Cummings: ‘Academic outcomes’ at core of SBCSC Facilities Master Plan

Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 5:09 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - South Bend Schools’ top officials held a media roundtable on Tuesday to further discuss a plan that could result in the closure of Clay High School.

“This is all about ensuring academic outcomes, ensuring that students are able to read on grade level and graduate from high school. And so, in doing this, this allows us to ensure that we’re putting in our money into teachers and programs that work while ensuring that we protect the fine arts program and that we can be fiscally responsible for the future,” noted Dr. Todd Cummings, SBCSC Superintendent.

On Monday, the school board heard consulting firm HPM’s presentation that included recommendations to close Clay High School after the 2023-2024 school year and relocate its fine arts program to Riley High School.

Additional recommendations are renovating Washington High School into a medical magnet, forming a new career center, and creating strategic feeder alignment between the elementary and high schools.

“Any decisions we make affects students, families, employees and neighborhoods,” said John Anella, President of the South Bend School Board.

The district is asking the school board to accept a plan at the meeting on April 17th.

Regardless the plan that is adopted, SBCSC Chief Financial Officer Kareemah Fowler said the framework will be flexible.

“This is a living document so while the board will vote on some things, it has to be continually reviewed as things are happening in the corporation,” said Fowler.

Prior to the April meeting, the district will hold two listening sessions. Those dates have yet to be announced. Dr. Cummings will also hold a social media listening session for students.

This Friday, SBCSC will send out community surveys regarding the Facilities Master Plan.

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