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Kindergarten Roundup starts today

By TRAVIS WEIK - tweik@thecouriertimes.com

The New Castle School Board rescheduled its regular monthly meeting until April 16 because of Spring Break. That hasn’t stopped Henry County’s largest school corporation.

Today is Kindergarten Roundup for all New Castle children who will be 5 years old before Aug. 1. This is the first time in many years that kindergarten students will attend classes in their local neighborhood schools.

A few years back, the New Castle Community School Corporation decided to send kindergartners from Eastwood, Riley and Westwood schools to the Kindergarten Academy at Sunnyside Elementary.

Superintendent Dr. Matt Shoemaker brought a recommendation to the school board in January to convert Sunnyside back to a K-3 school that served only the students within its attendance boundary.

Shoemaker told the school board that the move would increase educational time for Sunnyside students while also allowing kindergartners in other attendance areas to go to the same schools as their older siblings.

The school board unanimously accepted the recommendation.

New Castle’s Kindergarten Roundup is 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today at local neighborhood schools.

Other changes could soon becoming to New Castle schools, and the community is being asked to help work out the details.

The NCCSC Long Term Planning Task Force will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday in the east cafeteria of New Castle High School.

Shoemaker said 53 volunteers have already signed up to serve on various committees within the task force.

Consultant Dr. Ed Eiler will help facilitate the long-term planning process. Eiler said making a comprehensive plan is the most important thing that New Castle can do for its school system.

The year-long process is a community discussion about what educational opportunities parents, neighbors and community leaders want to provide for New Castle’s children, Eiler said.

Anyone in the community who wants to help guide the future of New Castle schools can attend the public meeting Thursday.

The volunteers will be grouped into subcommittees. The subcommittees will each have their own particular focus: curriculum; enrollment; facilities; finance; and organizational issues.

Shoemaker expects that the school corporation will have a better idea after Thursday’s meeting as to which committees need additional support.

The New Castle School Board meets at 7 p.m. April 16 in the community education center, 322 Elliot Ave., New Castle.