Public versus Private. Montessori or Charter? With so many options available, many families find themselves overwhelmed with the task of choosing the best district and school for their children. Most will rely on friends and family, asking them how and why they landed on their school of choice, as if there is a secret method to the madness. We sat down with the Grotjan family, who lives outside of the school district, to learn why they chose Indianapolis Public Schools.
Shane Grotjan, a retired IPS educator started by saying, “I grew up going to a school outside of the IPS district and my oldest child also went to school through 7th grade outside of IPS and I guess ”less than impressed” would be an accurate statement. Those schools offered a very good, traditional education, but I think they have a very “one-size fits all” approach to teaching and learning. What I appreciate about IPS, especially with their Choice options is the teaching strategies; and the Arts, Science, and Nature focused curricula. They hold a strong focus on community involvement. Building the community within their schools and connecting to the outside community is something that I think really benefits all students.“
Roughly two years ago, the Grotjans were searching for a new home that would be spacious enough for their growing family and that would fall in line with their school district desires. Ultimately, they picked a beautiful home outside of the IPS boundaries, but they just couldn’t let go of the rewarding opportunities that IPS offered their children. With Shane serving as an IPS faculty member, the Grotjan’s were able to apply and attend schools within our district; they’re currently attending IPS Butler Lab School and Broad Ripple Magnet High School. When they moved out of IPS boundaries, they were required to submit an out-of-district application. Families that are granted a Choice seat can remain within that school with submission of a renewal application each year.
Scott Grotjan, who serves as the Board President for the IPS Education Foundation says, “There are a ton of great things happening in IPS, the majority of which you never hear about. There are some really great schools and a ton of history. We think it’s a well-rounded, balanced education that they are receiving. They experience educational opportunities in IPS that they wouldn’t necessarily experience in other schools, so that’s why we chose IPS.”
Like the Grotjan’s, a high quality education that falls within a socially and ethnically diverse environment is a focal point for many families within IPS. We are proud that we can offer a wide variety of options to meet the needs of our community.