January 18 & 20 Community Meetings

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School Attribute-Setting & School Candidates Meetings

The School Candidates Meetings were held January 2022.

The candidates presented during these meetings will be chosen based on the attributes shared by families. Some of the candidates could be individuals who have previously expressed interest in and submitted applications to the district to become an IPS Innovation school.  


On Dec. 16, the IPS Board of School Commissioners voted to not renew Ignite Achievement Academy’s Innovation Agreement for the 2022-23 school year. This difficult decision was made for a variety of reasons, all of which are rooted in the belief that all students deserve the best the district has to offer. (The IPS administration recommended to not renew Ignite’s contract to the Board in early December. )

Specifically, the reasons for non-renewal include:

  • Four years into its turnaround status, Ignite remains below the IPS average and the average for similar schools for ISTEP/ILEARN proficiency in both math and ELA. Note: There was no testing in 2020.
    • In ELA, Ignite scores dropped considerably (25% in 2018, 6% in 2019, and 4% in 2021) placing the school in the bottom 20% of the IPS family of schools for both 2019 and 2021. More specifically, the school was third from the bottom in 2019 and fourth from the bottom in 2021.
    • In math proficiency, Ignite dropped from 10% proficiency in 2018 to 4% in 2019 and 4% in 2021
    • In both subject areas, Ignite’s proficiency was 8% in 2018, dropped to 2% in 2019 and recovered to 5% in 2021. Nevertheless, the school has remained in the bottom 20% for both subject areas every year since 2018.
  • While Ignite did see gains in IREAD (11%), the school only had a 56.4% pass rate with 24 of its 55 third graders not passing IREAD. This percentage is only 1.7% higher than the year prior to Ignite’s restart in school year 2016-17.
  • Enrollment has declined over the years, reaching a low of 354 students (from approximately 500) at ADM this year. These changes in enrollment do not correspond to the changes in neighboring populations. 
  • Ignite has a high suspension rate, placing it in the Top 10 in the district among K-12 schools.
  • Staff retention for the 2021–22 school year is 46% — nearly 20 percentage points lower than any of the IPS direct-run schools. 
    • District data shows Ignite has the lowest staff retention of any of the schools in the IPS portfolio of schools.

Other factors for non-renewal include findings during a joint site visit at Ignite in Fall 2021 between IPS and the Office of Education Innovation (OEI) — Ignite’s charter authorizer:

  • Lack of application of school-adopted curricula, especially in language arts.
  • Limited parent stakeholder engagement.
  • Need for stronger adult-to-student culture and productive interactions, particularly within the classrooms.
  • Concerns with special education and English Learner instruction compliance and efficacy. 
  • Overall, the school’s outcomes have remained flat or declined and inputs have not improved over the course of several years.

WHAT THIS MEANS

Ignite, under its current leadership, will finish out the 2021–22 school year. 

The Mayor’s Office of Education Innovation (OEI), the authorizer of Ignite’s charter, will continue its regular academic, finance and governance meetings with Ignite leadership to help ensure minimal disruptions for students. IPS will work with school leadership to prepare for a transition in operations.

IPS will continue to receive regular compliance submissions, including interim assessment results, and will work with the outgoing operator to ensure a smooth transition for students, staff and families.

The IPS administration is developing a plan for how the school will operate beginning with the 2022–23 school year. The district will hold meetings with current staff, families and community partners to seek input while developing the plan and to ensure feedback from all stakeholders is incorporated in the school moving forward.

QUESTIONS? Email ignitetransition@myips.org.

Ignite Achievement Academy Staff:

On Dec. 7, Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) leadership will recommend to the Board of School Commissioners to not renew its Innovation Agreement with Ignite Achievement Academy — an IPS Innovation Network school — for the 2022–23 school year.

The Board is scheduled to vote Dec. 16 at the Board Action Session.

We have made this difficult decision for a variety of reasons, all of which are rooted in the belief that all students deserve the best the district has to offer. 

