INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — School is back, which means it’s a great time for parents and students to learn more about local school district leaders and their plans for the school year.
Dr. Scott Wyndham is the superintendent of the Avon Community School Corporation. He became district superintendent in the fall of 2020, taking over from Dr. Maggie Hoernemann upon her retirement.
Wyndham stopped by Daybreak on Wednesday to talk about the new school year, the continued growth of Avon Schools and how the district is handling the statewide teacher shortage.
Avon students returned to class on July 28, slightly earlier than some of the other area school districts.
“We are starting the third week of a new school year. It’s been great, a really positive start to the school year and we’re excited to be back in school,” Wyndham said.
Avon Schools has over 10,500 students, making it one of the fastest growing school districts in the state.
“Over the past two years, we’ve had the third-fastest enrollment growth of any school district in the state of Indiana,” Wyndham said. “We are constantly looking, ‘How can we continue to serve more children and more families who want to be part of our greater community?'”
The surge in enrollment is leading to big changes at Avon High School.
“We are preparing to start a fairly large expansion at Avon High School to add classrooms to this school. But, also, the central parts of this building are almost 25 years old, and they weren’t designed for the number of students that are expected to come through our doors,” Wyndham said. one of our elementary schools that we haven’t touched yet.
Even as enrollment increases, the district isn’t immune to the effects of the statewide teacher shortage, Wyndham says.
“It’s the toughest environment we’ve ever faced and we’re lucky to be a suburb of Indianapolis and a growing community where people come, but it’s still tough, even for us. So we have worked very hard to, firstly, retain the great teachers and staff we have, but also make sure that we start recruiting new teachers early.
Despite the teacher shortage, educators in the district are dedicated to ensuring students succeed, according to Wyndham.
“We’ve seen, especially after a tough few years with COVID-19, we’ve seen our teachers really go above and beyond to help kids and fill in any gaps that kids may have developed that weren’t there a couple years ago. We have set aside time each week for our teachers to collaborate with and support each other in meeting the needs of their students, and we are seeing this really pay off in student learning.
Visit the Avon Community School Society website to learn more.