Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Proposed Calendar for 2011-12 School Year

This is the proposed calendar for the 2011-2012 school year. The calendar still needs to be voted for approval by the Board of Trustees. Is it on the agenda for the May 17, 2011 meeting.

PHS Newsletter


Greetings Parents,

As most of you are aware, the end of the school year is accompanied by many important activities and events. The intent of this Parent Newsletter is to communicate to you important information related to our end of the year activities and simultaneously keep you abreast of progress made towards our two major projects, 1:1 computing and New Tech High School at PHS. After reading the Newsletter, feel free to contact me by phone or email should you have any questions or concerns. If you would rather meet with me in person to share information, please feel free to contact our main office and our receptionist will attempt to schedule an appointment. Thank you once again for the opportunity to serve your children at Plymouth High School.

Mr. Condon, Principal


Report cards and End of Course Exams ( ECA) score reports will be sent home with students on Monday April 25. The Indiana Department of Education welcomes requests to have a test rescored however, the rescore window ends April 29. Requests for rescoring must be initiated by parents. If you have questions regarding report cards or End of Course Exams, please contact your child’s counselor.


Super Sunday

Super Sunday, inclusive of National Honor Society Induction, Academic Hall of Fame Induction, and Baccalaureate will be held on May 22. NHS induction will be held in the auditorium beginning at 1:00. The Academic Hall of Fame induction will be held in the Red Rock Cafe beginning at 3:00 and Baccalaureate will be held in the auditorium at 4:30. Information will soon be sent home to those students who will be inducted into NHS or the Academic Hall of Fame.

Senior Awards Day

Senior Awards Day is scheduled for Friday, May 27 and it will be held in the varsity gymnasium beginning at 8:15AM. Visitors are welcome and should enter PHS through door #7 which will be open at 7:30AM. All students in grades 9-12 will attend the convocation to witness the awarding of numerous scholarships in hopes that this will inspire them to work even harder in the classroom. Following the convocation, students in grades 9-11 will report to first period class while members of the senior class will report to the Multi Purpose Room for their large group brunch and the distribution of remaining non-monetary awards. Members of the Class of 2011 will also be given the opportunity to view their class video. Seniors will be dismissed from school early on May 27 following the completion of the awards convocation and senior brunch. I anticipate their dismissal occurring between 2:00PM and 3:00PM. Formal dress is required of all seniors who will be participating in the awards convocation and attending the brunch. Note the following dress guidelines for members of the class of 2011 as it relates to May 27:

Gentlemen – Dress slacks, shirt, tie, and dress shoes are required. While a sport coat is encouraged it is not required. Tennis shoes and sandals are not acceptable. Ladies – A dress or skirt and blouse is required along with a dress shoe. Flip-flop shoes are unacceptable. We encourage dresses or blouses to be worn that are in accordance with our dress code at school. This includes attempts to ensure that your shoulders are covered and that your back and area below your neckline is properly covered.

Members of the senior class who chose to challenge our expectations for proper dress on May 27 will not be awarded the privilege of participating in the convocation or attending the senior brunch with their peers.

Final Examinations

Final examinations will now be held on Friday, June 3 and Monday, June 6. It is critical that students are in attendance for their final examinations. Parents, we sincerely appreciate your cooperation in making sure that your child is present at school for final examinations. If at all possible, please refrain from requesting alternate test dates/times for final examinations for your child.

Summer School

Plymouth High School summer school classes will be held at Lincoln Junior High School. This will allow our technology department to make the necessary preparations in advance of PHS becoming a 1:1 computing environment for all students next fall. First summer school session will begin on June 8 and end on July 6. Summer school classes will not meet on July 4. Second summer school session will begin on July 7 and end on August 3. Contact Mrs. Portteus, PHS Director of Guidance, should you have questions related to summer school. Summer school classes to be offered will include:

Session 1 Session II Speech Advanced Speech Economics U.S. History B Economics – On Line Class Geometry B Government – On Line Class Government

U.S. History A Geometry A Language Arts Credit Recovery, grades 9-12

Note: Government and Economics are not offered during the second summer session.

Summer School registration will be conducted the week of April 25-April 29. Students will register in the PHS treasurer’s office before/after school and during Home Room/SRT. Payment must be made at the time of registration.


Commencement activities for the Class of 2011 activities will be held on Thursday and Friday, June 9 and 10. Commencement practice will begin at 9:00 AM and will be held in the varsity gymnasium. Commencement will be held on Friday, June 10 at 7:30 PM. Our original plans were to attempt to hold this year’s commencement activities outside on the football field. However, due to concerns with sound, lighting, and of course the weather, we will once again hold the ceremony in the varsity gym. The auditorium will once again be open and air conditioned for those who wish to avoid

the heat that usually accompanies our graduation ceremonies in the gymnasium. Your graduation announcement cards, which were ordered quite some time ago, will still show that this year’s ceremony will be held outdoors on the football field. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. The simple fact is that we had to submit the order for the announcement cards long before we could actually decide if an outdoors commencement ceremony was possible. The PHS Administration is currently researching options related to a possible insert or sticker which may be applied or included with the graduation announcement and if successful, we will share such information with you as soon as possible.


