Archive for the ‘Operational’ Category

Legislative Activity

I’m not sure how anyone could be missing it right now, but it is the long session in Indiana as legislators are working on the budget for the next two years.  Regardless of your political beliefs, this is an important time for every citizen in Indiana as everybody has some issue about which they care.  For me, it is education.

Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a political post.  But I do want to share some facts with you about PTSC funding.  Here are some things you might now know:

Did you know that PTSC is one of the bottom 20 funded districts in Indiana?

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In all of Lake, Porter, and LaPorte County, only School Town of Munster receives fewer dollars in funding per student.  The numbers you see above are the dollars we receive per student ($5352), followed by our Complexity Index ($$229.68) which is calculated based on poverty level, and 351 is our ranking (351st out of 369 school districts).  The letter following that number is our district letter grade.  So as you can see, we received $5,581.68 to educate each student this year (which also includes paying teachers, utilities, supplies, technology infrastructure and educational software, administrators–things that it takes to run a school excluding transportation and facility maintenance which come from local tax dollars.)  In case you are wondering about the top funded districts, here are what they receive per student:

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You will note that the difference between the #1 ranked school and PTSC in funding per student is $2544.19.  This is largely in part to the level of students in poverty that these schools are serving.  It does take different resources to meet the needs of students in poverty.  In addition to these complexity dollars that PTSC does not get, these schools also have access to greater allocations from the Title I grant, the Title IIA grant, and many other grants that are based on student poverty levels.  We do not receive large allocations from these grants because our poverty level hovers between 20-24%.

Now on to this year’s proposed budget.  The budget bill has passed out of the House and now is in the Senate.  In their work this week they have changed complexity funding.

In an oversimplified nutshell, Complexity index is down 14% and they put the extra money into foundational support.  This is fantastic for PTSC.  Obviously, taking dollars out of complexity hurts a ton of districts and they see significant loss in revenue.  You can see the fight that is unfolding.  Short story—fantastic for us, terrible for others. Of course, we will see where it lands in the end.  Here’s a link to see for yourself:

https://www.indianahouserepublicans.com/clientuploads/PDF/2019/K-12_Tuition_Support_Formula_Run_with_Corrected_Complexity_Rates_(House_Passed).pdf (Go to page 108 to see PTSC—and note that the numbers are based off of an ADM model that projects our number of students.  It uses a projection formula that has us growing significantly—so I can’t say that the projection is correct as it has our enrollment high.)  The item of note is that foundation funding now moves up for us from $5582, which is helpful.  Without this, we have very little money to impact teacher compensation without looking to local taxpayers for additional funds as other districts have done through referendums.

(Credit to Rob James of Lake Central School Corporation for compiling data on the top 20 and bottom 20 funded districts)

PTSC Standouts

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Here’s an awesome shout out to the 2018-2019 Bowling Team!  Congratulations to Freshman Ty Knight who was named the Quad County New Comer of the Year!  During Varsity Sectionals on Saturday, January 12th, two individual bowlers competed in the 2019 Regional Finals with Ty Knight placing 5th and Clay Kraus placing 7th.  Way to go!  The Boys Varsity team placed 2nd in Sectionals and competed in the 2019 Regional Finals.  Varsity Team members consisted of Hayden Neis, Blake Anderson, Ty Knight, Clay Kraus, Alexander Kobus and Payton Thill.  Great Season, Gentlemen!  Special thanks to Coach Jane Richardson-Kobus for sending me the standout!

 

IASB Results

The Porter County Career Center Video Productions and Media Studies class returned from the Indiana Association of School Broadcasters conference Monday after being named the Best Student TV program in Indiana.  This is the fourth Best School Award in five years collected by instructor, Bob Phelps and his students.  The students worked very hard submitting numerous projects for this award and had about a 12 hour day at the conference in Indianapolis.  Above is a picture of the class.  Don’t miss out on the amazing opportunities at the Porter County Career Center–this is just one of many programs your child can attend there!  Amazing!

