The South Bend Community School Corporation held a listening forum yesterday where residents had an opportunity to give feedback to school leaders about the proposed Focus 2018 school plan.
Focus 2018 aims to address enrollment drops and funding cuts by changing school start times, moving fifth grade classes back into elementary schools and closing three schools. The plan would repurpose three other schools in the district, using a school as a K-8 full district magnet school.
While many parents praised the work of the administration and Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Spells, they expressed frustration with district changes and the closing and repurposing of schools. Some parents agreed with some of the changes being proposed, most notably moving fifth graders back to elementary schools, thus creating middle schools again instead of intermediate schools.
The most disagreed on topic throughout the night was the Perley School repurposing. Many parents said the feeling of community and the feeling of a small school makes Perley ideal for their students. The overall sentiment was disapproval of pulling students out of current schools, as well as the timeline of the proposed changes, when parents are currently trying to enroll students into magnet programs.