Noblesville Schools Superintendent Dr. Beth Niedermeyer presented the annual State of the Schools address at the new Noblesville Schools Community Center. The luncheon event was hosted by the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce and covered a wide variety of topics ranging from academics to COVID to construction projects.
Niedermeyer kicked off the presentation, themed “Together We Can”, with an overview of the district’s academic achievements and advancements.
Academic-related highlights included:
- A-rated district
- Academic data above state and national averages
- National recognition for STEM, Advanced Placement (AP) and music education
- State and national recognition for robotics, band, choir, theater, speech, writing and journalism
- NHS graduates are among highest scholarship and advanced college credit earners in the state
- The launch of the district’s new alternative education program Miller Success Academy
- The largest HS internship program in the state with almost 300 students and 120+ businesses
- NHS biomedical student research is currently being considered for publication in a professional medical journal
The district used the event as an opportunity to unveil Beaver Stadium as the name for Noblesville High School’s new multipurpose facility. The naming rights deal between Noblesville Schools and Beaver Materials is valued at $250,000 over five years. The stadium will open for track in April 2022 and host a grand opening July 29, 2022.
The speech also touched on the district’s commitments to safety and mental health, with over (50) safety and (30) mental health enhancements made thanks to funding from the 2018 referendum.
Niedermeyer spoke to the district’s support for English language learners, low socioeconomic students, and other diversity/equity/inclusion efforts designed to create a learning environment that welcomes and supports all students.
The district reports that it is in good financial health with a balanced budget, high credit rating and low interest rates. Niedermeyer said that the total property tax rate is expected to decrease for the third year in a row.
COVID continues to be a major challenge for the district and has been more complex and difficult for the schools to manage this year versus last year. Leadership’s overall objective is to keep schools open and students learning and COVID decisions are made with that goal in mind.
Labor shortages including teachers, classroom assistants, food service personnel, bus drivers and custodians continue to be another significant challenge for the district, which reports 50 open positions they are currently unable to fill and frequent disruptions to bus schedules.
Updates on several construction projects were also covered, all of which will be funded through bonds (loans) and will not use referendum dollars or raise the tax rate.
- New tennis courts are coming across the street from Noblesville East Middle School to accommodate the need for additional middle school and high school courts.
- The district’s solar energy initiative has generated $82K in electricity savings over the past eight months and is expected to save nearly $8 million over the next 30 years.
- The Noblesville Schools Community Center opened in February 2021 and has been successfully hosting student programs, community events and meetings.
- The expansion projects at North, Hazel Dell and Noble Crossing elementary schools are complete, providing much needed additional space. North is the district’s oldest and smallest school and Hazel Dell and Noble Crossing are seeing climbing enrollments from growth on the city’s west side. Promise Road Elementary has had more growth than expected and will be next for expansion efforts.
The address wrapped up by celebrating Teachers of the Year, Central Indiana Principal of the Year Dr. Craig McCaffrey, last year’s state championship NHS girls soccer and cheer teams, and international recognition for NHS jazz.