Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students:

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Dear Staff, Parents, Guardians, Students and to the Valley Community,

Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation officials, in coordination with federal, state, and local government and health officials have been very closely monitoring the Coronavirus (CO-VID2019). 

All schools in the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation will follow the schedule below.  Students will gather and organize all of their belongings to take home at the conclusion of the school day.  Additional information regarding the following schedule will be forthcoming in the next week from our dedicated educators and staff.

Monday, March 16                           School in Session:  2-hour delay

Tuesday, March 17                          Waiver Day:  Teachers Report

Wednesday, March 18                    Waiver Day:  Teachers Report

Thursday, March 19                        E-Learning

Friday, March 20                              E-Learning

March 23 – March 27

Monday, Wednesday, Friday          E-Learning Days

Tuesday & Thursday                         Waiver Days

Monday, March 30                           E-Learning

Tuesday, March 31                          Waiver Day

Wednesday, April 1                        E-Learning

Thursday, April 2                            E-Learning 

Friday, April 3                                  Waiver

April 6 – 10     Spring Break

TVSC will continue to monitor and update with any urgent updates or concerns.  Thank you always, and especially in this season for your continued support of Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation.

Information on CO-VID 2019 for TVSC Parents, Guardians, and Community

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March 10, 2020

Dear Parent or Guardian,

Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation (TVSC) officials receive frequent updates and guidance from the Indiana Department of Education, Indiana State Department of Health and are in close contact with the Fulton and Kosciusko County Health Departments regarding the recent outbreak of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

According to the Indiana State Department of Health, “CO-Vid 19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.”

Make sure your students know how to cover their coughs and sneezes by coughing or sneezing into their sleeve, and to wash their hands appropriately. They should not be sharing food or drinks with other students, and should avoid touching their faces, eyes, nose, and mouths.  If your child is sick, please keep them home. If at any time they have a temperature of over 100 degrees F, they need to be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication (like Tylenol or ibuprofen) before returning to school. This is always the case for school attendance, but is especially important during this time. Any student known to have had a fever less than 24 hours prior will be sent home.

TVSC would encourage our parents and the community to join us in the precautions, to work together in the general information awareness efforts and the everyday actions we can all take as prevention methods as recommended by the Indiana State Department of Health.   TVSC has also increased the amount and frequency of the environmental cleaning of surfaces most touched as a deterrent in the spread of any illness, especially during this season.

TVSC will provide any urgent updates or concerns as we receive them.  For additional questions, please contact your school nurse or family health provider.

For more information on CO-VID 2019, visit https://www.in.gov/isdh/28470.htm or  www.cdc.gov/covid-19

INDIANA YOUTH INSTITUTE AWARDS TIPPECANOE VALLEY SCHOOL CAPACITY GRANT

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Indianapolis, IN – On Friday, February 7, Indiana Youth Institute (IYI) awarded Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation (TVSC) the IYI School Capacity Grant, one of only four school districts in the state.

For three (3) decades, the Indiana Youth Institute located at 603 E Washington Street, Indianapolis, has supported the youth services field through innovative trainings, critical data, and capacity-building resources, aiming every effort at increasing the well-being of all Indiana children.

IYI’s mission is to improve the lives of all Indiana children by strengthening and connecting the people, organizations, and communities that are focused on kids and youth.

IYI’s vision is to be a catalyst for healthy youth development and for achieving statewide child success. They strive to create best practices models, provide critical resources, and advocate for policies that result in positive youth outcomes.

Every year, IYI creates the Indiana Kids Count Data Book, presents it to the legislators and creates issue briefs which inform the state of the top priorities for youth each year for the state of Indiana.

On January 24, 2020, TVSC’s Tania Grimes (Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment), Blaine Conley (Superintendent) and Lori Tilden-Geiger (Director of Marketing, Public Relations, and Grants) participated in a 1.5-hour finalist interview which took place at Akron Elementary with IYI’s Tracy Butler, Director of College and Career Connection (grant project lead).

TVSC’s project/grant award consists of the following:

Approximately 100 hours of coaching and technical assistance focused on strategic planning, program development, and/or school-community impact. The coaching and technical assistance will focus on advancing outcomes within the following areas and/or other areas the school identifies related to equitable college and career readiness:   expand the capacity of adults who serve youth; teaching the whole student/ supporting social emotional health; and strengthening academic outcomes.

An invitation was issued to TVSC to join peers from other participating awarded schools in a community of practice focused on equitable college and career readiness. The community will convene periodically, with the vast majority taking place virtually.  

