Running is Elementary Date Announced, May 6, 2024

We are thrilled to announce that the P-H-M Education Foundation is providing funding for the 15th annual Running is Elementary program!

SAVE THE DATE!  The date is May 6 (Rain Date May 8).

All P-H-M 4th & 5th grade students are invited to participate.  Students will practice at their home schools with the culminating run at Elm Road Elementary School.

More details will follow so be on the lookout for communication regarding signups. 

Take a look at the video below to see how fun and exciting it is!

Students Lick Their Way to the Center of a Tootsie Pop

It’s the 100th day of school so our Bobcats have been doing activities centered around the number 100.

Debuting in 1970, there is a famous commercial for Tootsie Pops that asks the question: “How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?”


Inspried by the commercial, students made a prediction on if they thought 100 licks would be enough to get to the center. Then they expirmented to see if they were right!

Students were given work sheets that went up to 100. After each lick they would mark a box to see if they were right.

counting licks

Take a look at more photos below!

Bittersweet 5th Grade Students Crush the Spellbowl Competition!

On November 13th, 2023, our 5th grade Bittersweet Spellbowl students competed at North Liberty Elementary School for the regional Spellbowl competion.

We took first place!  On November 14th 2023, we found out we tied Central Elementary School in Valparaiso for FIRST PLACE in Indiana!

Way to go, Bobcats! Special thanks to the coaches and support staff for making this possible: Mrs. Leniski, Mrs. Metcalf, and Mrs. Cichoracki!

Penn ASL Students Inspire Bittersweet First Graders with Sign Language

American Sign Language (ASL) students from Penn High School embarked on a special mission to Bittersweet Elementary School today. Their goal? To spread the magic of sign language and raise awareness within the community for the hearing impaired.

Bittersweet students learned the alphabet as well as basic words including colors.

Penn students teach asl to bittersweet students

The visit was not just about learning sign language; it was also about fostering understanding and empathy for the hearing-impaired members of their community. Community outreach is part of the ASL 3 curriculum.

But the story doesn’t end there. On September 15th, 2023, well over 100 students from both Penn High School and Elkhart High School came together in a powerful display of unity. Using the beauty of sign language, the signed the National Anthem at the Elkhart vs Penn football game.

Penn and Elkhart students sign the National anthem

The community outreach of Penn’s ASL program showcases the power of education, empathy, and unity in fostering a more inclusive and compassionate community.

Bittersweet Elementary Walkathon: A Step Towards Thriving Education

Bittersweet Elementary recently witnessed an outpouring of support and enthusiasm during its annual Walkathon event. The elementary school, known for fostering an environment where student learning thrives, once again demonstrated the power of community, as students, staff, and some family volunteers came together to raise funds for a brighter future.

walkathon students posing

Incredible Students: The heart of any school is its students, and Bittersweet Elementary boasts an incredible group of young learners who are not only passionate about their education but also eager to make a positive impact on their community. 

Awesome Staff: The staff at Bittersweet Elementary play a pivotal role in shaping the educational experience. They understand that building strong relationships with students is the key to optimal learning. During the Walkathon, they showed their support not only by participating but by cheering on the students every step of the way.

Incredible Support of Families: The backbone of Bittersweet Elementary is its supportive and engaged families. Their generosity and commitment to the school are truly remarkable. Their presence and involvement in the Walkathon highlighted the strong bond between the school and its community.

The funds raised during this year’s Walkathon will contribute to several essential aspects of the school:

1. Classroom Supplies: Ensuring that every classroom is well-equipped with the necessary learning materials is crucial for effective education.

2. Art Program: Encouraging creativity through art is an integral part of Bittersweet Elementary’s curriculum. The funds will help maintain and expand this vital program.

3. Field Trip Transportation: Field trips provide students with hands-on learning experiences. The funds will help cover transportation costs, allowing students to explore the world beyond the classroom.

