Indianola is an amazing public school that is strongly supported by its staff and parents. It is certainly worth the effort of the lottery process. The school was recently expanded to house middle school and will become a K-8 school at a new location. Many exciting changes are occurring and much opportunity is on the horizon to expand informal-type education to older children. This school is really a jewel.
I am absolutely thrilled that this program is now expanding to a K-8 program. My 4 children are all thriving at Indy and I would never have them anywhere else. The integrated curriculum, cooperative learning, arts integration, informal teaching/learning model is played daily out in this exemplary program. Even with the constraints of district, state and national standards and testing, the excellent teaching staff has managed to cover all that is required and much much more. Parent involvement is a huge part of the success of the school. You will see parents participating in learning experiences, doing guest speaking appearances, and volunteering around the school in countless ways every day. Parents are always welcome even in the middle school level classrooms. No wonder people are applying by the hundreds for a few coveted lottery seats each year. If only the Columbus Public School district would realize how exceptional this school is!
This was my child's first year at Indianola and most of her experiences have been positive. The informal philosophy is fully embraced so if your child works best in highly structured environments this would probably not be a good match for your child. Although there are many opportunities for parents to be involved if you are new to the school it is somewhat difficult to get with the 'Indy Way of Doing' unless you know another parent who has been at the school. For the most part the teacher's are good at balancing an integrated curriculum. Although the school lacks significant diversity the staff is pretty open to feedback and suggestions. You'll love the principal.
Indianola is the sole reason we have remained in the district. However, with our move to a swing space which is less than ideal, combined with a 9:30 start time, which is horrible for so many reasons and still amazing to me that it hasn't been overturned by the logic-police...makes our commitment year to year. It is unfortunate that a school with such an extraordinary staff, diverse student body and an active parent group is stuck in such a lousy district. It is the Indianola community that makes it worthwhile in spite of the district it resides in.
Indianola has a wonderful community and creative approach to the curriculum. My daughter's teachers in K-2 have been fantastic. Dance, music, and art all reinforce or tie to the curriculum, helping students make connections that few other schools make the effort to do. Beware though - high teacher to student ration - 27 students in a class does no one justice. The district is consumed by their own problems and are unable to think clearly about solutions. The school has a 9:30 start time. This goes against all research that indicates elelenmtary students should start first; it goes against parents who work; and is hated by teachers and parents universally. If you can get in, you'll love the school, and probably hate the district.
My son attended Indianola from grade K-5, from 1991-1997. He is graduating from high school this fall, with an outstanding GPA, excellent ACT results, and is receiving a merit scholarship from the state of Louisiana for full tuition to LSU (we live in Louisiana now). The staff was enthusiastic and motivated. The curriculum was inventive and in-depth. By focusing on the child's needs and interests rather than a rigid structure that all the children 'should' be following, the children flourished. I have lived in the south and the southwest for seven years, and have never seen a school to compare to Indianola. My great regret about leaving Ohio is that my little boy, who will enter K in the fall, will not be able to attend Indianola.
Indianola Informal ES teaches in a child-centered method. The instruction is coordinated between core subject matter and the arts. The parent involvement is outstanding and supported by a very involved PTA. Enrichment activities for students include an award-winning chess team, language, math, science and book clubs.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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