Your Town Friday: Zionsville trying to be “strong in every way”

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Zionsville, Ind. - We continue our Your Town Friday back to school road trip and this morning we're going 20 miles north of Indianapolis to Boone County.

Zionsville's first graduating class was in 1888. The seven-room school was replaced by a new school in 1911. At one point, the school name was Eagle Township High School. Today, the Zionsville Eagles consistently rank in the top five of best Indiana high schools, but the superintendent told us those rankings don't rank highest on his list.

Dr. Scott Robison is welcoming 300 new students and 72 new teachers to his "Strong in Every Way" way. This growth has been happening every year, but he's concerned with who is leaving as well.

"Strong in Every Way really transcends all this movement that is about test scores," said Dr. Robison. "We want well-rounded humans who can live in the real world. That’s why having deep cultural understandings is really important when they leave Zionsville, Indiana and go into the real world, whether it’s university or being an electrician or plumber or other noble work. We want to make sure they can get along as they become adults and be gainfully employable."

To focus on those cultural understandings, Dr. Robison lists a couple examples already underway.

Cornelius Minor, a Brooklyn teacher who works with school districts on equity literacy, just met with teachers.

And they do a gathering called "Everyone Belongs Here," which is what they describe as a powerful, thought-provoking 90 minutes, where they talk about their changing community and what students need.

"Strong in Every Way really focuses on connections for our youth. We know that if they have at least one person, but preferably five or more people, who are intimately involved in knowing them and having high expectations for them, they do better in life."

Leaders in Zionsville say how to treat each other is perhaps the biggest lesson they can teach.

For more on the Strong in Every Way initiative, click here.

By the way, the annual Eagle Fest is Friday August 23rd from 5 to 7 p.m. before the football game!

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