Indiana Board of Education staff, advisor to Governor recommends SBCSC plan for failing school

NOW: Indiana Board of Education staff, advisor to Governor recommends SBCSC plan for failing school

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- On Tuesday, staff with the Indiana Board of Education and the education advisor to the Governor recommended the plan proposed by South Bend Community School Corporation be approved. 


A decision will be made by the Indiana Board of Education on Wednesday in Indianapolis to whether SBCSC can develop a transformation zone to begin to improve performance at Navarre Middle School. According to an official with the IBOE, after six consecutive failing state accountability grades the state must step in. 


“Yeah let’s try it,” said Carie Hickey, a Navarre Middle School parent. 


Hickey has a sixth grader at the middle school and said if changes within the school have to come she’s on board. 


“As long as it’s in the best interest of the kids and they really look into you know, talk to some of the parents maybe,” she said. 


The SBCSC Board of Trustees, Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Spells, and Deputy Superintendent Dr. Todd Cummings will be in Indianapolis when the decision is made. The corporation along with the IBOE created the following goals for the transformation zone:


-       Implement a new education model

-       Improve four feeder elementary schools, which are Coquillard, Harrison, Warren, and Wilson

-       Use a model that can be replicated within the district

-       Build a long lasting, sustainable plan


SBCSC Board of Trustees President John Annella said the transformation plan meets state statutes. If the IBOE decides not to approve the plan, Annella said IBOE will have to come up with what is best for Navarre Middle School. 


An official with IBOE said the transformation zone will be the first in South Bend. It will join three transformation zones in Indianapolis, Evansville, and Kokomo.


“Personally, at the beginning, I wouldn’t send my kid there,” Hickey said. “Then we tried it and it’s been great.”


Hickey’s daughter, Megan, said she believes Navarre Middle School is a good school. Hickey said she is aware people view the middle school as a ‘bad school.’


However, she said they must be doing something right, with one student in AP courses in high school coming from Navarre and a student making nearly straight As at the middle school. She said it makes her feel proud because school is not easy and knows her daughter tries hard. 

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