8/9/18 Joint Statement-GCS/GPD (English/Spanish)

August 9, 2018

This afternoon at approximately 3:30 pm, an 18 year old Fairfield student arrived at the Goshen High School parking lot to visit with some friends he has at GHS.  During his visit, the 18 year old displayed a new BB Gun he had in his possession.  A parent in the parking lot who was there to retrieve their student witnessed the 18 year old display the BB Gun and because of the realistic appearance of the BB Gun, the parent called 9-1-1.  The School Resource Officer Johnson located the subjects involved and determined that the weapon was in fact a BB Gun.  No crime was committed during this incident but in maintaining open communication with parents and the community; both the Goshen Police Department and Goshen Community Schools felt it important to relay the details of the incident. Goshen High School was on lockdown at the end of the day as a precaution.

9 de agosto de 2018

Esta tarde, aproximadamente a las 3:30 p.m., un estudiante de 18 años de Fairfield llegó al estacionamiento de Goshen High School para visitar a algunos amigos que tiene en Goshen High School. Durante su visita, el joven de 18 años mostró una nueva pistola de aire comprimido (BB gun) que tenía en su poder. Uno de los padres de familia que se encontraba en el estacionamiento para recoger a su hijo fue testigo de la exhibición de la pistola BB gun, y por la apariencia realista de la pistola BB gun, el padre de familia llamó al 9-1-1. El oficial de recursos escolares Johnson localizó a los sujetos involucrados, y determinó que el arma era de hecho una pistola BB gun. No se cometió ningún delito durante este incidente; sin embargo para mantener una comunicación abierta con los padres de familia y con la comunidad, tanto el Departamento de Policía de Goshen como la Corporación Escolar de Goshen consideraron importante comunicar los detalles del incidente. Goshen High School se mantuvo en cierre de emergencia al final del día escolar como medida de precaución.

2017-18 GMS “Houses for Hurricanes” Project Benefits Puerto Rico

At a school board meeting last fall, GMS counselor Jan Desmarais-Morse shared the Houses for Hurricanes project that GMS students took on, in which they made house magnets to raise funds for victims of Hurricanes Maria, Irma, and Harvey.  Despite all the destruction in the U.S. and elsewhere, they struggled to find a suitable organization or school to donate their funds! After much networking and trial and error, they decided to target the devastation in Puerto Rico, as that area seemed to be hardest hit, and continues to be impacted by the 2017 hurricane to this day.

As it turned out, Goshen International Middle School student, Elena Stutzman and her family were taking an extended mission trip to Puerto Rico to lend a hand in March. Jan contacted Elena’s mother and asked if it would be possible to have Elena determine where the funds should go, after she had a chance to explore various agencies and communities. After careful consideration, the family suggested El Centro Paso in Aibonito, PR.

Below is a description of the organization and how it helps the community. There is also a letter of thanks that Mrs. Desmarais-Morse recently received from the program director.  Because so many school board members and guests purchased magnets and supported the cause, Jan thought they might be interested in knowing how those funds were spent.  GMS was able to send over $500 to benefit the community of Aibonito, PR.

Jan said “I am proud of the work our students did on behalf of students they may never know. This is just one way both Goshen New Tech and Goshen International Middle School students are impacting our global community.”

One of the “Houses for Hurricanes” magnets, made by GMS students.

(A letter from Elena’s mother, Rose Stutzman)

Greetings from Puerto Rico,

Yesterday we went to visit El Centro PASO, a community organization we had been hearing about. They are the organization that we are recommending. Elena liked the place as well. 

 As you may know the eye of the hurricane passed right over Aibonito, the highest city on the island. Soon after the hurricane, Centro Paso became the coordinating force for a network of leaders. They gave out food and clothing and water. Government agencies did that as well, but not with the same personal touch. At Centro Paso everyone had a name and a chance to tell their story and a chance to tell what they needed most. Centro Paso was begun by the local Catholic parish a few years ago without a hurricane in mind but was well prepared to work ecumenically and at the grassroots level when there was a crisis. A local Palestinian Muslim family made the first donation of food, for example. The evangelicals and Catholics went around with a loudspeaker truck to gather donations–people each gave what they could to help others. 

Centro Pasos helped families who lost everything. They still feed people daily –just not nearly as many. They set up a laundry so that people who don’t have electricity could come and wash their clothes. (At church on Sunday about 1/4 of the people said they still didn’t have power.)

We like that it’s community based. We like that Margarita, the director, has the confidence of lots of people. We like that they were the place that people trusted after the hurricane. We like that everything is done by community volunteers–not lots of salaried personnel keeping the donation dollars at the top.

Their social services include: Food distribution, Meals, After school program, Vocational counseling, Program to help mothers and small children, Counselors to help people in emotional distress, Used clothing (people pay if they can), Stored food, (to be prepared for the next hurricane season), Emergency assistance to families, and Recreational activities 

You can choose an area of donation.: For example things needed for the kitchen–they weren’t prepared for feeding large groups, so there have been extra costs involved there–or any of the other areas. Or you can give to their work in general. They may not be helping people rebuild right now but they certainly have provided for families in that way. 

Rose

 

(A thank-you letter from El Centro PASO)

Dear Mrs. Jan,

On behalf of all the PASO Center volunteers and of all those who have received the benefit of your contribution, we would like to express our profound gratitude for the donation that you made to our organization. The past months have been a great challenge for us and for our island, but also of great joy for the blessings received. You are one of those blessings. Thanks to you, we have been able to get the help our community has needed so much after the lash of Hurricane Maria.

