Butler/IPS Partnerships

History of Shortridge

The original Shortridge was Indianapolis' first public high school and the city's premier college preparatory institution for more than a century. Several Butler alumni are graduates of the first Shortridge. The school was named for Abram Shortridge, an educator invited by then-Butler President Allen Benton to come to Indianapolis in the 1880s to create a high school feeder program for the University.

Closed in 1981, and then used briefly as a middle school, Shortridge was reborn in 2009 as a magnet high school through the partnership of Butler and IPS. Butler faculty collaborated with IPS and community representatives in the magnet's two-year planning and curriculum development process. Shortridge Magnet opened with students in grades 6-9; a new grade has been added every year toward the goal of serving grades 6-12 by fall 2012.

Shortridge's project-based college preparatory program focuses on the principles of democracy, justice, respect and service to others. Students prepare for their role as citizens while exploring legal and social justice careers. They can earn early college credit though Butler while developing public-speaking, problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

A major advocate of the Shortridge initiative, former Butler President Bobby Fong believed that the partnership would generate concepts that help all students transition smoothly from secondary to higher education, benefitting both the University and community. "We will pioneer ideas by which other universities and civic partners can advance public education outcomes," he said. "We will not only work to improve high school completion rates among these students but also to prepare them to enter and graduate from college."

In 2001, Butler administrators presented information about the University involvement with Shortridge to the New American Colleges & Universities (NAC&U) Summer Institute in New York City.