Press Releases | September 23, 2014

The Mind Trust launches second round of fellowships to grow great schools in IPS

INDIANAPOLIS – The Mind Trust is accepting applications for the second round of its Innovation School Fellowship, through which the nonprofit equips talented leaders to launch high quality, autonomous schools in partnership with Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS).

The Mind Trust, IPS and the Indianapolis Mayor’s Office announced the inaugural round of the newly created Innovation School Fellowship in April following the passage of Public Law 1321. This historic law allows IPS to replace underused or consistently low-performing schools with "Innovation Network Schools" that leverage IPS resources while maintaining autonomy in agreement with IPS. Innovation Network Schools also are exempt from IPS’ collective bargaining agreement with its teacher’s union.

The fellowship gives leaders time, resources, training and support to be successful in launching Innovation Network Schools. Selected fellows receive a year to build and launch their schools and a $100,000 salary plus benefits during their fellowship. They also receive counsel from experts in school design and management, opportunities to visit high performing schools across the country, and daily support from The Mind Trust’s team.

In some cases, fellows could receive up to two years of planning time, depending on their experience launching schools and the complexity of their school designs. These fellows earn $150,000 plus benefits over the course of their two-year fellowships.

"We’re pleased to continue this partnership with The Mind Trust and create more opportunities to serve our students," said IPS Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee. "Innovation Network Schools help us execute our vision to transform IPS into the flagship in urban education."

The Mind Trust awarded its first three Innovation School Fellowships in June. Awards went to a longtime IPS educator who led a dramatic school turnaround; a former senior analyst with the U.S. Department of State who has studied youth engagement in entrepreneurship as an antidote to terrorist group involvement; and a team that includes one of the nation’s best education entrepreneurs and a seasoned school administrator. Fellows’ work to launch their schools is underway. The first of their Innovation Network Schools will come online in 2015, with the other two opening in 2016.

"This second round of fellowships will provide more opportunities for talented leaders to build great schools in IPS," said David Harris, Founder and CEO of The Mind Trust. "With each round of fellowships, we help to close the gap between the number of students in need of excellent schools and the number of world-class schools in our city."

In partnership with IPS, The Mind Trust has agreed to launch up to nine Innovation Network Schools through the Innovation School Fellowship over the next three years. Lilly Endowment Inc. recently made a grant of $1.5 million to The Mind Trust to help fund the fellowships, as well as expenses The Mind Trust will incur supporting fellows’ work.

Anyone may apply for the fellowship, including teachers and leaders within IPS, teachers and leaders from other district schools or public charter schools, or other innovators with the skills needed to launch new schools.

Those interested in applying must complete the first step of submitting a Statement of Intent by Jan. 18, 2015. Selected applicants will be invited to submit full applications, which will be due on March 1, 2015.

The Mind Trust is a nonprofit striving to create enough great public schools in Indianapolis for every student to be able to attend one. The Mind Trust launches high quality, autonomous public schools in Indianapolis through its Innovation School Fellowship, Education Entrepreneur Fellowship and Charter School Incubator programs. The Mind Trust also works to create the infrastructure needed for great schools to thrive by engaging the community in its work, advancing bold policy plans, and recruiting or launching organizations in Indianapolis that address schools’ critical needs, such as summer learning opportunities and pipelines of high quality teachers. Since its creation in 2006, The Mind Trust has impacted 113,000 students and has raised close to $40 million.

Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) is the largest public school district in Indiana. The district covers 80 square miles, employs more than 6,000 people, and serves more than 30,000 students. IPS is honored to serve a diverse community with a rich history, and focuses on innovative educational opportunities for academic excellence. Students and their parents have a choice when it comes to education, and IPS strives to be the exceptional choice for families. IPS is committed to being the flagship in innovative urban education, preparing all students to be successful in the global economy. With inspired new approaches in the classroom, health and wellness initiatives, parent advocacy efforts, and impressive magnet options (including Montessori, International Baccalaureate, Spanish immersion, performing arts, math, science, and more), IPS is proud to be public!