New public charter school seeks IPS building, partners with La Plaza

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A new public charter school that’s inspired by the Latino and immigrant experience is struggling to get something essential — a building.

The middle school, Monarca Academy, is scheduled to open in August, so the organization La Plaza is stepping in to help.

Francisco Valdiosera, the executive director of Monarca Academy, says the partnership with La Plaza will help put the public charter school on the map for students and their parents. He says the school will grow by one grade level each year until it serves grades 6-12.

“This is exactly what I’m looking for in a school for my children,” parent Ana Hernandez said.

Hernandez has children in fourth, fifth and six grade. She says going to school in Indianapolis, she realized that the only way to survive her academic years was to leave behind a part of her life that made her different and blend in.

“I can only imagine the difference that it would have made for me to have a space like Monarca Academy where students are received as they are, they’re not pushed to leave their culture,” she said.

The academy is hoping Indianapolis Public Schools will provide a space at Northwest Middle School for hundreds of students.

“We want to make sure that everyone knows that we have the support of organizations such as The Mind Trust and La Plaza,” Valdiosera said.

“We’re excited that they’re may be good opportunities out there,” Miriam Acevedo Davis, the president and CEO of La Plaza, said.

Valdiosera says many other community leaders have shown their support, including Lafayette Square mall’s new owner Fabio de la Cruz. De la Cruz is not only committed to spend $200 million to transform the mall, but he’s also offered Monarca Academy space for its students.

“He has offered the buildings, but they are not school buildings, so we would have to renovate them and really every dollar we spent on renovating is a dollar we take away from students and so we’d rather spend that on students and in services,” Valdiosera said.

La Plaza says they are also running out of space and are hoping that this new partnership will help them grow and expand their services. Visit the Monarca Academy website for more information on enrollment.