Specifically, our reasons for non-renewal include:

  • Four years into its turnaround status, Ignite remains below the IPS average and the average for similar schools for ISTEP/ILEARN proficiency in both math and ELA. Note: There was no testing in 2020.
    • In ELA, Ignite scores dropped considerably (25% in 2018, 6% in 2019, and 4% in 2021) placing the school in the bottom 20% of the IPS family of schools for both 2019 and 2021. More specifically, the school was third from the bottom in 2019 and fourth from the bottom in 2021.
    • In math proficiency, Ignite dropped from 10% proficiency in 2018 to 4% in 2019 and 4% in 2021
    • In both subject areas, Ignite’s proficiency was 8% in 2018, dropped to 2% in 2019 and recovered to 5% in 2021. Nevertheless, the school has remained in the bottom 20% for both subject areas every year since 2018.
  • While Ignite did see gains in IREAD (11%), the school only had a 56.4% pass rate with 24 of its 55 third graders not passing IREAD. This percentage is only 1.7% higher than the year prior to Ignite’s restart in school year 2016-17.
  • Enrollment has declined over the years, reaching a low of 354 students (from approximately 500) at ADM this year. These changes in enrollment do not correspond to the changes in neighboring populations. 
  • Ignite has a high suspension rate, placing it in the Top 10 in the district among K-12 schools.
  • Staff retention for the 2021–22 school year is 46% — nearly 20 percentage points lower than any of the IPS direct-run schools. 
    • District data shows Ignite has the lowest staff retention of any of the schools in the IPS portfolio of schools.

Other factors for non-renewal include findings during a joint site visit at Ignite in Fall 2021 between IPS and the Office of Education Innovation (OEI) — Ignite’s charter authorizer:

  • Lack of application of school-adopted curricula, especially in language arts.
  • Limited parent stakeholder engagement.
  • Need for stronger adult-to-student culture and productive interactions, particularly within the classrooms.
  • Concerns with special education and English Learner instruction compliance and efficacy. 
  • Overall, the school’s outcomes have remained flat or declined and inputs have not improved over the course of several years.

WHAT THIS MEANS

Ignite, under its current leadership, will finish out the 2021–22 school year. 

The Mayor’s Office of Education Innovation (OEI), the authorizer of Ignite’s charter, will continue its regular academic, finance and governance meetings with Ignite leadership to help ensure minimal disruptions for students. IPS will work with school leadership to prepare for a transition in operations.

IPS will continue to receive regular compliance submissions, including interim assessment results, and will work with the outgoing operator to ensure a smooth transition for students, staff and families.

The IPS administration is developing a plan for how the school will operate beginning with the 2022–23 school year. The district will hold meetings with current staff, families and community partners to seek input while developing the plan and to ensure feedback from all stakeholders is incorporated in the school moving forward.

STAFF, FAMILY AND COMMUNITY PARTNER MEETINGS

Childcare and light refreshments will be available.

During this meeting, IPS leadership will go into more detail about the decision, talk about the process moving forward and how families, staff, students and community partners can participate in the school’s long-range plans to ensure their vision for the school is included.

Note: IPS leadership will begin to schedule separate staff meetings and will share those dates, times and locations.

It is important to IPS leadership and to our school commissioners that staff feel heard and have their questions answered. We know you are working hard on behalf of your students and look forward to hearing from you and partnering with you now and in the future on next steps.  

If you have questions, please email ignitetransition@myips.org

Thank you,

Indianapolis Public Schools

Ignite Achievement Academy Community Partners:

On Dec. 7, Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) leadership will recommend to the Board of School Commissioners to not renew its Innovation Agreement with Ignite Achievement Academy — an IPS Innovation Network school — for the 2022–23 school year.

The Board is scheduled to vote Dec. 16 at the Board Action Session.

We have made this difficult decision for a variety of reasons, all of which are rooted in the belief that all students deserve the best the district has to offer. 

