Carmel Clay Schools Offers Its Expedition Program for Carmel Residents

August 2021

Did you know that since 2011, Carmel Clay Schools (CCS) has offered a program—Expedition Program—that offers eight educational sessions to a select group of Carmel residents. The program provides these residents an exclusive educational journey and in-depth understanding of the operations, programs, incredible educators and outstanding students of CCS.

Carmel Schools Expedition Program

Throughout the year, participants are immersed in CCS’ school buildings and participate in extended dialogue and hands-on activities as they explore the following topics:

  • Business & Finance
  • Curriculum
  • Extracurriculars
  • Food Services
  • Human Resources
  • Role of the School Board
  • Student Services: Mental Health; School Safety; Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Technology
  • Transportation

Participants also have fun meeting students and staff, dining on healthy school meals and uncovering the culture of excellence at CCS.

Some Words From Former Participants

The first “class” who completed the Expedition program in 2011–12 consisted of men and women from various backgrounds and professions, including Carmel Dads’ Club President Jack Beery.

Beery shared his thoughts on the program and why people from the community should register for this program.

Carmel Schools Expedition Program

“I felt the expedition was kind of a behind-the-scenes tour of Carmel Clay Schools,” Beery shared. “It was a great experience to learn more about things that I really didn’t understand. Having grown up in the [CCS] school system and having the partnership between CCS and Carmel Dads’ Club, I realized from this program that there are so many other aspects [of CCS] that were a pleasure to learn about.”

Beery continued, “I also found CCS to be very organized and very prepared for the [program]. I really enjoyed getting to hear from some of the administrators and students about a lot of positive things in the school system. And I think the greatest thing [about the program] was learning the financial picture and how the state and federal funding impacts Carmel Clay Schools.”

Another Carmel resident and business owner, Joe Kempler, broker/co-owner at WestClay Realty, shared some thoughts about his experience with the program.

“Being in real estate, I think it’s important that we know as much about the local schools as some of the people who move to our markets for the schools. I was excited to have the opportunity to participate in the [Expedition] program because I did learn a lot about the school administration, security and different aspects of the schools. For example, I didn’t know [before attending the program] that CHS has over 100 [extracurricular] clubs that students can get involved with.”

Another topic that Kempler specifically thought was useful to all Carmel residents and business owners is how the schools manage taxpayer dollars.

“It is important to see who’s in charge and what [CCS] is doing with our tax dollars,” Kempler said. “I think, overall, Carmel’s doing a good job. And from a real estate standpoint, we don’t have an issue trying to sell the local schools to people because they are moving here [Carmel] specifically for its schools.”

How Does One Get Selected to Participate?

CCS Director of Community Relations Emily Bauer shared some details on how Carmel residents can participate.

“There are around 25–30 participants a year, and they are selected through an application process,” Bauer said. “The goal is to give a wide variety and diverse audience participation, and so people are chosen based on their roles in the community. The program covers a broad range of topics, and we bookend [the program] with a welcome and wrap-up celebration at the end.”

The Expedition Program begins in September and consists of two to three hours once a month. The participants will get to tour and observe different areas of the district’s schools.

“We will have different teachers and students speak about different topics,” Bauer said. “This [program] is a learning tool for everyone involved.”

The Expedition Program is open to any Carmel resident interested in learning more about our school system. This program typically runs on a monthly basis, September 2021 through May 2022. The program is full, but folks who are interested in participating in the next available class should contact Emily Bauer at ebauer@ccs.k12.in.us. This program fills up quickly!