Irvington Community Schools have developed a deserved reputation over the years for our work with children in developing appropriate behaviors so that they can succeed as scholars. We make it a point to tell new students that we will know who they are very quickly, given our intentionally designed small school communities. Parents/guardians of students who chronically misbehave should expect to receive frequent contact from our deans as well as teachers. (Further, parents will receive kudos from our deans when students who struggle behaviorally show marked improvement.) Our deans work tirelessly in coaching students to behave to the best of their ability and to grow according to The Irvington Way: be respectful, responsible, safe, involved, and focused. We are relentless in coaching students to embrace these powerful tenets, which will serve them well into adulthood.
ICS deans work closely with our school counselors, School Resource Officer (SRO), and in-house colleagues from Community Health Network, which include school nurses, a behavioral health specialist, and life skills coaches, in providing “wraparound” services to ensure that children receive the proper emotional support and behavioral coaching to help them successfully navigate the challenges of growing up. Moreover, teachers play a central role in this unified approach that provides a “safety net” so that children can thrive in our schools and reach their academic potential.
Our behavior management data consistently shows that students who are with ICS for three years or more typically have significantly fewer behavior issues than students who transfer to our schools. (This is not an exclusive statement, but a strong general trend.) This indicates that once students fully understand and buy into the conduct we aim to see in all of our students, they become contributing members of our school community, their scholarship tends to improve, and, in turn, the culture of our schools grows stronger. And it all happens because of the emphasis we place on faculty, administrators, and noncertified staff developing meaningful relationships with all of our students.
Our deans have received training in a number of behavior management methods and employ Positive Behavior Supports in interacting with students. The aim is to motivate children to succeed not only academically but behaviorally. We incentivize good behavior in countless ways, making sure to recognize and celebrate the behaviors we want to see. We realize that at one time or another, all children misbehave. It’s all about getting them back on track – as parents well know.
Deans also serve as Attendance Officers. We are required by our charter authorizer, the Indianapolis Mayor’s Office of Education Innovation, to achieve a minimum of 95 percent student attendance annually. Whenever a student is out of school for two days without a parent/guardian notification and we are unable to reach the family, we will send our School Resource Officer and the respective school’s dean to the home to inquire about the well-being of the child. Students can only be successful learners by attending school – which is a state law.
If you ever have any questions about your ICS student’s behavior, please contact our deans:
Irvington Community Elementary School: Sherri McGraw, (317) 357-5359, x3130
Irvington Community Middle School: Jeff Clark, (317) 357-3850
Irvington Preparatory Academy: Randy Ballard, (317) 357-3770