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Fate of South Bend school now in hands of state education officials

NOW: Fate of South Bend school now in hands of state education officials

The fate of one South Bend school is now in the hands of the state. After five straight years of failing accountability grades, state education leaders say Navarre Intermediate Center is considered an “F” school, so they held a hearing to discuss the school’s future, and close to half of the school’s gym filled with parents students and staff spoke on the matter.

“It is an absolute gold mine for talent, intelligence. These kids can do anything. We just need the resources to get them there,” said one teacher.

Students, staff, and former Navarre Jaguars took to the podium Thursday evening with a passionate message for the Indiana State Board of Education. Navarre intermediate center could be subject to state intervention after earning failing grades for 5 years straight. Those annual letter grades are based on the state’s standardized ISTEP tests.

“What our test scores reveal, we are more than that,” said Alondra Coria, 8th grade student Navarre.

Some options moving forward include merging Navarre with another nearby school, assigning a special management team to come in, approving one of two different school corp. plans, or closing the school altogether. (Full list of options below.)

8th grader Alondra Coria, who spoke at that hearing, says it’s certain areas that lack.

“The teachers are not the problem, we just need a little more time and like they said, a little bit more resources,” said Alondra Coria.

And former Navarre student, who also held the mic, says its parent involvement.

“Their children really need their help and they need them to be a part of their school life, not just their life at home and basically letting them know, they’re there with them and not only the teachers care about what grades they’re getting in school,” said Bryanna McFadden, Former Navarre student.

Dr. Kenneth Spells noted the comment and says he’s looking forward to working with his staff on the options to improve the school.

“This was a great meeting, they got to see the community passion. I don’t want to speculate what the state is going to do, I know what we’re going to do. We’re going to continue to improve parental involvement. We have great kids here, you heard them tonight. We have great teachers that are passionate about what they’re doing,” said Dr. Kenneth Spells, SBCSC Superintendent.

The Board of Education will take the info from the hearing and consider that to either take action on a plan in the coming months or simply continue to monitor the school.

Their full list of state intervention options are as follows:

1.    Merge the school with a nearby school that is in a higher category.

2.    Assign a special management team to operate all or part of the school.

3.    Approve the school’s plan to create a transformation zone.

4.    Approve the schools plan to create an innovation network school.

5.    The IDOE’s recommendations for improvement.

6.    Other options for school improvement expressed at the public hearing.

7.    Closing the school.

If you weren’t at the hearing but want to submit a comment about the future of Navarre Intermediate Center, email the Indiana State Board of Education using this email and be sure to clarify that is has to do with Navarre Intermediate.

sboe_comment@sboe.in.gov

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