FAQs from STUDENTS AND PARENTS
WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN MY CHILD IS ABSENT?
It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to notify the school each day their child is absent. Call 259-5661, follow the prompts and press 1 for Attendance. When you call, please leave your child’s name, grade, and the reason for absence. Please call before 10:00 AM if possible.
Parental contact is requested two days prior to a planned absence. Parents should leave a message on the attendance line. If it will be an extended absence, parents should contact an administrator and the child’s counselor.
HOW DO WE FIND OUT ABOUT HOMEWORK DUE TO ABSENCES?
Your child can start by checking the teacher’s Canvas page or emailing the teacher directly for homework. Please remember, a 24-hour notice must be given to your child’s teachers in order for them to gather homework for your child.
WHAT TIME SHOULD MY CHILD ARRIVE AT SCHOOL? WHAT ABOUT LATE ARRIVALS?
Students may enter the building at 8:50 AM and the final bell rings at 4:00 PM. Students should NOT arrive prior to 8:50 AM unless they are attending a before school event. Parents may call the school office, send a note with their child or accompany the child to the office when late. Students should report to the office before going to class, and they will be given a tardy pass, which they will then give to their teacher.
HOW DO WE REQUEST AN EARLY DISMISSAL?
When it is necessary to pick up your student before the end of the school day, please send a note with your student stating the reason and time for the early dismissal and have them bring it to the office prior to the start of school. Your student will be issued a pass to leave his/her class at the time you specify and will be waiting in the main office for you to pick up and sign out.
HOW DO WE KNOW IF SCHOOL IS CANCELED OR THERE IS A 2-HOUR DELAY?
When severe weather creates the need to close, delay, or cancel classes, local radio and television stations will be notified and asked to announce the decision. A decision to delay or close school before the school day begins will be made around 6:00 AM. A recorded announcement will play on the Corporation’s main number (259-7941) and closings or delays will be listed on the Corporation’s web page: phmschools.org. The School Messenger System will automatically call your home or cell phone and notify you of any delays or closings. You may submit a request not to be called if you choose. When there is a 2-hour delay, school hours are 11:05 AM – 4:00 PM. Students may enter the building at 10:50 AM. Students will have a delayed bus pick-up of 2-hours. Example: If your bus stop is at 8:30, it will be at 10:30.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO CONTACT A TEACHER?
Email is often the best way to contact a teacher. The e-mail address is usually the first initial of their first name followed by their full last name, and always ending with @phm.k12.in.us. Example: John Doe would be firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also email teachers directly from Canvas. Voicemail is the next best way to contact a teacher and a voice mail listing can be obtained in the office.
HOW DO I CHECK ON MY CHILD’S PROGRESS IN SCHOOL?
P-H-M teachers use Canvas to publish assignments and share various educational resources with the students in each of their classes. The information in Canvas is also available to parents! Some parents log in daily to see their student’s assignments and progress toward completing coursework. Others sign up to receive automatic notification about certain events, such as assignment due dates. To see your child’s grade, log into Skyward.
WHAT IF STUDENTS WANT TO RIDE THE BUS HOME WITH A FRIEND?
On occasion, you may wish for your child to ride the bus home with another student. We request this arrangement be pre-planned by both families. Each student must bring a note signed by his/her parent, stating the bus number and verifying permission for the change. No phone requests will be honored. The students need to bring their note to the main office before the start of the academic school day. As a final step, the office then approves these notes. The students may pick up the approved copies at the end of the day, prior to boarding the bus. Each student may take only one other student with them on any given day. On occasion, some notes may not be approved due to the bus having limited space. If this is the case, the office will notify the students so they may notify their parents that they will be riding their own bus home. Please note that a student may not take home another student of the opposite gender.
CAN STUDENTS USE THE TELEPHONE?
Students with permission may use the telephone to notify their parent of a change in plans regarding after school activities. Telephones are available for student use in the office or with permission from a teacher in the classroom.
COMMUNICATION ABOUT SCHMUCKER EVENTS AND INFORMATION
SMS students and families are notified regularly about events. Communication is made through SMORE, Twitter, SMS website, weekly student newsletters, and daily WSMS broadcast.
CAN STUDENTS HAVE CELL PHONES AT SCHOOL?
