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Postsecondary Readiness

IPS is proud to partner with several major organizations and companies to provide robust programs and immersive work-based learning experiences to students. Employers who are interested in partnering with the IPS Academy High Schools or would like to post student opportunities–such as part-time employment, summer camps/experiences, student internships and apprenticeships, can fill out the IPS Employer and Partner Interest Form to get connected. Learn more about some of our partnerships below:

Students define, prepare for, and pursue their college and career plans at IPS Future Centers. These advising centers support students and help guide them to make plans a reality. Resources and supports available to IPS students and families include:

FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the most important document for determining a student’s financial aid eligibility to help pay for college (and it is now a requirement for all high school seniors to file). IPS Future Center staff work with students to understand and complete financial aid forms, including the FAFSA and scholarship applications, which can make college costs more transparent and manageable and ease the stress surrounding the process. All high school seniors in Indiana are required to file a FAFSA. Students can file the FAFSA at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa.   

College Applications

IPS strives for every student to submit at least three college applications. IPS Future Center staff and school counselors provide guidance and use Xello to pull together transcripts and other critical information to complete the college application process. 

Transcripts 

Securing high school transcripts is an essential part of college applications. IPS staff help students access their transcripts through Xello and ensure those transcripts are sent to any institutions to which students are applying.  For more information, follow this link. Xello – How to Request a Transcript.

Indiana University-Indianapolis Seamless Admission

IPS students with at least a 3.0 grade point average can receive automatic admission to Indiana University Indianapolis. Interested students can activate their admission to IU Indianapolis by filling out a verification form, skipping any fees or applications to be admitted.

Writing Centers

The Vonnegut Youth Writing Centers at Arsenal Tech, Crispus Attucks, George Washington, and Shortridge high schools connect students with volunteer college and community tutors for individualized academic support. Each dedicated space is run by a Writing Center Specialist who facilitates opportunities for one-on-one and small group tutoring, as well as working with teachers to set up class visits and to help support writing rigor in their curriculum. 

As a community partner, the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library (KVML) helps recruit, train, place, and retain tutors who help boost student confidence by assisting with a wide range of tasks–from college applications and scholarship essays to academic assignments from all subjects including math and STEM. KVML is a cultural and educational resource that champions the literary, artistic, and cultural contributions of Kurt Vonnegut, the late writer, artist, teacher, Indianapolis native, and IPS graduate

The Writing Centers present opportunities for creative writers to be published in school-based literary journals and for language learners to work on reading comprehension and translation. This support system is fully embedded in the advanced academic pathways at each school, helping to improve success rates in dual credit and IB courses.

Additionally, the Writing Centers have piloted a peer tutoring program that empowers upperclassmen to connect with younger cohorts of students and assume a leadership role within each school’s academic culture. During the first year of operation in all four schools, the Writing Centers generated more than 10,000 contact points between students and tutors, whether through individual appointments, class visits, or extracurricular sessions.

Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library in the news:     

Resumes 

IPS Future Centers work in tandem with students to build out resumes for future employment and education opportunities. Using Xello’s resume-builder template, students can curate a resume based on the interests and information they have already submitted through their Xello accounts, making it simple for students to have a prepared resume.

Career Discovery Meetings

Starting in 2024, all juniors and seniors in Indiana will be required to participate in 30-minute career discovery meetings with college representatives and employers to discuss career opportunities and education needed for those college and career pathways. IPS Work-Based Learning Coordinators will host and work with agencies and intermediaries, such as Junior Achievement and EmployIndy, for example, to host employer meetings. Postsecondary Readiness Counselors will host college admission counselor meetings.

College, Career, Military visits 

IPS provides opportunities for high school students to get informed on college, career, and military pathways with on-site visits from various organizations. Future Centers have previously hosted military recruiters, admissions counselors, HBCU College Tours, career fairs, college fairs, and attended local postsecondary conferences/summits and more!

