IPS Community Conversations spark feedback on vision of the district

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INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Public Schools is looking for your feedback as it works to build a stronger district.

Community Conversations kicked off this week, focusing on input from IPS students, families, educators and the district. Through virtual and in-person settings, the goal is to make these meetings accessible, allowing everyone the opportunity to weigh in.

“We really want to gather that input because that will help shape and mold those priorities, that are going to be handed off and forwarded to the administration, as they develop a long term plan,” said school board president Evan Hawkins.

So far, Hawkins says about 30 to 40 people are showing up to meetings. The district has already hosted three this week, with a virtual option Thursday from 12 – 1:30 p.m., and in-person meetings Saturday and Monday. If people can’t attend, there’s also an online survey, in both English and Spanish, to submit responses.

Hawkins says part of the conversation includes asking people what IPS could improve on, or implement. He says they’ve received interesting feedback from previous meetings, like access to excellent schools across the district.

“One doesn’t have to bus into, or live within a particular geographic area, to have access to what many consider to be an excellent school,” Hawkins said. “Excellent schools should be across the entire system, and families should have access to excellent schools regardless of where your zip code is.”

Following the meetings, Hawkins says commissioners will go into communities for more feedback and conversations. In November, commissioners will share gathered responses from all mediums and take it to administrators.

Hawkins says this is only the beginning of a greater process ahead.

“We’ve had a few conversations, we’ll have more, but this again is just the first chapter,” said Hawkins. “We anticipate in the spring, as well as the summer, there will be additional opportunities for members of our community to engage throughout the process.”

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