We encourage students to leave their cell phone at home, but students may bring cellphones to school as long as the cell phone is turned off and is in their locker during the school day 8:50 AM-4:00 PM. A cell phone that is not in the student’s locker and/or turned off may be confiscated and returned at the end of the day for the first violation. A second offense will result in the cell phone being confiscated and will require the student to call home and inform the guardian of the violation. If a third offense occurs, the student's guardian must come to school and pickup up the phone. During ILEARN testing there will be extra prompts to remind students that cell phones and smart watches are not allowed in the classroom.
WHERE SHOULD I GO TO PICK UP MY STUDENT AFTER SCHOOL?
Students being picked up before the end of the day for appointments/early dismissals may be picked up at the front office by entering door A. Beginning at 4:00 PM, students should be picked up at door “F” located along the south side of the building. Enter from Fillmore Rd and proceed along the front (east side) of the building and continue following the lane as it turns to the right. Pick-up is generally concluded by 4:15 PM. Please do not park in the Schmucker Middle School parking lot, at PennWay, or at Penn High School to pick up students. As a matter of safety, please do not approach the pick-up area/sidewalk on foot during the 4:00-4:15pm pick-up time period).
WHAT DOOR DO I USE TO ENTER THE BUILDING?
For the safety of our students and staff during school hours, all school doors are locked. Where there is an intercom for you to use to seek admittance. All visitors need to use the main entrance facing Penn High School (Door A). You will need to bring your driver’s license to be scanned and put on a visitor name tag. If visiting with staff or student the main office will need twenty-four hours notice, with principal approval before the visit.
WHAT ABOUT LUNCHES?
Students may pay for lunches daily with cash or you may deposit money into an account at phmschools.org/PayMealsOnline. For your child using cash or check, there is a box located in the main office area for the students to place their money. Please make checks payable to PHM Food Service and make sure to include your child’s name, grade, and ID number. The amount they use each day will be deducted from their account. The money can be used for either the regular lunch or the a la carte line. You can deposit as much as you would like into your child’s account. Additional information is received each year in the back to school packet. Food should not be brought for anyone other than your own child into the SMS cafeteria. This helps us keep our children from having hurt feelings and maintain a collaborative and supportive lunchroom environment. Parties should be planned outside of the school day. Fast food, other commercial foods, and soda are not to be carried into schools for student lunches. You can go to our website, phmschools.org to review the Wellness Policy 8510.
IF MY CHILD IS INJURED AND CANNOT PARTICIPATE IN FITNESS, WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
A student may be exempt from fitness, athletics, etc. for one day with a note from a parent/guardian. Further exemption requires authorization from student’s doctor (required form is available in the Health Office). The signed form will need to be returned to the Health Office.
WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT MEDICINE?
State law and school policy require that all medications brought to school be accompanied by a written authorization from parent (available in the Health Office). They are to be brought into the Health Office in the original bottle. Prescribed medications will also need a physician signature on that same form. NO medications will be given without the proper paperwork. SJRMC now has provided some over the counter medications to be given to students who are at least 12 years of age. Forms are available in the Health Office for a parent signature. Medication that is possessed by a school for administration during school hours or at school functions for a student in grades kindergarten through grade 8 may be released only to the student’s parent or an individual who is at least eighteen years of age and designated in writing by the student’s parent to receive the medication.
WHAT ABOUT CHROMEBOOKS?
Your child will receive a Chromebook during the first week of school. You can find the details on the SMS Website, schmucker.phmschools.org. Click on School Info to find the Chromebook Info link. Students are expected to use the Chromebook for academic purposes. There is NO gaming during school hours, 8:50 am - 4:00 pm. Students should always keep their chromebooks in their cases. If students need assistance with their Chromebooks, they can visit our helpdesk in the IMC.
WHAT IS THE DRESS CODE AT SCHMUCKER MIDDLE SCHOOL?
Our dress code focuses on being dressed for “work” instead of being dressed for the beach or the mall. Flip flops and short athletic/running shorts are not permitted. Shirts must have sleeves and shorts/skirts must be at the top of the knee. Please remember that clothing must cover the body from the neck to above the knee. All pants must remain at the top of the waist. No holes, tears or shreds where undergarments are visible. Pajamas and lounge pants are prohibited. Jackets/coats normally worn outside should be placed in student’s locker. Hats are not allowed to be worn by students. Backpacks/Book bags can be used to transport books/materials to and from school, but should remain in locker throughout the school day. You can access the complete dresscode online in the student handbook