The Elkhart Community Schools Students Services Department is ready to support students and families! The following areas are managed within the Student Services Department.
- Foreign Exchange Student Enrollment
- Guidance Counseling
- Health Services
- Homebound Students
- Homeless Student Services
- Legal Settlement
- Social Workers
- Student Records and Transcripts
- Student Surveys
- For many years, the school district has welcomed both foreign exchange students (those with a J-1 student visa) and foreign students (those with an F-1 student visa). Not only has the district been able to provide great education and experiences for these students; in turn, the students have enriched their fellow students and their teachers through sharing of the countries and cultures from which they have come.
- Foreign Exchange Students (J-1Visa)
- There are a number of agencies that arrange for foreign exchange students. They do so by first identifying students who are interested in studying abroad and by locating families that wish to host an exchange student. The school district is not involved in the selection of host families. Once the agency has matched a student with a host family, the agency contacts the Director of Student Servi1. The number of exchange students per high school is to limited to six (6).
- The student must attend for the full year and needs to arrive prior to the start of the school year and remain until the end of the school year.
- The student needs to be proficient in reading and writing English, and to have the potential of becoming proficient in speaking English following a brief period of adjustment.
- The student’s academic schedule must include enrollment in an English class and a social studies class each semester.
- Along with the consent of the high school principal, foreign exchange students can be considered for graduation, provided they have completed any and all requirements of the State of Indiana and the Board of School Trustees of Elkhart Community Schools
- The district seeks to have a mix of countries, cultures, and languages represented among the collective group of foreign exchange students. Further, the district attempts to utilize a variety of foreign exchange agencies. Any agency utilized needs to have current certification by the U.S. Department of State.
- Foreign Students (F-1 Visa)
- In order for a public or private school to enroll foreign students, the school must be approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), an arm of the Student and Visitor Exchange Service (SEVIS), which is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Elkhart High School East and Elkhart High School West are among the very few public or private schools in the area and in the state that have received this approval.
- It has been the history of Elkhart Community Schools that requests for acceptance of F-1 Visa foreign students almost always come from a student’s relatives who reside within the school district. Requests need to be directed to the Director of Student Services. Based on information provided by the requesting party, the director issues and signs a Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status – For Academic and Language Students (form I-20). This form is provided to the requesting party to send to the student seeking enrollment. The student needs to present the form to the U.S. Consulate of jurisdiction. A student who receives an F-1 Visa must report personally to the Director of Student Services upon arrival in the community. Similarly, students with an existing F-1 Visa who are seeking to transfer to EHS East or EHS West must report directly to the Director of Student Services.
- Federal regulations require that there can be no waiver of tuition for F-1 Visa foreign students and further require that before an I-20 form can be issued, the full amount of tuition must be paid to the school district (the district refunds this if the student is denied the visa or cancels plans to enroll). A further regulation of the federal government is that a student with an F-1 Visa is limited to one year of attendance in high school.
- Please note: students who are in grades lower than ninth grade or not eligible for either a Foreign Exchange Student Visa (J-1) or a Foreign Student Visa (F-1.)
- Both high schools and all three middle schools provide comprehensive counseling services. Counselors help students plan their programs of study and schedules, provide career counseling, assist in planning for post-secondary school opportunities, serve as a liaison between student, school and home, and provide personal counseling and crisis intervention.
- A list of our Guidance Counselors can be found here: Guidance Counselors
- Full-time nursing services are provided in all high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools. Our nurses provide a variety of services, including: attending to the health needs of children that arise during the school day; dispensing medications and providing other medical assistance as ordered by physicians and authorized by parents; providing vision, dental, and other screenings, in compliance with state law; enforcing state immunization requirements; offering instruction to supplement the regular health curriculum; and providing a variety of required trainings and screening for staff members of the district. John McClure, RN, serves as the district’s Health Services Coordinator.
- For additional information, please visit: Health Services
- Homebound education services are available to students who are unable to attend school for at least 20 school days, due to medical conditions or needs. These services need to be requested through submission of a Homebound Services Request form and completed by a school district supervisor or administrator, and attending physician, if the need is due to a medical reason.
