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South Bend schools working on improving district's report card

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -

The South Bend Community Schools Corporation is working on a plan to bump up the F’s they received on the IDOE report card for the previous school year. Tuesday night—the public had a chance to give input.

Community members say the grade goes beyond the books.

Those who spoke at Tuesday night’s public hearing pointed to students’ behavior, interactions with faculty, and trauma they may experience at home as some of the possible reasons why 13 SBCSC schools received F’s on the Indiana Department of Education’s report card.

“You cannot place the onus for fixing this problem totally on the students,” said Debra Turner, the mother of a Riley High School graduate.

She challenged the school board Tuesday to take responsibility for and finally fix the problems their schools are facing.

13 of their 33 schools, or about one-third, received ‘F’ grades for the 2015-2016 school year.

“If they would begin to treat the kids correctly and with respect, then you would get a different result,” said Turner.

Superintendent Dr. Ken Spells agrees.

“Once you show students you care, the students can learn. Once they believe in you, they will listen and build on those relationships,” said Dr. Spells.

He has a blueprint to get building.

“We’re going to improve professional development. We continue to look at our data. We’re going to make sure that we have great teachers at all our buildings, make sure we have strong principals at these buildings.”

The corporation is working hard to raise those grades.

“I can guarantee you they’re going to go up during my tenure,” said Dr. Spells.

Debra Turner just wants to make sure the focus is on the students.

“If you take those same kids and embrace them and tell them they’re doing well, and teach them, actually teach them, then they would do better,” said Turner.

“We’re going to do everything that we can do to support the kids of team south bend,” said Dr. Spells.

Dr. Spells says he’ll complete his review of the corporation by June 30, and with that, he’ll present a plan of how he’s going to boost those F grades.

These are the SBCSC schools that received ‘F’s:

Brown Intermediate Center

Dickinson Fine Arts Academy

Edison Intermediate Center:

Greene Intermediate Center

Jackson Intermediate Center

Navarre Intermediate Center

Coquillard Primary

Harrison Primary

Madison Primary

Marquette Primary

Muessel Primary

Nuner Primary

Rise Up Academy

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