When I first heard Louis B. Russell, Jr. School 48 (IPS 48) could be restarted and attended my first listening session, I was scared, and I was uninformed. Before this meeting, I was only told that this was important and that I needed to attend. When I arrived, I heard people panicking about the school being in trouble, saying all the teachers would be let go and the school would close. I didn’t know what “restart,” meant. It was chaotic and confusing.
I left the meeting overwhelmed because my daughter has done so well in her preschool class. I thought I was putting my daughter in a good school. I was not aware of a School Quality Review (SQR) process or given any indication that the school was failing for so long. I was just starting to learn that there was a lot I didn’t know about the school my daughter was attending.
My wife passed away two years ago. She was a bus driver for Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS). She was the one who made all the educational decisions for JoRiah, our daughter who was born prematurely and has some academic challenges as a result. It was my wife who would have known that IPS 48 was a failing school.
As a single dad, I’ve now done my research and come to the conclusion that even though I appreciate and value her preschool teacher for all she has done, I do not believe my daughter will continue to grow at this pace in kindergarten at a failing school. I agree with the choice to restart IPS 48.
This school has failed for the last six years. It doesn’t make sense to continue to let it fail. If a partnership with Phalen Leadership Academies (PLA) can make the school better, I hope the district decides to let them. I believe PLA would offer a great partnership and would benefit the students and the community.
The bottom line is that these students deserve better. I hope that the recommendation to restart this school is approved so that parents like me can feel confident about where they send their kids.