Scholarships 

IPS students can update scholarship statuses, see deadlines and scholarship amounts within the Xello app. Educators can view students’ scholarship progress or applications and run progress reports and families and students can search for local scholarships

The IPS Foundation Scholarship Program is made up of several different funds, prioritizing different areas such as academic achievement, areas of interest, and financial need. All IPS seniors are eligible for a scholarship through this scholarship program. To learn more , visit www.ipsfund.org

Work-Based Learning 

At IPS, we’re committed to helping you explore and prepare for your future career. Our Future Centers offer additional support through a dedicated Work-Based Learning (WBL) Coordinator. Our WBL Coordinators are here to help you dive into career exploration and engagement, offering immersive experiences such as paid internships, apprenticeships, and exciting summer opportunities. Families and students can explore current opportunities available on the Xello platform.

School Counseling

IPS School Counselors offer a diverse array of services designed to bolster students’ academic, social-emotional, and career development. Guided by the American School Counselor Association’s (ASCA) comprehensive school counseling program model, standards, and best practices, they prioritize delivering interventions that are both data-informed and student-centric, aligning with the school’s overall school improvement goals.

ASCA’s comprehensive school counseling program provides the blueprint for the efficient organization and delivery of these services. It advocates for a holistic approach to student growth, addressing academic prowess, career preparedness, and emotional well-being across all tiers of support. Not only does this framework ensure that IPS School Counselors utilize best practices, but are in alignment with national standards such as ASCA Student Mindsets and Behaviors. At the core of their approach is a commitment to equity, serving as a cornerstone in their efforts to bridge achievement gaps and cater to the unique needs of both the school and its student body.

IPS School Counselors implement comprehensive school counseling programs through a multi-tiered approach, known as the Multi-Tiered Multi-Domain System of Supports (MTMDSS). This framework allows IPS School Counselors to provide targeted interventions at different levels based on students’ varying needs. Through MTMDSS, IPS School Counselors identify students who may require additional support and implement evidence-based interventions to address their needs effectively. This tiered system ensures equitable access to resources and assistance, underscoring IPS School Counselors’ dedication to fostering an environment where every student can thrive.

Graduation Coaches

IPS Graduation Coaches provide individualized support and monitoring to ensure student success. Using the Early Warning Tracking System, coaches can identify students who may need additional support based on their attendance, discipline, and course performance. These coaches collaborate with counselors, social workers, teachers, administrators, school personnel and community stakeholders to provide intervention services for students so they stay on track to graduate.

IPS Graduation Coaches offer services such as:

  • Analyzing data to identify students at risk of dropping out
  • Assisting in the facilitation of school-based dropout prevention and attendance teams
  • Working with students to develop individual graduation plans
  • Connecting parents and students with appropriate resources
  • Providing parent and school staff workshops
  • Supporting postsecondary planning
  • Holding home visits/conferences
  • Conducting attendance motivation/programs and campaigns

Graduation on Track

IPS is dedicated to supporting every high school student, so they succeed beyond graduation. The Freshman On-Track and the Sophomore On-Track metrics provide clear paths for predicting high school graduation and making sure each freshman and sophomore is ready and can graduate after four years. Each high school can set goals around the on-track metric and monitor progress on an ongoing basis.

IPS defines a student to be on track if they are not failing two or more courses at any time. This is especially true for core courses needed to graduate.

Career Exploration and College Preparation

Xello

Xello is a college and career preparation software designed to help students understand how their unique interests, skills and strengths align with hundreds of explorable careers and opportunities. Students can track their progress toward college and career readiness on the platform. Families and students can create an account through the Xello family portal, enabling them to access a wealth of information and insights into their students’ journey with postsecondary planning.

Here are the breakdown of lessons for students by grade level:

  • Kindergarten – 2nd Grade: Complete one lesson (section of Career Town) each semester.
  • 3rd – 5th Grade: Complete one lesson (called missions) each quarter.
  • 6th – 8th Grade: Complete at least five lessons each year.

Success Bound

Success Bound is an advisory curriculum designed to support students in their academic and career journeys.

