Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) is excited to offer new short- and long-term support for TeamIPS funded by Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) dollars under the new Proving What’s Possible initiative. These investments include:
- School support bonuses: This new bonus is for all IPS staff for their continued work through the COVID-19 pandemic to accelerate student learning and rebuild stronger for the future needs of IPS.
- New, free mental health resources: IPS has partnered with Talkspace, a dedicated online and mobile therapy platform, for districtwide staff and their families to easily access professional mental health support at no cost.
- Planning for teacher flex time: This new initiative is intended to separate the work of being a teacher from the traditional bell-to-bell schedule by providing new opportunities for remote work and flexible teaching roles that are more sustainable for a 21st-century workplace.
“Together, these investments add up to a bold new vision for the next decade of teaching, learning and working in Indianapolis Public Schools,” said Dr. Aleesia Johnson, IPS superintendent. “At IPS we are dedicated to proving what’s possible for staff and students as we chart a new and progressive path in education.”
The district received a total of $213.5 million in ESSER dollars; $15 million has been earmarked for these initiative supports, which are designed to:
- Support the mental health and wellness of school staff.
- Support staff retention during the pandemic and beyond.
- Make teaching a more sustainable career choice.
The school support bonus will provide all staff with an additional $1,500 during the Fall 2022 semester, $1,000 during the Spring 2023 semester, and $1,500 during the Fall 2023 semester. These payments are supplemental to the recent IPS salary raise, which made the district the highest-paying in Indianapolis, and one of the highest in the Central Indiana region.
The Talkspace partnership provides IPS staff and their families access to free, direct, professional mental health resources for the first time in the district’s history.
The teacher flex time initiative is part of the larger Proving What’s Possible initiative by the district to further imagine what it means to teach in IPS. The district will pilot small-scale flex time opportunities in select schools starting in Fall 2022, with the intent for full implementation in Fall 2023. This summer, IPS is launching a pilot to integrate additional flexibility into teaching, and separate the work of being a teacher from the traditional bell-to-bell schedule. Giving teachers this option could have transformative effects for the way we think about how schools run, and long-term retention in schools.
“We’re taking lessons learned from the pandemic, and the determination not to settle for the status quo, as an opportunity to aggressively rethink how school districts can support staff in their work,” said Alex Moseman, IPS director of talent acquisition.
Proving What’s Possible is a new initiative by the IPS Talent Office to recruit and retain more diverse, high-quality teachers for IPS classrooms districtwide.