Student Flu Shots/Las vacunas contra la gripe para estudiantes

CareDox will be offering free flu shots to all of our students this year. Clinics will be held at each school based on the schedule below. Sign up online at  or complete the paperwork that was sent in the mail to your home and return to your school nurse.  If you have any questions please call 1-800-566-0596.

Vacunas gratuitas contra la gripe. Registre a su hijo para recibir una vacuna gratuita. Regístrese en línea visitando o devuelva la forma que enviamos a casa.  Administraremos las vacunas contra la gripe en la escuela de su hijo el 13 o 14 de noviembre. Si tiene preguntas llame al 1-800-566-0596.

For more information and consent forms, click on the links below.
Para obtener más información y formularios de consentimiento, haga clic en los enlaces a continuación.

Information for Flu Shots
Información para las vacunas contra la gripe

Consent form in English
Consent form in Spanish

Date/Fecha: 11.13.18 / 13 de noviembre de 2018 Date/Fecha: 11.14.18 / 14 de noviembre de 2018
School/Escuela Time/Hora School/Escuela Time/Hora
Chamberlain 8:15 – 10:15 am Waterford 8:15 – 11:15 am
Model 8:15 – 11:15 am Merit 8:30 – 11:30 am
Parkside 8:15 – 10:15 am Chandler 8:15 am – Finish
Goshen High School 11:00 am – Finish West Goshen 11:45 am – Finish
Goshen Middle School 11:45 am – Finish Goshen Online Academy 1:00 pm – Finish
Prairie View 11:00 am – Finish

“The Nature of Life is to Grow” (13) GHS Freshmen

Today we visited Goshen High School to observe a couple of freshmen classes. What we saw was both inspiring and slightly nauseating! The first classroom we visited was Preparing for Colleges and Careers where the students were discussing their futures. The second class we visited was a New Tech Biology/English class where the students were dissecting pigs.

When we entered Mrs. Amy Walters’ class, the students were working on an “entrance ticket”. There were two questions for them to answer: 1) When you think about your future, what is the scariest thing for you, and why? 2) What do you feel most confident about with regards to your future, and why?

The students discussed some of the scariest things for them, including: “Paying bills; I am scared about what will happen to me, am I going to be happy, will my family be there to help me?; and dying alone or being lonely”.  Mrs. Walters said that one thing another class mentioned was “How do I find a partner that will stay with me for life?”

The things the students felt most confident about included: “I am confident I will succeed, because if I fail I can always just start over; I am confident in the career I want. I want to be a cardiologist; I feel good knowing I have family around; and knowing I have a good support system.” Mrs. Walters asked the student who wants to be a cardiologist if he is prepared for the amount of hard work ahead of him if he pursues that career. The student said yes, that it is important to him because his grandfather has experienced heart problems. Mrs. Walters told the student to keep in mind the possibility of doing an internship at the hospital during his high school years, as it would give him a chance to learn more about a medical career.

Mrs. Walters then switched gears and spoke about the pressures high school students face when trying to decide what to do after graduation. The students came up with some of the options they have, including college, community college, tech schools, and apprenticeships. Then the students got into small groups and wrote some answers to questions posted around the room about “pressure”. For example, “What pressures do you think you will feel after you graduate?” and “Who pressures you the most?” (As the students moved from question to question, Mrs. Walters played Queen’s “Under Pressure”, which was pretty cool.)

When the students had answered all of the questions, they went around again and circled the answers that they felt were the most important. And then they discussed the answers and the pressures that they feel. At one point, Mrs. Walters asked “How many of you realize you have more in common than you have different from each other?…Are you alone in this journey?” Some students responded by saying yes, to which Mrs. Walters said “NO! You are not alone! You are all going through the same thing, asking the same questions. And we are here to help you, and you have many opportunities to try different things in high school to help you make decisions.” Then she asked the students if “going to college is the only way to get a good job? Do you believe that?” After some discussion by students, they agreed with Mrs. Walters who said, “No, there are plenty of pathways to good jobs.”

And then we were on our way up a couple flights of stairs to visit a freshmen New Tech Biology/English class with two teachers (Aaron Willis and Paige Pobocik) and 38 students. When we arrived, the students were getting ready to do pig dissection, and Mr. Willis was explaining how to make the first cut.

He explained to us that he had been moving the students slowly toward the actual dissection, taking it step by step to ease them into it. What the students will learn from the project according to Mr. Willis is “how oxygen and sugars get through all the systems in the body”.


