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Parents hit the streets to support Carmel Elementary

CARMEL, Ind. – The future of some Carmel elementary schools is now uncertain as district leaders weigh the costs of renovations with dropping enrollment.  So, some parents have decided to take action.

A group of Carmel moms hit the streets Saturday afternoon. They passed out flyers, knocked on doors and talked to their neighborhoods about the important decisions now facing the district.

Both Carmel Elementary and Orchard Park Elementary are due for major renovations that come with big expenses. District leaders say they are seeing a decline in the number of elementary students in Carmel. Therefore, they are analyzing how many elementary schools they actually need for the community.

"Likelihood is that tonight’s topic will cause some anxiety for members in our community," said interim superintendent Roger McMichael during an April school board workshop meeting. "And, it will do that because all of us are impacted by our schools."

Many parents feel these elementary schools are key parts of their communities. Mothers we talked to say their kids go to Carmel Elementary. They said the location of the school is very important to the Carmel Arts and Design District.

Amanda Derheimer said she chose where to live based on being close to the school.

"My family specifically moved to this area because we can walk to things, we can bike to things," she said. "We waited almost two years to get into our house specifically for that reason."

Parents who are now involved in a campaign to "Save Carmel Elementary" say having a community that's walking and biking friendly is vital.

"Taking away the elementary school will take away a huge part of that walkability for young families," said Darcy Wiley, a Carmel Elementary parent.

District leaders say they want to hear from the community as they deliberate on how to best move forward. Meetings will be held in the coming weeks.

  • Carmel Elementary - April 25 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Clay Middle School - May 1 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Creekside Middle School - May 3 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Carmel Middle School - May 7 at 6:30 p.m.