New charter high school announced for downtown South Bend

Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 6:23 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The Career and Success Academy charter network is expanding in South Bend after announcing the opening of a new high school near the downtown medical mile.

They’re calling it The Portage School of Leaders because that’s what they’re hoping to get out of the students who go here.

While leadership skills obviously have their advantages after graduation, these students will be using them from day one, in and out of the classroom.

“The experiential learning part is going to be a major tenent for the experience here for students,” said Career and Success Academy Superintendent Jeremy Lugbill.

That’s part of the formula that sets the Career and Success Academy schools apart from many other schools in our area, both in curriculum and in the rankings.

Both the Career Academy High School and Middle School earned an “A” rating from the Indiana Department of Education. No other public school in South Bend besides Adams High School earned that rating. The Success Academy primary school was given a “B” rating by the state.

The Portage School of Leaders looks to build on that success while also letting their students decide where their learning journey will take them.

“So, that means we have to listen to what their interests are, what their passions are, and care about what they’re interested in in their lives, and bring that into the classroom and into the academic experience,” said Portage School for Leaders Head of School Dr. Andrew Hoyt.

Administrators say they’re also committed to empowering their teachers in the same way.

“Teachers having autonomy to make decisions that are best for students I think is going to be really important. We want to hire the best teachers, but I see us really attracting local teachers to be a part of, again, something new, and innovative, and different,” Lugbill said.

Their approach doesn’t measure success just on test scores and quiz results, because they understand that college will not be the next step for all their students.

“We’re looking to measure success not just on the traditional academic ways, but also with those employability skills, those long-lasting durable skills they’re going to need to be successful so we’re going to be looking at all of those,” he said.

So whether your student’s pathway is toward further education, a career, or a trade, they can get on track at the Portage School of Leaders starting this fall.

Enrollment is open and they’re only accepting 150 applications on a first-come first served basis.

Click this link to head to their application page.