1:1 Computing at Plymouth High School

Beginning in the fall of 2011, all PHS students in grades 9-12 will receive a MacBook Pro Laptop Computer. To accomplish our goal, PHS has partnered with Apple on a four year lease. Laptops will be distributed on the first day of the school year. Students will be allowed to take their MacBook home with them and will be expected to charge the machine overnight in preparation of the next school day. The battery charge should last approximately 10 hours. Students will be assessed a nominal amount for the rental of their laptops each school year. Laptops will be returned prior to summer vacation for annual maintenance. We will spend time with students the first day of next school year discussing proper care and use of their MacBook. PHS will also offer a Parent University program at the beginning of the school year which will focus on proper care of the laptop and effective ways to monitor Internet use of your child.

New Tech High School

New Tech High School is coming to PHS! In the fall of 2012, The “Plymouth School of Inquiry” will accept applications from 100 students in the Class of 2016 . From that point forward, 100 students per subsequent graduating class will be allowed to join New Tech at the beginning of their Freshmen year of High School for a total enrollment of 400 New Tech students after year four. The PHS School of Inquiry will be far different from the New Tech programs offered at Rochester and Oregon Davis. Some of the important features of the PHS School of Inquiry are listed below:

Students may chose to be part of our New Tech Program or not

New Tech students will have the opportunity to take a combination of New Tech classes and non New Tech classes which may include core classes, performing arts classes, visual arts classes, or general electives

New Tech classes will be integrated combining the curriculums from a minimum of two existing classes

Integrated courses will feature curriculum which is rigorous, relevant, and promotes partnerships with local business and industry

Integrated courses will be team-taught by two members of the PHS Faculty

New Tech classrooms will be twice the size of traditional classrooms due to the fact that enrollment in integrated classes will be larger

To create space for integrate classes, PHS will make some modifications to our existing structure but no additional construction outside the walls of the current building is being considered

Washington Discovery Academy

Textbook Adoption Display

Plymouth School Corporation will display textbook adoption choices in math and science in the Board Room of the administration building from Tuesday April 26 - Wednesday, May 11. If you would like to view the textbooks, please call 936-3115 to make an appointment for Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM

Thursday, April 21, 2011

PHS Academic Super Bowl Results

The Plymouth High School Academic Super Bowl students competed Tuesday night in the Indiana Academic Super Bowl Senior Division at Northridge. The Fine Arts and Social Studies team each earned third place finishes in their categories. They competed in the Class Two division. The theme for this year was Latin America.

The Social Studies team is coached by Mrs. Melissa Faulstich. The team members are Zach Mahan, Jose Ortiz Baca, Marco Ramirez Baca, and Maggie Buza.

The Fine Arts team is coached by Mr. Kim Hassett. The team members are Juan Chavez Reynaga, Brandon Baird, Yoselin Galeano, Monica Renteria, and Jose Ortiz Baca.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Riverside "Drive For the Kids" Fundraiser


Parents team up with Country Auto to work for kids!

Plymouth, Indiana — On May 5, 2011, representatives from Chrysler and Country Auto will join with parents and teachers for a Drive for the Kids™ fundraiser in support of Riverside Intermediate School.

During Riverside’s Student Showcase, parents and guests can earn a $10 contribution for the school from Chrysler by taking a brief test drive in the company’s award winning minivan, the Chrysler Town & Country. Everyone is invited to join the fun. Any licensed driver, age 18 or over, may drive and earn $10 for Riverside Intermediate School. Chrysler Town & Country will provide minivans and insurance for the event, and volunteers from the dealership will be on hand to help out with the fundraising test drives. Driving times are from 5:30 to 7:00 PM.

“STUDENT SHOWCASE” will be fun for the whole family,” said Jeni Hirschy “and we are pleased to have this opportunity from Chrysler to push our fundraising goal over the top! Planned activities include: family dinner/social, viewing of student projects and displays, and school fundraiser.

In 1993, Chrysler introduced Drive for the Kids™ and became the first automotive manufacturer to directly support schools in the communities where the company does business. Since then, dealers like Chrysler Town & Country here in Plymouth have worked with parents in communities across the country, and Chrysler has contributed over $3.5 million to local schools.

Monday, April 18, 2011

PHS Band Earns Gold

Congratulations to the PHS Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble members!