- In Indiana, elementary students are eligible for up to twenty (20) hours of homebound instruction a month. Hours for secondary students are up to twenty (20) hours per month, per course. Laboratory (i.e., math), activity-based (i.e., physical education), and group-based (i.e., choir) classes are not available through homebound services.
- For information about Homebound Services, contact Student Services at 574-262-5547.
The McKinney-Vento Act supports the rights of students and youth who are experiencing homelessness. Elkhart Community Schools is committed to ensuring that all students have equitable access to school and school-based resources. Information can be found in the ECS McKinney-Vento District Plan and in the IDOE Homeless Students' Rights.
Within each building at Elkhart Community Schools, the social worker serves as a homeless student liaison. This person can be contacted to ask questions about eligibility and get connected with services.
Additional information can be found at the links below:
- IDOE McKinney-Vento: Homeless Children and Youth Program
- United States Department of Education Homeless Education Law
McKinney-Vento Liaison for Elkhart Community Schools:Natalie Bickel, Supervisor of Student Services, email: email@example.com, phone: 574-262-5540
IDOE State McKinney-Vento Coordinators: Flora Jones, Director of Student Pathways & Opportunities and Charie Gibson, Homeless Education Specialist, 317-232-0957, McKinneyVentoPOC@doe.in.gov
- The State of Indiana requires compulsory school attendance for children from age 7 until age 18. In addition to public schools and private schools, the state recognizes home schools. In Indiana, home schools are nonpublic, non-accredited schools. The parent, not the state, legally establishes the school. No state or public school permission is required. The law requires that home educators must provide an equivalent education to that of the public school, including teaching a minimum of 180 days per year. Parents may register to home school by completing paperwork in the Student Services Department or by registering with the Indiana Department of Education.
- With permission, home school students may be permitted to participate in curricular offerings of the school district, but not in extracurricular activities. Parent(s)/guardian(s) seeking such permission need to initiate the request by contacting the Director of Student Services at 574-262-5540.
- The district determines the grade placement and awarding of credit (for high school students) when a student enters the school system from a home school. Decisions are based on a variety of presenting information, and may include review of student work samples and other information supplied by the parent(s)/guardian(s), information supplied by home school agencies, use of end-of-course or other individual assessments, and review by principals and department chairpersons. The district requests advance notification when a student is entering from a home school in order to make such decisions and assure a smooth transition.
- For information about Homeschooling, contact Student Services at 574-262-5540.
- The “legal settlement” laws of Indiana determine the school corporation in which a student is entitled to attend. Generally, a student’s legal settlement is in the district where the parent(s) reside(s). By “parent,” the law means: 1) the biological or adoptive father or mother of a child; 2) the court-appointed guardian or custodian where custody of the child has been awarded in a court proceeding to someone other than the mother or father; or 3) where the parents of a child are divorced, the parent to whom the divorce decree or modification thereof awards custody or control.
- There are situations in which someone other than the parent, as defined above, is the custodian of the student and thus whose residence determines the student’s legal settlement. These include, but are not limited to the following:
- Even though a court decree awards custody to one parent, the parents can agree, outside of court, that legal settlement is with the other parent (the student needs to be living with this other parent). The parent agreement is obtained through the notarized completion of Form 1, provided by the State of Indiana. It is necessary to complete this form at the Student Services Department, J. C. Rice Educational Services Center, 2720 California Road, Elkhart, Indiana 46514. For inquiries, call 574-262-5540.
- If the custodial parent desires placement of the child in the school district in which the non-custodial parent resides, this arrangement needs to be made at least 14 days prior to the start of a new school year. This agreement is obtained through the notarized completion of Form 3, provided by the State of Indiana. It is necessary to complete this form at the Student Services Department, J. C. Rice Educational Services Center, 2720 California Road, Elkhart, Indiana 46514. For inquiries, call 574-262-5540.
- If the parents are divorced or separated and there is no custodial decree, then the legal settlement is where the parent with whom the child is living resides, either with or without agreement of both parents.
- If there has been a custodial decree, but the custodial parent has abandoned the student, then the legal settlement is with the other parent.
