November 14, 2018

The Indiana State Museum was a popular place on Saturday, Nov. 10, but not because of a new exhibit or a movie at the IMAX Theatre. Nearly 1,400 families visited the museum to attend Indianapolis Public Schools’ 5th Annual Showcase of Schools.

Each year, Showcase offers current IPS families and those looking to learn more about the district’s academic programs and services (from athletics to transportation to special education) an opportunity to talk to principals from 70-plus IPS schools and department leaders.

It’s also an opportunity to receive on-site help enrolling in the district’s popular Choice schools/programs through the two-round Choice Application Lottery, which opened Nov. 1 and is run by Enroll Indy.

Patrick Herrel, director of Enrollment and Options at IPS, said Showcase is popular with parents and community members because they can speak directly to school leaders across the district in one convenient location.

“There is no better way to explore IPS’ choice and neighborhood school programs than by visiting schools, but Showcase offers the next best thing: an easy way to meet school leaders and learn about the many educational offerings on one day and in one location,” said Herrel.

During this year’s Showcase of Schools, the district’s enrollment team — along with Enroll Indy staffers — served more than 200 families inside the on-site enrollment suite, with nearly 100 completing Choice applications. This is an increase from last year’s numbers.

“We helped parents understand the lottery rules, and we assisted families with online Choice applications,” said Herrel.

The Bus Stop Café, the district’s popular food bus, also encountered a steady stream of visitors. Positioned outside the museum on the main grounds, Steve Gudorf, operations manager for IPS Food Service, said nearly 400 people were served.

Just like the event itself, the food from the Bus Stop Café was provided free to families.

“Our customers were appreciative and gracious,” said Gudorf. “(It was) a great crowd who braved the chill to visit us!”

According to Gudorf, the following was served during Showcase of Schools:

  • 50 pounds of beef hot dogs.
  • 32 dozen hot dog buns.
  • 10 gallons of beef and bean chili.
  • 30 pounds of red apple slices.
  • 60 pounds of bananas.
  • 15 pounds of clementines.
  • 300 fruit slushies.
  • 420 bottles of water.
  • Dozens of condiments, including shredded cheddar cheese, jalapeno peppers, sour cream, ketchup, mustard and hot sauce.

Families were also treated to a dance performance by students from Edison School of the Arts 47 and a musical performance from students at Ignite Achievement Academy at Elder Diggs 42.

“I thought this year’s Showcase was an organized, efficient, convenient way for families to learn about their many IPS school options,” said Herrel. “The event ran smoothly, thanks to tireless work of district leaders and volunteers.”