FWCS/DOE hold diversity workshop - March 02, 2006

Record Number: 2231
Displayed from: Mar 02, 2006 , until: Mar 09, 2006

The Indiana Department of Education and Fort Wayne Community Schools partner in an effort to promote cultural awareness and diversity in leadership during an annual conference on March 3 at the Hilton Indianapolis North. The Third Annual Cultural Competency Summit, which is sponsored through the support of the Wallace Foundation, provides an opportunity for teams from local school districts to get a local, state, and national perspective of the importance of cultural awareness and appreciation. Indiana native Robert E. Knowling, Jr., CEO of Vercuity Solutions, Inc. will offer the keynote address, discussing the value classroom teachers bring to students' lives and serving a reminder that it is never too late to help students choose to turn their lives around. Knowling, the seventh of 13 children, grew up in a Kokomo, Ind. After receiving encouragement from a teacher, Knowling became the first in his family to attend college, playing basketball and earning a bachelor's degree in theology from Wabash College. Following the keynote, school districts from around the state will participate in a "speed sharing" event, allowing teams of administrators and teachers to learn about best practices from districts that were awarded mini-grants from the Wallace Foundation to nurture cultural awareness and promote the importance of minority leadership. Districts presenting during the "speed sharing" event include: Anderson Community Schools, Avon Community School Corporation, Brownsburg Community School Corporation, Cannelton City Schools, Charter School of the Dunes, Clark-Pleasant Community Schools, Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation, Elkhart Community Schools, FWCS, Franklin Township Community School Corporation, Goshen Schools, Greater Clark County Schools, Hamilton Southeastern Schools, Indianapolis Public Schools, Merrillville Community Schools, the Metropolitan School Districts of Lawrence Township, Perry Township, Warren Township, and Washington Township; Rensselaer Central School Corporation, School City of East Chicago, South Harrison Community Schools, Tippecanoe School Corporation, Valparaiso Community Schools, Vigo County School Corporation, and Warsaw Community Schools. Additionally, the conference will feature state and national speakers including Superintendent of Public Instruction Suellen Reed, Dr. Wendy Robinson, superintendent of Fort Wayne Community Schools, Dr. Jane Foley, Senior Vice President of the Milken Family Foundation, and Mona Golabek, an author and concert pianist. The Summit is made possible thanks to Indiana SAELP and FWCS LEAD grant from The Wallace Foundation. The annual event began with a focus on Minority Awareness (recruitment and retention of minority educators to Indiana), and over the last two years has expanded to a broader base of Cultural Proficiency. There will be about 200 educators from across the state, mostly other school districts and universities from Indiana. For more information, please see the Department's Web site at www.doe.state.in.us/ipla/

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.