September 20, 2022

Here’s how to tell IPS what you think about the school overhaul plan

SUPER School 19 would no longer be run by an independent nonprofit operator next year if the IPS School Board approves the restructure plan. The plan calls for School 19 to return to district control and for nearby Paul I. Miller School 114 to close and for its staff and students to be assigned to School 19. - Eric Weddle/WFYI

SUPER School 19 would no longer be run by an independent nonprofit operator next year if the IPS School Board approves the restructure plan. The plan calls for School 19 to return to district control and for nearby Paul I. Miller School 114 to close and for its staff and students to be assigned to School 19.

Eric Weddle/WFYI

Public meetings are scheduled through mid-October for community feedback on the proposed overhaul of Indianapolis Public Schools. The district school board is expected to vote on a final version of the restructure plan in November.

Last week, Superintendent Aleesia Johnson announced a plan to close seven schools, reconfigure grades at nearly three dozen schools to be K-5, create middle schools, end partnerships with a charter and independent operator at two district buildings, and other changes. 

The plan comes as the district faces inequitable access to academic programs at some schools, declining enrollment at neighborhood schools and an impending budget deficit. 

IPS would close 7 schools under expansive restructure proposal

“None of this is easy. But it’s what it takes to align resources and values,” Johnson said during a public address last week. “Remember: We can do anything, but we can't do everything. And we’re committed to making this the smoothest possible process.”

The IPS website offers details on how students and staff at individual schools will be impacted. 

The scheduled public meetings:

  • Sept. 21: 12 p.m. New Era Church, 517 W. 30th St.
  • Sept. 22: 12 p.m. Virtual meeting; more details at myips.org.
  • Sept. 26: 6 p.m. Community Alliance of the Far Eastside (Café), 8902 E 38th St.
  • Oct. 3: 6 p.m. George Washington High School, 2215 W. Washington St.
  • Oct. 4: 6 p.m. George Washington High School, 2215 W. Washington St. (for Spanish speakers)
  • Oct. 5: 12 p.m. Virtual meeting; more details at myips.org.
  • Oct. 6: 6 p.m. Charles Warren Fairbanks School 105, 8620 Montery Rd. (for Spanish speakers)
  • Oct. 8: 12 p.m. Indianapolis Public Library – East 38th Street Branch, 5420 E 38th St.
  • Oct. 17: 6 p.m. Arsenal Tech High School, 1500 E Michigan St.
  • Oct. 19: 12 p.m. Virtual meeting; more details at myips.org.

Instructions on how to submit feedback or questions on the plan to the district are here. The deadline is Oct. 21. 

The IPS school board accepts public comment in person during its regular meetings. To speak at the Sept. 27 or Sept. 29 meetings, you are required to sign up here. Written comments can also be submitted online. The board will also meet at least twice in October. 

School boards cannot limit who may speak at meetings, such as only residents or parents of enrolled students, according to a 2022 law

Contact WFYI education editor Eric Weddle at eweddle@wfyi.org or call (317) 614-0470. Follow on Twitter: @ericweddle.

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