eLearning Day for April 8 due to Solar Eclipse

At the P-H-M Board of School of Trustees meeting on Monday, February 26, district administration made a presentation to the Board regarding the total solar eclipse taking place on Monday, April 8. As part of the presentation, district administration announced that for a variety of reasons Monday, April 8 will be an eLearning Day. If the district has used all of its allotted three eLearning Days (we currently have used two), the day will be a Virtual Learning Day. No P-H-M sponsored field trips or planned evening activities will take place on this date. Monday, April 8 is the first day back after Spring Break (April 1-5). 

Indiana is in the path of totality and is centrally located in the United States, thus the Indiana Department of Homeland Security is telling tourists, residents, school districts and public agencies to be prepared for three days of potential impact such as, oversized crowds, gridlock traffic, communications disruptions, and even nocturnal animal confusion. Click here to see the full presentation from last night’s Board meeting.

The Indianapolis area and south will experience 100% totality; while the St. Joseph County area will experience 96%. Click here to see a map of Indiana regions that will experience varying degrees of darkness from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources website. The South Bend area will start experiencing darkness at 1:53 p.m., lasting until 4:23 p.m., with 96% totality occurring at 3:09 p.m. and lasting just over 4 minutes. Because these times are around school dismissal times and based on the recommendations of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and the IDOE, P-H-M will not be holding in-person instruction on April 8. 

Thanks to Old National Bank and P-H-M Education Foundation, all students in the district will receive eclipse glasses to use at home with instructions. Mrs. Mindy O’Malley, Director of P-H-M’s Arthur M. Klinger Planetarium and Digital Video Theater, and a team of teachers, are preparing grade-level eclipse information to send home with students. In the classrooms leading up to April 8, teachers will educate students about this nearly once-in-a-lifetime event; the next total solar eclipse where portions of Indiana will be in full totality will be 2099.

If parents have any questions, they should contact their students’ principals. Employees should contact their supervisor or Human Resources.

2024 Penn Musical, “The Music Man”

Penn’s school musical this year is “The Music Man.”

You won’t want to miss Penn’s talented student performers as they act out the play that follows fast-talking traveling salesman, Harold Hill, as he cons the people of River City, Iowa, into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band that he vows to organize – this, despite the fact that he doesn’t know a trombone from a treble clef!

This year’s musical also includes the talents of a few P-H-M elementary and middle school students:

  • Mary Cortes, 5th grade, Prairie Vista Elementary School
  • Maxwell MacMillan, 5th grade, Mary Frank Elementary School
  • Anniston Steele, 7th grade, Grissom Middle School
  • Ezra Carrico, Katherine Hawkins, Benjamin Robertson and Noah Rohde, all in 8th grade, Schmucker Middle School

Click here to see the playbill.

   

This isn’t the first year Penn’s musicals have included students from younger grades. In 2016, younger students also participated in “Mary Poppins.” But this is the first year in recent memory to have this many!

Visit bit.ly/PennMusicMan to purchase tickets.

 

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FIRST-IN District Robotics Competition, March 2 & 3

The 2024 FIN Mishawaka FRC District Event will once again be held at Penn High School March 1st – 3rd (open to the public on Saturday, March 2 and Sunday, March 3). The event will be held in Penn’s Main Arena. See below for a daily schedule:

Saturday, March 2

  • 10:30 – 11:00 a.m., Opening Ceremonies
  • 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Qualifying Matches (No matches during Lunch, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.)

Sunday, March 3

  • 9:30 – 10:00 a.m., Opening Ceremonies
  • 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Qualifying Matches
  • 12:30 – 1:00 p.m., Alliance Selections
  • 1:00 – 2:00 p.m., Lunch
  • 2:00 – 5:00 p.m., Playoff Matches & Awards Ceremony

Click here for the detailed daily schedule.

For elementary aged children, there’s also the Next Gen event from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. The event will be upstairs–above Penn’s Main Arena–in the Fitness Center. This event is open to all children, not just P-H-M students. Children have the opportunity to do hands-on STEM activities, even operate a robot! Click here for pictures from last year’s event.

