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Collegiate school for arts in Indianapolis announces closure; 200+ students affected

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — HIM by HER Foundation announced Tuesday it will close its charter school by Jan. 20.

The foundation says it does not have the enrollment numbers needed to keep its collegiate school for the arts opened. The school has more than 200 students. It’s located in the former Forest Manor Middle School on East 32nd Street just west of Emerson Avenue on the city’s east side. The middle school closed in 2009.

Parents were urged to start looking at other options as soon as possible.

The school will hold an enrollment fair from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 6 and 14.

Harry Dunn, one of the co-founders, is a former homicide detective with Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. The school received support initially from former Pacers player George Hill.

Letter to parents

“SUBJECT: Permanent School Closure (January 20, 2023 is the Last Day of Operation)

“To All Parents of Children Enrolled at HIM By HER™ Collegiate School for the Arts:

“It is with a heavy heart that we present this letter to you, the valued parents of our young scholars of HIM By HER™ Collegiate School for the Arts (HBHCSA). After HBHCSA’s initial opening in the Fall of 2020, during a once-in-a-century pandemic, the School has steadily grown to have well over 200 students. We take pride in the many young lives positively affected. HBHCSA has been the anchor of a community development center like no other in Indianapolis. The proof is in the large number of students, parents and community members served and impacted. That impact has been achieved through extensive afterschool programs, strategic partnerships with governmental and non- governmental entities, dedicated staff members, and your support.

“HBCSA is more than a standard academic institution, as it has provided a safe place daily until 8:00 p.m. for social, emotional and physical development. Some of our accomplishments include establishing a primary school genuinely infused with the arts and student performances; providing free academic tutoring for all HBHCSA students; allowing weekly participation in the Enterprise Village™, where children learn finance, civics, and entrepreneurship; and providing various youth and adult mentoring programs and wrap-around services.

“While we have made great strides as a school—including admirable enrollment growth—we do not currently have an enrollment that can continue to support and maintain the large 200,000 square foot building we lease.

“After considering all reasonable options, the HBHCSA School Board has decided that HIM By HER™ Collegiate School for the Arts will close all operations. We will be phasing out classes as soon as practicable, but none of the primary school operations will continue after January 20, 2023. While we made valiant efforts to avoid this decision, we nonetheless very much regret delivering this news during the holiday season.

The enrollment of your children in another suitable school of your choice is now the priority. We encourage you to immediately begin looking for other schools, and encourage you to contact Enroll Indy (Internet website:; Telephone: (317) 426-3234; Email: Please be on the lookout for important emails and even telephone calls in the coming days, and feel free to contact our office with questions. Please note that an enrollment fair will be held at the School on Friday, January 6, 2023, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., where other area schools are expected to present information about enrolling there. A second enrollment fair will also take place on January 14, 2023, if needed.

“We are truly sorry to have to deliver this news, as your children have been a blessing. We pray for the success and happiness of all the families we have had the great pleasure to serve!”

Harry Dunn and Michelle Dunn, co-founders; Gregory P. Gadson, executive director; and Sondra Towne-Brender, superintendent and principal