Carmel school board aligns dress codes, discusses possible cellphone tower near Shelborne Road


At its Aug. 28 meeting, the Carmel Clay Schools board of trustees voted to align the middle and high school dress codes, discussed leasing property for a wireless communications tower and held a public hearing on a lease rental bond.

What happened: The board voted 4-1 to approve updates to CCS school handbooks.

What it means: The biggest change was deleting the middle school dress code and replacing it with the high school version. Board member Greg Brown voted in opposition, saying he found the high school dress code “more liberal” and “rather nebulous” when compared to the middle school version. He also said he’d prefer to see the dress code “based on modesty,” which he described as “clothes that are not revealing” and “that are not exhibiting any particular characteristic of a person.” He cited female students wearing very short dresses or shorts as an example of immodesty. Board member Jennifer Nelson-Williams responded to Brown that she believed his opinion was “sexualizing girls.”

What’s next: With the middle and high school dress codes aligned, school administrators plan to continue their policy of being in communication with students and their parents to address violations.


What happened: During the public comment portion of the meeting, CCS parent Jim May presented information about a statement signed by 850 Carmel residents – including Mayor Jim Brainard – supporting the district’s school libraries, existing criteria for content selection and current process for challenging specific items.

What it means: May said he created the statement in response to Indiana HEA 1447, legislation enacted earlier this year that prohibits school libraries from providing harmful materials to students. He said “anti-public-education groups” have elsewhere attempted to use similar laws to “remove non-obscene materials” to silence specific viewpoints and groups, and the statement is an attempt to “get out ahead of the issue to help avoid it becoming a problem in our excellent school system.”

What’s next: The full statement is available to view at


What happened: The board discussed the possibility of leasing CCS property for a wireless communications structure.

What it means: The approximately 100-foot-tall tower would be built near Shelborne Fields, which are used by the Carmel Dads’ Club on property owned by CCS east of Shelborne Road and south of 126th Street.

What’s next: The Ohio-based company seeking to build the tower, which the district has not publicly named, would need approval from the City of Carmel and CCS.


What happened: The district held a public hearing on the issuance of up to $71.5 million in lease rental bonds. No members of the public spoke during the hearing.

What it means: The bounds would fund upgrades at the CHS football stadium, Cherry Tree Elementary, Creekside Middle School, Carmel Middle School, new technology equipment and miscellaneous repairs throughout the district.

What’s next: The board will hold another public hearing at its Sept. 11 meeting before taking a vote.


What happened: The board approved a change order adding $149,920 to an existing contract with JBM Contractors Corp.

What it means: In April CCS determined it needed to add two classrooms to accommodate growth in the early childhood program at Woodbrook Elementary. After receiving quotes from multiple contractors, CCS decided to award the project to JBM, which is already under contract to renovate the playground at West Clay Elementary. The change order adds the work at Woodbrook to the contract for the project at West Clay.