When he was done explaining how to make the first cut, and how to be careful not to cut too deeply and damage the organs that they want to study, the students got started with the dissection (at varying speeds and excitement, to be sure!).



The students worked on their pigs, all of whom had been given names by the students. Some of the names: Pumbaa, Frank Sinatra, Chris P. Bacon, Miss Piggy, and Penelope.

Ms. Pobocik, pictured below helping students, teaches the English portion of the class. She told us that the class had just started reading their first novel, a Young Adult dystopian book entitled “Breathe” in which the earth has run out of air. She said she is excited because the book fits in well with the things they are learning in biology about cellular respiration. She added that “in the book, all of the citizens are living in a pod with fake, manufactured air.” From a review of the book: The world has no air. If you want to survive, you pay to breathe. But what if you can’t? And what if you think everything could be different? Three teens will leave everything they know behind in Sarah Crossan’s gripping and original dystopian teen novel of danger, longing, and glimmering hope. It sounds like a book that will definitely capture the students’ attention!

The students also had a worksheet to fill out with questions about internal organs. You will notice that the worksheet is actually of a human body, which the students told us “are very similar to a pig’s insides”.

At the end of the class, each group put their pig into a bag with their pig’s name on it, and then got a couple of glasses of preservative put into their bag by Mr. Willis to keep their pig in good shape for their next dissection session.

Pictured below are Mr. Willis and Ms. Pobocik, teachers for this New Tech course.

Once again, we are amazed at the things that GCS students are talking about and doing!

In the first classroom, students were discussing the pressures they feel to plan their lives around a possible career that they haven’t really decided on yet and don’t know if they will really like. However, unlike many generations of students before them, they have been given a specific class to consider their futures, to have a chance to discuss the pressures with their peers and their teacher, and they are getting a much earlier start in planning their career pathway. The students will have plenty of chances during their GHS career to take different classes, pursue internships in areas of interest, and to talk to teachers and school counselors about their futures.

In short, there is now a structure in place to assist students with their questions and planning. During high school, all students will choose some areas that they are interested in, figure out some careers that would fit with those interests, and then with the help of GHS staff, figure out the educational pathway that will help them reach their career goals. The students plan for up to 7 years after high school so that when they graduate their plan is set, all they have to do is work the plan!

In the second classroom, students were dissecting pigs, something that many high school students do not ever get to do in high school. And really, there is just nothing like the valuable, hands-on learning that comes from the real-life scenarios like the students had today! The students will likely always remember this particular day in science lab 3020 at GHS and the additional knowledge that will help them understand their own health and how their own bodies function.

A hearty thank you to Mrs. Walters, Mr. Willis, and Ms. Pobocik for allowing us into your classrooms today. And a huge thank you also to the students who spoke freely even with someone new in their classrooms. Students, you are off to a great start at GHS! Please take full advantage of all the opportunities your school has to offer you.

2018 Winter Coat Drive

Goshen Community Schools is now accepting coats for the 2018 Winter Coat Drive. The collection will continue through November 29th.

Items to donate: Coats, gloves, scarves, snow boots, and snow suits

Condition requirements: New/gently used items, no holes/tears, smoke free, and zippers must work

If you have questions, you may contact Mrs. Stella Garcia at 971-4149. All items will be distributed to Goshen families throughout the winter season.

2018 Donaciones de Rope de Invierno para Goshen Community Schools, 29th Octubre-29th Noviembre

Artículos para donar: Chamarras, guantes, bufandas, botas de nieve, y pantalones de nieve

Condiciones de artículos: Neuvo/usado poco, sin daños, libre de humo, y cierre debe fuciónar

Author to Visit Parkside Today

From Parkside teacher, Mary Brookins:

Author Suzanne (Buckingham) Slade will visit Parkside Elementary on Thursday, November 1st to share her love of writing with the children. Originally from Goshen, Ms. Slade attended Goshen schools herself. She will visit in classrooms throughout the day to read aloud some of her own books and answer questions. She is scheduled to start at 9:00 a.m. and will share with each grade level. She will return for the Parkside Presents in the evening starting at 6:30 to speak with families and friends and to autograph books.

From the author’s website:
Fun Facts:

My Family: Husband (Mike) and 2 children (Christina & Patrick)

Pets: Cutest dog in the world (Corduroy)

College degree: Mechanical Engineering

Hobbies: Bicycling, rollerblading, baking, and walking my dog

“I enjoy visiting schools and present up to four 45-minutes sessions per day.” During each presentation I share: 

– how I became an author

– the importance of research and revising

– an *amazing* science experiment from my book

– how a book is made

– a behind-the-scenes video of what authors really do

– and answers to all student questions (Yes, all of them!)