College Campus Visits

All IPS middle school students visit at least one college campus each year of the middle school experience. Students have the opportunity to tour the campuses, meet current college students and faculty, and envision themselves on a postsecondary campus. Current campus visits include the following Post-Secondary institutions:

  • Ivy Tech
  • Indiana University Indianapolis (IU Indy)
  • Aviation Technology Center of Vincennes University (Indianapolis campus)
  • Butler University
  • Martin University
  • Marian University
  • University of Indianapolis

Advanced Academics at IPS provide rigorous coursework to students so they are prepared for their futures. These academic opportunities include:

Early College

IPS’ Early College program provides dual credit options (courses which allow students to earn both high school and college credit while attending IPS), to students while removing the academic, financial, and psychological barriers that can prevent students from accessing college and succeeding. Students receive additional support, and tuition is free or greatly reduced, which can provide students a pathway to earn an associate degree while in high school. IPS high schools which participate in the Early College program include Arsenal Technical High School, Crispus Attucks High School, and George Washington High School. 

Additional offerings include: 

  • The Indiana College Core (ICC) is a 30-hour block of college-level credit that transfers between all public and some private colleges and universities in Indiana. Earning the Indiana College Core in high school helps students achieve a full year of college general education credits for $750 or less, saving them time and money in college. Students at Arsenal Tech High School and Crispus Attucks High School can earn the Indiana College Core with Ivy Tech Community College. Courses include dual credit and AP math, calculus and more. Learn more at mycollegecore.org.
  • The Associate Degree in General Studies is a two-year associate degree comprised of 60 college credits that can be transferred to other colleges or universities or used as a conferred degree for employment. Earning an Associate Degree in high school can help students reduce up to two years of college toward a bachelor’s degree, saving time and money! Students at George Washington High School can pursue an Associate Degree in General Studies with Ivy Tech Community College.
  • Career Pathways: To support the IPS 3E Vision of every student employed, enrolled, or enlisted after high school, IPS offers several career pathways at each Academy High School. These pathways are designed to prepare students for a wide range of high-wage, high-skill, and in-demand careers and provide opportunities for students to earn dual credit, industry certifications or immersive work based learning experiences. For more information on career pathways and program opportunities at IPS, take a virtual tour today!

International Baccalaureate 

The International Baccalaureate (IB) program is a unique educational framework centered around holistic student development. IB is designed to prepare students for an interconnected and ever-globalizing world. The IB program can span a student’s education from preschool through high school. 

Shortridge High School offers the IB program, aiming to develop knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better world through intercultural understanding and respect. Prior to starting at Shortridge, there are elementary and middle school options for students and families interested in an IB education, including: 

  • Benjamin Harrison School 2, Center for Inquiry, An IB World School
  • Charity Dye School 27, Center for Inquiry, An IB World School
  • Mary Nicholson School 70, Center for Inquiry, An IB World School
  • Joseph J. Bingham School 84, Center for Inquiry, An IB World School
  • Carl Wilde School 79, Center for Inquiry, An IB World School
  • George W. Julian School 57. Center for Inquiry, An IB World School
  • Broad Ripple Middle School, An IB World School
  • Howe Middle School, An IB World School
  • Henry W. Longfellow Middle School, An IB World School
  • Northwest Middle School, An IB World School

Students can join the IB program at Shortridge without previous IB experience. While at Shortridge, students can participate in the Middle Years Program (MYP) during grades 9 and 10 and the Diploma Program (DP) or the Career-related Program (CP) during grades 11 and 12. 

  • The IB Diploma Program curriculum is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprising theory of knowledge, creativity, activity, service and the extended essay. Students in this curriculum program reflect on the nature of knowledge, complete independent research, and undertake a project that often involves community service. 
  • The IB Career-related Program is a framework of international education that incorporates the values of the IB into a unique program addressing the needs of students engaged in career-related education. CP students take a minimum of two DP courses, a core consisting of four components, and a career-related study. The career-related study further supports the CP’s academic strength and provides practical, real-world approaches to learning. 

To learn more about the IB program, visit this website.

Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement (AP) courses are college-level courses offered to applicable high school students. Administered through the College Board, students can take exams to earn college credit and placement, saving them time and money while in college.

What is the IPS Promise?

IPS’ goal is that in every school, in every neighborhood—no matter the color of a student’s skin, their ZIP code, their income level, or what language they speak at home—IPS students will be: 

  • Thinkers: IPS students are no strangers to critical thinking, and are able to thoughtfully assess any situation or information they encounter.
  • Learners: They are inspired to transform themselves through learning, and have ambitions to improve the world around them.
  • Collaborators: IPS students are passionate about their beliefs, yet they are willing to listen to and accept different ideas or opinions. 
  • Change-Makers: They challenge the status quo by being conscious leaders set on resolving current and future world issues.

IPS students will be prepared to excel in life after high school, and to choose meaningful and fulfilling pathways in their lives. This starts with helping them discover the right pathway while they’re with us, and making sure they’re prepared for the journey ahead. IPS wants every child to know that they can achieve their dreams, learn at high levels, and graduate prepared to succeed. That’s the IPS Promise.

What is a Future Ready Pathway? 

A Future Ready Pathway encompasses all of the pathways available to IPS students, including CTE, Indiana College Core, International Baccalaureate (Diploma Programme and Career Programme), and associate degree paths. 

How can I get involved as an employer partner? 

IPS is proud to partner with several major organizations and companies to provide robust programs and immersive work-based learning experiences to students. Employers which are interested in partnering with the IPS Academy High Schools or would like to post student opportunities—such as part-time employment, summer camps or experiences, student internships and apprenticeships, can fill out this form to get connected.

How can I get involved as a potential funder? 

Foundations, individuals, or organizations which are interested in connecting with the Postsecondary Readiness Team can contact Melody Coryell at coryelmd@myips.org.

Through the Rebuilding Stronger plan, IPS has created educational models that most of the district’s elementary and middle schools will offer.

Printable One-Page Flyers

IPS Families of 1st–8th Grade Students: 

Your middle schooler can go farther faster through IPS’ Early High School advanced coursework options. For the 2024-25 school year, ALL IPS district-managed middle schools will offer the following high school-level courses: 

  • Honors Algebra I
  • Honors Geometry
  • Spanish I
  • Honors Biology 

New for the 2024-25 school year: Students who qualify as high ability in either English Language Arts (ELA) or Math can apply to high-ability schools Merle Sidener Academy 59 (Grades 1-5) and or Harshman Middle School (Grades 6-8). In addition to the advanced coursework options offered at other IPS middle schools, Harshman will offer Honors English 9, Honors Algebra II, Spanish II, and Citizenship and Civics. 

All IPS students take an ability assessment in Kindergarten and in fifth grade to determine whether they qualify as high ability. Families who wish to have their child tested in a grade other than Kindergarten or 5th grade should request testing through their school’s high ability facilitator.

Beginning November 1, families can apply to IPS schools for the 2024-25 school year through Enroll Indy’s OneMatch App at www.enrollindy.org/apply.

Arlington , Broad Ripple, Longfellow, Northwest, T.C. Howe and William Penn Middle School offer:

  • Honors Algebra I
  • Honors Geometry
  • Spanish I
  • Honors Biology

Harshman High Ability Middle School offers:

  • Honors Algebra I
  • Honors Algebra II
  • Honors Geometry
  • Spanish I
  • Spanish II
  • Honors Biology
  • Honors English 9
  • Citizenship and Civics

Explore our College and Career Academy Options offered at Arsenal Tech, Crispus Attucks, George Washington and Shortridge High School! Click on the Explore Schools’ tab, find out more about the Academies and Pathways available.

Army JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps) has a long and proud tradition of service to the nation through the betterment of its youth. Founded as part of the National Defense Act of 1916, subsequent legislation opened the program to the other military services and made it an integral part of the school curriculum. This legislation also recognized JROTC instructors as qualified Instructors in “leadership, wellness, fitness and civics, as well as other courses related to the content of the program.” Public and private educational institutions apply for JROTC units and commit to share costs and meet standards. At any given time there are 200 high schools on a waitlist for JROTC programs.

