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Enrollment Information

Indianapolis families can choose from district, magnet, public charter, and private schools.

Public Preschools

Indianapolis has 11 public school districts and many offer free preschool programs. Some districts only offer developmental preschool programs (specifically targeted to children with disabilities). Indianapolis Public Schools, the largest school district in Indianapolis, has added general education preschool to 10 of its elementary schools. Other districts offer preschool with a cost that can range from $130-$200 per week. Parents should contact individual school districts for more information.

Head Start is also an option for low-income families. Contact Head Start or Family Development Services to find out more.

For more information:

Find out more about Head Start

Family Development Services
317-803-3803

Beech Grove City
317-788-4481

Decatur Township
317-856-5265

Franklin Township
317-862-2411

Indianapolis Public Schools
317-226-4000

Lawrence Township
317-423-8200

Perry Township
317-789-3700

Pike Township
317-293-0393

Town of Speedway
317-244-0236

Warren Township
317-869-4300

Washington Township
317-845-9400

Wayne Township
317-988-8600

Key dates

Enrollment processes and deadlines vary by school. Contact schools directly for more information


Private Preschools

There are a substantial number of private and religious preschools in Indianapolis, so finding a program can be a daunting task. Most preschools offer half-day sessions and many have extended care options. These programs generally run on the same schedule as K-12 schools.

Child care centers are another option for working parents; most centers accept babies as well as toddlers and provide full-time, year-round care. Most daycare centers also offer preschool programs. A center with experienced, well-trained teachers and stimulating activities offers similar advantages to a regular preschool. Costs can range from $150 for a half-day program that meets three times a week to $1,000 a month for full-time daycare with a pre-school component. To locate a child care center and find an assessment of its quality, check out the Path-to-Quality website.

Low-income families may qualify for federal childcare vouchers. Contact Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration to find out more.

For more information:

Find out more about the Path-to-Quality rating system

Learn more about finding a quality preschool program

Resources for parents and child care programs

Learn about child care vouchers for economically disadvantaged families

Key dates

Enrollment processes and deadlines vary by school. Contact schools directly for more information


Public Elementary Schools

District school enrollment
Every child in Indianapolis is automatically assigned to a school in one of the city’s 11 public school districts based on home address. Your child will attend your assigned school unless you apply to a magnet school (or other specialty program within your home district), or you apply to attend a school outside your home district (inter-district transfer). You can enroll your child at your assigned school anytime during winter/spring. There are several things you will need the first time you register your child in a district school, including:

  • The student’s certified birth certificate
  • The student’s immunization records
  • Proof of address (e.g. current utility bill)
  • Parent’s proof of identification (e.g. driver’s license or passport)

If your child is returning to your assigned district school, proof of address is usually the only verification required.

Magnet school enrollment
Magnet schools have a focused theme and/or education philosophy such as science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), fine arts, International Baccalaureate, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and many more. Students aren’t automatically assigned to magnet schools, and most do not have attendance zone requirements. However, magnet schools do have district boundaries. To apply to a magnet school in a different district, families must follow the procedure for applying as an inter-district transfer student (see below).

The deadline for applying for magnet or specialty programs is December 15th in most cases (for enrollment the following school year). Schools and districts will often host open houses and magnet school fairs in October and November.

Most magnet schools do not have entrance criteria. Check with the individual schools and/or districts to see if a portfolio, audition, and/or exam is required. Unless there are specific entrance criteria, all children who apply to a magnet school are accepted as long as there are seats available. If demand for seats is higher than the number available, school districts hold a lottery to fill the available seats.

Out-of-district or inter-district transfer
Many of the 11 public school districts in Indianapolis accept students who reside outside their boundaries. If you wish to enroll your child in a school in a different district, you must contact that district directly.

Some districts will consider out-of-district students during the early enrollment period (October - December), and many only accept a limited number of transfer students, so do not wait if you are interested in this option. Some school districts allow out-of-district transfer students to apply to magnet programs, but students who are residents of a district have priority.

Charter schools
Charter schools are public schools that operate independently. Indianapolis is home to 32 public charter schools, with 8 more scheduled to open in 2014. Most of these schools are authorized by the Mayor of Indianapolis, although a few are authorized by Ball State University and the Indiana Charter School Board.

All charter schools are required to follow open enrollment rules. To apply to a charter school, contact the school directly. All children who apply are accepted unless the demand for seats is higher than the number of seats available, in which case a lottery is held.

