It’s a big week for Indianapolis Public Schools.
Superintendent Aleesia Johnson will deliver her annual State of the District speech Tuesday, unveiling the district’s long-awaited Rebuilding Stronger plan.
We’ll see the district’s answers to its most pressing problems: declining enrollment, competition with charter schools, and a lack of high-quality choice programs for students of color.
And at its most basic level, the plan will aim to stabilize declining enrollment by closing or consolidating schools while also expanding school choice. Enrollment zones could give school choice options to more students of color. Breaking up K-8 schools and creating standalone buildings might make better use of the district’s underutilized buildings.
You can watch the speech at 7 p.m. Tuesday at myips.org.
It could very well dictate the future of the entire district. To prepare, sign up for texting updates from Chalkbeat Indiana by texting “schools” to 317-932-3900. Also, sign up for our newsletter here.
And catch up by reading our previous coverage on what the plan could mean for students and families:
- Indianapolis embarks on another middle school overhaul. Will this one work?: IPS has changed its middle school structure twice under the previous two superintendents. Is the third time a charm?
- Parents criticize lack of information about IPS’ school consolidation plan: They asked for more details and worried the plan will bring more charter schools into the district.
- As IPS considers closing schools, see what score your school building gets: Which school buildings close could depend on a facilities report showing each school’s usage and condition. Here’s the data.
- In new school year, some Indianapolis charter schools grow: In turn, neighborhood, district-run schools are shrinking, and enrollment is a key component of Rebuilding Stronger.
- Shuffling grades, closing school buildings: IPS proposes sweeping changes: District leaders outlined five potential solutions to the district’s financial challenges as it faces declining enrollment at neighborhood schools and unequal access to high-demand innovation programs.
- Small IPS schools offer fewer extracurriculars. Is closing them the answer? The uneven distribution of extracurricular activities is especially acute for Black and Indigenous students, who have less access in middle school.
- Enrollment losses in cities prompt talk of school closures: IPS isn’t the only district considering closing schools in response to declining enrollment and rising costs. School leaders across the country are grappling with this decision.
Amelia Pak-Harvey covers Indianapolis and Marion County schools for Chalkbeat Indiana. Contact Amelia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MJ Slaby is the bureau chief for Chalkbeat Indiana. Contact MJ at email@example.com.