Guiding Principles — As IPS and its stakeholders work toward improving districtwide enrollment, we will do so grounded in the following Guiding Principles.

  • How can we grow and replicate schools and programs with demonstrated academic success in supporting all students and closing the opportunity gap?
  • How do we create conditions that stabilize student populations at individual schools?
  • How do we ensure successful grade level transitions to middle and high school? 

Reorganization Advisory Committee: Meeting 3 Recap

On April 14, the Rebuilding Stronger community process continued with the third meeting of the reorganization advisory committee — this meeting focused on IPS enrollment trends. The core question we asked was, “Do all students have access to the variety of schools and programs offered?” The goal of the meeting was for all attendees to have a clear picture of the current IPS enrollment and choice landscape, and then for committee members to spend time sharing reflections in reaction to the data — and offer wonderings about how we can make access for all a reality. 

Watch the full meeting HERE or keep reading below for a summary and a better understanding of enrollment at IPS. 

The Context 

Our neighborhood schools are facing exactly the same trends as every other major national district in the wake of COVID19 — disappearing kids in our K–8 district neighborhood schools and a flight to charter schools.

At the same time, we’re seeing some wins

  • Overall enrollment is increasing throughout our family of IPS schools, including district choice, innovation choice, and innovation neighborhood schools.
  • We continue to be a national model for the availability of choice programs and competition in our district. 

Yet the reality is that not every family has access to an excellent choice in their neighborhood. Meeting 3 was a deep dive into our enrollment trends — both the opportunities and the challenges. 

Data Overview: Key Trends

  • IPS faces significant competition from townships, charters, and private schools. 
  • Enrollment at choice schools is increasing, while enrollment at neighborhood schools is decreasing. 
  • Choice schools have significantly higher stability than neighborhood schools, retaining their students year-over-year better than other schools. 
  • Student enrollment by race varies widely across IPS’ family of schools.
  • K–8 Choice schools continue to serve fewer families of color than neighborhood schools. 

Challenges We Must Address:

  • Retention: Retention from 6th to 7th grade has been decreasing over the past few years, and more students are transferring to private and township schools.
  • Race Equity: K–8 choice schools continue to serve fewer students of color than K–8 neighborhood schools. High demand choice schools are struggling to diversify and represent the overall demographics of the district.
  • Not all students have the same access: High demand choice enrollment is driven by sibling and proximity enrollment priorities. 
  • Mobility: Family selections and changes in circumstances during the pandemic (like a move) are playing a significant role in decreasing enrollment at neighborhood schools.

Opportunities to Build From 

  • National recognition: IPS is known as a national leader on choice and collaboration — leveraging strategic partnerships across the city, and making choosing IPS schools an attractive option. 
  • Enrollment increases: Enrollment at choice schools is increasing, creating a roadmap to build on what works. 
  • Future school-age population growth: IPS has an opportunity to capitalize on increasing school-aged populations over the next decade. 
  • Improve retention: There is an opportunity to increase retention from 6th to 7th grade by making quality options available to more students. 

Join the Conversation: We need YOU to help us reinvent, rebuild, redesign!

  • Share your feedback: Share your feedback about this data by filling out our Enrollment survey. You can access the form HERE in English & Español.
  • Join us: Our next meeting of the Rebuilding Stronger Reorganization Committee will take place on April 27th at Northwest Middle School from 6 to 7:30 p.m. This meeting will be a deep dive into our Financial Sustainability. 
  • Quick reminder: All committee meetings are open to the public. Can’t make this date? Meetings are also recorded and put on the IPS website on the Rebuilding Stronger page. 

For a full list of meeting dates, times and locations, click HERE.

What is the Reorganization Advisory Committee?

This  committee is made up of parents and students, teachers and school leaders, Board members and other elected officials, community organizations and nonprofits, and the business community. This committee is tasked with reviewing and discussing assessments on facilities, student experience, enrollment and choice, and finances to provide IPS with feedback and recommendations. 

Additional Materials