Tuesday, November 29, 2005

On November 23rd, members of Business Professionals of America provided the 9th annual Thanksgiving Feast to the Plymouth High School Faculty and Staff. Thank you to the members who brought in dishes to make the traditional feast the best. Special thanks to Nona Hollenbaugh for her leadership. If there are parents out there who helped, thank you! This is a great way for our high school faculty and staff to share food and fellowship. And, even though staff members were "stuffed", they look forward to the feast again next year!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


We found the following to share with you:

“It’s only right, at this special time of the year, that we pause for a moment and ask ourselves what it is that we have to be thankful for. If there is a special day for giving thanks, let us know at least what it is for which we give that thanks.

The answer is not always at our fingertips. It is not always clear. We read the headlines of newspapers, we listen to the voice from the radio, and we watch the TV screen and what do we see? We see crimes so horrible that it sickens every decent man and woman. We see the results of war and natural disasters mirrored in the horror-stricken faces of its victims. We see tragedy, upon tragedy, hunger, poverty, and degradation. We see several workers losing their job. This is what we see, and certainly the doubt must come that we have little to be thankful for in this far from perfect world. We can understand how this feeling could arise, for certainly, there is much in this life which causes us pain and frustration.

There is much which we regret and condemn, and make no mistake about it; there is much that is good and worthwhile in this world, if we look for it. Especially in our community we can find individuals who give of themselves in every way. We find people who risk their own lives to save others or the victims of unexpected tragedy. We find people who, when tragedy strikes, are there to provide relief and comfort to those who suffer. We find people who time and time again have been there when they were needed and have asked nothing in return except the chance to serve again.

This we can find if we choose to look for it. We can find love conquering hate every day. We can find homeless children in our community, it is true. But we also find men and women with hearts full of love. A love so large it incorporates those children so that they are adopted and raised in families that are thankful for a chance to share that love with a child. For every negative act, we can find an act of kindness, an act of giving, and act of love. It is there that we look for it.

What can we be thankful for? We can be thankful for each other. We can be thankful that in this world filled with tragedy we have people whose lives are a triumph. We can be thankful that for every individual who takes from society in terms of crime and terror, we have 10, 20, 100, and 1,000 who give each and every day of their lives, in terms of love, care, selflessness, and concern for others. Let us all rejoice for these wonderful things and be thankful during this time of the year and throughout the entire year. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.”

Friday, November 18, 2005

Principal for a Day

Plymouth Schools hosted its Fifth Annual Principal-for-a-Day today. Each principal and assistant principal hosted a visitor from 8 am – 12 noon at the individual schools and then met at the corporation office for a light lunch and discussion. Each visitor experienced various aspects of a principal’s daily life. Pictured are the visitors who participated in Principal-for-a-Day.

From left to right, back row: Gary Cook, Charles Ripley, Tony Ross, Mark Senter, Dennis Emmons. Front row: Carol Anders, Mishelle Bergeron, Dwight Laidig, Laurie Sutter.

Board Highlights and Facility Update

Board Highlights

The board met in regular session last evening. In addition to conducting its regular business, the board recognized Harold Schmidt, Jim and Bonnie Yeazel, Amy Gerard, Stephanie Drudge, as outstanding volunteers at the elementary schools. The board also recognized the Webster elementary staff for being cited as a model elementary school by the Center for Evaluation and Educational Policy.

Special recognition was given to Marcia Holloway, Sandy Rowe, Marcia Pownall, Sandy Geist, and Melody Kruger, who will retire at the end of the current school year.

Mrs. Portteus, Mrs. Scheetz, and Mrs. Rowe provided the board with a follow-up report on the class of 2005 and a report on SAT scores.

The second reading of revised policies was completed. The board’s next meeting will be on December 8, 2005 at 7:00 p.m. in the Administration office board room.

New Facility Update

At the New Menominee School the northeast end of the building will be enclosed by the end of November. Meeting this benchmark is progressing. The southwest addition received damage during last Sunday’s wind storm. A 90’ wall and a 40’ wall have fallen. Cleanup has begun. The masons report they can have the walls rebuilt in two weeks and stay on schedule.

At Jefferson, the new addition is enclosed. Work is moving forward on the installation of mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems.

At Plymouth High School, the multipurpose room painting has been completed. Ceiling panels and the overhead ducts have been installed. In the new shower rooms, the ceramic tile and shower controls are installed. Carpeting and casework has been installed. In the broadcast studio, during the next two weeks, the lights will be installed in the multipurpose room; other equipment will be hung from the ceiling. The painting will be completed in the lobby. The installation of the ceiling grid will begin in the multipurpose hallway and extend into the new lobby area. The casework will be set in the ensemble room and installation of the quarry tile will be completed in the multipurpose wing restrooms and locker rooms.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Process Begins- Proposal #1

Dr. Jerry McKibben, demographer, has been employed by the district to assist in the re-districting process. He has been charged with developing attendance area that will result in schools of similar size, diverse population, and socio economic make-up. This will allow Plymouth Schools to make available the same quality programs to students in each building. In addition, the staff can be used more efficiently. Above is proposal #1, the beginning. Based on input received from the Town Hall meeting, Dr. McKibben will develop a new proposal which will be shared at a future public meeting. Thank you to PASS for co-sponsoring this and future town hall meetings. We encourage all community members to attend the meetings and participate in this important process.