This year’s game is CRESCENDOSM presented by Haas; click here to view a video about the game. FIRST© Robotics Competition teams will use their STEM skills and creative power to turn up the volume as they design, build, and program their robots for action-packed game play. Watch the game animation to inspire ideas.

During our 2023-2024 arts-inspired robotics season, FIRST® IN SHOWSM presented by Qualcomm, FIRST Robotics teams will celebrate the roles STEM skills play in the arts and design, and how these skills help build a world of endless possibilities for students. Click here to learn more about FIRST® IN and the District event being held at Penn High School.

2024 Young Authors’ Conference, Books & Bots

This year P-H-M Education Foundation’s Young Authors’ Conference is partnering up with the Next Gen Robotics event to bring you Books & Bots!  This event blends literary innovations with robotic creations. It’s a wonderful opportunity for P-H-M students in Kindergarten – 5th grade. Click here to view photos on Facebook from last year’s Young Authors’ Conference; click here to view photos of the 2023 Next Gen event.

The event will start at 9:15 a.m. in Penn’s Fitness Center.  There will be the three rotations at three locations within Penn High School. Families and students will visit each station for 45 minutes, with a 15 minute break in between. The rotations will be an author visit, reader’s theater, and fun with the bots! Next Gen (the bots area) will be open until 1:00 p.m. Registered participants will receive a S’more with confirmation details the week of February 26. You and your student’s rotation schedule and starting location will be provided in the S’more.  If you have any questions after receiving the email, please contact ccussen@phm.k12.in.us.

Please enter Door D. Parking is available in the front of Penn, at Schmucker Middle School, and in the parking lot near River Valley Church. Click here to access a Penn Building Map. Once inside Penn, look for “Books and Bots” signage and please arrive at your room between 9:00-9:15 a.m. With record attendance expected, plan plenty of time to park and walk to your designated area.  

Books & Bots is completely FREE! Thank you to the P-H-M Education Foundation and P-H-M Superintendent Dr. Jerry Thacker and his wife Donna Thacker for covering the cost of the YAC for the second year in a row from the proceeds of #GivingTuesday donations.

NEW THIS YEAR … both events will be held at Penn High School!

While the events are FREE, registration is required! 

Registration is NOW OPEN! Click here to register today!  Registration closes Friday, February 23.

One parent only must accompany students! Younger siblings may not accompany adults.  Due to the planned activities and available space, this experience is for your young author and one parent.

As part of the morning activities, students will participate in two rotations: one with well-known children’s author and speaker, Carolyn Crimi; and the other with Jocelyn Dupuis.  Following these rotations, students will enjoy spending time exploring technology, with an opportunity to share a piece of their piece of writing on a FlipGrid or online writing platform. 

Thanks to Better World Books, parents can purchase ahead of time Carolyn Crimi books online and then bring them to the March 2 event. Click here to preorder your student(s) books.

As a way to support Better World Books’ mission of providing books to children around the world to do their part in achieving global literacy, a collection box will be set up near Penn’s Door D for families to donate their gently used books.

BACKGROUND ON CAROLYN CRIMI:
Carolyn Crimi enjoys snacking, pugs, Halloween, and writing, although not necessarily in that order. Over the years she has published 19 books for children, including Weird Little Robots, Secondhand Dogs, Don’t Need Friends, Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies, Where’s My Mummy?, There Might Be Lobsters, and I Am The Boss of This Chair.  When she’s not snacking, Carolyn enjoys giving author talks to elementary schools all over the country.

BACKGROUND ON JOCELYN DUPUIS:
Also as part of Young Authors’ Conference, participants and parents will also enjoy an interactive experience with P-H-M’s extraordinary Jocelyn Dupuis.  Jocelyn has a passion for music education and the performing arts. As a music teacher, she has taught many students to enjoy music as well. 

*Questions, please contact Candace Cussen at ccussen@phm.k12.in.us.

2024 Middle School Instrument Selection Night

Every P-H-M 5th grader who will be attending a P-H-M middle school as an incoming 6th grader in the Fall 2024 has the opportunity to join an instrumental music class, which includes either band or orchestra. “Instrument Selection Night” is when students and families get to make their choice!

