The
Indianapolis Public Schools Board of School Commissioners began the summer with
a group of initiatives to start the coming school year and improve
effectiveness and efficiency.

Commissioners
declared three underused district properties as surplus, meaning they may be
sold or leased. This move will reduce maintenance costs while bringing in
additional revenue. Phillips Temple (1226 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St.),
Mallory Building (1316 Southeastern Ave.) and the SCIPS Complex/Coke Bottling
Plant (901 N. Carrollton) were approved for the surplus declaration. Current
operations in the SCIPS Complex and Mallory Building will be relocated in the
event of either building’s sale.

Commissioners voted to approve the 2015-2016 textbook
rental rates proposed by the IPS Curriculum and Instruction Division. This
year’s formula includes no increase in fees for elementary textbooks. Proposed
rental charts can be found at the following links:

Elementary
School

Middle
School

High
School

Commissioners
previously discussed the need for more initiatives to employ diverse and local
businesses for contracted services and supplies. A revision to the Board’s
supplier diversity policy has been approved, outlining specifically the desire
to increase participation with local businesses that closely represent our
school community. The board may request information on the demographic makeup
of a company’s employees, as well as educational and philanthropic initiatives
of the organization. The Board will also be able to request more information on
a contractor’s diversity policies to ensure the district supports companies with
values that align to ours.

A
proposal to update the Board Code of Ethics and policy manual was also approved
by commissioners.  Commissioners recommended the incorporation of the
Indiana School Board Association (ISBA) Code of Ethics, found here.
Current Board policy includes a code of ethics, but the ISBA maintains a
recommended code for use by member corporations. If approved, Commissioners
could decide to incorporate the ISBA Code into the existing language.

Commissioner
Caitlin Hannon recommended a proposal to redesign the Board policy manual.
Rather than revising several policies a month, Commissioners agreed a broader
redesign of policies to align with the Board’s Core Commitments and Beliefs
would be an efficient and effective plan to include with the proposal to revise
the Code of Ethics.

Superintendent Dr.
Lewis D. Ferebee and the Commissioners were also excited to share
implementation plans for the modified IPS dress code, which allows our students
and families more individuality in their apparel options. For example, at the
elementary level, students may now wear any solid color for shirts,
sweaters/sweater vests, fleece jackets and sweatshirts. Students may wear
hooded sweatshirts bearing an official school logo to show their school spirt.
Also, students can have a blast with sock colors and styles because there are
no longer any restrictions. Those are just some of the changes, but you can
find a visual guide to the dress code here.

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