Posted on Fri, Feb 22, 2013 under Newsletter

Dear Students, Parents/Guardians, and Friends of Herron High School,

As you know, Mayor Ballard announced Herron High School’s seven year charter renewal earlier this year. For all charter schools, the year of renewal presents a time not only to celebrate accomplishments, but also to give serious reflection to the school’s overall mission. As we look toward our next seven year term, we have so much to be proud of, and many reasons to be grateful.

In particular, I am both proud and grateful for our amazing degree of diversity. Diversity has been an integral part of our school’s mission from the very beginning. The original Charter states, “The concept of Herron High School stands out from its charter peers in that this school hopes to serve a neighborhood and region made up of both “minority student populations” and non-minority student populations to model the equity and integration that Indianapolis seeks to encourage. “  

True to the spirit of our founder’s vision, Herron serves the most diverse student population in the region, perhaps even the state. Visitors to our school consistently remark on our wonderful mix of students, and families of incoming students frequently list our diversity as a leading reason for choosing Herron.

Drawing students from over 80 different sending schools throughout the Indianapolis metropolitan region as well as Center Township neighborhoods, Herron High School has created a rich ,highly intentional diversity designed to expose students to new perspectives in a peer to peer setting. In the timeless words of Martin Luther King, We may have all come on different ships, but we are in the same boat now.” 

We know that families are drawn to Herron not only for the rigorous academics but also for the socio-economic and racial diversity it offers. I often marvel as I look around the lunch room and see a blended student population. Our students are forming friendships across what were once seen as unbreachable social boundaries. Our charter states; “We believe Herron High School can be a tool to effectively create a partnership between both populations, rather than exacerbate disenfranchisement.” 

During Black History Month, it is important to remember the depth of disenfranchisement, and all the sorrows that were once wrought by the injustices of a cruel social system, as well as the courage of so many who fought against injustice.   “Men hate each other because they fear each other, and they fear each other because they don’t know each other and they don’t know each other because they are often separated from each other,” said Dr. King.

Simply sharing space and resources amicably in a diverse environment is not enough of course. Truly getting to know one another, overcoming challenges and building connections together – this is how real communities are built and how world-class citizens are formed. It is incumbent on our students and families to take full advantage of the opportunities to get to know their peers, and to build meaningful friendships, one person at a time. We believe that we are nurturing our students to understand and appreciate cultural differences and to learn and work together to enrich their learning and their friendship opportunities.

Warm regards,

Janet H. McNeal, Head of School

Complete newsletter here: 2.16.2013