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Alternative Education Programs

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.