Rise & Shine: Muncie schools close for days because of busing crisis

TURNAROUND?: Charter Schools USA will have three more years to try to turn around Howe and Manual high schools. Their contract to run the schools (which began five years ago) was extended by the Indiana State Board of Education. The move means the schools won’t face imminent closure, an idea that was floated by the Indianapolis Public Schools administration.

NEW CHIEF: An education leader with strong ties to Indianapolis, Peggy Hinckley, is taking the helm in Gary schools. The cash-strapped and academically struggling district was taken over by the state, and Hinckley’s team has just a couple of weeks to get the district ready for school. Read more in Chalkbeat and NWI.

A-F GRADES: Indiana’s school grading system is getting a makeover to meet new federal requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act. The new system would include factors beyond test scores for elementary schools, like chronic absenteeism, and it would specifically look at progress among students learning English as a new language.

MOVING ON: Wanda Legrand, who has been Superintendent Lewis Ferebee’s right-hand woman since he joined the district in 2013, is leaving her post for a job with the D.C. Public Schools.

ISTEP: School administrators are expected to get ISTEP results on August 16 — months earlier than they’ve gotten them in recent years. WISH has the details.

BUS WOES: Muncie was forced to cancel school Thursday and Friday after problems with district busing left some students waiting at bus stops in the morning and others stranded at school for hours in the afternoon. The problem is so severe, State Superintendent Jennifer McCormick is stepping in to help. Read more in the Star Press, WTHR and RTV6.

OPINION: IPS school board member Venita Moore suggested she might not support the administration’s recommendation to keep only high schools in the city center. “What happens when these outlying communities and youth began to see their communities as deserts, with no opportunity, and no resources?” she asked in an op-ed in the Indianapolis Recorder.