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
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