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Plans unveiled for South Bend transformation zone

NOW: Plans unveiled for South Bend transformation zone

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SOUTH BEND, Ind.---The South Bend Community School Corporation announced its new plan for a transformation zone to help schools in the area that are failing. Navarre Middle School and Coquillard, Harrison, Wilson, and Warren Elementary schools will all make up the transformation zone.

The zone, which is being called the South Bend Empowerment Zone will have autonomy to create its own budget, staff, and curriculum. Empower Schools and Education Resource Strategies will offer support for the zone.

 Transformation is teacher and principal focused,” said SBCSC Superintendent Dr. Todd Cummings. ”When we can hire great human capital, great teachers and great principles, then we’ll close the achievement gap and we’ll turn these buildings around.”

Empower Schools’ Springfield Empowerment Zone Partnership in Springfield, Massachusetts will serve as the model for the South Bend Empowerment Zone.

“They were improving the schools, we like the relationship that they had with the community,” said Dr. Cummings. “We like the relationship had with ERS. They were showing gains, and we really liked the model because of that.”

The South Bend Empowerment Zone will have its own board made up of educators and community leaders.

“They represent the West Side. They represent the economic impact that we hope we bring to South Bend when we transform these schools,” said Dr. Cummings.

Teachers currently at schools that will make up the South Bend Empowerment Zone will have the option to either opt in or out of the zone. Those who opt out will be placed in other schools within SBCSC.

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