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Plans Call For Closing Or Merging 5 South Bend Schools

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Under the plan at least 1,200 students would be relocated, fifth-graders would go back to elementary school, start times would change and a new magnet school would emerge.

The South Bend Community School Corporation announced plans for major changes to their district this week as it seeks, in part, to avoid major financial issues. Officials see the shift as a way to better align resources amidst declining enrollment.

There aren’t enough kids to fill South Bend Community Schools to their full capacity. This week officials unveiled a proposal to close or re-purpose six elementary and middle schools. Superintendent Ken Spells says consolidating building costs will allow the district to improve.

“And then we can align those resources in a better fashion to support more student programs and making sure our students are college and career ready,” he says.

Spells says South Bend saw an enrollment decrease of more than 400 students this year. This type of decline has forced a number of public schools around the state to shuffle funds and building plans in recent years. Spells says he hopes the proposed changes will attract more families to the district and help reverse enrollment losses.

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