On March 17, the Board of School Commissioners held the first Agenda Review Session under the new Board meeting schedule. Commissioners reviewed the scope of work and consulting services agreement with Mass Insight Education. Mass Insight is partnering with Indianapolis Public Schools on the Transformation Zone (TZ) model. Phase I, which begins this month, is intended to assess the readiness of IPS for the TZ model. District policies that could support or slow down implementation would be identified, and potential changes would be recommended to the administration. Schools to be included in the TZ model will be identified and assessed for readiness.

The responsibilities and structure of the TZ support office will also be determined to prepare for Phase II, which begins in June 2015 and lasts one calendar year. Objectives of Phase II include developing infrastructure and strategies to monitor performance and ensure success at the TZ schools. With stakeholder input, a tactical plan for the TZ will be drafted to reflect each school’s individual needs for success. A communications and community engagement strategy will ensure the progress of our TZ is consistently shared with the public. The final phases of the TZ model, which take us through July 2018, focus on strategic development, growth and sustainability.

The proposed 2015-2016 budget, which was discussed in a public hearing on March 9, is up for Board approval at Thursday’s Action Session. The anticipated General Fund is $232,700,000. IPS has previously aligned the budget with the calendar year, but the fiscal schedule will now align with the school year (July 1 – June 30).

Several facilities improvements were reviewed by the Board to ensure each IPS campus is an optimal environment for teaching and learning for our students and staff. This plan ensures high standards of security as visitors enter our schools. Audio/Visual technology update contracts for eight schools along with roof replacement for three schools were presented for consideration.