Archive for the ‘Instructional Leadership’ Category

Next Level Jobs

Have you heard about the Indiana Next Level Jobs program?  This program allows folks that have a high school diploma with free job training in high-wage, high-demand industries.

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(Graphic taken from https://www.nextleveljobs.org/)

As you have seen from the push in Indiana in the new Graduation Pathways, the push is to make sure that all students know that there are options beyond attending a four-year college to get a degree.  The push is to have our students leave high school with industry level certifications.  But beyond that, there is a push to help students know about resources available upon graduation for job training, training that sometimes can be obtained for free.  (This is actually true for adults that have a high school diploma, too).  Many of these programs are available through our local Ivy Tech.

If you are interested in exploring what this means, here are some links to help you learn more:

PTSC Standouts:

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.  She counts on you to send her updates all can celebrate PTSC student accomplishments!

Important Dates:

    • Approved 2018-2019 Calendar
    • November 8:  PLE Early Learning Night 4:30 pm- 6:00 pm (preschool-aged children and parents)
    • November 14:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • November 21-23:  Thanksgiving Break–No School
    • December 21:  End of Quarter 2/Semester 1
    • December 24-January 4:  Winter Break–No School
    • January 7:  Classes Resume
    • January 23:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • February 15:  Make-up Day (No School or make-up day if needed)
    • February 18:  President’s Day–No School
    • February 27:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • March 15:  End of Quarter 3
    • March 20:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • March 25-29:  Spring Break–No School
    • April 17:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • April 19:  Make-up Day (No School or make-up day if needed)
    • April 22:  Make-up Day (No School or make-up day if needed)
    • May 27:  Memorial Day–No School
    • May 29:  Last Student Day
    • May 31:  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.

 

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Are You Ready for Changing Weather?

It’s that time of year–time to get out the warmer clothing, and time for this Superintendent to trade in 4:40 am runs for her Keurig and some treacherous driving.  Let’s all hope for a warm, snow-free winter!

Our procedures will be similar to what we have done in past years, but it is always great to review.  As we plan ahead for the rest of the school year, I hope these things will be helpful to you:

  1. Dress your child appropriately (warm enough clothing or cool enough clothing) for school each day.  Even if it is too cold in winter for outdoor recess, one can never plan when an emergency might take place and a school has to be evacuated or a school bus breaks down.  Wearing shorts and a t-shirt in the middle of winter is going to be challenging–even if the evacuation takes less than a minute.
  2. Don’t know if there will be recess?  Send the snow pants, hats, gloves, boots, coats, and scarves just in case (and all labeled with your child’s name).
  3. Want to make sure you receive delay/closing calls?  We use a system called School Messenger.  It pulls your contact information (phone and email) directly from our student information system (Harmony). In order to receive the calls and emails, you must keep your information current with the school office.  You can also always find the information on our website, on our PTSC Facebook page, or on Dr. Schmidt’s Twitter feed.
  4. PTSC works with the Meteorology Department at Valparaiso University to get weather reports the night before school and the morning of school.  This information is utilized in addition to weather.com, weather bug, weather underground, and other weather websites that report Boone Grove data.  It does seem that often times there will be a wide range of expected weather predictions depending on which website is consulted.  This is also why it is good to have access to the VU Department of Meteorology to help us sort through the data.  On top of that, the superintendents in the area are in constant communication sharing the information they have learned.
  5. Do you wonder how school delay and closing decisions are made?  There is no formula for this.  On any given day I wake up between 4-4:30 am and check on the weather.  Most days there are not concerns and I head out for my morning run.  On days where I am seeing reduced visibility being reported through the weather websites we use, I’m out the door and driving the roads by 4:30 am.  If it is an issue of snow, I talk to my parking lot plow crew between 4-4:30 am to get my first look at conditions.  Sometimes they tell me not to go out on the roads, that we need a delay.  Most of the time I set out driving the roads myself.  I’m considering bus traffic, how much the county has already plowed (if it is snow), blowing and drifting, ice, and snow that continues to fall.  *It is important to note that I expect roads in NWI to be snow-packed and slippery–this is just part of where we live.  I’m looking for roads with large drifts that a car or bus could not drive through safely covering the entire road. There will be times that it is foggy.    For fog, I’m looking at the level of light outside when the buses will run and I’m looking at the amount of visibility throughout the district.  There may be patches where fog is much more dense–but I’m looking at conditions across the district as a whole and the amount of visibility across the district as a whole.  If there is a delay, I am then back out on the roads driving to see if conditions have improved so that we can open school.  I usually go back first to the areas that were particularly bad on my drive earlier in the morning.
  6. Do you wonder how wind chill delays and closing decisions are made?  If you haven’t–give it a few months!  There is also no formula for this.  It is a combination of many things.  How hard is the wind blowing?  How cold is the air temperature?  What are the expected wind chills?  Are my buses starting and staying running?  Additionally we have to look to see if the cold will break making a two-hour delay effective.  It is not a black and white decision–there are many factors which play into every decision.  A change in just a couple of degrees can be the difference between a regular day of school and a closing.  This is where we also consult the Valparaiso University Meteorology Department for accurate current temperatures and wind-chills along with a variety of online temperatures.  We do live in Northwest Indiana, and we will go to school in cold weather.  The decision looks at the extreme conditions of cold that are highly dangerous.
  7. I try to make a call for a delay or closing by 5:30 am.  Our buses are already getting ready for routes at that time.  Our first routes will start soon after that.  While it is nice to know the night before, that is not always the best decision.  If I think there is a chance that we will be able to open on time or not have to close school I will always wait.  My goal is to keep students safe, but also to keep students on the regular school calendar with school in session if at all possible.  That will mean many times that the decision must be made in the morning.
  8. If this happens on a Wednesday when we typically have a 30 minute delayed start–there will be no 30 minute delayed start.  The two-hour delay trumps this and school will begin 2 hours later than a regular school start time.
  9. Emergency Closing Plans:  We try to never cancel school in the middle of the school day or send students home early, but there are occasions when we must make a decision such as this.  Please make sure to construct a plan with your child for what to do if this were to occur.
  10. Virtual Inclement Weather Days:  For those new to PTSC, this is when the weather is too dangerous (cold or snowy) for students to attend school in their school buildings, so we hold school online.  Teachers publish their lessons online through Schoology (our Learning Management System) by 9am and students work on their lessons digitally while at home.  Students may contact their teachers and interact with them online all throughout the school day hours.  If the roads have cleared enough for passage, we typically try to open at least one building in case you need to accompany your child to the school to use a computer lab together to complete work.  Typically we have opened BGHS as it is centrally located.  As winter approaches, your child’s teacher will communicate more details.  These days are designed to take the time a student would typically spend in school to complete work.  We also learned that these are great for very snowy days when often times everything is shut down.  We will not use virtual online days as scheduled make-up days.
  11. Scheduled Make-Up Days:  So why do we still have make-up days on our calendar if we can do these all virtually?  Great question!  There may be days when it is not the best decision to have a virtual inclement weather day.  Let’s say our area is hit with an ice storm and power is out all across the district.  This would make it challenging to access our online content for the students and challenging for our staff members to post their online lessons.  For this reason, we have left them in our calendar.  If we do not need to use them, they will be a day off for students.  But if it is the best option for us to cancel school and have students in session on a schedule make-up day rather than a virtual day on the actual day of the inclement weather–then we will use that option.

This is just a glimpse to the thinking that goes into the weather scenario each day.  Hours are spent each day working to make the best decision possible at the time consulting a team of folks.  Sometimes we nail it.  Sometimes 10 minutes after a decision is made conditions shift.  The point is no decision is made lightly or without what amounts to on many days as hours of early morning work.  We want our students to be safe, and we also want our students at school learning.

And without a doubt, I look forward to warm, spring days returning!  I don’t think I will love snow or winter until many years from now when I retire (and probably not even then!).

PTSC Standouts:

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Congratulations to our Boys’ Soccer Team–Regional Champs two years in a row!  It was a great season!

I received this awesome nomination for a teacher standout:  “I would like to nominate Mrs. Aimee Wentz for a stand out.  I want to do this because my daughter is not the best at math but for the first time since 2nd grade, she has a B in math.”  The parent goes on to state that her daughter was telling her, “she really loves Mrs. Wentz’s class and how dedicated Mrs. Wentz is to making sure the class understands the assignments.”  Way to go, Mrs. Wentz!  Great to hear about math at BGMS!

Congratulations to Mr. Buford and Mrs. Dabrowski’s as their Culinary Art’s Program is recognized by the nationally acclaimed Sullivan University!

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.  She counts on you to send her updates all can celebrate PTSC student accomplishments!

Important Dates:

    • November 14:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • November 21-23:  Thanksgiving Break–No School
    • December 21:  End of Quarter 2/Semester 1
    • December 24-January 4:  Winter Break–No School
    • January 7:  Classes Resume
    • January 23:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • February 15:  Make-up Day (No School or make-up day if needed)
    • February 18:  President’s Day–No School
    • February 27:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • March 15:  End of Quarter 3
    • March 20:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • March 25-29:  Spring Break–No School
    • April 17:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • April 19:  Make-up Day (No School or make-up day if needed)
    • April 22:  Make-up Day (No School or make-up day if needed)
    • May 27:  Memorial Day–No School
    • May 29:  Last Student Day
    • May 31:  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.

