The Power of Kindness

Kindness copy

Sunday evening is when we really start gearing up for the school week ahead. As we move into this week and knowing that in a couple of weeks we will hold our 4th Annual Run, Walk, Roll Against Bullying event, let’s focus on the power of kindness.

In thinking about the importance of kindness, a famous commencement speech comes to mind. George Saunders delivered a commencement speech at Syracuse University in May 2013. In that speech, he offered advice to graduates including his thoughts on kindness. As adults, perhaps we are able to relate to his words. An animated adaptation of his speech was produced. Click the link to see his reflection on the importance of kindness.


Some Thoughts on Kindness – George Saunders


One of the greatest things about Southern Hancock Schools and the town of New Palestine is the sense of community, the feeling of unity. We have a kind, supportive environment. We have seen it over and over again.

We all enjoyed seeing the community participate in a video to welcome our staff back to school this year. Likewise, we have seen a school district and community come together to show support for a little boy and his family who are facing challenges. We have all experienced being part of a town that proudly wears red and white to support student athletes. We have music students who provide entertainment at district events and families that come out in mass to show what it truly means to be “#newpalproud”.

The Annual Run, Walk, Roll Against Bullying is just around the corner. Is your family signed up to participate? This is a perfect time to come together once again. This is a great way to show students that we promote kindness in our schools. We hope you will join the movement.

The event is September 10th at 9 a.m. We hope to see everyone at New Palestine High School for the start of the event.

We would love to have you. We know this time of year is really busy with sports and commitments, but we would be thrilled to see all of you come out for this event!

At Southern Hancock Schools, we are known for innovative academic programs, high-quality instruction, top ranked athletic teams, accomplished athletes, and talented music and arts students. Let’s also show we are known for having a kind and welcoming school environment. Keep encouraging your students to lead the kindness movement in their school.

Click here for more information regarding the 4th Annual Run, Walk, Roll Against Bullying event on September 10th. Register online today.

CSCSHC Run, Walk, Roll Against Bullying

Run Walk Roll Against Bullying


Weather Update

Weather Update

The weather seems to be giving us a run lately. As you know, storms moved in quickly again this morning. Students in all buildings throughout the district were moved to shelter locations. Classes resumed once the weather warnings expired.

We closely monitor all weather situations and act quickly when threatening weather is moving into the area. We have a coordinated effort to ensure your child is safe at all times.

Thank you for your continued support. Hopefully the weather is clear for the remainder of the day and all enjoy a nice, relaxing weekend.

A sea of orange


Southern Hancock Schools was a sea of orange today in support of Sugar Creek Elementary Student, Brody, who is preparing for a bone marrow transplant. His classmates at Sugar Creek Elementary School lined the sidewalks as Brody rode by in a firetruck while students, staff and families showed their love and support. Today, our students at Sugar Creek took their learning outside the classroom. They learned a lesson about loving and supporting a classmate and friend. All of us at Southern Hancock Schools are thinking of the Stephens family.

A District’s Love for Brody



The calm after the storm

The calm after the storm

It is nice to hear the quiet outside after the raging storm this afternoon. The storm blew in just after elementary school dismissal. Some school buses returned to the elementary schools and some sheltered kids on the route. Our student athletes who were in our secondary buildings were quickly located to a safe place in the building to ride out the weather. So what happens at the district level when a storm like this moves in at a time like it did today?

The first thing that happens is that every administrator, every teacher, every staff member and all available support staff go to work to protect your kids. Student safety is the number one priority. The first thing we do is move students to a safe place. At that same time, behind the scenes, we are rolling out communication to families. And, what does that process look like?

All lines of communication at that point are open. Administrators in each building are providing updates to the central office as to the status of their students and their buildings. We are in constant communication from the beginning of the event until the last child is delivered home.

During the event, there is a team in the central office managing a variety of things including monitoring the television for weather updates, listening to the bus radios and weather monitors for key information, communicating with leadership in each building and providing all of the pieces of information to a staff member in the central office who is preparing the updates to send to families.

