Why Innovation Network Schools?

Why Innovation Network Schools?

For years, Lawmakers, educators, and members of the Indianapolis community have been concerned with low-performing schools in the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) system and have sought out creative methods to improve outcomes. Finally, a prospective solution has emerged -- Innovation Network Schools. With the recent passing of the Innovative Network Schools Law in Indiana, IPS has taken the initiative to become the first district in the state to implement this model.

Conceptually, Innovation Network Schools allow for increased educational experimentation and creativity to solve the issues that are currently plaguing our school systems. The structure provides more freedom for the principal, school board, and faculty and requires less central oversight related to areas such as budget, which will, ideally, lead to quality improvements and a wider variety of meaningful learning opportunities for students.

Contracted by the school board, Innovation Network Schools are still subject to the same Indiana Department of Education regulations that apply to other IPS schools, but these schools offer more educational freedom and greater independence. Structurally, Innovation Network Schools are managed by an outside source, such as charter schools or non-profit organizations, but they still reside in the IPS district and receive district funding. The partner organization serves in an administrative role, often hiring staff and leadership while the district itself provides the building and student transportation.

Currently, nine Indianapolis Public Schools are striving to transform into Innovation Network Schools. The process begins with an extensive application submitted to the IPS Board of Directors and includes detailed explanations of the Innovation Network School’s mission, vision, curriculum, student assessment, and budget among other essential components.

Indianapolis citizens have high hopes that the Innovation Network Schools will not only help their children succeed but will improve the community as a whole. 

Social Legends is proud to be supporting the Near Eastside Innovation School Steering Committee, a neighborhood driven, grassroots education group coordinating an inclusive and community-driven planning process to create a neighborhood school model which will be informed by those living in the neighborhood. More information about the Near East Side efforts can be found here