Indianapolis Public Schools is proud to offer a wide range of schools and programs to families in our community. Maria Montessori developed the Montessori Education Method – a child-centered approach that has shown proven success for over 100 years. IPS offers three Montessori options that have successfully served our community for over 30 years: George Washington Carver School 87, Rousseau McClellan School 91 and Francis W. Parker School 56. Each school offers key components of a traditional Montessori school, but is also unique in their own way.


George W. Carver School 87


Embedded in the core beliefs of George Washington Carver School 87 is the encouragement of respect, courtesy and community awareness. Montessori schools across the nation have a strong focus on the development of the whole child – physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively. 


“We empower our students to make decisions, leading them towards being independent adults,” says Principal Nardo.


Many families within IPS, have limited household incomes. At George Washington Carver School 87, there’s a huge emphasis on the importance of altruism; focusing on the well-being and needs of others before yourself, even when faced with adversity. 


With applied curriculum being the objective, students are challenged to put their lessons into motion. This month, the students and staff of George Washington Carver Montessori School 87 collected 478 canned goods for the Fairfax Church Food Pantry, filled 4 large boxes with new unwrapped toys and raised nearly $200 in additional funds that would be used to purchase toys for children during the holiday season with Toys for Tots. In addition to these funds, the 7th and 8th grade Builders Club were given a $1,000 grant to purchase more toys.


Students were also asked to submit an essay; those with successfully written submissions would be allowed to join school staff on a shopping trip to spend the grant money. Below are a few excerpts from the student essays:


“I want to be able to raise a family’s spirits and faith, so they can see there are lots of people that care about them; I want to be one of those people.” Erika


“What if this was your family? How would you feel if the holidays were coming, your child wants at least one toy and you couldn’t buy it? At that moment you know that you need help. I want to be one of those people that help.” Stephanie A. 


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“The toys will bring happiness – it gives [the child] something that they don’t have. Many kids are poor and don’t have a lot of toys – this gives them something new to play with.” Tamara B. 


Francis W. Parker School 56


If you walk through the halls of Francis W. Parker, you will feel a sense of warmth and support from all directions.


“Our community describes us as a nest, we’re more than a school we are a place to call home – that’s achieved through our staff caring far beyond what happens with a student academically,” says Parent Involvement Educator Maria Wright.


Robert Hatcher, alum of Francis W. Parker remains active in the school by serving on the Alumni Committee. The group regularly hosts Collaboration of Generations that allows alums to connect with the 6th grade students in the school. Mr. Hatcher attended Francis W. Parker School 56 from 1951 through 1959. He recalls, “Walking to school with the neighborhood kids for an eight-block trek to the building. [At this school] I met people that I’ve known all of my life. We created bonds that have lasted a lifetime; 65 years later we are still friends.”


Mr. Hatcher is a key example of the strong sense of community and support behind the walls of Francis W. Parker School 56.


“We have a vast amount of community support and a long, rich line of history and heritage here. Our history alone sets us apart from any others,” says Wright. 


Aside from standing out for their strong safety net support, Francis W. Parker School 56 was recently named as a National Title I Distinguished School. Recognized for their exceptional work, Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) Superintendent Ritz says, “ I applaud the students and educators at Francis W. Parker School 56.” The IDOE staff review school performance data to determine the list of eligible schools. As a result, Francis W. Parker School 56 was named an honoree; the school provides students with wrap around services through behavior services, mental health group supports, parent involvement coordinator, social worker and mentor. See the full message from Superintendent Ritz here.   


There is no question that high academic achievement makes the IPS Montessori schools an excellent option, but the wrap around services that support the students’ full development make them stand out among the rest. Strong interest and heavy enrollment to Rousseau McClellan Montessori School 91 has led them to become a traditionally waitlisted site for the program. They are currently at capacity with over 475 students and are continuously rated an A school by the Indiana Department of Education. To read more about the IPS Montessori school options, visit our website. Though the lottery deadline was December 11, interested applicants are welcomed to apply; reach out to our Office of Enrollment and Options at 317.226.4000 Monday-Friday 8 am – 5 pm or visit our enrollment page on the district website. You may also contact the schools directly to schedule a tour. Rousseau McClellan 317.226.4291, George Washington Carver 317.226.4287 and Francis W. Parker 317.226.4256.