Fifth graders at Moran, Elm Road, Meadow’s Edge and Madison Elementary Schools will attend Grissom Middle School for 6th – 8th grades. Some Moran students will attend Schmucker. Please click here to view the P-H-M School Boundaries Map.

Grissom’s Instrument Selection Nights are Monday, March 11th and Tuesday, March 12th.

Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation is nationally recognized as one of the “Best Communities for Music Education” offering choir, band and orchestra at Schmucker, Discovery and Grissom Middle Schools.

At “Instrument Selection Night,” a music professional will be available to give students advice about which instrument may be best suited for them. They will be allowed to “try out” instruments from various instrument groups. Click here to download, view and print more information on Instrument Selection Night.

In order to join 6th grade band or orchestra, students must select an instrument that they will learn, practice and perform for the school year. Click this link to sign-up for your appointment at your designated school and date. 

Penn Orchestra Performs Elementary School Pops

“Captain Jack Sparrow” made an appearance at Penn High School today (Tuesday, January 30) performing the Pirates of the Caribbean theme song for 4th and 5th grade students. This mini concert is a great way to introduce students to instruments they might not be familiar with as they think about what possible instrument they might want to pursue in middle school. In P-H-M middle schools, students can pursue orchestra, band or choir as a Fine Arts elective.

Students got a real treat … the Orchestra’s drummers performed a sown written by Senior Clayton Hopper; it was called “March of the Clumsy.” All the drummers performed it together to demo percussion.

Penn Orchestra Elementary School Pops

Due to scheduling logistics, only half of P-H-M elementary schools participated traveled to Penn for this year’s show. The other half attended last year. That way every P-H-M student will see the show in either 4th grade or a 5th grade. 

Take a look at the photo gallery below …

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Meadow’s Edge Receives Grants

The P-H-M Education Foundation has wrapped up the grant announcements for the 2023-2024 school year; and it’s been a big year with tons of recipients. Meadow’s Edge was the recipient of two EZ Grants for a total of $329.97.

  • $84.97 to purchase poetry books by Dr. Tim Rasinski that will help build student fluency and vocabulary skills
  • $245 to purchase visual artworks for classrooms

This cycle the Foundation Grants Committee awarded $42,819.63 in funding to 15 EZ grants and 20 traditional grants. Click here for the full list of funded grants.

PHMEF has moved to one grant cycle per school year, now moved to the Fall, to allow teachers and schools time to put their grant dollars to good use right away.

Executive Director Jennifer Turnblom traveled across the district to surprise various grant recipients with the good news of their funding amount. Grants awarded this year cover a wide array of innovative programs and activities from $10,000 to Grissom Middle School to purchase keyboards for the music room to fishing poles for Penn’s Fishing Club.

Click here to see the photo gallery on the District’s website of the check deliveries or click to follow PHMEF’s Facebook page.

Miss Engdahl selected for 2023 Indiana Educator Fellowship for Creative Teachers

At the start of the school year, 4th grade teacher Miss Josie Engdahl was selected for the prestigious program The 2023 Indiana Educator Fellowship for Creative Teachers (FCT), a program of the Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) and the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE).  
 
 
Miss Engdahl is one of just 20 educators from across the state who have been chosen to participate in this innovative program! FCT celebrates and supports outstanding educators throughout the state in implementing creativity-centered innovation in the classroom. See the photo gallery below of the art activities that have already taken place.
 
As part of the Fellowship, Miss Engdahl is participating in a series of immersive, hands-on training activities that will further support students’ academic education through the transformative power of the arts. National and statewide research supports arts integration as a highly effective and rewarding approach to meeting standards while reaching diverse learners, engaging students, and making a memorable and enjoyable experience for all.  
 
Along with the professional development, each FCT educator receives funding to host a free, creative arts residency in their classroom with a guest teaching artist from the community. These artist visits are focused on using the strategies and experiences of the arts to also teach learning in core subjects like reading, math, and science. Miss Engdahl is partnering with Teaching Artist Arianna Peak from the South Bend Art Museum on three in classroom experiences.
 
