2024 Young Authors’ Conference, Books & Bots

This year P-H-M Education Foundation’s Young Authors’ Conference is partnering up with the Next Gen Robotics event to bring you Books & Bots!  This event blends literary innovations with robotic creations. It’s a wonderful opportunity for P-H-M students in Kindergarten – 5th grade. Click here to view photos on Facebook from last year’s Young Authors’ Conference; click here to view photos of the 2023 Next Gen event.

The event will start at 9:15 a.m. in Penn’s Fitness Center.  There will be the three rotations at three locations within Penn High School. Families and students will visit each station for 45 minutes, with a 15 minute break in between. The rotations will be an author visit, reader’s theater, and fun with the bots! Next Gen (the bots area) will be open until 1:00 p.m. Registered participants will receive a S’more with confirmation details the week of February 26. You and your student’s rotation schedule and starting location will be provided in the S’more.  If you have any questions after receiving the email, please contact ccussen@phm.k12.in.us.

Please enter Door D. Parking is available in the front of Penn, at Schmucker Middle School, and in the parking lot near River Valley Church. Click here to access a Penn Building Map. Once inside Penn, look for “Books and Bots” signage and please arrive at your room between 9:00-9:15 a.m. With record attendance expected, plan plenty of time to park and walk to your designated area.  

Books & Bots is completely FREE! Thank you to the P-H-M Education Foundation and P-H-M Superintendent Dr. Jerry Thacker and his wife Donna Thacker for covering the cost of the YAC for the second year in a row from the proceeds of #GivingTuesday donations.

NEW THIS YEAR … both events will be held at Penn High School!

While the events are FREE, registration is required! 

Registration is NOW OPEN! Click here to register today!  Registration closes Friday, February 23.

One parent only must accompany students! Younger siblings may not accompany adults.  Due to the planned activities and available space, this experience is for your young author and one parent.

As part of the morning activities, students will participate in two rotations: one with well-known children’s author and speaker, Carolyn Crimi; and the other with Jocelyn Dupuis.  Following these rotations, students will enjoy spending time exploring technology, with an opportunity to share a piece of their piece of writing on a FlipGrid or online writing platform. 

Thanks to Better World Books, parents can purchase ahead of time Carolyn Crimi books online and then bring them to the March 2 event. Click here to preorder your student(s) books.

As a way to support Better World Books’ mission of providing books to children around the world to do their part in achieving global literacy, a collection box will be set up near Penn’s Door D for families to donate their gently used books.

BACKGROUND ON CAROLYN CRIMI:
Carolyn Crimi enjoys snacking, pugs, Halloween, and writing, although not necessarily in that order. Over the years she has published 19 books for children, including Weird Little Robots, Secondhand Dogs, Don’t Need Friends, Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies, Where’s My Mummy?, There Might Be Lobsters, and I Am The Boss of This Chair.  When she’s not snacking, Carolyn enjoys giving author talks to elementary schools all over the country.

BACKGROUND ON JOCELYN DUPUIS:
Also as part of Young Authors’ Conference, participants and parents will also enjoy an interactive experience with P-H-M’s extraordinary Jocelyn Dupuis.  Jocelyn has a passion for music education and the performing arts. As a music teacher, she has taught many students to enjoy music as well. 

*Questions, please contact Candace Cussen at ccussen@phm.k12.in.us.

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 Moran, Elm Road, Meadow’s Edge and Madison Elementary Schools will attend Grissom Middle School for 6th – 8th grades. Some Moran students will attend Schmucker. Please click here to view the P-H-M School Boundaries Map.

Grissom’s Instrument Selection Nights are Monday, March 11th and Tuesday, March 12th.

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. 

2023-2024 District Activities Calendar

The 2023-2024 District Activities Calendar was mailed to the homes of P-H-M families the last week of July.

The calendar provides key dates for testing, recess breaks, and school specific events (for the schools that provided the information).

You can click here to view a PDF copy of the calendar. You can also view a one-page of the 2023-2024 school calendar that shows the school year at a glance.

The P-H-M District online (Google) calendar is the most up-to-date. You can add this district and any school calendar to your own personal Google calendar.

Each of our 15 schools also maintains an online calendar that is updated frequently with the school’s scheduled activities and event details. You’ll need to visit your school’s website to add that calendar to your personal Google calendar. 

Dr. Lisa Soto Kile Named Director of Professional Development and Student Learning

Dr. Lisa Soto Kile as the new Director of Professional Development and Student Learning. Dr. Soto Kile is the current principal at Elm Road Elementary School and will begin her new position at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.

Dr. Soto Kile began her career in P-H-M in 1992 as a teacher at Prairie Vista. In 1998, she became the Schoolwide Enrichment Specialist and then moved into the Gifted and Talented Coordinator in 2000. Dr. Soto Kile also held the position of Assistant Principal at Northpoint Elementary (2002-2003), Title I Director (2005-2011) and principalships at Northpoint (2003-2005), Madison (2005-2011) and her current role as principal of Elm Road Elementary which she began in 2010. During the 2010-2011 school year, she served a dual principal role leading both Madison and Elm Road Elementary schools.

Dr. Soto Kile’s dissertation focused on balanced literacy programs and the impact on students in Title I schools according to gender, race, and socioeconomic status. This along with her many years of experience in meeting the needs of students in Title I schools will make a positive impact on the culture, environment, and educational experiences for our students and staff.

Dr. Soto Kile received a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Indiana University Bloomington, a master’s degree in Elementary Education from Indiana University South Bend, Elementary and Secondary Principal’s License from Indiana University South Bend, and completed her Ph.D. in Educational Studies, Superintendent’s License from Purdue University. She also holds memberships in many associations including the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents, Indiana Association of School Principals, IU South Bend Teacher Education Advisory Board, as well as the National Science Teaching Association. 

Under Dr. Soto Kile’s Leadership, Elm Road Elementary has been an “A” rated school and in 2020 earned the distinction of being named a STEM Certified school by the IDOE. Elm is one of 90 schools in the state to have received this designation.

Dr. Thacker, Dr. Soto Kile, Pres. Chris Riley
Superintendent Dr. Jerry Thacker, Dr. Lisa Soto Kile, and PHM School Board President Mr. Chris Riley at the April 19, 2021 Board Meeting.

The P-H-M Board of School Trustees approved Dr. Thacker’s recommendation of Dr. Soto Kile to the Director of Professional Development and Student Learning position at the April 19, 2021 Board Meeting.

Dr. Soto Kile is replacing Dr. Jayson Snyder who had previously held the Director of Talent Acquisition and Development position. Dr. Snyder was named the new Superintendent for Middlebury Community Schools on March 31. His last day with P-H-M is June 30.

VIDEO – Screen Free Week!

Elm Road office hours, pick-up information

Elm Road Elementary School office hours will be 8 a.m.- 3:00 p.m., Monday-through-Friday, while P-H-M schools operate in extended eLearning due to the COVID-19 national emergency.

For parents who need to pick-up items at your child’s school, click here for an appointment form to arrange for curb-side pick-up from a staff member.