We will continue to carry out our social work service with the same enthusiasm with which we did in the past months. The PASO Center is a support center for the families, especially for the neediest people. Our services include: counseling services, case management, emergency financial aid, a food pantry, a store, a soup kitchen, and visits to the homes of bedridden people. In the afternoon we offer supervised assignments for children, table tennis, chess, painting and basic drawing. All services are free, and the work we do is voluntary.

We are convinced that God prepared us to provide and channel the help and assistance necessary for the restoration of our people. We invite you to continue to contact us through our Facebook page Centro PASO de Aibonito.

Again, on behalf of all those who have benefited from your contribution and on behalf of everyone at Centro PASO, thank you.

Kindly,

Margarita Centeno Director

 

Maple City Multicultural Festival

Invite your family, friends and neighbors and celebrate our cultural diversity at the third annual Maple City Multicultural Festival. The event will be held Saturday August 25, 2018, from noon to 6 p.m. at Rogers Park, 102 Chicago Ave.

The festival will have food, music and games that represent the diverse culture of our neighbors. This year the organizing committee, in conjunction with the Mayor’s Arts Council, will introduce visual arts to the mix: Six local artists will set up booths from which the public may purchase their work.

“Our diverse backgrounds have an influence in our perspective, which is oftentimes reflected in art,” MCMF organizer and Mayor’s arts Council member Joni Earl said. “We hope this event becomes another great opportunity for our local artists to share their work with the community.”

The event will again feature food vendors representing various cultures, including dishes from Ukraine, Guatemala and India. Bands and performers, including Lalo Cura and Los Ortega, will bring live entertainment throughout the day.

Kids will receive a “passport” upon entry and will be encouraged to explore and learn about the various cultures represented at the event by visiting all the booths. There will be prizes for the first 50 children who get their passport fully stamped!

Goshen Schools will also hold a Basketball Clinic for children aged Pre-K through 5th grade from noon to 2 p.m.

“From my perspective, as a community organizer, working for the MCMF is the highlight of the year,” said José Elizalde, Community Engagement Specialist at lacasa.

The MCMF is sponsored by lacasa, Inc., the City of Goshen, the Goshen Chamber of Commerce, Heart City Health, MHS, Goshen Family Physicians, Merino Law Firm, the Electric Brew, La Boutique, WLEG-LP Radio Horizonte, Ten Thousand Villages, West Goshen Neighborhood Association, Panadería Gutierrez, Middlebury Electric, Inc., El Puente, WGCS The Globe and Goshen Community Schools.

About the Maple City Multicultural Festival:

In 2016 a volunteer group sponsored by lacasa, Inc. was inspired to create an event that would allow the many rich cultures of Goshen to come together and share their customs and heritages. This city-wide festival will provide folks with the opportunity to share food, music, games, art, and traditions of their cultures.

GCS Opening Day & Guest Speaker

GCS teachers and staff were welcomed back for the 2018-19 school year with a hearty breakfast prepared by the GHS school nutrition staff. Following breakfast, teachers went to break-out sessions on topics such as life insurance, financial planning, student loan solutions, and fringe benefits. Teachers also met for grade level meetings, and to hear more about how they can use Khan Academy as a resource.

Once all teachers and staff had gathered in the GHS auditorium, Dr. Woodworth gave a short welcome and introduced the school board members in attendance, including Jose Elizalde, Keith Goodman, Roger Nafziger, and Jane Troup. Dr. Woodworth asked Mrs. Troup to address the staff, as it will be her last opportunity to do so. Mrs. Troup has chosen not to run for the school board this year, and she will be retiring from the board after 24 years!

Mrs. Troup stated that “We know you have been busy this summer because we go by the schools and we see your cars in the lot….We know that you want our students to be successful….I have served for 24 years, and I have seen many changes in education. I have advocated for you locally, and at the state and national levels, and just because I am no longer a board member does not mean that I will stop advocating for you. I will always be an advocate for you!” Following her comments, the GCS staff gave Mrs. Troup a standing ovation in honor of her time, service and commitment to Goshen Community Schools.

Next, Dr. Woodworth introduced Katherine “Kat” Posada, an English teacher from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Ms. Posada’s school was the site of a school shooting on February 14, 2018, and Dr. Woodworth stated that Ms. Posada sheltered in place with her 21 students during the ordeal.

Ms. Katherine L. Posada

Ms. Posada said that she was surprised when she was contacted about speaking for the GCS opening day; because “I am just a regular teacher”. However, she did acknowledge that since the shooting at her school she has “learned some lessons” that she could share. She explained that as an English teacher, there are many skills that she is teaching students as they learn about and discuss literature, but those are not necessarily the most important things. Then she backed up a bit to say that standing before a crowd of teachers was not her comfort zone; that standing before about twenty or so 16 year old students is her comfort zone. She stated that before the shooting, she would never have considered being a public speaker, but “seeing how our students have stepped up, expressed their beliefs, and refused to be silenced, I knew I wanted to do my part”.

Then, going back to the “most important things” teachers can do to prepare their students, she listed several things: “You give them opportunities, chances to disagree with respect, you give them confidence, you challenge them, and more. Those are the most important things.” She stated that as part of her high school alumni facebook page, she has noticed some people have commented on teachers who were important to them, but that she did not necessarily know or appreciate. “But not every teacher will connect with all students. Students are different and teachers are different, and students will make connections with the teachers they feel comfortable with.” She encouraged teachers to be their authentic selves, and allow the students to make connections with them. “Your students need you to be you.”

