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October Newsletter

October 3, 2016


This Wednesday, your child will bring home a letter of invitation for this year’s Student-Led Conference event.  Among other details within the letter, you will be asked to designate which evening (Oct. 24 or Oct 25; between 5:00 – 8:15 PM) you will come back to Discovery so that your child can share his/her digital learning portfolio with you.  Please indicate your preference at the bottom of the letter and have your child return that portion to their first period teacher immediately!  Students will work with their teachers in EVERY class so they can accurately SHOW their learning strengths and weaknesses.  Students will also talk through their SRI (Scholastic Reading Inventory) and ISTEP reports with you.  This presentation is an important way for all of our students to OWN THEIR LEARNING and talk about their personal progress!


Over the past two weeks our students have taken two assessments that help guide their learning…the reading inventory AND Acuity, which correlates very positively with ISTEP+.  ISTEP testing will take place this winter (Feb. 27 – Mar. 10) and next spring (Apr. 17 – May 5).  Our goal is that 100% of our students pass their grade level ISTEP test! 


Principals have been asked to share information about School Messenger with our parents. Please note the attached links within the School Messenger article which will help you use this notification service.  Also, note that you have to go online for community event/activity fliers. 


Our fall sports season is nearing a conclusion.  Cross Country finals took place Saturday with Discovery Boys winning the tourney and the Discovery Girls taking runner up honors.  The boys also were the regular season champs within our conference.  Volleyball and football will be concluding their seasons this week.  First Lego League teams are forming and clubs have begun.  Please refer to our website for meeting times and places.  The results from recent Spell Bowl quizzes have been used to determine our final team members.  The regional Spell Bowl is November 1 at Kesling Middle School in La Porte. 


Teachers and students have been working together to make learning more visible.  We want students to USE the vocabulary of their learning and SHOW what they know and can do.  Please don’t hesitate to initiate discussions with your child about concepts they are learning in all content areas and expect them to knock your socks off with their depth of understanding.  If they have trouble doing this, go onto Canvas with your child and have them use their lessons or agendas to prompt these conversations.  Continue to be in communication with us to set high expectations for learning at Discovery!


Be forever mindful of what your child is doing on the internet and on their individual cell phones.  Students don’t always understand that sharing information through these formats can be harmful to themselves and to others!


With your child in mind,

Mrs. Sheryll Harper, Principal




Penn-Harris-Madison utilizes the School Messenger® alert notification service to distribute emergency messages, such as school closings, delays and student attendance (for unexcused absences).


School Messenger’s InfoCenter ( is the new parent/guardian portal which will allow you to set the preferences of how you want to receive these important notifications. Families with students in different schools will have all matching records linked to their accounts.


You must have an email address on file with the school in order to utilize SchoolMessenger InfoCenter. If you do not, please contact the school to provide one. You will utilize this email address to create an account and login into InfoCenter. If you are providing a new email address or updating your email address with the school (Monday-Friday), please wait until the following day to logon on to to create your account. If you have any problems after providing your email address, please contact the school office.


InfoCenter accounts are set up with the corresponding parent/guardian email addresses on file. If the school has only one email address on file, parents/guardians will share one account. If individual parents/guardians wish to have accounts set up separately, they must provide separate email addresses. This will allow each parent/guardian to have their own InfoCenter account and set up their own preferences for their contact information. There can only be one email address per parent/guardian.


If you wish to change your contact phone numbers listed in InfoCenter, you must contact the school. You will not see the reflective change until the following business day. At that point you can update your preferences.


The preference configurations within SchoolMessenger InfoCenter allow you to set your consent state to also receive text messages and emails. At least one phone number must be selected for Non-school Hours Emergency, School Hours Emergency and Attendance. These classify as emergencies and therefore you cannot opt to only receive these emergency notifications via text or email. Please disregard the Survey box under the preference configurations. The District will not be using this feature at this time.


Please visit today to create an account and set up your preferences.


You can also manage your account by downloading the SchoolMessenger InfoCenter App from the App Store and Google Play.


Instructions for how to set up your account, with step-by-step directions and screen grabs are on the
P-H-M website at