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Innovation will help Project:RESTORE survive

Access to High-Quality Schools, Current Events & News | 04/28/2016

Justin Ohlemiller
Executive Director

Justin Ohlemiller is the Executive Director of Stand for Children Indiana.

Parents: Innovation will help Project:RESTORE survive and thrive in IPS 93

INDIANAPOLIS – IPS parents and members of Stand for Children Indiana applauded tonight’s vote by the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) board to support a proposal that allows George Fisher Elementary School IPS 93 to become an Innovation School, joining Cold Spring Academy as the only existing neighborhood schools to initiate their own push for autonomy.

The move will allow school leaders at IPS 93 to enhance and improve the widely successful Project:RESTORE program, a homegrown teacher-led turnaround model that has helped three east side schools achieve dramatic improvement in student outcomes.

In the spring of 2014, parents at IPS 93 led a grassroots campaign to bring Project:RESTORE to the school. Since then, parents like Marsha Harris have seen the difference the RESTORE curriculum can make in the education of their children.

“Project:RESTORE is working. [It’s] not only changing our school, but the community and most importantly, the lives of our children,” Harris said in her testimony before IPS board members. “[Tonight’s vote] is a vote to continue the growth, progress and commitment to our children who may one day sit where you are seated today.”

In becoming an Innovation School, IPS 93 and its staff and principal will gain additional freedoms from district mandates, allowing the RESTORE model to become even more engrained in the school’s culture. And that’s a good thing according to Harris. Her daughter, who previously struggled academically at another school before enrolling at IPS 93, believes in RESTORE so much that she makes it part of her daily attire.

“[My daughter] proudly wears her red Project:RESTORE sweatshirt every day. It reminds her to work hard, excel and be the best she can possibly be, not only in her studies, but in her behavior and attitude,” said Harris.

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Stand for Children Indiana is a nonprofit education advocacy group. For more information, visit www.stand.org/IN

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