School

FILE PHOTO/WFYI

An average student in Indiana may have lost the equivalent of more than one year of learning during the pandemic’s first months when school buildings closed, according to one of the first studies projecting the coronavirus' impact on student academics.

The 19-state study found the average student lost between 57 to 183 days of learning in reading and from 136 to 232 days of learning in math. But in Indiana, where a school year is 180 days, the learning loss was higher than average.

(LAUREN CHAPMAN/IPB NEWS)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s administration is holding off on releasing a report with recommendations on teacher salaries until after the Nov. 3 election. The Next Level Teacher Compensation Commission was selected in February 2019 to examine long-term solutions for increasing educator pay. Before the pandemic, a 60-page draft report had been expected this summer. Chairman Michael Smith says that it wouldn’t be fair to release the report that consists of more than 40 suggestions because of the state’s fragile economic predicament.

(FILE PHOTO: Tyler Lake/WTIU)

Many of Indiana's school leaders are grappling with tension in their communities as they consider how and when to bring more kids back into schools, but teachers say they're feeling more pressure than ever to manage classes in-person and online, as well as their own safety.

(Eric Weddle/WFYI News)

On a recent morning at Indianapolis' Wayne Township at Chapelwood Elementary, insects chirped and rain fell lightly as the first buses arrived around 7:15 a.m. Staff lined up students on the sidewalk by grade as they came off each bus.

WFYI

MONTICELLO, Ind. (AP) — A group of teachers at a northern Indiana elementary school who were struck and injured last year by plastic pellets during an active shooter training drill are suing local police, accusing them of using excessive force during what the lawsuit calls the “Execution Style Drill.” The federal lawsuit was filed last week by eight teachers who taught at Meadowlawn Elementary School in Monticello at the time of the January 2019 incident. It names as defendants the White County Sheriff’s Department, four deputies and the department’s current and former sheriff.

(Photo: Reece Mann on Twitter)

Nearly 9 percent of students at a Delaware County school district have been quarantined after a single case of COVID-19 has been confirmed.

About 2,600 students attend Delaware Community Schools, which began in-person classes last Thursday.  Officials say a football player at Delta High School is the district’s only official positive COVID case.

KIMBERLY FARMER / UNSPLASH

Two more school corporations in Michiana approved back-to-school plans Monday night. Both South Bend and Penn-Harris-Madison schools will start the year virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(LAUREN CHAPMAN/IPB NEWS)

ELWOOD, Ind. (AP) — A central Indiana school is shutting down two days after opening after at least one staffer tested positive for COVID-19. Other districts in the state also are reporting positive coronavirus tests among students and employees. The Indianapolis Star reports that Elwood Junior Senior High School temporarily is closing this week. Several other people are in quarantine. The district says no students were believed to have been in close contact with the staff members.

https://saugatuckpublicschools.com/

NEW:

SAUGATUCK, Mich. (AP) — The man who painted a mural of an American Indian at a school gym in 1975 says he’s willing to cover it up if the western Michigan district drops the nickname. The superintendent and school board president in Saugatuck say it’s time to reexamine the Indians nickname. The 800-student district discussed the issue Monday during a school board meeting held by video conference. John Fox, a member of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, painted the mural decades ago. He says he'd paint a new logo at no charge. The board didn’t take a vote Monday, although many public speakers were in favor of dropping the nickname.

Indiana Public Broadcasting

The state’s largest teachers union called on Gov. Eric Holcomb to take a more direct role in how, or if, schools reopen for in-person teaching.

The Indiana State Teachers Association met with Holcomb Tuesday to express concerns about the return to classroom teaching. The virtual meeting was a follow-up to a letter Holcomb received from the association last month, with ten “requests” to address the impact of the pandemic on the 2020-21 school year.

IN DEPT. OF EDUCATION

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana officials are showing no signs of slowing down school reopenings that are just weeks away even as the state has seen higher rates of people testing positive and being hospitalized for the coronavirus. Some Indiana school districts are poised to resume classes starting in late July under guidelines issued by state education officials last month. State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said Wednesday that it is important for education and mental health reasons that students return to schools.

Indiana Students Can Return To Sports, School Activities

Jul 3, 2020
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Despite extended restrictions for some Indiana venues, ongoing concerns over the coronavirus won’t hamper students’ return to school sports and activities next week. In the guidance provided by the Indiana Department of Education, the return to student activities is expected to happen in three stages starting Monday. Offseason fall workouts will begin, and marching bands across the state are also getting back to the practice field. But student participation won't look like it did a year ago.

What Will School Look Like In St. Joseph Co. This Fall? Here Are Some Answers

Jun 30, 2020
Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News

Schools in St. Joseph County, Indiana are preparing to reopen in the fall under pandemic conditions. Public schools in St. Joseph County released plans  Tuesday outlining how officials will try to limit exposure to COVID-19. 

Whitmer Is Optimistic About In-Person School In Fall

Jun 17, 2020
Photo provided by the State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she is optimistic about a return to in-person instruction at K-12 schools in the fall, announcing she will release further guidance on June 30. The governor said Wednesday she will issue an executive order that will provide details on what will be required and what will be recommended. Schools were closed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, and schools later finished the academic year with online or other forms of remote learning. Whitmer said the roadmap will set minimum health and safety requirements, though districts can enact more aggressive ones.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Indiana K-12 schools will not reopen this academic year as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

The Indiana Department of Education ordered schools Thursday to develop plans to prepare for the long-term fallout from that decision.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick says those “continuous learning plans" will help the state see how schools will continue educating all kindergarteners through high school juniors while buildings remain shut. 