Specifically, our reasons for non-renewal include:

  • Four years into its turnaround status, Ignite remains below the IPS average and the average for similar schools for ISTEP/ILEARN proficiency in both math and ELA. Note: There was no testing in 2020.
    • In ELA, Ignite scores dropped considerably (25% in 2018, 6% in 2019, and 4% in 2021) placing the school in the bottom 20% of the IPS family of schools for both 2019 and 2021. More specifically, the school was third from the bottom in 2019 and fourth from the bottom in 2021.
    • In math proficiency, Ignite dropped from 10% proficiency in 2018 to 4% in 2019 and 4% in 2021
    • In both subject areas, Ignite’s proficiency was 8% in 2018, dropped to 2% in 2019 and recovered to 5% in 2021. Nevertheless, the school has remained in the bottom 20% for both subject areas every year since 2018.
  • While Ignite did see gains in IREAD (11%), the school only had a 56.4% pass rate with 24 of its 55 third graders not passing IREAD. This percentage is only 1.7% higher than the year prior to Ignite’s restart in school year 2016-17.
  • Enrollment has declined over the years, reaching a low of 354 students (from approximately 500) at ADM this year. These changes in enrollment do not correspond to the changes in neighboring populations. 
  • Ignite has a high suspension rate, placing it in the Top 10 in the district among K-12 schools.
  • Staff retention for the 2021–22 school year is 46% — nearly 20 percentage points lower than any of the IPS direct-run schools. 
    • District data shows Ignite has the lowest staff retention of any of the schools in the IPS portfolio of schools.

Other factors for non-renewal include findings during a joint site visit at Ignite in Fall 2021 between IPS and the Office of Education Innovation (OEI) — Ignite’s charter authorizer:

  • Lack of application of school-adopted curricula, especially in language arts.
  • Limited parent stakeholder engagement.
  • Need for stronger adult-to-student culture and productive interactions, particularly within the classrooms.
  • Concerns with special education and English Learner instruction compliance and efficacy. 
  • Overall, the school’s outcomes have remained flat or declined and inputs have not improved over the course of several years.

WHAT THIS MEANS

Ignite, under its current leadership and staff, will finish out the 2021–22 school year. 

The Mayor’s Office of Education Innovation (OEI), the authorizer of Ignite’s charter, will continue its regular academic, finance and governance meetings with Ignite leadership to help ensure minimal disruptions for students. IPS will work with school leadership to prepare for a transition in operations.

IPS will continue to receive regular compliance submissions, including interim assessment results, and will work with the outgoing operator to ensure a smooth transition for students, staff and families.

The IPS administration is developing a plan for how the school will operate beginning with the 2022–23 school year. The district will hold meetings with current staff, families and community partners to seek input while developing the plan and to ensure feedback from all stakeholders is incorporated in the school moving forward.

COMMUNITY PARTNER, FAMILY AND STAFF MEETINGS

Please join IPS leadership for joint community partner, family and staff meetings:

  • Dec. 13, 2021 – 6 p.m. at New Era Church, 517 W. 30th St.

Childcare and light refreshments will be available.

During this meeting, IPS leadership will go into more detail about the decision, talk about the process moving forward, and how community partners, families, students and staff can participate in the school’s long-range plans to ensure their vision for the school is included.

It is important to IPS leadership and to our school commissioners that our community partners feel heard and have your questions answered. We value your partnership and hope that you will continue to support the school and district during this transition.

We look forward to hearing from you and partnering with you now and in the future on next steps.  

If you have questions, please email ignitetransition@myips.org

Thank you,

Indianapolis Public Schools

Ignite Achievement Academy Parents/Guardians:

On Dec. 7, Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) leadership will recommend to the Board of School Commissioners to not renew its Innovation Agreement with Ignite Achievement Academy — an IPS Innovation Network school — for the 2022–23 school year. The Board is scheduled to vote Dec. 16 at the Board Action Session.

We have made this difficult decision for a variety of reasons, all of which are rooted in the belief that all students deserve the best the district has to offer. 

