(November 16, 2018) When the Indianapolis Public Schools Board of School Commissioners convened for its Agenda Review Session on Tuesday, November 13 and its’ Board Action Session on Thursday, November 15, topics included an update on the school quality review process, A-F letter grades assigned by the Indiana Department of Education and much more.

What follows is a deeper look at those agenda items.

School Quality Review 

IPS Performance and Continuous Improvement Officer Andrew Strope reviewed our current School Quality Review (SQR) process and solicited feedback from the IPS Board of School Commissioners on SQR updates.

 Intended Purposes of SQR:

  • Provide a common understanding of quality and effectiveness across schools
  • Foster a dialogue between schools and central services around quality and effectiveness
  • SQR provides school and district leaders with qualitative data collected from teachers, school leaders, parents, students and community members
  • Overall, insights provided by SQR help inform the district’s decisions on interventions and supports, restarts, closures and expansions

Key Messages:

  • It is important to consider multiple measures when assessing school performance and defining what success looks like for IPS.
  • A School Quality Review provides contextual and qualitative data to better inform IPS decisions and recommendations.
  • Year round, the district proactively engages in determining and implementing interventions and supports for low-performing schools.
  • While the state looks strictly at letter grades when determining which schools to target for SQR, the district considers several factors when reviewing schools, including how a school’s scores have grown. Schools that qualify for an SQR under IPS criteria include:
  • Stephen Foster School 67
  • Eleanor Skillen School 34
  • Thomas Gregg Neighborhood School
  • Ignite Achievement Academy @ Elder Diggs School 42
  • Kindezi Academy @ Joyce Kilmer School 69
  • James Russell Lowell School 51
  • Louis B. Russell School 48
  • IPS schools that have been identified and will receive an SQR from the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) include:
  • Stephen Foster School 67
  • Brookside School 54
  • Christian Park School 82
  • Anna Brochhausen School 88
  • Charles Fairbanks School 105

ACTION: For Information Only

Innovation Selection Update

As requested by Commissioners at the October Action Session, IPS Portfolio Officer Jamie VanDeWalle presented a detailed overview of the process used to select partners who wish to join the IPS Innovation Network.

Key Messages:

  • The Innovation selection process includes the following elements:
    • Letter of Interest expressing mission, vision and desire to join Innovation Network
    • First cross-functional team interview
    • Submission of full-length application and cross-team review
    • Contract parameters discussion
    • Ongoing interviews, community listening sessions, and conversations with the applicant
  • During the board meeting two possible timelines were presented for Innovation Restart partners.
  • Community Engagement elements have been included for Restart and Conversion timelines.
  • The five applicants for Charter Partnership also delivered a high-level introduction to the board. They included:
  • KIPP Indy Legacy High School
  • Purdue Polytechnic High School North
  • Phalen Leadership Academies – Indiana
  • Tindley Accelerated Schools
  • Invent Learning Hub

ACTION: For Information Only

A-F Letter Grades

 IPS Performance and Continuous Improvement Officer Andrew Strope presented to Commissioners a summary of district-wide letter grades assigned by the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) from the 2017-18 school year.

Key Messages:

  • The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) administers applicable law which directs IDOE to conduct annual evaluation of schools and school corporations, and to assign A-F letter grades.
  • These letter grades are assigned on the basis of standardized test data and other factors.
  • A summary of IPS A-F results from the 2017-18 school year was presented to the Board.

ACTION: For Information Only

Proposed 2019-20 School Year Calendar

Special Projects Director Joe Gramelspacher presented Commissioners with a proposed calendar for the 2019-20 school year. It incorporates stakeholder feedback that was collected from a survey distributed in September of 2018.

Key Messages:

Changes to the calendar structure will include:

  • Shorten the Fall Break from two weeks to one week
  • Provide a second Parents-In-Touch Day during Semester 2
  • Shift placement of Professional Development and Work Days
  • Proposed changes provide improved balance between 1st and 2nd semester
    • The balance of days between 1st and 2nd semester would shift from 89:101 to 94:96

ACTION: Approved 5-0