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[r29] Column: Back to School!
Start Date: 8/7/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 8/7/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description
Back to School!

Now that August is here, summer break is over and students are back to school. A new school year brings exciting new opportunities for students, teachers and parents. This is more true than ever  with the new balanced calendar starting in Noblesville and Hamilton Heights schools. We will be watching to see how the new schedule affects the students as it lays out a more consistent opportunity for learning with more breaks throughout the year, rather than one long summer vacation. I know it will be a big change for many families, and I am sure there are many who are excited right now for the new change, as well as some parents who are apprehensive about how it will work.

Just as young students finished up summer reading programs and various camps before they jumped back into the classroom, state legislators have been hard at work studying various topics for the 2014 legislative session. 
Indiana, which has a part-time legislature, allows time for members to study and discuss pertinent issues once session has concluded for the year. This has many benefits as it allows legislators to return home to their districts, meet with constituents and listen to their questions, comments and concerns. This kind of input and feedback is critical to the legislative process. 
Legislators are assigned to summer study committees, which is like getting a homework assignment on your summer vacation. These committees serve as the foundation for much of the legislation put before the entire legislative body in January. These summer study committees typically meet between July and October, and they examine specific topics of interest that may or may not have been addressed during session. 

Education continues to be a key issue before the General Assembly, and there are several committees meeting to address topics like school safety and the appropriate standards and curricula for Hoosier students. Specifically, the Commission on Education has and will continue to look into ISTEP+, Choice Scholarships and college teacher preparation programs.

Making sure every Hoosier student has the opportunity to learn in a safe environment that prepares them for a career or post-secondary education is our top priority.

This year, I was assigned to serve on the Census Data Advisory Committee, County Redistricting Commission and the Commission on Courts. As we continue to meet in the coming months, I will keep you informed of our findings and suggestions for the upcoming session.
As you and your family start the 2013-2014 school year, I wanted to share several resources that you might find helpful during the transition from summer time to time at school.

For those schools starting next week, there are new immunization requirements in effect this school year for grades K-12. It is important that your child is up-to-date on his or her shots, and you can check this by visiting the Indiana Department of Health (ISDH) website at
On the ISDH website, you can find the MyVaxIndiana immunization portal, which enables you to access immunization records for yourself and your children from any computer through the use of a personal identification number (available from your local health department or health care provider). Through MyVaxIndiana, you have the ability to download, fax or print official proof of immunization, which can be used for school, travel or other purposes. Each record also features the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s immunization schedule, which can be found at, so you can plan for future immunizations.
School bus safety is of the highest important to all of us, but it is especially on the mind of every Hoosier parent. The Indiana State Police is committed to keeping children safe in schools and on the road. All school buses are inspected annually, in accordance with Indiana State law. Buses more than 12 model years old are inspected twice a year.
A new feature is available online for Hoosiers to view school bus inspection records at To view the records, click on the county where your child attends school, then pick the school and your child's bus number. I am glad to see this information posted in an easily accessible place for the public to know their children are safe and that the state is doing everything it can to ensure their safe arrival to school every day.
I always loved the start of the new school year and all of the possibilities before me. It was exciting to meet new friends and teachers and to be prepared to learn. It can be exhilarating, and just like everything in life, you will get out of education and learning as much as you are willing to put in to it. I wish you and your children all the best as you navigate this transition together. 
Have a great school year!


My column can also be viewed in the Times of Noblesville.
Contact Information:
Name: Nicholas Goodwin
Phone: 3172329831
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Alerts and Notification
  • Announcements
  • Category:
  • Government
  • Education
  • Residents
  • Agency Name
    House of Representatives Republican Caucus

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