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 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.

TVSC Parents – Important Survey Information! We need your input!

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Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation is in the process of reviewing and revising the strategic plan for our district’s collective future and ask for your input for our focus for the next five (5) years.

In the fall of 2018, TVSC received an IDOE Innovation Planning Grant which gives us the foundation to explore further what our staff and students need to thrive (academically and social-emotionally or mental health, work-life balance) and how transforming their experiences at Valley can be a catalyst in this endeavor.

Please take a few minutes to complete the brief survey.

Fast Facts:
1. Survey only takes a few minutes.
2. It will gather valuable data for the district as we plan for the future.
3. Survey window is March 18 through March 29, 2019.
4. Survey is conducted by Bright Minds Marketing, Indianapolis.
5. Survey results will be presented and shared.

Copy and paste the English or Spanish survey link below:

English – (Parents and Staff) Survey Access Link

Spanish Survey Access Link

Thank you again for your time and commitment to Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation.

Kindergarten Registration – Monday, March 11, 2019

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Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation is excited to welcome the Class of 2032!  Kindergarten Registration will be held Monday, March 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Akron and Mentone Elementary Schools.  Incoming kindergarten students will be 5 on or before August 1, 2019.  Parents should bring birth certificate, immunization records and any other important documentation.  Childcare will be provided for siblings during the event. Any questions, please call the school office. 

Valley Insight for January 2019 – Author Scott Backus, TVMS Principal

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Peter Drucker, an author on organizational leadership, stated this about leadership, “The ultimate task is unmistakable: to lift all of those in the organization to higher heights. How do you influence people, not push people around because you have power?”

True leaders lift others up. For me, there are no more poignant examples of this than Scott Bibler and Brian Hooker. As I stood in a long line in the Rochester High School gymnasium waiting to pay my respects to Coach Hooker, I overheard a group of RHS alumni telling stories about their time with Coach Hooker. Some spoke of time in class, some spoke of time on the athletic field, and some even spoke of a side conversation or two he had had with them about decision making. A couple of years ago, I was the alum standing in a viewing line with my classmates talking about how Coach Bibler did all of these same things for us. Brian and Scott both made it a point to say hello, shake your hand, and talk to you. It was hard to walk away from a conversation with either of them without feeling uplifted.

The challenge in education is to develop these same skills in our students. The mission at TVSC is that we are committed to student success through the development of character, leadership, and literacy. How can we grow servant leaders who will go out into the world and impact others?

At Tippecanoe Valley, we have many great examples of groups who work as servant leaders. A few examples include the TVMS student council working the Thanksgiving and Christmas food pantry at Mary and Jerry’s Helping Hands, TVHS PEERS providing mentor support to middle school students, and elementary students ringing the bell to raise money for the Salvation Army. This list could go on for pages, given the time.

How can we grow leadership skills in all of our students, even if they are not in these leadership groups mentioned above? I believe that we have to provide great role models for kids. When adults – whether it be coaches, teachers, cooks, custodians, etc. – model servant leadership, others see it and learn from the example. We have to take every opportunity to teach students to serve others and lift others up, especially in a world where this is not always the norm.

At TVMS, we make a daily effort to display positive leadership traits for students. We start each day with a reading on good character and leadership from Project Wisdom. We model our Viking Way in all areas of school: be respectful, responsible, and ready. We teach a character and leadership education curriculum called Life Skills through health class. While these examples are of specific programs, we adults look to model this attitude daily, too.

I also believe strongly that sports develop leaders. Learning the skills to work with a team, showing sportsmanship, working hard to improve, knowing your role, and dealing with adversity are all critical to developing good character and becoming a leader. These skills are drastically more critical to a student’s future success than winning and losing an event. Do you lift people up on your team? Do you give credit to the team? Is the success of the team more important than your personal success? These are all characteristics of a leader.

We all have examples in our own lives of people like Brian and Scott who modeled great character and leadership. The challenge for all of us is to continue the legacy of those folks who impacted us, to pay it forward, by leading and lifting up others.


