IPS wants your opinion on search for next superintendent

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – On Friday, Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) announced three meetings where Hoosiers are invited to voice their opinions. This comes as they gear up for a national search for the next superintendent. They’re trying to avoid confusion with transparency.

Parents, teachers and community members are all invited to three open meetings starting in two weeks.

The goal is to create the job description for the next IPS superintendent, based off qualities you think this leader should have.

Who will be the next IPS Superintendent?

“What do you think is going well in the district? What can we do better?" asked Michael O’Conner, the President of IPS Board of School Commissioners.

With around 30,000 kids in the district, it’s a question many are taking seriously.  O’Connor says these public meetings are to be transparent.

“It’s no secret, one of the criticisms of the decisions we have been making is they think we haven’t taken the time to take community input,” said O’Connor.

Charity Scott taught in the district for three years. As part of the IPS Community Coalition, she speaks for many parents and she’s critical of the process.

“There was just a ton of adjustment, which caused me to leave the district, which as an alumna, I didn’t plan on leaving the district as a teacher,” said Scott.

Scott is concerned about the transparency for school policies. Like the innovation school process and turn over for teachers.

“We want to make sure that student, teacher, parent input into how these policies have impacted them are at the forefront of the conversation, so our next superintendent isn’t just going to continue on these policies but be very critical,” said Scott.

However, Justin Ohlemiller, who also works with parents through Stand for Children Indiana, believes IPS is being transparent and doing a good job.

“Graduation rates are on the rise, we had a referendum that passed with 70 plus percent of the vote, so people are believing in what the IPS is doing, we have a number of low performing schools turn around through the efforts with the district through the previous leadership, so there’s good things happening,” said Ohlemiller.

Moving forward, all sides agree it’s about finding the right person who’s best for the students, while creating an open conversation about education.

Here’s a list of those public meetings.

  • Feb. 27 from 1-3 p.m. at the Hawthorne Community Center on W. Ohio Street
  • March 7 from 6-9 p.m. at Arsenal Tech
  • March 13 from 6-9 p.m. at George Washington Carver School #87

A fourth meeting could be added if needed. IPS says they hope to hire the new superintendent by May. Click here to keep updated with the Superintendent search through the IPS website.

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