Tuesday, September 29, 2009

2009-2010 New Staff

Vanessa Zook is the new Title I teacher at Riverside Intermediate. She is a graduate of Indiana University-Kokomo.

Vanessa and her husband, Blake, just recently moved to Plymouth. She is looking forward to meeting people and becoming involved in the community.

Vanessa is excited to start her teaching career in Plymouth.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Plymouth High School -Parent Newsletter


Greetings Parents,

Please mark down the evening of October 7 on your calendars. We have three important events taking place on this evening including Parent – Teacher Conferences, PowerSchool Training for Parents, and large group meeting for the parents of PHS Juniors/Seniors. Also, yearbooks have arrived! See page 2 for important yearbook information. Finally, one of our goals is to increase opportunities for parents to be actively involved in the academic experience of their son/daughter. In our attempt to research strategies which promote effective parent involvement in schools, we are partnering with the Indiana Academy for Parent – School Leadership. We have created a “leadership committee” composed of parents, staff, and community members that will participate in training and strategic planning dedicated towards this purpose. Our first step is to find out how our parents feel about existing opportunities to be involved at PHS. Listed below, you will find a link to a parent survey (English and Spanish versions provided) that I ask you to complete. The survey will take approximately 10 minutes and your responses are very important to us.

Spanish version - http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=WHDtXeJWyz3509qhLaOAEg_3d_3d
English version - http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=e6NUXmwLvbupht_2bWcYFiZg_3d_3d

Parent/Teacher Conferences-October 7, 2009

In an attempt to increase the level of parent involvement, PHS has replaced our traditional Open House concept with Parent – Teacher Conferences which will be held on October 7, 2009 from 6:00 – 8:00 P.M. Conferences will be by appointment only due to our limited 2 hour time period. In most but definitely not all cases, our fall Parent – Teacher Conferences will be scheduled for students who are members of either the Freshmen or Senior class and are performing at a level which may place them academically at risk. Additional conferences may be scheduled if a teacher simply feels a need to communicate information with the parents of his/her students thus one should not automatically assume the child is performing poorly if contacted. We have asked each PHS teacher to submit the names of 15 students whose parents they would like to conference with. Our office staff will soon be calling those parents to arrange a 10 minute conference. Parent – Teacher Conferences will focus on developing an understanding of learner expectations, strengths, areas for growth, and developing a plan in which the parent can play an active role in the academic experience of their son/daughter. If you are scheduled for a Parent – Teacher Conference, please check in at either door 1 or 5. At this point, you will be asked to sign in and you will simultaneously be given a copy of your child’s mid term report card, a copy of our school map, and a list of potential questions you may wish to ask during your conference. If you are not contacted by PHS but would still like to speak with your child’s teachers about his/her academic progress you may do so by emailing them or telephoning them. To contact your child’s teachers by email visit the PHS website at www.plymouth.k12.in.us . To contact PHS by telephone simply dial 936-2178 and the secretary will connect you with the voice mail of the staff member you wish to speak with.

PowerSchool Training for Parents

Also on the evening of October 7, PHS will be offering training for parents on the use of PowerSchool for Parents. PowerSchool is the name of our new Student Information System replacing SASI (Parent In Touch). Through PowerSchool, parents may monitor the up-to-date academic progress of their child. PowerSchool training is open to all parents regardless of whether you are scheduled for a Parent – Teacher Conference or not. PowerSchool training for parents will be held in the PHS cafeteria at the following times:
- 5:30
- 6:15
- 7:00
- 7:40

Meeting for Parents of PHS Juniors and Seniors

In addition to Parent – Teacher Conferences and PowerSchool Parent Training, PHS Counselors will be holding a meeting in the Library for the parents of our Juniors and Seniors. During this meeting, we will communicate to our parents key dates they need to circle on their calendars and important post secondary information. The meeting will begin at 6:00 P.M. in the PHS Library. If this conflicts with a scheduled Parent-Teacher Conference simply contact the PHS Guidance Office to receive information.

PHS Yearbooks

2009 Yearbooks have arrived and were distributed in Homeroom on Monday, September 21. If you did not pre-order last year's book, but would still like a copy, contact Amy Schmeltz in Room 133/ 936-2178 ext. 7133/ aschmeltz@plymouth.k12.in.us to purchase one for $50.

