The Mind Trust, an Indianapolis-based nonprofit, has announced the eighth cohort of Innovation School Fellows. The nonprofit has also announced a $300,000 grant to support the growth of Circle City Prep, a local public charter school.
The nonprofit says the investments will help create three high-quality public school options for Indianapolis students by the fall of 2023.
“The Mind Trust is proud to support the growth of more high-quality school options for Indianapolis families through our Innovation School Fellowship and investments that expand the impact of existing schools,” said Brandon Brown, chief executive officer of The Mind Trust. “We are excited to welcome Brandon House back to Indianapolis and to invest in talented teams from Edison School of the Arts and Circle City Prep. These passionate school leaders have a track record of success in driving academic outcomes for students, a vision for an equitable, innovative school model, and an inspiring drive to make a positive impact on our education system and city.”
An individual Innovation School Fellow and Innovation School Fellowship team will be added to the eighth Fellowship cohort. The nonprofit says Brandon House will develop a K-8 school that will grow students into local and global leaders through a rigorous academic program supported by strong community partnerships and social emotional development.
Amy Berns, Fallon Cuthrell, and Nathan Tuttle will work together to replicate the successful model of Edison School of the Arts, an Indianapolis Public Schools’ Innovation Network School that gives students an arts-driven education through experiences, exposure, and community partnerships.
The incoming Fellows join Morrise Harbour and Francisco Valdiosera, who are developing schools that will launch by fall 2022.
The Innovation School Fellowship is a partnership between The Mind Trust, IPS, and The Mayor’s Office of Education Innovation to attract educators to develop and lead IPS Innovation Network Schools.
In the 2021-2022 school year, there will be 30 Innovation Network Schools within IPS, collectively serving more than 11,500 students.
“Ensuring high-quality school options in Indianapolis, especially for Indianapolis Public Schools’ students and families, is critically important,” said IPS Superintendent Aleesia Johnson. “The community — including our families — has often asked us to replicate some of our most successful school models. Through their participation in the Innovation School Fellowship, the Edison School of the Arts team will develop a plan to add a second arts-focused school to our IPS family of schools. Research bears out the positive impact a strong arts education can have on students, and I’m excited by the prospect of growing the number of students to whom we’d be able to offer this opportunity.”
The Mind Trust is also awarding the $300,000 grant to Circle City Prep to support the growth of a middle school at the K-5 public charter school located on the far eastside of Indianapolis.
The nonprofit says Circle City Prep will spend one year scaling their model to serve middle school students. The award will support professional development for the school’s current leadership, as well as support to recruit additional middle school staff and teachers.