INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Public Schools Board approved a plan Monday night to open a fourth Center For Inquiry magnet program in School 70 on the city’s Northside.
The popular program has a wait list of 300 students across the city who will now be offered admission at the new school for the 2016-17 school year.
That means the Nicholson Performing Arts Academy currently at School 70, 510 E. 46th St., will relocate to School 43, 77 S. White River Parkway Drive, in Downtown next year.
The vote ends a couple of turbulent weeks for parents and school staff who found out about the proposed changes through media reports. IPS administration and board members faced criticism from community members and even the city’s mayor-elect over how the changes were communicated.
IPS Superintendent Lewis Ferebee said the relocation would allow the arts magnet to be closer to downtown performance organizations. The middle school at Broad Ripple Magnet High School for the Arts and Humanities will also relocate to School 43 to create a K-8 school focused on the arts.
Last month the board voted to close The Key Learning Center at School 43 at the end of this school year due to weakening of its curriculum inspired by the Multiple Intelligences theory.
Monday the board vote 5-1 to relocate School 70 and create the new CFI program.
IPS Board Commissioner Gayle Cosby, the only no vote, has questioned, what she calls, “the disproportionate enrollment” of white students in two of the three CFI schools. She has asked the district to study ways to increase diversity in high performing magnet programs, like CFI.
Center for Inquiry's curriculum is based on "inquiry-based learning" and the three schools -- No. 2, 27 and 84 -- are International Baccalaureate World Schools.
According to IPS, the program's waitlist of 310 students includes, 48 percent white students and 42 percent black and Hispanic students.
School 70 is expected to hold around 500 students as a CFI program.