Plans to close or convert three public high schools and a middle school in the state’s largest district are moving forward. On Monday, the Indianapolis Public Schools Board of School Commissioners approved a recommendation from administrators to "reinvent" IPS high schools. The process will involve closing and attempting to sell Broad Ripple High School and John Marshall Middle School, as well as transitioning Arlington High School to a middle school and evening high school and Northwest High School to a middle school.
The final decision by the board Tuesday came after several months of feedback and examination spurred by lower enrollment. The planned sales of Broad Ripple and John Marshall plus two administrative properties could bring in millions of dollars. Starting with the 2018-2019 school year, the district’s high school portfolio will consist of four: Crispus Attucks, George Washington, Arsenal Technical and Shortridge.
Plans also call for a "new high school experience" at the remaining schools, including what officials say will involve new and expanded programming. The board says it will unveil strategies to market the new academies at a later date. Students, it says, will have "100 percent choice when deciding what high school they want to attend." The proposal includes six college and career-themed academies with early and middle college options and 45 pathways to better prepare students for college, military or livable wage employment after graduation.
Board President Mary Ann Sullivan says "every action of this board supports this vision for the future: empowered schools, well-prepared students, equity, choice, and stewardship. We are committed to building a sustainable and continuously improving district."
A district transition team is overseeing the process, which is now underway, and advisory teams for affected stakeholders like students, parents, teachers and the community will begin to be launched next month. An annual Showcase of Schools will be held November 18 at the Indiana State Museum to detail the district’s options to the public.