Education breaks down barriers and promotes progress. As we head into the summer break, we wanted to shine a spotlight on Enroll Indy, helping parents in Indianapolis find the right school for their child.
Getting an excellent education is a key to getting a great start in life. For many families, however, navigating the school choice, application, and enrollment process can be a major hurdle to making the right choices for their children. By partnering with local schools and other community organizations, Enroll Indy is working to ensure that no families miss out due to a lack of knowledge and resources.
Enroll Indy is designed to streamline and demystify the often-daunting process of choosing a school and getting children enrolled. Since 2015, the organization has worked with Indianapolis Public Schools, the City of Indianapolis, and the Indiana Charter School Board to build and implement a school application process that prioritizes equity, transparency, and accessibility for all families.
Families can access a variety of support and research options through Enroll Indy. The School Finder feature allows families to view profiles of schools in their area, filtering by factors like programs offered, location, performance metrics, and more. Schools can also create and update their profiles to highlight what families need and want to know. Through the OneMatch common application, over a dozen individual application processes are streamlined, allowing families to apply to all at once and receive the best matches possible. Even school transfers can be streamlined through the same system, reducing some of the pressures and systemic barriers on many families.
Along the way, Enroll Indy provides real-time support and guidance over the phone, via email, and in-person, with services offered in English, French, and Spanish, and other translation services as needed. The organization also improves the accuracy of the data that is, in turn, used to inform government and educational bodies about where their attention is most needed.
“These family choice options are one tool that a city can use to provide parents with more equitable access to an excellent education. It gives parents a way to give feedback to the system through their choices and the degree to which certain types of schools are in demand,” says Bill Murphy, Director of Enroll Indy. According to Murphy, programs like those offered by Enroll Indy are critical to truly achieving equity in education.
“Oftentimes, people say parents will ‘vote with their feet,’ but the problem with this analogy is that it assumes all parents have access to metaphorical sidewalks, walking shoes, and maps. It assumes all families can walk, no one uses a wheelchair, and everyone has the same distance and terrain to travel. Unfortunately, because of systematic exclusion and oppression, not all families have equitable access to different options, or the ability to exercise choice,” Murphy explains.“That’s where Enroll Indy comes in. We serve as guides and assistants to support and educate families, maximizing their ability to exercise school choice. In a system where not every school option is excellent, we provide a way of making sure that no one is locked out of a high-quality education because of their zip code, income, or social influence.”
By addressing systemic barriers to educational opportunities, Enroll Indy is part of ensuring that the next generation has a brighter future!