MSD OF DECATUR TOWNSHIP
DISTRICT NEWSLETTER - January 2023
A MESSAGE FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT
Dear Decatur Township Families,
Happy New Year 2023! January marks not only a new year, but also the beginning of our second semester of learning. Report cards for high school and middle school students are currently posted in Skyward Family Access. Report cards for our elementary students will be sent home on Monday, January 9th. I encourage you to review this report with your child, and use this opportunity to reflect, reinforce success, and set goals for future growth. This important conversation aligns with the fourth discipline of the E+R=O mindset, to “Adjust & Adapt.” Monitoring the outcome you get and adjusting appropriately is a skill for success, and success requires constant adjustment. Actions and habits form a path that leads to outcomes. The new year is an ideal time to teach our children that if the path isn’t headed where you want it to go, it’s time to make changes. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child’s report card, please reach out to our schools.
January is School Board Appreciation Month, and we are blessed in Decatur Township to have school board members who are dedicated to the success of our students and schools. Please join me in saying THANK YOU, in appreciation and honor of our School Board Members: Judith Collins, Dale Henson, Chase Lyday, Larry Taylor, and Estella Vandeventer.
As we continue through the winter months, note our district inclement weather information, which is again shared below for your convenience. Please ensure your contact information, including phone numbers and emails, are up to date in Skyward Family Access. ParentSquare is our main form of communication and syncs with Skyward to send messages from the district, schools, and teachers. Please also look for communications from your child’s school this semester for details about upcoming testing windows. State accountability testing including WIDA, SAT, IREAD-3, and ILEARN take place between now and the end of the school year. It is important to encourage your child to perform at his or her personal best on these assessments. Don’t forget to also mark your calendars for upcoming “no school” days:
Monday, January 16th - Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Monday, February 20th- Presidents Day
We continue to collaborate with Community Health to provide outstanding nursing services for all of our schools. We are excited that starting this month, Virtual Care is a new service that will be available, offering greater convenience for parents to support children’s healthcare needs. Look for the graphic below for more information.
In closing, I leave you with a quote in honor of MLK day:
The time is always right to do what is right.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Let us all set our intentions for the new year to collaborate together to strengthen our children, our schools, and our community.
Together we are Decatur Proud!
MSD of Decatur Township
MSD of Decatur Township respects a parent’s determination regarding their child’s attendance at school during inclement weather. If school is open, or delayed, because of inclement weather, the school will respect the parent’s decision to keep their child at home. Parents are expected to contact the school and inform school officials of their determination. The student will be counted as absent, per state code, and students will be given an opportunity to complete their academic work in the same manner as an excused absence from school.
MSD of Decatur Township believes the public expects schools to be open and to provide education, supervision, and other services (including meals) to its students.
MSD of Decatur Township believes all parents are committed to keeping children safe, and parents will dress their children appropriately for the weather when sending the children to school.
MSD of Decatur Township believes its parents often do more than expected, and often seek out ways to assist children from other families with shared transportation to school. This high level of commitment and cooperation is sincerely appreciated.
Variable weather conditions are to be expected in Central Indiana. MSD of Decatur Township believes its parents have plans in place for weather related delays and closures and believe morning notification is generally appropriate.
Communication of School Delay and Cancellation
● District Website and Social Media postings:
Check http://decaturproud.org or our district Facebook Page: MSD Decatur Township or Twitter: @MSDDecatur
● TV Stations: WTHR (13) WISHTV (8) FOX (59) WRTV (6)
● For media lists of delays/closings, always look for “Metropolitan School District of Decatur Township” or “MSD Decatur Township,” not to be confused with Decatur County.
Delaying or Closing School is based on Multiple Variables
The most unpredictable weather variable is freezing rain/sleet. Freezing rain/sleet is temperature sensitive and fast-occurring. It begins and ends with little notice. When freezing rain/sleet is predicted, the decision regarding school is delayed until the latest possible time in an effort to observe the most current and local conditions. Such a decision generally will be made in the morning.
Snowfall is more predictable than freezing rain/sleet. Meteorologists generally give a 2 inch variable when predicting snow accumulation. Because the variation in actual snowfall, when compared to predicted snowfall, the decision regarding school status is delayed until the snow accumulation indicates a need for action. Such a decision, except in extreme situations, will generally be made in the morning.
Extreme Snowfall Situations
When snow has accumulated to a significant level, or is at such a level with more snowfall predicted, then the decision regarding school may be made the previous evening. A significant level is one in which local authorities have indicated it is unlikely streets will be passable by the following morning. This is an unlikely, but possible occurrence.
Temperature prediction is increasingly accurate. MSD Decatur Township uses the hourly temperature predictions for its zip code from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (noaa.gov). If air temperature is predicted by NOAA to be -10 degrees or below (the starting point for wind chill concerns with calm wind) at 7:00 a.m. the school will consider a two hour delay for the start of school. If the air temperature is predicted to remain at -10 degrees or below at 9:00 a.m. the school will consider closing. Such a determination will be made as early as possible, perhaps the evening before, but certainly by 6:00 a.m. in the morning.
Extreme Wind Chill
Wind chill prediction is not as accurate as temperature prediction because wind speed is more variable by time and location. While NOAA observations and predictions are based upon the open conditions of the Indianapolis Airport, these conditions are often different in some of the wind barricaded neighborhoods of MSD Decatur Township. Local observations of wind speed will affect the decision regarding delaying or closing school. Wind chill concerns emerge at a predicted wind chill temperature of -19 degrees. If wind chill is predicted by NOAA to be -19 degrees or below and local wind conditions are predicted to mirror the airport wind conditions at 7:00 a.m., the school will consider a two hour delay for the start of school. If the wind chill is predicted to remain at -19 degrees or below and local conditions mirror the airport wind conditions at 9:00 a.m., the school will consider closing. The variability of wind speed will likely cause this decision to be made in the morning.
