GCS Arrival and Dismissal Times for 2016-17 School Year

Goshen Community Schools Arrival and Dismissal Times
Horario de entrada y salida de clases de la Corporación Escolar de Goshen

Normal Schedule (Tues – Fri)
Horario regular (Martes a viernes)

  • Elementary/Primarias – 7:50 a.m. – 2:50 p.m.
  • GMS – 8:35 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.
  • GHS – 8:25 a.m. – 3:35 p.m.


Late Arrival (1st day of the week – Mon or Tues after Monday holiday)
Entrada tarde (El primer día de la semana (lunes) o el martes si el lunes fuera día festivo)

  • Elementary/Primarias – 8:30.m. – 2:50 p.m.
  • GMS – 9:15 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.
  • GHS – 9:05 a.m. – 3:40 p.m.


2-hr delay due to severe weather (1st day of the week – Mon or Tues after Monday holiday)
Demora de horario de 2 horas debido a clima severo (El primer día de la semana (lunes) o el martes si el lunes fuera día festivo)

  • Elementary/Primarias – 9:50 a.m. – 2:50 p.m.
  • GMS – 10:35 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.
  • GHS – 10:25 a.m. – 3:40 p.m.


2-hr delay due to severe weather (Tues – Fri)
Demora de horario de 2 horas debido a clima severo (Martes a jueves)

  • Elementary/Primarias – 9:50 a.m. – 2:50 p.m.
  • GMS – 10:35 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.
  • GHS – 10:25 a.m. – 3:35 p.m.



Waterford Dual Immersion Kindergarten Enrollment

Goshen Community Schools, Waterford Dual Immersion Kindergarten Program

Register at Goshen Schools Central Office, Spots are limited

Questions? Call 971-4149.

Corporación Escolar de Goshen, Programa de inmersión de doble vía  en inglés y español de jardín de niños

Inscríbanse en la oficina central, Hay cupo limitado



Good of Goshen Photo Challenge #RedHawkPride

Calling all supporters of Goshen Community Schools!! We invite you to participate in next month’s Good of Goshen Photo Challenge, during the week of April 17-21, 2017. Please see below for details. We can’t wait to see you chronicle your great RedHawk Pride!!

You’re invited to participate in the Good of Goshen Photo Challenge!

For one week in each month from January to April 2017, you’re invited to submit your own photography that relates to a specific theme. At the end of the week, the photos will be judged by the Good of Goshen team. The winner will get to see their winning photo as the Good of Goshen’s Facebook and Twitter cover photo for an entire month, and will receive a $25 gift card to a local business of their choice!

April: #RedHawkPride  Contest Dates: April 17 – 21  Let’s gooooo Hawks! In April, share your photos that relate to Goshen Community Schools. Whether it be at athletic events, school plays, concerts, field trips, or portraits of teachers or students, we invite you to show us your Redhawk pride.


To participate in the Good of Goshen Photo Challenge, post photos to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with the following hashtags: #RedHawkPride + #GOGPhotoChallenge + #GoodOfGoshen

Photos must be posted within the contest date range in order to be judged. Participants can post no more than three entries.

The winner of each month’s contest will be announced on the Monday following the contest week. In order to claim their prize, winner must email goodofgoshen@eyedart.com with their choice of gift card. To pick up their prize, winner must come to the Launchpad (above the Goshen Chamber of Commerce) at 234 South Main Street between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Winner must present a valid ID for proof of identity.

All photos entered will be shared on the Good of Goshen Facebook page at the end of the contest week.

Branden Beachy is an amazing photographer, but don’t let him be the automatic winner, GCS. Participate!!

GMS New Tech Ice Cream Creations

In late November/early December, our 6th grade New Tech students were learning about Solids, Liquids, and Gases.  Our New Tech project had students be “chefs”, who created a unique ice cream flavor.  Using the science design process skills, students researched and developed a recipe, mixed the ingredients together, and made “ice cream in a bag” (all done in class!) Most were able to do this with their recipe two times, so they could make any necessary changes.

The final time, they put their ingredients in a bag, and we took our paper recipes and mixes to Rocket Science Ice Cream in Nappanee, where they used liquid nitrogen (gas) to freeze our ice cream for us to eat.  The students found that this was much easier (and tastier) than just mixing it and shaking it in a bag in ice in a coffee can!

