Carmel considers requiring all school visitors to pass background check


The Carmel Clay Schools Board of Trustees met Dec. 16. The next meeting is set for 7 p.m. Jan. 27 at the Educational Services Center, 5201 E. Main St. For more, or to see an agenda, visit

What happened: The board discussed a policy update that would require all school visitors to pass a background check.

What it means: Assistant Supt. Amy Dudley introduced the policies. In the volunteer policy, changes are being proposed that would require all visitors to the school during the normal school day to have passed a background check. Special exceptions would be made for events when members of the public are invited during the school day, such as Grandparents Day and convocations. Another change to the policy proposes background checks being done every three years instead of every five years.

What’s next: The board will vote on the policies at a future meeting.


What happened: The board approved a bid award for renovations at College Wood Elementary.

What it means: The district will contract JBM Contractors Corp, Jack Laurie Flooring and Bill Lawrence Co. for general renovations, flooring and painting totaling $924,680.

What’s next: Work is expected to begin in spring 2020.


What happened: The board recognized recipients of the 2019 state AP scholar award.

What it means: Joseph Heerens and Jessica Zheng, who both graduated from Carmel High School in 2019, recently were named recipients of the College Board State Advanced Placement Scholar Award. The AP scholar award is given to one female and one male student each year to represent the state of Indiana. Students with the greatest number of AP exams taken with scores of 3 or higher with no less than a 3.5 average are in the pool.


What happened: The board tabled a resolution establishing school safety referendum and school safety debt service funds.

What it means: McMichael said because the safety referendum passed, it is necessary to establish funds to hold the money. Kerschner and board member Pam Knowles shared concerns about the establishment of the school safety debt service fund, questioning if the fund was necessary since CCS already has a general debt service fund. Kerschner said it could add an extra layer of confusion to the public and thought the item should be tabled until legal counsel could be consulted about whether or not the debt service fund was necessary.


What happened: The board recognized Assistant Supt. of Human Resources Steven Stephanoff.

What it means: Supt. Michael Beresford presented Stephanoff with a distinguished service award. Stephanoff announced his retirement earlier this year. Tom Oestreich will replace him as superintendent of staff and student services.


What happened: The board recognized Laura Jarred and Nicki McNally with the community service award.

What it means: Jarred and McNally met with Beresford during his first days at CCS to address concerns about school safety. When CCS decided to put a school safety referendum on the ballot, administrators turned to McNally and Jarred to help organize the process and release information.

“This award goes to members of our community who go above and beyond for our district,” board President Mike Kerschner said.


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