Archive for the ‘Instruction’ Category

Preschool Survey

At PTSC, we like to explore many options for meeting the needs of our community.  One area of impact that has been identified is preschool.  We know from research that those formative years before kindergarten are so important.  (Here’s a great article on that!)

For that reason, we are in the very early stages of exploring what a public school preschool program would look like for Porter Township.  We currently have no plans for implementation and are in the information gathering stage.

If you have preschool aged children or know folks who do (in PTSC or in surrounding areas), please feel free to send them the link to our survey.  It is very short and won’t take but a couple of minutes to complete!  We will let you know what we learn!

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I have to admit that it is pretty awesome when you randomly receive a text from someone bragging about our PTSC students!  This one was from a group of students that participated in the “Out of Darkness” walk.  Great job, guys!

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:

  • Now through September 29th!  Help for Hurricane Harvey & Irma!

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  • October 11:  Online Day for BGHS and BGMS
  • October 14:  Flapjack Fundraiser for BGHS Academic Teams

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  • October 14:  Stuff the Bus 2017

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  • October 16:  End of first quarter
  • October 19:  30 minute early dismissal for all students
  • October 19:  Parent/Teacher conferences for elementary students
  • October 23:  30 minute early dismissal for all students
  • October 23:  Parent/Teacher conferences for all students
  • October 24:  Parent/Teacher conferences BGMS and BGHS
  • October 26:  No School, Fall Break
  • October 27:  No School, Fall Break
  • November 15:  Online Day for BGHS and BGMS
  • November 22-24:  No School, Thanksgiving Break
  • December 22:  End of second quarter and first semester
  • December 23-January 7:  No School, Winter 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.
  • 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.
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What Success Looks Like

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Check out our Boone Grove Wolves Cheerleaders!  They participated in the Valparaiso Community Popcorn Parade.  As a parade spectator–I can tell you first hand they made us all proud!  Thanks, ladies, for all you do for our community!

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:

  • September 13:  Online Day for BGHS and BGMS
  • October 11:  Online Day for BGHS and BGMS
  • October 14:  Stuff the Bus 2017

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  • October 16:  End of first quarter
  • October 19:  30 minute early dismissal for all students
  • October 19:  Parent/Teacher conferences for elementary students
  • October 23:  30 minute early dismissal for all students
  • October 23:  Parent/Teacher conferences for all students
  • October 24:  Parent/Teacher conferences BGMS and BGHS
  • October 26:  No School, Fall Break
  • October 27:  No School, Fall Break
  • November 15:  Online Day for BGHS and BGMS
  • November 22-24:  No School, Thanksgiving Break
  • December 22:  End of second quarter and first semester
  • December 23-January 7:  No School, Winter 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.
  • 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.

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!