Haley Archer and Jacob Baker, students in the Warsaw FFA Chapter, each received a blue corduroy FFA jacket as a gift from local organizations. Haley Archer received her jacket through Clunette Elevator and Syngenta via the Gift of Blue Jacket Program as a special project of the National FFA Organization.

The National FFA Foundation awarded a jacket to Jacob Baker in honor and recognition of Mr. Kip Tom’s time on the National FFA Foundation Board of Trustees.

The jacket unifies members in a long-standing tradition and reminds them that they are part of something larger than themselves. The official FFA jacket is symbolic and an icon of an American tradition- instilling pride and responsibility on those who wear it. 

Agriculture programs prepare students for high-demand careers in innovative industries like biotechnology, renewable energies, engineering, food production and more. They also teach students how to be leaders and prepare them to take on the challenges of the next generation. 

The Warsaw FFA Chapter makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

Image Caption: Warsaw FFA Officers congratulate Gift of Blue FFA Jacket Recipients (L to R) Ciara Stout (President), Reagan Rowland (Reporter), Valerie Messmore (Vice President), Haley Archer, Hunter Lane (Sentinel), Jacob Baker, Zach Howard (Treasurer), Morgan Smith (Secretary).
Submitted by Julie Reed

You only have to watch the news or read a paper to see the effects of mental health illnesses on our young people. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in youth ages 10-24.

The fact is that 1 in 5 children, ages 13-18, have or will have a serious mental illness. If you put together the other statistic that a whopping 90% of those who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness, this should cause everyone to stand up and realize the problems that are students are facing. Another statistic that is very disturbing by the NAMH is that there is an 8-10 year average delay in treatment between the first symptoms and intervention. This alarming statistic could be in part due to a lack of education about mental health, lack of financial resources, a lack of knowledge on where to get help and mental health issues with the adults in the home, as well.

Mental Health in children can be hard for parents to identify and although children can develop the same mental illnesses as adults, their symptoms may be different. Some of the warning signs to look for are:

• Mood changes: feelings of sadness or withdrawal that lasts at least two weeks.
• Intense feelings: feelings of overwhelming fear with no reason- sometimes manifest physical symptoms such as a racing heart or fast breathing.
• Behavior changes: drastic change in personality, dangerous, out of control behavior, voicing a desire to hurt others.
• Difficulty concentrating: inability to sit still in class, poor performance in school.
• Unexplained weight loss: unexplained loss of appetite, use of laxatives, throwing up.
• Physical symptoms: more complaints of stomachaches and headaches rather than sadness or anxiety.
• Physical harm: acts of self-harm such as cutting or burning, suicidal thoughts or attempted suicide.
• Substance abuse: kids use alcohol or drugs to cope with their feelings.

If you see any of the above warning signs in your child or something just seems off, please don’t delay in asking for help. Call your family doctor or get a referral to a mental health professional. Talk to your child’s school. Teachers, nurses, school counselors and mental health therapists have many resources available to them to get the help your child may desperately need. For more information on mental health in children visit (National Alliance on Mental Illness) and (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry).

References: Mental Illness in Children: knowing the; Mental Health Facts: Children and teens-

Sad teenage girl. Photograph. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 2 Mar 2017. Accessed 6 Oct 2017.

This summer, a Warsaw Community High School sophomore had the opportunity to represent his school at the Congress of Science and Technology.

Keagan Rice attended the three-day experience featuring 28 different speakers ranging from some of the brightest scientific minds to motivational speakers. The event was led by Richard Rossi as he kept the enrgy up with his famous catch phrase "Energy Baby."

Demonstrations included Scott Flansburg (The Human Calculator), who showcased how fast he could calculate numbers, as well as Jim Kwik, an expert at memory and speed reading. Several presentations were also given on new breakthroughs in technology, including human-like robots and explanations of the company inventing the flying car.