Rocket Science just announced the winners, and they are featuring our students’ flavors during the months of May, June, July, and August!  Those students are also going to receive a coupon for a free, kid-sized ice cream, and are encouraged to come during their featured month.  The winners with descriptions are listed below:

May – “Boreo” created by Mrs. Harley’s students Sonia Spencer, Briana Herrera, and Oliver Baxley.  The flavor is Oreo and banana, and Rocket Science may add peanut butter to give the texture some lift!

June – “Blue Lemon” created by Mr. Layne’s students Matt Cork, Josh Carpenter, Esdras Castro-Valenzuela, and Andrea Diaz.  The flavor is blue raspberry with a kick of lemon.  It even has pudding in the mix!

July – “Cotton Candy” created by Mrs. Harley’s students Alexis Herrera, Lauren Grant, and Brandon Diaz-Segovia.  The flavor is just like the name, without the sticky-finger mess!

August – “Watermelon Explosion” created by Mrs. Harley’s students Maurice Ochoa, Cristian Jimenez, and Jimena Lara.  The flavor they originally created was VERY tart, so changes will be made to decrease the tartness, and keep the summer flavor!

New Tech teachers, Teresa Harley and Shanon Layne

National Silver Medals-Scholastic Art

The Goshen High School Art Department has received word that three students have won National Silver Medals for their artwork. Images of their work will be on display at the MET in New York City. In addition, these students can receive recognition for their work in Carnegie Hall on June 8, 2017.

Our winning medalists are Isaiah Conder, Paulina Medina and Madi Fry.

Congratulations, Isaiah, Paulina, and Madi!

Isaiah Conder, “Fading Away”

Paulina Medina, “Tuna Eyes”

Madi Fry, “Download”

3-13-17 Board Recognition

Board Recognition for March 13, 2017

GMS student Sam Stoltzfus and teachers Brandi Sapp and Joe Vance:

Joe Vance, Sam Stoltzfus, Brandi Sapp

Felipe Merino, Brandi Sapp, Joe Vance, Sam Stoltzfus, Diane Woodworth

This GMS class project was featured on an ABC57 News “Cool Schools” segment, after the class planned and completed an authentic, engaging genetics project for their New Tech class. Click on the link below to see the news video.


Sam explained that her sister has a genetic disorder, so the project was very personal for her. She said that she has been researching Down’s Syndrome, and felt lucky to be able to share some of what she has learned. She hopes that she will get people to “see beyond the genetic disorder, and see the person”. Sam even led a workshop on the topic for her fellow classmates.

Donna Sherck and “Bo”:

Donna Sherck, Felipe Merino, Diane Woodworth

Donna and her dog “Bo” were recognized for creating excitement and interest in an after-school reading and writing program. Donna runs the group on a volunteer basis, and GMS students may participate if they choose to do so. She shared a video of the program, showing students reading, hanging out with friends, petting the dog, writing, and sharing snacks. She also shared information about how the students’ NWEA test scores grew significantly after participation in the reading program.

Student Winners in the Music Education Competition:

Sean Patrick, Nathan Berkey, Sam Stoltzfus, Felipe Merino, Daniel Elizalde, Diane Woodworth (not pictured, Joshua Schrock)

Winning their category in the 2016 Indiana Music Education Association Composition Competition:

Nathan Berkey—High School Orchestra; Piece: The Magistrate’s Arrival

Sam Stoltzfus—Middle School Chamber; Piece: Battle Shore

Daniel Elizalde—Middle School Orchestra; Piece: Pluckish Dysphoria

Joshua Schrock—Middle School Arranging; Piece: Theme from Fallout 4

Those in attendance at the board meeting got to hear audio of each of the impressive arrangements composed by the students. Orchestra director Sean Patrick stated that all GCS students are given an opportunity to compose music, but much of the work has to be done on their own time. The students reported that they spent anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months working on their compositions. There were four GCS students who entered the competition, and each one won their category. Congratulations, students!