Questions and Answers from the website:

How do you learn about the people/events in your books?   Research is the most exciting and challenging part of my job. When I’m researching a new project I read piles of books (usually primary sources) and visit museums and historical sites.I also interview experts so my stories are accurate (and hopefully interesting!)

How are the illustrators for your books selected? Usually Editors and Art Directors at publishing houses (who know a lot about art) carefully select the perfect illustrator for each book, though sometimes they ask authors for ideas too.

How did you become an author? My journey to become an author began in first grade when I wrote my first story. It was sloppy with 22 misspelled words, but my teacher, Miss Hudson, said it was “absolutely terrific” and gave it two stars and a smiley face.

In 4th grade my teacher asked each student to write to his/her favorite author. I wrote to Beverly Cleary and she sent back a letter with a handwritten note. I learned  authors are real people and very nice.

In grade school, my family took a trip. I wrote about the places we went and drew pictures in a journal.That was my first book!

In college I studied engineering. After graduation I worked on car brakes and Delta and Titan rockets. Working in engineering was exciting!

Years later my husband and I went to Paris, France for work. One day we got a phone call saying a special baby had been born back in the U.S., so we flew right home and adopted our daughter. I became a stay-at-home mom. A year later I had our son. As I read piles of picture books to my children I decided to try writing children’s books.

It took over 8 years and 80 rejection letters before my first book was published. And I hope to keep writing books for a long time!

Do you have a blog? Yes! I’m part of PictureBookBuilders blog along with 7 incredible illustrators and writers — Jill Esbaum, Tammy Sauer, Linda Ashman, Jennifer Black Reinhardt, Pat Zietlow Miller, Kevan Atteberry, and Mike Boldt. Please visit us (we often give away books and stuff!)

Don’t miss author Suzanne Slade at Parkside Presents tonight at 6:30 p.m.!

“The Nature of Life is to Grow” (12) GMS Opportunities

In this edition of “The Nature of Life is to Grow”, we checked in at Goshen Middle School again to observe more of the opportunities that are available to students.

The first stop was at one of the GMS modular classrooms. In one of the units, students can participate in a couple of alternative classroom options; APEX and Read180 which both use online learning, and Changing Gears, a new program this year.

Derek Gilreath is the teacher in charge of the APEX and Read180 classes, and he provides support for the students as they work on the online curriculum. Mr. Gilreath explained that none of the students are in the modular classroom all day, “some are here for maybe half of the day, and some are in and out throughout the day while also attending regular classes. Or, some students come here to our program, and then go to GOA (Goshen Online Academy) during the second half of the day….We try to be very flexible with students so that we can meet their individual needs and provide the educational settings that work best for them.” Mr. Gilreath stated that he works with approximately 32 students who come and go throughout the day.

Mr. Gilreath also explained that the alternative school is not just utilized by students who, for whatever reason, do not spend the full school day in a standard classroom setting. Some students choose to add an APEX class period to their schedule in order to earn high school credit while they are still in middle school. For example, GMS students may take elective high school classes such as Health, World History, Music Appreciation, and Earth & Space Science for high school credit.

The other half of the modular hosts a new program for GMS called “Changing Gears”. As you can easily tell when you walk into the space, the program involves working with and fixing bicycles. Kyle Weldy is the teacher in charge of Changing Gears, and he spent his summer learning bicycle maintenance from local pros so that he would be ready to go at the start of the school year.

The program is a good one for students as it teaches them a useful skill, builds confidence in their own abilities, and is based on a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) class with practical and relevant ties between academics and bicycle building. Mr. Weldy stated that the students also keep a journal on the things that they have learned and the work they are doing, which will help them practice their writing skills as well as keep a log of all the bicycle repair skills they acquire.

Both Mr. Gilreath and Mr. Weldy stated that there is a possibility that their two programs will be separated into the two different modular classrooms at GMS, as the other unit is not used as extensively as the one they occupy. They said that while the two programs can co-exist, they are fairly different and one certainly requires a quieter setting than the other.

Mr. Weldy stated that if the two programs were separated, he would like to see an expansion of programming for Changing Gears. “It would be nice to enhance the students’ STEM skills by having a small showroom area that could house the repaired/recycled bikes which the program could sell. In so doing, the students could 1) create and maintain a website for the sale of the bicycles, 2) educate the public about the class 3) allow the students to learn about running a small business and keeping the books, and 4) manage the purchasing of parts and supplies for bicycle repair.

