Wednesday, September 27, 2006

2006-2007 New Staff

Chad Miley is the new Business Education teacher for Plymouth High School. He is a graduate of Indiana University and Ball State University. Chad is a newlywed as of June. His bride is Christine.

Chad is excited to work for Plymouth Community Schools because of its reputation. Plymouth is a great community with at school corporation that is respected statewide.

Monday, September 25, 2006

2006-2007 New Staff

Brooke Busse is our new Title I/Reading Teacher for Washington Elementary. She is a graduate of Valparaiso University. Brooke is married to Ryan.

Brooke is pleased to be teaching in Plymouth because it is a very successful school corporation that is up-to-date with all of the new teaching strategies.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Wellness Myths

Wellness Myths

There are several myths in the community concerning the Wellness Policy at Plymouth Community Schools. There may be more than the ones presented today, so we would be honored by your questions.

Myth 1

Portion sizes have decreased at the schools. Actually, the portion sizes for all buildings have stayed the same. We’re not serving as many dessert items and we’ve removed some of the ale carte items at the junior high and high school. The removed items such as the Twix Bars were removed because they did not fit into the definition of “Better Choice” items as described by state law.

There will also be a change in double-trays at the high school starting next week. In order to provide adequate time for all students to get through the lunch line, students will need to get their first tray of food and then return to the line for a second tray of food if they are still hungry. We hope this will give all students the opportunity to sit, relax, and eat their lunch.

Myth 2

We are searching lunches and taking out non-nutritious choices that parents send. Once again, this is not true. We encourage parents to send nutritious food in their lunches, but we have no brown-bag police. There are two items that we will not allow in school only if we see them in the lunch room. First, we don’t want students to bring soda pop in their brown bag lunch. Second, we do not want fast food bags or pizza boxes brought into the cafeteria. Allowing this type of competition with the Federal Hot Lunch Program is not allowed.


During the first two weeks of school, we sold nearly 400 hundred more breakfasts and 1,500 more lunches than we did last year during those same two weeks. Our commitment is to continuously look at ways to make school lunches nutritious, tasty, and a relaxing experience. Our students work hard and our teachers have high expectations for them. It’s important that their lunch time is a time when they can relax and eat a good lunch.

2006-2007 New Staff

Brandi Brennan joins Lincoln Junior High as their new Choir Director. She is a graduate of Manchester College. Brandi and her husband, Jason, have two children, Joseph (10 yrs old) and Brooklyn (2 yrs old).

Brandi is impressed with Plymouth’s high sense of community and looks forward to working with the wonderful staff at Lincoln Junior High.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Corrected Kindergarten Schedule for Parent Teacher Conferences

The kindergarten schedule for parent teacher conferences was incorrect in an earlier post.

The schedule is as follows:

Oct. 16 - Normal schedule for AM/PM Kindergarten (Parent Teacher Conferences in the evening)

Oct. 17 - Normal schedule for AM/PM Kindergarten (Parent Teacher Conferences in the evening)

Oct. 18 - AM Kindergarten only goes to school.....PM Kindergarten does not go to school

Oct. 19 - PM Kindergarten only goes to school.....AM Kindergarten does not go to school

Oct. 20 - No School - Fall Break

2006-2007 New Staff

Kendall Hoover is our new 4th grade teacher at Washington Elementary. She is a graduate of Creighton. Her husband, Dave, grew up in Plymouth. Kendall has been a Plymouth resident for 14 years.

Kendall believes Plymouth Schools and Plymouth teachers are incredibly strong. She is extremely proud to live in Plymouth and now teach for Plymouth Schools.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

2006-2007 New Staff

Jyll Shemberger is the new FACS teacher for Plymouth High School. She is a graduate of Ball State. Jyll and her husband, Will, have been married for two years.

Jyll is looking forward to sharing her enthusiasm for Family and Consumer Science with the high school students in her classroom.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Improving the Equity Gap

Douglas Reeves, noted scholar and researcher, has identified the following strategies for closing the equity gap:

