One of the hottest community questions addressed: Opening Doe Creek Middle School

Please note: This is a re-post. All active links have already been updated but for those who subscribe and receive the blog posts by e-mail, we wanted to be sure you have the full article. For some reason, some content was missing when originally posted. Thank you for your understanding.

At the school board meeting Monday night, a recommendation was made to open the “Old” Doe Creek Middle School for the 2018-2019 school year. The long awaited and much anticipated question, “When will we open the building?” was addressed in a presentation to board members.

The History

In 2005, when the decision to open Brier Creek Intermediate School was made, enrollment was growing at one of the fastest paces we have seen in Southern Hancock County schools. All the statistics pointed to the need for another school building. Shortly after an agreement was signed to build, the bottom fell out of the economy, enrollment began to decline, and there were changes to school funding which led to a proposed referendum that failed. Not only was opening a new building impossible, it became an economic necessity to close Doe Creek Middle School (DCMS) and designate the new Brier Creek Intermediate School to be Doe Creek Middle School. Closing the “old” Doe Creek was not a popular decision but a necessary one.

The Present

Fast-forward to today. Enrollment is growing. Our elementary schools are nearly at capacity and there is a need for more space. In addition, new housing developments will continue to push enrollment making a new plan crucial.

So, how do we accommodate this growth and what is the best plan? After much consideration, reviewing the 2005 Strategic Plan for opening a new building in our district, and seeking engineering and architectural input, we have decided on a recommendation for DCMS and a plan we are confident will accommodate growth for many years.

Our proposal is to follow the original plan when it was decided to build Brier Creek Intermediate School as a 5th and 6th grade facility and re-open DCMS as a 7th and 8thgrade building.

DCMS is configured specifically to meet the needs of middle school students with sports facilities, music rooms, technology and engineering space, etc. Although Brier Creek has temporarily served as a middle school, it is best suited for intermediate students’ needs.

If approved, Doe Creek Middle School will receive a facelift for its opening in 2018-2019. Among many updates, will be a 21st Century Innovation Space. The district was awarded a large grant through the Indiana Department of Education to design a media space that will best serve our 21st century learners. This media space will create a forward-thinking, progressive learning environment for our students.

The Next Phase

If the plan to open “Old” Doe Creek is approved by the school board, then in the fall of the coming year, administrators will be named to lead the buildings. Those administrators will begin the hiring phase. Southern Hancock teachers will be provided an opportunity to apply to teach in one of the new buildings and outside applications will be considered for positions that need filled. The building will have support staff needs in addition to teachers and administrative staff. All staffing needs will be addressed.

The 2018-2019 Strategic Plan
While the overall strategy will follow the plan developed in 2005, we have reviewed the plan and updated it based on current needs and educational trends.

The Timeline
The report was made at the April board meeting and will be voted on by the board at the meeting May 8. If approved, plans will move forward and updates will be provided as plans progress.

One of the hottest community questions addressed: Opening Doe Creek Middle School

At the school board meeting Monday night, a recommendation was made to open the “Old” Doe Creek Middle School for the 2018-2019 school year. The long awaited and much anticipated question, “When will we open the building?” was addressed in a presentation to board members.

The History

In 2005, when the decision to open Brier Creek Intermediate School was made, enrollment was growing at one of the fastest paces we have seen in Southern Hancock County schools. All the statistics pointed to the need for another school building. Shortly after an agreement was signed to build, the bottom fell out of the economy, enrollment began to decline, and there were changes to school funding which led to a proposed referendum that failed. Not only was opening a new building impossible, it became an economic necessity to close Doe Creek Middle School (DCMS) and designate the new Brier Creek Intermediate School to be Doe Creek Middle School. Closing the “old” Doe Creek was not a popular decision but a necessary one.

The Present

Fast-forward to today. Enrollment is growing. Our elementary schools are nearly at capacity and there is a need for more space. In addition, new housing developments will continue to push enrollment making a new plan crucial.

So, how do we accommodate this growth and what is the best plan? After much consideration, reviewing the 2005 Strategic Plan for opening a new building in our district, and seeking engineering and architectural input, we have decided on a recommendation for DCMS and a plan we are confident will accommodate growth for many years.

Our proposal is to follow the original plan when it was decided to build Brier Creek Intermediate School as a 5th and 6th grade facility and re-open DCMS as a 7th and 8th grade building.

DCMS is configured specifically to meet the needs of middle school students with sports facilities, music rooms, technology and engineering space, etc. Although Brier Creek has temporarily served as a middle school, it is best suited for intermediate students’ needs.

If approved, Doe Creek Middle School will receive a facelift for its opening in 2018-2019. Among many updates, will be a 21st Century Innovation Space. The district was awarded a large grant through the Indiana Department of Education to design a media space that will best serve our 21st century learners. This media space will create a forward-thinking, progressive learning environment for our students.

The Next Phase

If the plan to open “Old” Doe Creek is approved by the school board, then in the fall of the coming year, administrators will be named to lead the buildings. Those administrators will begin the hiring phase. Southern Hancock teachers will be provided an opportunity to apply to teach in one of the new buildings and outside applications will be considered for positions that need filled. The building will have support staff needs in addition to teachers and administrative staff. All staffing needs will be addressed.

The 2018-2019 Strategic Plan
While the overall strategy will follow the plan developed in 2005, we have reviewed the plan and updated it based on current needs and educational trends.

The Timeline
The report was made at the April board meeting and will be voted on by the board at the meeting May 8. If approved, plans will move forward and updates will be provided as plans progress.

Spring is coming!

think-spring

It’s the first day of March! Frosty Boy opens today – a sign that spring is coming. Though it has been a mild winter, it is still exciting to know that warm weather is just around the corner. Just as we focus on “spring cleaning” in our homes, at school, we also think about “spring cleaning”. Spring Break is an opportune time for us to complete building projects. This year we will be working on projects in all of our buildings.

At Sugar Creek Elementary, we will be retrofitting LED classroom lights. New carpet will be installed in the offices and Media Center at Brandywine Elementary, in addition to a front entry desk remodel that will create a more spacious nurse’s office. LED lights will be installed in the parking lot.

A new bus lift will be installed at the Bus Garage. At New Palestine High School, there will be new floor covering put in the teacher’s lounge, a new fire alarm system will be installed, and the band room and some offices will get new carpet. We are replacing the media center roof.

Doe Creek Middle School is getting an archery net, and LED lights are being installed in the parking lot. At New Palestine Elementary, we will be doing a complete LED lighting upgrade and replacing the rubber edge on the steps to the Gym stage.

We are replacing the HVAC filters at all buildings, as well doing overall general “spring” cleaning at all of the buildings.