Rise & Shine: Wayne Township schools hires its first black male principal

Happy Monday!

During the last few months, while in limbo over their charter status, officials from Indiana Virtual School and Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy invited Chalkbeat to this year’s graduation ceremonies. Among other issues, the two troubled online schools have posted graduation rates far below state average. So, of course we were interested.

On Saturday, Erica went to the Indiana Virtual School graduation at the Ritz Charles — just days after the schools’ closure deal was finalized. But few graduates and families said they were aware of the impending closures.

And the schools’ troubles didn’t come up in Superintendent Percy Clark’s graduation speech, in which he praised the online schools. But in a peculiar moment, he spoke of the “enemies” that he said the schools faced, saying they will “let God the Almighty deal with them.”

Also, in case you missed it, check out our story from Friday’s announcement that Indianapolis Public Schools has chosen Aleesia Johnson to be the next superintendent. Johnson spoke to Dylan about her expectations for the district’s direction under her leadership.

Read on!

— Stephanie Wang, bureau chief

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

CHARTER WOES: Some Indiana Virtual School graduates wonder what’s next for the closing program. Chalkbeat

ICYMI: Interim leader Aleesia Johnson named next superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools. Chalkbeat

OP-EDS: An Indianapolis educator says Johnson faces a tough road ahead but is “up for the task.” Indy K12

Why early college programs are critical for students who wouldn’t otherwise consider postsecondary pursuits. South Bend Tribune

CATHOLIC CONTROVERSY: On the heels of Brebeuf’s split from the Archdiocese, Cathedral High School fired a teacher who is in a same-sex marriage. RTV6, WISH

EDUCATORS OF COLOR: Meet Wayne Township’s first black male principal. Indianapolis Recorder

ADDED COSTS: How some Indiana schools struggle to meet unfunded mandates. Tribune Star

MONEY MATTERS: The feds step in to resolve a funding dispute involving South Bend’s struggling schools. South Bend Tribune

BIG BILLS: Beech Grove hopes to repair the high school before school starts again — but it’s likely to cost millions. WTHR