For more information:

Find out more about magnet schools in IPS

Learn about Limited Choice in Perry Township

Learn about Limited Choice in Washington Township

Find out more about elementary magnet programs in Lawrence Township

Mayor of Indianapolis Charter Schools

Indiana Charter School Board

Ball State University Charter School Office

Beech Grove City

Decatur Township

Franklin Township

Indianapolis Public Schools

Lawrence Township

Perry Township

Pike Township

Town of Speedway

Warren Township

Washington Township

Wayne Township

Key dates

Enrollment processes and deadlines vary by school. Contact schools directly for more information


Private Elementary Schools

Private schools charge tuition, which can range from approximately $2,000 to $20,000 or more a year, depending on the school. However, most private schools in Indianapolis participate in the Choice Scholarship Program (voucher program) and/or the Tax Credit Scholarship Program. These programs cover all or part of the tuition costs for eligible low- and middle- income families. In addition to state programs, most private schools provide some type of tuition assistance, based on financial need and availability of funds.

Enrollment procedures and timelines for Indianapolis’s private schools vary by school. In order to enroll, contact the school directly to find out timelines and get an application. Some private schools may have entrance criteria or require a test for admission.

Private schools that participate in the voucher program decide which months they will accept enrollment applications, and the Indiana Department of Education determines when voucher applications are due.

For more information:

Find out more about Indiana’s voucher program

Information about private schools

Information about Catholic schools

Key dates

Enrollment processes and deadlines vary by school. Contact schools directly for more information


Public Middle Schools

District school enrollment
Every child in Indianapolis is automatically assigned to a school in one of the city’s 11 public school districts based on home address. Your child will attend your assigned school unless you apply to a magnet school (or other specialty program within your home district), or you apply to attend a school outside your home district (inter-district transfer). You can enroll your child at your assigned school anytime during winter/spring. There are several things you will need the first time you register your child in a district school, including:

  • The student’s certified birth certificate
  • The student’s immunization records
  • Proof of address (e.g. current utility bill)
  • Parent’s proof of identification (e.g. driver’s license or passport)

If your child is returning to your assigned district school, proof of address is usually the only verification required.

Magnet school enrollment
Magnet schools have a focused theme and/or education philosophy such as science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), fine arts, International Baccalaureate, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and many more. Students aren’t automatically assigned to magnet schools, and most do not have attendance zone requirements. However, magnet schools do have district boundaries. To apply to a magnet school in a different district, families must follow the procedure for applying as an inter-district transfer student (see below).

The deadline for applying for magnet or specialty programs is December 15th in most cases (for enrollment the following school year). Schools and districts will often host open houses and magnet school fairs in October and November.

Most magnet schools do not have entrance criteria. Check with the individual schools and/or districts to see if a portfolio, audition, and/or exam is required. Unless there are specific entrance criteria, all children who apply to a magnet school are accepted as long as there are seats available. If demand for seats is higher than the number available, school districts hold a lottery to fill the available seats.

Out-of-district or inter-district transfer
Many of the 11 public school districts in Indianapolis accept students who reside outside their boundaries. If you wish to enroll your child in a school in a different district, you must contact that district directly.

Some districts will consider out-of-district students during the early enrollment period (October - December), and many only accept a limited number of transfer students, so do not wait if you are interested in this option. Some school districts allow out-of-district transfer students to apply to magnet programs, but students who are residents of a district have priority.

Charter schools
Charter schools are public schools that operate independently. Indianapolis is home to 32 public charter schools, with 8 more scheduled to open in 2014. Most of these schools are authorized by the Mayor of Indianapolis, although a few are authorized by Ball State University and the Indiana Charter School Board.

All charter schools are required to follow open enrollment rules. To apply to a charter school, contact the school directly. All children who apply are accepted unless the demand for seats is higher than the number of seats available, in which case a lottery is held.

For more information:

Find out more about magnet schools in IPS

Learn about Limited Choice in Perry Township

Learn about Limited Choice in Washington Township

Mayor of Indianapolis Charter Schools

Indiana Charter School Board

Ball State University Charter School Office

Beech Grove City

Decatur Township

Franklin Township

Indianapolis Public Schools

Lawrence Township

Perry Township

Pike Township

Town of Speedway

Warren Township

Washington Township

Wayne Township

Key dates

Enrollment processes and deadlines vary by school. Contact schools directly for more information


Private Middle Schools

Private schools charge tuition, which can range from approximately $2,000 to $20,000 or more a year, depending on the school. However, most private schools in Indianapolis participate in the Choice Scholarship Program (voucher program) and/or the Tax Credit Scholarship Program. These programs cover all or part of the tuition costs for eligible low- and middle- income families. In addition to state programs, most private schools provide some type of tuition assistance, based on financial need and availability of funds.