Also included in the grant award is registration for two people to attend IYI’s KIDS COUNT Conference in Indianapolis on Dec. 1 – Dec. 2, 2020.

TVSC believes there is a direct imprint on student success according to their social-emotional wellness.  This opportunity to consult and work with professionals from the Indiana Youth Institute will fill equity gaps to organize and build a solid roadmap and implementation strategies for SEL (Social-Emotional Learning) in the district, positively impacting students’ college and career readiness and strengthening the Valley Community.

Tippecanoe Valley Kindergarten Registration

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Akron and Mentone Elementary Schools will hold kindergarten registration for the 2020-2021 school year on Monday, March 16, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. Child Care will be provided for parents with young children.

Students attending kindergarten during the 2020-2021 school year must be five (5) years old on or before October 1, 2020. A birth certificate, shot records and a valid email are required when the child is registered.

Early registration for kindergarten students is critical in planning for next year’s kindergarten program.  If you have a child to be enrolled but are unable to attend registration, please contact Akron Elementary School office at 574-598-2367 or Mentone Elementary School office at 574-598-2590 prior to March 16.

Valley Insight for January

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Valley Insight for January 2020

Author: Scott Backus, TVMS Principal

“Whose Going to Fill Their Shoes?”


As I sit to write my January article, I am again pondering the legacy of a great man who exited this life too soon.  In a similar story line to the loss of Coach Hooker at Rochester last year, Coach Shriver received a terrible diagnosis of cancer and in a very short time he lost the battle to this awful disease.  Couple this with the tragic plane crash that took Coach Bibler and Coach Smith a few years back and we have lost three pillars of the Valley community in a very short time.

When we lost Shrive, I dialed up Hank Williams Jr. on Pandora to remember my friend.  A song by George Jones came on, “Whose Gonna Fill Their Shoes?”  Of course he was singing about the legendary country singers who had passed away, but the message of the song hit me as I pondered the loss of another Valley legend.

I did not know Coach Smith well, but Bibs and Shrive were impactful in my life.  I credit a great deal of my personal success to these two gentlemen.  After talking to many friends and colleagues at the service, these guys had the same impact on the lives of a multitude of others.  It is said that leaders create a ripple effect.  Shrive and Bibs sent waves, not ripples.

There were many great stories shared about Shrive in recent weeks and many echo the stories shared after Bibs passed.  Everyone shared that Shrive made it a point to motivate you, challenge you to do better, encourage you, hold you accountable, and just genuinely show you that he cared.  He always took time to say, “What’s up?”  Bibs and Shrive embodied the TVSC mission of leadership and character.  They led by example because that’s who they were.  They challenged you to be a better person because they believed in you. 

I heard both men say many times on the football field, “next man up.”  So who is next up to lead like this?  Who is going to step into the role for the next generation of kids?  Who will be the next “legend?”

You will NEVER replace Shrive or Bibs, NEVER.  They were two unique human beings whose impact were significant to lives of so many people.  It is our duty as a school to build leaders like Jeff and Scott.  We must develop leaders who will leave a lasting impact on the people they serve.  We must continue to grow leaders who can change lives.

I heard it said at both memorial services, “We can honor their legacy by emulating their leadership.”  I’m reminded of a quote from Abraham Lincoln, a vague stretch for context here of course, but Shrive would love it. “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.”  It’s time for the rest of us to use the time we have and lessons we have learned from these great men to uplift and challenge the next generation of leaders.  How do we do this?

Janie Shriver said it best so I’m going to leave you with some of her words, “Be like Shrive. I’d like to tell you what that looks like. Give 200%, Value and protect your family.  Have high expectations of yourself and others. Help others anytime you can. Do it right the first time.  Put down your phone and be present.  Be honest – sometimes brutal. Show integrity. Let people know you care and appreciate them – even if you’re not feeling it that day. Ask God to direct your path. Fire Up the people around you.  Listen to some Hank Jr.”

Valley Insight for July 2019

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Brandon Kresca
Tippecanoe Valley High School Principal

 Understanding Learning- TVSC Challenging the Status Quo

Right now, Tippecanoe Valley families are enjoying the heart of summer, which happens to be my personal favorite season. Like many of you, I enjoy the: warm weather, bonfires, crops growing rapidly, sunsets, and most importantly for the purpose of this insight article, the pastime of riding bikes. Seeing young kids out riding their bikes through the parks and neighborhoods during the summertime always strikes joy for me. Oddly enough though, I often too think about the learning that at one point came from riding a bike.

