School board considering reorganizing School City of Mishawaka

NOW: School board considering reorganizing School City of Mishawaka

MISHAWAKA, Ind. — Even more big changes could soon come to the School City of Mishawaka.

The school board is considering a proposal to reorganize the district and if approved those changes could shake up everything from the high school to the district’s pre-k program.

Administrators believe one of the reasons for these changes is the increase in enrollment the district has seen for years now.

By the numbers there is a trend happening.

Enrollment for the district increased by 52 students this past fall.

192 more students were counted the year before that and an additional 68 students were counted in 2015.

So instead of running into capacity issues down the road, the district is exploring options to help with the transition.

“Some of these initiatives can happen fairly quickly, others might be down the road,” said Theodore Stevens, the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. “But we want to do what’s best for the community, what’s best for students in our community.”

The district is hoping to prepare itself to get 100 new kids enrolled each year.

“To do that and still provide quality educational services to those students at some point we’re going to have to look at growing the system a little bit,” said Stevens.

To avoid growing pains, officials put the schools under a lens.

Leaders conducted a study of the district back in February 2017.

They presented their findings at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

One of the recommendations includes expanding access to pre-kindergarten.

“Part of this plan does call to try to expand some preschool programming at LaSalle in addition to what we have for next year,” said Stevens.

Another recommendation calls for a major shakeup at the middle school level.

Sixth graders could join seventh and eighth graders at the middle school, and in order to accommodate the population, leaders would like the school board to consider adding another middle school building in 2023.

At the high school level, a few recommendations call for providing more transitional support.

“Research will tell you if a student has a good freshmen year, the rest of their high school career will be successful,” said Stevens.

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