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Initiative to Expand High-Quality Before and After School Programs for IPS Students

Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), in collaboration with AYS and various district youth development partners, is creating a groundbreaking initiative providing accessible high-quality before and after-school programs for all Pre-K through fifth grade IPS students. by the 2024-2025 school year.

“Engage Every Student Indianapolis” is a resounding call to action for both current and new community partners to support the district in offering robust expanded learning programs, designed to engage students in meaningful, culturally competent, and responsive experiential learning opportunities,

During a media briefing today at Daniel Webster School 46, Mary Siefert, Director of Student Engagement and Extended Learning at Indianapolis Public Schools, unveiled the initiative’s details. Daniel Webster’s AYS programming recently started.

“In a post-pandemic era, creating safe, enriching, and supervised environments between home and school is more crucial than ever,” Siefert said. “‘Engage Every Student Indianapolis’ is a comprehensive effort by IPS and its partners to expand before, after, and break programming into additional schools and communities across the city.

“This expansion aims to support better the academic and interpersonal development of students and their working families, recognizing that every student deserves the necessary support to realize their full potential.

In addition to Siefert, participants in the media briefing included:

·         Justin Armstrong, AYS Chief Operations Officer

·         Natasha Bellak, Vice President of the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis

·         Kate Roelecke, Director of Strategy & Operations of Marion County Commission on Youth

·         Lakshmi Hasanadka, CEO of Indiana Afterschool Network

·         Allyson Peterkin, Principal of Daniel Webster IPS 46.

The need for these supports when school was not in session was clear and the funds were used to pilot a summer enrichment program with long-time partners AYS for students at the bottom 25 percent proficiency level in math and reading, Siefert said.

 “We believe that all children and their families deserve access to the supports they need to realize their full potential and safe, enriching, supervised environments for students between home and school is a crucial step to making that happen,” Armstrong said. “We are proud to support long-time partner IPS on the Engage Every Student Indianapolis initiative to improve equity throughout the district by increasing access to high-quality before and after school programs.”

For the remainder of the 2023-2024 school year, IPS and its youth-service-providing partners are coordinating to expand before, after, and break programming into more schools and communities around the city.

IPS partners with AYS, YMCA of Greater Indianapolis, Mary Rigg, MLK Center, Shepherd Community, Horizons, Edna Martin, John Bohner Center, Hawthorne Center, Boys & Girls Club of Indianapolis, Concord Indy, and Riley Center with state intermediary Indiana Afterschool Network and local intermediary Marion County Commission on Youth.

IPS welcomes and encourages other youth program providers to connect with the district so that schools may better support preK-5th grade students during their critical developmental years. Siefert said.