On November 1st, the student activity was painting in a watercolor booklet. The booklet reviews information about limestone formation from previous lessons and using watercolors to add details to previous drawings. Students will choose a color scheme and paint all 3 previous drawings. 
 
On Wednesday, November 8th was Sculpture Part I. Students continued their learning about sedimentary rock with a focus on stratum and limestones. They worked with clay and seashells to create their limestone sculptures. 
 
November 15th was Sculpture Part II; students reviewed mudstone and continue learning about different clay molding techniques and created an abstract sculpture. 

25th Anniversary Celebration

The 25th Anniversary Celebration held Wednesday, Oct. 11 was awesome! We celebrated 25 years of memories while also making new ones.

Dr. Thacker and other P-H-M administrators joined Principal Gary Gardner and Assistant to the Principal Emily Breeden to help kick things off with the ribbon cutting for our school’s new expansion which opened for use this school year.

Everyone enjoyed the music, face painting, bounce houses, balloon figurines, and of course the food trucks! 

It was so nice to see the familiar faces of former Hawks and staff all wearing the commemorative t-shirts.

Thank you to our PTO President Amanda Turnwald and the entire PTO, staff, and other volunteers who made last night a night to remember–for another 25 years at least!

Relive some of the sights and sounds in the video below:

What Fans Need to Know Before Heading to Penn Homecoming Parade & Game

Friday, September 29 is Penn’s Homecoming Parade, Fun Zone, Food Trucks & the Penn football game versus St. Joe. The P-H-M Education Foundation is once again sponsoring all the fun and new this year–FIREWORKS after the football game!

The entire P-H-M community is invited to come out for this fun-filled family event. All the fun starts with the Homecoming Parade. Be sure to grab your spot on the route by 5:00 p.m. Parade starts at 5:30!

Here are some things that will be helpful for families as they head out for all the festivities.

Parking:

  • Paid Parking ($3 cash) at these lots:
    • Penn High School (Front Lot & Jefferson Rd. Lot)
    • Softball/Tennis Lot
    • Bittersweet School Lot
  • Free Parking at these lots:
    • Soccer Lot (Bank Lot)
    • Pennway Lot
    • Schmucker Lot (front, Sides & in Back of School)

Penn 2023 Homecoming Map

Fun Zone:

  • 5-7:00 p.m.
  • Penn Baseball Field
  • Teacher Dunk Tanks, Jumpies for elementary students
    • FREE for EVERYONE!
  • Food Trucks:
    • Ben’s Pretzels
    • Junbuggies
    • Keim’s Elephant Ears
    • Kona Ice
    • Prized Pig
    • REAL Grille
    • Rulli’s Pizza
  • Fans will be allowed to take food purchased at the Food Trucks into the stadium. However, no other outside food will be allowed!

Gate & Ticket Info:

  • Penn vs. St, Joe, Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.
  • P-H-M students K – 5th grade get in FREE with paying adult!
  • Tickets are on sale now-Thurs., Sept. 28 online, ticket price is $6 (students & all other age groups same price)
  • Tickets on Friday, Sept. 29 are $7 (online or at the gate) 
  • PHM Employees plus one guest get in FREE, but you must have ID badge & the guest must be with the employee
  • Please remember middle schoolers cannot be dropped off unsupervised. Once in the game, the students are free to walk around. At least one responsible adult must be onsite.
  • Tickets are sold at the North & South gates only!
  • Penn All Sports Passes and tickets (hard & online) are accepted at all gates
  • The Center Gate is reserved for Penn All Sports Passes and online ticket holders only
  • No Reentry!

Fan Safety:

Rules to Remember:

  • No reentry to Everwise Field; once you leave, you are not allowed back in.
  • No outside food or beverages, no insulated cups
  • No backpacks
    • Diaper bags & large women’s purses are allowed
  • Penn does not have a clear bag policy
  • No electronic noise makers
  • No Footballs or Beach Balls
  • No weapons of any kind
  • No alcohol
  • No Smoking/Vaping products of any kind. All PHM school property is smoke free.
  • No open flames at private tailgating

Info on the Penn Student Homecoming Dance on Saturday, September 30 can found on PHMEF’s website. CLICK HERE.