Specifically, our reasons for non-renewal include:

  • Four years into its turnaround status, Ignite remains below the IPS average and the average for similar schools for ISTEP/ILEARN proficiency in both math and ELA. Note: There was no testing in 2020.
    • In ELA, Ignite scores dropped considerably (25% in 2018, 6% in 2019, and 4% in 2021) placing the school in the bottom 20% of the IPS family of schools for both 2019 and 2021. More specifically, the school was third from the bottom in 2019 and fourth from the bottom in 2021.
    • In math proficiency, Ignite dropped from 10% proficiency in 2018 to 4% in 2019 and 4% in 2021
    • In both subject areas, Ignite’s proficiency was 8% in 2018, dropped to 2% in 2019 and recovered to 5% in 2021. Nevertheless, the school has remained in the bottom 20% for both subject areas every year since 2018.
  • While Ignite did see gains in IREAD (11%), the school only had a 56.4% pass rate with 24 of its 55 third graders not passing IREAD. This percentage is only 1.7% higher than the year prior to Ignite’s restart in school year 2016-17.
  • Enrollment has declined over the years, reaching a low of 354 students (from approximately 500) at ADM this year. These changes in enrollment do not correspond to the changes in neighboring populations. 
  • Ignite has a high suspension rate, placing it in the Top 10 in the district among K-12 schools.
  • Staff retention for the 2021–22 school year is 46% — nearly 20 percentage points lower than any of the IPS direct-run schools. 
    • District data shows Ignite has the lowest staff retention of any of the schools in the IPS portfolio of schools.

Other factors for non-renewal include findings during a joint site visit at Ignite in Fall 2021 between IPS and the Office of Education Innovation (OEI) — Ignite’s charter authorizer:

  • Lack of application of school-adopted curricula, especially in language arts.
  • Limited parent stakeholder engagement.
  • Need for stronger adult-to-student culture and productive interactions, particularly within the classrooms.
  • Concerns with special education and English Learner instruction compliance and efficacy. 
  • Overall, the school’s outcomes have remained flat or declined and inputs have not improved over the course of several years.

WHAT THIS MEANS

Ignite, under its current leadership and staff, will finish out the 2021–22 school year. 

The Mayor’s Office of Education Innovation (OEI), the authorizer of Ignite’s charter, will continue its regular academic, finance and governance meetings with Ignite leadership to help ensure minimal disruptions for students. IPS will work with school leadership to prepare for a transition in operations.

IPS will continue to receive regular compliance submissions, including interim assessment results, and will work with the outgoing operator to ensure a smooth transition for students, staff and families.

The IPS administration is developing a plan for how the school will operate beginning with the 2022–23 school year. The district will hold meetings with current staff, families and community partners to seek input while developing the plan and to ensure feedback from all stakeholders is incorporated in the school moving forward.

FAMILY, STAFF AND COMMUNITY PARTNER MEETINGS

Please join IPS leadership for joint community partner, family and staff meetings:

  • Dec. 13, 2021 – 6 p.m. at New Era Church, 517 W. 30th St.

Childcare and light refreshments will be available.

During this meeting, IPS leadership will go into more detail about the decision, talk about the process moving forward, and how community partners, families, students and staff can participate in the school’s long-range plans to ensure their vision for the school is included.

If you have any questions, email ignitetransition@myips.org.

Thank you,
Indianapolis Public Schools

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

No. The school is not closing. Any student who is currently enrolled or resides within the boundary next year has a guaranteed right to return.

The decision for non-renewal includes:

  • Four years into its turnaround status, Ignite remains below the IPS average and the average for similar schools for ISTEP/ILEARN proficiency in both math and ELA. Note: There was no testing in 2020.
    • In ELA, Ignite scores dropped considerably (25% in 2018, 6% in 2019, and 4% in 2021) placing the school in the bottom 20% of the IPS family of schools for both 2019 and 2021. More specifically, the school was third from the bottom in 2019 and fourth from the bottom in 2021.
    • In math proficiency, Ignite dropped from 10% proficiency in 2018 to 4% in 2019 and 4% in 2021
    • In both subject areas, Ignite’s proficiency was 8% in 2018, dropped to 2% in 2019 and recovered to 5% in 2021. Nevertheless, the school has remained in the bottom 20% for both subject areas every year since 2018.
  • While Ignite did see gains in IREAD (11%), the school only had a 56.4% pass rate with 24 of its 55 third graders not passing IREAD. This percentage is only 1.7% higher than the year prior to Ignite’s restart in school year 2016-17.
  • Enrollment has declined over the years, reaching a low of 354 students (from approximately 500) at ADM this year. These changes in enrollment do not correspond to the changes in neighboring populations. 
  • Ignite has a high suspension rate, placing it in the Top 10 in the district among K-12 schools.
  • Staff retention for the 2021–22 school year is 46% — nearly 20 percentage points lower than any of the IPS direct-run schools. 
    • District data shows Ignite has the lowest staff retention of any of the schools in the IPS portfolio of schools.

