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Since September 13th, the IPS team has been gathering feedback on potential Rebuilding Stronger Draft changes from community meetings, staff meetings, and surveys. Below are a set of recommendations for proposed updates to the plan.

Henry Longfellow Facility

Plan by School Page

  • Feedback Received: Enhancing the athletic experience in the form of football stadium improvements is gendered and too focused on one sport
  • Proposed Plan Update: Update the plans for that school site to include a multi-sport practice and competition stadium
  • Impact: There is no change to construction timeline or costs. Only change is intended future use of the stadium. 

George Julian Facility

Plan by School Page

  • Feedback Received: After seeing the draft architectural renderings, the community felt that it would be safer and more attractive with wider sidewalks and a fence around the front of the property.
  • Proposed Plan Update: Update the plans for that site to both widen the sidewalks and add a fence around the front of the property. 
  • Impact: Given continued concerns about the need for traffic calming in the area around the school, and in light of the traumatic loss the school suffered, providing for a more safe front entry outdoor space was appropriate.

Sidener Academy for High Ability Students

The original plan was to build two new facilities: one at the Francis W. Parker School 56 site and a second at the Joyce Kilmer School 69 site. During the Rebuilding Stronger feedback process, we received information from Indiana Landmarks and the Black Heritage Preservation Program about the historical nature of Francis W. Parker school to the African-American community in Martindale-Brightwood, as well as concerns about furthering the gentrification in the surrounding neighborhood. We are conducting further due diligence on this matter. 

Additionally, James Russell Lowell School 51 is a “good” condition building, built in 2006. We will leave the merged schools of Francis W. Parker School 56 and James Russell Lowell School 51 at that site in the update to the plan. 

When looking at where students who attend any IPS school, and are identified as high-ability reside, the Joyce Kilmer School 69 site is still very proximate and will allow the increased equity of access that was desired in moving the high ability elementary to a new, more central location in the district. Thus, there is a proposed change to the draft plan for the Sidener high ability elementary new build location to be at the Joyce Kilmer School 69 site. 

Butler Lab School 55

Plan by School Page

  • Feedback Received: Current renderings show loss of one of the three baseball/softball diamonds at the site. The Broad Ripple Haverford Little League and surrounding community would like all three current fields to stay.
  • Proposed Plan Update: Update the plans for the site to still do the addition, with the intended added capacity, but keep all three diamonds intact.
  • Impact: This will lengthen the timeline for construction by approximately one year.

Thomas Gregg School 15

Plan by School Page

  • Feedback Received: Placing Thomas Gregg in Zone 4 cuts it off from their out-of-neighborhood-boundary student population. Placing the school in Zone 3 allows it to continue to educate current students and synergize around supports provided by the Boner Center and the Near Eastside Promise Zone investments.
  • Proposed Plan Update: Move Thomas Gregg from Zone 4 to Zone 3.
  • Impact: This does not significantly impact our mobility-reduction efforts or zone demographic balance, and may reduce transportation related mobility further. It changes choice options and middle school feeder patterns for Gregg students, but should not impact overall cost or enrollment projections.

Zone 4 Program Access

  • Feedback Received: Zone 4: There is no access to an already-established program for Zone 4. (additionally) Butler Lab Schools 55 and 60: Kids in Zones 3 and 4 don’t have access to a Butler Lab (see next slide)
  • Proposed Plan Update: Expand access to the Butler Lab Schools by making Butler Lab 60 serve Zones 1 and 4, and Butler Lab 55 serve Zones 2 and 3. Transportation would serve each school accordingly.
  • Impact: This increases access to the Butler Lab Schools for students in Zones 3 and 4. This is an increased investment in transportation costs. (Specific increase data not yet available). This also addresses providing access to an already-established program to Zone 4 families.