How to Get a Diploma in Indiana

You may remember last year reading about Indiana’s new Graduation Pathways.  Graduation Pathways will be required starting with the class of 2023.  Here are some things to know:

  • Students in the classes of 2019-2022–requirements for graduation can be found on the Indiana Department of Education Website here.
  • It is possible to work with BGHS to look at using the Graduation Pathways as an option for graduation prior to 2023.
  • If your child falls into the class of 2023 and beyond–now is the time to start looking at these requirements as they are vastly different from previous graduation requirements.   The short version of the Graduation Pathways can be found here, including what is required starting with the class of 2023 for graduation.
  • While long and detailed, you can get an in-depth look at the Graduation Pathways here.
  • PTSC has been hard at work since the Graduation Pathways were passed (and even before) to consider how we can offer even more opportunities for students.  Watch for more information to come!
  • Middle school parents–make sure to take advantage of opportunities to visit the Porter County Career Center to check out opportunities available to your child.  These are wonderful programs that are part of our PTSC school day.  We are looking at how we can expand our programming there and offer even more students the opportunity to participate in these programs.

PTSC Standouts:

The Boone Grove Wolves won their 6th sectional title in 8 years on a Saturday night.  The team defeated Andrean by a score of 5 to 11, earning a repeat sectional championship.  Congratulations to the team and Coach Sherwin!  The Wolves will face the winner of the Bremen/LaVille Sectional Championship (being played 10/8) in the Argos Regional at 11:00 AM Central Time.  Good luck to the team! (Taken from the Athletics Page)

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.  She counts on you to send her updates all can celebrate PTSC student accomplishments!

Important Dates:

    • Approved 2018-2019 Calendar
    • October 10:  Wednesday, October 10 is the “Boo” Grove Spook’tober Singing Show.  Come and enjoy fall concert music and spooky Halloween songs.  The show begins at 7 pm in the High School Small gym.  It’s only $2 for lil’ Ghouls (students) – $4 for Monsters (adults) – & FREEEEEEEE for BG Staff!!!  Hope to see you there to cheer on our talented Spooks!
    • October 11:  Early Learning Time is on Thursday, October 11th from 4:30-6:00pm! “A Farmer’s Market” is the theme this month.  Porter Lakes Pre-School would like to invite families with children ages 5 and under to our monthly early education learning times.  At these times, children and their families will listen to readings and participate in a variety of themed educational activities.Early Learning Time will take places at Porter Lakes Elementary from 4:30-6pm on the following dates during the 2018-2019 school year: October 11th, November 8th, January 10th, February 14th, March 14th, and April 11th.
    • October 12:  End of Quarter 1
    • October 13:  Love Will Stuff the Bus 2018

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    • October 17:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • October 18:  PLE/BGE Parent/Teacher Conferences–30 minute early dismissal in all buildings
    • October 21:  The class of 2020 is holding a 5k Color Run/Walk at Boone Grove High School as a fundraiser for Prom.  The Junior class would love if you could come out and support them on October 21st.  Bring your families because we are also having a kids dash (1k) for any kids 10 and under. Registration is available on Eventbrite.com and search Halloween Hustle.  Register by Monday, October 15th to guarantee a t-shirt.

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    • October 22:  PLE/BGE Parent/Teacher Conferences–30 minute early dismissal in all buildings
    • October 23:  BGMS/BGHS Parent/Teacher Conferences evening
    • October 25-26:  Fall Break–No School
    • November 14:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • November 21-23:  Thanksgiving Break–No School
    • December 21:  End of Quarter 2/Semester 1
    • December 24-January 4:  Winter Break–No School
    • January 7:  Classes Resume
    • January 23:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • February 15:  Make-up Day (No School or make-up day if needed)
    • February 18:  President’s Day–No School
    • February 27:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • March 15:  End of Quarter 3
    • March 20:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • March 25-29:  Spring Break–No School
    • April 17:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • April 19:  Make-up Day (No School or make-up day if needed)
    • April 22:  Make-up Day (No School or make-up day if needed)
    • May 27:  Memorial Day–No School
    • May 29:  Last Student Day
    • May 31:  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.

ILEARN Assessment

As this year will bring a new assessment, here is some information from the Indiana Department of Education to help you know more about what is to come!  You can find many more resources here, and they continue to add new items to the menu!