1. “Treat them like they are rich” – We don’t let rich kids fail. Rich kids have high expectations, intensive assistance, and immediate intervention when they are in trouble, and every student from every ethnic and socioeconomic group deserves the same.
2. Equity is not equal – Equity is meeting the needs of each individual student.
3. Challenge, not sympathy – Listen to the elders of every culture. They do not ask for sympathy. They demand challenge and a chance for their children and grandchildren to have a better opportunity and greater achievement than previous generations.
4. The “culture of success” for every student – Define what successful students and adults do and then model these successful behaviors and insist on them every day in every setting.
5. Time and project management – Keys to effective self-discipline.
6. Balanced extrinsic and intrinsic motivation – Yes, it really is OK to reward students for great academic performance and superior behavior.
7. Resilience – Multiple opportunities for success. When students are playing sports, we tell them “It’s not how you start the season that counts, but how you finish.” We encourage them to rebound from every disappointment and failure. Great scientists, mathematicians, writers, and readers do the same.
8. Appropriate consequences – The consequence for failing to turn in work is neither a zero nor an F, but the appropriate consequence is DOING THE WORK.
9. Nonfiction writing – One of the best ways for students to engage in the lifelong skills of thinking, reasoning, and analysis. Specifically students at every grade level must write to inform, persuade, and analyze.
10. Relentless teachers – The refrain of teachers and leaders who close the equity gap is, “We just don’t let our kids fail.”
How do we match up?

2006-2007 New Staff

John Premetz is our new 5th grade science teacher for Riverside Intermediate. John graduated from Saint Joseph’s College. John is married to his wife Beth. They have two goats and a dog.

John is looking forward to teaching 5th grade. He is excited to be in Plymouth.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

All-Day Kindergarten

Members of the Education Roundtable are discussing the merits of all-day kindergarten. What do you think of the concept?

Monday, September 11, 2006

2006-2007 New Staff

Angela Mills is our new Title I/Reading Coach at Menominee. She is a graduate of Indiana University. Angela has a B.S. in Elementary Education with a Reading Minor.

Angela is looking forward to the opportunity to help all students become better readers.

Blog Bits

Congratulations Jane Nelson

Jane Nelson was inducted into the Indiana High School Forensic Association Hall of Fame Friday evening in Indianapolis. Jane, in her 12th year of coaching high school speech, has been a part of 9 State Championship teams, numerous state champions, and nearly 40 national finalists. She is also a member of the Plymouth High School Speech Hall of Fame for her accomplishments as a student. Jane is the fourth Plymouth coach to be inducted into the IHSFA Hall of Fame. Dan Tyree, Charlotte Tyree, and Dave McKenzie are also members.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Thank You

The new drop-off procedures at Jefferson Elementary went very well this morning. The traffic at Klinger and Fairbanks was minimal. Thank you for your cooperation!

2006-2007 New Staff

Alyssa VanVactor is our new 2nd grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary. She is a graduate of Ball State. Her husband, Jeff, works with his father at the family business, VanVactor Construction. Alyssa and Jeff also have a dog named Chaney.

Alyssa is eager to learn more about the community and school corporation. She also looks forward to meeting her students and their parents.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

2006-2007 New Staff

Allison Hargrove joins Plymouth High School as a new Social Studies teacher. She is a graduate of Purdue University. Allison and her husband, Michael reside in Warsaw. Michael is a police officer. They also have a Bassett hound named Molly.

Allison is looking forward to growing and learning as a teacher for Plymouth. Plymouth is a fantastic school that places true value upon academics.

Blog Bits

School Delay and Closure Announcements
School delays and Closures are made on the following stations:
WNDV (V93) 92.9 FM
WKVI 99.3 FM
WTCA 1050 AM
WZOC 94.3 FM
WNDU TV Channel 16
WSBT TV Channel 22
Please note: Channel 16 was notified at 5:45 AM and did not make an announcement until after 8:00 AM this morning.

Alternative Kindergarten Schedule
When there are delays, kindergarten students are required to attend school. The following schedule will be used on those days:

1 hour delay—Schedule as is
2 hour delay—AM (10AM-12PM)
PM (1-3PM)

In-Service Days—AM (8:15-10:15AM)
PM (10:20-12:20PM)
Parent/Teacher Conference Days:
Day 1: AM Kindergarten only goes to school…PM Kindergarten
does not go to school
Day 2: PM Kindergarten only goes to school...AM Kindergarten
does not go to school
Day 3: AM Kindergarten only goes to school…PM Kindergarten
does not go to school
Day 4: PM Kindergarten only goes to school…AM Kindergarten
does not go to school

Fog Delay

Plymouth Schools is on a 2 hour fog delay. Kindergarten will be on a special schedule today.

Friday, September 01, 2006

2006-2007 New Staff

Michael Dunn is the new principal of Menominee Elementary. He is a graduate of IU Northwest. He holds a Master’s degree.

Michael is excited to be in Plymouth. He is looking forward to working with the staff of Menominee.