By Desiree Williams
The Zionsville school board met July 10 to discuss revisions made to the background check policy and the distribution of teacher appreciation grants.
What happened: The board approved an updated version of the background check policy on second reading to comply with Indiana statute.
What it means: Zionsville Community Schools employees must report an arrest, filing of criminal charges or conviction of criminal charges to the superintendent within two days of the incident. ZCS will conduct a criminal history check on each employee every five years, including substitute staff. Each employee may be subject to a child protection index check through the Department of Child Services every five years as well as each new applicant. The board added that the school corporation can initiate a child protection index check if there is reason to believe the employee is involved in a child abuse or child neglect report.
What happened: The board held a first reading of a policy regarding the distribution of teacher appreciation grants from the Indiana Dept. of Education.
What it means: In accordance with state law, the superintendent will determine the stipend amount for teachers evaluated as effective on their most recent performance evaluation. Those given a highly effective rating will receive a 25 percent greater stipend.
What‘s next: The board will hold a second reading during the next scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. Aug. 14.
What happened: Paula Williams, director of Unified Student Services, delivered an update on the past two years of activities within the department.
What it means: Williams said ZCS is combining developmental preschool with universal preschool with one additional resource teacher to keep everyone connected. ZCS elementary students are being “pushed in” classrooms instead of “pulled out” for specific special education services. Middle school and high school classrooms are working more collaboratively to blur the lines between general and special education programs. “Even though our overall enrollment has not changed greatly, the level of support of the individuals identified with a disability in our district has increased significantly,” she said.
What’s next: Williams wants to increase reading instruction, core instruction and mental health support for students as well as develop an online USS handbook, continue breaking down barriers between general and special education and offer quarterly parent information meetings.