Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Doctors Find Functional Solutions As Flu Rates Increase

Dr. Mike Mohrman is the Chief Medical Officer at Neighborhood Health Clinic, he says believing that we will see more influenza diagnoses because of the cold weather is a misconception. You get influenza from contact with other people.

Dr. Mohrman says he gets plenty of calls from patients describing their symptoms and if it’s flu season he adds some doctors will diagnose over the phone. Though that’s not what you learn in medical school, it can prevent infected patients from leaving their house and potentially spreading the virus.

We are in the midst of what is shaping up to be a volatile and dangerous flu season. The influenza virus has already claimed the lives of nine people statewide. Local doctors are adjusting and taking a more practical and less hazardous way of diagnosing patients.

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Muncie Potter Is The Art Teacher She Never Had

Indiana Artisan Carol Burt has been scraping and painting her creations for nearly 20 years.

“In 2001, I took my first pottery class. The thing I liked about it the most – I liked to draw and paint,” says Carol, who studied art as a graduate student at Ball State University. “When I found out I can draw and paint on top of the clay, it made it a lot more fun.”

And she’s been doing it ever since. She loved it so much, she turned it into a small side business.

Young students are usually surprised to learn their teachers have a life outside of school – families, talents, volunteer gigs. For an art teacher in Muncie, her life as an Indiana artisan is the reason why she enters the classroom every day.

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Cursive Writing Debate Back At The Statehouse


Sen. Jean Leising addresses the Senate Committee on Education and Career Development about her cursive writing bill. (Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News)

The debate about teaching cursive to Hoosier kids has returned to the statehouse, and the lawmaker behind the cursive writing bill has shown no signs of backing down from the issue.

Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) has filed legislation every year since 2011 that would require elementary schools to teach cursive, and it’s died every year in the House of Representatives. But Leising says she won’t give up.

“I can’t hardly go anywhere in my district without someone speaking to me about ‘what are you doing about cursive? This is ridiculous,’” she says.

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Board Approves Crossing Guard Funding Plan

We shared a story about the crossing guards kerfuffle a few weeks ago.

The new plan, effective until the end of the school year, calls for Elkhart Schools to pay for Crossing Guards and for the city’s Police Department to fund 3 School Resource Officers, or SRO’s. Mayor Tim Neese said the amounts equal about the same.

The Elkhart Board of Public Safety unanimously approved on Thursday, a memorandum of understanding between Elkhart Community Schools, and the city regarding funding for crossing guards for the rest of the 2017-2018 school year. The City Council cut funding for crossing guards from the city police budget in October when they approved the 2018 city budget.

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New Pre-K Seat Belt Regulation For School Buses Begins Jan. 1

Mike LaRocco is the director of transportation for the IDOE. He says school buses aren’t safe for preschoolers because the kids are too small.

“They would submarine under the seat in front of them in a crash situation,” LaRocco says. “So depending on the age and size of the child the school district will have to evaluate what kind of restraint system that they will put the child in.”

LaRocco says the State School Bus Committee started talking about requiring restraints in 2012, but this is the first regulation of its kind in Indiana.

Photo: Kolin Toney (Flickr) The Indiana Department of Education wants to make school bus rides safer for preschoolers in the new year. All Indiana school districts who provide transportation for preschool students will be required to provide safety restraints beginning Jan. 1. The restraint has to meet all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

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IU Northwest Once Again Offers ‘Senior University’ Courses

For the last two decades, IU Northwest has provided free workshops, seminars, and programs for seniors throughout the year.

Free workshops will once again be offered beginning January 5th on the Indiana University Northwest campus in Gary to seniors across northwest Indiana. It’s the annual program called “Senior University” and Ellen Szarletta was on “Regionally Speaking” on Monday to talk about it.

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When Students Miss The Test At Arlington High, The Bus Comes For Them

It’s early on Monday, Dec. 11 at Arlington High School and test coordinator Tina Ahlgren is trying to track down six missing students.

She and other staff have already spent the weekend calling phone numbers they’ve cobbled together to reach parents of these and other students who have yet to show up and take one of two standardized tests – the ISTEP 10 or end of course exam, known as the ECA.

“Right now I’m going through the kids that we’re most concerned about. These are the kids that haven’t made a single test,” Ahlgren says as she scrolls through a student database on her office computer. “They haven’t had any response from any parents and their attendance is bad enough that we’re very concerned about them.”

Indiana students need to pass one of those tests to earn a high school diploma. At Arlington, on the city’s Eastside, more than 200 students – including the entire junior class – have yet to pass both math and English portions of the test. Due to changes in state law, which test a student is required to take – ISTEP or ECA – depends on their graduation cohort.

At Arlington High School, on the Indianapolis’ east side, more than 200 students — including the entire junior class — have yet to pass a standardized test required to earn a high school diploma. The staff goes to extreme measures to make sure all kids take the test.

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Young Leaders Introduce ‘Inclusivity Pledge’

The goal of the pledge is to develop a more diverse and inclusive workforce. YLNI member Tim Spradling says the message is critical to attracting young talent.

“It makes a bold statement to a future of leaders living all over the United States that 50 of our largest employers have stepped forward and signed this pledge,” said Spradling.

“They said, ‘This is how we do business here. We want you here.’”

Fort Wayne City Council voted 7-2 to sign a non-binding resolution called the Fort Wayne Commitment and Inclusivity Pledge, presented by Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana. “We believe diversity of thought, background, experience and people drive innovation. We promote an environment that is welcoming and conducive to the success of all,” the pledge states.

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