JROTC in IPS dates to 1919 when a program was first established at Arsenal Technical High School. The Tech program has been in continuous service ever since. Currently there are active Army JROTC programs at:

  • Arsenal Tech High School.
  • Crispus Attucks High School.
  • George Washington High School.
  • Shortridge High School.

A minimum of 100 cadets in Grades 9–12 organized into a cadet chain of command make up a JROTC unit. Two instructors, normally consisting of one retired officer (the Senior Army Instructor, or SAI) and one noncommissioned officer (the Army Instructor or AI) teach a rigorous curriculum and supervise cadets in all their activities. The Army reimburses IPS for a percentage of instructor pay and provides uniforms, equipment and an accredited and rigorous curriculum. High schools in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, Japan, Korea and Germany currently host more than 1,700 JROTC units, employ approximately 4,000 instructors and enroll nearly 300,000 cadets, almost half of whom are females.

JROTC is not a recruitment program for the military. Cadets do not incur any military obligation, and instructors do not apply any pressure toward military service. However, cadets who choose to enlist or enter Senior ROTC may receive benefits through higher rank or advancement.

JROTC in IPS is far more than “marching around the gym” and posting the colors at a school ceremony. It is a tremendous, all-inclusive program for students of all abilities and backgrounds. It is recognized not only for its extremely positive effect on cadets, but also for its powerful impact on the school and community within its sphere of influence. JROTC is a large, popular, 21st Century Learning Program that:

  • Features a world-class curriculum that employs student-centered learning and enhances program popularity.
  • Teaches citizenship and leadership roles and subjects that align to national and state standards.
  • Integrates current instructional and technology strategies and maximizes award winning multimedia curriculum.
  • Hosts quality competitions to motivate cadets.
  • Demonstrates the ultimate model of diversity.
  • Provides training for a pathway to the miltary at all IPS high schools.

Contact Information

For additional information about JROTC, contact retired Col. Jerry Hadley, IPS JROTC Director of Army Instruction, at 317.226.3915 or hadleyge@myips.org.

Mission and Curriculum

The focus of Army JROTC is reflected in its mission, “To motivate young people to be better citizens.” JROTC accomplishes this mission by providing educational opportunities and lifelong skills to America’s youth. The Character Education Partnership identifies programs that build character as those with less violence, higher self-esteem, less absenteeism, higher achievement scores and academic performance, greater connections to school, engagement in lessons, and commitment to success. JROTC is such a program.

The curriculum helps cadets develop lifelong leadership and decision making skills. These attributes are exhibited on a daily basis in the cadet chain of command and set a model for the student body to emulate. In IPS, cadets take JROTC as an elective class on a daily basis, Monday through Friday, and on one of those days they are required to wear the JROTC uniform. Incoming freshmen cadets can receive credit for physical education through participation in JROTC. The curriculum supports the school’s mission and mandates by integrating technology, linking content to state standards, integrating reading and writing, and providing character and financial education. In a recent evaluation that led to accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the quality assurance review team noted, “… [JROTC] serves to reinforce the competencies taught in the other academic subjects in which students are enrolled.”

Instructors, Mentors, Leaders and Coaches

JROTC instructors in IPS have completed at least 20 years of military service and set an outstanding example of personal behavior, professional etiquette and appearance for cadets, colleagues and the community. They perform full time as teachers and after school they are the equivalent of coaches whose teams are always in season. After-school activities are open to all cadets and include rifle team, color guard, drill team and raider team. Major instructor responsibilities are to continuously improve instruction, provide a safe and supportive environment, mentor, coach and practice strategies to motivate cadets to learn and succeed in high school and in life. Instructors stay abreast of new and alternative instructional and motivational techniques, use the latest technology and interactive multimedia available, and provide an awareness of world cultures and history, as well as possible careers. They reinforce the curriculum through service learning and co-curricular activities after school and on weekends. Administrators, counselors and teachers rely on them to set standards and provide support. JROTC instructors provide an overall blanket of visible leadership. They can be counted on to be team players in solving problems, assisting with school programs and initiatives, and helping other teachers in many arenas.