Current Attendance Areas

The current attendance areas for elementary students are illustrated above. The enrollments in the four buildings are unequal. The make-up of the buildings vary.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Blog Bits

The New Menominee Elementary

During the high winds this weekend, two walls on the southwest corner of the building were blown down. The building corporation maintains builder’s risk insurance to cover these misfortunes. Those areas will be cleaned up and rebuilt immediately.


The district received the following from Senator Richard Lugar:
“Congratulations on the Plymouth Community School Corporation being recognized for significantly narrowing achievement gaps by Standard & Poors during the 2003-2004 school year. This is a single honor in which you should take a great deal of pride. The school district can not thrive without the active participation of the administration staff and volunteers of area schools on behalf of the students in the community they serve. This recognition is a direct result of the hard work and dedication of the community to ensure that each young person, no matter race or social economic class, has access to an excellent education. Congratulations on this extraordinary honor and I wish the Plymouth Community School staff and students every continuing success.”

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has also recognized Plymouth High School as an honorable Best Buy School in its 2005 7th edition. Congratulations to the staff and students of PHS!

The Center for Evaluation and Educational Policy in its Special Report, “Is the achievement gap in Indiana narrowing?," cited Webster Elementary as a “model elementary school.” Webster was selected as a model elementary school in closing the achievement gap when considering its significant number of students (48%) who qualify for free or reduced lunch price meals compared to the state average (34%), and the high performance of this student population in ISTEP+. Congratulations to the Webster staff and students!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Blog Bits

Board Highlights

The Board met in regular session last evening. In addition to conducting its regular business, the Board recognized Lane Wiley, a Webster student, for his community service.

Suzi Clevenger presented her report on the Alternative School. She reported current enrollment figures, the number of students successfully completing ISTEP, future enrollment projections, and program changes that will be required by the State of Indiana.

Donna Burroughs updated the Board on the planning for the 5/6 building. The Board named the building Riverside Intermediate School. The mascot is the “Rockets”; the motto is “Launching into the Future”; the school newspaper is the “Rocket Rumblings”; and the yearbook is the “Rocket Review”.

The Board heard the first reading of revised and new policies. A majority of those policies were the result of new laws enacted by the last legislature.

Interesting Reading
The South Bend Tribune published an article featuring the study tables offer at Plymouth High School. Thank you to Mrs. Portteus, Mr. Masson, Mr. Fishback and the many student volunteers from the Key Club and National Honor Society for devoting their time for the betterment of our students.

An Exciting Adventure Begins

Seven Plymouth teachers started their first Interdisciplinary Collaborative Program (ICP) class in the Plymouth Board Room on Thursday, November 3. The ICP classes are funded by a five-year federal grant entitled Training for All Teachers. The focus of this grant is to train Indiana teachers to work with English as a New Language (ENL) children. Grant money was appropriate for Indiana since it has the 4th largest ENL population in the United States.

The ICP grant coupled with the TACIT grant provides a free certification in ENL through Indiana University, Bloomington. The seven teachers from Plymouth embark on course work through various forms of instruction including in-person instructors, Internet instruction, and distance learning instruction. A large component of this training is Internet collaboration with the other 43 Indiana teachers across Indiana.

Mary Gifford, another Plymouth teacher, and an alumnus of the ICP grant program and will assist with the instruction and collaboration. Plymouth teachers in the program include Dwight Beguin, Dena McLochlin, Tricia Deisch, Jeanne Tanner, Maria Garcia, Carla Lange, and Kelly Arce.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Teacher / Staff Blogs and Websites

AWESOME! Teacher / Staff websites and blogs!!

Technology is on the move for the Plymouth School Corporation! Below are links to teacher and staff websites and blog pages.

Please take a moment to view each site and notice how helpful they can be for parents and students for homework and information during off time and after hours. ENJOY !

The Plymouth Truth
Corporation Blog


Judy Harness
Mrs. H's PRIDE and Art
Art Teacher - Elementary

Jane Johnson
Johnson Journal
Second Grade Teacher at Menominee

Tom Johnson
The Paint Spot
Art Teacher - LJH

Linda Espich
Mrs. E's Blog
Third Grade Teacher at Menominee

Mary Kaufman
Brad Fackler
Guidance Counselors at Lincoln Junior High

Tina Morales
Guidance Secretary
Guidance Office Blog

John Barron
Health Teacher Plymouth High School
Rockie Head Football Coach
R-R-R-R-ROCKIE Football Blog


Grand Masson
Geography Class Blog
Grant Masson
U. S. History Class Blog


Dave McKenzie
Speech & Debate Team Blog

Speech/Debate Coach
Speech/Drama/Lanaugae Arts
PlymouthHigh School

Nona Hollenbaugh
Business Professionals of America Website
Plymouth High School Business

Nikki Rumpler
Teacher Website
Webster Elementary School
User Name: rumpler
Password: science

Cindy Wagoner
Pride of Plymouth Music Program Website

Plymouth High School Music

Tara Sharp
Teacher Blog
Lincoln Junior High School Math

Jeff Hunter & Teresa Dennie
Teacher Blog
Menominee Elementary School

Ben Waymouth
Media Specialist Blog

Waymouth's Window
Media Center Website

Laura Kruyer
Plymouth High School Social Studies Website


Paul Patrick
Plymouth High School Science Website

Bob Garrity
Lincoln Junior High Science Website