Niedermeyer gives her inaugural State of Noblesville Schools address

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Noblesville Schools Supt. Dr. Beth Niedermeyer presented her inaugural State of the Schools address during the Noblesville Chamber of Com- merce luncheon April 15 at Purgatory Golf Club. (Photo by Robert Herrington)

Noblesville Schools Supt. Dr. Beth Niedermeyer presented her inaugural State of the Schools address during the Noblesville Chamber of Com- merce luncheon April 15 at Purgatory Golf Club. (Photo by Robert Herrington)

During her inaugural State of the Schools address, Supt. Dr. Beth Niedermeyer recapped a year’s worth of highlights within the district, benchmarked hit and student and staff achievements. Niedermeyer also announced news impacting the school district and community in regards to growth.

“We are really glad that we can continue the small-town charm that we have and the strong community ties despite being the 12th largest high school in the state,” Niedermeyer said. “We’ve been growing about 200 students a year and we’ve been really careful to make sure that we build just the right amount of schools. We don’t want to make any mistakes overbuilding so we have nay vacant schools.”

Niedermeyer said projected trends for Noblesville Schools have growth starting to slow.

“There is a steady increase all the way through 2024-2025, but the nice thing is the growth is slowing a little and giving us a reprieve,” she said. “We no longer have to build an eighth elementary and a third middle school. We think we will be able to accommodate those numbers, which is great news for our community.”

The projected trends also mirror other Hamilton County districts.

“We’ll be watching our numbers very closely and looking at what our needs are in terms of future buildings, we still may need some more room in terms of athletics and multi-use space and maybe a bus garage,” Niedermeyer said.

FINANCIAL HEALTH

Noblesville Schools’ 2015 projected budget is $103,974,398. Niedermeyer said that the district’s budget management goal is to make sure the spending rate is sustainably long-term. One way to ensure that was cutting $1.7 million in spending, primarily in administrative costs.

“We looked at how we could reorganize. We didn’t replace people that left positions. We cut travel, we cut supplies, we cut overtime,” said Niedermeyer. “We’re doing more with less – we’re very lean now – and we feel we are in a good financial standing.”

Neidermeyer said Noblesville will see more state funding per pupil with the new two-year budget but numbers are not available to school districts yet.

“We do feel confident we will have more money than we’ve had in the past and that is a good thing,” she said. “Since the tax caps hit, we’ve had a 10 percent increase since 2009 but our budget revenues have flat-lined. If we get additional monies that will help us but it’s not going to close the gap. We are still going to be $2 million behind where we were in 2009 despite a 10 percent (enrollment) growth.”

2018 is when the current operational referendum ends.

“We’re looking at extending that in 2016 to maintain our staff and our programming,” she said.

INSTRUCTIONAL PRACTICES

• Noblesville is among just a few districts in the nation that has implemented Project Lead the Way in grades K-12.

• For the past five years, Noblesville Schools have exceeded the state benchmark for AP scores by up to 20 percentage points.

• 3,757 dual credits are earned annually, saving more than $750,000 each year.

• “Miller Shift is about the way that we teach to prepare our students for the 21st century. It’s helping students to really get engaged in their learning, to think critically and analytically,” Niedermeyer said. Examples included: Box City, Innovations entrepreneurial class, 1:1 technology initiative that gives students their own iPads in grades 6-12, E-Learning days, Tech Team for high school support and senior citizen outreach and App Club and coding clubs.

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

• Noblesville Schools operates the largest internship program in the area with diverse options for all areas of interest. The program has 170 seniors this year and Juan Armendariz was named Intern of the Year by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

• Partnerships: Noblesville Schools has several partnerships with businesses and higher education through Ivy Tech and Lincoln Tech. Companies that include Riverview Health, Gaylor Electric, Hare Chevrolet, SMC, ABC and others are supportive of the district. The school system is one of Ivy Tech’s largest high school partners.

WHAT’S NEXT?

“We’re going to continue to expand and enhance our curriculum and instruction. We’re focusing on inquiry,” Niedermeyer said.

• Expansion of 1:1 initiative.

• Instructional enhancements.

• Comprehensive community survey.

• Project Life: skills development for special needs students.

• Makerspace initiative.

• Enhanced teacher recognition event.

• Sponsorship offerings.

• Gold Card for senior citizens for extracurricular events.

• Back-to-School Bash, July 31 on the Downtown Square.

BY THE NUMBERS

• 9,947 students (86.5 percent Caucasian)

• 44 different languages are spoken at home.

• 24 percent receive free or reduced lunch.

• 24 percent are in gifted and talented programs.

• 13 percent are in special education programs.

• 1,537 employees make Noblesville Schools the largest employer in the city.

• 96 percent passed IREAD-3 testing.

• 90 percent passed ISTEP testing.

• 94 percent graduation rate and 46 percent earned honors diplomas.


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