School board to meet Jan. 25, monitor COVID-19 cases, facilitate transitions for students going to new schools


The school board meets on Dec. 14 to discuss redistricting, education funds and non-discrimination policies. At the following regular board meeting, on Jan. 11, board members appointed new officers, including newly elected president Layla Spanenerg.

Wendy Zhu

The school board will hold its next regular board meeting on Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. at the Educational Services Center. According to Layla Spanenberg, newly elected school board president, the school board usually meets with the administrative leadership team every January to discuss the upcoming year, but due to COVID-19, the meeting has been postponed to February. However, for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year, Spanenberg said the district’s main focus is to maintain safety.

“For 2021, our biggest objective is to really support our administration and teachers and staff, to keep our kids in school to keep them safe and to keep our kids in school,” Spanenberg said. “Safety is the number one priority for everybody in our school district, and it certainly is one of the guiding principles that we have a safe learning environment.”

With new variants of COVID-19 emerging and Hamilton County reaching a 16.47% seven-day test positivity rate according to the Indiana State Department of Health, Spanenberg said the school district has been working closely with the state and county to monitor cases.

“We will take all guidance from the health department, and at some point in time, if they do not think it’s safe to continue to hold in-person classes, we will make adjustments as needed,” Spanenberg said.

Senior Kalika Raje said she appreciates the efforts the school is making to increase safety but said regulations could be stricter.

“I understand why the school is staying open with the amount of students that are in hybrid, and I definitely think it’s beneficial educationally and emotionally,” Raje said. “But I feel like in other aspects, we could be better in enforcing COVID regulations because sometimes contact tracing is really difficult.”

Despite limitations due to COVID-19, the district will still be working to maintain smooth transitions for students going to new schools, especially fifth graders going into middle school and eighth graders going into high school.

“We’re going to have open houses (to help students and families) transition to the new school,” Spanenberg said. “It might look a little different this year, but we are making sure that we try to keep the integrity of that type of program in place.”