Indianapolis’ Marion Academy strives to keep kids out of the juvenile system July 1, 2015

Starting with the 2015-2016 school year, education will remain a priority for youths in the Marion County Juvenile Detention Center and students facing expulsion or other disciplinary problems. About 200 sixth- through 12th-graders are expected to enroll at Marion Academy, with about 90 students being taught at the juvenile detention center until their release.

A June 16 ribbon cutting was held for the charter school, believed to be the first school in the country collaborating with a juvenile court. Teachers and other staff will help students develop academic skills and cope with emotional and behavior issues. By the 2018-2019 school year, school leaders expect to reach enrollment of 450 students at the school and detention center.

In 2014, the Indianapolis Mayor’s Office approved the charter for Marion Academy, located in the former Indianapolis Public School Number 68 on North Riley Avenue. After IFF provided a site search, due diligence, and lease negotiation, the school entered a two-year contract with IPS to use the building. This marks the second lease facilitated by IFF between IPS and a charter school.

The school was conceived by Marion Superior Court Judge Clark Rodgers and Charles Parkins, the detention center’s former superintendent, with Goodwill Education Initiatives, the nonprofit operating the Excel Center adult recovery school network.

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