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IPS unveils ‘Rebuilding Stronger’ draft that includes grade consolidation, school closures

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Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Aleesia Johnson unveiled a draft of the district’s expansive “Rebuilding Stronger” plan, which includes closing seven schools, building two new schools and reconfiguring grades at nearly three dozen schools.

The plan is meant to combat declining enrollment, financial issues and poor facility conditions.

Johnson announced the plan during her State of the District address Sept. 13.

The plan, which would still need approval from the school board, consists of the following:

  • Seven elementary school buildings would close next summer.
  • The district would establish grade 6-8 middle schools that offer International Baccalaureate, STEM, arts or other programs. That would include two new schools at the former Broad Ripple and Thomas Carr Howe high schools.
  • Grades at about three dozen schools would be reconfigured to offer preschool or kindergarten up to fifth grade.
  • The district would build two new elementary schools and improve 14 facilities.
  • Purdue Polytechnic North charter school would remain in the Broad Ripple High School building.
  • The district would add one Montessori and two Center For Inquiry programs at current neighborhood schools.
  • IPS would be divided into roughly four zones that reflect the district’s diversity by race and income. Families could pick a school in their zone to attend, and each zone would have similar offerings from grades K-5 and 6-8.

Learn more about the plan at myips.org.

IPS estimates about 330 staff members would be impacted by the closures, mergers or grade reconfiguration, but Johnson doesn’t expect layoffs.

“I believe that none of this is easy,” Johnson said, “but it is what it takes to align resources and values.”

The majority of changes would occur in the 2024-25 school year.

The district will host public meetings through October at schools for families to learn about how proposed changes could affect them.

Contact staff writer Levi Jackson at 317-762-7854 or email levij@indyrecorder.com. Follow him on Twitter @posterboylevi.

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