Carmel school board recap
Compiled by Pete Smith
What happened: Supt. Nicholas Wahl addressed how the district planned to make up snow days.
What it means: Carmel schools need to make up three of this year’s six snow days. There appear to be two options. The first entails adding three days to the end of the school year – not on President’s Day or around spring break. The second option is to lengthen school days. However, this option would cut into teachers’ scheduled planning and preparation time. The hope, though, is that longer days before ISTEP testing in the first week of March would help student preparation.
What’s next: Wahl will make a determination after raising the issue with teachers, Glenda Ritz and the Indiana Department of Education.
What happened: School board member Patricia Hackett offered a conference update.
What it means: Hackett attended a conference on collective bargaining, coincidentally held in Carmel, that was hosted by the Indiana School Board Association and the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents. The presentations at the conference helped to clarify state laws on collective bargaining, make the process more transparent through the use of Gateway, focus the school board’s role in determining whether contracts would result in deficit financing and provide guidelines for how non-salary benefits should be outlined in contracts.
What’s next: No further action is needed.
In other news: The school board got back to its roots and conducted a true workshop instead of using the first meeting of the month as another business meeting. Board members, the superintendent and other administrators listened to a presentation on the challenges associated with special education students who display challenging behaviors while attempting to learn. An excellent example from the roundtable was when the presenters showed a video clip of a naval commander ordering an approaching radar blip to change its course 15 degrees to the north. The other entity radioed back suggesting the naval vessel change its course 15 degree to the south. This incensed the naval commander, who, with full bluster, ordered the approaching blip on the radar to alter its course. The blip replied, “But we’re a lighthouse.” The point was that often it’s the educator who needs to alter course. It was a rare moment of revelation.