Ivey

Wendy Ivey was named principal of Highland Hills Middle School Monday.

NEW ALBANY — It looks like the current modified calendar, used by the New Albany Floyd County Consolidated School Corp., will not be changing anytime soon.

School will begin July 29 for the academic year 2019-20 and again in July in 2020-21. Those calendars include a two-week fall break and two-week spring break with some built in snow days.

The New Albany Floyd County Board of School Trustees voted 7-0 Monday to accept the calendar. Bill Briscoe, assistant to the superintendent for administration and operations, said a survey showed 61.9 percent of the staff and 55.3 percent of parents approve of the current calendar.

“We started this discussion in February and looked at a lot of different calendars,” he said. “We feel this is best for students, parents and staff.”

School board member Jenny Higbie said she had talked to parents and teachers. She said the current calendar does help with the “summer slide” of students forgetting some of what they had learned the previous school year. But she said the one negative she heard from parents was finding child care for a two-week fall and two-week spring break.

Higbie said she would like to see a compromise of maybe not starting school until the first of August and using more E-Learning days instead of snow days.

“I support it but I am mindful of all constituents,” she said.

Board member Rebecca Gardenour said she had heard complaints from some area school corporations who send students to Prosser and may not be on the same school calendar as NA-FC.

SEEING RED

Supporters of teachers and public education wanted to make a statement Monday — for state legislatures to increase funding to public schools and teacher pay.

They made their point by packing the school board meeting.

Most were wearing some kind of red to show their support for public education. Joy Lohmeyer, president of the New Albany-Floyd County Education Association, read a statement to the board emphasizing that the state is dealing with a teacher shortage for many reasons, including a lack of pay. She said people are no longer entering the field due to pay and stress. She added that teachers today have to deal with a host of social issues, besides just educating children.

And with increased funding to charter schools and vouchers for private schools, there is less state money now for public school corporations. Lastly, she asked board members to lead by example and “show respect” to the teaching profession.

“We are to the point where Indiana leaders have given us no choice but to use our teacher voice,” she said to a loud roar of support.

IVEY NAMED PRINCIPAL

Highland Hills Middle School has a new principal.

Wendy Ivey, who has been a teacher and administrator in the NA-FC School Corp. for 26 years, was named principal by a unanimous vote. She replaces Bill Krammes who retired from the corporation.

Steve Griffin, assistant superintendent of middle schools, said more than 20 applications were received for the position and eight candidates were interviewed.

“One person separated herself from the rest,” he said.

Ivey was that person. She said she was “humbled for the opportunity to be the leader at Highland Hills.”

“I am going to miss my elementary family dearly,” she said. “But I am ready to serve the staff, students and parents and continue the excellence that came before me.”

PROPERTY SOLD

The board agreed to sell the New Albany Little League 15 acres of property near Sunset Drive off Charlestown Road for $31,000. The Little League wants to build a field for its 13-15 year-old division at the site.

The school corporation reached an agreement with the Little League in 2014 to build a field for older kids at the Mount Tabor Road location, next to New Albany High School’s varsity field. But the corporation has since said it would like to build a field for New Albany girls’ softball there, which would leave the Little League without a field. So Superintendent Brad Snyder said he felt a sense of obligation and duty to make a deal with the Little League for the 15 acres, which appraised for $41,000.

“It’s the right thing to do,” he said.

Chris Morris is an assistant editor at the News and Tribune. Contact him via email at chris.morris@newsandtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NAT_ChrisM.

I am an assistant editor, cover Floyd County news and enjoy writing feature stories on interesting people in Southern Indiana.