We know you want to know that your child is safe. And, we do our very best to get that message to you as timely as we possibly can in every event. Once the message is ready to go, it is sent via our Alert System where it is delivered by phone message, e-mail message, and text message. An event like today serves as a reminder to be sure you have all of your PowerSchool contact information updated. That same message is then posted to Facebook and Twitter. And that is where you can help. When you see a message like that posted on social media, please share it with other families and friends in the district. Help us communicate the facts that you receive from the district office.

The kids who remained in buildings late today were well taken care of by administrators, teachers, coaches and parents. At the elementary level, teachers stayed to help administrators keep children safe and calm. At the secondary level, athletes and those kids who had stayed after school sheltered in place with the help of administrators, teachers, coaches and parents.

During an event like this when there is a warning that has indicated it is not safe to be outside, we keep all students in the building. Students will not be released until the determination has been made that it is safe for them to leave the building. Sometimes parents want to pick up their kids during such an event, but please understand that not allowing students to leave during an emergency is enforced to keep your child as safe as possible. Our job is to keep your student safe and that is our priority.

Thank you to all who helped in every building around the district today. It is nice to know our students are home safe tonight, getting a good night’s sleep, and ready to tackle a new day tomorrow.

Thank you to all of our staff and families for all you do to keep students safe!

Helping One Student to Succeed (HOSTS)

HOSTSNew Palestine Elementary School (NPE) needs you! Do you have one hour a week to help a young student improve his or her reading skills? We need volunteers to work with our young learners. NPE is launching a new reading program called HOSTS (Helping One Student To Succeed).

Research shows that one on one tutoring makes an impact. NPE needs volunteers who are willing to give one hour a week from 9-10 a.m. Each volunteer will work with two students, each student for 30 minutes. Volunteers will be provided all materials. You do not need to be a teacher.

This is an opportunity to make a difference for a young learner, to offer an hour of your week to help a student succeed. We hope you will consider giving an hour a week to students at New Palestine Elementary School. If you are interested in volunteering with the HOSTS program at NPE, contact Kendra Olin by e-mail at or by phone at  317-861-5287, ext. 156. Make a difference. Become a mentor.

HOSTS Information

Run, Walk, Roll Against Bullying Event

Run Walk Roll Against Bullying

It’s time to register for the annual Run, Walk, Roll Against Bullying event on September 10. This year at Southern Hancock Schools, we have been highlighting some of the many ways our students, staff and families carry the spirit of community, how we are the heart of the community. One way to make an impact in the community is to come together to promote kindness in our schools. Let’s make this year’s event the biggest yet. This is a great time for everyone to come out to show their support for the district and to show how much you value the importance of kindness in our schools. We hope to see everyone at this year’s event. Registration is open. Click the link below for event details and to register online!

Event Details and Online Registration

Run, Walk, Roll Against Bullying 2016




Immunization Update


We have communicated the importance of having your child’s immunizations up to date. As directed by Indiana law, students can’t stay in school past 20 days without proof of being in the process of or having completed the required vaccinations. That means that without proper documentation, students will be excluded from school beginning next week if the immunization schedule is incomplete.

Indiana Code (IC 20-34-4-5) states that a child is not permitted to attend school beyond the first day without furnishing a written record, unless:

  • The school gives a waiver (for a period not to exceed 20 days); or
  • The local health department or a physician determines that the child’s immunizations have been delayed due to extreme circumstances and that the required immunizations will not be completed by the first day of school. In this case,
    • The parent must furnish a written statement and a time schedule approved by a physician or health department; or
    • A medical exemption or religious objection is on file.

Right now, we have students who are not current and will be notified of their exclusion from school next week. Principals or school nurses in each building are communicating directly with those families that are in jeopardy of their student not being able to attend school.

If your child’s vaccinations are not up to date, the following locations offer vaccinations: your MD office, the Hancock Health Department, Minute Clinics and Pharmacies.

If you have questions, contact the school nurse in your building.