Kateri Whitley, The Mind Trust
Liberty Grove Schools and Monarca Academy were approved for Indianapolis mayor-sponsored charters on Tuesday, June 22. Both school models were created with input from the community and strive to raise the academic achievement of students who enroll. The Indianapolis Charter School Board voted unanimously to approve both schools for mayor-sponsored charters.
Morrise Harbour is the founder of Liberty Grove Schools. Harbour has more than two decades of experience teaching and leading in high-performing schools. Harbour was most recently the principal for Friendship Public Charter Schools’ Chamberlain Campus, located in Washington D.C., for nine years.
The Chamberlain Campus was recognized by the DC Public Charter School Board as “one of the top-performing public charter schools in mathematics for grades 3-8” and as “one of the most improved public charter schools in mathematics for grades 3-8.”
Liberty Grove Schools’ model is based on a differentiated classroom model, which means all students will receive grade-level material and instruction, as well as timely intervention as needed. Additionally, the school will cultivate a literacy-enriched environment, which means reading and writing skills will be taught in all classes, not just English Language Arts.
Francisco Valdiosera is the founder of Monarca Academy. He has previously served Indianapolis students at George Washington Community High School, first as an ESL teacher, then as assistant principal. Valdiosera was also the Director for IPS’ English as a Second Language (ESL) department, where he planned and managed ESL instructional programs for 30 schools in the district.
Monara Academy will offer a college and career prep atmosphere anchored in an appreciation of Latino culture, with a welcoming atmosphere for students of all backgrounds. About one-third of all IPS students identify as Latino.
Valdiosera and his team heard from many families who are interested in a school that affirms their culture and is led by educators who share a similar background as their students. The school has attracted support from local nonprofit organizations like La Plaza and the Immigrant Welcome Center.
Liberty Grove Schools and Monarca Academy will seek partnerships with IPS as potential Innovation Network School partners. Innovation Network Schools have more autonomy from the district to make decisions that best meet the needs of their school community.
Families and community members can learn more about Liberty Grove Schools at LibertyGroveSchools.org and more about Monarca Academy at MonarcaAcademy.org.