Pre-order your 2010 yearbook for the reduced price of $45. Order online via the PHS Web site, or place your order in Room 133. The price is $50 after December 18.

Seniors: Remember to have your senior yearbook portrait taken with Ron Zimmerman by October 31. Schedule an appointment with Ron by calling 936-9040. Seniors - see the list posted outside Room 133 to verify that your picture has been taken.

Picture retakes are scheduled for Tuesday, October 13 during lunch. Order forms will be available in the office.

Parents, do you have great pictures of PHS students? Please submit them for consideration in the yearbook by visiting www.hjeshare.com and entering the school code 7008866.

Contact Amy Schmeltz, PHS English Teacher/Yearbook Sponsor should you have any questions. Mrs. Schmeltz may be contacted at 936-2178 ext. 7133 or by emailing aschmeltz@plymouth.k12.in.us

Monday, September 14, 2009

School Board Breakfast Club

Two members of the Plymouth School Board will be available to meet with the public Wednesday, September 16, 2009, at the Birdhouse Restaurant from 6:00 a.m. - 7:00 a.m.

Larry Pinkerton and Frank Brubaker will be available to answer questions and listen to concerned citizens. The School Board Breakfast Club will meet each month at various restaurants in the community.

Upcoming Breakfast Club Dates/Times
October 7, 2009 - Castaways 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.
November 11, 2009 - Christo's 6:00 a.m. - 7:00 a.m.
December 9, 2009 - Birdhouse 6:00 a.m. - 7:00 a.m.

2009-2010 New Staff

Trista Hurst is the new art teacher at Lincoln Jr. High School. She is a graduate of Huntington University. Trista has a bachelors in K-12 Art Education and also has minors in graphic design and fine arts.

Trista is a newlywed. Her husband is Terry.

Trista is excited to offer her students a new way to experience art and design. She is ready to give them her best and to expect the best from her students.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Comment Censorship

Comments generally come into my email so I can proof read them before I publish them. I only reject comments that contain profanity or blatant attacks on a staff member or a student. In this case, Brent, the emails didn't show up until today. Thus, your post is now published. Thanks for voicing your opinion. Good philosophical discussion allows for intellectual growth. 

Thursday, September 03, 2009

President Obama’s Speech to Students

Today, this office has received numerous calls asking our school not to show President Obama’s Speech in school as the President has asked us to do. We have Board Policies dealing with situations such as this one and we will follow those policies. To be brief, we will not interrupt instructional time to have students view the speech. We do whatever it takes to protect our instructional time.

If, in the course of study in social studies, a teacher feels that listening to the speech would be an appropriate avenue to illustrate their studies, then the teacher would have the right to have the students listen to the speech.

As parents, you have the right to ask for an alternative assignment, but I would ask that those requests be done in a respectful manner. Regardless of your political persuasion, we must teach children to treat our President with respect.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Code Blue Response

I received two responses. One was published. The second contained profanity so I did not publish it, but I will respond to both.

First, there is a software that we had planned to add that would allow us to email or text message parents for situations such as a code blue. When I realized that we would be replacing our student demographic this year, I did not think it was prudent to add too many pieces of software. I still plan to unveil this software because I believe it will help us communicate with parents faster.

Second, we published some of the details about the code blue for two reasons. First, if I don't tell what happened, someone will speculate. I would rather you hear the correct story from me. Second, I think it's important for the students, teachers, parents, and community to know that Plymouth is being proactive in getting drugs out of school.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


Congratulations to the staff and students at both Menominee and Washington Elementary Schools for being named finalists for the Top Title I School in the State of Indiana.

The schools will now go through an on-site interview by the state Title I staff.

The top Title I school will be recognized at the National Title I Conference.

Code Blue Lock Down at PHS

This morning at approximately 10:15 AM Plymouth High School went into a Code Blue Lock Down. A small amount of marijuana was found in the school. This led the Administration to request the Plymouth Police to bring in the Canine Unit for a search of the area. During the Code Blue, students remain in their classrooms and instruction continues. Approximately 45 minutes after the lock down was called the school returned to the regular schedule. Investigation into this matter continues.