As we enter the 2022-23 school year, district and school superintendents and administrators in Madison County and surrounding communities reflect on the new initiatives they have put in place to improve student success.
Alexandria Community Schools continues to develop its secondary pathways. We have worked with several business partners and universities to expand our Advanced Manufacturing and Tomorrow’s Teachers pathways. We received a state grant to further develop these programs. We have also opened an additional preschool class in elementary school. We will be able to serve more children and families. Finally, we continue to work to grow our community partnerships to better serve the community through the Hub and community outreach. We are thrilled to see the impact of our programming on the community we serve.
ACS will begin its strategic planning process in August. This will be a robust process, allowing for multiple public comment sessions on the extensive activity of Anderson Public Schools. We are also participating in a literacy pilot project, focusing on the science of reading, with a grant from the Indiana Department of Education. This focus holds promise for increasing our literacy and fluency. We are also beginning the process to achieve STEM certification at Anderson High School. AHS courses and programs are often overlooked, but this certification will codify AHS as a leader in the field.
At the elementary level, we applied to participate early in the Indiana Department of Education’s Early Literacy Initiative, and were selected to be part of the Indiana Literacy Framework. We will work with CELL at the University of Indianapolis and the IDOE to truly refine the science of reading to help better equip our students to succeed in all aspects of their college careers while providing our teachers with the support supervision needed. This will help fund and train a literacy coach as well as provide educational resources to supplement the materials we already use that impact our students. We are excited for this opportunity and look forward to using these techniques to help bridge the academic gaps created by COVID in our older class as well. At Pre-Academy (middle school), we will add additional exploratory classes, including Neuroscience, and also expand our Leader in Me programming from elementary to Pre-Academy. This is aligned with our Civilian Air Patrol program and will help continue to develop self-reliant leaders and ensure the continuity of our K-8 leadership programming transitioning to a K-12 initiative in the coming years. Our pre-academy will also expand project-based learning opportunities for students and increase STEM and MakerSpace course opportunities. At the Academy (high school) level, we added dual credit opportunities and received a grant to allow our students access to ICAP programming which includes even more dual credit and AP opportunities as well as more of electives that we are not currently able to host on campus. We will be eligible for up to $131,000 for this programming. Additionally, we qualified for the PRIME grant, which will add a new math class to help bridge the gap between high school math and college-level math. This will help students make the transition to higher education courses better and provide them with an integrated approach to applied mathematics. We have also added a new course focused on empowering our students in their leadership and service opportunities. This class will be responsible for various aspects of student life and will include event planning for many of our student events as well as coordinating community service and community outreach opportunities.
We will be having a Project Lead The Way class at Daleville Elementary School this year. We will implement an internship program at Daleville High School using our current community partners and new partners as places to place our students.
We will be participating in the Indiana Department of Education’s K-2 Early Literacy Opt-IN program this upcoming school year. Amanda Brophy, principal of Elwood Elementary, and Cindy Ahonen, instructional coach at Elwood Elementary, recently completed a two-day training with IDOE. We are partnering with Indiana University-Kokomo this upcoming school year to develop a program for our teaching assistants with associate degrees to return to college to complete their bachelor’s degree and obtain their licensure. ‘education. We are creating new behavior support classrooms in elementary and middle schools and expanding our alternative programming to include an alternative middle school classroom.
Frankton-Lapel Community Schools will continue to build positive relationships to promote healthy mental well-being among students and staff. We will also continue to address student learning loss through targeted strategic interventions to close achievement gaps. Additionally, FLCS will continue to work on implementing Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles in partnership with the Indiana Center for Teacher Quality at Indiana University. The UDL is a framework for improving and optimizing teaching and learning for all based on scientific insights into how humans learn.
We are excited to expand our focus on early childhood education programs with our first 3-year-old pre-kindergarten class this school year. We have a great setup for our little Argylls at Summitville Elementary. Our principal, Jackie Samuels, has worked tirelessly to be able to make this addition and our physical setup at Summitville Elementary allows us to keep all of our pre-K classrooms together so we can share resources to better serve our students. Our consulting team at Madison-Grant Jr./Sr. The high school is fantastic at leveraging all of our opportunities for our students to put them on the best possible path to graduation with their specific goal in mind. We have added a Career Specialist to help round out our expertise and ensure our students are college and career ready when they leave our school system. We’ve created partnerships that allow our students to graduate with certificates, dual credits, and everything they need to achieve their goals. We saw a need in our community for more local health care and worked with ASPIRE to host an on-site walk-in clinic in a building at our Madison-Grant Jr./Sr. High school campus. Our students and community members can access the clinic for all types of needs. Taking care of a sports physical exam or sick visit just got a little closer to home.
As this is my first year, we really take the time to observe and evaluate everything. When I think of priorities, I always think of these three things:
1. Lead/Teach: How can we better support our school leaders in their work with support teachers as they strive to better support our students?
2. Learning: What is our current reality with respect to student learning and achievement?
3. School environment: What is our school culture and how can we create a sense of belonging for all students and staff?
At the elementary level, we are implementing a new mathematics program for students from kindergarten to grade 6. Everyday Math is a hands-on math program that focuses on mathematical reasoning. Elementary teachers participated in professional development activities this summer as they prepare their math teaching for the upcoming school year. In addition to the new math curriculum, elementary schools will use the science of reading to guide their literacy instruction. At Pendleton Heights High School, we take steps to ensure our students have the opportunity to earn the Indiana College Core upon graduation. The ICC consists of a 30-semester-hour block of college-level general education courses. Completion of the ICC allows these credits to be transferred between public colleges and Indiana universities. Although PHHS has offered several dual credit courses for many years, ICC should allow students to complete at least one year of college before leaving high school. The credits a student earns at PHHS will have a reduced cost compared to what they would be at the post-secondary institution. Several PHHS teachers strive to earn the additional credentials needed to teach a dual credit course.
Robert W. Frey
I am honored and delighted to be the new Principal of Holy Cross School. Our school has a great history in the Anderson community, and we are excited about our future. This year we will be launching a new program called Virtues in Practice. This school-wide initiative will focus on virtues such as Faith, Hope and Charity. Our staff will conduct regular classes on these virtues, and we will recognize students who display virtuous behavior. Additionally, we are investing in our staff by implementing a significant salary increase for all school staff. Additionally, we are embracing technology more as a learning tool by purchasing iPads and Chromebooks for each student to use. Be on the lookout for our new school logo, which will be released soon.
We have added three new teachers for this school year and are looking to add more classes at certain levels. We are also looking to add more classes in our KinderKids Christian Preschool serving K3 and K4.
Liberty Christian School is excited to begin the 2022-23 school year on August 4. All Liberty teachers and students will receive increased biblical worldview training to prepare individuals to engage with the world in an excellent way. Additionally, we have added several student support positions designed to help students grow emotionally and socially in order to receive a comprehensive Christian education. LCS will offer additional extracurricular activities that include academic enrichment and community service.
Follow Rebecca R. Bibbs on Twitter at
@RebeccaB_THB, or call 765-640-4883.