Cadets: The Future

IPS JROTC cadets set the example by being active in the community as well as in their schools. They exemplify a tremendous work ethic and standard that increases the expectations of all. They serve as role models to the other students in the school. They are not just talking about achievement, service to the community and filling leadership roles -– they are doing it. Cadets know how to set goals as well as how to develop and follow a plan to reach them. They are willing to help others do the same. Our cadets tutor. They conduct food drives and visit veterans at the VA Hospital. They work in middle and elementary schools to assist younger students to learn about character and team building and to provide an example for them to emulate. They participate in academic, marksmanship, drill, physical fitness and leadership competitions, as well as in a demanding annual summer camp at Camp Atterbury. Instructors and cadets visibly exemplify pride, patriotism, high standards and increased expectations. Both instructors and cadets are seen as resources because of their knowledge of conflict resolution, emergency action responses, leadership, teamwork and emotional intelligence. Although the cadets do not have a military obligation after graduation, successful completion of JROTC while in high school allows those that enlist in the military to do so at an advanced pay grade, enhancing their military pathway and career.

Indianapolis Public Schools provides alternative settings for students who may need a nontraditional school environment. The alternative programs provide support in the following areas: academic acceleration; social/emotional skill building; and behavioral strategies and techniques. Students are engaged in many skill-building activities, which enhance their ability to make good choices and become productive citizens. The alternative programs are individualized and meet the needs of specific populations that are identified as requiring additional intervention. Each program’s mission serves a unique range of needs that vary from accelerating student completion of multiple grade levels in one year to an alternative to expulsion, based on the hearing officer’s determination.

Marion County Jail

The IPS Marion County Jail program provides instruction to students who are detained in the Marion County Jail. The program focuses on building academic skills that are transferable when the students are released to their home school. IPS serves as the school-based program for the Marion County Jail, which encompasses students who come from many school districts and are at a variety of grade levels, including adult students.

Populations Served:

  • General education and special education students under age 18
  • Special education students 18-22 years old

Positive Supports Academy

Mission: The mission of Positive Supports Academy is to cultivate goal-focused students by reinforcing positive social and academic behaviors that will empower and equip them with the skills needed to reach their academic goals. To prepare students to reach their fullest potential through diverse learning and community service opportunities, where they will be exposed to experiential activities as they embrace their community.

Positive Supports Academy serves students in Grades 6-12 who are having social and/or behavioral difficulties in the traditional classroom setting. Students receive a blended curriculum of both computer-based and classroom instruction with co-teaching models. Students also receive assistance in developing academic skills to assist them in being more productive in the classroom. Counseling, conflict resolution and character development are included in the daily curriculum.

Simon Youth Graduation Academy

Mission: To prepare students to reach their fullest potential through diverse learning and community service opportunities, where they will be exposed to experiential activities as they embrace their community. IPS Simon Youth Graduation Academy at Indianapolis Public Schools is a catalyst to transforming the lives of students through a uniquely tailored flexible learning environment. Meaningful professional and educational opportunities assist students in obtaining their IPS diplomas and empower them to be positive, productive and successful individuals.

Simon Youth provides a small learning community that is blended with career exploration, community service opportunities and hands-on training in commercial photography and digital marketing.

Step Ahead Academy

Mission: To prepare students to reach their fullest potential through diverse learning and community service opportunities, where they will be exposed to experiential activities as they embrace their community. Step Ahead Academy is a program for students in Grades 5-8 who are behind their peer group academically. Through the immersion of core academic subject areas of language arts, mathematics, social studies and science, we seek to accelerate their readiness for transition into high school. Students also have the opportunity to build the skills necessary to be successful in a higher grade level, including academic, social and emotional skills. Our goal is to enable these students to graduate from high school within a timeframe that aligns with other students of their age group. We offer small class sizes, so students can benefit from individualized instruction.