Editor’s note: This is the second of two parts on what local school districts are doing to improve buildings and academics in preparation for the 2019-20 school year. Today: Eastern, Tipton, and Tri-Central school districts.

Eastern Howard Schools

Eastern schools are focused on creating opportunities for students when they enter the workforce, according to Superintendent Keith Richie.

He said the district is working with community partners to guide students toward college and career preparation.

Those partners include Chrysler/FCA and Manufacturing Academy; Ivy Tech; IUK for its Passport to College Program; and Creative Financial Design and a financial planning workshop it sponsors for students.

Another new feature for Eastern High School is a new soccer field.

Tri-Central Community Schools

There is a large emphasis this school year on safety.

“With available bond money our school board has really invested in security and safety improvements for our school and students,” said Dave Driggs, superintendent of Tri-Central Community Schools. “There has also been a commitment to maintaining our schools in top shape.”

For security, the school district:

- Installed all exterior doors equipped with sensors and re-keyed electronics.

- Purchased new digital security cameras.

- Refurbished the elementary playground including fencing (over $60,000)

– Bought all new handheld and bus digital radios.

For building improvements, the school district:

- Purchased new programming software for all HVAC throughout campus.

- Completed a 5-year project re-surfacing all flat roofs.

- Installed two new electronic school signs in front of the elementary and the middle school/high school.

- Re-coated of all black top surfaces on school grounds.

Additionally, iPads have been purchased for all teachers in preparation for the 2020-21 school year, when students will have iPads.

Finally, in the fall, the main entry way into the middle/high school will be remodeled for security reasons.

Tipton Community School Corporation

Tipton schools has hired a new Tipton Middle School principal, Melissa Kikta.

“Mrs. Kikta’s innovative educational philosophies, curriculum planning, instructional coaching responsibilities, and teacher support initiatives are geared toward increasing student achievement and promoting a positive school climate,” said Superintendent Kevin Emsweller.

Also, there will be a new assistant principal at Tipton Elementary School, Caylie Dicken.

“Tipton Elementary School is excited to bring Mrs. Dicken’s passion for learning, leading, and helping others to our school, said Emsweller. 

Academically, the district is partnering with Hamilton Heights School Corporation to bring Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to Tipton schools.  

“Universal design for learning (UDL) is a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn,” said Emsweller. “The UDL framework guides the design of instructional goals, assessments, methods, and materials that can be customized and adjusted to meet individual needs.”

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