GCS Parent Liaisons

A huge thank you to these wonderful women who serve as parent liaisons in our schools. They are all bi-lingual and serve as an important connection for our Hispanic families. However, they are knowledgeable about many aspects of their individual schools, and are they here to help all of our families.

School-Parent Liaison

Chamberlain-Delia Murillo

Chandler-Alison Romero

Model-Gina Mujica

Parkside-Sandra Perez

Prairie View-Iris Cortes

Waterford-Eliana Medrano

West Goshen-Amparo Hernandez

Goshen Middle School-Vilma Padilla

Goshen High School-Gaby Tovar

Thank you, what great role models you are for our students!

Prairie View Pep Rally for 3rd Grade

Prairie View 3rd graders got some positive support and encouragement from staff and their fellow Prairie View students today.

In anticipation of the IREAD test that all 3rd graders must pass in order to advance to 4th grade, the Prairie View principal rallied the students and staff to support the 3rd graders. The students made signs to encourage 3rd graders, and then everyone except the 3rd graders secretly gathered in the gym. Once everyone was in the gym, the school secretary called the 3rd graders to the gym, where they were surprised by the other students, and greeted with signs and cheers.

Principal Wiktorowski also directed the students in “the wave”, and then let the kids have a quick dance party before dismissal.

Good luck to the 3rd graders on the IREAD test, and thank you to Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th grades for supporting your fellow students!

GHS Winter Guard and Winter Percussion

Congratulations to the GHS Winter Guard and Winter Percussion groups on their incredible weekend! 

The JV Winter Guard performed in their Divisional Finals at Plainfield High School and received a GOLD rating.  Congratulations on a great season, JV!

The Varsity Winter Guard competed against 34 schools in their State Prelims at Center Grove High School and placed 2nd overall!  This is their highest placing ever at this event.  The Varsity Winter Guard will compete in State Finals competition next Saturday at Center Grove High School.  Good luck, Varsity Winter Guard!!

Congratulations to both the Concert World and Marching World percussion groups for your outstanding performances this weekend at the Winter Guard International (WGI) Indianapolis Regional!  Concert World placed 1st and Marching World placed 3rd.

Former GHS I.C.E. Student Mentors Current Intern

Laura Zacarias, a 2007 GHS graduate, was among the first Interdisciplinary Cooperative Education (I.C.E.) students at Goshen High School, studying under the direction of Brian Bechtel. She had a job working for Drs. Cripe, Stephens, and Stickel part-time as an optician/technician. I.C.E. is a 6-credit program spanning the school year, and offered only to seniors. The course combines classroom activities with on-the-job training. Two credits are given for the classroom portion, and four credits for the job training portion. Students work a minimum of 540 hours during the school year to receive the work-study credits.  The classroom portion of the course covers career related instruction such as: The job application process, career planning, effective communication, basic economics, personal finance, interpersonal relationships, and workplace legalities.  The course also utilizes local Human Resource Departments to conduct mock interviews.

Following her graduation from GHS, Mrs. Zacarias attended IUSB, where she studied biology and chemistry. She also continued working for Dr. Cripe, Stephens, and Stickel, a job she kept for eight years. According to Mrs. Zacarias, “After my internship, I was in love with the Eye field. It was such a rewarding job…I was really grateful for the internship I was placed in, I learned a great skill while there. I learned skills that I am still using today at my current job.” She has been working as a certified ophthalmic technician for Boling Vision Center for almost two years now, and is currently mentoring Lauren VanderReyden, a Goshen High School senior and internship student. “It is an awesome feeling to be able to pass down some of the skills I learned to another intern. I love seeing the same passion for this field in Lauren that I also had at that age.”

Under the instruction of Mrs. Zacarias, Lauren is learning to do all of the check-in tests and procedures of a technician. Those tests include checking visual acuity, intraocular pressures, eye movements, and pupil reactions. She is also doing different testing for various eye diseases such as glaucoma and macular degenerations. Occasionally, Lauren gets to observe the procedures done in the office or surgery center. Office procedures could include the routine removal of styes, or the use of botox to control eye twitching or droopy eyelids. Surgery center procedures could include any type of ophthalmic surgery.

