May 11, 2017

IPS To Consider Closing 3 High Schools In 2018, 5th Community Meeting Announced

Eric Weddle/WFYI Public Media

Eric Weddle/WFYI Public Media

Updated May 11, 2017

Indianapolis Public Schools will close three high schools in the coming years if the school board approves a recommendation from the administration. But it’s not yet clear which schools face shutdown.

Decades of enrollment declines have left the district with high schools that collectively enroll less than half as many students as they were built to educate. District leaders have been contemplating closing schools for months, but the outlines of the plan are just beginning to take shape. There is already a plan in motion to convert John Marshall High School to a middle school this fall, leaving seven other high schools. A report from a district facilities committee released Friday calls for keeping four IPS high schools open — and shutting the doors at three unnamed schools.

A Chalkbeat analysis last July revealed that empty class rooms are driving up costs at IPS high schools, and the district anticipates that it would save as much as $4 million per year by closing three schools.

The recommendation marks the beginning of a planning process that is expected to last until the fall, when the board plans to vote on closing high schools.

Originally four community meetings were announced to gather input about the plan. Due to interest, a fith meeting was annonced on May 9.

“I remind you that this is a very open and transparent process.  No decision has been made at this point,” Superintendent Lewis Ferebee said in a statement.  “At the core, we want to enhance the experience and make sure every student graduates prepared for college or career.  To do that, we want to make sure we maximize the resources.”

IPS will host five community meeting before making a decision. All meetings are 6-8 p.m.

  • April 26
    Glendale Library, 6101 N. Keystone Ave.
  • May 1
    Ivy Tech Culinary Center, 2820 N. Meridian St.
  • May 11
    Zion Hope Baptist Church, 5950 E 46th St.
  • May 15
    Hawthorne Community Center, 2440 West Ohio St.
  • May 18
    Garfield Park Burrello Family Center, 2345 Pagoda Drive

Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news site covering educational change in public schools.

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