 

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(Find this flyer online here)

PTSC Standouts:

This week’s shout out goes to Mr. Banning.  As we move into sectionals (some of which we host), as we move from soccer field to volleyball court to cross county course to golf to football field to BGMS softball and baseball to preparing for sport seasons yet to come–Mr. Banning is behind the scenes at them all.  Long hours, challenges, celebrations, schedules, weather delays and changes–he handles it all.  Next time you see Mr. Banning–thank him for all he does for our student athletes.  His hard work should not go unnoticed!

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.  She counts on you to send her updates all can celebrate PTSC student accomplishments!

Important Dates:

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    • October 17:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • October 18:  PLE/BGE Parent/Teacher Conferences–30 minute early dismissal in all buildings
    • October 22:  PLE/BGE Parent/Teacher Conferences–30 minute early dismissal in all buildings
    • October 23:  BGMS/BGHS Parent/Teacher Conferences evening
    • October 25-26:  Fall Break–No School
    • November 14:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • November 21-23:  Thanksgiving Break–No School
    • December 21:  End of Quarter 2/Semester 1
    • December 24-January 4:  Winter Break–No School
    • January 7:  Classes Resume
    • January 23:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • February 15:  Make-up Day (No School or make-up day if needed)
    • February 18:  President’s Day–No School
    • February 27:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • March 15:  End of Quarter 3
    • March 20:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • March 25-29:  Spring Break–No School
    • April 17:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • April 19:  Make-up Day (No School or make-up day if needed)
    • April 22:  Make-up Day (No School or make-up day if needed)
    • May 27:  Memorial Day–No School
    • May 29:  Last Student Day
    • May 31:  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.

Promise Porter County

Have you heard about Promise Porter County?  This program is designed to help our students start college savings accounts–and have donors providing a match to get this started!  This video highlights the Walk Into My Future event at Valparaiso University in which first graders from Porter County headed to the University for this culminating experience.  Want to know more?  Check out the website above or watch the video!  If you are a parent of an eligible student (first grader), enroll today!

PTSC Standouts:

Check out our awesome Cheerleaders (BGMS and BGHS)!  These photos were taken at Jr. Wolves night from the Varsity game and from the Popcorn Festival Parade!  These are some busy ladies out representing PTSC well!

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We are so proud of Ben Abraham and Annabelle Williford!  These two BGHS students are the members of the very first Firefighter class!  Dr. Schmidt and Mr. Parrish had the privilege of touring our new Firefighter program through the Porter County Career Center.  This program is going to be amazing for our students, and we are fortunate to have access to such high quality programs for two of our amazing students pictured above!

Have you heard about our new “Try It Tuesdays”?  PTSC Food Service is exploring lots of new things this year–and the first was Hummus!  “Try It Tuesday” began at PLE with Hummus and the students had to vote if they thought it was yummy or would say no thank you!  The next week it moved to BGE and BGMS and they also got to try Buffalo Hummus!  What a great way to introduce kids to new foods.  Next up:  Radish!  (That might even stretch some of us adults!)  Additionally, PTSC Food Service, under the new leadership of Tonia Batesole are getting ready to explore new options on our menus.  During online day this past week, our kitchen managers were able to sample some new hand-made pizza options, creating their own pizza creations.  Some of these delicious creations are pictured above and are made with fresh bread and toppings–and I think the kids will love this!  I can’t wait to see what Tonia and her team bring out next!

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.  She counts on you to send her updates all can celebrate PTSC student accomplishments!

Important Dates:

    • Approved 2018-2019 Calendar
    • October 12:  End of Quarter 1
    • October 17:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • October 18:  PLE/BGE Parent/Teacher Conferences–30 minute early dismissal in all buildings
    • October 22:  PLE/BGE Parent/Teacher Conferences–30 minute early dismissal in all buildings
    • October 23:  BGMS/BGHS Parent/Teacher Conferences evening
    • October 25-26:  Fall Break–No School
    • November 14:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • November 21-23:  Thanksgiving Break–No School
    • December 21:  End of Quarter 2/Semester 1
    • December 24-January 4:  Winter Break–No School
    • January 7:  Classes Resume
    • January 23:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • February 15:  Make-up Day (No School or make-up day if needed)
    • February 18:  President’s Day–No School
    • February 27:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • March 15:  End of Quarter 3
    • March 20:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • March 25-29:  Spring Break–No School
    • April 17:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • April 19:  Make-up Day (No School or make-up day if needed)
    • April 22:  Make-up Day (No School or make-up day if needed)
    • May 27:  Memorial Day–No School
    • May 29:  Last Student Day
    • May 31:  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.