The mission of Center for Inquiry is to develop a community of respectful life-long learners who use inquiry, critical thinking, and problem solving skills to become socially responsible contributors to a changing global society.

CFI Vision Statement 

CFI is a diverse, equitable, inclusive family of public International Baccalaureate schools whose community members consider multiple perspectives and are inspired to reflect, collaborate, and take action to make a positive impact on the world. 

The Center for Inquiry opened as a choice program in 1993. It was the product of a collaborative effort between a group of Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) teachers and several faculty members from the School of Education at Indiana University, Bloomington and Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI). The teachers and professors obtained a grant to spend time over two years learning about holistic inquiry-based teaching (Short & Harste, with Burke, 1996) and critical literacy (Lewison, Leland, & Harste, 2015). 

The original CFI program was housed in one wing of a larger IPS school and included five classroom teachers, one inclusion teacher, and about 100 K-5 children. The program has now blossomed to include four campuses, with over 160 staff members, serving over 1,600 children in grades K-8!

The Center for Inquiry Schools follow the International Baccalaureate Organization model. The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) promotes intercultural understanding and respect, not as an alternative to a sense of cultural and national identity, but as an essential part of life in the 21st century.

All of this is captured in the IB mission statement:

The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

IB programs are offered at three levels:

  • Primary Years Programme (PYP)
  • Middle Years Programme (MYP)
  • Diploma Programme (DP)

CFI is implementing the Primary Years Programme at grades K-5 and the Middle Years Programme at grades 6-8. Both programs are whole-school and all-inclusive at CFI. CFI students selecting to attend Shortridge High School will be able to benefit from the full continuum of IB programs.

Authorized Programmes:

  • PYP: CFI 2, CFI 27, CFI 70, and CFI 84 are fully authorized to offer the Primary Years Programme at grades K-5.
  • MYP: CFI 2, CFI 27, CFI 84 are fully authorized to offer the Middle Years Programme at grades 6-8.

Candidate Schools:

  • MYP: CFI 70