Students talk about ways to tackle declining enrollment

Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 11:41 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Students in South Bend schools say they want people to know it is a great place to learn.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County hosted a community action meeting Tuesday to help tackle declining enrollment.

Education leaders from all over South Bend have been meeting for several months to discuss the issue.

They are working together to find a solution that is both comprehensive and collaborative.

Students said:

“South Bend schools are unique.”

“Teachers are the backbone of our schools.”

“A lot of pressure has been put on our teachers.”

“We need to all come together.”

“What would happen if we shared resources?”

“How can we make schools more inviting?”

“Tonight we are highlighting the students because this is who it’s all about. If we are not getting their voices heard, we are definitely missing the mark somewhere,” said Principal at Purdue Polytechnic High School Justin Zobrosky.

Zobrosky has been organizing community action meetings to help bring 2,000 students back into South Bend schools.

“I think this is a very complex issue that’s going to take a lot of professionals and very smart people to get involved in solving,” said Justin Zobrosky.

He put together a focus group, made up of educators, who will eventually come up with a long-term plan to help boost student enrollment and attract teachers.

But right now it is all about listening and having honest conversations.

“Right now I’m just trying to start a conversation. How do we reverse the enrollment trends in our city’s schools. Like I said, I don’t know the answer to that, I’ve got some ideas, but I need everybody else’s help too,” said Justin Zobrosky.

Zobrosky says South Bend has a special place in his heart.

“And I am a proud product of South Bend schools. And with that, I see our enrollment dropping and I always ask why. That’s what I’m trying to find out. I think we can fix it if we work together,” said Justin Zobrosky.

These community action meetings are held quarterly.