Monday, October 31, 2005

Blog Bits

United Way
With the PHS student total not included, Plymouth Community School United Way donations and pledges are at $17,727.03 up from $14,679.43 last year. Congratulations and thank you on behalf of all the community agencies and the Marshall County United Way..

Facility Updates
At Plymouth High School lunch will be served in the renovated cafeteria on Tuesday. The canteen will not be available for the first few weeks. The new multipurpose room is being painted. Cabinetry is being installed in the new broadcasting area during the next week. Ceiling grids have been installed in the training room and new locker rooms. The final coat of blacktop is being installed today.

At Menominee, there is some plumbing that remains to be completed. The new parking lot lining and light installation will occur during the next two weeks.

At Jefferson, the steel and metal decking has been erected. Roofers will be installing the new roof and the masons will complete the interior walls during the next two week period.

At the new Menominee, the footers and foundation walls have been completed. The ramp areas are being constructed. Masons continue to build walls in both the A and B wings. As an area is made available, steel is erected and metal decking is installed. Roofers are on-site closing in areas as they are made available.

Contractors are following up on punch lists in all the other buildings.

Town Hall Meeting
PASS and Plymouth Community Schools will be co-sponsoring a town hall meeting on November 14th at 7:00 p.m. in the St. Joseph Hospital Education Room. This will be the first meeting addressing redistricting. Jerry McKibbin, the demographer, will present Re-districting, a Work in Progress. He will review preliminary numbers and explain the process that he goes through as a demographer in developing scenarios. He will share a base scenario and request public input at the meeting. All are encouraged to attend.

Lane Wiley, a student at Webster Elementary has been selected for the October 2005 Future Leaders Award. Indiana State Treasurer, Tim Berry will present the award and a check for $1,000 to Lane on Wednesday, November 16th.

The State of Indiana has awarded Webster Elementary a Reading is Fundamental Grant. This will provide books for distribution to the students at Webster.

WalMart presented Washington with a computer and printer last week.

Angie Becktel has identified an interesting writing website. It contains six trait writing activities

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Blog Bits

Cold Weather

The cold weather has set in and we have received several phone calls about the temperature in the school. As we work with new boilers and old boilers, both present a challenge to heat the school evenly and immediately. As you know natural gas prices will be up substantially this winter so the thermostats will be set at 69 degrees to conserve energy. Our recommendation is for staff and students to bring a sweater or sweat shirt with them.

High School Physical Education Blues

Several parents called yesterday with concerns about fumes in physical education class at the high school. The construction manager informed us that the paint fumes from the multi-purpose room were not dangerous; however, he has closed several vents leading from the old school to the new school and that has eliminated the fumes.

Play and Football Game Parking

Friday night should bring lots of students and parents to Plymouth High School to see the drama department's Beauty and the Beast and then see the Rockies beat East Noble. The play starts at 6:30 and patrons should park in the south parking lot. The sectional football game starts at 7:30 and patrons should park in the north and east parking lot.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Changes and Challenges

Fall break for us was a time of reflection. As we have reviewed the school year thus far we see changes and challenges before us.

Primary teachers have been involved in implementing new reading strategies. Members of the elementary and middle school staff have spent time sequencing curriculum for the development of benchmark exams. Several of our staff members have spent time planning the new 5/6 grade building. Other staff members have had to work around construction projects.

As we have observed our staff members working extremely hard; we acknowledge that change can be difficult and frustrating. Thank you to the many staff members working extremely hard for the improvement for our students.

We have also been faced with external changes which have presented challenges. The spiraling cost of fuel for our vehicles and utilities for our buildings create new challenges. Staff members have made difficult choices in selecting field trips. Community members have stepped up to help fund those same trips. We are extremely fortunate to be members of a district and a community where the internal and external forces have come together to provide our students out of school experiences.

The devastating hurricanes and the needs of our community organizations that continue to rise create challenges for charitable organizations. Again, students and staff of Plymouth Community Schools have stepped up to the challenge by contributing to the victims of Katrina and to the Marshall County United Way. Staff members have pledged or given $11,395 to the United Way campaign this year. Thus far, student campaigns have netted $5,456 in donations with two buildings yet to report.

We express our deep appreciation to staff, students, and community members for stepping up to the changes and challenges of this school year.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Blog Bits 10-14-05

Board Highlights
The board met in regular session on October 6, 2005. In addition to conducting its regular business, the board recognized Nate Pearson and Erin Dunning, Plymouth High School Business Professionals of America students who have compete successfully at the state and national levels.

The board approved an agreement with Cyberlink. Cyberlink will provide Plymouth Community Schools with high-speed Internet access in return for the use of the corporation’s towers.

Literacy Conference
Last week 23 teachers and six administrators attended the Literacy Conference sponsored by the Indiana Department of Education. They heard leading experts in the area of reading from throughout the country.


We are in need of substitute bus drivers. Individuals who become a substitute bus driver make themselves eligible for future routes. If interested contact Rick Scott in the transportation department at 936-3115.


The students at Webster Elementary have contributed $1,017.54 to the Marshall County United Way Campaign. In addition, 100% of the Webster staff participated in the drive this year. Campaign chair Jim Wagner and educational campaign chair Larry Pinkerton met with the Webster staff this morning to express their appreciation for the staff’s efforts.

Board Meeting
The October 20, 2005 meeting of the Board of Trustees has been canceled due to conflicts with fall break. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the board will be November 3, 2005 at 7:00 p.m. in the board room.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

United Way, it's what matters locally

Most of our lives and certainly during recent years all over the world we have witnessed great crisis. We have a great crisis right here in the United States. We think it’s wonderful to look around the Marshall County community and see the outpouring of generosity in helping the victims of Katrina, Rita, and other storms that have ravaged the southern coast of the United States. There are many organizations that are working to help the victims of these disasters, but we think that it is important to remember that we will be confronted with problems here locally especially with the rise in heating costs and other local problems. There are going to be more people in our community that may need help. We are asking everyone to be generous with United Way, which is the center for all the help going to so many people through our local member agencies. We hope as our fall campaign continues, you will remember that the local needs will not go away, they may even deepen. It is important to support the annual community campaign, the United Way – it’s what matters locally.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Principal for a Day

We are still looking for several volunteers for this year's Principal for a Day program. The day of the program is November 18, from 8 - 1. Please see the blog post from September 18 for details of the program. Call Amy Pratt to reserve your spot at 574-936-3115.

Monday, October 03, 2005


Anne Gasway

Anne and her husband Casey have two sons, Cooper, 5 years, and Willem, 2 years

Indiana State University, English Education and Creative Writing

Reading, writing, running, camping, fishing

Your Comments
I was born and raised in Crawfordsville Indiana. I went to college at Indiana State University on both athletic and creative and performing arts scholarships. During my stay I was active not only with the track and cross country teams but also with Students of Fine Arts.

I graduated in the winter of 2001 and started teaching at Northview High School in the fall of 2002. While at Northview High School I taught English in an LD self-contained classroom. I was also head girls track and cross country coach.

After two years my husband and I decided, “Hey you only live once. Let's see what it's like to live somewhere else." So we moved to Colorado. It lasted 6 months. There really is no place like home.

We were glad to get back to Indiana. We're even happier to be in Plymouth. I have taught in my share of high schools, and I know Plymouth is one of the best.