I have three daughters, but my only school-aged child is in the first grade at Ignite Achievement Academy at Elder W. Diggs School 42 (IPS 42). Although I can’t speak to anyone else’s experiences, I have met several parents who were there before it became an innovation school. For those parents to still be a part of pushing the school forward, offering encouragement and fighting alongside the school, shows me that IPS 42 is doing something great—not just for my child, but for all the scholars and this community.
What I can speak to is the fact that both my daughter and I love this school. She hates snow days and is the only child I know who would rather be in school than watch TV. She loves school so much in fact, that she’s mad anytime school is closed. She has even told the founder that they never need to close the school. I love that my daughter loves going to IPS 42 so much.
IPS 42 has created a space for students to truly fall in love with learning. My daughter is completing her homework packet for the week on the Monday she receives it and is asking her teacher for more. Her teacher wants to see her succeed and feeds her hunger for learning. When I visit her class, it truly seems like most kids are engaged in learning and picking up on the material. This school offers students more than usual bonus classes like gym, art and music, they also offer financial literacy. My daughter is excited about this class and as a parent, I am really glad they offer a class to help children become entrepreneurs and think about finances at such a young age.
Every child is different, and every child learns in a different way. I feel IPS 42 understands that and it is why they offer scholars so many options and avenues to express themselves. I think they are allowing kids to grow in a way traditional models of education don’t offer.
I am the volunteer coordinator for the PTO at my daughter’s school. While she has only attended this school for two years, I have noticed that parent engagement is on the rise. Recently, we’ve implemented a “first Fridays,” program where parents can come in and get coffee with the principal on the first Friday of every month. It’s been great to have a dedicated time for the parents to come in and voice concerns, as well as encouragement, and discuss the things they want to implement at the school. It helps parents use their voices without needing to schedule a meeting.
I’m also one of the assistant co-leaders for Girl Scouts at the school. But beyond Girl Scouts, IPS 42 has so many opportunities for scholars; sports, choir, dance and more. I love that there are so many options for kids to explore and grow both inside and outside of school hours. I also appreciate the community partnerships such as the one with New Era Church. While this is not a new partnership, I’m glad to see that IPS 42 has continued partnerships that benefit kids since being restarted. New Era Church offers afterschool tutoring and I’ve heard so many great things about this program from other parents.
I know there are a lot of parents who don’t understand innovation or fear change, but I am really happy my daughter attends this school and I am grateful that Indianapolis Public Schools is a district where schools like Ignite Achievement Academy are possible.