July 19, 2017

The Broad Ripple Community Forum to discuss the plan to Reinvent IPS High Schools was full of robust discussion on the best way to move forward.  Broad Ripple High School is one of four schools the administration has recommended to no longer operate as a high school. That recommendation includes converting Arlington High School to a middle school by day and evening high school program afterhours.  It also includes converting Northwest High School to a middle school while closing and selling John Marshall Middle School and Broad Ripple.

“Please keep the process transparent,” said Scott Jenkins, Midtown Indy. “We would like to be engaged.”

The administration emphasizes that if the decision is made to close Broad Ripple, the community will be given the opportunity to react to proposals regarding the sale or reuse of the building.  The IPS Real Estate Advisory Committee would handle the bid process. 

Transition is a big part of plans already underway regardless of which schools are closed.  IPS launched a District Transition Team several weeks ago to look at all aspects of the upcoming move. That includes a District Community and Legacy Preservation Advisory Team.  It will be made up of community members and alumni, like those at the forum, who have expressed a desire to have a voice in what will happen to the building if the school is closed.

Ensuring smooth transitions in the education of students was another prime concern.

“We invite parents to be a part of the transition process regardless of the high schools that will be closed,” said IPS Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee.

With the start of the 2017-18 school year, Teacher, Student and Parent Advisory groups will also form to assist the District Transition Team.  The Teacher Advisory group will include building-level Teacher of the Year winners.  The Student Advisory group will include student representatives from each high school and the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council members.  Parent representatives from each high school and middle school as well as some K-8 schools will make up the Parent Advisory group.

“We appreciated the conversation tonight,” said Dr. Ferebee. “We know it’s a difficult one to have and it’s also one that’s very emotional.  But, the insight that we can gain from these experiences is extremely important as we think about the future of IPS high schools.”

If approved, the administration’s changes would go into effect in the 2018-19 school year.

Career-Themed Academies would also launch along with existing high school choice programs for a total of 45 pathways to ensure graduates are adequately prepared to Enroll in a two or four-year college or university, Enlist in the military or be Employed at a livable wage. Students will have 100 percent choice when deciding what high school they want to attend. The all-choice model will reduce the impacts of student mobility at the high school level, as all students will be transported to the school of their choice regardless of their home address.

Board commissioners will continue the process of taking their July and August meetings on the road to each school recommended for closure or conversion.  Each meeting will begin with a period for public comment.  Speakers may sign-up until noon the day of the meeting at the following link:   The remaining meetings are scheduled for:   Thursday, July 20 5:30pm John Marshall Middle School 10101 E. 38th St. Indianapolis, Ind.     Tuesday, August 29 5:30pm Arlington High School 4825 N. Arlington Ave. Indianapolis, Ind.     Thursday, August 31 5:30pm Northwest Community High School 5525 W. 34th St. Indianapolis, Ind