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:

    • March 13: Please join us as the Choir Department Presents:A Choral Tribute to Americana Music on Wednesday, March 13 at 7pm in the Boone Grove High School small gym.  The cost will be Adults $4 & Students & Kids $2.
    • March 14:  Early Learning Night at PLE from 4:30-6:00 pm  Each month we have an “Early Learning Time” where families are invited to come in for fun learning activities at our school. These learning times have themed activities for you to work on as a family.  Please come, meet the teachers, and see our school!  Please enter through the front “F” doors of Porter Lakes Elementary.
    • March 15:  End of Quarter 3
    • March 18:  Apple Controls for Parents–6:30 PM at BGMS  Come and learn all about what you can do through iOS and the controls Apple gives to parents to monitor and shape what kids do on devices!  This is going to be an awesome opportunity for all PTSC parents to learn more about the capabilities available!
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    • March 19:  Ivy Tech Parent and Student Night at 5 pm
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    • March 20:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • March 25-29:  Spring Break–No School
    • April 11:  Early Learning Night at PLE from 4:30-6:00 pm  Each month we have an “Early Learning Time” where families are invited to come in for fun learning activities at our school. These learning times have themed activities for you to work on as a family.  Please come, meet the teachers, and see our school!  Please enter through the front “F” doors of Porter Lakes Elementary.
    • 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)
    • April 26, 27, 28:  BGHS Spring Musical!
      Boone Grove High School Drama Club Presents:
      Little Shop Of Horrors Musical
      3 SHOWS ONLY!
      Friday April 26-7pm
      Saturday April 27-5pm
      Sunday April 28- 3pm
      Tickets $10
      Students/Senior Citizens $8
      BGHS Faculty FREE
    • 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.

Facility Work

This week’s update is to provide information on work that we have completed at our buildings, and to give you a peak at what work is still on the horizon.  I am now in my 7th year at PTSC, and a lot of renovation has happened at our facilities!  Here are a few highlights:

  • New boilers and chillers at BGHS, PLE, BGMS, and BGE
  • New LED lighting at BGHS, BGMS, BGE, and PLE (we are finishing work now at BGHS)
  • New roof work at BGHS, BGMS, BGE, and PLE
  • New office expansion at PLE to create a safer entry
  • Parking lots repaved, milled, or sealed at BGHS, BGMS, BGE, and PLE
  • Updated flooring and finishings at PLE along with renovations to restrooms
  • New windows at PLE
  • Updated technology infrastructure at all buildings
  • Updated classroom heating and cooling at PLE, BGE, and BGMS

Work we are considering this summer:

  • We are still finishing projects started last summer at BGMS/BGE
  • Reconfiguration of the BGHS office space to utilize two classrooms that are currently under-utilized computer labs and transition them to a new front office space.  This new space will have a new exterior door which will be the way that all visitors and guests enter the building, directly into the office.
  • Solar installation at BGMS/BGE on the roof.  BGMS and BGE have NIPSCO as their utility company.  As you may have read, they are proposing substantial rate increases (we hear potentially impacting these two buildings by as much as 16%).  A solar installation would save us dollars the first year it is installed, and will continue to save the district dollars in utility bill expense.  Additionally, this adds the opportunity for us to teach students about another source of energy.
  • Central office repairs (this will likely be in future years):  you may notice that our central office is missing shingles at times as the roof needs repair.  We have additional issues in our technology hub in which we have trouble with heating and cooling, and water seepage.  The building also struggles with accessibility for some of our patrons due to door configuration which needs to be addressed.

 

The great news is that we have been fortunate to work to keep all of these projects tax neutral to the community (although if you have experienced an increase in assessed valuation of your property that means taxes go up, but not due to our projects).  Our buildings are aging and need repair and we have invested into the future with the work that has been completed.  We continue to keep our eyes toward the future with investments that will continue to benefit the district for years to come!

PTSC Standouts

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Wolves Cheer competed at the Hobart Invitational Cheer Competition and made a clean sweep! Both BGHS Cheer and BGMS Cheer took First Place/ Division Champions! They scored over many schools from our area. Thank you, Ladies, for represented PTSC well and for all of your hard work and dedication!

