Four new Innovation Schools open Monday as IPS heads back to class

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - The state's largest school district, Indianapolis Public Schools, heads back to class Monday, and there are some exciting new changes in how the teachers operate and how the nearly 30,000 students learn.

Global Prep Academy is one of four new Innovation Schools in the IPS district this year.

Teachers and students cut the ribbon on the new program late last week. The school already existed, but because it was a chronically underperforming school, the district brought in a new operating partner to help bring it up to standard.

​Beyond working with partners, Innovation schools also have specific focuses. For instance, this one focuses on Spanish immersion. Those interested in learning Spanish as a second language can choose to attend the school.

It also operates as the neighborhood school for those living in the area. It's one of the ways IPS is offering more options in education.

"For example, here at Global Prep Academy, it's an opportunity to be more innovative with instructional approach and design and the other advantages," said IPS Superintendent Lewis Ferebee. "We give the school leaders carte blanche autonomy over the instructional program, the school day and the decisions that need to be made to support students and families."

Global Prep Academy is one of four new Innovation Schools in the city, bringing the total to nine.

Ferebee said they've seen tremendous success with this model in other schools in the district and are optimistic it will generate the same turnaround at Global Prep Academy.

Several other Central Indiana school districts also return to class Monday, including Warren Township, Noblesville, Edinburgh, New Palestine, Greenfield and Mount Vernon.