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Friday Facts: Government Information You Can Use

This Week's Facts:

-Online Resources Help Prepare Parents & Students for School

-Department of Ed Website has Helpful Tools to Start School Year

-August is Also Back to School Time for Adults

-Document of the Month:  School Laws of the State of Indiana

Historical Yearbooks Available in Select Locations

Most popular to succeed in 1971. Class President in 1956. Most popular student 1985. Class clown?  Find these and many other categories in some of Indiana’s high school yearbooks. If you’d like to see high school and college yearbooks in print, the Indiana State Library has many schools and years available from across Indiana. Many are also available online. The Indianapolis Public Library has digitized some years of the Shortridge High School  yearbooks. also provides online access to yearbooks from various high schools and colleges throughout Indiana and from all over the United States. Keep in mind that is only available to paid subscribers. The State Library provides free access to at all public computers. Whether you’re searching for your ancestor or just recapturing memories, yearbooks provide a fun, fascinating peek at history!

Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator
Kim Brown-Harden
State Documents Coordinator

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Online Resources Help Prepare Parents & Students for School

Kids.govIt comes in waves - first the college kids head back to school and pretty soon all kids will be back in the normal routine of school buses, lunches, and homework five days a week. As you’re wondering how another summer has flown by, can help you be prepared with everything you and your kids can be doing to ensure a successful year at school:

While your older kids think they can handle everything college throws at them, it’s important they remember not only to take their studies seriously, but to take care of their health while they’re at school too. The Food and Drug Administration offers free publications on a range of health issues for college age students, including understanding the dangers of tanning, and getting help with the allergies and sleep disorders that can affect their studies.

For upperclassmen in high school, there is a lot to consider when thinking about college as the next step. The U.S. Department of Education provides information on how you can go to college, as well as ways to pay for it once you’ve chosen where you want to go. While financing college can be difficult, there are many ways for students to receive the education they want if they are well prepared.

Although it takes some time for the younger kids to get back into the swing of things and finally sit down and do their homework, once they do, there are many free resources on to help them—and you—with their homework and projects. The Smithsonian Education site allows kids to explore, discover and learn through all varieties of topics including science, art and culture. The Environmental Protection Agency also offers a Homework Zone to help kids understand ecosystems, climate change, recycling and many other science related subjects.

In addition to a great place to find homework help, also offers a safe and fun place for kids to play online games and explore their favorite subjects. Your kids can study, watch videos and review topics all while you know they are doing it in a safe and secure environment with no ads or spam.

Department of Ed Website has Helpful Tools to Start School Year

Indiana Department of EducationThe beginning of a new school year can bring excitement, new goals, and dedication. But it can also be a little scary or overwhelming for students. The Indiana Department of Education has tools and resources to help parents, students, and schools. There is also a list of Indiana Charter Schools, home school information, school nutrition programs , and information about school transportation in Indiana, including laws and regulations. Equipped with information, the school year doesn’t have to be so intimidating. You can prepare and be confident about your child facing the challenges of a new school year.  

August is Also Back to School Time for Adults

Indiana Adult EducationIt’s also back to school time for adults! Many adults are looking to get their GEDs, go to college, or sharpen their skills to return to the workforce or to remain competitive. The  Indiana Department of Workforce Development‘s Indiana Adult Education programs provide math, reading, and writing instruction free of charge to help adults obtain the skills needed to help advance career goals. GED Testing is also available for those looking to get their High School Diploma or GED.  There are Indiana Adult Education sites all over Indiana to help every Hoosier adult. Those looking for a new career can use the Indiana Career Explorer to explore career interests and skills. Obtaining or sharpening your skills is a way to stay a step ahead in this economy. The tools and resources on this site can help you achieve your goals no matter your age or educational background. 

Document of the Month:  School Laws of the State of Indiana

Document of the Month:  School Laws of the State of Indiana

Pens, pencils, backpacks, notebooks, iPad, rulers! It’s hard to believe, but it’s time for the kids to go back to school! Whether you’ve already begun the school year or have a few more days left of summer break, this month’s document celebrates or laments the prospect of a new school year.  The School Laws of the State of Indiana includes laws and ordinances for county auditors, school commissioners, township/district trustees, city-county entities connected with Common Schools, religious and political freedoms, etc. 

The School Laws include historical and foundational laws that established Indiana schools as they are today. For example, in the 1843-1844 Laws, Article II, Sections 30-59 describe how school districts are established.  Section 32 mandates that “districts be laid in such manner as shall be most convenient for the population and neighborhoods thereof, paying due regard to any school house already erected, districts already laid off, and other circumstances proper to be considered, so as to promote the interest of the inhabitants of the township concerned.” 

Another notable section (33) states, “the township clerk shall cause a map to be made at the township, and thereon to lay down and describe the districts therein, so marking the lines and corners that the same may be readily ascertained, and regularly numbering such districts thereon.”  Forms and tables are included that describe student attendance and district trustees reports.  Later laws include qualifications for bus drivers and tax levies. The School Laws are included in the Indiana Collection, Isli 379.1 I385 for the years 1844 through 1946.