I had the rare opportunity on April 6 to be interviewed by Rob Kendall of WYRZ 98.9 FM radio in Brownsburg to discuss They're Our Kids on the "Central Indiana Today" show.
We talked about They're Our Kids, parenting in general, Macaroni Kid - Hendricks, the Kiwanis Club of Danville, the pros and cons of social media, the education system, and Danville schools.
I even talked a little bit about myself if you're interested in learning more about me.
One of the many things that I do in the community that involve OUR KIDS is substitute teach at Danville North Elementary and Danville South Elementary Schools (that's a range of kindergarten through 4th grade, for those who are unfamiliar).
I'm in my third year of substitute teaching, and I thoroughly enjoy it. I have subbed at the middle school and high school levels, too, but due to scheduling issues, the vast majority of my experience over the past couple of years has been at the elementary school level.
When people learn that I'm a substitute teacher, it's not uncommon for them to ask, "What's it like?"
Well, every day is an adventure. But it's an awesome adventure.
It's closing in on that time of year when parents of preschoolers get a giant lump in their throats and prepare to sign their little ones up for kindergarten.
Hendricks County public schools are starting to announce their kindergarten roundup and registration dates for the 2016-17 school year, so if you have a kiddo headed for the bright lights of kindergarten -- or know someone who does -- here we go.
The Indiana Department of Education released its 2015 accountability grades for schools across the state, and Hendricks County schools performed exceptionally well.
The results were approved unanimously by the State Board of Education during its Jan. 26 board meeting.
“After more than 18 months spent advocating to hold our schools and teachers harmless for the transition to more rigorous college and career ready standards and the results of a more rigorous ISTEP+ assessment, I am pleased to release 2015 school accountability grades that do not penalize schools and communities for this transition," said Glenda Ritz, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction, in a statement. "I want to thank Indiana’s students, educators, and families for their hard work and patience during this challenging school year."
Her statement continues, "While I appreciate the work of the legislature to hold schools harmless for the results of last year’s ISTEP+ assessment, Indiana should move away from labeling Hoosier schools, and in turn Hoosier students, based on the results of a lengthy, pass/fail, high-stakes assessment. I support accountability but I support accountability that makes sense. I look forward to implementing Indiana’s new Student-Centered Accountability System which more accurately reflects the great work happening in our schools and communities every day."
And with that, here are the results from Hendricks County schools:
Law enforcement officials from the FBI, the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Indiana State Police, and the Plainfield Police Department joined the Superintendent of the Plainfield Community School Corporation on Jan. 19 to address the online threats that have been made against Hendricks County communities since mid-December.
A near-capacity crowd was on-hand in the auditorium of Plainfield High School for the forum as hundreds of parents sought information and reassurance regarding an issue that has gripped the community.
I was one of those in attendance, and I'll do my best to summarize the forum as objectively as possible.
The Indiana Department of Education (DOE) released its 2015 ISTEP+ results on Jan. 6, and several Hendricks County school corporations performed very well.
The results are downloadable from the DOE's website (click here) and can then be sorted by a variety of categories. Here are the scores for all of the Hendricks County public school corporations:
The upcoming year, 2016, is a special one for They're Our Kids -- it's our 10th anniversary!
We began as the 2006 Leadership Hendricks County group project for Jan Currier, myself (Eric Ivie), Gus Pearcy and Richard Sutton, and the first, very rudimentary, version of TOK went online in November of that year.
TOK has been revised, updated, and expanded countless times since Version 1.0 hit the Internet in 2006, and as we close the door on 2015, we celebrate 137,987 page views and 38,654 unique visitors to the website over the past year! Woo hoo!
This blog, The Village, is the primary source of those page views and unique visitors, and in an effort to determine what information Villagers are most interested in, I investigated which blog posts in 2015 drew the most interest.
Here's how it shook out:
The mantra of They're Our Kids is that it takes a Village to raise OUR KIDS. Today in Danville, it took a Village to locate one of OUR KIDS.
At Danville South Elementary School, a 10-year-old boy refused to go to class and left the building and the school property. A community-wide search ensued, involving school officials and multiple public safety agencies. The result of the search was the best possible outcome: the boy was located safe and unharmed a few blocks away from the school.
An incident such as this one begs the question, "How can kids just walk out of school?"
From the perspective of a substitute teacher, the answer is simple: they just walk out the door.
Within the past few weeks, hundreds -- if not thousands -- of Hendricks County parents have sent their precious little cargo bundles to school for the very first time in their wee ones' lives. The first day of kindergarten is often a tough time for parents.
I've done it twice. My daughters are in third and fourth grades now, but I still vividly remember the lump in my throat on each of their first days of kindergarten as the doors on the school bus closed, and the big yellow vessel rumbled down the street with my babies on board.
Have you ever wondered what the first day of kindergarten is like from a teacher's perspective, though? I don't have to wonder anymore. I have now experienced it.
The Indiana Department of Education just released its list of Four-Star schools for the 2013-14 school year, and several Hendricks County schools earned the designation.
According to the DOE's blog post dated April 28, "in order to achieve this designation, a school must be in the top 25th percentile of schools in two ISTEP-based categories. Additionally, a qualifying school must have earned an 'A' in the state’s accountability system and be accredited by the Indiana Department of Education."
Of the 281 Four-Star schools throughout the State of Indiana in 2013-14, twenty are located in Hendricks County. Here they are:
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