“This was one of the greatest experiences of my life…Several motivational speakers such as Sean Stephenson and Bo Eason, a former football player, had a large impact on my life and helped me to realize that I want to follow in their footsteps to become a motivational speaker,” stated Rice.

“I had always teetered on the edge of what I had wanted to do as I grew up, but after hearing their life stories and hearing just how much they had changed people's lives, I realized that motivational speaking was my true dream. I will always remember the time I spent there and suggest that anyone who enjoys science and technology try and make it and experience it for themselves.”
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Warsaw Community Schools will hold Parent-Teacher Conferences according to the following schedule:

Elementary School Schedule

  • Tuesday, Oct. 24, Grades K-6, Parent Teacher Conferences will be held from 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 25, Grades K-6, Parent Teacher Conferences will be held from 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Students Dismissed
Middle School Schedule

Edgewood and Lakeview Middle Schools will continue to hold conferences in the fall prior to Fall Break and an additional day of conferences during the spring semester. This additional day will give parents and teachers a time to meet in the spring to continue discussion around student achievement.

The dates and times for Parent-Teacher Conferences for BOTH middle schools are listed below:

Middle School Fall and Spring Conferences

  • Tuesday, Oct. 24, from 4:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 25, from 8:40 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Students Dismissed
  • Thursday, Feb. 15, from 4:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.

High School Schedule
  • Wednesday, Oct. 25, from 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. Students Dismissed
  • WCHS Teachers will be located in the Tiger Den and arranged alphabetically.
  • WACC Teachers will be in the Career Center Gym and arranged alphabetically.

Gateway Educational Center

  • Tuesday, Oct. 24, from 3:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Fall Break is scheduled on Oct. 26-27, 2017. School Dismissed for all students and school buildings will be closed.
All parents are encouraged to attend the Parent-Teachers Conferences.
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INDIANAPOLIS – Lilly Endowment Inc. has approved grants to 52 Indiana public school corporations and five Indiana charter schools to help them implement promising strategies to strengthen school counseling programs for their students. The grants – ranging from $68,312 to $2.87 million – are part of the Endowment’s Comprehensive Counseling Initiative for Indiana K-12 Students (Counseling Initiative). Launched in September 2016, the five-year initiative is designed to encourage the state’s public school corporations and charter schools to aspire to and eventually develop best practice comprehensive counseling models that effectively address the academic, college, career, and social and emotional counseling needs of their students. Schools in 30 of Indiana’s 92 counties will benefit from the grants. The schools serve some 250,000 students in kindergarten through grade 12. Grant amounts were based on the student enrollment of the school corporation or charter school.

The school corporations and charter schools will use the grants to launch a variety of efforts that include, among other strategies:

  • Collaborating with mental health care providers to address their students’ social and emotional challenges;
  • Pursuing novel ways to engage local businesses in preparing students for a range of employment opportunities, including developing mentoring and internship programs and planning industry information sessions and site visits to local companies;
  • Implementing a comprehensive counseling model developed by the American School Counselor Association;
  • Making better use of digital tools and adding and integrating curricula for college and career exploration and preparation;
  • Providing professional development to teachers, counselors and administrators so they can identify and address the social and emotional needs of students to improve overall student wellbeing;
  • Partnering with colleges and universities to offer college counseling, financial aid assistance, campus visits and related programs.
In January 2017, the Endowment made planning grants to 284 school corporations and charter schools across Indiana to help them assess the counseling needs of their students, study best practice counseling programs in Indiana and around the country, and develop implementation grant proposals for funding to help them address their students’ counseling needs more effectively. In May 2017, 254 school corporations and charter schools submitted implementation grant proposals totaling nearly $90 million. A large majority of the proposals noted that schools are overwhelmed by the social and emotional challenges their students face, which they indicated have worsened in recent years because of the opioid addiction crisis affecting Indiana communities. They report that too often counselors don’t have the time they need for academic and college and career advising because they must address their students’ urgent social and emotional challenges. Moreover, too many counselors are assigned non-counseling work in their schools, such as administering state tests, assessments and Advanced Placement exams, which takes away time from the performance of their counseling responsibilities. “The response from school corporations and charter schools far exceeded the Endowment’s expectations,” said Sara B. Cobb, the Endowment’s vice president for education. “We believe that this response demonstrates a growing awareness that enhanced and expanded counseling programs are urgently needed to address the academic, college, career, and social and emotional counseling needs of Indiana’s K-12 students. We were most pleased to see how the schools engaged a wide variety of community stakeholders in assessing their students’ counseling needs and developing strategies to address them.” Some School Districts Working Together In five Indiana counties, school corporations submitted collaborative proposals. The Endowment was impressed with their interest in working together to leverage resources and community partnerships and is awarding implementation grants to 22 school corporations working in the five groups.

