By Desiree Williams
During its Dec. 11 meeting, The Zionsville Community Schools board of trustees approved six new courses for Zionsville Community High School students and a district-wide lighting project to reduce utility costs.
What happened: Greg McDaniel, ZCHS assistant principal, presented summaries of the six new course offerings for the 2018-19 school year.
What it means: The new courses are Basic Skills Development, Work Based Learning Capstone, Computer Tech Support, Film Literature, Civil Engineering & Architecture and Advanced Passion Exploration (APEX). APEX is a project-based program that allows students to explore their passion and work independently to solve problems.
What’s next: APEX was created by ZCS, so the school will apply for a non-standard course waiver from the Indiana Dept. of Education to begin a pilot program. Upon approval, APEX will join the other five courses in the catalog next year.
What happened: The board approved a $1 million project to modernize the district lighting system with LED technology.
What it means: Interior lighting will last longer without degradation or warm-up time. Exterior lighting will operate dawn to dusk without programming. Pole lights will remain at 40 percent until motion-activated, which will generate 100 percent activation The project is estimated to save more than $469,000 annually in materials and energy. Future lighting energy costs are expected to decrease from 54 percent to 29 percent of total utility costs.
What’s next: ZCS will fund the project with a capital lease through BMO Harris Bank. Energy Harness Corp. will provide labor and materials.
What happened: The board revised the district’s suicide prevention policy in accordance with new state statutes.
What it means: The policy states that ZCS will provide counseling and referral information as well as community resources to students and families. In addition, employees in schools with grades 5-12 will attend at least two hours of youth suicide awareness and prevention training every three years, effective after June 2018.