May 26, 2017
Dear Friends of Herron and Riverside High Schools,
In February, we shared that we were beginning negotiations to partner with Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) as Innovation Charter Schools. I am pleased to share that the IPS Board of School Commissioners last evening approved this groundbreaking partnership, which will expand educational opportunities for students throughout Indianapolis.
Through this partnership, Herron High School and Riverside High School will be charter schools, as well as Innovation Schools. As mayor-sponsored charter schools, they will maintain their autonomy and are still accountable to the Mayor’s Office, but they also would report their academic data to IPS for the district’s use in its state reporting. As Innovation schools, our staff and leadership will be able to work with IPS middle school teachers, students and administrators to make them fully aware of our award-winning education model. Our students and teachers will also have access to new, additional resources that will strengthen academic programs well into the future. What’s more, this partnership will advance our commitment to strengthening neighborhoods by setting enrollment preferences for each of our schools’ surrounding neighborhoods.
Our leadership and Board of Directors determined that this was the right move for Herron and Riverside High Schools for several reasons. First, our core mission is to provide a world-class education to students across our city, but particularly to families and kids in underserved neighborhoods and communities. Establishing community partners, like IPS, in order to advance this goal and strengthen educational opportunities is central to our mission and values. This would be a win for our city’s students and another step toward raising the academic achievement of hundreds of students in Indianapolis.
However, becoming an innovation school will not change our status as a 501c3 nonprofit organization or as an Indianapolis Mayor’s Charter School. Our board of directors and school leadership will not change. Our autonomy, our mission, our curriculum, and our ownership of our buildings will not change. Our students will remain our students, and our teachers and staff will remain our employees. All of the characteristics that allow us to be successful and unique will remain exactly the same.
This partnership will help to continue to provide a world-class education for our students and will advance our mission to improve the quality of education in our city. We are so grateful for your support of Herron and Riverside High Schools. We will continue to keep you informed as this partnership develops, and we look forward to celebrating the continued excellence of our schools with you.
Janet H. McNeal
President & Head of School