Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Anderson School Closes For Two Days Because Of Flu

On Thursday and Friday, traditional classes for middle and high school aged students at Liberty Christian School will be cancelled. Pre-kindergarten through 6th graders will come to school as normal.

In messages to parents online, Liberty superintendent Jay McCurry says about 20 percent of the school’s about 500 students and 50 percent of teachers are out sick with the flu. He says the building will be sanitized while students are away.

A Christian school in Anderson is using the state’s e-learning option to close for two days this week because of the number of students and teachers sick with the flu. IPR’s Stephanie Wiechmann reports. On Thursday and Friday, traditional classes for middle and high school aged students at L

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Program Gives Kids In Juvenile Detention Lesson In Legal Rights

Joel Wieneke is standing in front of a classroom at Logansport Juvenile Correctional Facility. Looking around, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between this room and a public school classroom. There are posters on the wall that talk about overcoming hurdles, and bookshelves lining one wall.

But, the boys sitting in the desks all sport the same shaved heads and gray sweat suits.

“Anybody else have any thoughts about why I’m here?” Wieneke asks.

He’s talking to a group of boys who arrived here within the past week. They range in age from 12 to 17, and they aren’t feeling especially talkative today. Wieneke’s colleague passes out candy to encourage kids to participate in the discussion.

“Right now what we’re going to do is talk as a group, but you guys got to raise your hand if you want to talk to me,” Wieneke says. “We’re going to try and figure out what you guys know about the system you just went through, how it is that you came to the DOC.”

Some kids making their way through Indiana’s juvenile justice system are slipping through the cracks. They’re supposed to get a public defender to help with their cases, but that doesn’t always happen. So, some kids are ending up in the Department of Correction when they shouldn’t.

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House Committee Hears Testimony On Sex Education Bill

Teachers in Indiana are expected to teach abstinence and are discouraged from teaching safe sex lessons. (Jill Sheridan/IPB News)

Teachers in Indiana are expected to teach abstinence and are discouraged from teaching safe sex lessons. (Jill Sheridan/IPB News)

The House Education Committee heard testimony Thursday on a bill that would require schools to make sex education instructional materials available to parents and require parents to opt-in to instruction.

Monica Boyer, president of the Indiana Liberty Coalition, says the bill allows parents to protect their children from information about people who identify as transgender specifically or LGBTQ.

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Can Gary Schools Be Saved By A State Takeover?

The Gary Community Schools Corporation faces massive debt and academic failures. In a last-ditch attempt to save the schools, state lawmakers took the extreme option last year to take it over by using laws that transferred financial and academic control to a state-hired emergency manager.

It was a controversial move that lawmakers hoped would give Gary Schools a second chance even as decades of decline in population and industry continue to drag down the district’s enrollment and state funding.

But there’s little evidence to say whether this method can save a school corporation on the brink. Other urban districts in similar situations have struggled under intervention for years with varied results.

More than 10,000 students have fled the district in the past decade for charter schools or nearby city schools. Today enrollment has fallen to around 4,700 K-12 students.

The person expected to fix it all is Lake County-native Peggy Hinckley, the emergency manager. To save the corporation — she must reinvent the district by consolidating schools, reshaping academic programs and attracting new students. It’s more than finding savings.

Listen on Sharmayne McKinley, the principal at Daniel Hale Williams Elementary Schools in Gary, walks with students on Nov. 28, 2017. McKinly believes the state takeover of the school district will lead to positive results because of the leadership of the emergency manager Peggy Hinckley.

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Girls Go CyberStart Competition Kicks Off Next Week

(Photo courtesy

(Photo courtesy

A multi-state effort aimed at getting more women in the cybersecurity career pipeline comes to the web this month.

High school girls from 16 states will participate in the six-day Girls Go CyberStart program starting next week. It’s an online series of challenges to test a participant’s interest and potential in the cybersecurity field, and includes activities around web attacks, programming, and computer forensics.

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NCAA Denies Notre Dame Appeal Over Academic Integrity

Notre Dame found an undergraduate working as an athletic training assistant wrote or substantially edited assignments for several football players.

Part of the athlete’s punishment under the University’s academic honor code changed the student’s grades, making them retroactively ineligible for competition.

The NCAA has denied an appeal by The University of Notre Dame after the school’s football wins in 2012 and 2013 were vacated over academic integrity issues. The 2012 season included the NCAA Championship, though Notre Dame lost in the final.

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Southwest Allen School Corporation Implements Flex Days

Though flex days and e-learning days seem similar, e-learning days are used when schools close due to bad weather. They exist so schools don’t have to make up days at the end of the school year.

But, Southwest Allen County School Superintendent Philip G. Downs says flex days have a different purpose.

“It’s a scheduled day, where parents and everybody knows on this day we are going to run an e-learning day and in the morning our teachers get professional development and in the afternoon they are online with kids,” said Dr. Downs.

In Allen County, Southwest Allen is the only corporation that has added flex days to their curriculum. On flex days students don’t physically attend school. They stay at home and do their school work on their computer. Though flex days and e-learning days seem similar, e-learning days are used when schools close due to bad weather.

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In Delaware County, Childcare Costs High And Incomes Low

The average cost of full-time childcare per year in Indiana is about $8,800. But if you live in Delaware County, add another $2,000 to that bill.

Tami Silverman is the CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute. It’s the organization that collects statewide data on children used in state and national reports. She says Delaware County has the second-highest childcare cost in the state, following only Hamilton County.

A report on the state of Indiana’s children shows childcare costs in Delaware County are significantly higher than the state average. But, as IPR’s Stephanie Wiechmann reports, job wages in the area aren’t keeping pace with those costs. The average cost of full-time childcare per year in Ind

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