Lauren said that she chose to do an internship because as a child she had a lazy eye and wore patches for correction, so over the years she has had many conversations with doctors, including conversations about possible careers in the eye field. She stated she began to think about a career, and she wanted to learn more about all of the different job roles in an Ophthalmologist’s office. Lauren said that she has learned so much during her internship. “I took the medical terminology course at school and did very well, but I have learned even more by working here. I have learned more of the working medical vocabulary particularly related to the eyes, and also more about diseases of the eye and the tests that are used to determine diseases.”

The current teachers for I.C.E. and Internships are Mr. Ken Cross and Mrs. Tina Schmucker. Lauren stated that the program is still the same as when Mr. Bechtel was the instructor, but that since Mr. Cross and Mrs. Schmucker have additional and/or different contacts in the community, more work-study placements have been added. “We even have one student who is doing an internship at the Goshen airport, and he is flying planes!”

Here is Mason Short, pictured in the cockpit of a small plane at his internship.

Normally, an internship is a two-credit course for just one semester, but Lauren chose to do the internship class for the full year. At the end of the first semester, she gave a presentation about the work she had completed, and what she had learned. At the end of the second semester, she will sit for an interview for a summer job with the Human Resources staff at Boling Vision. The results of the interview will be passed along to her internship instructor, Mrs. Schmucker, and will compose a portion of her grade for the course.

Following graduation from GHS, Lauren plans to attend IU Bloomington to study science, with the intent to apply to IU medical school to become an ophthalmologist. She states that her internship has been very valuable, as it has allowed her to learn more about the field and to determine if a career in ophthalmology would be a good fit for her.

Both Laura and Lauren spoke very highly of the GHS work-study program that was just beginning in 2007, and continues to grow in 2017. The fact that a former student and a current student have found a connection over their educations and career aspirations is a great example of the strength and long-lasting impact of a Goshen High School education.

Thank you to the GHS work-study instructors who find unique placements for each student, to Laura for her ongoing mentorship, and to Lauren who continues to learn, and is beginning to find her future.

Lauren VanderReyden and Laura Zacarias

In the Cross Walk

Melissa Jones has been employed with Goshen Community Schools for 12 years. She was working as a cafeteria monitor when Dr. Barry Younghans, who was the superintendent in charge of transportation at the time, suggested that she might like being a crossing guard. She decided to give it a try, and has been working as a crossing guard for Model Elementary and Goshen Middle School for the last 9 years.

Mrs. Jones reportedly knows most of her “walkers” by name, and says that the best part of her job is the “interactions with students and the relationships that you build with them”. She has 107 walkers at Model; so many students that there are actually two crossing guards in charge of the group in the afternoon. Even so, Mrs. Jones finds time to listen to a worried student talk about a new puppy, and provides some reassurance and guidance about pet care. To her, this type of interaction and care is just part of the job.

When asked to reflect on the worst part of the job, she hesitated, but then said “the disrespect of traffic, and people not paying enough attention; sometimes it feels pretty dangerous! And, sometimes the weather conditions can also be a downside of the job”.

Upon observation of Mrs. Jones with her Model walkers, it seems pretty evident that the students look upon her quite fondly, calling her by name and running up to greet her after school. One student came up to her and said “Can I give you a hug?!” She answered “You may!” then hugged him to her side and continued greeting her students.

Thank you, Mrs. Jones, for your care and concern for GCS students!

Honoring Susan Ellington

Thanks to the efforts of Goshen High School orchestra directors Jay Pfeifer and Sean Patrick, GHS Symphonic Orchestra students were able to leave school today, to visit and perform for former GHS orchestra director, Susan Ellington. According to Mr. Pfeifer, Susan “took over the Orchestra program in the late 90’s and grew it from one class of 30 kids into the big 150 person high school orchestra program that we have today”. Susan has been dealing with ongoing health issues since her retirement, and the students and directors wanted to honor her by giving her the gift of their music.

The students played five musical selections in various small ensembles, read poetry which acknowledged her contribution to them as their teacher and mentor, and presented her with flowers and hugs. The students involved included: Nathan Berkey, Hugh Birky, Emily Brown, Sergei Culp, Mackenzie Gracie Edmonds, Cade Fisher, Maggie Gallagher, Caroline Greaser, Matthew Herrmann, Katie Herschberger, Amy Holbrook, Greta Klassen, Claire Penner, Ariana Perez Diener, Matthew Roth, Katie Shirk, Olivia Thomas, and Noel Zak.

