P-H-M Named 2024 Best Community for Music Education

Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation was named among the 2024’s Best Communities for Music Education (​BCME) in the country by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation for the 11th year in a row! P-H-M is among only 17 Indiana school districts, out of about 300, that made the list.

Now in its 25th year, the 2024 Best Communities for Music Education program has recognized 583 school districts and 135 schools across the country for the outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students, and community leaders and their support for music education as part of a well-rounded education for all children. This recognition celebrates and recognizes K-12 music teachers in school districts who found creative ways for the “show to carry on” despite schools moving online or to in-person settings where masks were required not only for student musicians and instruments.

In P-H-M elementary schools, music class is part of the regular curriculum following state standards. Students are instructed in both vocal and instrument classes. Beginning in 6th grade, P-H-M students at our three middle schools (Discovery, Schmucker and Grissom) have the opportunity to choose choir, orchestra or band as their music elective. Students at Discovery also have the option of choosing Piano Lab. Schools from elementary all the way up to Penn High School also perform musicals.

Horizon Elementary students perform Charlie Brown Christmas
Horizon Elementary students perform Charlie Brown Christmas

Penn High School offers the Fine Arts & Communication Academy as part of its unique academy structure. The seven academy design provides Penn students with relevant and meaningful coursework taught in smaller, supportive environments where each student is known well by his teacher and peers. Nearly a third of Penn’s total 3,500 students are enrolled in the Fine Arts Academy with the majority being involved with music programs, either Choir, Orchestra, Band or another music program.

Penn High School Band students perform A Evening of Jazz (Feb. 9, 2024)
Penn High School Band students perform A Evening of Jazz (Feb. 9, 2024)

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, P-H-M answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas. Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music.

In a series of landmark studies by scientists and researchers at Northwestern University a link was found between students in community music programs and life-long academic success, including higher high school graduation rates and college attendance. In another study from the University, it was discovered that the benefits of early exposure to music education improves how the brain processes and assimilates sounds, a trait that lasts well into adulthood. Beyond the Northwestern research, other studies have indicated that music education lays the foundation for individual excellence in group settings, creative problem solving and flexibility in work situations, as well learning how to give and receive constructive criticism to excel.

April 8 Solar Eclipse Information

While the Indianapolis area and south will experience 100% totality for the solar eclipse occurring on Monday, April 8, 2024, the St. Joseph County area will only experience 96%.

The Michiana area will start experiencing darkness at 1:53 p.m., lasting until 4:23 p.m., with 96% totality occurring at 3:09 p.m. and lasting just over 4 minutes.

Click to watch the video below and hear from P-H-M Digital Video Theater and Planetarium Director Melinda O’Malley as she shows us what to expect in our area.

Click here to see a Indiana Department of Natural Resources map of Indiana regions that will experience varying degrees of darkness.  Click here to also get more background information on the Great American Eclipse website.

Because the partial eclipse time is occurring around elementary school dismissal times and based on the recommendations of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and the IDOE, P-H-M will have an eLearning day on April 8. Click here for more information on that decision.

Thanks to Old National Bank and P-H-M Education Foundation, all students will have a pair of eclipse glasses to use at home when watching the eclipse with their families. The glasses will be sent home the week of March 25 before P-H-M’s Spring Break.

DVT Director Mrs. O’Malley demonstrates how the eclipse glasses should be used.

eLearning Day for April 8 due to Solar Eclipse

At the P-H-M Board of School of Trustees meeting on Monday, February 26, district administration made a presentation to the Board regarding the total solar eclipse taking place on Monday, April 8. As part of the presentation, district administration announced that for a variety of reasons Monday, April 8 will be an eLearning Day. If the district has used all of its allotted three eLearning Days (we currently have used two), the day will be a Virtual Learning Day. No P-H-M sponsored field trips or planned evening activities will take place on this date. Monday, April 8 is the first day back after Spring Break (April 1-5). 

Indiana is in the path of totality and is centrally located in the United States, thus the Indiana Department of Homeland Security is telling tourists, residents, school districts and public agencies to be prepared for three days of potential impact such as, oversized crowds, gridlock traffic, communications disruptions, and even nocturnal animal confusion. Click here to see the full presentation from last night’s Board meeting.

