Still no prinicipal for School 90 as others are filled

More than two months into the school year, Indianapolis Public Schools is close to having permanent principals for all of its buildings.

IPS hired two elementary school principals this week for Schools 56 and School 43. But School 90, one of the district’s best performing elementary schools over the past five years, is the last school yet to be assigned a new principal.

Superintendent Lewis Ferebee said he is glad to have new principals on board, and that the delays were caused by a new principal selection process.

“The selection process we used requires more ownership, so it takes longer,” Ferebee said. “I’m very confident in the individuals that were selected.”

IPS hired David A. Bennett to become principal of School 43, a school near the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood that was rated an A by the state for student performance in 2011-12 but plummeted to a D two years ago. School grades from last year will be released later this month.

Christine Rembert, assistant principal at School 96, was promoted to principal at School 56, a Montessori school north of downtown. Lauren Franklin left that post to become a Mind Trust innovation school fellow. She is developing a a new school concept for the district, possibly a Montessori-themed boarding school.

“(Rembert) was once employed there (at School 56), so she has experience with Montessori,” Ferebee said. “We’re excited about having her back there as a leader.”

Ferebee said a new principal for School 90 likely will be selected by the end of the month.

“That’s my goal,” Ferebee said. “That was a hard one.”

Former School 90 principal Mark Pugh left the district earlier this year in part because of a board decision to adjust elementary principals’ contracts from 12 months to 10 months, which ended up cutting his pay by $14,000.

Pugh led a stunning turnaround at School 90, which saw four straight years of ISTEP gains and a string of A grades. His departure caused some to worry about whether the school’s future performance would slip in his absence.

The full board will meet again Oct. 21.