There are various exciting educational advancements taking place in Indianapolis Public Schools beginning in fall 2016. The Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) program currently housed in Nicholson Performing Arts Academy at School 70 will be relocating to Thomas A. Edison School 47, the current site of Key Learning Community. The larger building will allow the VPA program to expand from a K-5 to a K-8 school potentially offering more educationally interactive classes. The Nicholson Performing Arts will be the site for the fourth CFI School. Meanwhile, Broad Ripple High School for the Arts and Humanities will phase out middle school grades and will continue as the high school choice option for the VPA curriculum. All students currently at Nicholson Performing Arts will be guaranteed enrollment at the Edison site. With all of these changes, there is one thing that remains the same; an aura of positivity.

Nicholson Performing Arts Principal Nathan Tuttle, says he is looking forward to the move. “I’m excited about moving to the Edison building because this opens up the opportunity for us to serve K-8 students. We have described the different renovations that need to take place, such as a black box theater and dance studio. I’m hopeful everything will be ready by next fall so we can have maximum capacity in the building and be fully equipped to accommodate all of our students’ needs,” says Tuttle.

Wednesday, November 25th, there will be an open house at the Edison site for current Nicholson Performing Arts parents and students to be able to walk through the building and see precisely where the students will be learning every day. The open house will give parents a chance to envision how elementary and middle school students will enjoy separate learning environments within the building. Tuttle says he will have floor plans to share with parents and students that attend the open house.

“Our new building is made to have different grade levels; the elementary students will have a completely closed off wing. The only spaces that could potentially be shared will be the lunchroom and possibly an art room, just not at the same time,” says Tuttle.

Phasing out the middle school grade levels at Broad Ripple will be beneficial as the school a good asset to both schools as Broad Ripple High School transitions to a 9-12 comprehensive Magnet high school environment. Dr. Williams, principal at Broad Ripple High School says there are many positive aspects of the changes, noting that separating the grade levels will better prepare students for post-secondary educational environments.

“The school’s magnet and curriculum alignment will reflect a new arts and humanities college or conservatory type model. In the 2016 – 2017 school year, each magnet program will become its own school with majors for specialization as several other arts high school and college level or conservatory programs already model. This model will allow for more personalized learning and will create a more focused instructional track for students that will prepare them for post-secondary study and performance experiences,” says Dr. Williams.

A fourth CFI school will be located at Nicholson Performing Arts Academy; the school will open with grades K-5, adding higher grades over time to expand to a K-8 site. CFI IV will implement the Primary Years Programme at grades K-5 and eventually the Middle Years Programme at grades 6-8. CFI students who choose to attend Shortridge International Baccalaureate High School will be able to benefit from the full continuum of IB programs.

Current Nicholson Performing Arts Academy students will be given lottery preference if they choose to apply for the new CFI rather than opting to continue their VPA studies at the Edison site. Students who are currently on the CFI waitlist, will be enrolled in the new CFI IV.

We are excited about the changes happening in our district. To learn more about school configuration changes and districtwide academic offerings, visit

“This transition is going to take a little bit of growing, but everything will be fine, I’m committed to making sure that a sense of positivity is kept during this entire process,” says Tuttle.