By Leah Sander
MENTONE — Critical race theory is not part of Tippecanoe Valley School Corp. curriculum, according to TVSC Superintendent Blaine Conley.
Conley made the statement in response to an audience question at the regular TVSC Board meeting on Monday, Aug. 16, at Mentone Elementary School.
The question came up during the board’s regular “Items from Visitors” portion of the meeting.
“And the CRT – I’m sure you’ve heard the term before – it’s not being taught in the schools here?” a woman asked. She had a few other people with her.
“That is correct,” said Conley. “It’s not part of the Indiana state standards.”
“I just wanted to come and observe,” the woman said. “It’s time, we, some of us got a little more involved.”
Following the meeting, InkFreeNews observed school board members chat with the woman and the few others with her.
According to a 2021 article from the American Bar Association, CRT “critiques how the social construction of race and institutionalized racism perpetuate a racial caste system that relegates people of color to the bottom tiers.” It originated in legal study.
Discussion about CRT in education came about recently locally during several Kosciusko County Commissioners’ meetings. Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita also spoke on the topic in Winona Lake last month and provided guidelines for protecting students against any improper curriculum.
Also at Monday’s meeting, the board approved looking into purchasing about 80 acres of land near Mentone Elementary School.
“The property could be used by the school corporation for the following, but not limited to: resources or construction lots for our building trades program, an extension to the walk path that the school corporation installed three years ago or future school building additions,” said Conley.
No decision was made on opting to buy the land, but just on researching doing so.
Conley also mentioned at the meeting that plans for the renovation of Tippecanoe Valley High School are progressing.
“Our architect with Fanning Howey has been meeting with the department heads of different rooms within the high school,” he said. “And they’ll be meeting with other people in the next few weeks and they’re really working on the details of the blueprints … to give a clearer picture to the estimators.”
In other business, the board:
- Approved hiring Akron Elementary School cooks Jessica Haines and Judith Hackworth, instructional assistants Adair Sampsel, Jennifer Brown, Samantha Sweeny, Andrea French and Ashley Keeney; Mentone kindergarten readiness teacher Kathy Leckrone, kindergarten teacher Lindsay Gamble and instructional assistants Kora Slone, Gwendolyn Ortiz, Madalynn Corbett and Cassandra Wagoner; Tippecanoe Valley Middle School physical education teacher Cara Hoffman; and TVHS English teacher Chris Secrist, physical education and strength and conditioning coach Tanner Bradley, Spanish teacher Nataly Lopez-Chaves and instructional assistant Nixza Sobenes.
- Approved Mark Gordon as TVHS varsity girls soccer coach.
- Accepted the resignations of Akron cook Angela Bogle, first-grade teacher Hayley Cooper and instructional assistant Christine Vanata; Mentone instructional assistants Aisha Cooper, Marsha Moore and Kristy Gregory; TVMS instructional assistant Dedra Ruff, physical education teacher Danielle Reinholt and football coach Kyler Kearby; and TVHS physical education and strength and conditioning coach Nick Price.
- Heard a report from TVHS student representative Jaeda Carpenter on high school activities. She said the first day of school went well and plans for homecoming are progressing.
The board’s next regular meeting is 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 20, at Mentone.