ANDERSON, Ind. —
The Anderson Community Schools board formally accepted Superintendent Felix Chow’s notice of non-renewal Tuesday evening with a 4-2 vote.
Board member Ben Gale was absent for the monthly board meeting held in Anderson High School’s auditorium, and members Dr. Scott Green and Stephanie Moran voted nay, stating they’d like to further review Chow’s decision.
“Dr. Chow was truly the primary instrument by which the school system was taken back from the brink of disaster and bankruptcy,” Green said.
Moran added he made “tremendous strides” in bridging relationships between the administration and other entities.
Chow, who had received a contract extension from the board in October, will be done when that contract ends June 30, 2014.
The two-year agreement approved in October states that if the district or superintendent fails to present a written notice concerning the status of the contract each year by May 1, it will automatically be extended one year.
Chow tendered his letter to the board last week.
He’s been ACS’ superintendent since January 2010 and came from serving as superintendent for schools in Flint and Hamtramck, Mich., beforehand.
Chow said he’s spent 20 years as a student, 20 years gaining financial knowledge and management skills in the commercial world and 20 years in public education.
“It’s time for me to reflect on what could I do, what should I do in the next 20 years,” he said.
Once he leaves ACS, Chow noted, he may take classes to learn how to make a violin, joking that his wife pointed out the instruments can sell for large sums of money. The couple also plans to engage in volunteer work.
ACS has gone through a lot of turbulence, Chow added, but is in better shape now than when he began three years ago.
He said he doesn’t want to leave the district in a state of crisis, but rather give the board time to find a replacement and make a smooth transition.
Board President Jean Chaille said the non-renewal was unexpected, but added she knows Chow will “certainly work diligently the next year for Anderson Community Schools.”
In other business, the board unanimously voted to approve a partnership with The Crossing, a state-accredited alternative school that had 14 campuses with over 900 students throughout Indiana in 2012-13.
When the school was implemented in 2004, it only had six students, according to the school’s website.
The Crossing targets those under 19 years of age who have either dropped out, been expelled or are struggling in school.
During the school board’s March meeting, Executive Director Rob Staley said they hope to enroll 100 to 150 students who will receive a diploma from ACS.
The decision to move from four preschool locations to one was also approved. Beginning in the fall, all preschool students will attend Southview Center, 4500 Main St.
Assistant Superintendent Beth Clark said the change could help improve the program by moving to one centralized location.
The board also:
- Voted in favor of changes required for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Employees like para educators and food service workers will receive less hours per week, but see a slight increase in pay percentage to make up for the change.
- Voted to adopt the textbook series Benchmark Literacy for grades kindergarten through six.
- Heard a presentation from Special Education Director Angie Vickery, who discussed programs offered and changes that will be made, including the implementation of mild inclusion classes that will take some students and put them back in their home schools.
- Recognized a Tenth Street Elementary teacher, whose class was selected for a museum visit through Channel 8’s I Love to Read Challenge.
Find Dani Palmer on Facebook and @DaniPalmer_THB on Twitter, or call 640-4847.