Picking the right school for your child is a complex decision that shapes their educational journey and future. Parents often research educational offerings, extracurricular opportunities, safety, and location, among other factors. The process can be daunting and confusing in a diverse educational landscape such as the one in Indiana.
One critical metric that’s often overlooked is the school size. Large schools are often frowned upon, with parents preferring a more intimate setting. However, bigger campuses can offer more benefits, with a greater variety of course offerings, more specialized resources and facilities, and better networking opportunities.
This post explores the thirteen largest schools in Indiana. We’ll assess the schools’ performances against the state average; faculty size and experience; academic and extracurricular offerings; among other factors. Here are the largest elementary, middle, and high schools and colleges in the “Hoosier State.”
Greensburg Elementary School
900 Big Blue Ave, Greensburg, IN 47240
Greensburg Elementary is an above-average public school in Decatur County, IN. The school falls under the Greensburg Community Schools. It serves roughly 978 students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.
Greatschools.org gave the school an overall 6/10 rating. Test scores for annual state assessments reveal that most students at the school perform better than their peers across the state. 58% attained the proficiency level set in math and 57% in English. Additionally, 63% gained proficiency in science and 59% in social studies.
Greensburg Elementary also offers gifted program services to academically-talented students who wish to accelerate their learning. Kids interested in STEM can undertake the Project Lead The Way(PLTW) Launch curriculum.
The school boasts of a highly qualified faculty team and support staff. It has roughly 45 full-time teachers, with an average student-teacher ratio of 22:1. 97% of the teachers are certified, and 88% have over three years of teaching experience. The school district also employs a nurse, a social worker, and a law enforcement officer.
Klondike Elementary School
3311 Klondike Rd, West Lafayette, IN 47906
Klondike Elementary is another above-average public school in the Tippecanoe School Corporation school district. The school is home to over 1,007 kindergarten through fifth-grade students, making it one of the largest elementary schools in the state. The school takes pride in its diversity, with its student body comprising kids from 36 nationalities.
The school received an overall 6/10 rating from GreatSchools.org. Test scores at Klondike Elementary are above the state’s average, with 59% of students scoring at or above grade level for math, and 57% did the same for English. The school also offers other services, such as the gifted program that supports academically-talented kids.
Klondike Elementary has over 100 staff members with over 48 full-time teachers. The overall student-teacher ratio is 20:1. All the full-time teachers at the school are state-certified, with 90.2% having taught in elementary school for over three years. Klondike also has a full-time nurse and social worker.
Mary Bryan Elementary School
4355 E Stop 11 Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46237
Mary Bryan Elementary is a top-rated public school in the state capital under the Perry Township Schools. The school serves roughly 1,000 students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. GreatSchools.org gave the school a 7/10 overall rating, with Niche.com naming it among its standout elementary schools in the Indianapolis area.
The school aims to empower students to grow academically, socially, and behaviorally. Academically, the students undertake EveryDay Math and Reading Wonders curriculum. 58% of the kids attain proficiency in math and 54% in English.
Mary Bryan Elementary provides numerous opportunities for students to interact socially and grow their leadership skills. The school has eight clubs and organizations, including Young Historians, Ukelele Club, Math Bowl, Spell Bowl, and Student Council.
The school also runs a dyslexia support program that assists students at risk or living with dyslexia. It also has a gifted program for intellectually-gifted kids who wish to advance their learning to match their unique needs.
The school has over 55 full-time teachers, all with state certifications. Additionally, 94% of the teachers have over three years of teaching experience.
Indiana Digital Learning School – Elementary
8707 W. U.S. Hwy 36, Modoc, IN 47358
Indiana Digital Learning School is a public, tuition-free virtual school within the Union School Corporation district. Its elementary section serving pre-kindergarten through sixth-grade students has over 2,874 learners. This makes the school the largest elementary school in the state.
Students at the school undertake an online curriculum sponsored by Stride K-12. Each learner is allocated to a state-certified teacher who provides instruction through synchronous online sessions called “Class Connects.”
Once enrolled, you and your child choose the learning style that best suits their learning needs. Parents act as “learning coaches” who commit four to six hours daily to monitor their kids’ academic progress. The school also organizes various online and physical extracurricular activities allowing kids to interact with their peers.
