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Thursday night meeting marks last chance for public comment on IPS closures

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Thursday night is the public’s last chance to weigh in on Indianapolis Public Schools’ proposal to close three high schools and transition other schools in the district.

“I think most of the concerns that we are hearing are good concerns,” said Mary Ann Sullivan, president of the IPS Board of School Commissioners in an interview with FOX59 Thursday morning. “So we want to make sure, when we do close high schools, that there’s a good transition for all students as they move to their new programs.”

Earlier this year, IPS announced that a special task force recommended Broad Ripple, Arlington and Northwest High School either close or transition into middle schools.

The task force recommended Broad Ripple High School and John Marshall Middle School be closed, and then sold off. The group also recommended that Northwest and Arlington high schools transition into middle schools.

The announcement sparked some controversy throughout the district as some people expressed feared of longer bus routes, crowded classrooms and unnecessary changes. In recent weeks, some questioned what, if anything, IPS administrators were doing on their end to save money.

“Well, that’s what we are doing,” said Sullivan. “We are closing some of our maintenance facilities and some of our administrative offices so we can more fully utilize the spaces at the high schools that are recommended for middle schools for the 2018-2019 school year.”

The final public meeting will be held Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Northwest High School. The board will vote on which schools to close and which will consolidate on Sept. 18.