Carmel school board adds $1.5M to rainy day fund, considers policy changes 


The Carmel Clay Schools board of trustees met Oct. 25 to vote on a transfer to the rainy day fund, introduce several policy changes and recognize National Merit semifinalists.

It was the first regular meeting held since a Sept. 30 decision to not allow public attendance, a change made after several attendees of the September meeting continuously interrupted to voice concerns. The October meeting was livestreamed and may be viewed at

What happened: The school board approved the transfer of $1.5 million from the operations fund to the rainy day fund.

What it means: The transfer will replace some of the funds spent to address the COVID-19 pandemic and to help boost the district’s cash balance, which Associate Supt. of Business Affairs Roger McMichael said could make a positive impact on the district’s bond rating.

What happened: The school board introduced changes to six policies and bylaws.

What it means: Many of the changes move elements of one policy to another but have little impact on their meanings or impact. One proposed change requires school board members to attend at least one meeting in person in between every two sets of meetings attended virtually. A board member may not participate virtually regarding final action on adopting a budget, making a reduction in personnel or initiating a referendum.

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

What happened: The school board approved the 2022 budgets, capital projects plan and bus replacement plan.

What’s next: The budget will be submitted to the Dept. of Local Government Finance for review. If approved, it will go into effect Jan. 1, 2022.

What happened: The school board recognized 56 Carmel High School seniors who qualified as National Merit semifinalists.

What it means: Students qualify as National Merit semifinalists by earning a top score on the PSAT, which is typically taken during the students’ junior year. Less than 1 percent of students who take the test qualify as semifinalists. The rest of Hamilton County combined had 28 semifinalists.

What’s next: The semifinalists will learn in January 2022 if they have been selected as finalists, a requirement to be considered for scholarships through the program.

What happened: The school board approved the 2022-23 program of studies course changes.

What it means: The changes include renaming several courses and adding a few new ones at Carmel High School, such as Chemistry II, IB Literature and Performance, and Introduction to Microeconomics.

What’s next: The changes go into effect for the 2022-23 school year.