At the August
Agenda Review and Action Sessions on Aug. 23 and 25, respectively, the
Indianapolis Public Schools Board of School Commissioners will review proposals
significantly impacting the future of our schools, along with updates on
partnerships and initiatives in support of our students.


Grade Configuration

will discuss a proposed plan for reconfiguration of our middle school
opportunities. Many families voiced concerns about options for our middle
grades students, and district data shows the community high school model has
not yielded high student achievement. In recent years, the middle schools
located within our community high schools have struggled, as is reflected in
chronically low accountability grades.


There is
overwhelming support and understanding of the need to separate middle and high
school grades, and the district is proposing a phased approach to this
initiative. The first phase would include the expansion of several elementary
schools to serve 7th and 8th grade students, along with
the addition of a new dedicated middle school and replication of the popular
Reggio Choice Program. In the proposal, John Marshall would become a dedicated
middle school serving our eastside students, while Arlington would become a
traditional high school serving Grades 9-12 in the same area.


We strongly
encourage our families to share their thoughts on our website, or share their feedback through public
comment. In addition to our regularly scheduled Board sessions, a dedicated
public hearing will be held in the coming weeks to hear directly from our


Student Based Allocations

IPS Strategic
Plan item 2.1 calls for a weighted student funding formula to promote equitable
resource allocation. After discussion at the June Board sessions, the IPS
Finance Division developed recommendations to discuss at the August Work
Session. This student-based budgeting initiative ensures we have more tools to
address gaps in student achievement and our school leaders are empowered to
make more building-level decisions.


Weight and
policy recommendations will be presented to Commissioners for approval at the
Action Session. Pending approval of weights and policies, the Finance Division
will review the formula and model with projections for Board approval — ideally
in December for the 2017-2018 school year.


Marian University Real Estate

IPS Strategic
Plan 2015 calls for continued efforts to streamline our operations, and we must
ensure our facilities are all supporting the most efficient use of our
resources. While Cold Spring School sits on 3.25 acres of land, the entire
campus is 35.8 acres and includes several additional buildings. Marian
University has proposed an agreement where the university would maintain several
non-school buildings on the Cold Spring grounds. In the proposed agreement,
Marian would have first right of refusal to purchase the Cold Spring property
should IPS ever decide to sell.



JobSpark Event Update

IPS has a
strategic goal for every high school student to graduate with a plan to be
enrolled in a college or university, employed at a livable wage, or enlisted in
the military. We are proud of our continuing partnership with Junior
Achievement (JA) of Central Indiana to support this partnership.


will review an update on the upcoming JA JobSpark career fair. Next month (Sept. 29-30),
3,000 volunteers representing more than 100 local businesses will take part in
a hands-on career expo for all Marion County 8th-grade students.