Archive for the ‘Instruction’ Category

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.

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.

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!

Helpful Links

Ever wonder how to find the Indiana College and Career Ready Standards?  These standards were rolled out by the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) and are what drives our curriculum at all grade levels.  If you would like to take a look at this standards, you can find them on the Indiana Department of Education website.  It’s a great resource for parents as well as educators.

If you are looking for other resources, here is a list of items which may be of interest to you.

  1. PTSC Website
  2. PTSC District Calendar 2016-2017
  3. Indiana Office of eLearning
  4. Digital Citizenship Resources (This is an amazing resource for families!)
  5. College and Career Readiness
  6. Hoosier Family of Readers (Great resources here with access to thousands of books for free!)
  7. State Superintendent Glenda Ritz’s Back to School Message to Families

Do you have a question you’d love to see addressed in a weekly update?  Don’t hesitate to send Dr. Schmidt an email and it may be the topic of an upcoming PTSC Update!

PTSC Standouts:

 

INpact with DCI at Lucas Oil Stadium:  We had several Boone Grove students perform for thousands of people in Indianapolis earlier this month and it was a great honor for those students who were selected from across the state.  The students were Hayden Neis, Ashlee Ramos, Emma Grant, Anthony Young, Robert Young, Rachel Stewart, and other members of the Boone Grove Middle School band.  The students met and played with famous trumpet player Al Chez and played for hundreds of people at the Pan Am Building and at Lucas Oil Stadium.  Congratulations to those students and for the time, effort, and energy they spent working on their skills this summer!  

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

Important Dates:

  • September 2:  PLE picture day
  • September 5:  Labor Day–No School
  • September 14:  Online Day BGHS and BGMS
  • October 12:  Online Day BGHS and BGMS
  • 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!