School board to continue planning for redistricting, hold next board meeting Oct. 26


Submitted photo: Carmel Clay Schools

School board president Mike Kerschner speaks at the Sept. 29 school board meeting. At the meeting, board members discussed redistricting, student growth and the construction of a roundabout near CHS.

Wendy Zhu

The school board will hold its next regular board meeting on Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. The board was also originally scheduled to hold a board workshop session next Monday, but school board president Mike Kerschner said the workshop will most likely be canceled.

“There’s nothing pressing, and at this point, we are leaning towards giving the administrators a break if we don’t have anything that needs to be approved at that meeting,” Kerschner said.

Last board meeting, the school board approved the criteria and process of redistricting for the 2021-2022 school year. Redistricting will occur because two new elementary schools are set to open next year.

“What we approved were four criteria, which were that to the greatest extent possible, students will be assigned to their closest school; the school facilities will be balanced relative to capacity, taking into consideration the demographic study; neighborhoods and subdivisions will be kept intact, and entire elementary schools will transition to the same middle school,” Kerschner said. “Those are the four factors that will be used to come up with the different models.”

According to Kerschner, redistricting will not come back to the board until November, but there were be focus groups from Oct. 8 to Oct. 11 so the district can receive initial input on the redistricting plan. Carmel Clay Schools will also be working alongside Cooperative Strategies, an education consulting firm, during the redistricting.

After her sixth grade year, redistricting affected senior Olivia White after she had to move from Carmel Middle School to Clay Middle School. The year she was redistricted was also the year middle schools changed to the block schedule, but White said she liked the redistricting and the experience of two different middle schools.

“For me, it was like an entirely new transition, almost like transitioning to middle school again, because I was having to learn a new school while also having to learn a whole new schedule,” White said. “I was pretty excited to change schools, actually. I wasn’t that attached to Carmel, and luckily, most of my friends I had made in sixth grade were either open to keeping in touch or were actually switching with me.”