WARSAW — Two local school corporations will be closed on Tuesday, Nov. 19, as teachers support “Red for Ed” Day in Indianapolis.
Warsaw Community Schools and Whitko Community Schools will both be closed.
Thousands of Indiana teachers will be rallying at the Indiana Statehouse on Nov. 19 for changes to education. As of Tuesday, Nov. 12, about 100 school districts in the state had announced plans to close on Nov. 19.
Nov. 19 is also the date when state lawmakers will be in Indianapolis to prepare for the next legislative session. The Indiana State Teachers Association is the organizer of the “Red For Ed” day.
Several of the changes teachers want from legislators include significant increases to the state budget for education; a hold harmless on teacher evaluation for the 2018-19 ILEARN results; and repeal of the externship requirement for teacher licensure.
Warsaw Community Schools announced in a press release Tuesday, Nov. 12, that all schools within its corporation will be closed on Nov. 19. A make-up day will be announced in the future.
“Over 20 percent of certified teachers within Warsaw Community Schools have requested personal days to participate in the statewide Call to Action for Education. These requests exceed the number of substitutes available to ensure proper safety and security within Warsaw Community Schools.”
Officials said that the day will not count as a personal day for teachers who requested Nov. 19 as such.
“The school board and administration would like to thank our local teachers for their dedication and professionalism in the many ways they advocate for the future of public education,” said the Warsaw Schools press release. “Their daily work is admired as bedrock in the foundation of the next generation of our local communities. The school district has communicated with community partners Baker Youth Club and YMCA, who intend to provide special youth club options for the day. Please contact these specific organizations for additional details.”
The Warsaw Community Education Association also announced through a press release that they will participate in the statewide Call to Action for Education.
“The WCEA is an independent association representing the certified teachers within Warsaw Community Schools and is not affiliated with state and national labor organizations,” said the press release. “However, these statewide goals are supported by the WCEA as the local representatives of teachers.”
At Whitko, it came down to numbers.
About one-third of teachers at Whitko Community Schools will also be attending “Red for Ed” day.
“We do not have enough substitute teachers to ensure a safe environment, let alone a productive instructional day,” said Whitko Community Schools via a press release. “This will require us to attend school on Feb. 17, 2020, in order to make up for the loss of instruction on Nov. 19.”
Tippecanoe Valley Schools will not be closed on Nov. 19, but will have a few staff members attending to represent the district.
“TVSC believes our students and their families are best served when students are with our caring teachers on a scheduled school day,” said TVSC through a press release. “Our corporation also has a diverse demographic with many students relying on the hot breakfast and lunch program, snacks provided and a warm, safe place to spend the day. On Nov. 19, TVSC will also observe a corporation-wide blue jeans day along with wearing red in honor and support of the quality public education we provide in Indiana.”
Wawasee Community School Corporation will be in session on Nov. 19. According to Tammy Hutchinson, administrative assistant to the superintendent, there are 10 teachers from the district who will be attending the event in Indianapolis. However, the school corporation said it may re-visit the possibility of closing schools on that date.