Below, a student works on cleaning the lines for easier shifting. Mr. Weldy noted that this particular student is a regular bike rider, and has taken care of his own bike for a while so he is a little more knowledgeable than some students in the program. “We do get students with varying skills or knowledge about bicycle repair, but everyone in the program can learn the basics.”

On the wall of the “shop” section of the modular is a list of Changing Gears expectations. They include: 1. Upon arrival, check the board for the day’s tasks. 2. You must be actively participating in bicycle repair and maintenance. 3. Use tools responsibly and share when necessary. 4. At the end of class, all tools will be put away and the shop will be clean and ready for the next class. 5. If you want or need to take a short phone break, you must be pedaling on the exercise bike (10 minute maximum!).

Next, we went back into the main building and found the new Engineering & Design class at GMS, taught by Yanith Springer. Mrs. Springer stated that this particular class was a class of 6th graders, who were working on a coding and electrical unit. “Each group made up their own game, created an active foot board, completed the circuit and then connected it to their computer to play the game.”

The student below quickly lost us in the explanation of how he coded his game. However, we did understand that he was “making it so the zombies get harder and harder if you go to another level…I’m adding “if” statements….I couldn’t figure out what was happening, but now that I went back a little bit, I realize that I misspelled something and that changed everything! I am correcting it now.”

Mrs. Springer laughed and said that she often tells the students that “you have to be particular with every step, because every step is important. And that proves the point!” Mrs. Springer also pointed out a flow chart on the wall which she refers students to when they are stuck. The chart includes: Define problem (asking questions, thinking through solutions, and collecting information); Generate concepts (research past solutions, brainstorm possible solutions, EVERYONE is participating and sharing, and no judgement of ideas); Design a solution (pick one concept/idea, create a sketch of prototype, DETAILED is key, and models for the solution); Build and test (build it, test it, analyze it, reflect, and if flawed go back); Evaluate solution (test, reflect, recommend improvements, receive feedback, and go back steps if needed); and Present Solution (formal presentation, show process, brainstorming, sketches, and improvements).

Mrs. Springer stated that the Engineering and Design class is an elective, so students are in the class if they choose to put it in their schedule. “I have all kinds of students in my classes; high ability students, students with special needs, anyone really. I just try really hard to make sure that everyone is involved in each project’s process in some way, because I want everyone to feel and be successful at the end of a project.”


One of the projects an 8th grade class worked on was making  a “desk-cycle”. The students had a model to look at, and they took apart a complete bicycle and then used the parts to make their own desk-cycle. Mrs. Springer reported that a local welder took design instructions from the students and welded their first model for them. She said the students will continue to refine the desk-cycle, and the local welder said he is willing to assist the students any time, at no charge!

Our last visit was an after-school stop at the Goshen New Tech Middle School Student Council meeting. (Goshen International Middle School also has a student council.) The sponsor for the New Tech group is Mrs. Krista Troyer, and she said that the group meets every Tuesday after school at 4:00 p.m. The group meets all year, but she explained that some students come and go if they are involved in a sport during a season, which happened this fall with volleyball and soccer. When asked how the students are chosen for student council, Mrs. Troyer said that “it is not a huge, rigorous process; we want kids to be involved. Some students are recommended by their counselors or teachers, and some simply express their interest to be on the student council to me. If they ask, then I follow up with their teachers to make sure that they are a good fit, and can handle the responsibility.”

On this day, the group was continuing to plan their activities for the year. “What do we want to keep, or what do we want to change?” asked Mrs. Troyer. One student volunteered to write down all of the suggestions as they were given by various students. And as students gave ideas and others sometimes commented, Mrs. Troyer reminded them that “This room is a judgement-free zone. I don’t want people to feel shot down when they share ideas. Please keep that in mind.”

Several times Mrs. Troyer had the students “turn and talk” to people nearby to discuss ideas. But after a while, she said “Okay we are going to discuss again, but this time you need to move around and talk to someone new. It is important for you to move outside of your comfort zone!”


Some of the ideas that the students talked about for the rest of the school year included: Student Appreciation (from teachers and staff); Hoops Night; Soccer Night; Meme recreation dress-up day; Carnival Night with Ivy Tech Latino Club; New Tech Spirit Wear (RedHawk); Minute to Win It; Field day with a picnic, tug-of-war, give aways, and a DJ; a spring school dance; a school festival that raises money for a charity; a service project day with the Salvation Army; a Color Run to benefit a charity, and cleaning up the GMS campus (outside of the school).

