- Community Partnerships, Research,
- Family, School, and Neighborhood Engagement
777 Indiana Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Jim has worked with area neighborhoods in community schools development for 25 years. Previously a high school teacher, his work in community schools began with the United Way of Central Indiana and Indianapolis Public Schools as a pioneer in the development of the Bridges to Success initiative in 1993 and shortly later as one of its original Area School Coordinators for the district’s Northwest side schools.
His community efforts led him to become the first Community School Coordinator and subsequent Director of School/Community Engagement through the Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center at George Washington Community High School, the inaugural Coalition for Community Schools 2006 National Community School Award honoree for secondary education. There, he collaborated with more than 70 community partners to manage a $2.4-million USDOE Full-Service Community Schools award and currently is professionally assisting the community with a second FSCS award of $2.3 million for five schools of the Indianapolis Near-Westside.
A grant from the University of Pennsylvania in 2011 allowed him to collaborate in the development of the Midwest Center for University-Assisted Community Schools at IUPUI, which furthered his work in the community schools movement in central Indiana and beyond and helped establish the Office of Family, School, and Neighborhood Engagement and his current position at IUPUI.
As a member of the national Community Schools Leadership Network, he also helped to establish the Indiana Community Schools Network and facilitates the engagement of school communities sharing advocacy, best practices, and professional development activities focused on school and community engagement. He co-chairs the Westside Education Task Force consisting of 14 Indianapolis Near-Westside traditional public, private, and charter schools.
Jim was an adjunct faculty member in the IU School of Journalism for 20 years, and more recently taught a graduate leadership course, School and Community Relations, for the IU School of Education. He has been widely published including a co-authored article in the Peabody Journal of Education in 2013 about university-assisted community schools and another under way for 2019 about school/community councils.