Officials of the U.S. Department of Agriculture visited the School City of Hammond last week to observe the district's celebration of National School Breakfast Week. Vista Suarez Fletcher, regional administrator for the USDA’s Midwest Region Office, and Alan Shannon, service director of public affairs for USDA, visited O’Bannon Elementary School Thursday to see students receive breakfast and participate in a door judging contest celebrating the week.
The School City of Hammond is significantly boosting pay for its teachers and all other school personnel amid increased competition for experienced workers. New collective bargaining agreements ratified Dec. 21 by the school district's board of trustees provide an 11.3% raise for all employees, retroactive to the July 7 start of the 2021-22 school year. In addition, educators are receiving a $3,000 stipend payment on top of the salary hike, while administrators and support staff are getting one-time stipends equivalent to 6.2% of their annual salaries.
Scholarship applications are open for high school and college students planning to teach in Indiana for at least five years. The Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship program awards high-achieving high schoolers and college students $7,500 per year of college, up to $30,000. Students are encouraged to apply quickly because only 200 scholarships are available.
Challenges both great and small have tested the resolve of the Region’s K-12 public education system, and schools have continued to rise to the occasion. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and schools were ordered closed by Gov. Eric Holcomb, we responded by taking our curriculum online in literally a week’s time. Throughout the pandemic, schools have continued to strive to meet the needs of all students, even when those needs extend beyond the classroom into areas such as health, nutrition, and equitable access to resources.
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