in the southwest corner of Indianapolis, the Metropolitan School
District of Decatur Township is one of Marion County's 11 public
attend the corporation's centralized kindergarten program (Early
Childhood Center), four elementaries (Lynwood, Stephen Decatur,
Valley Mills and West Newton), Decatur Middle School and Decatur
Central High School. The total enrollment is approximately 5,600.
That total enrollment is served by 372 full-time teachers, 33 administrators
and 266 non-teaching staff members.
MSD of Decatur Township's percentage of students receiving free/reduced
lunches and textbooks for the 2001-02 school year was about 40 percent,
eclipsing the state average of 32 percent. That characteristic corresponds
with 2000 U.S. Census figures for Decatur Township showing the median
family income at $35,000 with about 5 percent receiving public assistance.
serving students from the Camby, West Newton, Valley Mills, Mars
Hill and Seerly Creek neighborhoods, the MSD of Decatur Township's
enrollment includes African-American students from the Indianapolis
area bordered by Fall Creek Parkway, Central Avenue and 34th Street.
That area is known as the Mapleton-Fall Creek neighborhood, and
its 420 students are transported by bus to and from Decatur Township
daily under a federal court order intended to desegregate Indianapolis
students who make the daily trek from Mapleton-Fall Creek and back
make a majority of the school corporation's minority population.
About 90 percent of the MSD of Decatur Township's student body are
construction starts have exceeded 300 homes for the last four years,
and that number figures to increase annually in the future. Decatur
Township's population is approximately 24,000 and increasing. The
flood of new homes with elementary school- and middle school-age
children has created a space problem for some MSD of Decatur Township
meet the space needs, as well as addressing aging buildings in need
of large-scale improvements, the corporation will later this year
break ground on a construction/renovation project. The project will
essentially raze and rebuild Stephen Decatur Elementary School,
carry out extensive renovations at West Newton and construct two
intermediate schools, connected by common facilities, at Mann Road
and Epler Avenue. When the township's tax base will accommodate
another construction/renovation project, Decatur Central High School
is in need of serious remodeling and expansion work.
MSD of Decatur Township, however, realizes that new or refurbished
buildings are only a part of the overall process to make educational
opportunities as effective as possible. The corporation is partnering
with Indiana University to embark on a district-wide Journey Toward
Excellence. That effort strives to ensure the corporation is helping
every student reach his or her potential, every teacher to be more
effective and fulfilled in delivering instruction, every parent
play a more meaningful role in their child's education, and every
administrator to be more effective in facilitating all the above.
systemic change movement is timely because Decatur Township is now
well into evolving from a heavy concentration of farming and somewhat
rural characteristics to being more of an industrial- and commercial-based
locale. Much of that transformation results from the development
of AmeriPlex, the state's largest business park. Unfortunately,
some of the industrial entities within AmeriPlex's boundaries received
tax relief incentives as part of their establishing operations locally,
and the school corporation has sacrificed because of a smaller commercial
property tax base.
since being founded in 1995, the mixed-use business center has attracted
major corporations, manufacturing/distribution companies, employers
offering professional opportunities and retail entities. Much of
AmeriPlex's drawing power for the business community is its location.
It is located 1.5 miles south of Interstate 465 on State Road 67
(Kentucky Avenue). That locale offers excellent access to the Decatur
Township, Wayne Township, Mooresville and Greenwood areas and their
school systems. As those communities and the Plainfield, Avon and
Brownsburg communities continue to grow AmeriPlex's potential blossoms
business park is conducive to working hand-in-hand with a fast growing
region that features quality infrastructure and plenty of employment
opportunities in one of the fastest growing housing markets in the
Indianapolis metropolitan and surrounding areas.
a result, AmeriPlex is interested in assisting in establishing an
institute of higher education within the park, or nearby. The reciprocal
benefits of such a venture would include AmeriPlex and local communities
boasting all the vocational and quality of life amenities that can
contribute to student recruitment. Conversely, AmeriPlex would benefit
from access to qualified and well prepared additions to the working
world, as well as employees who have more chances than ever before
to improve themselves from a vocational standpoint.
For a brief written history of the Decatur Township schools, click here...
further information, contact Becky Brodhacker by email at
or by phone at
this link to go to the MSD