In August 2010, Indianapolis Public Schools and Butler
University signed an agreement to create the IPS/Butler University
Laboratory School, a public magnet elementary school housed in the
district's William A. Bell School No. 60, 3330 N. Pennsylvania Ave.
The school opened one year later for kindergarten and grade 1. The
program will grow a grade level each year to encompass grades
Led by Dean Ena Shelley, Butler College of Education (COE)
helped design the Lab school concept, and has worked with IPS to
oversee its curriculum and assessment development. The curriculum
is inspired by the practices and inspirations of Reggio Emilia, an
educational philosophy that Shelley has studied and helped
introduce to numerous central Indiana schools.
Earlier, the COE and three local school districts interested in
Reggio early education techniques formed the Indianapolis Reggio
Collaborative. In 2009, the collaborative brought a traveling
exhibit on Reggio education, "The Wonder of Learning: The Hundred
Languages of Children," to Indianapolis for a six-month stay in the
Indiana State House. The exhibit, and workshops and discussions
based on it, inspired creation of the IPS/Butler Lab School.
In 2011, Butler received a $100,000 grant from the PNC
Foundation to allow St. Mary's Child Center to offer preschool for
children ages 3-5 at the Lab School. Later that year, the Roberts
Family Foundation provided a $150,000 grant, also supporting the