Butler, IPS To Launch Unique School

K-5 School Will Focus On Respect, Responsibility

Indianapolis Public Schools and Butler University are teaming up to launch a unique school with both laboratory and magnet features.

The Reggio Magnet School will eventually serve students in grades K-5 at the current William A. Bell School 60 at 3330 N. Pennsylvania Ave., 6News' Renee Jameson reported.

The Reggio Emilia educational philosophy is grounded in the principles of respect, responsibility and community through exploration and discovery based on the interests of the children through a self-guided curriculum.

"A lot of this is inquiry-based, doing, discovering; so there are many activities to get young people involved in to expand their learning because it's more holistic learning," IPS Superintendent Eugene White said.

Teachers will be trained at Butler University in the Reggio educational philosophy.

College of Education Dean Ena Shelley helped design the new school concept and will oversee the curriculum.

"The premises of Reggio is that children have 100 ways of knowing and 100 ways of learning and 100 ways of being, and that they can show us in multiple ways and learn in multiple ways," she said.

Supporters of the approach said the new school will inform the teaching profession of the Reggio method and may help shape future educational policy in Indiana.

"It will offer children opportunities not to just acquire the basic skills necessary to succeed in school, but, I think, opportunities for critical thinking and problem solving through inquiry-based approaches," said Ron Smith, who will be the principal at the new school.

White said children who live near School 60 will be given priority in terms of acceptance into the new school. Children of Butler employees will also be able to attend, if space is available.