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:

    • March 13: Please join us as the Choir Department Presents:A Choral Tribute to Americana Music on Wednesday, March 13 at 7pm in the Boone Grove High School small gym.  The cost will be Adults $4 & Students & Kids $2.
    • March 14:  Early Learning Night at PLE from 4:30-6:00 pm  Each month we have an “Early Learning Time” where families are invited to come in for fun learning activities at our school. These learning times have themed activities for you to work on as a family.  Please come, meet the teachers, and see our school!  Please enter through the front “F” doors of Porter Lakes Elementary.
    • March 15:  End of Quarter 3
    • March 18:  Apple Controls for Parents–6:30 PM at BGMS  Come and learn all about what you can do through iOS and the controls Apple gives to parents to monitor and shape what kids do on devices!  This is going to be an awesome opportunity for all PTSC parents to learn more about the capabilities available!
    • March 19:  Ivy Tech Parent and Student Night at 5 pm
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    • March 20:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • March 25-29:  Spring Break–No School
    • April 11:  Early Learning Night at PLE from 4:30-6:00 pm  Each month we have an “Early Learning Time” where families are invited to come in for fun learning activities at our school. These learning times have themed activities for you to work on as a family.  Please come, meet the teachers, and see our school!  Please enter through the front “F” doors of Porter Lakes Elementary.
    • 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.

School Safety Panel Discussion and Special Presentation

Come out Tuesday night to Portage High School East Auditorium to hear a special presentation on addiction prevention and also see our very own Mr. Ben Parrish as part of a school safety discussion panel!

 

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PTSC Standouts

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I received this great nomination for a PTSC standout from parent, Angela Sinkiewicz.  “I would like to nominate the NJHS group for consideration in the Standout section of Getting Schooled…The students worked at raising money (bake sale, etc.)to support the Angel Tree.  Many of the students then met on a Saturday, along with their teacher, to shop for two selected tags from the tree…NJHS also took part in the Veterans Day program and raised $600 for Wounded Warriors with the sale of Family Express donuts.  Family Express donated a portion of the donuts.”  NJHS sponsor, Mrs. Garcia, added, “We had a bake sale during a basketball game in December and raised over $300 to buy gifts for 2 kids on the PTSC angel tree.  We met at Target and spent a couple of hours shopping and the kids took the gifts home and wrapped them.  And for Veterans Day…we managed to collect $600…and we donated that to the Wounded Warrior Project.”  She also added, “My goal is make the kids think outside of the walls of BGMS a bit and look for ways to help others.  This year I have an awesome group that has great ideas and a fantastic willingness to help others.”  Fantastic work!  We are so proud of how all at BGMS have supported our community and the shining example they are to all of us!  Way to go!

Congratulations to Mrs. Swan on receiving the Lilly Endowment 2019 Teacher Creativity Fellowship!  This is a huge honor and well-deserved!

We received great news on BGHS graduate, Jennifer (Sliwa) Makalusky.  Jennifer was elected to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of the 25th Silver anniversary team.  The ceremony will be at the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame on April 27th, 2019.  Great news!

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
    • January 7:  Classes Resume
    • January 8:  School Safety Panel Discussion and Special Presentation–all are invited
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    • January 23:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • February 15:  Virtual, Online Make-up Day
    • 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.

Preschool 2019-2020

IMG_1764PTSC Parents–please make sure to check your email (sent evening of December 3).  We are in the process of scheduling our snow day make-up day for the day we had off on November 28, 2018. Our calendar provision is to make that day up on February 15, 2019 (the Friday of our 4-day President’s Day weekend break). I have heard some feedback that folks would like to have that day as a virtual, online make-up day as they were planning to be off that day. So here’s your chance to provide feedback!

PTSC Standouts:

 

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Congratulations to Coach Sherwin for 20 years of coaching BG Soccer and all of your career victories!  Amazing!  You have touched the lives of many students!  Thank you for all you do and continue to do!

Parent’s of First Grade Students–don’t miss out on this great opportunity!

Parents reminder letter #1[1]

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
    • 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.

Don’t Be Fooled By E-Cigarettes

Did you know that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, e-cigarettes are now the most commonly used tobacco product among youth?  If your child was in possession of an e-cigarette, would you be able to spot it?  Do you know how they work and what to look for? We have included some basic information for you below, along with links to additional resources regarding e-cigarettes.