Next, Ms. Posada said “sometimes things don’t work out”. In September of 2017, Hurricane Irma came through their town and their schools were closed for two weeks, partly to repair damages and partly because schools were being used as shelters. Because of that, “we lost two weeks of instructional time”. And then, after the school shooting on February 14, the school was closed for two more weeks, losing more instructional time. “But even when we went back, we were not ready for curriculum. We simply sat around and played board games and worked on puzzles, and we just chatted about everything. I got to know the students better. I let the conversations wander more. I learned what they were passionate about. I guess I am saying, don’t be afraid to throw out your lesson plans. You will get to know your students better and that is important.” Ms. Posada said that at the end of every year she lets students sign her journal if they want to do so. There are many students that will simply say “have a great summer”, but some students will surprise her by saying “your class changed my life”. And those connections are the most important things…

Ms. Posada finished her remarks by leading the staff in the same pledge they took on opening day last year (“emphasizing the word me, because they need you!”):
“I pledge to bring the best of me every single day to the classroom and beyond, because our students deserve it…no matter what”

In a meeting with some school safety staff later on, Ms. Posada talked about some of the things her school learned from their tragedy, and some of the things they are still doing to improve school safety. One of the things that her school continues to work on is communication. Another thing that they are exploring is an app that every student can download to their phones, and use to (anonymously) submit tips or anything suspicious in their schools. The app can also be used to call 911, and allows administrators to push out information to teachers, students and families all at once.

Following the discussion on safety and the things that schools and administrators can do to improve school safety, Ms. Posada said that really, “in the end, you cannot think of everything” and incidents like those at Stoneman Douglas can, unfortunately, still happen. No community is immune to danger. However, she encouraged GCS to continue to explore and pursue all safety measures, to prepare and practice, and then she wished GCS well for the future.

GCS thanks you, Kat. We thank you for encouraging and empowering your students, and for joining them in doing what is outside of your comfort zone. GCS wishes your school a sense of peace and community as students and staff begin another school year.

West Goshen Teacher Lauren Moore Chosen for Fellowship

Lauren Moore, an elementary teacher at West Goshen, has been named a Fellow with the Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellowship, a highly-selective leadership program for demonstrably-effective teachers.  During the year-long Fellowship, the Fellows take part in a specially-designed course of study in policy and advocacy and develop the skills necessary to advocate for policies that will better serve Hoosier students and teachers.  They further their impact through collaborative work on key education issues and interactions with district and state decision makers.  Moore is one of just 40 teachers from across Indiana selected for the 2018-19 Fellowship.

“Our new Fellows come from diverse backgrounds and have a strong desire to make positive change in their classrooms, schools, and districts,” said Carlotta Cooprider, Teach Plus Indiana Executive Director. “We’re looking forward to another exciting and impactful year ahead as we continue to add teacher voice to discussions around Indiana education. This group of Fellows will build on the success of the 17-18 cohort which resulted in Teacher Permits, Examinations, and Salaries bill (SB 387) being signed into law with extensive feedback and recommendations from Teach Plus teachers.”

Regarding her appointment, Ms. Moore stated, “This is an exciting opportunity to learn from educators across the state. I’m honored to be included and serve through this fellowship.”

And according to West Goshen principal Lori Line, “Lauren is a top-notch educator. She always puts students first. She does whatever it takes to help every student be successful. I’m honored that I get to grow & learn alongside her each day. She is a great addition to the Teach Plus team.”

The incoming Fellows represent nearly 20 different school districts.  The teachers are all proven leaders who have demonstrated commitment to their students through their dedication to the profession.  They have been selected because of their unwavering commitment to their students and their profession.

To learn more about the 2018-19 Teach Plus Indiana Policy Fellows, visit http://www.teachplus.org/IN.

About Teach Plus: 

Teach Plus empowers excellent, experienced teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success. Teach Plus programs are designed to place highly effective teachers at the center of improvements in schools as leaders of their peers and outside schools influencing policy decisions that affect their classrooms. The programs develop excellent teachers into leaders who achieve change and mobilize others in their school, district, state, and across the nation to bring change to scale. Since its inception in August 2007, Teach Plus has grown to a network of more than 26,000 solutions-oriented teachers across the country.  www.teachplus.org

TONIGHT-Tennis Culver’s Night Fundraiser

Tonight is a Culver’s Night fundraiser for GHS boys tennis. Please spread the word to anyone you know that might be grateful for a chance to support the boys tennis team and not have to cook their own meal tonight! A portion of all sales goes to the team fund, no ticket or ID required.

Here’s the scheduled tennis team servers for tonight:
5:00-6:30 = Wes, Drake, Axel, Zach, Carter, Don, Carlos, Ryan
6:30-8:00 = Zef, Josh, Diego, Braxten, Braxton, Cormac, Wyatt, Ben

Message from the City of Goshen

From the City of Goshen Facebook page:

To the Community of Goshen,

Our community has long thrived on strong partnerships and working together. On Friday, Aug. 3, the Goshen Fire and Police Departments will be conducting training drills at Goshen Middle School. The training is scheduled to begin at approximately 11 a.m. and will continue for most of the afternoon. Additional Officers and Fire personnel who are not participating in the training will remain on duty during this training and there will be no lapse in response to calls for service from Goshen residents and businesses.

