community conversation

Yesterday evening, in a community discussion convened by UNCF in partnership with The Mind Trust, Indianapolis Public Schools Deputy Superintendent for Academics Dr. Wanda H. Legrand joined a distinguished panel to share her perspectives and the district’s plans to ensure high-quality educational experiences are available and accessible for every student in every neighborhood. Before a packed house of distinguished guests, educators, community activists, business leaders, students and stakeholders, panelists at the Community Conversation on School Equity engaged in a moderated discussion showcasing how traditional public schools and public charter schools can strategically co-exist – and even partner – to better serve all children and families.

Several topics, including how affluence impacts opportunity, exposure and enriching experiences were addressed in the context of expanding initiatives to ensure that resources are provided to schools in innovative ways to improve student achievement. Along with Dr. Legrand, panelists Carole Craig, educational consultant and former IPS administrator, Emily Pelino, executive director, KIPP Indy Public School, and Ahmed Young, director, Office of Education Innovation responded to several thoughtful questions from the audience, helping to demystify the concept of district and charter collaboration. Each panelist shared his/her insights around what is required of school leaders around addressing equity concerns that impact students and the responsibility to with parents in ways that are productive to ensure each student’s unique needs are being met.


IPS welcomes families and encourages parents/guardians to frequently participate in school activities, gather information and share suggestions and concerns. “We want our parents to feel comfortable in our schools. They need to tell us when we’re not doing right by their children. We want them to be informed and engaged advocates for their children. That’s the role of our Parent Involvement Educators,” said Dr. Legrand.


During the fruitful and informative 90-minute interactive session, panelists spoke about collaboration with local universities, professional development, talent recruitment, school and neighborhood safety and resources, standard teaching methods by age group, relationship building, emotional intelligence, experiential learning, encouraging students and more!


We look forward to ongoing opportunities to support UNCF and The Mind Trust in bringing to our community the conversation on improving schools and ensuring all students’ success!