IPS reopens Monday

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Monday morning, the state's biggest school system starts the new school year as more than 30,000 IPS students head back to class.

Several schools scheduled meet and greets over the weekend. There were high hopes and expectations for troubled Indianapolis Public Schools.

School 56 on the near-north side held a party with a purpose. Teachers who served children ice cream sundaes on Sunday, will educate them Monday morning.

One student pulled on her dad's arm and shouted, "I found my teacher over there." That's is a huge hurtle out of the way for teachers and a school system with no time to waste.

On the serving line, teacher Tiffany Alderfer got a lot of work done while dishing up ice cream.

She explained, "It's about seeing how they grew over the summer, beginning to reconnect to them so that when we are in the classroom, they are ready to ask for help again."

IPS students need a lot of help. Almost half are failing their ISTEP exams. The state gave failing grades to a third of the inner city schools and the entire district.

It's been a year since Superintendent Dr. Lewis Ferebee took on the task of turning IPS around. He's cleaned up the district's financial books, reorganized the administration and set priorities for improvement parents are eager to see in classrooms.

Dennis White has four children in school.

"It is their first day of their future going forward right now," he said.

Educators described an attitude and energy different from other years.

"I've actually come in anxious and this year, I've come in excited and ready to go," said Kirshawndra Davis, the principal of School 44.

Teachers are using new technology for students and parents. For the first time, every school is communicating with Facebook and Twitter.

Christy White, a teacher at School 106 could already see a difference among parents.

"I think they seem to be more interested and want to be more involved."

It's a new year full of new hope for students teachers and parents.