NewsEducationPreK-12 / August 4, 2014

A New School Year For IPS Students And Ferebee

Jill Sheridan
A New School Year For IPS Students And Ferebee

Monday marked the first day of classes for Indianapolis Public School students, and families may notice some changes.

IPS Superintendent Dr. Lewis Ferebee  greeted students getting off the bus at Washington Irving Elementary School 14 on the first day.  It’s also Ferebee’s first full year leading the system, and he points to changes as all Indiana schools begin operating under a new set of education standards after withdrawing from the Common Core.

"We'll have to work through changes in our state curriculum and also our state accountability system," said Ferebee. "I think you'll also have the opportunity to see the benefits of some of our IPS strategies and see the look and feel of the new IPS."

Those new strategies include providing teachers with more training, improving community relations and reorganizing schools to address underperforming grade levels.  Ferebee says changes at Harshman Middle School are part of the transformation.

"You'll see more of a traditional middle school model this year at Harshman as we have a focus on science, technology, engineering and math," he said. "It will be a larger middle school and that's unique to our district because we don't have any other schools that have the 7-8 grade configuration." 

Ferebee says IPS aims to provide open and immediate response for families in need of resources or support.

Enrollment numbers aren’t available yet, but about 31,000 attended IPS schools last year and officials hoping for a slight increase this year.