South Bend Community School Corp. Superintendent Ken Spells has announced a major reorganization proposal designed to address lower enrollment and district finances, as well as maintain United States Justice Department compliance. "Focus 2018: Design For The Future" involves closing or repurposing multiple schools and returning middle schools to a six through eight model. The reorganization plan, the district says, will not affect the grade-level makeup of its high schools.
Spells says "the Board of School Trustees asked me to develop a plan which included a change to the grade configuration, new bell times for all levels, and closing and repurposing several schools. I am confident that this plan will enable the district to increase student engagement and academic success while maintaining fiscal responsibility."
Focus 2018 calls for three schools to close: Greene Intermediate, Brown Intermediate and the Eggleston Center. Three others, Perley Fine Arts Academy, Marshall Intermediate Center and Clay Intermediate, would be repurposed and Rise Up Academy, a magnet school for 11th and 12th graders, would be relocated. Magnet school and Montessori school options would be expanded, as would the dual language program at McKinley Primary Center and a Project Lead the Way program at Jackson Intermediate Center.
Board President Stan Wruble says "it is our responsibility to ensure the vitality of South Bend Schools for the community and its current and future students. The Board will review this plan carefully and thoughtfully, along with the public feedback. We appreciate the tremendous effort that went into developing this recommendation."
You can connect to more details of the plan and provide feedback by clicking here. A public forum is slated for November 27 at 5:30 p.m. at the Century Center downtown. A vote by the board is scheduled for December 18. If approved, the plan would still need DOJ approval. It could go into effect August 2018.