LISC Indianapolis tracks recent progress in Education initiatives

LISC Indianapolis’s 2015 – 2018 Strategic Plan focuses on the following outcomes:

  • Livability: Creating healthy, active and beautiful places
  • Opportunity: Fostering entrepreneurship and employment
  • Vitality: Reviving a growing and diverse population
  • Education: Offering excellent lifelong learning opportunities.

Here is a look at recent progress toward the Education goal of supporting the development of Quality of Life neighborhoods with improved educational opportunities.

Maple Crossing Great Place:

  • IPS School 43 in Maple Crossing Great Place shows significant improvement, with a new curriculum and new leadership in Principal Bakari Posey, with significant engagement with other community resources like the MLK Center. The Maple Crossing Great Places Education Committee, working with consultants Val Tate and Kelly Frank is creating an actionable plan for making progress on the neighborhood-level education goals in the Great Places plan. This should be completed before the year’s end.
  • The MLK Center Youth Program in Maple Crossing Great Place includes the Tarkington Teen Work crew which employed 35 teen boys ages 13-17 for 7 weeks this summer. $20,000 of Maple Crossing’s 2017 early action dollars will be allocated to have a team work through the school year. Activities included trash pick-up in the park, MLK Center and alleyways, cutting grass, tutoring and mentoring workshops, Public Policy Institute focus groups,  and emotional intelligence workshops.

25th and MLK Great Place:

  • Riverside High School has launched in Northwest Area QoL Neighborhood. This replication of Herron High School will eventually be located at the Hesslar Naval Armory. Construction is underway and the school is using a temporary space this school year. This project is financed in part by a $1M LISC Bridge Loan,  bridging historic tax credits. To date, 140 students enrolled.

River West Great Place:

  • The Right Fit Program in both 25 and MLK and River West Great Places is a new initiative that creates an opportunity for elementary school students to build positive relationships with Public Safety through afterschool programing which includes tutoring, a free dinner, physical education, and nutrition-oriented education. Nutrition education is being provided by “the produce mom” who has existing programs around nutrition education in area schools. School 63 PK-8, Holy Angels-PK-8. According to the final report, more than 500 students were supported through this program.  More specifically- the grant is being provided to the grantee to cover staff time for a nutrition specialist with the Right Fit program to provide nutrition activities in LISC QOL schools included in pilot. All four schools chosen by Right Fit are in LISC target areas, including two Great Places.

Englewood Village Great Place:

  • In March 2017, the IPS School Board approved the contract for Thomas Gregg Elementary School 15 to become a neighborhood-led Innovation School. Neighbors, leaders, parents, and staff, have been meeting and planning – at neighborhood summits and dialogue sessions – for months to create and organize the best possible education plan for School 15. Thomas Gregg Neighborhood School’s founding Executive Director is Ross Pippin, the former principal of School 15, and the Chairman is Mike Bowling, community member and pastor of Englewood Christian Church. Together they will oversee the operations of the school with a board made up of neighbors, parents, business partners, and education experts.
  • LISC has been providing significant deal packaging and support to the next Mallory redevelopment effort which will include the headquarters of the first Purdue Polytechnic High School. Purdue Polytechnic High School welcomed 159 students to its first-ever ninth grade class in July. The new school will focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and will feature hands-on project-based learning. The school is part of the Indianapolis Public Schools Innovation Network.

These results are based on the following strategies:

  • Assist Quality of Life neighborhood educational institutions to improve or expand their facilities by providing technical assistance, facility financing, program support, and connecting neighborhood partners to educational stakeholders and resources.
  • Support expanded programming, and/or enrichment activities for Quality of Life neighborhood youth.
  • Ensure all neighborhoods are served by high quality cradle-to-career educational providers

LISC Indianapolis tracks a number of outcomes to determine success including:

  • Number of educational programs and facilities assisted
  • Number of Center for Working Families participants in bridge programming
  • Percentage of family households with children under five within one mile of Paths to Quality 3 or 4 program
  • High School graduation rate
  • Post High School degree