IPS continues to keep our community informed of important developments regarding efforts to increase school autonomy – shifting more decision-making capability and greater accountability to our school leaders – and our process for seeking innovative solutions to dramatically improve failing schools. Each school community is unique, and we know that open communication is key! To keep you in the loop, here is a quick progress update for the week. 

Innovation Restart Model Set in Motion
Recently, families from Riverside School 44 and Joyce Kilmer Academy at School 69 gathered at their respective schools to meet with district leaders and discuss academic programming options for the 2016-2017 school year. The meetings included a review of recent school performance trends and open dialogue regarding necessary improvement for the chronically low-performing schools. During these forums families met with Jessie Pratt, Academic Improvement Officer for the West Learning Community, IPS Superintendent Lewis D. Ferebee and IPS Innovation Officer Aleesia Johnson where they discussed the vision for school autonomy and the key components of the district’s Innovation Restart Model. Families were granted the opportunity to meet Founder and Principal of Global Preparatory Academy, Mariama Carson, an interested Innovation partner for Riverside School 44. Carson is a local, accomplished bilingual educator that has infused her passion for providing high-quality education into Global Preparatory Academy (see IndyStar article by Matt Tully.) Carson was well received by families, community partners and school staff alike.
Concluding the meeting, IPS leadership responded to questions from attendees and noted multiple opportunities for further group discussion. To maintain transparency, IPS will continue to conduct open forums and community meetings to allow stakeholders to share their views and have their questions answered. We are also offering an online portal for comments and questions regarding changes within Riverside and Joyce Kilmer via quick and easy surveys posted on the schools’ individual websites. The Riverside School 44 feedback survey is currently available and the survey for Joyce Kilmer Academy at School 69 will open on January 22.

IPS Partners with the Indianapolis Mayor’s OEI on 5 Essentials Pilot


One of the aims of IPS Strategic Plan 2015 is to establish common performance standards for schools so that all Indianapolis families can experience the results of high educational expectations regardless of their zip code. In collaboration with the Indianapolis Mayor’s Office of Education Innovation (OEI), Indianapolis Public Schools is conducting a pilot of the 5 Essentials framework – a tool that will provide important school climate and culture indicators. Perception data would be collected from staff, students and families via surveys aligned with the five main tenants of the framework:

  • Effective Leaders
  • Collaborative Teachers
  • Supportive Environment
  • Involved Families
  • Ambitious Instruction
The feedback generated from the surveys will inform schools of their areas for growth and development within each essential component. In an effort to build a common school performance framework, IPS is piloting the climate surveys within 20 schools in our district alongside 20 charter schools that are sponsored by the Indianapolis Mayor’s Office.
OEI currently oversees 33 “Mayor-Sponsored” charter schools on 39 campuses throughout the city. The survey window for this initiative is currently open and will close on February 26. For more information, visit the Office of Education Innovation website
Continue to follow the conversation; check in with us weekly for updates on our journey toward Autonomous schools and reader-friendly breakdowns of new developments on Innovation School offerings in IPS. 
Questions or Comments? Share your thoughts with us; send an email to autonomyinips@myips.org.