Tarkington is the K-4 traditional school for students whose home schools are Darden, McKinley, Muessel, Perley and Swanson. Traditional schools are designed to provide students the opportunity for academic, social and emotional growth in a highly structured, back-to-basics environment. The schools place a strong emphasis on high academic standards, student responsibility, and active parental involvement. Enrollment is controlled by the district, capacity and racial compliance. Transportation is provided to all students who live outside the walk area for the school.
Traditional School opened in 1960 with 12 classrooms and a gymnasium. On 1965 an addition was built. It is named after Booth Tarkington who was born in Indianapolis on July 29, 1869. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction two times, in 1919 and 1922, for his novels The Magnificent Ambersons and Alice Adams.