Books Needed for Knox Kindergarten Countdown


Students who take part in the Kindergarten Countdown program at Knox Elementary School this summer will each get a book of their own to take home every day of the three-week enrichment experience. IU Health Starke Hospital and the Knox Community School Corporation are joining forces for a community book drive. Knox Curriculum Director Peggy Shidaker says books should be appropriate for youngsters in the 4 to 5 years old age range. She says books like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle, books from “Pete the Cat” series by Kimberly and James Dean and favorite like “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff are extremely popular. They all teach children sequencing and predicting, which are fundamental to brain development. Continue reading

Starke County Community Foundation Announces New Endowment Fund


The Starke County Community Foundation has announced a new endowment fund to help preschool students obtain the education they need before entering kindergarten.

The new Starke County Preschool Education Fund was established by Peggy Shidaker, the director of curriculum and instruction at the Knox Community School Corporation. The fund was created to honor her parents, Arthur and Carolyn Shidaker, and to support early childhood education in Starke County.

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Kindergarten Camp in Progress at KCES


Early education is important to a child’s development and the Knox Community School Corporation is currently conducting a kindergarten camp for children who have not had any prior education experience. Eighteen students are enrolled in the camp that runs through the end of June.

The school corporation has partnered with IU Health Starke Hospital and United Way to present this unique opportunity to low-income and under-served children so they can get caught up with the skills recommended before they enter kindergarten.

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Knox School Board Receives Action Plan Update

Superintendent A.J. Gappa

Knox Community School Corporation Director of Curriculum and Instruction Peggy Shidaker and the assistant principals from all three schools provided the school board with information on the action plans implemented at the beginning of the year.

Superintendent A.J. Gappa said discussion was held concerning the results of the Fall NWEA test that was given to students in grades K-8.

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Shidaker Spotlighted During Knox School Board Meeting

Knox Community School Superintendent A.J. Gappa

The Director of Curriculum and Instruction at the Knox Community School Corporation, Peggy Shidaker, was spotlighted during the school board’s recent meeting for taking part in HealthLinc’s Back to School Health and Wellness Fair. Superintendent A.J. Gappa said Miss Shidaker and a teacher represented the school in highest regards.

“Miss Shidaker attended the Health Fair along with third grade teacher, Shannon Pitts,” explained Gappa. “They represented the school and passed out information to families who were in attendance that would help them improve their wellness and health of not only their student, but their whole family.”

The pair handed out bus safety information, as well as information on peer pressure. Coloring books and activity books were distributed to the younger students. Approximately 80 students came through the school’s booth.

Knox Kindergarten Teachers Meet With Incoming Kindergartners

The kindergarten teachers from the Knox Community School Corporation and Peggy Shidaker, the director of curriculum and instruction, recently visited all of the incoming kindergarten students and their families to welcome them into the school corporation.

Shidaker discusses those visits.

“During those visits, we met the child, we met the parents, we also took materials and distributed some activity books, an activity calendar, a book and a t-shirt donated by IU Health Starke Hospital. All of our kindergarteners are going to show up on that first day of school with a brand-new t-shirt,” said Shidaker.

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Kindergarten Camp Prepares Kids For School

Twenty Knox children will be attending a Kindergarten Camp in June to get them ready for school. The class is taught by Jill Keiper and Allison Martinkus. Peggy Shidaker, the curriculum director for the Knox School District, explains how the camp is helping the children.

“We do many different activities to get the students ready for school. The biggest activity is getting these students ready to leave home for the classroom,” said Shidaker.

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Knox Incoming Third Graders Receive Summer Packet

The Knox third grade teachers sent home a special packet with next year’s incoming third graders to help keep them reading during their summer break. Director of Curriculum and Instruction Peggy Shidaker explained that these packets contain fun activities for students.

“They sent home a little bag that says ‘I Read, Therefore I Succeed,’” explained Shidaker. “Every second grader, 153 of these students, last week carried home this bag and in this bag there was a letter to their parents explaining the entire program. Through the collaboration of our third grade teachers, they filled this bag with fun activities for our students to do in both reading and math.”

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Knox Kindergarten Teachers Conduct Home Visits

The Director of Curriculum and Instruction at the Knox Community School Corporation, Peggy Shidaker, and seven teachers visited 120 incoming Kindergarten students at their homes to make sure the students and the parents are prepared for the new school year.

“When we arrived, we were greeted warmly by every parent in our school corporation of our incoming Kindergarteners and that was fantastic,” said Miss Shidaker. “We were able to take them a little Dr. Suess bag and in that Dr. Suess bag each student received a coloring activity book, an activity calendar that gets them ready for school and they received a book. The parents received a pamphlet called Making the Move to Kindergarten.”

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Knox School Board Gets Report on AYP, PL 221

Gary Dulin, Jerry Fletcher, Harold Welter, Mary Lynn Ritchie, Kirk Bennett, Nathan Marcum, Mike Yankauskas, Superintendent A.J. Gappa

The Knox School Board heard the Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, and the Public Law 221 results at its meeting Monday night. Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Peggy Shidaker, and the three building principals, Glenn Barnes, Steve Cronk and Dr. Elizabeth Ratliff, explained the results to the Board.

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