IPS leaders head to DC

Dr. Lewis Ferebee (WISH Photo/DeAndre Taylor)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Leaders with Indianapolis Public Schools will be in Washington, D.C. Wednesday as part of a national conversation on improving school discipline.

They were invited with a group of educational leaders and officials from across the country.

IPS Superintendent Lewis Ferebee, the district’s positive discipline coordinator Dr. Cindy Jackson and Arsenal Tech Principal Julie Bakehorn all are attending.

They say they’ll be discussing progress IPS has made, and also will be able to network and hear new strategies from other districts.

Included in that progress, they say, is reducing racial disproportionality in discipline.

A district spokesperson says this school year, the district is implementing a revised Student Code of Conduct, which she says sets clear expectations across the district for students.

She says it lets families and students know the appropriate corrective measures as well for unacceptable actions or behaviors.

IPS focused on safety standards at meetings in May, after a video surfaced of a male student beating up a female student at Northwest High School.

Then, IPS updated school supervision plans, and the district designated staff members to act as first responders if a situation escalated, who would be prepared to mediate in different altercations.

A district spokesperson also says principals have taken a look at all safety plans over the summer, which include outlines for responding to different situations.

That conversation in May also included social media education.

When the IPS leaders get back from Washington, D.C., they’ll create a discipline working group to keep researching and customizing positive discipline strategies, then report those findings back to the national administration.

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