Their written program included this poem:

We Have Made Music

 Isn’t there a kind of sample brotherhood in the making of music?

Just a sample, under conditions that are transitory.

But one which might grow if it could be remembered and nurtured?

 Making music together is hard work that is fun.

Making music together creates a kind of brotherhood where failure is everybody’s loss.

Where success is a victory for all, where differences and inherited beliefs have no relevance.

We create a new world for a few moments; we are for a time in pastures green…

and remembering, wish the world could be like that, forever.


After enjoying the beautiful musical offering, Susan thanked the students and told them how much their visit and their music meant to her. She encouraged them to “keep music in your hearts, and keep making music”.

It was a meaningful morning for Susan, her family members, GHS teachers and students, and others who gathered to hear the music.

Susan, you have nurtured an orchestra program and planted seeds in the hearts of many who love music. The roots in your orchestra program are strong, and your students will continue to play on.

Thank you, from the many who love and care for you in the Goshen Community Schools family.

Kindergarten Registration for Spanish Dual Language Immersion at Waterford

Spanish Dual Language Immersion Program Registration For Incoming Kindergartners 2017-2018 school year:

Open exclusively for Waterford Families: March 7th – March 15th.

District Families: Enrollment begins March 16th.

Please pick up a registration packet in the Waterford Main Office, you will then complete the packet, and return it on the dates above to Goshen Community Schools Administration Office, located at 613 E. Purl Street, Goshen.

Limited Enrollment available.

For questions regarding registration, please call Stella Garcia at 574-971-4149.

For further information about the Dual Language program, call Waterford School: 574-533-6811, Katrina Overton, Principal, or Eliana Medrano, Parent Liaison.

West Goshen Named a Finalist in National Competition

From the Goshen News:

GOSHEN — Staff at West Goshen Elementary School received the good news they’d been waiting for Wednesday as they were named one of six finalists in the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching’s TAP Founder’s Award competition.

The Founder’s Award is the organization’s highest honor and is “presented annually to one school for exceptional efforts to implement and represent the principles of the TAP System for teacher and student advancement — resulting in improvements in student achievement, among other goals,” according to a press release from the organization.

The TAP Founder’s Award program is funded by the Lowell Milken Family Foundation. Finalists receive a $10,000 prize, a plaque and the chance to earn the top award — $50,000.

The System for Teacher and Student Achievement — commonly called TAP — program hinges on providing support for teachers, regular classroom observations by certified evaluators and providing additional compensation as teachers meet certain performance standards or take on additional responsibilities.

Goshen schools implemented TAP in 2009 using funds from a five-year federal Teacher Incentive Grant that was distributed through the Indiana Department of Education. When the grant funding ended, administrators decided to continue funding the program using money from the general fund and by seeking other federal dollars.

“At West Goshen, we have held tight to the structure that TAP provides. This model of teacher evaluations and professional development is why we truly believe we have seen the student achievement and growth at West Goshen,” West Goshen Principal Lori Line said. “Through the model, student focus and learning is the core to all decisions we make and the instruction that goes on in every classroom. It has given our teachers and students the confidence to achieve things they never thought before possible.”

Making a change

Before school leaders adopted the TAP System in 2011, West Goshen faced poor achievement and low morale, according to staff members.

The school received a “D” on Indiana’s A-F grading system and the school was known as a revolving door for teachers, according to school leaders. TAP structures of support reversed the situation, the news release said.

“Conversations among teachers have changed drastically through TAP implementation,” Line said. “During cluster, evaluation pre- and post-conferences, and follow-up, teachers are able to talk specifically about their teaching and how they can take action to make it more effective for students.”

Professional development sessions combined with goal-setting, field-testing strategies with students and workshops hosted by the district and state, helped West Goshen increase its letter grade from a D to a B, Line said. In 2016, the school earned its first A rating.

Lowell Milken, chairman of the Milken Family Foundation, congratulated Line and her staff on the “remarkable transformation.”

“Their talent and dedication have inspired scores of students to soar to higher levels and develop a sense of pride and achievement that they will remember for years to come,” he said.

