At the
July 30 Action Session, the Indianapolis Public Schools Board of School
Commissioners approved the sale of some surplus properties, the new IPS Student
Code of Conduct was presented to the public, and district leaders issued a call
to action for volunteers to join in an important literacy initiative.

United Way/ReadUP

The United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI) shared plans to
invest $1.1M through grants, financial support, and in-kind contributions for IPS through ReadUP in 2015-16.
In the coming year, UWCI will fund a Strategic Partnerships Coordinator
position to assist our PIEs in fostering relationships with strong community
partners and successfully galvanizing volunteer
efforts.

UWCI also outlined the expansion of ReadUP opportunities in
IPS; the ReadUP partnership has placed tutors in IPS schools for 8 years. The
main ReadUP program matches volunteers with 3rd and 4th
grade students for weekly reading sessions. ReadUP Corps complements the main
program by bringing specially trained tutors to assist struggling readers in 1st
and 2nd grades with the hopes of increasing reading proficiency by 3rd
grade. ReadUP volunteers help to promote an
early start to reading by joining preschool classes for regular reading
activities.

In a new initiative, UWCI intends to align all three reading
initiatives in an IPS school to track the impact of an immersive ReadUP
experience. UWCI is collaborating with IPS academic leaders to determine the
site for the multi-tiered program and metrics to determine the effect of this
tutoring strategy.

“We’re extremely excited about our partnership with the
United Way of Central Indiana and the opportunity to recommit to the redesign
of our ReadUP efforts,” said Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee. “We need many
volunteers, and what I want our community to
understand is this is not only an opportunity to support our young people with
literacy, but this is also an opportunity for our students to have a
significant relationship with an adult outside of the home, which can be a
tremendous asset.”

If you’re interested in donating an hour a week to help our
young readers grow, registration launches next week for volunteers at www.uwci.org!

Code of Conduct

Dr. Ferebee presented the
comprehensive Student Code of Conduct (SCC) to Commissioners. In an effort to
increase equity and strengthen our supports of positive student behavior, IPS
drafted a revised set of guidelines outlining expectations to ensure all
members of our school community have a clear understanding of their rights and
responsibilities to maintain a safe and welcoming climate.

In a review of district
discipline data, IPS Student Services identified inconsistencies and
disproportionality in practices regarding student discipline. The team then set
out to develop new guidelines for practices and procedures, as well as an
implementation plan for those guidelines.  IPS parents, teachers,
students, administrators, and community stakeholders held active roles in the
drafting process of the SCC.

In contrast to previous
disciplinary practices viewed as reactive and exclusionary, the new SCC is
focused on preventative expectations with corrective and restorative responses
to inappropriate behaviors rather than routinely sending students out of the classroom.
For infractions that do not pose safety concerns or a serious impact on the
classroom environment, restorative measures will be employed inside the
classroom.

Clear definitions of
behaviors, responses, and situations allows everyone to understand what is
expected in our schools and the measures that will be taken to ensure the best
possible educational environment for our
students. Monthly professional development opportunities for educators will be
offered to ensure proper implementation of the guidelines. School Parent
Involvement Educators will also receive training to assist families with any
questions they may have.

A student/parent companion
guide will address the topics explained in great
detail in the full SCC without the wordy educational language; the goal
is to make the newly-defined behavior expectations and supports clear to every
member of our community. This guide, available in both English and Spanish,
will be available on the IPS website along with other support documents to
ensure our students and families do not encounter any barriers in understanding
our districtwide expectations.

The full text of the Student
Code of Conduct may be found here.

Real Estate

The Board accepted
recommendations to accept bids on three surplus properties. TWG Development,
LLC was named highest and best bidder for Florence Fay School 21; Van Rooy
Properties was named highest and best bidder for Phillips Temple and its
parking lot; Milhaus Properties, LLC was named highest and best bidder for The
Center for Instructional Radio and Television (CIRT).

Representatives from Indiana
Landmarks and the Near North Development Corporation voiced their support of
the sale and development of the Phillips Temple property. While the sale of
these properties is not yet final, the Deputy Superintendent for Operations is
now authorized to move forward in completing closing documents.

Board Meeting Schedule

Commissioners voted to
approve an updated meeting schedule adding monthly work sessions from
August-November and a Winter Board Retreat in December. The approved 2016
meeting schedule also includes monthly work sessions for Commissioners.

Code of Ethics

The Board unanimously
approved a revision to the Code of Ethics. Revised language outlines guiding
principles for Commissioners including striving to improve public education,
honoring the responsibility of Board membership, demonstrating respectful
relationships, maintaining relationships with the Superintendent and school
employees, and maintaining a commitment to the community.

The full text of the revised
Code of Ethics may be found here.