IPS and Butler plan to create a second lab school

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Indianapolis Public School leaders are moving forward with plans to close some schools in the district, but expansion plans are in the works at one school.

The school board is looking to add a second IPS and Butler Lab School. School leaders say a wait list of more than 250 students prompted the board to pass a resolution to explore the options.

"We have the highest wait list of an individual school in the district,” said Ena Shelley, Butler's College of Education Dean.

Shelley says the school is known for doing things different: They do yoga in the classroom and have chickens in the garden area, to name a few examples.

"I love to describe this school as a challenge to the status quo, if you will, of education. We are influenced greatly by the work of Reggio Emilia in Italy," Shelley said.

Now, in it's 7th year of existence, the school's principal says they've already grown larger than first expected.

"We had planned for it to be pre-k through 5th grade, but immediately parents started asking if we could expand up to the middle school grades and we’ll finish grade levels next year," Smith said.

"We’re pleased the school board has decided we should expand the program," Smith said.

Shelley says one possibility for the second lab school is Eliza A. Blaker School 55, however they're still working through the details. She says the goal is to find a solution by the fall of 2018.

The IPS and Butler Lab School is also getting national recognition. The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education just chose their program as a "National Model of excellence."

“I think parents are seeing this and wanting something different. They want to know their children can really think and not just memorize and study for tests," Shelley said.

For more information on the lab school, click here.

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