Everyone is talking about early childhood education these days. It’s refreshing because there has never before been this type of state-wide attention given to Pre-K. We’re happy about this at Indianapolis Public Schools because it’s an area we’ve been concentrating on for years!
Linda Hogan, Even Start, Kindergarten and Title I Early Childhood Administrator for IPS, said, “Some of us in Marion County who have worked on preschool legislation for 25 years can’t believe it. Finally, people are talking about preschool education. It’s exciting. We’re so happy that others have realized it’s important.”
The application window for the IPS Pre-K program opened on March 18. Pre-K classes will be filled by a lottery selection this year, so to ensure you have the best chance at your first choice of schools, you should submit your application before our April 10 deadline. Enrollment for any remaining open seats will continue through the summer.
The IPS program is growing again next year so that we can welcome even more young scholars into our schools. This year IPS has almost 800 spots for Pre-K students. With additional classes at existing sites and the opening of five new sites at IPS schools, we plan to grow that number to almost 1,000 for 2015-16.
Unlike some other preschools, IPS Pre-K is a full-day program geared toward kindergarten readiness. Hogan said, “Children learn procedures and why we have procedures.” The intent is for students and their families to get in the habit of school and go directly on to kindergarten after a year in Pre-K. When you add in
- No charge to families for IPS Pre-K programs
- Teachers licensed and certified in early childhood education heading each class
- Breakfast, lunch and snacks provided at no cost to families
- Regular progress reports sent home
- Technology like iPads in every classroom
you have a recipe for families staying engaged in school. “Once they start buying in, people who may have had a negative experience in school have a turnaround,” Hogan said. Families want their students involved and want to stay committed.
Judging from the reactions of current IPS Pre-K parents, she’s right. “The teachers really listen and take care of your child,” said parent Tara Boyd. “They take the individual child into account and work one-on-one with them.”
Parent Mary White had her son enrolled in a half-day Head Start program before deciding instead on IPS Pre-K. She chose the IPS program because of “the way it runs—like the kids are in kindergarten, which will make the transition easier.”
She also said, “I love how they have workshops to educate the parents while having fun with our children. The school does a great job at involving parents and keeping us informed on things that will have our children ready for kindergarten.”
If you want more information, a Pre-K fair will be held at Arsenal Technical High School on March 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Knowledgeable enrollment team members can assist you with questions you might have about the program, locations or the enrollment process. They can also walk you through the online application onsite.
You can also find more information online at myips.org or call us at 317.226.4000 with questions.
We hope you will choose IPS as your Pre-K program! Let us know how we can assist you in making your decision.