If you live in the Indianapolis Public School district or have friends who do, you have probably started to hear a lot about lotteries, magnets, choice schools, and wait lists. Here is some basic information on the IPS School Choice Program.
What is the school choice program?
Of the 64 schools in the IPS district 26 are Choice programs. These include Montessori, Spanish Immersion, Action-Based Learning, Visual Arts, and more. If you live in the district your child will be assigned to your neighborhood school (a traditional school close to your home) OR you can choose to apply to any of the magnet schools that suit your family.
When filling out applications, you must apply to the district as well as to the School Choice Program. In the choice application you have the opportunity to preference up to three schools. For each school, students who have an enrolled sibling are offered seats first, followed by applicants who live in close proximity to the school. Students who applied last year and didn’t get in get remaining seats, then the children of IPS employees, followed by remaining students.
When the lottery takes place you will be assigned a number at random and will be notified via text and email about your results. If you are chosen in the lottery for more than one school, your highest ranked school will be offered to you. If you accept this offer your name (your child’s name) will be withdrawn from the other lotteries. If you want to hold out for a higher preference your child will stay in the lottery for further rounds. If no offer has been made after all three rounds you will be given a spot on the wait-list. You can find more information and applications here.
Dates to know:
While the first round of the lottery has already been completed you can still apply during Round 2 and Round 3.
Applications can be submitted for Round 2 from January 16th – March 3rd. Lottery results will shared March 10th.
Round 3 applications can be submitted from March 13th – April 21st and lottery results will be shared April 28th.
While the whole thing is a bit confusing and more than a bit frustrating to families waiting on pins and needles for results, know this: The people behind the IPS School Choice Program are hard at work trying to make sure the process is fair, the schools are diverse, and the children of IPS are well-educated. What a wonderful thing it is to have so many great choices for our children’s education!