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Alternative school options in South Bend prepare for higher enrollment

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The "Focus 2018" plan, proposed by the South Bend Community School Corporation, has shaken the South Bend Community.

Many are at a loss of what to do, and are unclear what may happen.

ABC57 News received messages from concerned parents, about the changes to the school day times, as well as the restructuring and relocating.

Many parents said, they were considering alternative options, like charter and private schools, to send their kids to, next year. 

One option, is the Xavier School of Excellence, which is a public charter school.

"We are really excited because Xavier School of Excellence is a great place. Everyone who walks in here feels the warmth from staff and students," says Samantha Smith.

Smith is the director of the school, and takes pride in working there.

She says, she wasn't entirely surprised, when SBCSC announced "Focus 2018."

"It doesn't shock me. I understand having to restructure, because when we lost students, we had to lose teachers as well," explains Smith. "We can have 300 plus students here, but currently we only have 190.  So each year, we're finding that they are decreasing, which affects school big time."

With parents, across the district, unhappy with the changes to their kids' schools,  many are looking elsewhere.

Smith says they'll be ready for parents to choose them, and they're anticipating more enrollment. 

"We already have the classrooms. We would just need additional teachers," she explains. "But we're pretty sure we'll be receiving some teachers, because they'll be losing their positions, so they'll need a place to teach."

Since the plan was just announced Tuesday, the Xavier School of Excellence has yet to meet with the board about seriously preparing. 

But Smith says they're excited and looking forward to helping make a difference in South Bend's future. 

"Getting more students and being able to help the community grow more, and successfully, is always a great thing," she adds. 

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