Unbeknownst to us, there was another after-school meeting taking place just down the hall: Mrs. Vilma Padilla and Ms. Maria Tovar were meeting with another great group of students, the GMS Latino Club.


As you have probably figured out by now, there are many, many opportunities for students at Goshen Middle School. There are elective classes which students can take to enrich their educational experience, and there are even classes they can take for high school credit. However, aside from classes and credits, there are still many opportunities for students to learn and grow. Students may participate in athletics (cross country, soccer, football, volleyball, cheer leading, basketball, swimming, wrestling, golf, track, tennis, and intramural sports), music (band, orchestra or choir), plays or musicals, Student Council, Latino Club, Academic Super Bowl, Robotics Club, Builders Club, National Junior Honor Society, Red Thread Jazz Strings, Ski Club, Yearbook and more. There is literally something for everyone!

According to the GMS website: “Middle school is a time for students to explore their individual interests and develop talents to prepare them for the numerous opportunities at Goshen High School. Middle school is also a time to develop and build foundational knowledge and skills needed to persist in high school, college and beyond.”

We believe that GMS provides many opportunities for students to be involved in their school community, to grow, and to learn the skills necessary for life beyond the halls of GMS and GHS. Goshen Middle School may seem like a large place at first, but with two academic pathways to create smaller learning communities and plenty of opportunities for everyone to get involved, GMS should begin to feel like every student’s own personal place. 

Thank you for showing us your community, GMS!

Purl Street Closing

Purl Street will be closed from the railroad tracks to 5th Street starting Wednesday morning (October 31, 2018).  It will be paved on Saturday, November 3rd.

This will impact Goshen High School and the GCS Administration Center. Please use alternative routes and give yourself extra time to get to the GHS/Administration campus.


Miles for Music Fundraiser-Saturday, Nov. 3

The GHS Music Department will host the annual Miles for Music Fundraiser on Saturday, Nov. 3rd at GHS.

The event will begin with a 5K Run and a 3K Walk.

8:00 a.m. Check-in/Registration Begins at GHS

9:00 a.m. Run/Walk Starts

8:00-11:00 a.m. Pancake & Sausage Breakfast (GHS cafeteria)

$20 Early Bird Special (through Nov. 2)

$25 Regular Price (on Nov. 2)

Pancakes included with run/walk entry. $6 for the Pancake Breakfast only.

Register online:

Questions? Contact the GHS Music Office at 574-533-8651 Ext. 2518

Coffee with the Superintendent

The public is invited to attend Coffee with the Superintendent on Wednesday, October 31st at 9:00 a.m. This is an informal time to meet with Dr. Woodworth and the Assistant Superintendents. Bring your questions, comments, suggestions or just come for refreshments!

This gathering will take place at the Administration Center located at 613 East Purl St, Goshen.

Little Big Ideas Grant Opportunity

Teachers, students, families, and clubs: Please take note of this grant opportunity!

We’ve got exciting news — the Little BIG Idea Grant is back for another year!

We’re giving out micro-grants of up to $1,000. The catch is: It’s got to be FUN!

In the last year, we had so many amazing projects. The Middlebury Pumpkin Race was all sorts of cool. Goshen Youth Arts’ Faces project showed off the talents of incredible young artists. Concord High School students went above and beyond to lift everyone’s spirits with the Heroes of Hope project.

Can you re-create this kind of scene in your community?

We want to see every fun, quirky, creative, zany, goofy, hilarious, gut-busting, heartwarming, momentous, energizing, powerful idea you have.

You can apply anytime, and it’s super easy! Click here for the online application.

We can’t wait to see what you have in store!

The Little BIG Idea Grant Committee

P.S. Huge, huge thanks to the Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Community Foundation of Elkhart County for backing this project!

Superintendent Step In: GHS Weight Room

We hope you enjoy this new video, as we took a look at the updated GHS weight room.  GCS superintendent Diane Woodworth learned more about how the room is used for physical development, and even tried some of the equipment with the assistance of instructor Craig Frazier.

“The Nature of Life is to Grow” (11) GMS 8th Grade

Today we visited 8th grade classrooms to see what GMS 8th graders are studying, and how much difference there might be between the 7th graders that we saw last week and the 8th graders today. First we visited Mrs. Terry Hussey and Mrs. Brandi Sapp’s combination class called Math/Lit. (English).

When we got to the classroom, Mrs. Hussey was working with the students on the math Warm-up. She was using words like table, slope, function, and rate of change.