The Indianapolis area and south will experience 100% totality; while the St. Joseph County area will experience 96%. Click here to see a map of Indiana regions that will experience varying degrees of darkness from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources website. The South Bend area will start experiencing darkness at 1:53 p.m., lasting until 4:23 p.m., with 96% totality occurring at 3:09 p.m. and lasting just over 4 minutes. Because these times are around school dismissal times and based on the recommendations of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and the IDOE, P-H-M will not be holding in-person instruction on April 8. 

Thanks to Old National Bank and P-H-M Education Foundation, all students in the district will receive eclipse glasses to use at home with instructions. Mrs. Mindy O’Malley, Director of P-H-M’s Arthur M. Klinger Planetarium and Digital Video Theater, and a team of teachers, are preparing grade-level eclipse information to send home with students. In the classrooms leading up to April 8, teachers will educate students about this nearly once-in-a-lifetime event; the next total solar eclipse where portions of Indiana will be in full totality will be 2099.

If parents have any questions, they should contact their students’ principals. Employees should contact their supervisor or Human Resources.

2024 Penn Musical, “The Music Man”

Penn’s school musical this year is “The Music Man.”

You won’t want to miss Penn’s talented student performers as they act out the play that follows fast-talking traveling salesman, Harold Hill, as he cons the people of River City, Iowa, into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band that he vows to organize – this, despite the fact that he doesn’t know a trombone from a treble clef!

This year’s musical also includes the talents of a few P-H-M elementary and middle school students:

  • Mary Cortes, 5th grade, Prairie Vista Elementary School
  • Maxwell MacMillan, 5th grade, Mary Frank Elementary School
  • Anniston Steele, 7th grade, Grissom Middle School
  • Ezra Carrico, Katherine Hawkins, Benjamin Robertson and Noah Rohde, all in 8th grade, Schmucker Middle School

Click here to see the playbill.

   

This isn’t the first year Penn’s musicals have included students from younger grades. In 2016, younger students also participated in “Mary Poppins.” But this is the first year in recent memory to have this many!

Visit bit.ly/PennMusicMan to purchase tickets.

 

 

FIRST-IN District Robotics Competition, March 2 & 3

The 2024 FIN Mishawaka FRC District Event will once again be held at Penn High School March 1st – 3rd (open to the public on Saturday, March 2 and Sunday, March 3). The event will be held in Penn’s Main Arena. See below for a daily schedule:

Saturday, March 2

  • 10:30 – 11:00 a.m., Opening Ceremonies
  • 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Qualifying Matches (No matches during Lunch, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.)

Sunday, March 3

  • 9:30 – 10:00 a.m., Opening Ceremonies
  • 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Qualifying Matches
  • 12:30 – 1:00 p.m., Alliance Selections
  • 1:00 – 2:00 p.m., Lunch
  • 2:00 – 5:00 p.m., Playoff Matches & Awards Ceremony

Click here for the detailed daily schedule.

For elementary aged children, there’s also the Next Gen event from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. The event will be upstairs–above Penn’s Main Arena–in the Fitness Center. This event is open to all children, not just P-H-M students. Children have the opportunity to do hands-on STEM activities, even operate a robot! Click here for pictures from last year’s event.

This year’s game is CRESCENDOSM presented by Haas; click here to view a video about the game. FIRST© Robotics Competition teams will use their STEM skills and creative power to turn up the volume as they design, build, and program their robots for action-packed game play. Watch the game animation to inspire ideas.

During our 2023-2024 arts-inspired robotics season, FIRST® IN SHOWSM presented by Qualcomm, FIRST Robotics teams will celebrate the roles STEM skills play in the arts and design, and how these skills help build a world of endless possibilities for students. Click here to learn more about FIRST® IN and the District event being held at Penn High School.

IDOE Recognizes Northpoint for IREAD Results

Our school, along with Prairie Vista Elementary School, was celebrated for outstanding IREAD-3 achievement rates. Third grade teacher Nichol Mondy attended with Principal Lorraine White.

With Northpoint students having a 98.00% pass rate and Prairie Vista students achieving 95.30%, the schools were among 241 Indiana elementary schools to receive 95% or higher on the 2023 IREAD-3 assessment.

Mrs. White and Mrs. Mondy

A celebration took place Thursday, February 15 at Indiana State House South Atrium. Indiana Secretary of Education Dr. Katie Jenner was on hand along with President Pro Tempore of the Indiana Senate Roderic Bray and Speaker of the Indiana House Rep. Todd Huston.

