Indianapolis Public Schools presented at the Indiana State Board of Education meeting today about the creation of a “Transformation Zone” for the district. With the help of Mass Insight Education, IPS has constructed a proposal that emphasizes strategic collaborative transformation efforts for district schools.

In December IPS administrators traveled to Evansville Community School Corporation to observe the transformation work in that district. Evansville puts an emphasis on professional learning communities, additional professional development, academic coaching, strategic planning and internal expertise. All practices that IPS is looking to replicate and expand here.

IPS has begun to organize the entire district around the concept of an internal lead partner (Transformation Zone) model. In this model our learning communities will include the already identified priority schools and additional transformation zone schools. School feeder systems would be developed to encourage academic continuity and student success.

IPS has already seen gains as a result of ongoing transformation efforts in our priority schools from 2013 to 2014 with five schools increasing by a state letter grade or more. This new plan only adds more tools for success.

“We believe we have a strategy that is strong,” Dr. Ferebee said. “This is an opportunity to shift the conversation from takeover to transformation.”

The Transformation Zone will be released in four phases with the first phase beginning in March 2015. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz stated her approval of the plan today and directed IPS to begin working with the Indiana Department of Education on implementation.

The presentation, which can be viewed online here, includes specific steps for addressing transformation at schools. It also outlines the four phases of implementation for the Transformation Zone, including the first two feeder systems.

While speaking with the SBOE, Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee announced that a community meeting will occur in the coming weeks to discuss the transition of Arlington High School back to IPS. At this meeting the interests and ideas of the Arlington community will be discussed as an integral component to the planning process for building a thriving program in the school.​