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July 2019 Board Highlights

When the Indianapolis Public Schools Board of School Commissioners convened for its Agenda Review Session Tuesday, July 23 and Board Action Session Thursday, July 25, topics included updates on the IndyGo pilot expansion project, school leadership framework and a compensation update.

What follows is a deeper look at some of those agenda items.

IndyGo Pilot Expansion

Superintendent Aleesia Johnson and Chief of Transformation Director Dennis Tackitt provided an update to the Board on the status of the expanded IndyGo pilot program for high school students.

What Audiences Need to Know:

The expanded pilot will serve as an option to the yellow bus service for all high school students, grades 9-12, at Crispus Attucks, Shortridge, Arsenal Tech, George Washington and KIPP Legacy high schools (Herron, Riverside and Purdue Polytechnic have existing IndyGo service). Students will receive a free bus pass that will be incorporated into their student ID and will be effective seven days a week throughout the 2019-20 school year.

Key Messages:

  • IPS seeks to significantly reduce transportation costs to ensure long-term financial sustainability and reinvest more resources into the classroom.
  • Usage of public transportation will increase access to school, extracurricular activities, jobs, internships and connectivity to the city of Indianapolis.
  • Communication and training materials for families include a ride guide detailing the specifics of the program, a video highlighting the process and benefits of riding IndyGo, an FAQ addressing safety and security, training sessions and free passes for parents to give them the opportunity to ride and experience the service.
  • The pilot will last two years. In the meantime, the district will gather feedback from community meetings and an online survey to make an informed and critical decision about further opportunities with IndyGo.
  • Pilot costs:
  • 2019-20 – $75,000
  • 2020-21 – $160,000
  • Based on an analysis by the Indy Chamber, the goal is for IPS to save $111 million in transportation costs over eight years, starting with the 2019-20 school year.

ACTION: For Information Only

Employee Compensation Update

Human Resources Officer Mindy Schlegel, Chief Transformation Officer Dennis Tackitt and Chief Financial Manager Weston Young presented an overview of a plan to continue to right-size district salaries and consolidate the salary schedules.

What Audiences Need to Know:

With competitive wages and investment in talent development and strong culture, IPS gains staffing stability; the ability to recruit star players; increased job satisfaction, pride and loyalty; and improved student outcomes.

Key Messages:

  • Before 2018-19, IPS compensation included:
  • A five-year salary freeze for all employees in 2010.
  • A $20 million investment in teachers since 2015.
  • Modest loyalty bonuses for all other groups annually since 2015.
  • No real increase in the salary base for non-teaching employees for 10 years.
  • So far, in 2019, school leadership salaries have been adjusted to competitive rates with raises averaging around $18,000.
  • Work continues to right-size compensation for non-bargaining employees including office assistants, school secretaries, carpenters, painters, payroll, purchasing, finance, HR, enrollment, transportation staff, special education coordinators, information technology, food service and district leadership.
  • The district will repeal the nearly 70 current salary schedules and adopt a master wage schedule that will:
  • Provide a clear path for promotion and a picture for long-term earnings.
  • Bring roles closer to or equal to competitive rates.
  • Provide a visible commitment to modest annual increases.
  • After the master schedule is adopted and approved, employees will be moved to the rate that most closely matches grade/level on the table.
  • The district will bargain competitive American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and teacher contracts in fall 2019 with a push to be at the top end of neighboring districts.
  • Timeline to complete the right-sizing of salaries and bargaining contracts is December 2019.

ACTION: Approved 7-0

School Leadership Framework

Superintendent Johnson, Performance and Continuous Improvement Officer Andrew Strope, Executive Director of Professional Learning Ashley Cowger, and Transformation Zone Executive Director Brynn Kardash provided an overview of the new school leadership framework.

What the Audience Needs to Know:

The purpose of the School Leadership Framework is to establish the foundation for school leadership effectiveness, including creating shared leadership expectations across the district, leadership pipeline development and providing a coaching and evaluation tool for school leader supervisors.

Key Messages:

  • The School Plan has been created to ensure cohesion around the School Improvement Plan, Comprehensive Needs Assessment and results-driven accountability for each school.
  • A new leadership competency tool was recently developed to recruit and select IPS school leaders along with a new school leadership rubric for coaching and evaluating school leaders.

ACTION: For Information Only