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IPS Superintendent Dr. Aleesia Johnson Gives 2023 State of the District Address: “This is Your Invitation to Choose Your IPS”

 Tonight, Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) Superintendent Dr. Aleesia Johnson delivered her annual State of the District address to a live audience of students, parents, teachers, and community members at Broad Ripple Elementary School. 

This speech marks the next chapter of the district’s Rebuilding Stronger plan, which will give IPS families and students the opportunity to choose an IPS experience tailored to their unique interests and needs beginning in the 2024-25 school year. 

“When you step back and consider what it means, it’s historic,” Dr. Johnson said. “Now, for the first time, every family in our city can access our best stuff. What was once a privilege, is now a right.”

Dr. Johnson made it clear every family in Indianapolis is invited: “If you speak Spanish at home or Yoruba or Haitian Creole or any other language, you’re invited. If you need speech and language therapy, mobility support, or any other special need, you’re invited. If you’re neurodivergent, you’re invited. Whatever your race, your ethnicity, your gender identity, or your sexual orientation, you’re invited. Whether your family has lived in this country for generations or for weeks, you’re invited. Diversity is a superpower in today’s world, and no one competes with IPS. So whoever you are, whatever makes you you, and however you learn, join us. We want to be your home.”

Dr. Johnson also announced that, in the coming weeks, every family in Indianapolis with school-aged children will receive a mailed invitation to choose IPS. In early November, the district will host a reimagined Showcase of Schools when all IPS schools will open their doors to the community so families can explore their choices. Enrollment for the 2024-25 school year at IPS begins Nov. 1 and runs through April. 

Here’s how IPS is Rebuilding Stronger:

  • Pre-K and before- and after-school programs
  • Free breakfast and lunch
  • Free transportation
  • A variety of educational models from kindergarten to 12th grade
  • STEM sciences, music, and world languages available to all middle-school students
  • 32+ high school career pathways
  • Advanced academic options at every high school
  • And more!

Learn more about the Rebuilding Stronger plan and IPS’s new offerings at www.myips.org/rebuilding-stronger

Here’s What the Community Is Saying About This Invitation: 

I chose IPS because I knew my daughters would get a feel for community, inclusion, diversity, and they’d get teachers that care,” said IPS parent Kesia Malone. “When you choose IPS you’re choosing a community that’s going to be involved with your child … and you’ll get this sense of love.”

“Yo escogí a IPS para mi familia porque honestamente me dí cuenta que son las mejores escuelas, IPS. Ofrecen muchos, son muy completas,” said IPS parent Teresa Banda. “IPS tiene muchas ayudas — [si los ninos] no … pueden aprender mas, [los maestros] buscan una manera de que ellos aprendan. IPS tiene muchas ayudas, tiene tutorías, tiene de todo — entonces, los adolescentes que van a ir a la high school tienen muchas opciones de escoger su high school. [IPS] tiene careras técnicas cortas, tienen mucho empuje, IPS encarga de que ellos descubren lo que ellos quieren hacer en el futuro.”  

“I would highly recommend IPS,” said IPS parent Raina Buckalew. “Not only am I a teacher, I am also a parent. And actually, I got interested in IPS because my kids went to a charter school and I didn’t feel like they were getting the supports they needed so I really did some research and looked around and heard some great things about IPS and when I got them enrolled in IPS I found every single thing that I needed supported was supported — and without a fight.” 

“Talent attraction and talent retention continue to be the biggest challenges for employers in our community, IPS Schools help drive that talent engine, and the stronger IPS is, the stronger our community is,” said Mike O’Connor, business leader and former IPS Board president.

“In my opinion what makes IPS unique is that IPS offers so many different learning styles and IPS right now in this climate where there’s controversy with education, IPS teaches my kids the real history and my kids are coming home with real knowledge and we can have conversations about that,” said Hilari Vargo. “My high school student knows far more than I ever did at his age.” 

“Indianapolis, you’re always welcome at IPS,” said Venita Moore, President of the IPS Board of School Commissioners. “We are so excited to share all the great things we’ve been working on — better facilities, expanded offerings, more choices — and the invitation is good for a lifetime. This school district is doing some exciting things that will deliver equity for all students and families, and we are excited for you to be a part of it.”  

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