  Commander Charles also gave the children that helped to load up his vehicle some fun USO sunglasses!
Thank you to each 4th and 5th grader 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.  Boone Grove definitely has wonderful families!
[Pictured clockwise are:  Hayley Takacs, Annie Blanchard (secretary), Patrick Fuller (assistant-principal), Barb Blashill, Ashlyn Ramos, Nicholas Ramos, Leah Lewin, Natalie Meinert, Kennedy Blashill, and Madison Martin.]  –Special thanks to Barb Blashill for sending this to me!  We agree wholeheartedly and are grateful for the example our 4th and 5th grade students have set for the entire district!

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 24-May 26:  ECA Spring Testing Window
  • May 2, 2017:  Beyond the Influence Workshop Series on Marijuana by Todd Willis

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  • May 26:  End of Quarter 4/Semester 2–Last day for students
  • May 27:  Kent’s Run–The 10th and final Kent’s Run 5K will be held on Saturday, May 27th, at 8 am at Boone Grove Elementary School.  Over the past nine years this event has raised over $350,000 for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  The entries are capped at 1,000 participants.  Race details and a link to the registration page can be found at www.KentsRun.com.  As always, there will be live music on the course, finisher medals for all participants, and a free pancake breakfast to all participants.

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  • 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.

Speak Up Survey

Join the conversation about the use of technology for learning through Speak Up, a National Research Project. Since 2003, more than 4.5 million K-12 education stakeholders have participated in the annual online surveys. Data findings are shared each year with federal, state and local policymakers to inform education programs, policies and funding.

Each year we invite PTSC staff, community, and students to participate.  See below if you’d like to take the survey!

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PTSC Standouts:

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BGMS Cheer participated in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Valparaiso Central Park on October 16. They performed in Opening Ceremonies, cheered on the survivors, fighters, and supporters during the walk at the beginning and ending tunnels, and raised $500 towards the cause. Go pink!  

Have you checked out the awesome work being done by the Porter County Career Center?  Students have been working on renovating the Grand Trunk Train Depot.  There have been a few articles recently in the paper.  Jacob Dobrowski & Truman Maxwell are two BGHS students working on renovating the depot.  They have put in a lot of time and effort to this project–and it is fun to watch the Depot come back to life!  Great work!

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:

  • November 16:  Online Day BGHS and BGMS
  • November 24-25:  Thanksgiving Break–No School
  • December 21-January 4:  Winter Break–No School
  • January 13:  End of Quarter 2/Semester 1

Things to Know/Do:

  • Now hiring a Computer Technician!  If you know someone who might be interested, send them to the link above!
  • 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.
  • 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!

Who You are Matters

As most of you know, my husband and I became parents to handsome twin boys this year.  What you may not know about me is that I’m an avid reader, researcher, and all around over-planner for most everything in life.  True to form, I’m constantly seeking after new knowledge about how to best raise our boys and help them through all of their developmental milestones.

But as parents, we know it isn’t just about the learning our kids are doing in mastering standards (or for my kids, crawling and learning to walk).  There is so much more to helping them become caring, kind, and well-rounded people.  The knowledge is important, but we cannot forget that we are also shaping our future generation and helping them to know how to interact and relate to other people.  For my husband and I, this has meant that we intentionally focus on helping our boys to seek justice, love kindness, and be humble.

This is important for us at PTSC, too.  Not only are we trying to be great role models for our students, but we are also intentionally trying to build positive relationships with students while being explicit in our instruction of what it looks like to seek justice, love kindness, and be humble and hard-working in all that we do.  It may be in life that you have to learn a new skill or fact in order to succeed and that isn’t the most difficult thing to do.  What is really difficult to do is to learn and practice how to be ethical, hard-working, kind people who believe the best about others and do not spread bitterness and lies.  Aren’t those the kind of folks we all want to surround ourselves with as friends, hire in our businesses, and live next door to?

Our intellectual knowledge and the ability to apply it to real world situations is extremely important.  But one cannot overlook the vital task that we have as parents and educators to help develop our children and students into people of high character.  I am excited to be on the journey together with you to do just that!

 

 

 

PTSC Standouts:

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The Boone Grove Middle School Cheer team shared their school spirit with parade goers at the Popcorn Festival!  Thanks for representing PTSC well and great job on the float!

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

Important Dates:

  • September 22:  The American Red Cross is hosting a Blood Drive at Porter Lakes Elementary on Thursday, September 22 from 3:30 – 7:00 PM in the Cafeteria.  Please call 1-800-RED – CROSS or go to redcrossblood.org,  sponsor code:  iporlaelem to schedule your blood donation appointment
  • October 12:  Online Day BGHS and BGMS

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  • October 15:  “See the Need” Stuff the Bus! To Help Support The Food Pantry Of Porter Township “Stuff The Bus” Fundraiser.  Help us bring in food donations, cleaning supplies and toiletries.  Following the food pantry drive there will be the Porter Township Food Pantry Annual Fundraiser Chili Souper Supper from 5:00 – 6:30.  You can jump on the bus! Bring your friends, food and donations…and don’t forget the pantry needs cleaning supplies and toiletries as well! The stop at Porter Lakes is at 4:30, BGMS at 4:00, and BGHS at 4:15.  Admission to the Chili Souper Supper is $6 Children under 10 are FREE.  Salem Church Hall, 756 W 350 S
  • October 19:  End of Quarter 1
  • October 24:  Parent/Teacher Conferences and Early Dismissal
  • October 25:  Parent/Teacher Conferences and Early Dismissal
  • October 27-28:  Fall Break–No School
  • November 16:  Online Day BGHS and BGMS
  • November 24-25:  Thanksgiving Break–No School
  • December 21-January 4:  Winter Break–No School
  • January 13:  End of Quarter 2/Semester 1

 

Things to Know/Do:

  • Now hiring a Computer Technician!  If you know someone who might be interested, send them to the link above!
  • 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.
  • 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!