IPS Partnering With 'Juggernaut' in Tech

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(Image courtesy of Indianapolis Public Schools.) (Image courtesy of Indianapolis Public Schools.)

The philanthropic arm of one of the top technology employers in the state is donating $500,000 to Indianapolis Public Schools to launch an Information Technology Academy. Salesforce.org says the funds will pay for new computers, high-speed internet connection and mobile charging devices to create an "advanced learning environment" at the academy at George Washington High School. The partnership with Indiana's largest school district will also include professional development for teachers, career connections and student work-based learning opportunities.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Superintendent Lewis Ferebee said the collaboration with "a juggernaut in the tech space" fits with the new approach IPS is taking by re-designing the curriculum at high schools. "We're very locked into what's happening with growth in our technology and information technology fields, particularly with 16 Tech coming near that area, we felt like George Washington would be the ideal place to launch that particular program," he said. "When Salesforce came to Indianapolis, they were very interested in public education, particularly K-12, and they were interested in replicating a model that had been successful in the Bay Area where they are also located and have a headquarters. And we were very much interested in that model as well, and so here we are with a half-million-dollar investment for the 2018-2019 school year."

In addition to the IT Academy, George Washington next year will include an Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering & Logistics Academy and a Business & Finance Academy. The curriculum at the school is part of a district-wide college and career academy focus that includes early and middle college options and 45 pathways it says will better prepare students for college, military or employment after graduation.

Mayor Joe Hogsett says "it is fitting that a tech industry giant like Salesforce would not only have their name on the tallest building in our city, but would be leading the charge to ensure our city's youth are prepared to enter the 21st-century workforce. Indianapolis remains incredibly proud to have Salesforce call our city home. And thanks to this investment in our young people, I am confident that Salesforce, our local pipeline of talent, and the entire city of Indianapolis will thrive and grow for generations to come."

Connect to more about the partnership with Salesforce.org by clicking here.

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