According to research, an average American child learns to ride a bike somewhere between the ages of 3 and 8, with the average age being about 5 years old. Admittedly, I learned to ride my first bike at age 8. I guess you could say I was what society wrongfully labels a reluctant, slow, or struggling learner. Perhaps what triggered the eventual learning was the fact that my daredevil younger brother, at the age of 5, was learning to ride at a much faster pace with less mistakes. In reflection of this learning experience, I cannot help but think about the complexity of learning- how failure leads to learning, whether learning should really have deadlines, how people often learn very differently, and finally how sometimes society or traditional education tends to define what learning looks.

Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation is constantly on a mission to not only improve student learning, but also to challenge the status quo of traditional education. For example, both Akron and Mentone Elementary Schools have implemented standards-based report cards. Tippecanoe Valley Middle School has many programs including Catch-Up Café that offers students additional learning opportunities. All schools in the corporation have comprehensive Response to Intervention programs that address the question, “What do we do when students don’t learn?” In the spring, Tippecanoe Valley High School was recognized nationally for their efforts in challenging educational norms associated with learning in an article titled, “How One High School in Indiana Uses SEL to Unlock Academic Growth”. This article can be read at https://www.panoramaed.com/blog/sel-academic-growth-tippecanoe.

So, let’s go back to the analogy of my experience learning to ride a bike and see what we can take away about learning.  At TVHS, we frequently discuss the saying, “It is not when students learn, it is if they learn, and all kids can learn.” Certainly, we all know from learning to ride a bike that failure often leads to learning. Traditional education, as many of adults have experienced, requires content to be taught for a specific amount of time, a quiz or test given to assess learning, and then often the teacher would move on in order to cover the next topic. In this type of learning, we are not in tune to the fact that students learn at different paces and for many, failure is the avenue to true learning. Many students are left behind in this type of curriculum.

Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation teachers are committed to offering a variety of learning experiences for students and to tailoring the learning experience to meet the needs of all students individually. One way this has been done at Tippecanoe Valley High School specifically has been through opportunities for students to retake assessments. In fact, the conversation between student and teacher has shifted when mistakes are made on an assessment. Students are encouraged not to ask their teacher, “How do I get my grade up on this test, or is there any extra credit?” Instead students are asking teachers, “I have not been able to prove I have learned this yet, can I have another opportunity to show you I know this?” This type of thinking and conversation is what many refer to in education as a growth mindset. Just as we made mistakes and fell off our bikes a few times when learning to ride but kept going, students should be encouraged to make mistakes throughout the learning process in school.

Again, going back to the bike riding analogy, boy I am so very glad that riding a bike is not a part of a school’s curriculum. If it were, could you imagine having to assign a grade to learning to ride a bike? I probably would have received an F or a zero. At best, I would have probably earned just partial credit since I didn’t do it on time without many mistakes. Another way that Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation educators are challenging themselves to think about learning is by working to have grading practices that encourage growth mindset and do not discourage learning. Simply put, educators are thinking about the ways to assign traditional assignments, projects, and quizzes but grade them in ways that reflect student learning and do not destroy a student’s self-efficacy. The goal at TVHS is to make sure that any grade put in the gradebook is an accurate reflection of the learning the student was able to show on a particular concept. In summary, the process of grading practices at TVHS and TVSC is being challenged and it is important to be aware of this in viewing students’ grades.

The vision of TVSC is that Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation does whatever it takes to equip all students to be outstanding today, tomorrow, and beyond. One of the ways we are equipping students to succeed in all facets of life is by providing a learning experience that is unique to each student. Tippecanoe Valley is continuing to create equitable learning environments for students where, “All means ALL.” The beauty in the learning that came from the moment each of us took our first few pedals on a bike is that it all happened in a different way, at different times, and with different variables. Yet, we all did it! It is my sincere hope that all Tippecanoe Valley families enjoy the remaining weeks of summer. We will see you soon enough for another great year at Valley. Kids, get out there and ride!

