February 7, 2019

IPS Leaders Answer Questions As Part Of Ongoing Effort To Engage With Community

Left to right, commissioner Elizabeth Gore, Taria Slack, Susan Collins, and interim Superintendent Aleesia Johnson spoke at the public meeting. - Carter Barrett/WFYI

Left to right, commissioner Elizabeth Gore, Taria Slack, Susan Collins, and interim Superintendent Aleesia Johnson spoke at the public meeting.

Carter Barrett/WFYI

A group of Indianapolis Public Schools commissioners, and interim superintendent Aleesia Johnson took questions from the public at a meeting Thursday night.

One of the event’s sponsors said he decided to host the event after calls during the November election for the district to engage more with its community. 

Johnson says to help that effort, a new survey will go out to district staff, parents and students next month.

“That'll be a school culture and climate survey with you guys to answer questions like, you know, ‘I feel comfortable when I come to my child's school,’” Johnson says.

Johnson says the survey will be released in both electronic and written formats.

The IPS Community Coalition, a local group, has long called for more engagement between the district and parents. The group also supported two school board members elected last November -- Taria Slack and Susan Collins -- who voiced support for additional input from the community on the board’s decisions.

Jim Grim, a member of the coalition, says he looks forward to more events like the Thursday night meeting.

“Anytime that you interact with the community, I think that's a good thing,” Grim says.

In a memo released last week, the school board says community input will be considered during the upcoming search for a new IPS superintendent.

IPS is also launching a new office of community engagement, to become part of its communications department.

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