These accomplishments are not only a credit to our students and families, but also of course to our K-3 teachers, aides, and educational assistants. 

2024 Middle School Instrument Selection Night

Every P-H-M 5th grader who will be attending a P-H-M middle school as an incoming 6th grader in the Fall 2024 has the opportunity to join an instrumental music class, which includes either band or orchestra. “Instrument Selection Night” is when students and families get to make their choice!

Fifth graders at Northpoint, Mary Frank, and Horizon Elementary Schools will attend Discovery Middle School for 6th – 8th grades.

Discovery’s Instrument Selection Nights are Monday, February 26th and Tuesday, February 27th.

Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation is nationally recognized as one of the “Best Communities for Music Education” offering choir, band and orchestra at Schmucker, Discovery and Grissom Middle Schools.

At “Instrument Selection Night,” a music professional will be available to give students advice about which instrument may be best suited for them. They will be allowed to “try out” instruments from various instrument groups. Click here to download, view and print more information on Instrument Selection Night.

In order to join 6th grade band or orchestra, students must select an instrument that they will learn, practice and perform for the school year. Click this link to sign-up for your appointment at your designated school and date. 

2022 One-day Penn Winter Dance/Poms Camp

Students in grades PreK – 8th can take advantage of a one-day Penn Dance Clinic.

DATE: Saturday, December 3, 2022

TIME: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 
              (Pre-K and K 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)

LOCATION: Penn High School Fitness Center (Enter through Door D)

COST: $40 (Pre-K & Kindergarten),
            $50 (1st-8th grades)

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER TODAY! Please register by Friday, November 25, 2022 so t-shirts can be ordered. Late registration could result in no t-shirt.

PERFORMANCE:  Students will perform that evening at a Penn Boys Basketball Game TBD.

  • JV Game:  PreK – 2nd Grade
  • Varsity Game:  Grades 3rd – 8th

Homecoming Weekend Set for September 23rd & 24th

There is going to be a little something for everybody happening at Penn High School on September 23rd and 24th, so mark your calendars and be sure to bring the whole family!


Friday, September 23rd, 2022

P-H-M Education Foundation Family Fun Zone

*All monies raised by the P-H-M Education Foundation goes into funding innovative school and teacher grants which in turn provide #PHMExcellence in all 15 P-H-M schools!

Saint Joseph Health System Health Fair

  • Time 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
  • Cost: FREE!
  • Free Health Screenings PLUS interactive booths for children

Homecoming Parade

  • Time: 5:30 p.m.
  • Location: Behind Schmucker Middle School > Bittersweet > Ends at the P-H-M ESC
    **SEE THE MAP BELOW**
  • Parade Grand Marshal P-H-M Superintendent Dr. Jerry Thacker, 2022 Penn Homecoming Court, Kingsmen Marching Band, Penn Cheerleaders, Penn student groups and clubs, local Fire trucks & Police cars

 

September 3rd Map

 

Penn Homecoming game, Kingsmen vs. Marian Knights

  • Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
    • Homecoming Court Presentation at halftime
  • Cost: $6
  • Children in grades K-5 get in FREE with a paying adult

 

Saturday, September 24th, 2022

Silver Mile Bubble & Color Run for Education – Sign up Here!
All monies raised by the P-H-M Education Foundation goes into funding innovative school and teacher grants which in turn provide #PHMExcellence in all 15 P-H-M schools!

  • Late Registration & T-Shirt Pickup
    • ​Time: 7:15-8:00 a.m.
    • Location: TCU Freed Field
  • Warm Up
    • ​Time: 8:15
    • Location: TCU Freed Field Track
  • 1-Mile Fun Run / Walk
    • ​Start Time: 8:30 a.m.
    • Cost: $10 Per Person (4 & under free!) | T-Shirt $10
      • ​Price for Preregistration by September 22nd, 2022
      • Friday & Saturday (Day of) Registration: Cost $15
    • Location: TCU Freed Field Track
  • Water and light post race snacks will be available to participants
    race map

Northpoint Students Learn about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

MLK Day is more than just a day off from school. It’s a day to remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s great dream of equality & justice for all.

Hearing from our own Northpoint Stars in their own words of what they learned about Dr. King is more than just inspiring, it gives us hope…