South Bend Community School Corporation holds meeting Thursday night for community feedback on facilities master plan

SOUTH BEND, Ind.,--The South Bend Community School Corporation is preparing to host a second public meeting at the Charles Black Community Center for input on its facilities’ master plan. Community members are invited to provide feedback and ideas on facility options that were developed after the school corporation’s first meeting.

This meeting comes amidst concerns for the future of Washington High School. While Superintendent Todd Cummings has stated that there are no plans to shut down Washington, there are still concerns about the school’s future.

Earlier this year, the district made the decision to transfer Washington High School’s principal to Dickinson Middle School, an unpopular move amongst community members on the city’s west side.

In a meeting in April, community members were concerned about the stability of leadership in the school as principals cycled in and out. At the meeting, community members brought up concerns about the school’s closure and what that could mean for them, as the transfer reminded people of the closure of LaSalle High School years ago. A loss that some say burned the community.

And as SBCSC continues to plan for the future, the school corporation wants to hear from you! The meeting will take place here at the Charles Black Community Center in South Bend Thursday from 5 to 7 pm.

SBCSC, along with the engineering and Fanning Howey, an architecture firm specializing in learning environments, will start the meeting with a 30-minute presentation on current plans and will open the rest of the meeting for community feedback.

A survey will be available on the district’s website following the meeting and will remain open until 5pm on Sunday, May 15th.

Thursday night's meeting will include a presentation on SBCSC’s facilities master plan. The current plan draws from community feedback from the last meeting in March. SBCSC hopes to give families a chance to weigh in on any possible changes which is something that some say didn’t happen enough in recent years.

Early last year, SBCSC announced proposals to shut down two elementary schools and redesign a few schools in an effort to make long-lasting improvements within the schools.

In the summer of 2021, the district started their redesign plan with Learning Sciences International, an organization that helps transform failing schools. In this plan, LSI implemented a model dedicating a school leadership coach and executive coaching for Marquette and Muessel Elementary Schools’ principals to establish strong conditions for teaching and learning.

Currently, there is no update to the schools’ state assessments after this redesign. That’s because the state of Indiana was granted a waiver from annual assessment and accountability requirements during the pandemic.

The new facilities master plan has a task force of community members, local business owners, teachers and more.

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