ACE Preparatory Academy Charter School (ACE Prep) is a public elementary school in the heart of Midtown Indianapolis. They are now accepting new K-2 students for the 2017-18 school year! ACE Prep, which stands for Academics, Character, and Excellence, is a tuition free school which will eventually be K-5.
The ACE Prep mission states: Through rigorous academics, positive character development, and excellence in everything we do, ACE Preparatory Academy Charter School educates all Kindergarten through Grade 5 students for school success and lives of opportunity.
So, what makes ACE Prep and its claims of greatnessdifferent from other schools? Although ACE Prep is new, the knowledge behind it is not. ACE Prep’s founder and Head of School, Anna Shults, is a powerhouse of energy and experience which she pours into the academy, now finishing its first year of operation. After twelve years teaching in Hamilton Southeastern Schools, Ms. Shults was named Indiana’s Teacher of the Year in 2007, an achievement which fueled her to travel the country writing educational policy, shape reading initiatives for the Indiana Department of Education, and lead a portion of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation aimed at empowering and celebrating teacher-leaders.
tour of the school highlights bright and organized classrooms with evidence of learning and exploration on every wall. Each detail of the building is purposeful, from the shared teacher workroom, to the hallway flooring, to learning nooks with wobbly stools for active kiddos. The building was designed around the library, which Ms. Shults calls “the heart of the school”. With mobile shelving and an open concept the library is an adaptable space used for presentations, class meetings, and everything in between.
Prep takes a serious stance on academics, recognizing the link between literacy and achievement and taking into account the grim statistics of college opportunities for children from low-income families. By lengthening the school day slightly ACE Prep students benefit from an additional 26 days worth of learning time within the required 181 yearly school days. This year a two-teacher model allows students to spend much of their 195 minute daily literacy time working in small groups with specially trained literacy teachers. Ms. Shults says she searched far and wide for her teachers, whom she describes as “Rock Stars”, and who relocated from around the country to be founding educators at ACE Prep.Students at ACE Prep are encouraged to demonstrate the core values of Bravery, Enthusiasm, Growth, Responsibility, Endurance, Achievement, and Team (BE GREAT). Everyone associated with the school, from students, to teachers, to the families of students, are asked to hold themselves and others accountable for these values in school as well as out in the world. Regular opportunities for parent involvement within the school and support for development outside of the classroom maximizes chances for student success.
Free breakfast, lunch, and snack are provided daily for all students, regardless of income, and ACE Prep even offers free dinners! Students are also given a free ACE Prep backpack, and school supplies are provided. No transportation is provided, but the school is conveniently located near Keystone Avenue and 52nd Street and is on the IndyGo bus line. ACE Prep offers before and after school care from 6:30 a.m.-6 p.m.