April 4, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.

New signs being readied for schools

By By Paul [email protected]

An identity crisis is ending at Flat Rock-Hawcreek schools.

Shawn Price, district superintendent, said two 4-by-8 signs will be installed by the end of the year in front of the buildings that Hauser Jr./Sr. High School and Hope Elementary School share on State Road 9. One sign will state the name and address of one school while the other sign will state the name and address of the adjoining school, he said. The signs will delineate between the two so there can be no doubt which is which.

Coca-Cola is paying the $15,000 price tag as part of the school district's contract agreement that makes Coke its beverage service provider. Price said that contract perk gave the school district an excuse to move the project from the back burner, where it had remained since the schools merged in 2011, to a suddenly front-and-center project that will solve various problems along the way.

The signs will:

  • Clarify for visitors that the elementary school is on the left side and that the high school is on the right.

  • Give students at each school a sense of identity and pride.

  • Establish greater legitimacy in people's minds in an era of school choice.

Price said all the benefits are important.

School choice became an option to many lower-income families in May 2011, when the state enacted the Indiana Choice Scholarship Program. That program makes scholarships available to offset the costs of tuition. Families who previously could afford only to send their children to public school now have the means to choose schools they might feel are a better fit for their children.

Clarifying the which-school-is-which dilemma is a more nuts-and-bolts benefit, amplified by the fact that the two schools have different addresses. Hauser's address is 9273 N. State Road 9, and Hope Elementary's address is 9575 N. State Road 9. Clear delineation saves visitors time in that they don't come first to the wrong building, and it saves school employees time by not having to redirect them.

School administrators love the sign solution.

"I am absolutely thrilled with the idea of having a sign in front of Hope Elementary," said Jessica Poe, the elementary school principal. "Any additions such as this just increase school pride in the community."

Contractors have already built the brick casings for both signs, which Price said will be situated next to and facing the highway.

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