Monday, September 22, 2014

Southern Indiana Schools, Part 2

On Friday, September 19, 2014, I visited eight schools in three southern Indiana counties.  Traveling with me was Andy Bosk, Director of Career Connections for the Indiana University School of Education.  This is the second in a series of posts about those visits.

From 1975-1981 I was a student at Slate Run Elementary School in New Albany, Indiana.  It is now holds 333 students in grades K-4, but it still has the same orange and blue colors, and seeing the rooms and hallways took me back.

My 2nd grade classroom
My 1st-3rd grade hallway
We had arrived after an event in which Kindergarten parents had been invited to spend part of the day with their children, and it was clear the students were excited.  Yet for all the enthusiasm of little ones, the Slate Run Gators were focused on the business of school, whether that involved lining up to go somewhere or exploring books in the library.

 I wish we had been able to spend a bit more time and take a few more pictures, for what I saw at this school was life.  As you can see even in the few pictures here, this is a school full of color, light, and life, one that celebrates student achievement in an environment designed for success.

New Albany residents may find that last sentence a bit odd, for Slate Run is an older school, dating back to 1963.  Its architecture reflects the time of its construction, and indeed there are modern school plans that perhaps serve the needs of 21st century education better.  It is not, however, the architectural blueprint to which I refer when I say this school is designed for success.  The design I am talking about is the human design.  Mrs. Niemeier and her staff have created an atmosphere in which children love to learn.  I imagine I would see the same ear-to-ear smiles and would hear the same musical "Hi, Mrs. Niemeier!" exclamations if this school existed in a cave.

Assistant Principal Sarah Pierce and Principal Amy Niemeier

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