IPS teachers left with questions, concerns on school closure plans

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indianapolis Public Schools plan to operate just four high schools has left teachers with questions and concerns about their careers.

An IPS spokesperson said any personnel changes will be decided after the school board votes on the school closures in September. IPS plans to sell Broad Ripple High School and turn Northwest and Arlington into middle schools for the 2018-2019 school year.

“To me, it really doesn’t make a lot of sense,” Arlington High School math teacher Donavon Evans said. “But I’m not at the top, so I don’t know the real methods of what they’re doing.”

To the kids he teaches, Evans knows all the answers. But there is one question that has him stumped: Will he keep his job if Arlington switches to a 500-seat middle school?

“Our biggest thing is providing education for the kids, but we also have a lot of stress not knowing what our future holds,” Evans said.

IPS said the plan to operate just four high schools will save $7 million every year. The district hopes to pour the money into its remaining schools.

Fewer than 6,000 high school students go to IPS schools, and the seven high schools can seat nearly 15,000.

Evans said he was expecting the enrollment to improve in the years ahead.

“We are working as hard as possible. The students are doing better each and every year. They just need more opportunity so you can see them grow,” Evans said.

Angela Tipton resigned from IPS in mid-June after teaching seven years at Arlington. She said a lack of stability drove her away after Arlington switched from solely a high school to a combined high school and middle and then back again.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” Tipton said. “It got to a point where I had to think of my own family, my kids, and provide stability for them.”

The district is planning meetings at each of the affected schools in July and August.

Plans to switch Arlington to a middle school would need approval from both the school board and the state.

IPS declined 24-Hour News 8’s request for an interview for this story.

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