Elm Road Robotic Team Receives WNDU/Martin’s Grant

Elm Road’s VEX Robotics Team was fortunate enough to receive a $1,000 “One School at a Time” grant–made possible by Martin’s and featured on WNDU. TV anchor Tricia Sloma visited our school on March 21 and the story aired on March 25, 2022.

Click here to watch the story & find out how Ms. Anderson plans on using the money for the team.

Student has special reason for fundraising for “Kids Heart Challenge”

Third grader Finnegan Farley lead the school in fundraising for American Heart Association’s “Kids Heart Challenge”–well over $3,000!

Finnegan was motivated for a very special reason … the memory of his father. Finnegan’s Dad passed away over a year ago due to a heart attack.

Click to watch Finnegan’s story that aired on WSBT on Feb. 15, 2022.

Update on Community Information Sessions July, 23, 2021

The message below was shared with P-H-M Families and Staff via email July 23rd, 2021.

P-H-M Administration has received a number of questions from families regarding Critical Race Theory (CRT), and if the ideologies/tenets are included in our Social Emotional Learning, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion student lessons and staff training.

We recognize the need for our parents/guardians to understand our curriculum. So in an effort to help clear up any misinformation, we will be holding workshops for P-H-M families to explain our programs and goals.

P-H-M Administrators and parents/guardians will be discussing curriculum and we would like for our families to feel free to share their questions and concerns. Priority will be given to current P-H-M Families. If we’re oversubscribed, we will provide other opportunities to inform other members of the P-H-M community.

The workshop times are as follows:

  • Monday, August 2nd @ 1:00 P.M.
  • Tuesday, August 3rd @ 8:30 A.M.
  • Tuesday, August 3rd @ 7:00 P.M.

We ask that people respectfully follow these registration guidelines:

  • Only register to attend one session, not multiple ones.
  • Each person planning to attend a workshop should each fill out a form.
  • To allow us sufficient planning time, we will close the registration form on Wednesday, July 28th at 4:30p.m.
  • You will receive an email regarding session assignments by Friday, July 30th.
  • Click here to register.

The workshops will be held at Penn High School, PLEASE ENTER DOOR C. Please park in the front parking lot of Penn High School.

We approximate that these sessions will last about two (2) hours. All the material shared at the three workshops will be the same (these are not sequential meetings). The format of the sessions will be as follows:

  • Doors open. Parents/guardians will check in and receive name tags with their assigned group number.
  • Welcome and presentations by P-H-M Administrators: Superintendent, Asst. Superintendent for Instruction, Director of Social Emotional Learning, Director of Diversity Equity & Inclusion, Principals at the elementary, middle and high school levels.
  • Break-out groups
    • Break-out group protocols are as follows:
      • Be respectful
      • Take turns
      • Be concise
      • Listen

Please register for a workshop time, at the link noted above, and provide us your questions about P-H-M’s SEL & DEI curriculum that you would like to learn more about.

We look forward to sharing this valuable and important information with our P-H-M families.


Dr. Jerry Thacker


PHM School Board Approves New Principal for Elm Road!

One of our Elm Road Eagles is coming home! At the Monday, May 17 (2021) Board Meeting P-H-M Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jerry Thacker recommended the appointment of Madelyn Beers as the new principal of Elm Road Elementary. Current Principal Dr. Lisa Soto Kile will take on the role of Director of Professional Development and Student Learning at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.

Madelyn Beers worked at Elm Road as Assistant to the Principal for the 2019-2020 school year. For several months, Madelyn worked with the Elm teachers and Principal Dr. Lisa Soto Kile on the school’s application process to become an IDOE STEM Certified School; the IDOE recognition came last May. Madelyn also developed a five year sustainability plan for STEM integration at Elm, along with writing and receiving grants for STEM programs. While at Elm, she was intricately involved with tracking and analyzing formative and summative assessment data from DIBELS and ClearSight to ILEARN. 

Madelyn was part of a cohort of P-H-M teachers who applied and were selected to participate in IU Kelley School of Business’ MBA in Educational Leadership program free of charge! Madelyn received her MBA in November 2018. She participated in this program while serving as a 5th grade teacher at Elsie Rogers (2018-2019) and at Meadow’s Edge teaching 4th grade (2017-2018), 3rd & 4th grades (2016-2017), and 3rd grade (2015-2016). This school year Madelyn has served as Assistant to the Principal to Gary Gardner at Meadow’s Edge Elementary. 

Among the many programs that Madelyn has either assisted with, participated in, or helped manage were: served as principal of virtual summer school for summer 2020; developed district wide professional development on PBIS and motivation, Girls on the Run, American Heritage Girls, 5 Star Life, and Seeds of Science. On her personal time, Madelyn also volunteers for Cultivate Culinary. In her first year of teaching at P-H-M, she also donated her time at Ray of Light Orphanage. While completing her work for her B.A. in Education at Spring Arbor University (MI), she did a summer abroad and worked full-time teaching English using the Kumon method to Japanese students.

