No More “Zoo Wallace”: Becoming a Welcoming, Successful School

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. Read more…

High-Touch At-Home Learning? That’s the Plan in Indianapolis School

By Sharon Kebschull Barrett, April 10, 2020

When Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) closed its school doors due to COVID-19, Jeremy Baugh, principal of Lew Wallace Elementary and a 2018–19 Opportunity Culture Fellow, moved quickly with his staff to keep their students learning and connected to their teachers.

“Our Lew Wallace staff, in general, and the IPS community has just gone above-and-beyond for our kids. It’s been incredible to see the connections that they’ve made with them and how hard they’re working to produce high-quality instruction for our kids even in a difficult time,” Baugh said in a recent interview. Read More…

To Support Teachers and Students, Pass House Bill 1008

By Jessica Smith, May 30, 2019

“We need House Bill 1008 to pass in this legislative session, to give more districts and schools support to put Multi-Classroom Leadership in place and to expand it to more schools.” This column is adapted from the remarks made by Multi-Classroom Leader Jessica Smith before the Indiana Senate Committee on Education and Career Development. Ultimately, the legislation passed, providing $3.5 million for up to 30 districts to plan career ladders that may include Opportunity Culture. Read more…