Indianapolis
Public Schools is going to Washington D.C.! Superintendent Dr. Lewis D.
Ferebee, Dr. Cindy Jackson, the district Positive Discipline Coordinator, and
Principal Julie Bakehorn of Arsenal Technical High School have been invited by
the Obama Administration to the White House on July 22 to participate in a
national conversation on improving school discipline policies and practices.

This
is a unique opportunity to highlight the exciting and meaningful work taking
place in the area of positive discipline with what the federal organizers of
the meeting call “a select group of educational leaders, advocates,
researchers, state and community officials.”

Dr.
Ferebee, Dr. Jackson and Principal Bakehorn will be able to share the progress
IPS has made in areas like:

  • Reducing racial disproportionality in
    discipline, including students with disabilities
  • Implementing a revised Student Code of Conduct
    designed to increase equity in disciplinary practices
  • Increasing building and district supports to
    instructionally respond to inappropriate behavior

Jackson
is humbled by the opportunity the trip represents. “It is an honor for IPS to
be invited and recognized for the difficult work of many,” she said.

They
will also hear what other districts have been doing. “I am super excited about
the trip,” Bakehorn said. “We are doing much of the same work here at Arsenal
Tech, so I’m very interested in networking and discussing strategies other
schools are using.”

Also,
IPS involvement with this federal initiative lasts beyond this one meeting. As
an invited participant in the conversation, Dr. Ferebee, Dr. Jackson and
Principal Bakehorn have been asked to convene a district school discipline
working group and engage community partners to continue researching,
customizing and implementing positive discipline strategies. They will then
follow up in September by reporting those efforts back to the national administration.

What
a great opportunity for IPS to share our progress on the national stage and to
participate in school improvement work at this level! We can’t wait to hear the
ideas Dr. Ferebee, Dr. Jackson and Principal Bakehorn will bring back from Washington
with them!

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