She asked the class “Function or equation, which one do you want to start with?” And then after some work, “Which one is proportional? Point your finger in the direction of the one that is proportional. Everybody pick one. Okay, raise your hands instead…Alright, finish this for homework tonight. If you don’t understand a problem, circle it. I want to make sure you understand things; if you don’t, I need to know.”


Then Mrs. Hussey moved on to another section, and shared the objective for this day and for the next day. “Today we are looking at parallel lines, tomorrow we will look at at perpendicular lines.”

Mrs. Hussey began a working a problem and leading a discussion on lines and slopes. She asked the students “What is the slope, positive or negative?” When she called on a student and he didn’t know the answer, she stopped and said “You don’t know? Okay, let’s go back over it. We don’t want to move on until you know it.”

While the students were working on a problem, Mrs. Hussey explained to us that this particular class is called Integrative Math, which is a combination of Geometry and Algebra. “When the students are done with the class, they can take the exams for both Geometry and Algebra and can earn high school credit for both classes. They don’t have to take the Geometry exam, but they do have to take the Algebra exam.”

She also noted that even though the class is a class for 8th graders, there are currently two 7th grade students taking the class as well.The 7th graders in the class are pictured below.

While she was working problems and explaining concepts, Mrs. Hussey was also moving around the room, checking to make sure that all students were taking notes, working the problems, and staying engaged in the discussion. She encouraged them to “put those words down on your papers. Those papers are for you. I’m telling you, this chapter is going to get difficult, you need to take notes and be prepared.” At one point, she added “I already did this math alone in school. I’m not going to do it now. Let’s do it together….We’re in Geometry class, we can prove everything! Don’t believe me? It’s okay, I can show you.”

As the students worked on graphing, Mrs. Hussey asked them, “Who else loves graphing?!! I love to graph.”

As they continued to work on their problems and take notes, Mrs. Hussey reminded them that “this is Math/Lit. so please write your observations in complete sentences!”

Mrs. Hussey asked them to work on two problems at the end of class, saying “I want you to do these two problems before you leave, and then I will collect them and look at your work tonight. I want to check your graphing and make sure you are doing it correctly.” Throughout her class period, Mrs. Hussey encouraged participation in the discussion, even if some of the students were not completely sure of their answers. The math curriculum seemed quite rigorous, but with Mrs. Hussey’s examples, teaching, encouragement, and persistence, the students appeared to be taking it in and grasping the concepts.

We stopped at Bryan Kauffman’s classroom next, to see what the 8th graders are doing in U.S. History. As you can tell from the pictures below, Bryan’s room has a number of posters that will let students know for sure that they are in a U.S. History classroom!


Another item that was front and center in Mr. Kauffman’s classroom was a picture from last year’s 8th grade trip to Washington D.C., and information about the upcoming trip in the spring of 2019. The trip is somewhat of a tradition at GMS, and is packed with plenty of sightseeing and learning.

The class started by working on an entrance ticket, and then looking at “Journal Entry 1”, before they began to talk about moving on to Journal Entry 2. Mr. Kauffman said “How you did on your first journal entry will influence your work on the second entry.” He encouraged the students to look at his feedback on Journal Entry 1 before they started the next Journal Entry, and told them that they would have the full period to work on the second entry.

The objective for the day was: You can understand the critical events of time period number 2, and reflect on the events through the viewpoint of your character as evidenced by completion of Journal Entry #2.

(The students were all given characters in history, and were then given the assignment to write about specific historic events from the perspective of their character. The characters they were assigned included The King, a patriot, French fur traders, British citizens, loyalists, Native Americans, and free black colonists.)

Mr. Kauffman reminded students to use their rubric when working on their Journal Entries, and asked them “Do you remember what all was in your rubric?” After some thought and discussion, the students came up with all of the parts: The entry must be five paragraphs, you need to tell what happened, you need to tell why it matters or why it was important, and you need to illustrate what led up to the event.

As students began to work, one of them asked if they could listen to their music. Mr. Kauffman said  “You can listen to music as long as you are being productive.” And honestly, the students were quiet and very focused on their work throughout the class period.

Through the use of their technology, the students could choose to sign up for a mini workshop with Mr. Kauffman to get additional help with some of the ideas they had been working on in class. One such idea was the use of repetition, or repetitive phrases, in writing.

In the small group workshop, Mr. Kauffman asked the students “Why do we use repetitive writing?” Following discussion among the teacher and students, they came up with this reason: The use of repetitive phrases plants the idea firmly into the listeners’ brains. It makes the idea stick.

