Hundreds of high school transcripts were misplaced during the recent school takeover of Indianapolis Public Schools.
Some Indianapolis high school graduates of TC Howe Community High School contacted Fox59 News for answers after spending the past few weeks searching for their records and proof of graduation.
Now, IPS is working quickly to try to fix the problem.
Brianna Luxton is currently a stay at home mom, but two weeks ago she found a job she was qualified for, so she called the new operator of Howe High School to get a copy of her transcript. She was shocked at what she found.
"They had no records of anything from middle school on,” Luxton said. “They had (records) from kindergarten to middle school, but when (Charter Schools USA) took over on the second, they said IPS didn't leave them any of the transcripts."
A school official told Luxton to call the IPS central office, which is when she said she spoke to an IPS employee and things went from bad to worse.
"When I told her that Howe didn't have the records, she goes, 'Oh well' and just hung up,” Luxton said. “I mean, that's pretty rude."
Rude enough that Brianna and other graduates reached out to Fox59 and the Indiana Department of Education.
"Our school improvement office was contacted by a few individuals," said Alex Damron, a spokesperson for the IDOE.
Though takeover schools are responsible for providing student transcripts to former graduates, Damron said the IDOE soon found out that the IPS files weren’t complete.
"They obviously cannot provide records that they physically don't have," Damron said.
"It made me really angry to know that I can't apply for a job,” Luxton said. “And that my school, who guarantees when we graduate that they are going to keep those records... it's very frustrating.”
"There was confusion," said Rocky Grismore, IPS Director of Student Assignment.
Grismore has been looking into that confusion, and said the problem is that IPS counselors at Howe each kept their own files.
"I did not realize that Howe kept their records separate from a traditional graduate file," Grismore said.
Grismore found that the paper transcripts were located in those counselor files, meaning they were taken from the school and are now likely locked up in an IPS warehouse somewhere.
On Tuesday, he and his staff took steps to correct the problem, training operators to help graduates finally gain access to computer backups.
"None of those records are missing,” Grismore said. “We have all of that stored electronically. It was a matter of finding the right location to make that request to."
"It should be in one file, in one place," Luxton said.
The new transcript assistance will be available to Howe graduates on Wednesday. Luxton said she is hopeful to finally have her documentation, but is also worried about the status of the job she wants.
"It's two weeks where the position that I'm looking at could be filled,” Luxton said. “My husband works and I don't work, and that extra income would have helped. It is frustrating. It's irritating to say the least."
Howe graduates looking for their transcripts should contact IPS Pupil Records at 317-226-4791.
Emmerich Manual High School graduates from the years 2000-2012 should request their transcripts through the Charter Schools USA Manual Registrar at 317-217-1983 (x123). If you graduated before then, or if you have an incomplete transcript, you should call IPS Pupil Records at 317-226-4791.
Arlington Community School Graduates should request transcripts through EdPower’s Arlington Registrar at 317-545-1745.