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Groups Meet Today To Discuss Coronavirus Impact On Charter Schools

emma donan school

Indianapolis Charter School Board will vote Tuesday on whether to approve a charter for Adelante Schools to operate Emma Donnan K-8 school. The group is already set to manage the school as part of partnership with Indianapolis Public Schools. (Eric Weddle)

Two of Indiana’s charter school authorizers will hold virtual meetings this week to discuss the impact of the novel coronavirus on the sector and likely approve a charter for two Indianapolis educators set to restart a school this summer.

The Indianapolis Charter School Board meets 6 p.m. Tuesday and the Indiana Charter School Board meets 2 p.m. Wednesday. Both will conduct separate meetings using online video conferences that the public can view in real time, as required by the governor’s executive order.

Charter schools are publicly funded schools operated by private entities and are defined as public schools under Indiana law. There are nine active charter school authorizers in Indiana.

The nine-member State Charter Board will discuss the impact of COVID-19 on schools authorized by the board. Nicole Hornyak, the board’s operations manager, says they will hear how schools operated in the past month, since remote learning began, and how best to move forward.

The board will also hear from Enroll Indy, the nonprofit that independently manages student enrollment for Indianapolis Public Schools and select Marion County charter schools.

The seven-member Indianapolis board, overseen by Mayor Joe Hogsett’s office, will vote whether to approve a charter for Adelante Schools. Last month, the Indianapolis Public Schools board approved the non-profit, led by Eddie Rangel and Matthew Rooney, to become the new manager for Emma Donnan Elementary-Middle School.

Adelante will run the school after the state’s takeover of Donnan ends this summer. Since 2012, the school has been run by the Florida-based Charter Schools USA. The company lost its bid to continue managing the school in January, months after IPS declied to renew a partnership for it to run the elementary school as part of the district. 

“The decision by the Indianapolis Public Schools Board of Commissioners to make Adelante the innovation partner for Emma Donnan created an accelerated timeline for the Indianapolis Charter School Board to consider their charter application,” Patrick McAlister, director of Hogsett’s Office of Education Innovation, said in a statement. “If granted, we hope this timing will ensure they have adequate time to engage with students and families and prepare for school in the fall.”

The Indianapolis board will also consider a pitch from Promise Prep, a proposed K-8 school idea created by Geoffrey Fenelus of New York City. Fenelus, like Adelante’s Rangel and Rooney, is part of a fellowship program -- created by IPS, the city and education reform group The Mind Trust -- to design schools intended to become part of IPS.

How To Participate

Indianapolis Charter School Board
Register and view the meeting here
Watch the meeting on Channel 16 here.
Submit public comment here.

Indiana Charter School Board
Register and find WebEx software information here.
Submit public comment via email

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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