Parents from Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) applauded tonight’s vote by the school board to finalize two new agreements for Innovation Schools. Based on tonight’s action by the IPS board, two long-struggling schools -- Riverside 44 and Joyce Kilmer 69 – will be restarted under new school models and new leadership with the focus on closing the opportunity gap for students in the schools.
Former Pike Township Principal Mariama Carson will be the leader of Global Prep Academy at Riverside 44, and Shanae Staples, who worked as a leader at IPS’ Enlace Academy, will head up Kindezi Academy at Joyce Kilmer 69. Both of the new school operators are nonprofit entities.
Joyce Kilmer 69 Parent Charron Perry tonight delivered 48 stakeholder signatures to the board in support of bringing Kindezi Academy to IPS 69.
“I love the plan for our school next year,” Perry said. “They are going to have two teachers in each class and bring STEM learning to our school. I’m loving the chances this will give to my child and the kids at the school.”
Innovation Schools were created under a state law passed in 2014, which gave IPS the option of turning around failing schools by bringing in new school leaders and innovative programs to help address the systemic challenges that led to low performance.
"Every child deserves a shot a quality education, and tragically students in these two schools have been largely denied that opportunity in the past,” said Stand for Children Indiana Executive Director Justin Ohlemiller. “These new Innovation schools offer tremendous hope to turn around student achievement and get hundreds of young people on track for college or career success.”
Innovation schools allow students to remain in their same neighborhood school building, which will then be operated by new leadership and new staff.