Goshen Community Schools Superintendent Diane Woodworth echoed Milken’s support.

“We are so proud of West Goshen teachers and staff for this great accomplishment,” Woodworth said Wednesday.

Finalists to be honored

The finalists will be recognized during the 17th annual National TAP Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, March 24.

The Founder’s Award winner will be named March 25. The overall winner will receive a $50,000 prize to be used toward efforts to improve instruction and academic achievement.

The other schools recognized as finalists are:

• Alice M. Harte Charter School, New Orleans, Louisiana

• Barrera Veterans Elementary School in Somerset Independent School District, Texas

• Dodson Branch School in Jackson County Schools, Tennessee

• Hmong College Preparatory Academy in St. Paul, Minnesota

• G.W. Carver Primary School in Ascension Public Schools, Louisiana

Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten Registration (at the GCS Administration Center, 613 E. Purl St. Goshen):

March 7-31, 2017, Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Extended Kindergarten Registration hours (until 7:00 p.m.):

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Blast Off (Kindergarten open houses at the individual schools. All students should be registered for kindergarten prior to Blast Off):

Chamberlain, Chandler, and Parkside—April 20, 2017, 5:30-7:00 p.m.

College Kindergarten—April 20, 2017, 5:00-6:00 p.m.

Model, Prairie View, Waterford, and West Goshen—April 25, 2017, 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Questions? Please call Central Registration at 971-4149.

Chandler Jump Rope for Heart

This year Chandler Elementary raised $4960.66 for the Jump Rope for Heart/American Heart Association.  Students in 2nd-5th grades really did a great job of stepping up once again!

Last year Chandler raised $5,500.00, for a record-breaking year.  As a result, over the last two years Chandler has donated $10,460.66 to a wonderful organization.

Thanks again, Chandler PE teacher Brent Kulp, for all you do for our students at Chandler Elementary!

Chandler Student Named Indiana National Geographic State Bee Semifinalist

Local Student Named Indiana National Geographic State Bee Semifinalist by National Geographic Society

Student’s Name: Erich Schramm

Parents’ Names: Jonathon and Katie Schramm

School Name and Address: Chandler Elementary, 419 S. 8th Street

Grade Level: 5th Grade

The above-named student has been notified by the National Geographic Society that he is one of the semifinalists eligible to compete in the 2017 Indiana National Geographic State Bee. The contest will be held at at noon at IUPUI Lecture Hall, 325 University Boulevard in Indianapolis, IN 46202 on Friday, March 31, 2017.

This is the second level of the National Geographic Bee competition, which is now in its 29th year. School Bees were held in schools with fourth- through eighth-grade students throughout the state to determine each school champion. School champions then took a qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. The National Geographic Society has invited up to 100 of the top-scoring students in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependents Schools and U.S. territories to compete in the State Bees.

Each state champion will receive $100, the National Geographic Concise Atlas of the World, 4th Edition and a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent their state in the National Geographic Bee Championship to be held at National Geographic Society headquarters, May 14-17, 2017. The national champion will receive a $50,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the Society, including a subscription to National Geographic magazine, and an all expenses paid Lindblad expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the new National Geographic Endeavour ll. Travel for the trip is provided by Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic. Visit www.natgeobee.org for more information on the National Geographic Bee.

The National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD will air the 2017 National Geographic Bee Championship, moderated by journalist and humorist Mo Rocca, on Friday, May 19, at 8 p.m. ET. Public television stations will broadcast the final round at a later date. Check local television listings for the air date and time in your area.

How would you fare as a Bee contestant? At the school Bees this year, students had to answer questions like these:

 The North Platte and South Platte Rivers meet in which state—New Mexico or Nebraska? Nebraska

Which landmark in Washington, D.C., was burned by the British in 1814—the Washington Monument or the White House? White House

Sea otters sometimes wrap themselves in kelp when resting to keep from drifting​ ​​away. Sea otters can be found near eastern Russia in the Sea of Okhotsk in which​ ​ocean? Pacific Ocean

The island of Mauritius [maw-RISH-uhs] in the Indian Ocean has multicolored sand dunes. It’s weird, but it’s true! Mauritius lies off the southeast coast of which continent that includes the Kalahari Desert? Africa

What is the term for an underground layer of rock that holds groundwater—an arroyo​ or an aquifer? aquifer


The National Geographic Society is a leading nonprofit that invests in bold people and transformative ideas in the fields of exploration, scientific research, storytelling and education. We support educators to ensure that the next generation is armed with geographic knowledge and global understanding. We aspire to create a community of change, advancing key insights about our planet and probing some of the most pressing scientific questions of our time. Our goal is measurable impact: furthering exploration and educating people around the world to inspire solutions for the greater good. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.org.

