#schoolsafety | Distance learning still under discussion at C’ville

Nick Hedrick | nhedrick@jrpress.com

Crawfordsville Community Schools is still waiting to decide whether to offer distance learning to students in the fall, Superintendent Dr. Scott Bowling said Thursday.

The district is speaking to parents with children continuing to learn from home, nearly six months since local schools returned to fully in-person classes. More than 100 students remain on distance learning in Crawfordsville.

Administrators at North and South Montgomery say they don’t plan to give students the option of virtual learning next school year.

“I’ve been hesitant to do that because we have a lot more students on distance learning right now, a lot more students in general … and I think it’s critical to make sure we understand where parents are right now,” Bowling told school board members during their monthly meeting.

During the fall semester, 104 Crawfordsville students were participating in distance learning across the district, according to figures provided by Bowling. Following winter break, that number rose to 152 students.

There were 125 students learning virtually as of last week.

The end of the school year will mark the last day in the halls for longtime educators at Crawfordsville High School, including principal Greg Hunt.

The board accepted the retirements of Hunt and teachers Kris Ervin and Kelly Johnson, along with counselor Brenda Lovold. The retirement of high school IT specialist Barb Dieruf and the resignation of treasurer Ken Dieruf also were approved.

The district received approval to apply for a five-year lease through the Hoosier Equipment Lease Program to replace two regular school buses and one special education bus for a total cost of $387,351.

Board members learned that discussion is underway between administrators and Crawfordsville Police to add a second school resource officer to the district. The officer would work alongside SRO Jack Taylor, a corporal with the department.

The district hires officers with funding from the state’s Secured School Safety Grant Program. Additional funding is available through the program, assistant superintendent Dr. Rex Ryker said.

Administrators want to station one officer full-time at the high school and have the second officer float around the other buildings.

In other business, Bowling said the high school will hold a prom this year. The event will likely be held outdoors unless indoor capacity restrictions ease under Gov. Eric Holcomb’s executive order.

Administrators from the three districts are discussing guidelines for each of their proms, including which grade levels are allowed to attend and whether COVID-19 testing will be required.

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