Upon his arrival, Dr. Shoemaker held numerous meetings with the community and staff in order to secure feedback on corporation programs and performance. Many powerful suggestions were generated from those initial meetings such as:
- Open Schools earlier in the morning to accommodate working parents (schools previously opened at 7:30 am and are now open at 7am at all NC schools)
- Ensure and Improve safety at schools (we have since doubled our School Resource Officers from 2 to 4, and secured funding through a GO Bond to improve the security entrances of four elementary schools (Parker, Eastwood, W. Wright, and Sunnyside). Riley Elementary and Westwood Elementary already have upgraded secure entrances.
- Move Kindergarten students back to their home schools rather than having Kindergarten students attend a Kindergarten center at Sunnyside. (Last spring, the School Board voted to move Kindergarten students back to their home schools.) Please see the enrollment data below to review:
- 2017/18 September 14th, Kindergarten Enrollment (Sunnyside K Center): 201
- 2018/19 December 3rd, Kindergarten Enrollment (With all K. students at their home schools): 240
- Conclusion: after one year, we have experienced an increase of 39 students in the corporation Kindergarten enrollment. Kindergarten is now our largest K-12 class and we expect similar large future K. enrollment numbers to be supported by the planning for future Pre-K Programs in all of our elementary schools (pending funding): +39 Students
It is also important to note that the 2017/18 Kindergarten class was 201 and now the same group is in 1st grade with an enrollment of 221 (an increase of 20 students year over year).
Our official K-12 enrollment did decline from 3,109 students in September of 2017 to 3,069 in September of 2018. While most East Central Indiana school corporations, like New Castle, have experienced declines in enrollment the past decade, new exciting programs have recently been put into place to demonstrate to families that New Castle is their Best Choice!
With Kindergarten as our largest enrollment grade, and with a bump of 20 students in 1st grade, we await future data evidence to evaluate the long term impact of our new programs.