Utility issues (gas, electricity, water) may cause a school to close. Issues associated with cold, including water supply to a building and electricity to a building or neighborhood, may cause school to be canceled.
Other Related Topics
The State of Indiana allows school districts to implement up to 3 asynchronous (non-live instruction) eLearning days per school year. MSD of Decatur Township will utilize these days first in the event of inclement weather. Subsequent eLearning days beyond 3 will be designated as synchronous (live video instruction 50% of instructional day) or complete school closure, with make-up days as determined by district administration.
Teachers will deliver content for eLearning via Canvas and/or Webex. Look for ParentSquare communication.
Extra Curricular Activities
When school is closed due to inclement weather, no practices, rehearsals, or meetings under the sole control of MSD Decatur Township shall occur.
Given that a game time or performance time may be more than 10 hours after the decision to close school is made, and understanding the weather conditions can significantly improve over the course of a day, the decision regarding inter-school athletic contests and major performances shall be made on a case-by-case basis by the school administration.
A contractual obligation to participate in an away activity may be honored in a situation where a mutually agreeable resolution (postponement or cancellation) cannot be identified.
Commitments to local and state tournaments shall be honored, to the greatest extent possible.
Official MSD of Decatur Social Media Accounts:
Board Meeting Recognition
At the School Board Meeting on December 13, 2022, the Decatur Middle School 8th Grade Football Team was recognized by Dr. Stephanie Hofer, Assistant Superintendent, who stated, “They began the season with goals to go undefeated and repeat as Jr. Mid-state Conference Champs. Over the course of the season, they faced adversity with several injuries. In true character to these young men’s resilience and toughness, week by week they adapted and overcame those challenges and reached both their goals.” The team was then presented as the 2022 Jr. Mid-state Conference Champs with a perfect 6-0 conference record! Our coaching staff shared that it was a complete privilege to coach these young men for the last two years and they look forward to watching them play on friday nights the next four years. Team members and coaches who were present at the board meeting, were commended by School Board Members, Dr. Prusiecki, and Dr. Hofer. We are #DecaturProud of the DMS 8th Grade Football Team!!
The Decatur Middle School Cheer Program was recognized for an amazing year for competing in several competitions for the first time and making school history!
Their accomplishments included:
4th place (out of 14 teams) at the IHSAA State Cheer Competition
3rd place at the Tri-west Cheer Competition
Earning prestigious CICC 2022 Spirit Award
2nd place at the Royal Rumble
1st place at the Carmel Cheer Competition
Junior Division Camp Champions and 2022 Superior Champions at the UCA Cheer Camp
Jr. Mid-state Conference Champions
Special congratulations to athletes Jordan Allen, Eliana Adams, and Samyla Calahan, who were selected as All-American Cheerleaders!
Also, congratulations to the Cheer Coaches Carrie Kelly and Sara Gibson, who were recognized as finalists for Cheer Coaches of the Year.
Dr. Hofer stated, “We are VERY Decatur Proud of this team and look forward to great things from them in the future.” The team and coaches were commended by School Board Members, Dr. Prusiecki, and Dr. Hofer.
The School Board approved the transition of the Decatur High Ability Academy to an innovation school, starting in the 2023-2024 academic year. With support from The Mind Trust, facilities, programming, and staff will be expanded. Out of district enrollment will be available for students who meet academy criteria as a high ability student.
Decatur High Ability Academy Staff
Tobacco, E-Cigarette, & Vaping Diversion Program
Decatur Township School Police Department, (DTSPD), in collaboration with the Drug Free Coalition, is excited to offer a new diversion program for students found to be in possession of tobacco products, e-cigarettes, and or vaping devices. DTSPD has also partnered with our local courts in an effort to minimize the use of these products and devices on our campuses. Our students, if found with the aforementioned items, would be in violation of Indiana Code 35-46-1-10.5, Minor in Possession of a Tobacco Product or an Electronic Cigarette or 7.1-5-12-8 Smoking in a Prohibited Area. Each of these would be met with an Indiana citation, also known as a “Uniform Traffic Ticket,” (UTT). When submitted to the courts, the cost of the ticket for this violation is $170.50. This is an actual ticket and will affect your license or the ability to obtain one if left unpaid.
Our objective however, is not to create financial hardship, but to have an opportunity to educate students and families on the dangers of vaping and tobacco products. Twice per month, DTSPD officers will present a 1-hour class for students who have opted to accept the terms of the diversion program. The cost of the class for a student attending alone is $75.00. If a student attends the class with a parent or guardian, the class is discounted at a cost of $25.00. Upon the completion of the class, the UTT, or citation, will not be referred to the courts, and there will be no record of the violation. A student may only participate in the program once per school year, and only twice throughout their entire school career.
2022-2023 SCHOOL FEES
Please make arrangements with your school's Treasurer to pay any fees you may owe. Or, you may pay online here.
Daily Rate $25.00
Monthly Rate $450.00
Annual Cost $4,500.00
Supply Fee $50.00
Daily Rate $10.50
Monthly Rate $189.00
Annual Cost $1,890
Supply Fee $25.00
KG - $181
Grade 1 - $186
Grade 2 - $186
Grade 3 - $181
Grade 4 - $181
Grade 5 - $181
Grade 6 - $176
$128 plus course/consumable fees (varies based on student schedule)
$118 plus course/consumable fees (varies based on student schedule)