Other factors for non-renewal include findings during a joint site visit at Ignite in Fall 2021 between IPS and the Office of Education Innovation (OEI) — Ignite’s charter authorizer:

  • Lack of application of school-adopted curricula, especially in language arts.
  • Limited parent stakeholder engagement.
  • Need for stronger adult-to-student culture and productive interactions, particularly within the classrooms.
  • Concerns with special education and English Learner instruction compliance and efficacy. 
  • Overall, the school’s outcomes have remained flat or declined and inputs have not improved over the course of several years.

The current staff and leadership will remain in place and students should not experience any dramatic changes. The school will also continue to run as Ignite Achievement Academy through the end of the 2021–22 school year. 

The Office of Education Innovation (OEI) — the charter authorizer — will continue its regular academic, finance and governance meetings with Ignite leadership to help ensure minimal disruptions for students. IPS will work with the school leadership team to prepare for a transition in operations.

Yes, Ignite does hold a charter authorized through the Mayor’s Office of Innovation Education (OEI).  The IPS recommendation is moving forward independent of the status of the charter.  For questions regarding next steps from OEI, families can call 317-327-3601 or email oei@indy.gov.

The Innovation Agreement runs through the end of this year school, and it is a legally binding contract. While performance at the school has not been satisfactory and we believe that students deserve more, current circumstances do not constitute a material breach that would necessitate a mid-year shift. Doing so would be even more disruptive. Starting a new chapter for the school at the beginning of next school year allows IPS to thoughtfully plan next steps for the school in partnership with the community. 

As its authorizer, OEI allows Ignite to operate and holds the school accountable to the terms of its charter contract (which includes student outcomes and other goals). The IPS Board of School Commissioners holds Ignite accountable to the terms of the school’s Innovation Network Agreement.

We know that school turnaround takes time. With the right inputs, results typically take several years to take hold. The five-year term of the Innovation Agreement allows us time to see results come to fruition. Additionally, while IPS did progress monitor, stay in touch with the school, and share our concerns on many occasions, the Innovation Agreement with Ignite didn’t allow for IPS to provide direct interventions. However, future iterations of Innovation Restart contracts will provide additional opportunities for IPS to both progress monitor and participate in improvement efforts. 

For IPS, semi-annual reports to our IPS Board are required by statute and allow us to see various data points at the schools. We also receive the same monthly compliance and data reports as the authorizer. In the event that there are concerns with progress, IPS administration has met with school leadership Innovation board chairs, and staff from the authorizer’s office. Moving forward, the Innovation Agreements will specify benchmarks aligned to our IPS Scorecard and Board Goals and allow for more intensive intervention if they are not being met.

Prior to the restart, the school had several years of low academic performance and failing letter grades with the State of Indiana. As mentioned previously, since the restart the school continues to be at the bottom in both math and ELA proficiency.

The school is not closing next year and will remain open to serve students. We hope to have a plan finalized in early winter – late January or early February — regarding what families and students can expect next school year.

Current Ignite students or those who reside within the school’s boundary next year have a guaranteed right to return/attend the school.

IPS has 31 Innovation schools; 24 are charters, some of which are authorized by OEI.

We measure “struggling” in a variety of ways. In terms of overall proficiency on state tests — combined proficiency — only one is worse. If we look at things like staff retention, which is a manifestation of school culture, Ignite is very much our lowest school. Renewal decisions are not made on 1 or even 2 to 3 data points, but rather a holistic look back at trend data over the course of the contract period.

As with any plan for school improvement, careful monitoring and implementation support will be necessary. We feel confident that a future option will provide students with a more robust academic and wrap-around experience than what they are currently experiencing under current leadership.

We hope to have a plan finalized in early winter —  late January or early February.