Press Releases | May 11, 2017

Two Indy schools selected for cohort to reimagine K-12 learning

Two Indy schools selected for cohort to reimagine K-12 learning 

 Funding and management assistance from NewSchools Venture Fund will fuel efforts to launch new, innovative school models

Indianapolis – Two future Indianapolis public schools – Ignite Achievement Academy and Purdue Polytechnic High School – have been selected as members of the 2017 Invent Cohort at NewSchools Venture Fund.

Ignite and Purdue Polytechnic High School are two of 29 organizations in the 2017 investment group. Each cohort member is committed to launch a new, innovative school or instructional model designed to meet all students where they are, help them succeed, and inspire them to create a brighter future for us all. In addition to the funding, NewSchools will provide management assistance and create a community of practice for the cohort members.

“Too many of today’s schools were built for a different time and purpose,” said Scott Benson, managing partner at NewSchools.  “We believe schools can be reimagined to better prepare young people for the future.  That’s why NewSchools Invent is proud to invest in these teams of educators who are thinking boldly and creating new opportunities to set students up for success, regardless of where they’re from.”

Purdue Polytechnic and Ignite, which both open in Fall 2017, are charter schools as well as new Innovation Network Schools within the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS).  Both schools have been incubated by The Mind Trust, the Indianapolis education nonprofit that aims to expand educational opportunity and educational equity for underserved students in Indianapolis.

Ignite.  Founded by Brooke Beavers and Shy-Quon Ely II, Ignite was named as the nonprofit partner to restart Elder W. Diggs School 42, a westside IPS elementary school with a history of underperformance, in March.

The Ignite team will increase academic outcomes by utilizing a holistic curriculum built upon community engagement, project-based learning and the leading literacy, socio-emotional and neuroscientific research. Likewise, its educational foundation will center on the latest research in neuroscience and brain compatible teaching and learning.

“We have seen first-hand how poverty, miseducation, inequity, lack of proper nutrition and chronic stress have negatively affected our young people and their school experience,” said Beavers and Ely.  “We commit to addressing these issues by unleashing each child’s inner genius, igniting a passion for lifelong learning, independent critical thinking and increasing levels of cognitive and intellectual development.”

Purdue Polytechnic High School.  A brand new school developed by Purdue University in partnership with IPS, The Mind Trust and others, will provide a hands-on, STEM-focused education that teaches Indianapolis students the skills and knowledge to be successful throughout careers and paves the way for admission to a post-secondary institution.

Successful graduates who meet Purdue University admission criteria will have direct admittance to majors in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute at Purdue University in West Lafayette.  This is Purdue’s first high school and will be led by educator and founding principal Shatoya Jordan.

“We are grateful to NewSchools Venture Fund for supporting Purdue’s vision of creating a bridge for center-city students in Indianapolis to obtain a world-class, rigorous education and prepare themselves for success in college and career,” Jordan said.  “Purdue Polytechnic High School will be one of the most innovative academic experiences in Indianapolis, and we are excited to be a part of expanding educational opportunity in the city.”

About NewSchools

NewSchools Venture Fund is a national nonprofit that finds, funds and supports promising and innovative education entrepreneurs, teams of educators and education leaders. We help them accomplish their missions to achieve outstanding results for the schools, students and educators they serve. We are committed to helping students graduate high school prepared and inspired to achieve their most ambitious dreams and plans. Through our investing, management assistance, network building, and thought leadership, NewSchools helps to reimagine K–12 education.