Students return to Amy Beverland Elementary after principal’s death

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 1, 2016) - Therapy dogs and extra counselors were on hand Monday morning as students returned to class at Amy Beverland Elementary School in Lawrence Township.

Classes resumed less than one week after the death of the school’s beloved principal, Susan Jordan. Jordan died last Tuesday when a school bus ran up onto a sidewalk at the school. Two children were also injured and rushed to Riley Hospital for Children. Witnesses reported seeing Susan Jordan pushing children out of the way of the bus in the moments before her death.

“Today will be hard,” said Assistant Principal Angela Crousore during Monday morning school announcements. “Things will be strange, and we will miss Mrs. Jordan greatly. But we will be okay.”

The morning announcements also provided an opportunity for interim principal, Connie Thomas to introduce herself to students.

“Good morning boys and girls,” Thomas said. “I am really happy to be here and to be able to support you.”

Thomas, who also met with students and parents during a Sunday open house at the school, is known to many in Lawrence Township Schools. She retired in June after serving as principal at Indian Creek Elementary School. She came out of retirement last semester to fill a vacancy at Lawrence Township’s Early Education Center. Now, she steps in to fill in for the late Susan Jordan.

District officials expect Thomas will work as principal through the end of the school year.

Mrs. Thomas wasn’t the only new face children met when they returned to class Monday. Therapy dogs were brought into the school to help bring smiles to young faces.

Spokesperson Kathleen Rodgers also said extra staff members and counselors were also added to each classroom, and each school bus. Bus engines were also turned off as children loaded and unloaded the buses at the school.

Rodgers said the additional measures will be assessed in the coming days to determine how long they are needed.

“We will work together because that is what Mrs. Jordan would want us to do,” Crousore said during her announcement. “And together we will focus on our jobs as students and staff at the best elementary school ever.”

Rodgers said attendance and bus ridership were at normal levels for a Monday. The Amy Beverland Elementary School Facebook page featured several pictures of signs intended to show support for the district’s bus drivers.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police said Monday the investigation into the circumstances of Tuesday’s bus crash were still under investigation. The bus involved in the accident had recently undergone and passed inspection.

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