The bands competed in the ISSMA Concert Band Competition at Concord H.S. on Friday. The bands received the top honor of a Gold Award rating and earned gold ratings from every judge. Three of the four judges nearly had PHS with a perfect score. The band additionally earned a rating in the sight-reading division.

This marks a perfect ISSMA record for the band for this school year earning Gold Award honors at every ISSMA event and qualifying the band for their 8th consecutive "All-Music Award" from the ISSMA office. This award is earned only by schools that compete in Marching Band, Concert Band, Jazz Band, and Solo and Ensemble State Finals and you must earn a Gold Award at every event to qualify.

Make Your Smartphone Safe

Parents may think that they are safe taking pictures of their children with a Smartphone. Please take a look at this video of an NBC News investigation. Please make sure everyone you know watches this video for the safety of all our children.


Earthquake Preparedness Set for PCSC

Over 476,000 students in Indiana, including Plymouth, are registered to participate in the first ever Central United States ShakeOut earthquake drill. This drill will be the largest earthquake preparedness drill ever in central U.S. history and will be held at 10:15 a.m. (EST) on April 19, 2011.

This drill is a result of partnership from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, the Indiana Geological Survey, the Indiana Department of Education, and safety officials from eleven other states.

The basic drill would include drop, cover and hold on, which is a quake-safe action designed to protect lives and prevent injuries from falling furniture and falling objects that can become projectiles during ground shaking. Teachers and students would then evacuate the building according to their preparedness plan.

Plymouth is prepared to participate in this drill as we believe safety for our students is very important.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Webster Math-A-Thon

Webster Elementary 2nd and 4th graders recently participated in the St. Jude Children’s Hospital Math A Thon. Fifty-seven students in both grades collected donations from family members and friends. Students also received a fun math book to complete math problems. Our original goal was to raise $1,800.00, with each participating classroom goal being to raise $300.00. The students more than surpassed that $1,800.00 goal and were able to raise $3,527.15. Students earned prizes that were provided by St. Jude for reaching different donation levels.

Pictured are participants from each classroom:

Front row, left to right: Christian Thornton and Kelvin Mercer

Back Row, left to right: Sean Rettig, Ivan Avalos, Luke Walters, and Sydney Richer.

Update on Plymouth High School Pool

After close examination from an engineer, the pool will be open for use in the 2011-2012 season. Once again, we will limit the use to preserve the life of the pool. We can't stop looking for funding for another pool as the life of the high school pool is very short. The pool has already outlived its normal life expectancy because of the tremendous care our maintenance staff has given. So, swimmers, on your mark...

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Lost Comment

This post was submitted before I closed comments. It did not appear because it was too long. I will see if it will appear this way.
Daniel Tyree, Superintendent

Thank you, Dan, for printing at last my signed comments on your “Plymouth Truth”. I was really surprised! Since you purposefully blocked any PCS employee from being able to receive any “Hawes” emails on PCS computers from our home computer a few years ago, I was not confident my response to your blog dissing Mrs. Vice would be able to even get through.

I am sure you recall blocking Hawes emails. Mike and I only realized you were blocking our home emails from PCS teachers when Sam (our son, I am sure you remember him) graciously sought to assist the Speech team find lodging in Birmingham for the National Speech meet, and his personal emails to the PCS speech coaches were blocked. He asked me to contact your brother-in-law to relay his offer to help the Speech Team, and that is when we learned you had blocked receipt of any email with the name Hawes..…When I thereafter questioned if that was ethical of you, you told me in writing that if I would promise to begin to “behave” (ie. Fall in to lock step with your demands) then you would allow me, a public citizen, free access to “your” employees. …. In seeking to assist a PCS student recently in my position as an Insource Advocate, I learned my access to PCS employees was still blocked by yourself—so thank you sincerely, as our PUBLIC school superintendent. for finally unlocking the door to my free expression once more. It is sad—and a bit scary-- that your historical actions forced a public debate before I could finally be heard.

The Plymouth Truth comments have been most interesting. For those Annonymous folks who have chosen to believe, based on most limited knowledge and understanding of the fully documented facts, that Mrs. Vice and I are ridiculous, wasting tax payers money, are on a personal agenda, etc. I would like to invite them to please call me directly (936-6853). IF they will properly identify themselves and conduct themselves in a civil matter—I would appreciate having an adult conversation regarding these serious issues with them. If anyone would like to review the documents (as one person asked) all they need to do is to ask Dan or his secretaries for the specific documents they need. (Readers: Please note, under Indiana Public Access Law, Dan and Roger are legally obligated within time restrictions to provide these public documents to any citizen who makes such a request for their review. If citizens wish to possess their own copies by hard copy, flash drive, etc. ---thanks to Mrs. Vice--Dan is now required to provide these public docuements at no additional expense to taxpayers!