Enrollment procedures and timelines for Indianapolis’s private schools vary by school. In order to enroll, contact the school directly to find out timelines and get an application. Some private schools may have entrance criteria or require a test for admission.

Private schools that participate in the voucher program decide which months they will accept enrollment applications, and the Indiana Department of Education determines when voucher applications are due.

For more information:

Find out more about Indiana’s voucher program

Information about private schools

Information about Catholic schools

Key dates

Enrollment processes and deadlines vary by school. Contact schools directly for more information


Public High Schools

District school enrollment
Every child in Indianapolis is automatically assigned to a school in one of the city’s 11 public school districts based on home address. Your child will attend your assigned school unless you apply to a magnet school (or other specialty program within your home district), or you apply to attend a school outside your home district (inter-district transfer). You can enroll your child at your assigned school anytime during winter/spring. There are several things you will need the first time you register your child in a district school, including:

  • The student’s certified birth certificate
  • The student’s immunization records
  • Proof of address (e.g. current utility bill)
  • Parent’s proof of identification (e.g. driver’s license or passport)

If your child is returning to your assigned district school, proof of address is usually the only verification required.

Magnet school enrollment
Magnet schools have a focused theme and/or education philosophy such as science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), fine arts, International Baccalaureate, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and many more. Students aren’t automatically assigned to magnet schools, and most do not have attendance zone requirements. However, magnet schools do have district boundaries. To apply to a magnet school in a different district, families must follow the procedure for applying as an inter-district transfer student (see below).

The deadline for applying for magnet or specialty programs is December 15th in most cases (for enrollment the following school year). Schools and districts will often host open houses and magnet school fairs in October and November.

Most magnet schools do not have entrance criteria. Check with the individual schools and/or districts to see if a portfolio, audition, and/or exam is required. Unless there are specific entrance criteria, all children who apply to a magnet school are accepted as long as there are seats available. If demand for seats is higher than the number available, school districts hold a lottery to fill the available seats.

Out-of-district or inter-district transfer
Many of the 11 public school districts in Indianapolis accept students who reside outside their boundaries. If you wish to enroll your child in a school in a different district, you must contact that district directly.

Some districts will consider out-of-district students during the early enrollment period (October - December), and many only accept a limited number of transfer students, so do not wait if you are interested in this option. Some school districts allow out-of-district transfer students to apply to magnet programs, but students who are residents of a district have priority.

Charter schools
Charter schools are public schools that operate independently. Indianapolis is home to 32 public charter schools, with 8 more scheduled to open in 2014. Most of these schools are authorized by the Mayor of Indianapolis, although a few are authorized by Ball State University and the Indiana Charter School Board.

All charter schools are required to follow open enrollment rules. To apply to a charter school, contact the school directly. All children who apply are accepted unless the demand for seats is higher than the number of seats available, in which case a lottery is held.

For more information:

Find out more about magnet schools in IPS

Mayor of Indianapolis Charter Schools

Indiana Charter School Board

Ball State University Charter School Office

Beech Grove City

Decatur Township

Franklin Township

Indianapolis Public Schools

Lawrence Township

Perry Township

Pike Township

Town of Speedway

Warren Township

Washington Township

Wayne Township

Key dates

Enrollment processes and deadlines vary by school. Contact schools directly for more information


Private High Schools

Private schools charge tuition, which can range from approximately $2,000 to $20,000 or more a year, depending on the school. However, most private schools in Indianapolis participate in the Choice Scholarship Program (voucher program) and/or the Tax Credit Scholarship Program. These programs cover all or part of the tuition costs for eligible low- and middle- income families. In addition to state programs, most private schools provide some type of tuition assistance, based on financial need and availability of funds.

Enrollment procedures and timelines for Indianapolis’s private schools vary by school. In order to enroll, contact the school directly to find out timelines and get an application. Some private schools may have entrance criteria or require a test for admission.

Private schools that participate in the voucher program decide which months they will accept enrollment applications, and the Indiana Department of Education determines when voucher applications are due.

For more information:

Find out more about Indiana’s voucher program

Information about private schools

Information about Catholic schools

Key dates

Enrollment processes and deadlines vary by school. Contact schools directly for more information