Facebook Twitter

Alan Petersime

IPS proposal would expand preschool program

The Indianapolis Public School Board will consider expanding its fledgling preschool program to add 200 spots for four year olds by establishing 10 more preschool classes in seven schools at its Tuesday meeting.

The district established free, all-day preschool at 11 schools last fall. That program now serves 700 students, so the expansion would grow it by more than 25 percent. Four of the 10 new classes would be at the district’s preschool center at School 102. The other IPS schools with preschool classes in the fall would include School 60, School 27, School 14, School 15, School 34, School 42, School 44, School 48, School 63, School 88, School 90, School 114 and School 67.

The expansion would cost about $2 million. The district’s operations chief, Le Boler, said IPS’s goal is to continue growing the program each year.

When originally proposed by former IPS Superintendent Eugene White, the plan was to establish a program for 1,400 four-year-olds but that proposal was scaled back by the school board last year.

Also on Tuesday’s IPS school board agenda:

  • Snow days. The board will consider adding to the 2014-15 school calendar planned days off school on Dec. 19, May 22 and spring break (March 23-27) as optional make up days for snow.
  • Parent liaison layoffs. A total of 23 parent liaison positions are proposed to be eliminated, but Boler said new jobs would replace them with redefined duties. The new full-time jobs would be called “parent educator” and be open to all district employees. All schools would have parent educators except School 84, a school that is not poor enough to be eligible for federal poverty aid. In the past, some schools had parent liaisons and others did not, Boler said, and some of the positions were full time while others were part-time. The change will standardize the position across the district.