IPS unveils proposal to separate middle and high schoolers

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis Public Schools unveiled a proposal aimed at separating middle and high school students currently attending schools together. The changes are part of a plan to boost student and school performance.

The proposal was just laid out Tuesday at the school board meeting. It would revamp the grade configuration within IPS schools.

The proposal says separating high school and middle school students will create a safer environment for those younger students and allow teacher to have a more narrow focus on that age group and give them earlier exposure to career tracks and high school options.

If approved, IPS would start phasing out middle school students from the community high schools that now have grades six through 12 or seven through 12 next year.

That would expand many schools to K-8, including Stephen Foster School 63, Washington Irving School 14 and Wendell Phillips School 63. James Whitcomb Riley School 43 would adopt a motion-based SUPER school model. Also under the proposal, two new schools would be created, a new lab-based Reggio school and a new medical/STEM middle school.

John Marshall would become a middle school and all high school students there would move to Arlington.

In 2017, Arlington and Crispus Attucks would serve just high school students grades 9-12.

Broad Ripple, George Washington and Northwest would still have eighth graders, but they would phase out in 2018.

The proposal does not specifically suggest closing any schools at this time. IPS said any number of high schools may close, but that wouldn’t happen until 2019 at the earliest.

The board is expected to discuss the proposals more at meetings next Tuesday and Thursday.

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