As many of you know, the Indianapolis Alumni Chapter (IAC) performs Guide Right services at The Elder W. Diggs School #42.
Please see this December 12, 2016 article from the Indiana Business Journal (written by: Dylan Peers McCoy, Chalkbeat Indiana) noting the current condition of the school as well as others.
Three more struggling Indianapolis Public Schools have been officially put on notice: They could be “restarted” next year and all of their teachers could be forced to reapply for their jobs.
School 42, School 63 and John Marshall Middle School were all named by the district as candidates for conversion to “innovation” status following years of low test scores.
That means the school’s teachers would no longer be represented by the IPS union and their principals would be given more flexibility over curriculum, school hours and budgets. The schools would be run independently from the district but, unlike charter schools, would still be responsible to the school board.
The three schools named Monday are the latest to face possible conversion as part of a district effort to improve chronically failing schools.
Already, three failing schools converted to innovation status over the last two years, but there is not yet much evidence of whether the approach will achieve the lofty aim of fixing failing schools. Leaders have enough faith in the strategy, however, that they are pursuing plans to continue restarting schools.
In addition to restarting schools, the district has also allowed two successful schools to convert to innovation status and several charter schools have joined the network.
The IPS board plans to discuss these latest innovation conversions this week and will make a final decision early next year, according to Aleesia Johnson, who leads innovation schools for the district.
All three schools facing restart have been on the district’s radar for several years. School 42, a north-side elementary school, is an IPS “priority” school, which receives extra attention and training from the district, and School 63, a west-side elementary school, is part of the “transformation zone,” a state-funded program that aims to improve district high schools and the elementary schools that feed into them.
John Marshall is also a priority school. Test scores at the east-side school have been dismal for several years, and a group of parents called for the district to improve the school in June. If the board converts the school to innovation status, it would be part of a larger transition because the district already plans to reconstitute the school, which currently serves grades 7-12, as a middle school as part of a plan approved by the board in August.
At John Marshall, School 42 and School 63, district leaders will look more closely at other measures of school quality, including whether students are showing improvement on state exams, before making their final recommendations to the board in January, according to Johnson.
Because the schools have had several years of failing grades, the Indiana State Board of Education will also be monitoring the plan for improving them, Johnson said.
“We are trying to make sure we have a strong plan that we believe … the state board will be in support of us implementing,” she said.
At the schools that could be restarted, the district has already begun to hold meetings with teachers and parents to discuss the schools’ future.
If the board decides to convert the schools to innovation schools, the next step will be choosing partners to take over management.
Johnson said the district hasn’t selected partners. But there are a few clear possibilities. Earl Phalen, who runs a charter network that manages two innovation elementary schools, has said in the past that the network plans to open a middle school on the east side at John Marshall or another campus.
There also are two planned schools that are possible candidates to take over schools 42 and 63: The leaders of Paramount School of Excellence charter school are aiming to start a second campus as an innovation school. And, a planned charter school called Ignite Achievement Academy presented to the IPS board in November. Both schools received planning grants from the Mind Trust, a not-for-profit that offers fellowships for leaders to plan innovation schools.
Chalkbeat is a not-for-profit news site covering educational change in public schools.
Below is a sample form letter members of IAC utilized to support School #42:
Dr. Lewis Ferebee
Indianapolis Public Schools
Elder Watson Diggs was one of ten young men who founded our fraternity nearly 106 years ago, on the IU Bloomington campus, on January 5, 1911. As a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., I am committed in support of our Kappa Brother, Principal Donald Caudle, Vice Principal Ms. Ely and their staff as they strive to educate our youth at E.W. Diggs School #42.
As you know, Indy Alumni Kappas have adopted the school, providing needed supplies, resources, mentoring and tutoring.
However; if it is remotely possible that E.W. Diggs School 42 may become an Innovative School, I ask that you please consider making the Innovation partner the Ignite Achievement Academy team led by our Kappa Brother Shy-Quon Ely. I am impressed with the scope of the Ignite Achievement Academy program and would also fully support such a program at Elder Diggs School #42. The historical significance of E.W. Diggs and Kappa’s commitment to achievement in all fields of endeavor marry well with the current IPS mission and the Ignite program.
