Executive Director Update: New Members, New Staff, and Grant Updates

Students in Library

As we begin another spring, we are happy to announce that Noblesville Schools are new members of the CIESC family. We look forward to serving and supporting Noblesville students and staff for years to come!

CIESC is also happy to welcome David Stowers as our new business manager. David has 18 years of school finance experience and the last 6.5 years as an accounting supervisor at Hamilton Southeastern Schools. David replaces Christine Derda, who is transitioning to the Indiana School Boards Association.

CIESC focuses on providing diverse programs and services to its members and to Indiana students and educators. In addition to our regular programs and services, we also focus on utilizing state and federal grant opportunities to benefit our members and Indiana educators and students. 

In terms of federal grants, CIESC is facilitating a STOP grant, which is providing Indiana school districts with Anonymous Reporting and 24/7 monitoring to 28 districts, 238 schools, and 149,000 students.  

To date, the system, which provides districts with a mobile app that can be accessed by students and staff, has been activated nearly 19,000 times. Nearly 3,000 anonymous reports have been made by students, with 356 of those reports being life-threatening.  Life-threatening is defined as a fight/assault, suicide ideation, violence, cutting/self-harm, and/or weapons. In these cases, school authorities and/or local law enforcement is informed and intervene.   

Over 2,400 non-life-threatening reports have been made, with over 1000 of those involving bullying or harassment/intimidation.  

Although the data is very concerning, the fact that school and law enforcement officials are more knowledgeable allows for immediate intervention and, in some cases, has saved lives.  

CIESC, in partnership with the other Indiana educational service centers, has been working with Indiana Department of Education representatives to increase the number of STEM-certified teachers in Indiana.  A specific program has been developed and is awaiting final approval.  We look forward to sharing the specifics as soon as final approval is granted.

After a number of years in education, I am fortunate to work with great people and have rejuvenating opportunities. One of those new opportunities was the ability to facilitate a client advisory meeting for First Student at the AASA superintendents’ national conference on February 17 in San Antonio. First Student is the largest school transportation company in the United States. This opportunity provided me with the opportunity to network with superintendents from across the country, to learn more about their transportation challenges, and how they are overcoming those challenges. I hope what I learn through these experiences will be beneficial to our members.

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