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IPS: New approach to high school starts this year

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis Public Schools is changing up their approach to high school.

Starting this year, all high schoolers are expected to enter Career Academies and their schoolwork will be based in part on their career goals.

During the second semester of their child’s eighth-grade year, families now pick their high schools based on the different Career Academies offered and their child’s interests.

The academies at Crispus Attucks, for example, include a health sciences academy and a teaching academy. At Arsenal Tech: a military academy and a construction, engineering and design academy.

George Washington students can study information technology, advanced manufacturing, engineering and logistics and business and finance.

All four IPS high schools will now house Future Centers where kids can do mock interviews, apply for colleges and meet with resource specialists.

Nawla Williams, coordinator of George Washington High Schools news Future Center, said IPS wants “100 percent of our students to pick one of our IPS three Es.”

Those “three Es”: enrollment, enlistment and employment. 

“We know that not everyone goes to college but there are some that might go directly into their careers and some go into the armed forces and all of those are just as important,” Williams said.

George Washington principal Stanley Law said Salesforce donated half a million dollars for WiFi and computers for the IT academy.

“For our kids to get a very early, relevant learning experience in those fields, it certainly benefits them to make them even more prepared as they leave high school to be ready for the job market,” Law said.

IPS has remodeled parts of each high school to prepare for the academies.

District leaders say graduation rates are higher among students who study in career-based programs. Kids will also get hands-on experience in their preferred field.

Some students already studied in career-based programs. Under the new program, IPS expects all students to explore career paths.