They are:
  • Elkhart County Collaborative Program with seven school corporations: Baugo Community Schools, Concord Community Schools, Elkhart Community Schools, Fairfield Community Schools, Goshen Community Schools, Middlebury Community Schools and WaNee Community Schools
  • Grant County Collaborative Program with five school corporations: Eastbrook Community Schools, Madison-Grant United School Corporation, Marion Community Schools, Mississinewa Community Schools and Oak Hill United School Corporation
Round Two of Funding Available Due to the significant number of implementation grant proposals the Endowment received, the grant adjudication process became quite competitive, and several proposals with many positive aspects therefore were not approved. Because of the compelling need for enhanced and expanded counseling programs across the state and the potential for impact represented by several proposals that were not approved, the Endowment is making available a second competitive round of implementation grants under the Counseling Initiative. Up to $10 million in grants will be available, and any Indiana public school corporation or charter school that did not receive an implementation grant in the first round of the Counseling Initiative will be eligible to apply. Guidelines for the second round will be available in October, and the Endowment plans to offer informational sessions about the second round later this fall. As with the first round, school corporations and charter schools will be able to apply for grants of up to $100 per student enrolled in their schools. Those with enrollments of 1,000 students or fewer will be able to request up to $100,000 even though that amount exceeds $100 per student. School corporations and charter schools must submit new or revised proposals to the Endowment by March 15, 2018. “Because the implementation grant process was so competitive, the Endowment had to decline several proposals that had many promising features,” Cobb said. “We believe that with a few enhancements, many of these proposals will be very competitive in the second round of the Counseling Initiative.” Universities to Strengthen Training for Counselors, Principals Through the Counseling Initiative, the Endowment also offered to help Indiana colleges and universities enhance their counselor preparation and principal preparation programs to prepare future counselors and principals better to address the academic, college, career, and social and emotional needs of Indiana’s K-12 students. Earlier this year, the Endowment made 19 planning grants to colleges and universities to help them explore potential improvements to their counselor and principal preparation programs and prepare implementation grant proposals. In the competitive implementation grant phase, the Endowment approved seven implementation grants for six Indiana universities as follows:
  • Ball State University, the University of Indianapolis and Oakland City University will each receive grants of $150,000 to enhance their principal preparation programs.
  • Ball State University, Indiana State University, Indiana University-Southeast and Indiana Wesleyan University will each receive grants of $200,000 to enhance their counselor preparation programs.
Warsaw Community Schools was awarded a $701,100 grant, its largest Iily Endowment Grant to date, to further efforts in improving students' social-emotional wellness. 

About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family -- J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli -- through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion and maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.
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One in 3 children in the United States are overweight or obese!! Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease that were once seen only in adults.

The good news is that childhood obesity can be prevented. Warsaw Community Schools encourages your family to make healthy changes together. Try 5-2-1-0!

5   Eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables a day! Serve them at every meal.

2   Limit screen time. Keep screen time (time spent on the computer, watching TV or playing video games) to less than 2 hours a day.

1   Get active outside. Walk around the neighborhood, go on a bike ride or play at the park. One hour or more of physical activity every day.

0   No sugary drinks. Drink water, the best thirst quencher!

For more information visit

This graphic is adopted from Let’s Go!

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