IPS superintendent hosts Twitter chat with parents

IPS Superintendent Dr. Lewis Ferebee
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From buses to teacher salaries, practically everything was on the table for discussion with the IPS superintendent Tuesday night.

Dr. Lewis Ferebee hosted a chat on Twitter, turning a hashtag into an hour-long conversation about what's working and what's not at IPS.

It was billed as a one-hour party, called "Your Voice Our Plan" and everyone was asked to go online to talk education.

"I believe that through technology you open the door for massive opportunities for feedback," Ferebee told Eyewitness News.

From work sessions to town halls, now Twitter is the latest tool for the new IPS superintendent to get valuable input from the people who directly shape the future of the district.

"From uniforms to our instructional days to just a number of topics," he said.

One of the first tweets from IPS asked, "What are some of the greatest strengths?"

Carolyn Dupree replied that she likes "the choices I have," while Jenny Clinton wanted to know how schools were going to amplify those strengths.

"Do a better job of identifying what they are first," Ferebee replied.

"We've been very transparent about our listening process and I believe you can't get more open than what we're doing tonight," he said. "It gives us an opportunity to get candid feedback from our stakeholders."

Other top issues included teacher salaries, training and mentoring. The exercise was not to solve issues, but rather gauge public opinion and dialogue with the community to let them know they are stakeholders in improving education.

Dr. Ferebee asks everyone for their best advice.

"Challenge teachers to be innovative towards the goal of improving attendance in each class," wrote Robert Herzog.

For a district, like others, that plan to make up for snow days, attendance is a top priority.

"We need to make sure that we have a balanced approach to how we protect our instructional time and make sure students get what they need," Ferebee said.

IPS Community Input Survey