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IPS announces racial equity policy

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The Indianapolis Public Schools board approved a new policy June 25 to focus on eliminating any existing “policies, practices, attitudes and cultural messages” that perpetuate differential outcomes for students or fail to eliminate them.

The Racial Equity Mindset, Commitment & Action policy is part of the district’s ongoing effort to eliminate racism and biases that impact students, staff and families.

IPS will implement several measures, including:

• Giving staff access to professional learning experiences about racial equity.

• Supporting the district’s most vulnerable communities, especially during an unprecedented crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Offering students culturally relevant curriculum and instruction materials.

“IPS has reached a major milestone in the history of our district, and it has been a long time coming. We are now on a journey toward authentic racial equity,” Dr. Patricia Payne, director of the IPS Racial Equity Office, said in a press release. “This will require major shifts in knowledge, attitudes, mindsets, belief systems and practices. We will know this has been achieved when student outcomes can no longer be predicted by race or ethnicity.”

The school board also approved the Black Lives Matter resolution, which details the city’s, state’s and country’s history of systemic racism and how that history continues to create barriers.

“The commitment of the Board and district leadership to further refine our ability to level the playing field for all students, regardless of race or ethnicity, is profound,” IPS Superintendent Aleesia Johnson said in the release. “All of our 31,000 students deserve the best instructors, classroom environments, curriculum and technology to reach their full potential now and in the future.”

Read the full Racial Equity Mindset, Commitment & Action policy here.

Read the full Black Lives Matter resolution here.

Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.

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