What do e-cigarettes look like?

For those of you not familiar with e-cigarettes, they come in many different shapes and sizes.  Some look like regular cigarettes, pipes, and pens, while others have a box-like tank system.  Many of the new devices look identical to a USB drive and are very difficult to spot.  We have included some pictures of various e-cigarettes below.

What terms are used to describe e-cigarettes?

Terms used to describe e-cigarettes include vapes, vape pens, mods, e-cigs, tank systems, e-hookahs, and JUULing.

How do e-cigarettes work?

Most devices contain a battery, heating element, and a cartridge or reservoir that holds the e-liquid.  E-liquids contain varying amounts of nicotine, flavoring, and other chemicals.  E-cigarettes work by heating the liquid to produce an aerosol that is then inhaled by the user. Unlike regular tobacco products, such as cigarettes, that give off a strong odor, many e-cigarettes omit little to no odor. This makes it even more difficult to know when an individual has been using them.

Are e-cigarettes harmful?

Most of the liquids used in e-cigarettes contain nicotine.  Nicotine is a highly addictive drug found in regular tobacco products. Studies have shown that nicotine can harm brain development in adolescents.  One e-liquid pod can be equal to the amount of nicotine found in 20 cigarettes. Along with nicotine, e-cigarette aerosol has been found to contain other harmful ingredients including ultra-fine particles, heavy metals (nickel, tin, lead), and other cancer-causing chemicals.

Can e-cigarettes be used to deliver drugs?

Some e-cigarette devices are designed for this very purpose. Companies are now selling devices that serve as a marijuana delivery system.  Many individuals are modifying the flavor pods in e-cigarettes and adding oils, waxes, and other THC concentrates.  THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the active compound found in marijuana responsible for the sensation of feeling “high”.  Studies have found that the concentration of THC in these liquids can be dangerously high, and in many cases, up to thirty times higher than the concentration of THC in dry marijuana leaves.

What can we do as parents?

Educate yourself!  Know what to look for.  Have open conversations with your child about e-cigarettes and their potential dangers. Monitor your child’s social media accounts and look for clues that may indicate they are using e-cigarettes. Set firm expectations and consequences for your child.  Set a positive example by choosing to be tobacco-free.

Below are some links to resources that will help you learn more about the dangers of e-cigarettes.

https://www.in.gov/isdh/tpc/2340.htm

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/electronic-cigarettes-e-cigarettes

https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/Quick-Facts-on-the-Risks-of-E-cigarettes-for-Kids-Teens-and-Young-Adults.html?s_cid=osh-stu-home-slider-004%20

https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/documents/2016_SGR_Full_Report_non-508.pdf

https://truthinitiative.org/news/what-is-juul

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/how-many-us-kids-are-vaping-marijuana

https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/

https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/Richmond-Center/Pages/Electronic-Nicotine-Delivery-Systems.aspx

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/teen/substance-abuse/Pages/E-cigarettes.aspx

 PHOTOS OF VARIOUS E-CIGARETTES

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Graphic taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_cigarette

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Graphic taken from https://www.juul.com/

PTSC Standouts:

Kyra Flesvig, a freshman at BGHS, received all-state honorable mention recognition from the Indiana Track and Cross Country Coaches Association. She was a semi-State qualifier and also finished 2nd in the PCC Championship race. Way to go, Kyra!  We look forward to continuing to watch you grow as a runner during your next three years!

Check out the latest addition of the Porter County Career Center’s Newsletter.  Congratulations to outstanding students Dominic Adams, Elise Richards, Harris Gustafson, Spencer Tragesser, and Sam Jones!

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BGHS students just returned from the Natural Helpers retreat which occurs in the fall and spring of each year.  Mr. Isch and Ms. Lawrence feel incredibly lucky to be able to share this opportunity with the students.  Ms. Lawrence said, “The Rainbow Staff worked so hard to make this retreat a success and special for every single person that attended.”  What an honor for each student to be able to attend!

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 14:  BGHS/BGMS Online Day
    • November 15:  Elementary Spell Bowl Competition
    • November 17:  BG Baseball Mattress Sale Fundraiser from 10AM-5 PM at BGHS
    • 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.