4. Positive Behavior Rewards (PAWS): Recognizing and reinforcing positive behavior helps create a harmonious and respectful learning environment.

5. Community Building Events: These events foster a sense of belonging and unity among students, staff, and families, enhancing the overall school experience.

6. Student Only Special Days/Activities: Special days and activities add excitement to the school calendar and create cherished memories for students.

7. Extracurricular Education: Supporting extracurricular activities allows students to explore their interests and talents outside of the regular curriculum.

Walkathon students pose

The success of the Walkathon is a testament to the shared commitment to providing Bittersweet Elementary students with the best educational experience possible. The school acknowledges that no donation is too small, and every contribution plays a significant role in shaping the future of its students.

Bittersweet Elementary extends its heartfelt gratitude to everyone who participated, donated, and supported the Walkathon. It is through the collective effort of students, staff, and families that this event was a resounding success, reminding us all that at Bittersweet Elementary, the journey of education is truly a community endeavor.

2023 Music Instrument Night – Monday, March 6 and Tuesday, March 7

Monday, March 6 and Tuesday, March 7
4:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation is nationally recognized as one of the “Best Communities for Music Education” offering choir, band and orchestra at Schmucker, Discovery and Grissom Middle Schools.

Every P-H-M 5th grader who will be attending a P-H-M middle school as an incoming 6th grader in the Fall 2023 has the opportunity to join an instrumental music class, which includes either band or orchestra. “Instrument Selection Night” is when students and families get to make their choice!

In order to join 6th grade band or orchestra, students must select an instrument that they will learn throughout their time in their chosen class. Our Instrument Selection Nights are designed with the intention of helping your child make this decision.

At “Instrument Selection Night,” a music professional will be available to give students advice about which instrument may be best suited for them. They will be allowed to “try out” instruments from various instrument groups. Click here to visit the expansive website with more details on on Instrument Selection Night.

You will sign up for an appointment at one of our Instrument Selection Nights. Try to sign up at the middle school where your child will attend. If those dates do not work, you may sign up for one of the other nights. Click here to sign up.

 Click here to download a PDF that provides more information on PHM Band and Orchestra.

We Won the “I Love To Read Challenge”

We received quite the surprise on Monday, February 6th, 2023 when Pete Byrne WSBT from WSBT-TV stopped by to inform us that we won the “I Love to Read Challenge!”

After informing us that we won, Pete read “Not Norman: A Goldfish Story” to the students and took some time to do a Q&A with the audience.

The story will aired on WSBT, click here to see the video segment!


PHM Schools Polling Locations on Nov. 8

Voting Information

2nd Grade Classes Release Final Butterfly

Science quite literally “came to life” this Fall and our second grade students were able to see it with their own eyes!

Each second grade class had several “Butterfly Gardens”, contained habitats with live caterpillars in their rooms. As the students learned about the life cycle of butterflies they could observe the caterpillars as they fed, formed their chrysalis, then emerged as a beautiful butterfly.

butterfly emerge

Each time a butterfly was ready to be released, all of the second grade classes would gather to watch it fly away. 

Today’s release was the last one and it couldn’t have been a better day for it. See some photos below!



Pen Pal Meet Up Day!

Bittersweet and Moran first grade students have been writing letters back and forth through a brand new pen pals program! (Not to be confused with Penn PALS, the P-H-M preschool program)


Each student has been writing to a “buddy” at the other school. The latest letter that the Bittersweet students wrote was an invitation to the Moran students to visit Bittersweet.

Today that visit happened. Not only did the “buddies” meet each other, but they also spent time with and got to know each other over the course of several hours.

Bitt and Moran student

The buddies sat together through drawing and arts and crafts lessons before heading down to the Digital Video Theater & Planetarium.

Bittersweet DVT

The pen pal program is expected to run through the duration of the school year. The Moran students plan to reciprocate the Bittersweet hospitality by inviting Bittersweet students to visit Moran some time around Thanksgiving. Stay tuned!