The State Board of Education approved new graduation pathway programs for the School City of Hammond and the Excel Center Gary that officials hope will be mimicked in districts across the state. Hammond is launching a new four-year Junior ROTC program at Hammond Central and Hammond Morton high schools aimed at providing students with citizenship and leadership skills. “Right now there’s a vacuum for students considering the military,” Hammond Superintendent Scott Miller told the state board during its Wednesday meeting in Indianapolis. He called the new Military/JROTC Civic Leadership pathway a “robust” one that far exceeds guidelines.
With 140 students representing every school in the district, the School City of Hammond's production of "The Lion King Jr." this weekend will be the largest in district history by number of students involved. "Every school we have in School City of Hammond is involved in this show," faculty co-director Aarynn Bernard said, explaining that the play is an all-district production. "All the way from a couple students we have that are pre-K to 12th grade." Bernard said the months-long process of putting the production together was "a labor of love."
When Cindy Long of the U.S. Department of Agriculture asked what Christine Clarahan's school nutrition "wish list" was, Clarahan was ready. She jumped up and produced a small yellow legal pad from her purse. The first page was filled with Clarahan's thoughts on various nutrition policies and standards. "One of the reasons that I am so passionate about my job and everything that I do is that we know that a kid who is hungry cannot learn," Clarahan, director of the Department of Food and Nutrition for the School City of Hammond, said.
It's been decades in the making and Thursday, one Indiana school has officially been named for the first African American teacher in Hammond: Ms. Annie Burns-Hicks. "To see so many people who are interested in education, it just blows my mind," Hicks said. In the fall of 1960, she was a young woman with a college degree who sued the school district for a fair shot at teaching. "It was worth it -- was worth everything," she said. Hicks was one of 13 children.
At Irving Elementary School, students learn how to read and do math, along with principles of science and social studies, but unlike at most schools, they do it almost entirely in Spanish.
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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