In fact, Dan, given the public interest-- what about a debate between you and me, maybe on WTCA? We asked Kathy for that opportunity much earlier in this drama, but you refused. I again make that offer despite your fame as a debater/ speech coach. Though I might get flustered amidst your experienced speech tricks, I firmly believe my speaking truth would not be difficult.
As you and your board well know and as is exhaustively documented we, numerous other citizens, and our ethical attorneys have repeatedly asked, in writing, to meet with your public school board for a private, adult conversation since October 2007. Your response? Your local attorney Joe Morris wrote us that it was illegal for the school board to meet with us. (Hogwash! In fact, I understand that you told one (of many) PCS employees when you were forcing his unjust dismissal, when he asked to meet with the school board, you told him he could not. Again, Hogwash!) Your other Indianapolis attorney (paid over a hundred PUBLIC dollars per hour to protect you against me) Thomas E. Wheeler II , also wrote us--- threatening to sue us in writing if we persisted in our citizen efforts for the truth, for our laws and school policies to be upheld, for wrongdoers to be held accountable for OUR educational community’s welfare. However, for most obvious reasons—for self-serving reasons NOT student-serving reasons, you and your mute-by-choice once respected board has persistently refused to address these serious issues, including alleged criminal wrongs of computer tampering…..And now, there is a valid question about fraud and kickbacks.
Ironically, when we appealed to the local prosecutor Dave Holmes about these alleged criminal issues, he—as your good friend?-- has persistently refused to ever once meet to hear the strong testimony or to examine the evidence. (Recently, he is continues to refuse as a public official, as an officer of the court, to accept a certified, restricted letter from me , a citizen. Why?) And thereafter, Holmes willfully misrepresented (in writing no less) these facts to the Indiana State Police. Regretfully, due to close political connections with our Mayor Senter and his documented staunch supporter John Oliver, we firmly believe the Indiana State Police also chose to incorrectly interpret the law so they would not investigate the evidence of alleged criminal wrongdoing by our public school administrators, willfully and persistently covered up by the Plymouth school board.

The fully documented facts of this public school corruption is mind boggling. But, they are the real Plymouth Truth…..and they need to be justly addressed. We pray they will be, and soon. However, if no one of true integrity or legal authority dares to address this fully documented public corruption-- we are confident Our God will do so, in His time and in His way. He has promised. That’s not bringing “religion” into this discussion—that is relying on the One True God on Whom this great country was founded, and who has abundantly and mercifully blessed our country and ourselves --despite our grievous sins against Him.
I have great peace in that fact.

Mrs. Dare Hawes

Christian, Citizen and Public Educator

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

It's Over

I would like to thank all of you who weighed in on this issue. We have heard enough. I will no longer accept comments on this topic.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Technology Innovation Grant Awarded to Plymouth Community School Corporation

Congratulations to Plymouth Community School Corporation for being awarded another technology innovation grant from the Indiana Department of Education. This grant is valued at $200,000 and will help Plymouth students use technology to advance learning.

The Indiana Department of Education received 180 applications for this grant and only 22 were chosen to receive the grant. Congratulations and thanks go out to the writers of the grant Dan Funston and Janice Curtis.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Response to Diana Vice

Yesterday, Superintendent Daniel Tyree, Asst. Superintendent Rodger Smith, and PHS Principal Jim Condon were guests on the WTCA What's Your Opinion Show. The main topic was the roof project. Put together by Dave Schoof and Rodger Smith, the roof project came in at a savings of almost $200,000 and was the lowest cost per square foot roofing job proposed in Northern Indiana in the last six months.

Lafayette Blogger Diana Vice, fueled by Plymouth resident Dare Hawes, a contributor to Mrs. Vice’s blog, has accused Plymouth of breaking the law during the bidding process. They have also accused Todd Samuelson of breaking the law because of a conflict of interest. We made a complete presentation on WTCA on Thursday, March 31, 2011, detailing why no laws were broken by administrators or Todd Samuelson. Plymouth Community School Corporation also has all of the paperwork available should anyone choose to look at it.

During the radio broadcast, Mrs. Diana Vice called the station in a tirade, citing outdated law cases, incorrect statistics, and citing statute taken out of context. The call did not shed a favorable light on Mrs. Vice. Tony Ross and Kathy Bottorff caught on very quickly that Mrs. Vice had no case to stand on. When they pressed her for answers, she became very rattled and eventually ended the call without saying good-bye.

Mrs. Vice's blog is now full of accusations about Plymouth Schools and the roofing project. She has disabled the comment button so rational people cannot comment or report on the truth. If you are interested in hearing a podcast of the show, you can find it on WTCA's web site.

One of Mrs. Vice’s accusations is that Dr. Rodger Smith did not send her the information requested by her open access request. The technology team found the open access request reply that was sent to Mrs. Vice by e-mail from Dr. Rodger Smith on February 4, 2011, at 2:37 p.m.