South Bend, IN

South Bend residents divided over SBCSC's Facilities Master Plan proposal

The Bendr Daily
The South Bend Community Schools CorporationPhoto byWNDU News

South Bend Community Schools Corporation (SBCSC) has proposed a Facilities Master Plan aimed at addressing declining enrollment and enhancing student achievement. One of the plan's recommendations includes the closure of Clay High School, a move that has sparked mixed reactions among community members.

The school board hosted two community meetings to gather feedback on the proposal, with the first taking place at LaSalle Academy. Attendees at the meeting also discussed other suggestions in the plan, including the renovation of Washington High School for a medical magnet program, the establishment of a new career center, and the implementation of strategic feeder alignment from primary to secondary schools with community input.

Some residents expressed support for the plan to close Clay High School and Warren Elementary School, citing the need to align school boundaries and enhance parent involvement. Others opposed the move, arguing that it would negatively impact students in Clay Township, while others raised concerns about overcrowding in Adams and the fate of the Clay K to 8 program.

The proposed plan has also rekindled memories of the 2020 school referendum, with some residents accusing the corporation of "bamboozling" the public into supporting the $220 million referendum, which promised to rightsize schools.

The SBCSC is set to present the plan to the school board on April 17, following the second community meeting on April 12 at Jackson Middle School. The district hopes to address declining enrollment, increase student achievement, and optimize the use of school resources with the Facilities Master Plan.

While the SBCSC awaits the school board's decision, community members continue to engage in conversations on how best to enhance the education system in South Bend.

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South Bend, IN

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