Madelyn has impeccable credentials and will do a wonderful job carrying on the academic excellence that Dr. Soto Kile has built at Elm Road. 

Happy “Chinese” New Year!

ENL teacher Mrs. Huang prepared and presented a lesson about the Chinese New Year to the 2nd graders this week.
She created an informative slideshow, brought in her own traditional decorations to display, read the students a story, and showed a quick video about the holiday.
The students even got to participate in a dragon puppet craft after learning all about Chinese New Year.
We are so grateful for Mrs. Huang’s expertise and willingness to share all about this fascinating cultural celebration with some of our Elm Road students. The Chinese New Year follows the Lunar Calendar and will be celebrated on Friday, February 12, 2021 this year.
This year, 2021, will be the year of the Ox.
It is wonderful to work with individuals who celebrate different holidays and can help educate our students (and staff) on their traditions. 
Thank you, Mrs. Huang for doing this. The students loved it!

Registration Opens for Spring Break 2021 Kids Club

Spring Break Kids Club

April 5 – 9, 2021

6:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Northpoint Elementary School (Door E)


Cost is $35 per child, per day or $150 per child for the full week. If you are not currently enrolled in Kids Club, you must also pay the $25 registration fee per child. Registration and payment are due, and non refundable, by Tuesday, March 30, 2021. 


Click here for more details and online registration.

Penn students offering free eLearning Lessons to P-H-M Children, ages 1-10

During a normal school year, Penn High School students enrolled in Childhood Development classes would be offering two unique programs for preschoolers in our community, Playschool and Toddler Time.

However due to COVID suspending these programs for the time being, Penn Child Development teachers Mrs. Kylee Wetzel and Ms. Rachael Meyers have created lessons that children can do in their own homes. 

The Penn High School Early Childhood Education Classes are offering free eLearning lessons to children in the P-H-M community within the age ranges of 1-10 years old.

Children can participate at home with a caregiver, or during the school day via Google Meet with the Penn student facilitating the lesson.

Please fill out the Enrollment Form by Friday, Jan. 15 in order to participate.

Please contact Kylee Wetzel at kwetzel@phm.k12.in.us for any further information.

Video – Welcome Back Information for Elm Road Families

Please use the links below for important information regarding the 2020 School Year.

Information for ALL students:

Summer Math & Reading Tools

Want to help prevent the “summer slide”? Help keep your students motivated with these grade specific lessons:

P-H-M Virtual Learning Summer Resources

Also, the IDOE has provided summer resources for parents to use with their children, grades 1st – 8th, to help keep their math and reading skills up over the summer.

Parents and students have access to the Lexile® Find a Book tool and the Quantile® Summer Math Challenge.

The Lexile® Find a Book tool helps students create a personalized reading list and then locate those books at the nearest library or bookseller.

Important Message from P-H-M Supt. Dr. Jerry Thacker regarding COVID-19

The message below was sent out to all P-H-M staff and families the afternoon of March 3, 2020.

Dear P-H-M Families,

The health, safety and well-being of Penn-Harris-Madison students and staff are our top priorities. With the ongoing elevated discussion regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the world news, we are reaching out to remind everyone in the P-H-M family about the preventive safety measures we can all take, as well as to inform you what we at P-H-M are doing.

As a school district, we are closely monitoring the situation via the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. The CDC is providing local expert and community guidance through the St. Joseph County Department of Health and the Indiana Department of Health. We are also receiving information from the U.S. Department of Education and the Indiana Department of Education, as well as a host of other state and national professional organizations. The one good thing about this situation is that there is an abundance of expert guidance. We are following the advice and direction of the governmental entities in charge. As a district, we are focusing on the things within our control.

All of the health officials are uniformly reiterating that the best preventive measure that each and every one of us can do is practice good hand hygiene. The same precautions that we annually remind our students, at all grade levels, during the cold and flu season are the exact same practices that the CDC is recommending to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  1. Clean hands. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  2. Cover your mouth and nose. Remind your students to cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. The best thing to do is to cough/sneeze into your elbow. Second best is to cover the mouth and nose area with a tissue and then throw the tissue away.
  3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
  4. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

P-H-M’s janitorial staff already cleans common areas and disinfects common touch surfaces regularly. We ramp up these efforts during the cold and flu season. Under the current circumstances and in an abundance of precaution, P-H-M is taking extra steps to increase our normal diligent disinfectant measures.

As stated in all P-H-M Student Handbooks if students are sick please keep them home. Students should not return to school until they are fever and symptom free for 24 hours. We are constantly reminding families to practice this ongoing safety practice year round.

As it pertains to concerns over COVID-19 symptoms, the CDC has very specific recommendations if the symptoms coincide with recent travel to specific countries on their watch lists.

This situation continues to evolve. P-H-M Administrators are staying abreast of the information, as we have since the beginning. If the need should arise to change or defer from our normal operations, rest assured we will communicate with our families and staff immediately.

Thank you for your ongoing support,

Dr. Jerry Thacker

Superintendent of Schools