Goshen parents react to repurposing of Chandler Elementary

NOW: Goshen parents react to repurposing of Chandler Elementary

GOSHEN, Ind.-- Goshen Community Schools announced a big change to the district. In a press release sent Wednesday, plans are in motion to close Chandler Elementary and turn the building into a career and technical education center for the students at Goshen High School.

The district stated "selecting Chandler in no way indicates negativity about the school… Chandler was chosen because it is close to Goshen High School."

NightTeam was notified of plans to close down the school just before 4 p.m. Wednesday, but all the parents ABC57 talked to say they had absolutely no idea this was happening, and that they got no notice or email from the district.

"Disbelief because I didn't get a notice about it as a parent of one of the kids," said Kim Powell. "But also, what are they going to do with the children that are already there?"

The change will go into effect for the 2023-24 school year, and current and incoming Chandler students will be reassigned to either Parkside, Chamberlain, or West Goshen.

The district cites the need for a skilled workforce in Elkhart County and says this will prepare high schoolers for a larger pool of career options.

But some parents say that most families walk to school in this district, and there is already a bus-driver shortage.

They say this will mess up a lot of families who rely on their children walking to school.

"I don't think it's a good idea, the schools already have problems with transportation, and with Chandler being a walk zone, how is that going to work for the kids that have to walk to school?" said parent Jennifer VanHook.

"I don't think it's a very good idea because I am in the same walk zone as my niece and my sister," said parent Jeannie Petry. "These kids, that's their livelihood. The school cannot get busses to them, get the kids on time, get them home on time."

There will be a family meeting on March 6 to discuss all of these changes, including the updated elementary districts and transportation information, and will allow parents and students to ask questions.

That meeting will start at 6 p.m. at chandler elementary school.

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