Indianapolis – (April 27, 2018) The Mind Trust today announced a $125,000 Educator Empowerment Award to Indianapolis Public Schools’ (IPS) Frederick Douglass SUPER School 19 to support the school’s plans to convert to an Innovation Network School. The Educator Empowerment Award is an extension of The Mind Trust’s partnership with IPS to grow high-quality Innovation Network Schools. Last night, the IPS Board of School Commissioners voted in support of the school’s application to convert to an Innovation Network School starting in the 2018-2019 school year.
In Innovation Network Schools, building-level educators are empowered to make all operational decisions about their schools. Converting to this status gives schools the freedom to innovate as well as to continue the practices that made them successful. Innovation Network Schools remain part of IPS and are overseen and held accountable by the IPS Board of School Commissioners.
“IPS is excited for the transition of Frederick Douglass SUPER School 19 into our growing family of Innovation Network Schools,” said Deputy Superintendent for Academics Aleesia Johnson. “We are pleased to continue offering multiple pathways for our schools to leverage the flexibility they desire in order to achieve positive student outcomes.”
“SUPER School 19 has a compelling vision for how the freedom and flexibilities of Innovation Network Schools will strengthen its already-successful school model,” said Brandon Brown, incoming CEO of The Mind Trust. “We are excited to support the talented leaders and teachers at SUPER School 19 as they go through the conversion process.”
SUPER School 19 is an action-based learning school that plans to use its Innovation Network School status to more deeply implement the action-based and social-emotional learning components of the SUPER School model. The school plans to hire a learning coach and develop specific professional development to support teachers in integrating action-based learning into lessons. It also plans to implement a deeper, school-wide emphasis on social-emotional learning.
“Converting to an Innovation Network School will help amplify SUPER School 19’s action-based learning model,” says Principal John McClure. “With full school autonomy, we’ll be able to intentionally build on our most successful practices in a way that specifically fits our students’ needs and our school’s unique model.”
IPS schools that apply for The Mind Trust’s Educator Empowerment Award are evaluated on the strength of the school leadership team, the school’s track record, and the vision for what the school hopes to accomplish as an Innovation Network School. Applicants were interviewed by a final selection committee that included representatives from IPS, The Mind Trust, and the broader Indianapolis community.
In addition to funding, The Mind Trust will provide the school’s leadership team with individualized support and access to local and national experts as they develop and implement a plan for the school’s conversion. This includes supporting the school’s establishment as a 501(c)3 nonprofit, its recruitment of a strong board of directors, and its process for planning school operations and budgeting.
SUPER School 19 is the fourth school in Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) to receive an Education Empowerment Award to support the process of converting to an Innovation Network School. Cold Spring School and George H. Fisher School 93 received the award in 2015, and Edison School of the Arts received the award in 2016.
Following their conversion to Innovation Network Schools, Cold Spring School, George H. Fisher 93, and Edison School of the Arts all saw significant increases in enrollment as well as the percentage of students passing both Math and English Language Arts ISTEP+.
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