South Bend Schools' Board votes to proceed with "Redesign" plan

NOW: South Bend Schools’ Board votes to proceed with “Redesign“ plan

SOUTH BEND, Ind.--- South Bend Community School Corporation's Board voted Monday night to proceed with creating a "Redesign" plan to help two failing elementary schools. Muessel Elementary School and Marquette Montessori Academy have received failing grades for several years and risk being taken over by the state of Indiana if performances don't imporve.

"I watched, as well as a lot of people, Navarre fail year, after year, after year, and we can’t wait any longer," said Board Member Leslie Wesley.

Some of the approved changes revolved around teacher pay, training, and hours as well as a heightened focus on student literacy skills.

"To ensure that we’re giving our students high quality literacy instruction. That’s this year," said Chief Academic Officer Brandon White. "Next year we want to look at math, next year we want to look at science."

Board Members Jeanette McCollough and Oletha Jones voted against the measure citing what they believe was a lack of transparency in the planning process. 

"I still have the concern that without a Redesign quality review there’s no plan and you have to have data in order to move forward," said McCollough. 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Todd Cummings say this plan was the best way too improve the schools without having them lost to an innovation zone or a state takeover. 

"As the superintendent of schools, I am committed to ensuring that the students that go to those schools, who have gone to under performing schools for a decade get a fair, equitable chance to read and perform," said Cummings.

The next phase in the process will be for the district to collect data on the two schools to see how to best implement the Redesign plan.

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