Archive for the ‘Organizational’ Category

Head of Nursing Services for PTSC

We are looking for a Head of Nursing Services candidate.  This position must have a four-year, registered nurse (RN) degree.  This is a great position for an RN looking to work during the school year with a schedule typical to that of their children.  It’s a great position for an RN that loves students!  It’s a great position for an RN that wants to work in a supportive, family environment!  In short, it’s a great position and we are looking for the right person!

If you know someone who might be interested, you can direct them to the posting.

PTSC Standouts:

Kim Corman, Angela Long, and Kyle Isch were all nominated for the Crossroads Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Inspiring Educator Award!  These teachers were chosen as they:

  • Demonstrate excellence, creativity, and initiative in their educational profession.
  • Develop students to reach their full academic potential.
  • Provide an outstanding learning environment within their sphere of influence.
  • Demonstrate the value of community by contributing time and energy to improve the quality life in the community.
  • Congratulations, Mrs. Corman, Mrs. Long, and Mr. Isch on this recognition!  You have inspired many students along the way!

    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 11:  Craft Fair at BGHS at 9 AM
    • November 15:  Online Day for BGHS and BGMS
    • November 19:  Mattress Fundraiser for the BG Athletic Department

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    • November 22-24:  No School, Thanksgiving Break
    • December 9-10:  Madrigal Dinner at BGHS–get your tickets now before the sell out!

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    • 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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    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.

    Unpredictable Weather in NWI

    I usually post about weather related school decisions each year and this year all that is happening in the southern portion of our country has me thinking about it early this year!

    While I don’t anticipate any hurricanes, we do have fog, flooding rains, quickly changing temperatures, snow, sleet, ice, blowing and drifting snow, and extreme cold temperatures/wind-chills at some point during the school year.    As part of this, we carry extra layers of clothing, cover exposed skin, keep blankets and shovels in the car, drive slowly, and most of all look forward to the days when we don’t have to worry about the weather (or is that just me every morning?).

    As we plan ahead for the rest of the school year, I hope these things will be helpful to you (and yes, will sound similar to what has been said in previous years!):

    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.

    Our PTSC standout this week is a whole group of people–our amazing bus drivers!  We had the opportunity to meet with them last week and they are passionate and committed to student safety and being a positive interaction for the first PTSC person kids see in the morning and the last PTSC person kids see to end the school day.  Thank you for all that you do for our students!

    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:

    • August 31:  PLE picture day
    • September 1:  Turn in shirt orders to Mrs. Prater at BGHS!

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    • September 4:  Labor Day-No School
    • September 13:  Online Day for BGHS and BGMS
    • October 11:  Online Day for BGHS and BGMS
    • 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.

    Porter Lakes Elementary School Construction

    Since I came to PTSC in 2012, we have been talking about renovations that needed to happen at Porter Lakes Elementary School.  After years of planning and structuring the project so that it is tax neutral–we are finally to the point of seeing the work happen!
    The first signs of this project beginning will roll out this week as construction fencing will be put in place in the PLE parking lot and in the front of the building, resulting in the closure of the front entrance door this Thursday.  This must happen as construction on the new office is set to begin.  (You can read some former PTSC Updates about this project here, here, and here.)   This is just one of many things we will be doing at the building, many of which will happen over the summer.
    While this construction will certainly bring about change in how to access the building, we are excited about the enhanced safety it will provide for our students once the office is complete.  Here are some things you may wish to know to make accessing the building easier:
    • The front entrance will be closed this Thursday.
    • The new main entrance to PLE for visitors will be at the back of the building at the door closest to the cafeteria (Door D).
    • There is a camera and a buzzer system already at this door.  The procedure will be the same to gain access to the building.
    • Visitor parking will be in the main, north lot (the portion not fenced in for construction).  Park in the main lot and walk to Door D.
    • Bus riders will still be dropped off and picked up in the front of the building.  They will now enter and exit from the front, south door (which students practiced this morning).
    • The car rider line will still be in the same place, although it will not go as far up the sidewalk as it has in the past due to the construction.  Car riders will exit from the back of the building and cars will be loaded by the back cafeteria door.  PLE sent out a map showing this new configuration in their weekly newsletter.
    • All construction workers must wear badges and have background checks as we require.

    Even with the most meticulously made plans, there is always need for flexibility.  We often talk to our students about the need to be flexible and believe it is an important lifeskill.  We are all anxious for the day (hopefully before the end of the school year) when we open the doors on the new office–all to provide increased security.  We appreciate your patience while construction is in process!

    PTSC Standouts:

    The PTSC Fine Arts are hard at work this December–concerts and performances have been happening all month.  Our buildings are full of music and song (and great visual displays!)–don’t miss out on all the hard work our students and staff are putting in making this season bright!

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

    Important Dates:

    • December 21-January 1:  No School, Winter Break
    • January 15:  End of 2nd Quarter/1st Semester
    • January 27:  Online Day BGHS and BGMS
    • February 12:  Snow Day Make-Up Day or Break Day
    • February 15:  President’s Day–No School
    • February 17:  Online Day BGHS and BGMS
    • March 16:  Online Day BGHS and BGMS
    • March 17:  End of Third Quarter
    • March 21-25:  Spring Break Week–No School

    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.
    • 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!