In any iteration, please keep EW Diggs School 42 a Kappa-led School.
IAC made further efforts to support School #42 by participating live on our Fraternity Brother Tom Brown's "Community Connection" radio show on Wednesday December 14, 2016 at 1pm on AM 1310. Members discussed our mentoring programs through Guide Right and Kappa League activities.
Lastly, members made efforts and were granted an oppotunity to be included on the IPS Board Agenda. IAC requested at least 20 members attend the board meeting which is December 15, 2016 at 6pm and located at the the IPS Educational Center 120 E. Walnut St.
Stay tuned to see if our efforts are enough to help Elder Watson Diggs School #42 maintain its viability.
Guide Right is a program for the educational and occupational guidance of youth, primarily inspirational and informational in character.
Elder Watson Diggs School #42
2016-2017 School Year
During the fall school semester, the following activities took place:
Kappa Alpha Psi Indianapolis Alumni partnered with New Era Baptist Church to provide uniforms for students in need. Kappa's donated $1,000 for clothing which included khaki pants, polo shirts and a sweater or zip-up sweat shirt. The combined initiative was able to clothe 200 elementary students.
In conjunction with our educational partner, New Era Baptist Church, Indianapolis Alumni chapter provided funds for the Diggs students to celebrate Halloween.
This has been an annual event for the Diggs School for several years. The Diggs' administration explained that many of their students live in neighborhoods that are not safe to trick-or-treat in the traditional way. Regardless, the students enjoyed food, candy and health care products. Toothpaste and floss were big hits. More than 15 Kappa's participated and were helpful in cooking, distributing candy, toothpaste, drinks and having fun with the students and parents.
Mentoring and Tutoring
Mentoring and tutoring began November 28 at Diggs School. Initially, the Diggs committee was pleased to conduct mentoring/tutoring during the after school time. We had 14 Kappa's who volunteered to participate. Unfortunately, Diggs administration had challenges in obtaining parent permission slips for targeted students (those needing reading and math assistance) to participate. After further planning with Diggs administration, we decided to mentor students in primary grades (1st and 2nd) during their lunch period on Tuesday's.
Kappa members Mike Owens, Stant Clark and Richard Bonds alternate two (2) sessions: one in character development and a session in academic support for reading and math. We extend an invitation to Kappa members available from 11:00am - 12:15pm on Tuesdays to join us.
Breakfast with Santa
On Saturday, December 10th from 9 a.m. until noon, members of Indianapolis Alumni Chapter hosted "Breakfast with Santa", a traditional event at Diggs school. Kappa League members in front row dressed in white shirts and cream pants.
Thanks to Brother Ben Carter and Kroger, we will distribute food baskets to parents of Diggs students. Last year, 30 baskets were provided to Diggs families. In addition, a continental breakfast, candy, toys and other goodies were provided.
This section is dedicated to members who have passed on. Please take a moment to remember the service our member contributed to our beloved Fraternity.
Tommy Brittain, Alpha Chapter 1968
Below Founder Elder Watson Diggs' letter to ISU while he was serving in the military during World War I. This valuable information was received by The Alpha Zeta Chapter Advisor Claude Grimes as it was recovered from the Indiana State University's (ISU) Archives. With the help of ISU's President Bradley, the team is reviewing and searching for all memorabilia, pictures etc. of Founder Diggs and they will provide copies of everything they find.
Let us give Claude Grimes a round of applause for sharing such information as we wait for additional archives to be recovered.