Mr. Kauffman noted that when the students go to the GCS elementary schools to share their stories with 5th graders, the use of repetitive phrases will help the 5th graders remember more about their stories.

Then all of the students worked on their writing assignments, with occasional reminders or remarks from their teacher such as “Make sure you are embedding history into your story.” and “Some of you have the model right next to your writing, what a great way for you to work!”

While the students worked, Mr. Kauffman strolled around the classroom, providing counsel to those who had questions or who just wanted to bounce ideas off of their teacher.

Mr. Kauffman told us that what he likes about these kind of writing assignments is that he can give the students direct feedback. For example, “I tell them, here is what you did in your writing assignment, and here is the next step to take in your writing…I don’t know when I first got this type of feedback or instruction in learning how to write, not this early, but we really want to develop strong writers here, so this is important stuff.”

Again during this visit to GMS, we noticed that the students continue to grow and take enormous steps (perhaps leaps?!!!) along their educational journey. Their teachers challenge them with rigorous curriculum, but they also provide enough support and encouragement to keep them moving forward and learning more.

Thank you to Mrs. Hussey and Mr. Kauffman, for letting us observe in your classrooms. There are definitely exciting things happening in your classrooms, and your students will be well-prepared for high school. And to the students, thank you for allowing us to watch as you worked, and questioned, and answered, and thought in deeper ways than you might have thought were possible. You are well on your way to educational success!


GHS Junior Chosen for IDOE Student Advisory Council

Congratulations to GHS junior Joseph Narayan, who was chosen to be a member of Indiana Department of Education’s Student Advisory Council. Joseph will serve a two-year term on the council.

The Advisory Council is composed of one student from each of Indiana’s nine congressional districts, plus two at-large members. They will be invited to the Indiana Statehouse once per semester during their junior and senior years. The meetings will last approximately two hours, and dates will be decided at the beginning of each semester.

The purpose of the council is to provide a forum for high school students to participate in meaningful discussions about educational matters impacting the local, state, and national level. Students on the Advisory Council provide valuable stakeholder input for the IDOE. Their first meeting will be on October 30.

Congratulations, Joseph. Thank you for representing Goshen High School!

10-12-18 Press Release and Parent Letter (Spanish and English)


Text Messages Shared with Local Authorities

On October 11, 2018, Goshen Community Schools leadership was made aware of texts that were sent from a paraprofessional at the high school to one of the students.  Since the content of the texts was inconsistent with policy, the district immediately placed the employee on a leave of absence and contacted law enforcement to review and investigate the messages.

“Our priority is always the wellbeing of our students,” stated Dr. Diane Woodworth, Superintendent of Schools.  “In today’s world, we work closely with our local authorities when an issue like this arises.  In addition, we provide additional support and counseling for any students if it is needed.”

District officials noted that since this is an active investigation by law enforcement, all further questions should be directed to the local authorities. If anyone has additional information of concern regarding this incident, the Goshen Police Department should be contacted.  If individuals have academic or school questions, they should not hesitate to call the Superintendent’s office or contact their building principal.

“We will conduct our own internal investigation to ensure that district policies are followed with regard to the paraprofessional,” noted Superintendent Woodworth.  “If at any point parents have concerns around text messages or inappropriate use of social media by any member of our staff, we ask that you share those concerns with our district leadership.”

Goshen Community Schools is committed to reminding all employees about the importance of using text messages and technology appropriately and professionally.  In addition, the district will continue to provide orientations and professional development activities that help employees understand both the dangers of technology and how to engage it appropriately.

Superintendent Woodworth emphasized the year is off to a great start, “In spite of this unusual situation, we are off to a great 2018-19 school year.  I am so impressed with how our students strive for excellence in all that they do. Truly, our students and alumni are enriching the world, both locally and globally.”

To read the parent letter in Spanish or English, click on the link below:

10-12-18 Letter to parents English and Spanish


Chamberlain 3rd Grade Visits Merry Lea

So much excitement seeing preserved Mastodon bone fragments, tusk pics and Peat under microscopes at Merry Lea. Over heard from an excited table of 3rd grade boys, “I could stay and look at these all day!” Right on kids, go Science! #sciencerocks


Hispanic Heritage Month

During National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) we recognize the contributions made and the important presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States and celebrate their heritage and culture.

Hispanic people have had a profound and positive influence on our country through their strong commitment to family, faith, hard work, and service. They have enhanced and shaped our national character with centuries-old traditions that reflect the multi-ethnic and multicultural customs of their community.