TVSC Awarded IDOE Innovation Planning Grant

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 Akron – On Tuesday, December 4, 2018, Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation was notified of the award of a $30,000 Innovation Planning Grant through the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE).

The Innovation Planning Grant is available to school corporations to assist in the formulation of a plan for the thoughtful integration of technology into teaching and student personal learning. The scope of this grant supports professional development, technology readiness assessments, among other resources and opportunities.  The Innovation Planning Grant was made available by the IDOE through the David C. Ford Technology Fund.

This award will allow the corporation’s grant leadership team to work with an external vendor(s) for additional support.  The team will start with a self-assessment using the framework of Future Ready Schools. The Future Ready Schools framework will help guide the team to plan and implement personalized, research-based digital learning strategies so all students can achieve their highest potential. Areas of the district’s self-assessment will include Personalized Student Learning, Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, Use of Space and Time and Personalized Professional Learning.

Areas that the external assessment could include in the technology audit are infrastructure and tech readiness indicators. Instructional observations will give an overview of the schools’ learning culture and areas of opportunity for enrichment in professional development. Multiple data points will be used such as class visits, student and staff focus groups, and surveys.

The grant leadership team will visit at least two Indiana school corporations identified by the Office of eLearning as having already successfully launched/implemented 1:1 initiatives and will participate in professional development learning opportunities offered by the Office of eLearning and other organizations.

Other grant recipients of the 2018-2019 Innovation Planning Grant are Blackford Schools, Herron Charter and Riverside Charter, Indianapolis Public Schools, Merrillville Community School Corporation, North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation, Pike County School Corporation, and Southeast Neighborhood School of Excellence (SENSE).

More information can be found at:


For more information on Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation, contact:

Lori Tilden-Geiger

Director of Marketing, Public Relations and Grants

Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation

8343 S SR 19

Akron, Indiana  46910





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Tippecanoe Valley High School Recognized as an “A” School

On November 14, 2018, the Indiana Department of Education released State and Federal Accountability Report Cards (Letter Grades) for Indiana public, private and charter schools using data from the 2017-2018 school year.

Federal Accountability Indicators include Academic Achievement, Academic Progress, Graduation Rate, College and Career Readiness, Progress in Achieving English Language Proficiency. For state’s student center accountability report card indicators included growth in English/Language Arts and Math along with other multiple measures.

Tippecanoe Valley High School was the only high school in the Three Rivers Conference (TRC) and Fulton and Kosciusko Counties to receive the “A” designation from both the state and the federal accountability standards.

Congratulations to Tippecanoe Valley High School for receiving an “A” on both the federal and the state report cards – A true reflection of the dedicated staff and students at TVHS.

Mentone Elementary Hosts Veterans Day Program

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It is our privilege to once again honor our Veterans with a program on Friday, November 9, 2018, at 10:15 am. This is our way of thanking you for your service to our country. It will be held in the Mentone School Gym.

You are welcome to come and have lunch with your child following the program, however, there will be a wait for some of you due to your child’s/children’s lunch time and the end of the program. Our lunch schedule is as follows:

Kindergarten 11:25 Third Grade 12:10
First Grade 11:40 Fourth Grade 12:25
Second Grade 11:55 Fifth Grade 12:40

Our cafeteria will provide you and your spouse’s meal that day. The cafeteria is serving Chicken and Noodles, Mashed Potatoes, Corn, Mandarin Oranges, Cake, & Roll. If you would like to wear your uniform, please feel free to do so. We also ask that you not go to classrooms unless arrangements have been made with your child’s teacher ahead of time.

We will provide coffee, cookies, and a place for you to relax until your lunch time.

Please return the form below to the office, or you may call the office at 574-598-2590, if you will be able to attend. This helps our cafeteria staff know how many meals to prepare.

Thank you for your service to our country.


I will be able to attend the program and lunch on Friday, November 9.


Name of Student(s): ____________________________________________

Teacher(s) Name (s) _____________________________