- If the student is being supported and cared for by a third party custodian, having been abandoned by or placed there by the parent(s), then the legal settlement is with the third party custodian. Third party custodianship is obtained through the notarized completion of Form 2, provided by the State of Indiana, and available in the Department of Student Services. It is necessary to complete this form at the Student Services Department, J. C. Rice Educational Services Center, 2720 California Road, Elkhart, Indiana 46514. For inquiries, call 574-262-5540.
- If the student is married, then the legal settlement is in the school corporation where the student and the student’s spouse reside.
- If the student is emancipated, the legal settlement of the student is the student’s place of residence. Emancipation of a student requires that the student:
- Furnishes his/her support from his/her own residence
- Is not dependent in any material way on the student’s parent(s) for help
- Files or is required by applicable law to file a separate tax return, and
- Maintains a residence separate from that of the student’s parent(s) or
- Has been emancipated through court order
- If the student is in foster placement, the student is entitled to attend the school corporation in which the foster parent(s) reside(s).
- Any legal guardianship or custodianship established solely for the purpose of attending school in a particular school corporation does not affect the determination of legal settlement.
- It is important to contact the Department of Student Services whenever there is a question of a student’s legal settlement.
- Social work services are provided at all schools in Elkhart Community Schools. Additionally, full-time social work is provided for special education transition.
- Social workers provide a number of services including individual and group counseling, attendance monitoring, helping families connect with needed community services, helping parents complete social-developmental histories required when psychological testing is warranted, assisting when families are in need of food, shelter, clothing, and a variety of other activities intended to help assure that students are in school under the best circumstances for them to be successful.
- A list of our school Social Workers can be found here: Social Workers
- A student’s records are maintained in the building where he/she attends. The records of students in grades K – 8 who have left the school system are transferred and maintained in the Student Services Department, located at the J. C. Rice Educational Services Center, 2720 California Road. Copies of these records are made available to the school/school system where the student currently attends and, with parent authorization, to others requesting records.
- The records of high school students who have graduated, transferred to another school system, or withdrawn from school are maintained at the high school for five years following the graduation date or date the student would have graduated.
- It is important to plan ahead when requesting transfers, since records need to be retrieved and there is sometimes a one or two day delay before the transcript is available.
- For students currently in high school, the best way to obtain a transcript is to make the request directly with the building’s registrar.
- For former High School students of more than 5 year, transcripts can be ordered online through Parchment.com.
- For those no longer in high school, but who were enrolled within the previous five years, the best way to obtain a transcript is to send a written request, along with a check or money order, payable to Elkhart Community Schools, in the amount of $2. It is important to include the complete legal name under which the student was enrolled and to note the year of graduation or withdrawal.
- Additional questions can be answered by contacting the district Registrar at 574-262-5549.
Effective July 1, 2023 the Indiana General Assembly passed legislation requiring the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) and local education agencies to provide notice to parents of their rights as it relates to student surveys.
HEA 1447 mandates:
- Requires schools to obtain parental consent before certain personal analysis, evaluations, or surveys may be administered to a student;
Requires schools to post a copy of certain analyses, evaluations, and surveys to the school’s website;
Gives parents of students enrolled in the schools the right to review and inspect all materials related to certain personal analyses, evaluations, and surveys;
Restricts the manner in wish the responses or results derived from certain personal analyses, evaluations, and surveys may be recorded, collected, or maintained, and
Requires qualified schools to include specific provisions in their contracts with third-party vendors that provide certain personal analyses, surveys, or evaluations.
Personal Analyses, Evaluations, or Surveys
Attempt to affect
Notice of Consent Required
In accordance with IC 20-26-21-4(a), this portion of the guidance does not apply to personal analyses, evaluations, or surveys for which consent is already required under IC 20-30-5-17(b).
Initial Request for Consent – At least 31 days before a school may administer a personal analysis, evaluation, or survey the school must provide the parent or the student with a written request for consent for administration of the personal analysis, evaluation, or survey that:
Accurately summarizes the contents and nature of the personal analysis evaluation, or survey that will be provided to the student;
Informs the parent or the student (adult) that the parent or the student has a right to review and inspect all materials related to the personal analysis, evaluation, or survey; and
Includes the reasons that the qualified school is administering the personal analysis, evaluation, or survey.
