Rise & Shine: Indiana schools receive millions in safety grants — but don’t have to disclose how they use them

Every time I visit classrooms, there’s inevitably a moment where I feel grateful to not be in middle or high school anymore. School had to have been easier back in the day, simply because we couldn’t do as much without all the newfangled technology at students’ fingertips today.

While my greatest school project accomplishment may have been safely packaging an egg to survive being thrown out a third-story window, the students at Purdue Polytechnic High School appear to be solving much larger problems. As Dylan reports in our lead story below, lessons at the charter school come in the form of real-world projects — including, in this inaugural year, the task of designing a new kind of high school as they go.

Read on, and have a great Monday!

— Stephanie Wang, bureau chief

Rise & Shine is Chalkbeat’s morning digest of education news. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox, or forward to a friend who cares about public education.

REIMAGINED: Purdue is trying to upend the traditional high school model. Here’s what it looks like. Chalkbeat

TEACHERS: Teachers’ frustration extends well beyond pay, but would they walk out? IBJ

SAFETY: How schools have used millions of public dollars for safety initiatives doesn’t have to be disclosed to the public. So how safe are schools? We don’t know. IndyStar

TECHNOLOGY: Find out where your school ranks when it comes to use of textbooks vs. technology. Courier & Press

DISCIPLINE: Restorative justice program at Portage High School works to build trust and lower disciplinary problems in troubled students. NWI Times

GRADUATION: At graduation, these adult education students in Merrillville reflected on the obstacles they overcame. Post-Tribune

AUDIT: Two administrators have been placed on leave, and a career center has to repay $450,000 after a state audit raised “critical” concerns about teachers lacking certification, students not attending classes, and questionable use of grant dollars. RTV6, Fox59

INTEGRATION: A federal judge approved South Bend schools’ updated plan for meeting the terms of the 1981 consent decree to integrate schools. South Bend Tribune

LEARNING GARDENS: Through a non-profit co-founded by Kimbal Musk, Indianapolis teachers are using learning gardens as outdoor classrooms to introduce children to “real food.” Fox59

OFFICIALLY OPTIONAL: The Indiana Department of Education releases brief memo on cursive writing in schools. WTHR