On July 31 the
entire Indianapolis Public Schools district joined as a united team at an
exciting District Convocation to kick off the school year. Held in the Indiana
Farmers Coliseum at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, this grand celebration was
packed full of fun with prize giveaways and live entertainment.  It was an incredible and incomparable
opportunity for everyone in the district to begin the year together.

To start,
Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee challenged the IPS family to excellence,
“Excellence in everything you do. Excellence for students and families we
serve.”

Aside from the
all of the fun activities, core leadership used the opportunity to outline a
vision of not just this year, but of several years to come for the assembled
staff. The state of our district was covered, and the upcoming Strategic Plan,
a roadmap for the future of IPS, was highlighted. This plan, driven by the
Board of School Commissioners’ Core Commitments and Beliefs, will set goals we
will pursue in three critical areas: Teaching and Learning, Efficient
Operations and Family and Community.

School spirit
and pride beamed from each section as Dr. Ferebee got everyone amped up for the
2015-2016 school year, “Our district is Proud
to be Public
. We’re proud to open our doors and happily serve everyone who
chooses to join us.”

“We have an
obligation to serve” said Ferebee, “to grow and nurture our students at the
highest level.” Many schools were celebrated for their raised state
accountability grades and graduation rates and were commended for their hard
work in serving our students and families.

Recently
returned from a trip to the White House to discuss school discipline,
Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee stressed the importance of a revised code
of conduct
that focuses on preventative expectations with corrective and
restorative responses that will result in fewer out-of-school suspensions and
expulsions. Following the tagline “Rethink Discipline,” we are going to do just
that, strive to make a safe and supportive environment for our students and
teachers and ensure the most instructional hours for everyone.

It was truly energizing to see our entire district
team, nearly 5,000 strong—all administrators, faculty and staff—gathered together
under one roof for a celebration of community and education. The convocation
gave us a sense of cooperation and camaraderie that will carry through the year
as we all work to ensure the success of our students!

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