INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Public Schools is rolling out a new initiative to recruit and retain a more diverse teaching staff. The programs fall under what is being called "Proving What's Possible" and comes with a website that allows candidates to submit an interest form in 10 seconds or less.
IPS reports 26% of the teacher workforce identifies as Black or Latinx, compared to 85% of its students.
“TeamIPS proves what’s possible every day, from student achievement to teacher accomplishments and everything in between,” said IPS Supt. Dr. Aleesia Johnson. “While we continue working through our Rebuilding Stronger initiative, led by community input, and use our Strategic Plan 2025 as our roadmap, we know with full confidence that the district will be best set up for success with a passionate, talented and diverse teacher workforce leading our classrooms.”
The recruiting and retention programs include:
- IndyTeach Apprenticeship is a no-cost, paid and fully-embedded educator training program offering a path to teaching for aspiring teachers. For this apprenticeship, the IPS Talent Office is partnering with Christel House Indianapolis, a local network of charter schools, to help participants through the one-year program and obtain an Indiana State Teaching License without the need to return to a university. Applications are now open, and the first cohort will begin the program in summer 2022.
- The IPS Principal Residency, the only current principal residency program in the state, is a year-long paid opportunity for high-potential school leaders, including assistant principals and current principals, to learn and grow within their IPS careers. Principal Residents will receive job-embedded development support that prepares them to lead significant academic achievement in their schools. The cohort will include four resident positions each year, and begin in summer 2022. Applications are now open.
IPS has reported some improvement in adding diversity. In the 2021-2022 hiring season, 38% of IPS applicants identified themselves as a person of color, which was up 19% from the previous year.
Other improvements IPS has seen include:
- The gap between the retention of all teachers and teachers of color has closed from 5% to 0.4%.
- In the 2021–22 hiring season, there were 11 applicants per teaching vacancy, up from six the previous year.
“Having a diverse teaching staff is incredibly important,” said Andrea Rodriguez, a sixth grade teacher at Meredith Nicholson School 96. “In leading my classroom, I’m able to connect with my Latinx students through our shared experiences, and my non-Latinx students benefit from being a part of this supportive environment with a mix of perspectives and cultures. Plus, having a Latinx female leading their classroom shows them firsthand that they, too, can build a successful life and career, and that’s what it’s all about.”
IPS claims to have one of the highest starting salaries for teachers in Indianapolis and offers one of the highest teaching salaries in central Indiana – with teacher salaries ranging from $50,000 to $90,000, depending on the level of experience.