Stanley Clark School Teacher Being Tested For COVID-19

Mar 10, 2020
Annacaroline Caruso, WVPE

The Stanley Clark Head of School, Melissa Grubb, confirms that Tuesday morning a teacher was scheduled to  be tested for coronavirus.  Grubb says she anticipates the test results will be known in a 72-hour timeframe.

Grubb says the private school located in South Bend was closed Monday and today and will remain closed until the school gets clarification on the test results and gets some further direction from health officials. 

Grubb says the staff member learned Sunday of the exposure concerns. 

Monday the school underwent a deep cleaning. 

Paw Paw School District Might Drop Redskins Next Week

Mar 5, 2020
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

PAW PAW, Mich. (AP) — The leader of a school district in southwestern Michigan will recommend that the Redskins nickname be dropped.

Paw Paw Superintendent Rick Reo said he will take the message to the school board on March 9.

Reo says the nickname is an obstacle to welcoming all students. Reo joined the district in 2018, first as high school principal and now superintendent.

The Paw Paw board voted in 2017 to keep the nickname and mascot.

State Of Indiana Mulls Moving Schools For Deaf & Blind Rather Than Fixing Old Properties

Mar 1, 2020
https://www.deafhoosiers.com/visiting-isd

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Some lawmakers and advocates say the process of relocating two deteriorating schools for blind and deaf students is being rushed because the schools sit on valuable Indianapolis real estate desirable for development.

The Indiana School for the Deaf and the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired are in dire need of updates and maintenance.

The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that Democratic state Rep. Greg Porter from Indianapolis says moving the schools is a “development play" because the property is valuable. 

Credit Steve Luciano/AP Photo

MONTROSE, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan teacher has denied a request from a student with two mothers to write about same-sex marriage for a class assignment.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana schools and teachers won’t face any penalties from lower student scores on the state’s new ILEARN standardized exam under a proposal that's been signed into law.

The bill signed Wednesday by Gov. Eric Holcomb grants a two-year delay on schools receiving a lower A-F state rating based on scores from the 2019 or 2020 ILEARN exams.

Bob Moen/AP Photo

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana lawmakers have rolled back a proposal that aimed to require a poster with the national motto “In God We Trust” and the American and state flags be displayed in all public school classrooms.

The Indiana Senate education committee modified the bill to make the poster optional before voting Wednesday to advance it to the full Senate.

The bill originally required the posters be at least 11 inches by 17 inches, with the letters of “In God We Trust” a minimum 4 inches tall.

Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News

The Indiana State Board of Education approved a proposal that will cut state funding from some family and consumer science (FCS) classes starting next school year, after board members held a procedural vote at a special meeting Friday.

Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News

Athletics programs around the state and country are facing a shortage of school sports officials, and a class of students at IUPUI in Indianapolis is trying to tackle the problem by sharing possible solutions to different elements of the problem. 

Tyler Lake/WTIU

As the weather gets colder and tougher to navigate with ice and snow, many schools will likely use scheduled make-up days when kids can’t get to class. But more are using what’s called eLearning instead of cancelling school, and the state has made it easier for them to do so.

Kids do school work online on eLearning days, and they have become a popular option for school districts to avoid make-up days or extending the school year. 

PHM Schools Recovering From Ransomware Attack

Nov 14, 2019
https://www.facebook.com/pg/PennHighSchool/photos/?ref=page_internal

MISHAWAKA, Ind. (AP) — The PHM school district is working to restore its computer system after hackers crippled the network by infecting it with ransomware.

The Penn-Harris-Madison School Corp. notified staff and students’ families Tuesday of the hackers’ attack.

An email to staff said the district’s computer network was infected with ransomware that knocked out “all internal network systems” districtwide.

Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News

UPDATE:

Results for the state’s new ILEARN test are now public, and reveal just how much lower achievement rates on the test look compared to previous iterations of the state’s standardized exam. According to state data, less than half of all students reached proficiency in English Language Arts (ELA) and math, with proficiency rates of 47.9 and 47.8 percent respectively. 

WFIU/WTIU

Policymakers say they want to hold schools harmless for major drops in student achievement on the state’s new ILEARN test, after mounting pressure from school leaders and parents.

In a series of statements released Monday, leaders in the General Assembly as well as state officials like Gov. Eric Holcomb and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick, stressed the need to prevent the state from penalizing schools for the results during the exam’s first year in use.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers may be closer to forgiving schools from potentially having to make up four snow days that occurred during a state-declared emergency.

Legislation approved unanimously by the Senate Tuesday would exclude the period from Jan. 29 through Feb. 1 from counting as snow days. That's when an artic deep freeze shut down many normal activities, including school.

Michigan House Approves Bill To Forgive Schools From Making Up Snow Days

Apr 17, 2019
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Schools exceeding the maximum number of snow days would not have to make up those that occur during a state-declared emergency under legislation the Michigan House approved Wednesday.

The bill, approved 101-7, is aimed at aiding K-12 districts after frigid temperatures and other weather caused a high number of school cancellations this past winter. It will next go to the Senate, where a similar measure won committee approval this week.

Franklin Community Schools hopes to find the source of contamination at two of its elementary schools. Tests showed high levels of the cancer-causing chemical TCE in vapor underneath the Needham and Webb buildings early last week. But samples inside were at levels the state considers safe. 

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