Butler Lab Schools 55 and 60

Plan by School Page: 55 | Plan by School Page: 60

  • Feedback Received: Butler Lab Schools 55 and 60: Kids in Zones 3 and 4 don’t have access to a Butler Lab (with bus) in the draft plan (many of whom do now). (Additionally) Zone 4: There is no access to an already-established program for Zone 4.
  • Proposed Plan Update: Expand access to the Butler Lab Schools by making Butler Lab 60 serve Zones 1 and 4, and Butler Lab 55 serve Zones 2 and 3. Transportation would serve each school accordingly.
  • Impact: This increases access to the Butler Lab Schools for students in Zones 3 and 4. This is an increased investment in transportation costs. (Specific increase data not yet available). This also addresses providing access to an already-established program to Zone 4 families.

Merging or closing schools

  • Feedback Received: Some families may experience temporary transportation dependency or temporarily transportation ineligibility during the transition to a new school or to new zones.
  • Proposed Plan Update: In addition to the one year transportation grace period, we will update the appeals process to include possible extended eligibility for these families and clarify the appeals process so all families have a better understanding of eligibility and exemptions.
  • Impact: Minimal additional investment in transportation, and impacted families have more time to adjust. 

**

  • Feedback Received: Children in grades 6-8 of next-year closures/mergers should get enhanced lottery priority for 2 years in a row (since middle schools will not launch till SY24-25)
  • Proposed Plan Update: All 6+ graders in closing or merging schools to have lottery priority for both the 23-24 and 24-25 school years.
  • Impact: Minimal if any overall impact; gives families more opportunity to access options. 

**

  • Feedback Received: Many families are new to the choice lottery, and might prefer an assignment to a nearby school rather than having to choose across the zone.
  • Proposed Plan Update: We will provide a default-assignment for any impacted student who does not make a selection by the end of the 2nd Enroll Indy window. Families can still choose, but if they don’t want to, we will provide an assignment.
  • Impact: We will increase enrollment projections at the following receiving schools.
    Brandes → Skillen
    Torrence → Frost
    Penn (SY24) → Garfield
    Buck → Brochhausen*
    *This change will also require moving the Buck 94 boundary into zone 3

Choice Schools with new transportation boundaries

  • Feedback Received: Some existing choice-school families will become transportation-ineligible in SY25-26 due to the new Zones map.
  • Proposed Plan Update: We will amend and revise transportation policies to create a structure to allow families who meet certain criteria (such as living a certain safe distance from an existing bus stop) to walk across zone lines to get to a bus stop. This would begin in SY25-26, after the one-year transportation grace period.
  • Impact: Minimal if any additional investment in transportation, and some impacted families would continue to receive transportation to their school. 

All neighborhood schools

  • Feedback Received: In the Zones model, there is no longer a “neighborhood school.” Families who move into the area mid-year might not have a seat at the school closest to them, if that is what they want.
  • Proposed Plan Update: We commit to studying the data over the course of implementation to see if this is an issue. At this time, we have little reason to suspect this would be an issue. If it is, we will implement an adjustment to the enrollment policy or other changes to solve for it.
  • Impact: N/A – changes may come in 2-3 years.

Theodore Potter

Plan by School Page

  • Feedback Received: Since we are not enrolling 7th graders at Harshman next year, current Potter 6th graders who want to continue dual-language at Harshman in SY24-25 will need to go elsewhere for one year.
  • Proposed Plan Update: We will cohort only the current Potter 6th graders at Harshman for one year and provide them with continued dual language immersion instruction. 
  • Impact: A few of the Harshman 7th grade teachers may be able to stay at the building rather than be displaced. Minimal impact operationally. 

William Penn School 49 and Cold Spring School

Plan by School Page: WP49 | Plan by School Page: CS

  • Feedback Received: We received feedback from the Penn community that they did not desire a change to Innovation status for the school. Cold Spring families also expressed concern about the distance between the two sites, and many of the current Cold Spring families rely on transportation and live in Zone 2 (which the school would no longer serve).
  • Proposed Plan Update: We will update the plan to direct-run Penn with the STEM model rather than pursue an Innovation partnership at the site with Cold Spring. William Penn will still transition to become a middle school. Cold Spring will stay K-8 for the duration of their Innovation agreement (through June 2027) and serve Zones 1 and 2. We will consider modulars to provide space to meet excess demand. 
  • Impact: Modulars at Cold Spring would cost between $800K-$1M. IPS will staff William Penn as a STEM Middle School beginning in SY24-25. 

