At the January 26 Agenda Review
Session, the Indianapolis Public Schools Board of School Commissioners will
discuss several key initiatives impacting the 2016-2017 school year.


Innovation Restart Schools


Two IPS schools, Joyce
Kilmer School 69
and Riverside
School 44
, have been identified as potential Innovation
schools due to chronically low performance regarding student
achievement. In an effort to take the lead on school turnaround
strategies, IPS recommends using the Innovation Restart model as an opportunity
to bring new educational experiences to these school communities. 


IPS Innovation Officer Aleesia Johnson will share details on
both schools, including information on the proposed partner organization for
each: Global Preparatory Academy is
the proposed partner for Riverside, and Kindezi Academy is the proposed partner
for Joyce Kilmer. Community engagement events have already occurred at both
schools to ensure families are aware of the district’s strategy and plans for
school improvement. Community meetings and other opportunities to provide
feedback to district leadership will continue throughout the semester and into
the coming school year. Families and community members are invited to attend
follow-up meetings, participate in feedback surveys on their school’s website
and email questions or concerns to


No decisions will be rendered on these schools at the
January Board meeting
; if Commissioners are supportive of the restart
proposals, Innovation Network Agreements will be presented for approval at a
future Action Session.


Autonomous School Pilot Cohort


Innovation Officer Aleesia Johnson, will also provide an
update on the selection of schools that have applied for Autonomy for the 2016-2017 school
year. Autonomous schools operate with increased management flexibility;
principals are empowered to make decisions regarding school-based budgeting and
staffing while being held accountable to clear performance metrics. A small
percentage of IPS schools were chosen for the pilot cohort to ensure a smooth
transition into this new territory of school management with the full support
of our central office.


David Rosenberg, Partner with Education Resource Strategies, will share next
steps for how ERS will support our autonomy pilot group to develop plans for
next year.  ERS has worked in districts nationwide to assist school
leaders in improving resource allocation and creating unique and innovative
school designs to foster increased student achievement.


High Ability Learners


Curriculum Officer Tammy Bowman will present proposed
updates to IPS qualifications for High Ability Learners. High Ability students
are defined as those who perform at or show the potential for performing at
remarkably high levels of achievement. Designations include High Ability-Math
(HA-M), High Ability-Language Arts (HA-LA) and High Ability-General
Intellectual (HA-GI), which are students qualified in both Math and
English/Language Arts (ELA).


Under the current identification qualifications, students whose
ELA or Math scores are at or above the 95th percentile are High
Ability. Additionally, students whose ELA or Math scores are in the 80th
to 94th percentile and receive a Teacher Rating Scale in the 95th
percentile qualify as High Ability. All First and Fifth Grade students are
screened for High Ability performance, but students of any age may be nominated
for consideration.


High Ability Performance


The proposed qualifications categorize High Ability students
in three classifications: Moderately, Strongly and Exceptionally High Ability.
Students performing at or above the 96th percentile would qualify as
Exceptional, students within the 89th to 95th percentile
would be Strong and those within the 77th to 88th
percentile would be Moderate. This proposed change would allow a slightly
larger percentage of IPS students to receive the targeted supports available to
High Ability students.