Congratulations, Erich!

GHS/Flint Southwestern Academy Visit

On Thursday, Feb. 23, on an unseasonably warm day, the IB (International Baccalaureate) students from Goshen High School stood outside, anxiously awaiting their friends and fellow IB students from the Flint Southwestern Academy in Flint, MI. The two groups first met last year when the GHS students traveled to Flint for a visit.

Part of a full IB education is Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS), which are essential elements that every student must complete as part of the Diploma Programme (DP). As part of their commitment to service, the GHS IB students took a look at the water crisis in Flint, and wondered how they could help. They contacted the IB students at Flint Southwestern Academy, and learned that through many generous donations, they did not really need more water; what they needed was a way to recycle all of the empty bottles. The GHS students took that information and ran with it. They secured barrels to use for recycling from the Goshen Waste Water Treatment Plant, they worked with the GHS construction class to get the tops cut off of the barrels, they contacted the local Coca-Cola distributor to get lids for the barrels, and they spent hours and hours painting and personalizing the barrels for Flint Southwestern Academy. In a collective effort on the project, they also received help from the City of Goshen, other local businesses, and parents.

When the GHS students visited Flint last year, they received school shirts from their hosts. Many of the GHS students were wearing the Flint shirts when the bus pulled up in front of GHS on Feb. 23. According to a Flint student who was not involved in last year’s visit, “I was so excited when we pulled up, and I saw them wearing our shirts! It meant so much to me.” The GHS students held welcoming signs for their friends to the north, and there were cheers and hugs as the teachers and students joined the GHS contingency. Everyone made their way to the media center, where they were welcomed by IB coordinator Theresa Collins and one of the GHS students. And then, the students were further welcomed with a popular northern Indiana treat, Rise and Roll donuts, courtesy of IB teacher Carl Weaver.

After a quick snack, the students went out to the football field to do introductions (name and a pet peeve, some of which were pretty funny!) and play a few games. While games were going on, a few people were interviewed by WNDU reporter Kasey Chronis. Below are a few of the comments from the interviews:

Emma, GHS student- Emma stated that she was a part of the visit to Flint last year. She stated that what inspired her last year was reading about the water crisis, and figuring out how Goshen could help. “We were really proud of our project, and how we decorated the recycling bins specifically for their school and their mascot.” When asked if the students from both schools still discuss the water crisis, she responded “Well, they just want to be normal high school students, like everyone else. If the subject comes up, then we’ll talk about it. If not, we’ll just enjoy the day together.”

Nolan, Flint Southwestern Academy student- Nolan wasn’t in IB last year, so this was his first chance to meet the GHS students. He stated that he was excited to see GHS students wearing his school shirt, he was thankful for the new experiences of the day, and he hoped to use social media to keep in contact with GHS students. When asked if his family had been impacted by the water crisis, he said that they had been “a bit”. He added that “It meant a lot that the Goshen kids brought us the recycling containers, we still use them. It was neat that they personalized the bins for us; we use the one with music notes on it by the music rooms. And, I’m just happy to be here today!”

Bryce, Flint Southwestern Academy student- Bryce stated that he was an IB student last year too, so he was a part of the initial visit. He said it was a new experience. “We never had kids visit us from another state; come all that way just to see our school and visit us. The visit meant something to not only our school, but to the city as well. It was just something uplifting and it felt good to everyone. We still use those bins every day.”