Signs will be posted along the roadway to alert passersby that training is being conducted. Please spread the word, as we do not want any misperception of why first responders are at the school. GPD and GFD are constantly training to better serve our community. This will allow us to train further all while helping school staff see first-hand what might or could happen. It is my greatest hope that our community never has to utilize what is learned in exercises like this, but we will be prepared.

Thank you to everyone involved. Our kids come first!

Sincerely,
Mayor Jeremy Stutsman

GCS Announces New Volunteer Engagement Specialist

Goshen Community Schools announces Sharon Sarber as the new Volunteer Engagement Specialist.  This position is a partnership involving Goshen Community Schools, Elkhart Community Schools and United Way of Elkhart County.  Read United connects community volunteers with classrooms in elementary schools and is comprised of three opportunities throughout the school year:  Real Men Read, Reading Camps, and Spring Into Reading.

“United Way is passionate about helping students succeed”, said Bill Rieth, President of United Way of Elkhart County.  “For over 90 years, United Way has fought for the Education, Health and Financial Stability of every person in our community.  We’re excited to have Sharon as a Volunteer Engagement Specialist.  Her experience, passion and skills will make a huge impact.”

GCS Assistant Superintendent Alan Metcalfe stated, “The Read United programs have been very successful within Goshen Community Schools and Sharon’s qualifications will enable us to maintain the existing programs, while also planning for future expansion.  She will provide that direct connection to United Way and allow our partnership to continue and deepen.”

Sharon is a licensed teacher in k-6 through Indiana Wesleyan University and k-12 Moderate and Severe Needs through the University of Saint Francis.  She has teaching experience in both the Goshen and Elkhart school districts, most recently with Goshen Community Schools.  She has taught at Wakarusa Elementary, the Young Adult Program, and Goshen High School in Life Skills.  Sharon continued teaching for GCS last year through the Goshen Online Academy housed at the Boys and Girls Club.  She worked in Elkhart Community Schools as a Life Skills and Mild Disability paraprofessional.  Prior to working in the schools, Sharon was employed at a Biotechnology company located in Elkhart.

In addition to Sharon’s licensures, she also holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Indiana University South Bend and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Northern Michigan University.

Sharon plans to raise awareness of the Read United programs within both school districts.  She is actively seeking community volunteers to engage our elementary and preschool students.  Please contact Sharon directly for additional information about volunteer opportunities at ssarber@goshenschools.org or 574-533-2048.

New GMS School Start Times

Goshen Community Schools Arrival and Dismissal Times

Horario de entrada y salida de clases de la Corporación Escolar de Goshen

Please note that  Goshen Middle School arrival times for Normal & 2-Hour Delay have been changed!!!

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

  • Elementary/Primarias – 7:50 a.m. – 2:50 p.m.
  • GMS – 8:30 a.m. – 3:45 p.m(changed)
  • 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. (did not change)
  • GHS – 9:05 a.m. – 3:40 p.m.
2-hr delay due to weather (Mon-Fri) (Lunes a Viernes)
Demora de horario de 2 horas debido a clima severo 

  • Elementary/Primarias – 9:50 a.m. – 2:50 p.m.
  • GMS – 10:30 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.  (changed)
  • GHS – 10:25 a.m. – 3:35 p.m.

GHS Student GMAIL passwords updated

All GHS student GMAIL passwords have been updated prior to the beginning of the school year and laptop distribution this week.  Students need to login to SKYWARD using their current password to get their new GMAIL password before Wednesday, August 1. All laptop/Skyward passwords will be reset prior to laptop distribution Wednesday.

Prairie View Meet & Greet/Ven a conocer Prairie View

August 6

Kindergarten and students new to Prairie View are invited to a “Meet Prairie View” Event.

  • 5:30-6:00. Kindergarteners, new students, and their families are invited to the cafeteria to enjoy hotdogs, salad, chips, and a drink.
  • 6:00-6:30, Parents will receive important information from the school administration, while kindergarten students visit their classrooms. New students will get a tour of the school.
  • 6:30-7:00, Kindergarten parents will visit the classrooms while students learn what to do in the cafeteria and on the playground. Parents of new students can meet their students in the cafeteria.

August 7

  • 5:00-6:00 Students in grades 1-5 are invited with their parents to visit their classrooms. This will be an Open House format.

August 8

The first day of school! The schedule for today and every Tuesday-Friday:

  • 7:20 Students may arrive for breakfast
  • 7:38 Doors open to the classroom for those not attending breakfast.
  • 7:50 School Begins!

6 de agosto

Los estudiantes de jardín de niños y los nuevos estudiantes de Prairie View están invitados al evento “Ven a conocer Prairie View”.

  • De las 5:30 a las 6:00 p.m. – Los estudiantes de jardín de niños, los nuevos estudiantes y sus familias están invitados a la cafetería a disfrutar de hot dogs, ensaladas, papas fritas y una bebida.
  • De las  6:00 a las 6:30 p.m. – Los padres de familia recibirán información importante de la administración escolar, mientras que los estudiantes de jardín de niños irán a ver sus salones de clases. Los nuevos estudiarán tomarán un recorrido por la escuela.
  • Entre 6:30 y 7:00 p.m. – Llos padres de familia de estudiantes de jardín de niños irán a ver los salones de clases mientras que los estudiantes aprenderán lo que tienen que hacer en la cafetería y en el patio de recreo. Los padres de familia de los nuevos estudiantes podrán reunirse con sus hijos en la cafetería.

7 de agosto

  • De 5:00 a 6:00 p.m. Los estudiantes de 1º a 5º grado están invitados con sus padres a ir a ver los salones de clases. Este evento es a puertas abiertas.

