SOUTH BEND -- Students and staff members at Dickinson Intermediate Fine
Arts Academy say "not us" when it comes to the potential for a state
"It's the slogan we've adopted," Principal Tom Sims said. "We want the
community to recognize we are making every effort to not be taken over
by the state."
That two-word phrase, plastered on T-shirts and rubber bracelets, he
said, is catching on at the school. And it's driving improvements.
"We are not going to fail. And we are not going to embarrass our
community," Sims said.
Dickinson has been on academic probation for four continuous years.
The school will be subject to state intervention if it stays in the
lowest-performing category of the state's accountability system this
school year and next.
Despite its history of poor student achievement, in recent weeks, the
happenings at Dickinson have impressed state schools Superintendent
Among other things, Bennett said he is very pleased with Dickinson's
leadership team, as well as its new, positive culture, and the staff's