INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Recommendations call for Arsenal Tech, George Washington, Crispus Attucks and Shortridge high schools to stay open for the 2018-19 school year, Indianapolis Public Schools’ administrators announced Wednesday.
The recommendation could lead to the closing of or changes to IPS’ Arlington, Broad Ripple and Northwest high schools.
The changes are expected to save the district millions of dollars in operations and maintenance.
Within each of the high schools remaining open, students could choose to join career-themed academies. On Monday, the district announced it will introduce seven career-themed academies in the 2018-2019 session.
The administration has recommended that students’ home addresses would not dictate which schools they go to; pupils could choose their academies and their high schools. Students would choose schools based on their interests and the career-based academies offered at that school.
School board members are expected to vote on the recommendations in September. In the meantime, community meetings in July and August will gather input from the public on the recommendations, IPS said.
In addition to the high schools, the administration also recommended other facilities would also undergo changes:
- Arlington High School would become a 500-seat middle school for seventh- and eighth-graders, pending state approval. Staff from Forest Manor Middle School would be moved to Arlington.
- Broad Ripple High School would be sold, with a potential sale price from $6 million to $8 million.
- John Marshall High School would be considered for another viable reuse, with the help of the Glick Family Foundation, the city and other partners.
- Northwest High School would become a 600-seat middle school for seventh- and eighth-graders. In addition, parts of the district’s facilities maintenance department would be moved into Northwest. The district also would explore the possibility of putting an early-learning center in the school.
- The facilities maintenance department building, 1129 E. 16th St., would be sold or leased, with a requirement that any development implements units for teaching housing. The building, located north of the North Split, has a potential sale price of $3 million to $5 million.
The decision to make changes in the district originated from an April 18 report from a facilities task force. It recommended the closing of three high schools. The group was formed to look into options to save money in the wake of declining enrollment — from 25,172 students in 10 high schools in the mid-1960s to 5,352 in seven high schools currently, the administration said in its recommendations issued Wednesday.
Since the April report, IPS conducted community meetings in April and May to discuss the changes. Officials have said the public input helped them to review which high schools to close and the education needs of the district.