Second Request for Consent – If the parent or the student (adult) does not respond to the initial written request for consent for administration within 21 days of receiving the request, the qualified school must provide a second written request that the parent or student indicate whether they:
Consent to the administration of the personal analysis, evaluation, or survey; or
Decline the administration of the personal analysis, evaluation, or survey.
If the parent or the student (adult) fails to respond to the second written request for consent within 10 days of receiving the request, the qualified school may administer the personal analysis, evaluation, or survey to the student.
Public Posting Required
The school or LEA must post a copy on their public website of any personal analyses, evaluations, or surveys the school intends to administer that reveals, identifies, collects, maintains, or attempts to affect a student’s attitudes, habits, traits, opinions, beliefs, or feelings
Notify the media department prior to the 31-day consent notice period of the need to post the survey, a description of the survey, the reason for giving the survey to students, and the grievance procedure.
Per IC 20-26-21, parents may file a grievance (formal written complaint) expressing their concern or objection to the administration of the survey to their student in violation of IC 20-26-21.
Please send a written document including the following;
The survey, evaluation, or personal analysis that is the subject of the grievance.
The reason for the objection.
What resolution the parent/guardian would like to see.
ECS administration has ten (10) days to respond to the grievance.
Full Service Community Schools Grant Student Survey
Subvención Full-Service Community School (Escuelas Comunitarias de Servicio Completo)
Date of Survey/Fecha de la encuesta: December 18, 2023/18 de diciembre de 2023
Schools Impacted/Escuelas impactadas: Beardsley, Beck, Daly, Monger, Roosevelt, and Pierre Moran
Survey Information/Información de la encuesta: The week of December 18, 2023 students at select schools will be given the Full Service Community Schools Grant student survey. This survey will collect information on students' attitudes and beliefs towards school and overall student well-being. This survey does not collect individual student information.
The Purpose of this survey is to obtain information regarding how students feel about academics, individual well-being, bully prevention, and school in general. Data from the survey will be used to determine how best to serve our students and families.
Esta encuesta reunirá información sobre las actitudes y creencias de los estudiantes hacia la escuela y el bienestar estudiantil. Esta encuesta no reúne información individual del estudiante, como el nombre o el nivel de grado.
El propósito de esta encuesta es obtener información sobre los puntos de vista de los estudiantes con respecto a sus estudios, su bienestar individual y la prevención del acoso escolar. La información de la encuesta se utilizará para determinar la mejor manera de apoyar a los estudiantes y a las familias en nuestro distrito.
Olweus Bullying Questionnaire Student Survey
el Cuestionario de Bullying/Acoso Escolar de Olweus
Date of Survey/Fecha de la encuesta: December 11, 2023/11 de diciembre de 2023
Schools Impacted/Escuelas impactadas: All/todos
Survey Information/Información de la encuesta: The week of December 11, 2023, Elkhart Community Schools will be administering the Olweus Bullying Questionnaire Student Survey. This survey will collect information on student’s attitudes and beliefs regarding bullying. This survey does not collect individual student information such as name and birthdate.
The purpose of this survey is to obtain information regarding bullying in schools, where it occurs, how often they are reporting bullying, and other questions about bullying used to evaluate the Olweus program and help schools address bullying issues.
Este aviso inicial es para informarle que la semana del 11 de diciembre de 2023, la escuela de su estudiante realizará la encuesta estudiantil de el Cuestionario de Bullying/Acoso Escolar de Olweus a todos los estudiantes del Kínder al 6° grado. Esta encuesta reunirá información sobre las actitudes y creencias de los estudiantes hacia la escuela y el bienestar estudiantil. Esta encuesta no reúne información individual del estudiante, como el nombre o el nivel de grado.
El propósito de esta encuesta es obtener información sobre el bullying, dónde ocurre, con qué frecuencia los estudiantes reportan el bullying y otras preguntas sobre bullying que se utilizan para evaluar el programa Olweus y para ayudar a las escuelas abordar los asuntos de bullying.
J.C. Rice Educational Services Center
2720 California Road
Elkhart, IN 46514
Assistant Superintendent of Student Services
Supervisor, Student Services
Ana Victoria Santos
Executive Assistant, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services