HIM BY HER
Collegiate School for the Arts
CHARTER SCHOOL PROPOSAL (INCLUDING EXECUTIVE SUMMARY)
BACKGROUND AND BRIEF HISTORY
HIM By HER Collegiate School for the Arts (“HBHCSA”) is a proposed charter school targeted to open in the Fall of 2020 and serve students from Kindergarten (K) through Fifth Grade (5), and expanding to Eighth Grade (8) by its fifth year of operation (at full capacity).
The Applicant, HIM By HER Foundation, Inc. (“HBHF”), is an Indiana non-profit corporation with IRS Section 501(c)(3) status, whose mission is to improve the lives and life trajectories of underserved and marginalized students and families. HIM By HER was founded in 2014 by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department homicide Detective, Harry C. Dunn, III and his wife, Michelle Christian Dunn to improve the life skills and economic prospects of those at- risk. The name “HIM By HER” stands for “Helping Improve Mankind by Healing Every Race.” HBHF will also provide separately funded afterschool programs to charter school students, including The Enterprise City, a program in which youth participants learn a variety of life skills from job seeking, job readiness and positive job habit skills, to financial literacy, to civic responsibility, to conflict resolution, to entrepreneurship, and others; and The Industrial CityTM, for both youth and their families to learn and improve marketable, vocational job skills. HBHF also has strategic partnerships with those who will fund and deliver important “wrap-around” services in the school building, including: mental health; counseling; overall health and reduced-price medical services; social services, and others.
MISSION AND VISION OF THE SCHOOL
The Mission of HBHCSA is to educate all students in its charge—from Kindergarten
through the Eighth Grade—with rigorous academics appropriately infused with community commitment and character development necessary for college entry and success, and for productive lives in society. HBHCSA also endeavors to counteract the “School-to-Prison Pipeline” described below in this document.
HBHCSA’s Vision is to serve students—especially those from marginalized families in and around the 46218 zip code area—which has for several years been designated by the City of Indianapolis as a target for crime reduction. To firmly establish the key aspects of 1) academic rigor, 2) character development and 3) strong, school-focused community (the three basic tenets) prior to enrollment expansion, the school will manage slower growth in grade additions to always have a critical mass of students in the expanded grades who have already been exposed to the three basic tenets as new students join the school.
HBHCSA’s first basic tenet is for all its students to master clearly articulated rigorous academic objectives that coincide with Indiana Academic Standards, where the academic mastery and progress of each student, segments of the school and the school as a whole are tracked throughout the school year and from year-to-year using a variety of assessment tools. As a consequence, instruction can be targeted and tailored as needed for individual and collective grade mastery of skills and content retention in all relevant subject areas.
While not directly quantifiable, the second basic tenet of character development is important and is implemented through structure, high expectations and the repetition of life building and thriving and sustaining values that are also associated with community-building. Teachers and administrators will reinforce precise procedures and conduct expectations that all students learn and come to expect throughout the typical day, throughout the school year, and throughout their academic careers. The values of mutual respect, individual and group responsibility, integrity, perseverance and teamwork are instilled in students through age- appropriate messaging and use of examples. Students will receive positive reinforcement.
HBHCSA will provide an alternative to the chaotic daily lives many students may experience at home with the best of community being demonstrated in the form of not only providing a physically safe environment, but a wholesome environment that fosters social, emotional, and intellectual development. Positive service to and interaction with, the local community will be integrated into their school lives as part of their development.