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402. Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15, which is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile and Belize also celebrate their independence days during this period and Columbus Day (Día de la Raza) is October 12.

The term Hispanic or Latino, refers to Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race. Today, 57.5 million people or 18% of the American population are of Hispanic or Latino origin. This represents a significant increase from 2000, which registered the Hispanic population at 35.3 million or 13% of the total U.S. population.

Please share with GCS in this special annual tribute by learning and celebrating the generations of Hispanic and Latino Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society.

GMS Counselor Named ASCA School Counselor of the Year Finalist

GCS and Goshen Middle School are pleased to announce that GMS School Counselor Jan Desmarais-Morse has been named an American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Counselor of the Year Finalist. Congratulations, Jan!

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) is pleased to announce the six finalists for the 2019 School Counselor of the Year awards program (#SCOY19). The award honors the school counseling professionals who devote their careers to serving as advocates for the nation’s students, helping them achieve success in school and in life.

The six finalists are:
Roberto Aguilar, Milwaukie High School, Milwaukie, Ore.
Brian Coleman, Jones College Prep, Chicago, Ill.
Jan Desmarais-Morse, Goshen Middle School, Goshen, Ind.
Desire DeSota, Waianae High School, Waianae, Hawaii
Sarah Kirk, Monroe Elementary School, Norman, Okla.
Nwakaego Edordu Oriji, Dr. Billy E. Dade Middle School, Dallas, Texas

From these six finalists, one will be named the 2019 School Counselor of the Year.
Nominations for the School Counselor of the Year awards program were submitted by the state school counselor associations. The School Counselor of the Year awards panel was composed of representatives from AASA: The School Superintendents Association, ACT, the College Board, the National Association for College Admission Counseling; and representatives from: Brambleton Middle School, Ashburn, Va.; Chicago Public Schools, Chicago. Ill; Dominion High School, Sterling, Va.; George P. Mullen Elementary School, Manassas, Va.; Georgetown Middle School, Georgetown, Del.; St. Theresa School, Ashburn, Va. The panel selected the finalists based on several criteria, including school counseling innovations, exemplary comprehensive school counseling programs, leadership and advocacy skills and contributions to student advancement.

“The School Counselor of the Year award is an esteemed recognition for our profession,” said Richard Wong, Ed.D., ASCA executive director. “School counselors make significant contributions to the overall well‐being of students and their success. Their unique qualifications and training allow them to support students’ academic achievement, career development and social/emotional needs. This award highlights their commitment, dedication and excellence.”

The finalists and their principals will travel to Washington, D.C., in late January for special celebratory and educational events. The finalists will be honored in an award ceremony and be formally recognized at a black‐tie gala.


About the American School Counselor Association:
The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) professional organization based in Alexandria, Va. ASCA promotes student success by expanding the image and influence of school counseling through leadership, advocacy, collaboration and systemic change. ASCA helps school counselors guide their students toward academic achievement, career planning and social/emotional development to help today’s students become tomorrow’s productive, contributing members of society. Founded in 1952, ASCA has a network of 52 state and territory associations and a membership of more than 36,000 school counseling professionals. For additional information on the American School Counselor Association, visit

New GCS Video Feature, the “Superintendent Step In”

Goshen Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Diane Woodworth, Webmaster Megan Eichorn and her GHS student intern Alex Ramos, and Assistant to the Superintendent/PR Lori Martin are teaming up to bring the Goshen community a new video series called the “Superintendent Step In”. In this new series, Dr. Woodworth will go into classrooms throughout the Goshen district every week, and will participate in whatever the students/classrooms are doing.

All GCS teachers have been asked to contact the superintendent’s office if they are interested in having Dr. Woodworth step into their classroom, to see what the students are learning and see what they are doing on a daily basis. So far, we have filmed in two classes (Engineering/Design and Weightlifting), and we have two more visits scheduled in elementary classrooms. We hope that the GCS teachers will invite Dr. Woodworth into their classes for the routine things that they do, but we have also invited them to find special challenges for her as well!

When each video is ready, it will be posted on the GCS website, the website of the school in which the Superintendent Step In was filmed, and the GCS Twitter and facebook pages. The goal is to eventually visit one classroom per week, and to post videos on Friday afternoons.

Look for Dr. Woodworth to show up in future videos in classes like Building Trades, elementary P.E., Music or Art classes, IB Chemistry, or Theater. Dr. Woodworth also taught math before she was an administrator, so we know she would love to visit those classes!

The first video will be released tomorrow afternoon, don’t miss it!