All students must sit for state assessment tests for their respective grades. Test scores reports indicate that 20% of the students attained proficiency in English and 15% in math. The school also has a gifted program for students wishing to accelerate their K-12 education.
Franklin Central Junior High School
10440 Indian Crk S Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46259
Franklin Central Junior High is an above-average public school in the Franklin Township Community School Corporation school district. The school serves over 1,680 sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students. 35% of the student body is from minority backgrounds. 43% are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches.
The school aims to instill a passion for lifelong learning among its students, developing them into responsible citizens in an interconnected world. The school district focuses on creating a blended learning environment, with each child receiving a device to access their learning materials.
According to state assessment test scores, 45% of students perform at or above the proficiency level in math and English. 53% attain proficiency in science. The school also offers numerous enrichment programs, including eight art courses, four music courses, and a performance art course. Students interested in STEM can enroll in the PLTW Gateway curriculum.
The school has over 83 full-time teachers, with one teacher for every 20 kids. All full-time instructors are state certified, and 98.6% have over three years of teaching experience.
Highland Hills Middle School
3492 Edwardsville Galena Rd, Georgetown, IN 47122
Highland Hills Middle is a top-rated public school in Georgetown under the New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated Schools district. The school is home to over 1,685 “Jaguars” in fifth through eighth grade.
The school offers a rigorous academic program with numerous enrichment programs. 65% of the students attain the proficiency level in English, while 61% attain proficiency in math. The school also offers two STEM programs, i.e., the PLTW Gateway and Launch curricula.
The school has one teacher for every twenty. Eighty-four teachers are full-time employees, nearly all holding state certifications. 96.2% of the instructors have more than three years of experience.
Highland Hills has a robust gifted program to help talented kids attain their highest potential. The accelerated classes offer higher levels of problem-solving and in-depth learning.
Outside the classroom, students can participate in various extracurricular Activities. The school has nine athletic teams, thirteen clubs and societies, and six other organizations.
Clark-Pleasant Middle School
1354 East Worthsville Road, Greenwood, IN 46143
Clark-Pleasant Middle is a top-rated public school in the Clark-Pleasant Community School Corporation school district. It serves over 1,696 sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, making it the largest middle school in the state. The school received an “A” and four-star school status from the state’s Department of Education.
Test scores at Clark-Pleasant Middle are higher than the state average, with 62% of students gaining proficiency in English, 51% in math, and 64% in science. Besides the core subjects, the school offers numerous enrichment programs that explore the kids’ interests and talents.
There are eleven art courses, four music courses, four performance art courses, and a STEM program. Clark-Pleasant Middle also has a gifted program that caters to talented kids who wish to accelerate their learning.
Students can also participate in extracurricular activities like sports, clubs, and organizations. The school has 18 athletic teams. The school has 82 full-time instructors, all who are certified. Additionally, 89.3% of the teachers have over three years of experience.
North Central High School
1801 E 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46240
North Central High is a highly-rated public school in the Washington Township Metropolitan School District. Founded in 1956, the school serves roughly 3,754 ninth through twelfth-grade students.
The school offers numerous academic programs, including an International Baccalaureate program, 32 advanced placement courses, a PLTW Biomedical Science program, and Advanced College Project(ACP) programs. 30% of the students participate in the AP classes, while 2% enroll in the IB diploma program.
The school also offers dual enrollment classes, which attract an 18% participation rate. The courses allow the students to earn college credits while in high school. North Central has over 188 full-time teachers, with an average student-teacher ratio of 20:1.
Penn High School
56100 Bittersweet Rd, Mishawaka, IN 46545
Penn High School is a top-performing public school located just outside Mishawaka, IN. It is the only school in the Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation district. Penn High is home to over 3,813 ninth through twelfth-grade students, making it one of the largest schools in the state.