8 de agosto

¡Primer día de clases! El horario de hoy y de todos los martes a viernes:

  • 7:20 a.m. Los estudiantes pueden llegar a desayunar.
  • 7:38 Los salones de clases abren para los estudiantes que no desayunen.
  • ¡Las clases comienzan a las 7:50 a.m.!

GCS Welcomes New School Nutrition Director

Pictured below: Dr. Colleen M. Daly, GCS Director of School Nutrition

Dr. Daly holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics from Ball State University, and both a Master’s degree in Health Promotion and a PhD in Exercise Science from Auburn University. She has recently been working as a Quality Specialist, and has previous experience as a Food Service Director at a school corporation in Michigan.

Dr. Daly brings a wealth of knowledge, education, and experience to her new role, as she oversees all of the schools in our district,. GCS anticipates continued, positive changes and direction in our school cafeterias as we begin the 2018-19 school year.

Welcome, Dr. Daly!

 

 

 

How We Pronounce Student Names, and Why it Matters

A Twitter post by Jennifer Gonzalez

Samira Fejzić was used to people saying her name wrong, especially in school. “Through the years, as roll would be called, I would wait for that awkward pause—this is how I knew I was next. I accepted this ritual.”

Fejzić (FAY-zich), whose family left Bosnia in the early nineties and moved to the U.S. in 1999, experienced this ritual for ten years, and she understood that people in her new town weren’t used to names like hers, despite the fact that the area’s Bosnian population had grown massive in recent years.

“It never hurt me until high school graduation,” she recalls. “This was a big day for me. My grandparents from Bosnia came just to watch me get my diploma and of course, my name was butchered.”

If you’re in a position to say lots of student names—in your classroom, over the P.A. system, or especially at awards ceremonies and graduations—no one will be surprised if you mess up a couple of them. But this year, maybe you can do better. If you make the commitment now to get them all right, if you resolve this time to honor your students with clear, beautiful pronunciation of their full, given names, that, my friend, will be the loveliest surprise of all.

Three Kinds of Name-Sayin’

I grew up with a hard-to-pronounce name. Actually, it wasn’t that hard; it just looked different from what people were used to: Yurkosky. (Kind of rhymes with “Her pots ski,” minus the “t” in pots.) Year after year, it threw everyone off. And the way they approached the name put them into one of three camps: fumble-bumblers, arrogant manglers, and calibrators.

The fumble-bumblers I didn’t mind so much. They’d mispronounce the name, slowing down and making their voice all wobbly, not trusting themselves. They’d grimace, laugh, ask me how to say it, then try again. But then they sort of gave up. Over the next few attempts, they’d settle into something that was a kind of approximation, and that would be that. What made me not mind these people was that they put the mispronunciation on themselves—their demeanor suggested the fault was with them, not me or my name.

The arrogant manglers were another story. They assumed their pronunciation was correct and just plowed ahead, never bothering to check. In many cases, an arrogant mangler will persist with their own pronunciation even after they’ve been corrected. Adan (uh-DON) Deeb, whose family hails from Israel with Palestinian roots, experienced this as a middle school student in the U.S. “Every time I was called up to the office, EVERY SINGLE TIME, they would mispronounce my name, no matter how many times I corrected them. It made me angry. To me that shows that they just don’t care enough to get my name right.”

This group has a couple of sub-categories: One is the nicknamers—people who come across a name like Rajendrani and announce, “We’ll just call you Amy.” The other is the worst kind, the people who start with the first syllable, then wave the rest of the name away like so much cigarette smoke, adding “Whatever your name is,” or just “whatever.” I don’t have a creative name for this group…

Finally, there was a small group I think of as the calibrators, people who recognized that my name required a little more effort. They asked me to pronounce it, tried to replicate it, then fine-tuned it a few more times against my own pronunciation. Some of them would even check back later to make sure they still had it.

My cousin Laura, who has the same last name I grew up with, remembers a professor who was a true calibrator. “It did take him a bit of time to learn to pronounce my name, but he was always apologetic when he said it wrong, and always insisted on the importance of getting such things right. He was easily the most inspirational and challenging teacher I’ve had…he just insisted that every student feel important.”

If you’re already a calibrator, keep up the good work. If you’re not—if you’ve let yourself off the hook with some idea like “I’m terrible with names”—know that it’s not too late to turn things around, and it does matter. Though it may seem inconsequential to you, the way you handle names has deeper implications than you might realize.

Kind of a Big Deal

People’s reaction to this issue varies depending on their personality. If your student has a strong desire to please, wants desperately to fit in, or is generally conflict-avoidant, they may never tell you you’re saying their name wrong. For those students, it might matter a lot, but they’d never say so. And other kids are just more laid-back in general. But for many students, the way you say their name conveys a more significant message.

Name mispronunciation – especially the kind committed by the arrogant manglers—actually falls into a larger category of behaviors called microaggressions, defined by researchers at Columbia University’s Teachers College as “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people of color” (Sue et al., 2007).

In other words, mutilating someone’s name is a tiny act of bigotry. Whether you intend to or not, what you’re communicating is this: Your name is different. Foreign. Weird. It’s not worth my time to get it right. Although most of your students may not know the word microaggression, they’re probably familiar with that vague feeling of marginalization, the message that everyone else is “normal,” and they are not.