William Penn School 49

Plan by School Page

  • Feedback Received: The school community is mourning the loss of a generational neighborhood school in the change to a 6-8 at the site as well as zones
  • Proposed Plan Update: While we cannot leave the school K-8, we can commit to allowing students who are currently in K-5 and choose either Daniel Webster or James Garfield for the rest of their K-5 experience a direct-pipeline back to Penn for middle grades.
  • Impact: Little operational impact. Will need to update enrollment targets to reflect feeder patterns. Keeps many students together and they can return to their same school.

CFI2/WI14

Plan by School Page: CFI2 | Plan by School Page: WI14

  • Feedback Received: There is concern about the speed of the merger and the ability to successfully meld the two school communities. Urban Act School 14 school community was also concerned about the proposed model. Consider delaying for one year.
  • Proposed Plan Update: Delaying for one year would not serve both school communities well. Given this, we will no longer plan to merge the schools. Both schools will remain open and operational. We have begun preliminary conversations with the Near Eastside Innovation School Corporation to engage in an Innovation partnership at School 14 OR will direct-manage the school. We also recommend doing Zones one year early at School 14 in order to stabilize mobility.  Both schools will still become K-5 in SY24-25.
  • Impact: Cost for zones transportation should be negligible. Determine next steps for Washington Irving School 14.

Edison and James Whitcomb Riley 43

Plan by School Page: Edison | Plan by School Page: JWR

  • Feedback Received: Edison and their families/staff expressed a desire to live out their current Innovation agreement as a K-8 at their first site. Families from both schools have expressed concerns about the mixing of school populations in SY24-25 and the distance between the two schools, as well as two consecutive years of change for Riley.
  • Proposed Plan Update: Edison will remain K-8 for the duration of their agreement through June 2027. James Whitcomb Riley 43 will also remain K-8 through June 2027. James Whitcomb Riley 43 would serve zones 1 and 2; Edison 47 would serve zones 3 and 4 beginning in SY24-25.
  • Impact: This change saves money from a transportation perspective, since both schools now only serve two Zones rather than district-wide. This provides enhanced stability for James Whitcomb Riley.

Zone 3/STEM

  • Feedback Received: Zone 3 is the only zone without a STEM elementary school. While Robert Frost was designed to serve Zones 2 and 3, the default-assignment of Floro Torrence students to Frost means that there may not be room for additional students who want STEM from Zone 3.
  • Proposed Plan Update: Add a STEM program at Anna Brochhausen that is accessible via transportation to Zone 3.
  • Impact: We will need to invest in STEM vendors to provide professional development and training to additional teachers. We will also need to partner with STEM providers to supplement the curriculum so that STEM is integrated across content areas.

New builds

  • Feedback Received: The new build at the Kilmer 69 site seems unnecessary given that James Russell Lowell 51 is a good building, built in 2006.  Consider removing that new build.
  • Proposed Plan Update: We will keep the 56/51 merger at James Russell Lowell School 51. We will not plan for a new build at the Parker 56 site.We will do a new build only at Kilmer 69 to serve the 1-5 high ability program.
  • Impact: This will be a reduction in our capital improvement costs/needs and allow us to focus spending on needs at existing schools where instruction will be continuing. We will work with Francis Parker School 56 community on future use of the building.

