Rise & Shine: NAACP provides free lead testing for IPS kindergarten and first-grade students

Great news: It’s Friday. We made it!

I was in the legislature earlier this week talking to a lawmaker about pre-K. He gestured around the House chamber and pointed out that many people in the room probably hadn’t gone to preschool.

It was, in some ways, a fitting illustration of how early childhood education has evolved over the years, particularly here in Indiana.

Five years ago, Indiana had just approved its first pre-K program. This week, the state continued its small steps toward expanding access. Read more about the changes to pre-K in our story below.

Enjoy the weekend!

— Stephanie Wang, bureau chief

Rise & Shine is Chalkbeat’s morning digest of education news. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox.

EARLY CHILDHOOD: The state will open up its pre-K voucher program, On My Way Pre-K, to eligible families statewide — a key expansion of what had been a limited pilot program only available in 20 counties. Chalkbeat

MISHANDLED: The U.S. Department of Education has found some K-12 schools haven’t been conducting sexual assault investigations, including in cases at Hammond and Michigan City schools. The74

INCLUSION: People walked out of a Hamilton Southeastern meeting after a school board member’s comments on a proposal to include sexual orientation and gender identity in a nondiscrimination policy. IndyStar

ON VIDEO: Two 14-year-olds were charged in a recorded attack on a student at a Granger middle school. A deputy prosecutor said many students knew about the planned beating but didn’t tell officials: “They wanted it. They looked for it. It was kind of the talk of the town. And not one kid had the courage to go to somebody and stand up for his classmate.” South Bend Tribune

LEAD TESTING: The local NAACP is partnering with the health department and Indianapolis Public Schools to provide free lead testing for kindergarten and first-grade students. Indianapolis Recorder

MINDFULNESS: Fortville Elementary School students and teachers practice yoga once a week to help them focus. WTHR