education options

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education options2018-02-24T21:17:41+00:00

In Indiana, you have more options than you may think…

Brick & Mortar Public Schools

Compulsory Attendance

Your child’s age is your first indicator of his or her eligibility for beginning school. Students may start kindergarten if they turn five on or before August 1. A child does not have to enroll in school at age five or six, but must be enrolled in school by age 7. see more >

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Required Documentation

Indiana school districts set the requirements for what documentation is required prior to enrolling a student in their district. To get that information, contact the district directly.

Some legal documents are required for Indiana students to attend school:

  • Certified Birth Certificate / proof of identity
  • Official copy of records/transcripts from the previous school the child most recently attended.
  • A shot immunization record (or proof that immunization is not required for the child).
  • Click here to view the immunization requirements.
  • Proof of home address (for example, a rental agreement or tax statement)

School Fees

Paying some fees is a part of public education, though it is primarily a free education. Students are expected to supply their own basic school supplies such as paper, pencils, and notebooks. Each district has a list of approved expenditures for students. Fee waiver forms can be requested from the school if there is a situation that prevents a family from being able to pay for required materials or events.

Some typical items on that list include:

  • Lunch
  • Summer school
  • Student parking passes (high school)
  • Lost textbooks
  • Late or lost library books
  • Field trips
  • Special class-required fees (e.g., science lab fees)

Public Charter Schools

What are Charter Schools?

Charter Schools are tuition-free public schools operated by independent, non-profit governing bodies.

Parents, teachers, and community leaders sign a “charter” or contract with a school district or state agency to create a charter school and give students more educational options than their assigned school. Charter schools have flexibility over classroom hours, curriculum, and employment policies, but are subject to periodic reviews based on student performance. In Indiana, public charter school students are measured against the same academic standards as students in other public schools. Local boards of education monitor the academic and financial performance of charter schools, and, can revoke or refuse to renew a school’s charter.

Indiana Charter Schools

A list of the active charter schools can be found at Indiana Department of Education’s List of Charter Schools

You can find more information on Charter Schools at Indiana Charter School Board

Enrollment

Most charter schools do not have attendance zones. If you are interested in applying for your child, you must apply directly to the school. The application and selection process can be quite complicated. Make sure to contact the school early to determine the correct next steps to applying.

Virtual Public Schools

In Indiana, children attend school online in virtual classrooms with state certified teachers. Some virtual programs are open to in-district students only, while others have enrollment open to students across the state.

Indiana’s fully online schools are complemented by several blended programs offered at the district level. Indiana currently boasts four blended charter schools and several supplemental programs as well.

The Indiana Department of Education has launched the Office of eLearning, which promotes online content and provides support to both teachers and students.

Achieve Virtual Education Academy

Phone: (317) 565-6045

Grades: 9-12

Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Phone: (800) 323-4238

Ages: 14+ years of age

Hoosier Academies

Phone: (317) 547-1400

Grades: K-12

Indiana Connections Academy

Phone: (317) 550-3188

Grades: K-12

Indiana Virtual School

Phone: (317) 581-5355

Grades: 6-12

Private Schools

What makes a school “private”?

Private schools charge tuition, and many have a religious mission. Some private schools offer families assistance to make tuition payments. Click below for the complete list of over 590 private schools across the state:

private school review

Private School Review offers free, detailed information on U.S. private schools combined with useful community data (e.g., housing costs) and maps of the surrounding areas.

*Information on non-public school admission requirements should be obtained from the school directly.

Scholarships

Voucher – Indiana’s Choice Scholarship Program was launched in 2011. It is currently open to low- and middle-income families. Learn more about the program’s details on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations, legal history and more.

To find out more about eligibility, funding, regulations, and legal history visit here.

Scholarship – Indiana’s tax-credit scholarship program was enacted in 2009 and launched in 2010 to help low- and middle-income families access the right school for their children’s needs.

To find out more about eligibility, funding, regulations, and legal history visit here.

Educational Choice Programs

Indiana’s Private School/Homeschool Deduction program was enacted and launched in 2011. It allows parents to receive partial reimbursement for their schooling expenses.

To find out more about eligibility, funding, regulations, and legal history visit here.

For more information on policy change or to get involved in the school choice movement in Indiana visit EdChoice

Private Virtual Schools

George Washington University Online High School is an online college preparatory academy for motivated students who are willing to be challenged to become the best students and persons they can be. Combining award-winning curriculum with small class sizes and intensive college counseling, students receive a flexible, individualized education attuned to their own needs and goals.

International Academy is a K12, Inc accredited, online private school for grades K–12. Students earn a U.S. high school diploma while using award-winning K¹² curriculum

They offer extensive, individualized academic and counseling support keep students on track. The flexibility allows students to explore their passions. Full-time and part-time options are available.

International Connections Academy is a fully-accredited, online, college preparatory private school serving K–12 students worldwide. The program combines a top-rated curriculum with talented teachers, cutting-edge technology, the flexibility to learn at home, and direct family involvement to ensure each student realizes his or her full potential.

The Keystone School offers flexible education programs for high school and middle school students. Whether your student wants to study full-time or just needs individual classes, they offer more than 170 courses from credit recovery to world languages and AP. Students can enroll at any time.

Home Education

Your options

In Indiana, parents have the option to educate their children at home, an option known as homeschooling or home education. Parents in Indiana may choose to homeschool their own children in grades K – 12. Indiana homeschools are considered to be non accredited private schools, and thus homeschools must comply with Indiana’s private school statute.

 

Under the private school statute:

  1. Provide equivalent instruction in the English language. Private schools must teach in the English language and provide instruction equivalent to that given in public schools. There are no mandatory subjects for a homeschool program.
  2. Teach for the required number of days. You must operate for 180 days.
  3. Keep attendance records. You must keep attendance records to verify the enrollment and attendance of your students.
  4. Provide information to the state, if required. Indiana public school officials frequently request that homeschoolers complete an online enrollment form on the Indiana Department of Education website. Not required, but could be beneficial.
Home School Legal Defense Alliance

visit HSLDA website >

Coalition for Responsible Home Education

visit the coalition’s website >

 Support Groups

Indiana has many homeschool associations that offer classes, curriculum, advising, sports, clubs, socials and recreation. Check out your local support groups here.

Dual Enrollment

College Credit

A Dual Credit course is one taught by a high school faculty member, a college faculty or adjunct faculty member that a high school student may take to earn both high school and college credits. Dual credit courses may include an on-campus course taught to regular postsecondary students, or a college course taught in a high school classroom by a faculty member of an institution.

A Concurrent Enrollment course is a dual credit taught at a high school by a regular high school faculty member approved by an institution, for high school credit, and college credit if an agreement is made between the school corporation and an institution.

The Postsecondary Enrollment Program allows school corporations (districts) and eligible institutions to offer college courses taught by faculty members of eligible institutions, and concurrent enrollment courses.

Course Fees

Generally: Student/parent. However, the commission for higher education may identify a set of concurrent enrollment college courses that are offered in the high school setting for postsecondary credit and receive state funding as priority dual credit courses. The commission must set the tuition rate charged a student for a priority dual credit course. The commission on higher education has set tuition at no more than $25/credit hour for 2013-2015 for courses on the Priority Course List. Several institutions offer courses at costs below this commission requirement.

Postsecondary Enrollment Program: For students enrolled at Ivy Tech Community College and taking courses on campus, the school corporation may be required to pay tuition.

Upon demonstration of financial need, an eligible institution may grant a student financial assistance, including a tuition waiver. Ivy Tech is eligible for reimbursement for costs incurred to deliver courses taken by a student whose tuition is waived.

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