Butler University would expand a partnership with Indianapolis Public Schools next year by helping run an International Baccalaureate program at Shortridge High School if the school board agrees.
It’s the next step in the process of changing Shortidge’s magnet theme from law and public policy to IB. Butler also partners with the district to offer a school that follows the Italian Reggio curriculum across the street at School 60.
“Butler has been a great partner with Shortridge and also School 60 right next door,” Superintendent Lewis Ferebee said. “We’re excited about extending this partnership to cover IB at Shortridge.”
IPS decided last year to move its magnet program for International Baccalaureate, which focuses on critical thinking, high expectations and an international view of academic studies, from Gambold Preparatory High School on the West side to Shortridge on the North side as part of a larger redesign of the district’s magnet programs.
So far, 481 students have signed up to attend the new IB program — including 23 from outside the district. IPS hopes to grow the school’s enrollment to 1,000 students.
Butler College of Education Dean Ena Shelley said the university, which already partners with Shortridge through its Early College Program and other activities, could easily expand its role at the school.
“We’re really building on the success of what Shortridge and Butler have already accomplished,” Shelley said.
Under the deal, Butler would help select the principal and teachers, who would be required to have IB training. Ferebee said the partnership is important as a talent pipeline for the district, as one goal is to entice more Butler education students to become IPS teachers.
“We’re very pleased to be to bring more Butler grads to IPS as teachers,” Ferebee said.
Among the plans for the joint program is a teacher who also coordinates teacher training.
“This person would be the link between the university and the school in terms of coordinating what the undergrads are doing, what the graduates are doing, co-teaching and helping with research,” Shelley said. “We have found that this position has been a really critical piece of the success of (School 60).”
Board members, who will ultimately vote on the plan next week, said they supported the idea.
“I’m really looking forward to this,” board President Diane Arnold said.