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Meet Patrick Mapes, superintendent of Perry Township Schools

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — School is back in session, meaning it’s the perfect time for parents and students to learn more about the leaders of local school districts and their plans for the academic year.

Patrick Mapes is the superintendent for Perry Township Schools. He assumed the role in the fall of 2016 after serving as associate superintendent under Dr. Thomas Little.

Mapes stopped by Daybreak on Wednesday to talk about the new school year, the district’s textbook assistance program, and the decision to offer students free admission to home athletic events.

Perry Township students returned to the classroom three weeks ago and things are off to a great start, according to Mapes.

“It just seemed as if all the students were really ready to come back this year and, as normal, the parents were ready to send them back to us,” Mapes said. “We probably have seen a little decline in our enrollment this year; unfortunately, we’re down about 400 students, but students continue to trickle in.”

Things are going well, but Mapes says Perry Township is not immune to the effects of the statewide teacher shortage.

“This is the first time — and I’ve been doing coaching and teaching administration for 40 years — that we started the school year with nine teaching vacancies, and five of those are special education,” Mapes said. “We’ve been able to utilize instructional assistance and other teachers to go in and make certain that those classrooms are covered.”

Mapes says the September 1 deadline is quickly approaching for the district’s textbook assistance program.

“We encourage our parents to fill out all the forms for all the resources that are available to them. Perry Township Schools this year became a district-wide free breakfast and lunch, but we still need them to fill out the assistance forms so we can get them free textbook assistance.”

Mapes and other school leaders are excited to offer students free admission to home athletic events.

“We had a disconnect from our kids attending athletic events because of the pandemic,” Mapes said. “So we’ve taken some of our federal dollars and we’re letting our grade 9 through 12 students in free with an ID and kids in kindergarten through grade eight get in free with a parent.”

Visit the Perry Township Schools website to learn more.