Alpha Zeta Undergraduate Chapter
Indiana State University
“Achievement is a Lifestyle not a Goal”
Date: November 18, 2016 Chapter Summary
Currently we have seven undergraduate brother enrolled at Indiana State University, we also have 2 graduate brothers currently enrolled in graduate school. Current Officers are:
Pierre Allen - Polemarch
Jaylin Suggs - Vice Polemarch
Alonzo Vasquez - Keeper of records
Roosevelt Harris - Exchequer
Samarcus Hollinsworth - Historian
Anton Strange - Strategus
James Mitchell - Lt. Strategus Devon Caldwell - Valdez - Secretary
2016/2017 Alpha Zeta Chapter Goals
· Academic Excellence
· Build the Brand – within the NC Province and ISU
· Service — To ISU and Terre Haute Community
· Get Out and VOTE! Campaign for ISU student body
Key Activities Fall Semester AUGUST 2016
- Move In Days Lincoln Quad - Help students move back on
- August 20, 2016 — Annual North Central Province
Meeting in Springfield, IL
- August 28, 2016 — Kappa Cookout/Day Party (welcomecampus back)
Sept 30, 2016 – Kappa Alpha Psi & Delta Sigma Theta Alumni Homecoming Party.
We had a successful event raising $2,700.00 for the undergraduate chapter. The partnership with DST was productive and will continue next year. The chapter has booked the same venue for next year and we have scheduled a planning meeting with the ladies of DST in December 2016. Our intent is to expand the activities to include a national or regional headliner as well as other social activities.
Oct. 1, 2016 — Tent City Homecoming Celebration
We have a large turnout of returning ISU AZ Alumni return to celebrate homecoming! It was great to see all of the brothers back at ISU! Thank you for your support!
October 27, 28, 29, 2016 - Kappa Alpha Psi North Central Province - C. R. Wilson Leadership
Conference, Hosted by Alpha Zeta Chapter at Indiana State University
We were honored to host this significant event on the campus of Indiana State University. The North Central Province of Kappa Alpha Psi had its annual C.R. Wilson Leadership Conference meeting on the campus of Indiana State University Oct. 28 to Oct. 30, 2016.
We also had the pleasure of hosting Fall Intake for the North Central Province.
FALL 2016 INTAKE CLASS
C. R. Wilson Participants
The University actively supported the local chapter as well as the Province by making its facilities available, we had a number of faculty and staff participate in panel discussions including Dr. Bo Mantooth, Dir. Greek Life,
Karen Thompson, Asst. Dir. Greek Life and Brice Yates,
Dir. Charles Brown Cultural Center. Our ISU Provost Dr. Mike Licari provided a welcome and addressed the topic of leadership.
The University represented itself well; the AZ brothers want to publically acknowledge them and thank them for their support.
2nd Annual Red Jacket Award Presentation Presented to Brother Melvin L Burks
The 2nd annual Alpha Zeta Red Jacket Award was presented to Indiana State University/AZ Alumni Mel Burkes. Brother Burks is the CEO of the Hamilton Center which is a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana. Brother Burks lives a life of service to others and is a role model to all members of Kappa Alpha Psi.
AZ Brothers and Red Jacket Awardee Melvin Burks
1st Annual Kappa Alpha Psi Essay Contest for
African American Students
We have extended invitations to the entire undergraduate African American student body to enter this contest. 1st prize is a 500.00 book stipend, 2nd prize is a 300.00 book stipend and 3rd prize is a 200.00 dollar book stipend. Entries must complete an essay addressing a topic of significance in the African American Community. The project is underwritten by Clifford and Claude Grimes
AZ Brothers raise $240.00 in the Susan Komen Race for the Cure
The undergraduate brothers participated in the annual “Walk for the Cure” to raise awareness of Breast Cancer and raised $240.00. This was a significant event as the chapter.
AZ Brothers “Real NUPES Wear Pink” Support the Race for the Cure
Scholarship Awards Luncheon
Greetings and Happy Holidays!
I wish you all blessings and good cheer as you celebrate and reflect on your Faith, Family, Friends and our Beloved Fraternity as we look to recognize 106 years of Achievement.
As this is the second edition of the IAC Newsletter, I have received positive feedback for what it has supplied to this organization and the greater community.
Please contact me if you would like to find out how an article can be posted in the Newsletter.
I certainly am looking for members to help in the endeavor to keep this tool viable. If you are interested in helping to expand the Newsletter via being a writer/ liaison to committees, having computer expertise or photography and videography experience please contact:
Steve Jeffers: firstname.lastname@example.org
Terrance Thomas: email@example.com
Randal Horton: firstname.lastname@example.org
Addtionally, members please RSVP for attending the 2017 Founder's Day Banquet