Like parents whose children have moved out of the house, Indianapolis Public Schools is downsizing.
In an effort to address a declining high school population and limited resources, an IPS task force is recommending Arlington, Northwest and Broad Ripple High Schools be closed or restructured in the 2018-19 school year.
While Broad Ripple will be closed down and sold, both Arlington and Northwest will be converted into middle schools for 7th and 8th graders.
The school district is also closing down two of its administration buildings at Forrest Manner and its Facilities Maintenance Center at 16th and Mass Avenue.
School officials also say Howe and Manual will likely be sold should the State Board of Education return the buildings to IPS control.
Superintendent Dr. Lewis Ferebee says IPS’ high school population, which at one time was 25,000 students is now down to 5,000 and the restructuring will allow for a better use of school resources.
The three schools combined can house approximately 6,700 students, but only have a projected enrollment of slightly more than 1,800 or 27% of their capacity.
Students currently scheduled to attend Arlington, Northwest or Broad Ripple will transfer to one of the District’s four remaining high schools; Arsenal Tech, Crispus Attucks, George Washington or Shortridge. And the district also offers classes at Herron and Pursue Polytechnic. IPS says those schools are more centrally located in the district and would make a more efficient use of transportation.
Officials also say each high school will specialize in different areas and students can attend the school of their choice. They add a benefit of this will be higher completion rates since students will be going to the school they want to, and best fits their career path, as opposed to being assigned a school.
The Board will make a final decision on the school restructuring in September and has scheduled several public meetings for parents and students impacted by the closure recommendations.
You can find a copy of the task force’s report can be found at IPS’ website.