Special Education Programs

  • Feedback Received: Families and staff requested greater transparency regarding the locations of special programs, clarity in what changes students accessing inclusion services should expect, and additional consideration special program logistics (which programs offer one classroom versus two classrooms in a school, grade bands served in program classes, etc.).
  • Proposed Plan Update: We have included special education programming information on the RBS website with live updates linked here. A number of programmatic shifts have been proposed to decrease student and staff movement, reduce the number of different programs offered in a single building, increase the number of program classrooms to increase teacher collaboration, and increase access to programming, geographically, to the greatest extent. 
  • Impact: These changes will honor staff, family, and community feedback to the greatest extent without increasing staffing allocations or expenses. USS and Teachers of Record will continue to work with families to ensure student transitions are individualized and proximal to plan execution.

Additional Potential School Updates:

Anna Brochhausen: A proposed change to the Rebuilding Stronger plan will add a STEM program at our school for the 2024-25 school year. Anna Brochhausen will now serve Zone 3 as the STEM elementary school with provided transportation for Zone 3 students.

Floro Torrence: In response to feedback provided by our Floro Torrence community, the proposed plan changes would automatically enroll Floro Torrence students in classes at Robert Lee Frost if no other selection is made by parents/guardians by the close of the Enroll Indy Lottery. 

If the plan with the proposed changes passes and Robert Lee Frost is not your first choice, please participate in the Enroll Indy Lottery which closes April 20, 2023. The Enroll Indy lottery opens Nov. 2. To learn more about the Enroll Indy lottery, visit www.enrollindy.org/apply, or contact your school’s Rebuilding Stronger navigator.

Francis W. Parker: As a revision to the plan, we are no longer planning two new builds within the Martindale-Brightwood community. We are still excited to provide our students at Francis Parker School 56 access to a better facility at James Russell Lowell, and the James Russell Lowell students access to this high demand IPS program. 

However, since James Russell Lowell is one of our large, newer, good-condition elementary buildings, we will no longer be planning to relocate James Russell Lowell or Francis Parker students to a different facility after the 2024–2025 school year. 

George Buck: Based on the feedback from you and the George Buck community, the proposed plan changes would automatically enroll George Buck students in classes at Anna Brochhausen Elementary if no other selection is made by the close of the Enroll Indy Lottery. 

This change would also move the George Buck boundary into Zone 3, which will impact middle school options for students who live in the current George Buck boundary. If the plan with the proposed changes passes and George Buck is not your first choice, please participate in the Enroll Indy Lottery which closes April 20, 2023. 

The Enroll Indy lottery opens Nov. 2. To learn more about the Enroll Indy lottery, visit www.enrollindy.org/apply, or contact your school’s Rebuilding Stronger navigator.

James Russell Lowell: As a revision to the plan, the district is  no longer planning for two new buildings within the Martindale-Brightwood community. We are still excited to bring the Francis Parker School 56 and James Russell Lowell school communities together to be served at James Russell Lowell in the Montessori program. 

However, since James Russell Lowell is one of our large, newer, good-condition elementary buildings, we will no longer be planning to relocate the students to a different facility after the 2024-2025 school year.

Raymond Brandes: In response to the feedback provided by the Raymond Brandes community, the proposed plan changes would automatically enroll Raymond Brandes students in classes at Eleanor Skillen if no other selection is made by the close of the Enroll Indy Lottery. 

If the plan with the proposed changes passes and Eleanor Skillen is not your first choice, please participate in the Enroll Indy Lottery which closes April 20, 2023. The lottery opens on Nov. 2. To learn more about the Enroll Indy lottery, visit www.enrollindy.org/apply, or contact your school’s Rebuilding Stronger navigator.

Washington Irving: Based on the feedback from you and the Washington Irving/Urban Act community, the proposed plan update no longer includes a merger with Center for Inquiry 2. There was worry over the speed of the merger and the ability to successfully meld the two schools, as well as the proposed school model. 

In the proposal updates, Washington Irving School 14 will remain open in the current building but will still reconfigure to a K–5 instructional program for the 2024–25 school year. 

Additional proposed changes:

  • Washington Irving will become an Emerging School
  •  Starting Zones one year earlier (in SY 2023-24) for Washington Irving to stabilize mobility.
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