In her piece What’s in a Name? Kind of a Lot, writer Tracy Clayton (under the name Brokey McPoverty) rails against Ryan Seacrest’s move to shorten the name of actress Quvenzhané Wallis to “Little Q.” She points out that Seacrest and other media figures treat the names of some actors—who happen to be white—differently: “The problem is that white Hollywood…doesn’t deem her as important as, say, Renee Zellweger, or Zach Galifianakis, or Arnold Schwarzenegger, all of whom have names that are difficult to pronounce—but they manage. The message sent is this: You, young, black, female child, are not worth the time and energy it will take me to learn to spell and pronounce your name.”

This issue goes beyond names rooted in cultures unfamiliar to the speaker. Whatever it is your student prefers to be called, it’s worth the effort to get it right. I’m sure I’ve not only mispronounced my own students’ names, but I’ve probably also called them something that was not their preference—realizing in April that the kid I’ve been calling Stephan all year actually prefers to be called Jude.

And before you get all defensive about the bigotry thing, let’s be clear: Discovering that something you do might be construed as bigotry doesn’t mean anyone is calling you a bigot. It’s just an opportunity to grow. An opportunity to understand that doing something a little differently shows others that you respect them. At some point in your life, someone probably taught you to hold the door open for the person coming in behind you. Before then, maybe you didn’t know. Opportunity to grow. It’s that simple.

How to Get it Right

The best way to get students’ names right is to just ask them. Pull the kid aside and say, You know what? I think I’ve been messing up your name all year, and I’m sorry. Now that graduation is coming, I want to say it perfectly. Can you teach me?

By humbling yourself in this way, you let them see that you’re human. You’re modeling what it looks like to be a lifelong learner, a flexible, confident person who is not afraid to admit a mistake. Regardless of the outcome, a genuine effort on your part will mean so much, and when the big day comes, they might even root for you to get it right.

If you have hundreds of names to learn, get systematic: Starting now, carry around a clipboard with all the names you’ll need to say – even those you think you already know, and start checking in with kids in the cafeteria, in the halls, in the stands at a basketball game. And for God’s sake, write down what they tell you. When the big day comes, the page of names you read from should look something like this:

TwoNames2

Do whatever it takes, using whatever kind of symbols or notes you need to get the right syllables out in the right order. (The apple is there to remind the speaker to say that “a” like they would in the word apple.)

If you’ve run out of time to ask students themselves, or if doing that is too uncomfortable for you, you can get some help online. On Hear Names, short voice recordings made by native speakers from each name’s country of origin pronounce the name for you.

Whatever you do, do something. For some students, you may be the first person who ever bothered. If the only time you say their name is in the classroom, your correct pronunciation will help the whole class learn it, too. Eventually that will ripple through the school, making that student feel known in a place where before they felt unknown.

And if you have the honor of announcing them on the day they receive their award, their diploma, the day that marks some big achievement, you have a unique opportunity to make it even more special, but you only have two seconds: Make it count. It’s a gift they’ll remember for a long time. ♥

 

West Goshen “Back-to-School”packets available online

We are happy to announce a more convenient way of completing the annual summer mailing forms, through Skyward Family Access. In Skyward Family Access, you can complete on-line forms for your student as well as access grades, attendance, discipline, and much more.  For instructions, go to skyward.goshenschools.org and click on “Skyward Family Access Help.” Online forms are saved with your student’s record and immediately available to school staff. Since this is a “test” year for the new online option, if you have students in other schools besides West Goshen and GHS, you will still need to complete the paper version.

Downloadable forms are located here. Look under “West Goshen Packet” should you prefer printing then filling out the paper version. You may pick up a packet at the West Goshen Main Office from 7:30a-4:00p M-TH starting July 16th. Paper versions of packets can be returned to the office.

Estamos muy contentos de anunciarles que ahora contamos con una manera más conveniente de completar el paquete que mandamos por el correo durante el verano a través de Skyward Family Access. En Skyward Family Access, usted puede completar todas las formas, tener acceso a las calificaciones, asistencia, disciplina y mucha más información de sus estudiantes. Para revisar las instrucciones, vaya a skyward.goshenschools.org y haga clic en el ícono  Skyward Family Access Help”. La información que se complete en las formas se guardará en el archivo de su estudiante y estará inmediatamente disponible para el personal escolar.

Las formas que se pueden descargar están localizadas aquí here. Si prefiere imprimir y llenar las formas en papel, busque el paquete bajo “West Goshen Packet”.  A partir del 16 de julio, el paquete completo también se puede recoger en la Dirección Escolar de lunes a jueves de 7:30 am. a 4:00pm. Los paquetes que se completen a mano se pueden entregar en la Dirección Escolar.

GHS “Back-to-School” packets available online

We are happy to announce a more convenient way of completing the annual summer mailing forms, through Skyward Family Access. In Skyward Family Access, you can complete on-line forms for your student as well as access grades, attendance, discipline, and much more.  For instructions, go to skyward.goshenschools.org and click on “Skyward Family Access Help.” Online forms are saved with your student’s record and immediately available to school staff.  This is a “test” year for the online option, if you have students in other schools besides West Goshen and GHS you will need to complete the paper version for them.

Downloadable forms are located here. Look under “GHS Packets” should you prefer printing then filling out the paper version. You may pick up a packet at the GHS Main Office from 7:30a-4:00p M-TH starting July 16th. Paper versions of packets can be returned at laptop distribution in August

Estamos muy contentos de anunciarles que ahora contamos con una manera más conveniente de completar el paquete que mandamos por el correo durante el verano a través de Skyward Family Access. En Skyward Family Access, usted puede completar todas las formas, tener acceso a las calificaciones, asistencia, disciplina y mucha más información de sus estudiantes. Para revisar las instrucciones, vaya a skyward.goshenschools.org y haga clic en el ícono  Skyward Family Access Help”. La información que se complete en las formas se guardará en el archivo de su estudiante y estará inmediatamente disponible para el personal escolar.

