My daughter is a student in Swampscott. So far we have had nothing but an amazing experience. There was just a 1 million dollar private science grant given, they foster arts and music. The athletics programs have been exceptional. I don't know much about Ipswich but I can say that Swampscott is a great place to live if you have children.
Both systems have good academic reputations. The key is to find out how the budgets are run as far as athletic and cultural after school programs. You can link to both town sites from my website by using the "Community Research" tab