Chesterton Tribune



Soliday promotes new laws impacting schools

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With students and educators heading back to the classroom, State Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, is reminding folks that many new laws impact local school districts.

“As the needs of our schools change, lawmakers must consider new ways to help students and teachers,” Soliday said in a statement released today.. “This past session, we worked hard on new laws to provide them with the tools and resources they need to be successful in the classroom.”

Soliday said in particular that new laws which have taken effect do the following:

* Improve employability skills: “A new law ensures schools include courses on employability skills or soft skills, like following directions and showing up on time, to help better prepare students for the workforce,” the statement said, while Soliday noted that strengthening time-management and problem-solving skills will make students more employable and prepared for life after high school (Senate Enrolled Act 297).

* Enhance computer skills: “A new law ensures all K-12 public schools offer computer science classes,” the statement said. According to Soliday, these skills are in high demand and critical to filling current and future job openings. The Next Level Computer Science Grant Program will help local schools train teachers to instruct the courses (SEA 172).

* Protect student-athletes: “A new law establishes a certified coaching education course on how to prevent and respond to heat-related medical issues,” the statement said. “School and intramural sports coaches for students in grades 5-12 will undergo training to recognize, prevent and respond to signs of heat exhaustion” (House Enrolled Act 1024).

* Prevent suicide deaths: “A new law works to decrease suicide rates by updating awareness programs for educators, health care providers and emergency medical technicians,” the statement said. “Already required to receive at least two hours of training on suicide awareness and prevention, this law specifies this annual training must be recommended by the Indiana Suicide Prevention Network Advisory Council (SEA 230).

* Support foster youth: “A new law tasks the Department of Education, the Department of Child Services, and the State Board of Education with preparing an annual report on the educational outcomes of students in foster care,” the statement said. “Nationally, 56 percent of children in foster care graduate from high school, and only 3 percent graduate from college. The state is working to develop tools to help foster care students succeed” (HEA 1314).

* Prioritize STEM education: “A new law creates an optional elementary school teacher content area license, aiming to build a stronger math and science foundation in elementary school students,” the statement said. “Educators with a passion to teach STEM subjects will be able to actively engage young students and prepare them for high-level courses in their academic careers (HEA 1399).

Visit to learn more about these and other state laws that recently went into effect.



Posted 8/16/2018




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