Las formas que se pueden descargar están localizadas aquí here. Si prefiere imprimir y llenar las formas en papel, busque el paquete bajo “GHS Packets”.  A partir del 16 de julio, el paquete completo también se puede recoger en la Dirección Escolar de lunes a jueves de 7:30 am. a 4:00pm. Los paquetes que se completen a mano se pueden entregar el día de la distribución de las computadoras portátiles (laptop) en agosto.

Education Day at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair

Friday, July 20, 2018 is Education Day at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair. There will be free admission for students and education staff from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Park Events begin at 10 a.m.) Sponsored by Teachers Credit Union

Come enjoy the opening day of the Elkhart County 4-H Fair with your family!

All students and employees of schools will receive free admission into the fair with a current/valid school/district ID, a letter signed from the Principal’s Office at your local school on school letterhead OR a copy of a 2017-2018 report card.  These items can be presented at the Education day tent located at Gate G.

Elkhart County Sponsors $50,000 in Cash Prizes for Inaugural Leaf Collection Competition

GCS teams, clubs, classes, families or friends: If you are looking for a way to raise money, check out this innovative fundraiser that will also help clean up our county!

From the County:

Citizens of Elkhart County have the opportunity to clean the county during this coming fall season while also competing to win $50,000 in cash prizes. The Elkhart County Commissioners and Solid Waste Management District are sponsoring a leaf-collecting competition, where the group collecting the most leaves from unincorporated areas will win the largest portion of the $50,000 cash prize. All groups that bring in three tons of leaves are guaranteed $1,000 in cash prizes, with the rest of the prizes being allotted based on groups’ final collection total. Registration begins today and ends on August 31; the competition occurs between September 10 and November 21.

Since November 2017, plans have been forming on ways to combat the prevalence of leaf burning that occurs in unincorporated areas of Elkhart County. Smoke from burning leaves has negative impacts on public health and quality of place, especially in densely populated subdivisions. The competition is one of five pilot programs designed to address leaf burning in unincorporated areas of the county.

Bob Kronemyer, an Elkhart resident and environmental activist, said of the competition, “There is concrete momentum toward addressing outdoor burning in Elkhart County, and I applaud county government in following through on this creative effort. The more community involvement, the better outcomes for improved air quality.”

Groups of any kind may register for the competition, as long as the primary contact person resides in Elkhart County and the group is not affiliated with a for-profit business. Admittance into the competition is on a first-come-first-serve basis, with a maximum of 25 participating groups. There is no entry fee to register. Only leaves collected in unincorporated parts of Elkhart County will be accepted. A consent form for each property where leaves are collected needs to be shown at time of drop-off to ensure that leaves were collected in unincorporated locations and that the property owner gave consent. Groups will receive their prizes by February 1, 2019. All rules are included in the registration packet and can be found at https://www.elkhartcountyswmd.com/leaf-collection-competition.

For more information or to sign up, visit https://www.elkhartcountyswmd.com/leafcollection-competition. Questions can be directed to a.turner@sbenfocus.org.

1. Sign up

○ There are two eligibility criteria for groups participating in the Elkhart County Leaf Collection Competition: (1) the group must not be affiliated with a for-profit business, and (2) the primary contact person must reside in Elkhart County. ■ Helpful tip! Are you unsure if your group is eligible to participate? Email a.turner@sbenfocus.org to discuss. ■ Helpful tip! There is no limit to the size of your group. If your group is small, consider collaborating with other groups so you can collect a larger quantity of leaves. ○ All members of the group must be participating in a volunteer capacity; they CAN NOT receive compensation for their participation in the competition. ○ There is no entry fee to sign up or to participate in the competition. ○ The sign up sheet must be completed and return emailed to a.turner@sbenfocus.org on or before August 31, 2018. The competition is limited to 25 groups, first-come-first-serve, so groups are encouraged to sign up early. ■ Helpful tip! Make sure your designated “contact person” is over 18 years old. ■ Helpful tip! The sign up form asks if you’d like us to include your email on the Elkhart County SWMD Web site. This might help you identify homeowners who want their leaves collected as part of the competition. If you aren’t comfortable with having your personal email on the site, consider making a new email address specifically for the competition.

2. Collect leaves

○ Groups can collect leaves from any resident located in unincorporated Elkhart County. Groups should NOT collect leaves from incorporated areas of Elkhart County where leaf collection is already provided (including the City of Elkhart, City of Goshen, City of Nappanee, Town of Bristol, Town of Middlebury, Town of Millersburg, and Town of Wakarusa). Any groups found collecting leaves from incorporate d areas will be disqualified from the competition and will not receive any prize.■ Helpful tip! Are you unsure if a property is incorporated or not? Look at our printable or online competition map (page 9 of this document) to be sure! Also, before you collect leaves from a property, ask the property owner if their municipality provides leaf collection services. ■ Helpful tip! Use your network of family and friends to identify residents that might welcome help collecting leaves. ○ Groups may NOT charge property owners or accept payment for their work. Additionally, groups may NOT pay property owners for leaves. Any groups found charging property owners , accepting payment for their work, or paying for leaves will be disqualified from the competition and will not receive any prize.○ Before collecting leaves, groups are required to get approval from the property owner and complete the other fields on the “Property Information Form.” Any group s that DO NOT receive approval from property owners before collecting leaves are trespassing, will be disqualified from the competition, and will not receive any prize. ■ Helpful tip! Groups could have property owners fill out the “Property Information Form” in advance, saving time during the leaf collection visit. ○ Groups can collect leaves using whatever method they see fit (raking, blowing, curbside pickup, etc).

