Alumni prepare to address IPS school board about keeping Arlington High School open

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – When Tim Bass looks around his alma mater, Arlington High School, he sees potential.

"We all volunteer," said Bass, who is the alumni president. "We’re all committed to help Arlington succeed. We just want to see this stay as a high school on the east side of Indianapolis."

The Indianapolis Public Schools administration has recommended Arlington High School and Northwest High School be turned into middle schools. According to the plan, Arlington would also offer night high school. Meantime, Broad Ripple High School would be sold.

Bass and fellow Arlington graduates are preparing to attend the Indianapolis Public Schools board meeting Tuesday night to address the commissioners directly about the future of the school.

"We’re Golden Knights and we are going to fight to the very end," Bass said.

The suggestions from the IPS administrators come after they revealed all of the district's high school buildings are under capacity due to significant drops in enrollment. The board of commissioners will ultimately decide which high schools stay open when they take a vote on September 18.

"This by no means is a done deal," said Carrie Cline Black, IPS spokesperson. "This is the last chance. Anything people want to share now’s the time to leave it all on the table."

“We feel there’s still a shot to keep this open as a high school," Bass said.

Arlington was under state control until just a couple years ago. Bass said the school has made a lot of progress in the short period of time. The Walker Foundation is also ready to step in and help, according to a board member.

"They’re willing to go a step further to make Arlington a college prep high school which would be a benefit to IPS and Arlington High School," Bass said. "I believe it takes a village to make this happen."

The final meeting about the high school closures is scheduled for Thursday at Northwest High School at 5:30 p.m.