The school is also one of the best performing in the state, with U.S News ranking it the 20th-best high school in Indiana. The school comprises eight academies that provide rigorous college preparatory programs to the students:
- Freshman Academy
- Early College Academy
- Fine Arts and Communications Academy
- Health and Human Services Academy
- Management and Business Academy
- STEM Academy
- World Languages Academy
- Exceptional Education Academy
The school offers 21 advanced placement courses, which attract a 45% participation rate. 34% of the students are enrolled in dual credit programs that allow them to earn college credits while in high school. The school boasts a 96% graduation rate, with students averaging 1,135 on SATs and 24 in ACT.
Carmel High School
520 E Main St, Carmel, IN 46032
Carmel High School is a highly-rated public school in the Carmel Clay Schools District. The school is home to over 5,414 students, the state’s largest 9-12 high school. Its school campus sits on 55 acres of land with over 1,046,572 square feet under roof.
The school has a large faculty team and staff that serves the students. The faculty consists of 323 teachers, administrators, and counselors. Over half of the teachers have over ten years of teaching experience, and one in five have taught for over 20 years. An additional 400 support staff bring the total high school staff to over 700.
Carmel High offers numerous academic programs, including 33 advanced placement courses, an International Baccalaureate program, dual credit classes, and three STEM programs. The school requires students to attain forty units of credits before graduating.
The school has a 97% high school graduation rate, with students averaging an SAT score of 1,235 and an ACT composite score of 27.
Indiana University Bloomington
107 S Indiana Ave, Bloomington, IN 47405
Indiana University Bloomington is a large public four-year research college that is the flagship campus for the Indian University system. The school is home to over 45,328 students. The Carnegie Foundation designates the university as an “R1: Doctoral Universities High Research Activity.”
The college has an acceptance rate of 85%, with students applying to the school having a high chance of getting in if they meet the admission requirements. The school typically admits students with an average GPA of 3.74.
Indiana residents can expect to pay $9,913 as tuition fees yearly, with out-of-state students shelling up to $36,932. Luckily, 78% of full-time students benefit from financial aid, with an average of $11,213 per student.
Notable Indiana University Bloomington Alumni
Mark Cuban – American businessman, film producer, investor, philanthropist, television personality, and writer
Laverne Cox – American actress and LGBT advocate. She rose to prominence with her role as Sophia Burset on the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black
Larry Bird – American former professional basketball player, coach, and executive in the National Basketball Association (NBA)
Jonathan Banks – American Actor known for Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul
Purdue University-Main Campus
610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN, 47907
Purdue University-Main Campus is a large public four-year land grant university. It serves roughly 50,344 students. The school is an “R1: Doctoral Universities Very High Research Activity” college under the Carnegie Classification.
Purdue University has an acceptance rate of 68.8%, with the admissions being moderately competitive. The school admits students with an average GPA of 3.67 and is in the top 22% of standardized admissions test results.
The school charges an annual tuition fee of roughly $9,718 to Indiana residents. Out-of-state students may have to pay $28,520 annually. 56% of students receive financial aid, with an average aid package of $10,778 per student.
Notable Purdue University Alumni
Neil Armstrong – American Astronaut and the first person to walk on the moon
Drew Brees – American former football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 20 seasons
Herman Cain – American businessman and Tea Party movement activist within the Republican Party
Ryan Newman – American professional stock car racing driver. He currently competes full-time in the SRX Camping World Series driving the No. 39
Ivy Tech Community College-Central Indiana
50 W. Fall Creek Parkway N. Indianapolis, IN 46208
Ivy Tech Community College-Central Indiana is a large public community college serving over 86,100 students, making it the state’s largest institution of higher learning. The school offers over 70 associate degrees and certification programs.
The school retains an open admissions policy, accepting applicants with a high school diploma or GED certificate that meets their admission requirements. The college grants admissions throughout the year.
In-state resident students may pay an average tuition fee of $4,487. Out-of-state students spend around $8,777 in tuition fees. 73% of students receive financial aid, an average of $5,717 per student.
Finding The Right School For Your Child
Indiana has a robust educational landscape with numerous prestigious public and private schools. It is also home to massive school campuses that serve multiple thousands of students.
The large campuses offer unique academic programs and numerous extracurricular opportunities. The schools on this list would be an excellent fit for families searching for good-performing schools to enlist their children.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Brocreative/Shutterstock.com.