3. Bring collected leaves to the Elkhart County Landfill to be weighed

○ The official competition dates will be from September 10, 2018 to November 21, 2018. Leaves dropped off at the landfill on one of the official dates, during posted business hours, will contribute toward your group’s collection total (“Collection Total”); leaves dropped off at the landfill at any other time will not contribute toward your group’s Collection Total. ■ Helpful tip: The Elkhart County Landfill is located at 59530 County Road 7, in Elkhart. The Landfill is open Monday through Friday from 7:00am to 4:45pm, and on Saturdays from 9:00am to 11:45am. ○ When arriving at the landfill window, be sure to state that you are participating in the leaf collection competition and the name of your group. Also, give the landfill staff member your completed Property Information Forms. ○ Place loose leaves in the public leaf pile as directed by landfill staff. Landfill staff will weigh your vehicle when entering and leaving the landfill, and will record the weight of the leaves in a spreadsheet. ■ Helpful tip: Be sure to follow all instructions from landfill staff. They are here to help! ○ Only leaves shall be dropped off at the landfill’s leaf pile. Any group s found leaving bags at the landfill, or dropping off significant quantities of other waste, will be disqualified from the competition, and will not receive any prize.

4. At the end of the competition, fill out a feedback form

Feedback forms will be emailed to the contact person designated on your signup form before the competition begins ○ Please fill out feedback forms honestly and thoroughly. It will help us to make the competition better in the future! ■ Helpful tip: Don’t procrastinate. Consider filling out the feedback form as you go. ○ The feedback form must be completed and return emailed to a.turner@sbenfocus.org on or before November 30, 2018. Groups who do not complete and return feedback forms by this date will be disqualified from the competition, and will not receive any prize .

5. Receive your prize

○ All participating groups that comply with competition rules and drop off at least 3 tons of leaves (“Threshold Amount”) will receive a “threshold prize” of $1,000. ○ Groups whose Collection Totals exceed the Threshold Amount, will have their excess leaves counted toward the “grand prize.” Groups exceeding the Threshold Amount will receive a pro rated share of the “grand prize” ($50,000 minus funds distributed as threshold prizes) based on their percentage of leaves, collected during the competition, that exceed the Threshold Amount.○ Any prize money a group earns will be paid to the contact person listed on the sign up form, and sent to the address listed on the sign up form, before February 1, 2019.

GHS Graduate Josie Strader to Perform with Youth Brass Band of Battle Creek

From Battle Creek, MI: The Brass Band of Battle Creek (BBBC) is proud to introduce the 2018 Youth Brass Band Camp Participants.

The Camp will take place July 16-20 at Marshall High School. The Camp will feature some of the world’s top brass musicians as faculty, and will conclude with a FREE public concert at Marshall High School at 7:00 p..m. on Friday, July 20th.

“We are extremely excited this year to host this outstanding educational experience for high school bandsmen from across the Midwest!” Jeremy Root, BBBC Camp organizer and BBBC Director of Education and Outreach said. Root is also the band director at Marshall High School. “Those who attend will get a once-in-a-lifetime experience, an opportunity to learn from, and play with, the very best musicians today,” he added.

The mission of the Brass Band of Battle Creek is “To bring joy, understanding and inspiration through the power of music.” This year will mark the fifth year of the Youth Brass Band Program and the second as a day camp. Presently, 40 students (including recent GHS graduate Josie Strader) are enrolled from throughout Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois, including many from Calhoun County and the program seems to be working well, Root said. A few of the former students, now in college, are returning to help out, “It’s exciting to see these students succeed in college after coming through our program,” Root added.

The free concert, which is open to the public, will take place on Friday, July 20th at 7:00 p.m. at the Marshall High School Auditorium for Performing Arts and will showcase what these outstanding young musicians have learned.

Congratulations, Josie!!

Recognition for 2017-18 GMS Music Program

2017-18 was a banner year for Goshen Middle School music ensembles, featuring many wonderful performances and opportunities for performances to be recognized at the local, state, and great lakes regional levels.

In February, hundreds of middle school students performed as soloists and in ensembles at Elkhart Central.  A few students playing at the highest difficulty of music were eligible to perform at the state event later that month.

A few weeks later the middle school jazz strings and jazz band performed at the district jazz festival.  Jazz ensembles at the middle school level are uncommon and yet both ensembles received Gold ratings.

All Goshen Middle School bands, orchestras, and choirs were adjudicated at the ISSMA (Indiana State School Music Association) large group event with most ensembles receiving Gold ratings and the Wind Ensemble and 6th Grade Band receiving Gold Ratings with Distinction.

In May, the orchestra and choir traveled with students to Sandusky, Ohio to perform for adjudication and in competition with other ensembles from Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.  All ensembles received great ratings from the adjudicators and GMS earned the top overall orchestra award for the festival.

Finally, the well-rounded musical education enjoyed by our students earned Goshen Middle School the ISSMA All-Music Award for Band and Orchestra; one of just a handful of middle school programs in the state to do so. Nice job, directors and students!!

Goshen is a wonderful place for students to get their musical start and to make music in small and large ensembles!