Indianapolis Public Schools proudly offers students rigorous instruction, intended to challenge, develop and strengthen their minds through exciting and engaging learning opportunities. Students and families soon to join the new Center for Inquiry School 70 for the 2016-2017 school year are about to experience a sneak peak of all the new learning environment has to offer as Center for Inquiry School 84 families welcome IPS Principal Kathleen Miller.


Center for Inquiry (CFI) is one of IPS’ highest performing academic programs, serving elementary and middle grades through International Baccalaureate curricula and enriching extracurricular activities. The three sites are now welcoming a fourth, and the leaders of the schools are all set to ensure a smooth transition.

“I look forward to joining a school with a unique instructional philosophy which aligns to my core beliefs about student learning,” said Miller. “It is important to me to give Ms. Collier, the staff, students, and families of CFI 84 credit for their success. I am excited to build on this foundation and continue to further the academic achievement of CFI schools in Indianapolis. I look forward to partnering with the entire school community to ensure students are equipped with the necessary skills to attain an IB high school diploma, attend a college of their choice, and fulfill the mission of becoming lifelong learners, capable of understanding and contributing to the world around them.”


Miller received her undergraduate degree from Furman University, and completed her Master’s degree in educational leadership at New York’s Columbia University. She has a proven track record of student achievement and innovation in school initiatives. Miller currently serves as Principal of William McKinley School 39, where she is in her third year of leadership. She was previously Assistant Principal of Paul I. Miller School 114.


“I am extremely proud of our team at William McKinley and the work we have been able to accomplish over the last few years.  We have a lot of positive momentum and I believe William McKinley will continue to accomplish great things.  There is no doubt that the talent at William McKinley will yield continued positive outcomes for our students. It has been a privilege to serve at this excellent neighborhood school.  This community will always hold a special place in my heart.”  


The CFI schools – housing our most frequently waitlisted choice programs – have received a record number of applicants for 2016-2017 and, combined, will be able to serve nearly 1,500 IPS students. Unlike the three other sites – which serve students from within their nearest geographic boundaries – the new CFI School 70 will uniquely serve students from across our district. The new site, located 510 E. 46th St., Indianapolis, was established in response to consistent overwhelming demand for program expansion; this effort will allow for even greater diversity and access and help alleviate lengthy waitlists.


As part of the district’s new Autonomous Schools Pilot program, CFI administrators at each of the four sites will have the flexibility to make strategic decisions that will best serve the students within their schools. Each school will receive a variety of supports to ensure their success with this transition to increased flexibility. Continued discussions will aid school leadership teams in adjusting their school designs to fit the specific needs of students and staff. Continued collaboration between community partners and the IPS administration will provide additional resources for principals, along with implementation guidance throughout the 2016-2017 school year. 


Families of the new CFI School 70 are invited to join school leaders for a can’t-miss informational/organizational session on March 2 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the current school 70 location (Nicholson Performing Arts School 70.) This will be the first opportunity to walk the building together as a new school family to understand the layout of the soon-to-come CFI program, and another may not come until much later this spring. We urge CFI parents to mark their calendars; and this is an important time to connect with families to gain invaluable input on essential planning items. We look forward to our first gathering in what will be the new CFI in just a few months!