Go Vikings,

Brandon Kresca





 

Valley Insight for June 2019

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Enhanced Communication at Tippecanoe Valley Schools

Cory C. Cooper
TVMS Assistant Principal


There are new and exciting changes coming to the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year. TVSC has three new programs that will enhance the communication between its district schools, the community, and for everyone who uses them. The three new programs are FinalForms, Eventlink, and Skyward.The Tippecanoe Valley Middle School and High School athletic departments have partnered with FinalForms, an online forms and data management service. FinalForms allows you to complete and sign athletic participation forms for your students. The most exciting news is that FinalForms saves data from season-to-season and year-to-year, meaning that you will never need to enter the same information twice! FinalForms also pre-populates information wherever possible, for each of your students, saving you time. For a student to participate in middle or high school athletics this upcoming school year, you must create an account on the https://tippecanoevalley-in.finalforms.com site and turn in a copy of the student’s physical. Valid physicals must have been completed on or after April 1, 2019.  The parent and student will sign off on required documents and their coaches and administrators will be notified of their eligibility.

The second program also supports communication about athletics and school events. Starting this fall, grades 6-12 athletic events will be accessible through the EVENTLINK app or website. Parents can now stay up-to-date with their student’s schedule with the ability to see every event with details, as well as practice schedules.  Parents will get daily reminders about the calendars they subscribe to, straight to their phone or email, and they will have the ability to print the calendar. Be the first to know about any changes through the app, by syncing and exporting calendars!

Our latest major improvement consists of upgrading the corporation’s K-12 student information system to Skyward. Skyward is a very powerful program with many new features that will streamline the corporation’s educational and management processes as well as allow for greater parent and student collaboration. TVSC expects this increased collaboration to result in closer partnerships between school and home, a key factor in improving student achievement. With anytime, any-device access to upcoming assignments, guardians can provide additional support and intervention from home.

Some new features that parents will notice:

  • The ability for parents to use the Family Access app to see all information pertaining to any child in their household on one screen.
  • Parents will be able to review grades, view messages and notifications, keep tabs on attendance, monitor behavior, see upcoming events with the built-in calendar and manage fees and payments for athletics, classroom and textbook, and food service.
  • Now, as soon as a teacher makes a change, that change will be available instantaneously.
  • Parents can also set thresholds that will trigger alerts that will notify them of changes in their student’s profile.
  • The portal’s social media-style message wall makes it easier for parents to communicate with teachers and support staff, while providing a single destination for important school/district announcements.
  • One of the biggest improvements for the 2019-2020 school year will be the streamlined enrollment process for the parents.

The target date for returning TVSC students to begin enrollment on the Skyward site is the week of July 29th. During the week of July 15th, parents should be looking for an enrollment letter to arrive in their mailboxes that will contain all the information necessary to complete the enrollment process.

Valley Insight for May 2019

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Author of Valley Insight for May 2019

Tania Grimes, TVSC Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment

Summer break is just around the corner.  Students and families are looking forward to swimming, travel, camp fires, and many outdoor activities.  While it is a great opportunity for families to spend more time together, it is also important that some of that time is spent reading throughout the summer.  When children do not read during summer break, many skills which were learned during the school year are lost over summer.  This is referred to as “summer slide.”  According to research by Children’s Literacy Initiative, children can fall 2 years behind in reading by 5th grade if they don’t read over the summer. However, parents can help prevent summer slide.

Before summer break begins, parents should sit down with children and set some goals for summer reading.  Goals could include a number of books to read, an amount of time to read each day, or a list of different genres to read each week.  The goals should be realistic and achievable.  A reward system could be initiated to provide incentive for your child to read each day.  Sharing an ice cream cone on a hot summer day is a great reward for summer reading!

       For children to maintain their interest, it is important to choose books which are not too easy nor too difficult for your child to read.  Now is a great time to talk to the child’s teacher to learn more about the child’s reading level.  Teachers are a great resource to get ideas of books for children’s summer reading.  Once parents have lists of books, it can be a fun adventure to visit the local public library with the child so that the child can choose books to read.  While at the library, inquire about their summer reading programs.  Most public libraries have inexpensive or free summer activities which help children connect to various books and authors.

       Parents need to show children that reading is a priority, and the more they read, the better readers they will become.  Modeling this is the best way to get children excited about summer reading.  One way to do this is to declare a daily reading time when parents and children all take time to relax and enjoy a book.  Another way to increase a child’s love of reading is for the parent and child to read together.  Taking turns reading paragraphs makes reading fun while enhancing the special parent-child bond.

       Summer break should be a time for your child to have fun.  Reading can be fun!  Packing books into your bag to enjoy at the beach, going on a “reading picnic” at a nearby park, or writing your own books together that your child can read to grandma or grandpa are all ways to instill a love of reading in a child.  While you’re having fun reading this summer, parents will be supporting their children and helping to prevent the summer slide.