Innovation School Fellowship

The Innovation School Fellowship

The Mind Trust created the Innovation School Fellowship in 2014 in partnership with Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) and the Mayor’s Office of Education Innovation to launch Innovation Network Schools within Indy’s largest school district.  Through this nationally unique fellowship, Fellows have the opportunity to launch schools that combine the freedoms and flexibilities of charter schools with resources and services of district schools, including a school building at little to no cost. Read more about the types of schools in Indy and their autonomies.

ISF_2cLogoSince 2014, The Mind Trust’s fellowships have supported the launch of 19 Innovation Network Schools, serving more than 6,000 Indianapolis students.

The Innovation School Fellowship enables Fellows to have sufficient planning time to ensure that the schools they launch will serve students and communities well from day one. This serves as the foundation of The Mind Trust’s work, and builds upon the best practice that allows one to two years of planning time.

Interested in learning more? View a recorded webinar hosted by staff from The Mind Trust and current Innovation School Fellow, Geoffrey Fenelus.

Support & Resources

Each Fellow receives one or two full years of salary, healthcare, and benefits as they develop their school model. What’s more, Fellows access:

  • A cohort of fellows with similar goals and diverse backgrounds, facing similar challenges;
  • Opportunities to travel and engage with leaders at some of the nation’s best schools;
  • Extensive expertise and feedback on the school design and building process;
  • Leadership training and development opportunities; and
  • Support from a network of expert consultants and coaches.

In total, we value one year of the fellowship at approximately $200,000.

Great Leaders, Great Schools

The Mind Trust believes it takes exceptional school leaders to design and build schools that provide all students, no exceptions, with the education they deserve. Because of this, we choose Fellows who exhibit:

  • Experience managing teams of adults to achieve outstanding results for students;
  • An ambitious, laser-like focus on academic achievement for all students;
  • A dedication to equity and its impact on students, communities, teachers, and governance;
  • An entrepreneurial drive that communicates resilience, fortitude, and visionary solutions for intractable challenges; and
  • A research-grounded model with a clear mission and vision that will motivate stakeholders.

Application & Selection

Statements of Intent are due January 5, 2020, for consideration in the seventh cohort of Innovation School Fellows. After review, select candidates will be invited to submit a Full Application by February 9, 2020. The Mind Trust will conduct initial interviews during the second half of February. Incomplete application materials will not be considered.

You can preview the Statement of Intent and the Full Application, though applications must be submitted through the application portal. Fellowships are awarded in close partnership with IPS after a final interview with a selection committee of distinguished local and national education leaders.

The Mind Trust’s Fellows in the news

Ma’at Lands, Cohort 6: ‘Overlooked for far too long’: Eastside church partners with The Mind Trust to launch new middle school via Chalkbeat

Kim Neal, Cohort 6: An innovative school leader rethinks education for kids of color in Indianapolis via The Herchinger Report

Mariama Carson, Cohort 1: Quality School Options: Empowering school leaders to turn vision into reality via The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation

Scott Bess & Shatoya Jordan, Cohort 4 and Scott Bess & Keeanna Warren, Cohort 5: How one school is building a STEM pipeline for minority students with a direct pathway to college via North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research

10 new schools are seeking innovation partnerships with IPS via Chalkbeat