By Jeremy Baugh, February 15, 2021
In 2015, when I came to Lew Wallace Elementary in Indianapolis Public Schools as its fourth principal in four years, the community referred to the school as “Zoo Wallace,” and families openly expressed disappointment in being placed there.
Still, after sending out flyers and emails and making calls home about our meet-the-teacher night, I was shocked to have only one parent show up. In my 10 years as a principal, I had never seen anything like it.
Like the parents, teachers were demoralized and disengaged. One day, the school’s only other leader, an instructional coach, and I wanted to ask a quick question of some teachers. But at 3:30, just five minutes after the kids left for the day, the teachers had all disappeared, too.