Sherry, Flint Southwestern Academy IB coordinator- Sherry explained that the connection between the schools grew after GHS reached out to Flint about the water crisis. “They brought us the recycling bins, and it was so special because they looked into our school, and decorated them just for us.” She stated that it is good for the Flint students to meet with students from another IB school, “to see that they are taking the same classes, and facing the same assessments and challenges of an IB education.” She added that she would like to keep the partnership between the schools going year after year, because it is a valuable connection for both schools.

Following the games and interviews outside, the groups went back to the media center, where they welcomed student leaders from West Goshen Elementary, who are now in the candidacy phase of Primary Years IB. The West Goshen students brought a mixer/game with them for all of the students, centered on the attributes of the IB Learner Profile, which states “As IB learners we strive to be: Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators, Principled, Open-Minded, Caring, Risk-Takers, Balanced, and Reflective.” The students split into three groups (which deliberately included students from all three schools), and then drew pieces of paper out of a bag. In each bag were the learner profile attributes, the definition of each attribute, and an example of each attribute. The students were instructed to talk to each other in their groups, and bring together the attribute, its definition, and an example of the attribute.

Following the West Goshen game, the students spread out to table groups (again with students from each school), and held a book sharing, led by the students from Flint Southwestern Academy. Flint students read passages from many different books, and then the students discussed learner profile traits that were exhibited in the book passages.

GHS students led the same table groups in a learner profile banner activity, in which each table chose an attribute and wrote something about the attribute and decorated their piece of paper. The GHS students gathered the papers at the end of the activity, and will eventually scan them all to make IB banners for each of the schools.

While the students were working together, WNDU conducted a few more interviews:

Barry Younghans, GHS principal- He stated that the partnership between the two schools means a lot. “The kids might be from different cultures and upbringings, but they are all just high school students, speaking a common language through an IB education. We would love for this to continue; it is great for kids.”

Theresa Collins, GHS IB coordinator- Theresa shared about how the IB TOK (Theory of Knowledge) class reached out to Flint as part of their educational service component, and the “kids just took it from there. It has been a really, really neat experience. When I retire, this CAS project with Flint, and all of the good that came out of it will be somewhere on my list of most significant memories from my teaching career.” She added that she keeps in touch with the teachers and IB coordinator from Flint, and hopes to continue the visits in the years to come.

Mitchell, GHS student- He traveled to Flint with the GHS group last year, and said that it was a great experience to deliver the recycling bins and connect with the students. He said that some of the students from both schools have kept in touch through social media.

At the end of the table work, the West Goshen students shared “spirit sticks” with their tablemates. Spirit sticks are what West Goshen students earn when a staff member recognizes that they are displaying one of the learner profile attributes; the sticks can be worn on lanyards or put on backpacks. There were a lot of risk-taker spirit sticks given out, as some of the students acknowledged that interacting with so many new people can be scary sometimes!

Before the West Goshen students left to return to their school, the students from all three schools went out to the courtyard and took a group picture. One photo had students simply standing still, and one showed them holding up their spirit sticks. In the first picture, you will notice a student in the back row with her face lifted up and her arms thrown up in apparent joy. Her posture alone could probably encapsulate the feelings of the day from most of the participants; it was simply positive, positive, positive!

After the pictures, the students had lunch together in the library, and heard a few words of welcome from Goshen’s Mayor, Jeremy Stutsman. He thanked the Flint Southwestern students for coming to Goshen, and let them know that the citizens of Goshen still think of them often and wish them well as their city recovers from their crisis. He stated that their situation has prompted many mayors across the country to work proactively to check water supplies and keep them safe for their citizens. He welcomed the students and educators to return to Goshen any time.

After lunch, GHS students led small groups of Flint students on tours throughout the school. The students checked out classrooms, the cafeteria, the auditorium, the construction technology shop, the weight room, and they also dropped in to see choir and jazz band students in action.

When the tours were done, it was time for GHS coordinators and students to thank their visitors for coming to GHS, to say goodbye, and to pass out Goshen RedHawks shirts to their friends from Flint.

It takes dedication and commitment to earn an IB diploma, but it can be made easier by sharing the experience with someone who understands what it takes. THANK YOU to our friends from Flint Southwestern Academy who came to GHS to play games, to eat together, to talk about common struggles and insights that come with an IB education, to set an example for younger IB students, and to increase everyone’s faith in humanity. Until next time.