While Indiana may be known for its vast farmland, midwestern vibes, agriculture production, and the Indy 500, did you also know that this state is home to several large school districts?
Known as “The Hoosier State,” Indiana was the 19th state to enter the union of the United States back in 1816. Rich in agriculture and known as the birthplace of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, Indiana is now home to more than 6.8 million people. Today, some of the best schools in Indiana provide an opportunity for quality education.
Let's dive in to learn more about eight of the largest school districts in Indiana.
Fort Wayne Community Schools
1200 South Clinton Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46802
Total Number of Schools: 52
Total Number of Students Enrolled: 28,664
The largest school district in the state of Indiana and the fourth-most diverse district according to Niche is Fort Wayne Community Schools. Of its 52 schools, 30 are elementary schools, 10 are middle schools, 5 are high schools, and 2 are early childhood centers. This district also offers an alternative school, a Career and Technical Education school, an innovation lab, an intermediate school, and a virtual academy.
FWCS employs over 4,000 staff members, with nearly 2,000 being teachers. This makes the student-to-teacher ratio relatively low at 15:1. Of the students that attend the district, about 3,600 are English language learner students as well. They represent over 70 countries with 70 different languages spoken throughout the district.
Indianapolis Public Schools
120 E. Walnut St., Indianapolis, IN 46204
Total Number of Schools: 57
Total Number of Students Enrolled: About 28,000
Indianapolis Public Schools closely rival Fort Wayne Community Schools in terms of size and student enrollment. IPS covers 80 square miles through the heart of Indianapolis and is on a mission to “empower and educate all students to think critically, creatively, and responsibly.” The district is also an advocate for adversity and ranks as the fifteenth-most diverse district in the state.
IPS has a staff of more than 5,000 and about half of their staff members are teachers. This makes the student-to-teacher ratio 13:1 which is much lower than the national average. Students can also choose from over 15 choice offerings in the district. Additionally, while the district doesn't score very high on Niche or through the State of Indiana, it has a strategic plan through 2025 that involves increased access to a rigorous curriculum.
Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation
951 Walnut St., Evansville, IN 47713
Total Number of Schools: 40
Total Number of Students Enrolled: 22,191 as of 2021
Located in the heart of Evansville along the Ohio River and rounding out the top 25 most diverse school districts in the state is the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation. EVSC owns approximately 922 acres throughout the district area with its 180 buses covering an average of 13,000 miles per day. The district serves more than 200,000 meals each day as well.
The student-to-teacher ratio is 15:1 in this district. EVSC also offers 7 innovative high school programs and a regional career and tech center. High school students can choose from 26 advanced placement courses and 78 dual-credit courses as well. Additionally, the district has 3 STEM-certified schools and offers 19 state-sanctioned varsity sports.
Hamilton Southeastern Schools
13485 Cumberland Road, Fishers, IN 46038
Total Number of Schools: 22
Total Number of Students Enrolled: Over 21,000
Ranked as the eighth-best school district in Indiana by Niche is Hamilton Southeastern Schools. This district is also the fourth-best district in the state for athletes and offers more than 300 student-driven clubs including both athletic and fine arts programs. Hamilton Southeastern Schools is an A-rated school throughout the state and serves students in the city of Fishers and neighboring Noblesville.
While the student-to-teacher ratio is slightly higher than the national average at 19:1, the district is still the largest employer in the city of Fischers with about 2,500 full and part-time staff members. Additionally, the graduation rate in the district is 98%. The district is also diverse as more than 95 languages are spoken by students.
Perry Township Schools
6548 Orinoco Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46227
Total Number of Schools: 17
Total Number of Students Enrolled: Over 16,000
Perry Township Schools is the second-most diverse district in the state and the 18th best district to teach according to Niche. Of the district's 17 schools, 2 are high schools, 2 are middle schools, 2 are 6th grade academies, and 11 are elementary schools. Perry Township also offers a handful of kindergarten and early childhood programs.
The district celebrates diversity and sees it as one of its strengths. Perry Township Schools has also partnered with programs like Project Lead the Way which gives students the opportunity to excel in furthering their education or career following graduation. Additionally, the student-to-teacher ratio is on par with the rest of the nation at 17:1.
Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township
1220 South High School Road, Indianapolis, Indiana 46241
Total Number of Schools: 19
Total Number of Students Enrolled: 16,343
The Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township is one of the oldest in the state having been founded over 60 years ago. MSD of Wayne Township covers about 37 square miles and serves students in communities on the western side of Indianapolis. The graduation rate in this district is 91% and students can choose from 28 different Advanced Placement courses.
The student-to-teacher ratio is relatively low at 14:1 with the district employing over 2,300 staff members. Additionally, MSD of Wayne Township has more than 144 clubs and academic teams for students. As the sixth-most diverse district in the state, about 70 different languages are spoken throughout the district as well.
Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township
6501 Sunnyside Road, Indianapolis, IN 46236
Total Number of Schools: 17
Total Number of Students Enrolled: Over 16,298
Serving the Northeast Corner of Indianapolis and the City of Lawrence is the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township. The graduation rate in this district in 2022 was 95% and 8 of the schools are STEM certified by the Indiana Department of Education. Four of the Early Learning Centers in MSD of Lawrence Township are NAEYC accredited as well.
The student-to-teacher ratio in this district is 17:1 with the district employing more than 2,500 staff members. Additionally, the district is known for its music program as it has been named “best community for music education” for 12 years. MSD of Lawrence Township is also known for its athletic program with 47 state championships under its belt.
Carmel Clay Schools
5201 East Main Street, Carmel, IN 46033
Total Number of Schools: 15
Total Number of Students Enrolled: 16,215
Ranked by Niche as the best school district in the Indianapolis area is Carmel Clay Schools. This district is also ranked as the second-best overall in the state and the best district for athletes. Students in Carmel Clay Schools score far above average on their proficiency testing and the district has a 98% graduation rate.
The student-to-teacher ratio is 16:1. Additionally, Carmel Clay Schools has many awards under their belt with 11 National Blue Ribbon awards and 56 National Merit Semifinalists in 2022. The district is also home to 178 IHSAA State Championship teams and was named one of the best communities for music education in 2021.
While Indiana may be known for far more than its educational options, it's clear that these large school districts have a lot to offer their students. From educational opportunities to athletics, fine arts, and specialized programs, every student is sure to find their fit in one of the massive school districts in this state.
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