1st Harding Open House / EACS Board Meeting

By John W. Davis

January 4, 2011 Updated Jan 4, 2011 at 11:39 PM EST

NEW HAVEN, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - With Harding High School slated to close next year and re-open in 2012 as a College & Career Academy, many parents are now taking steps to choose their child's next East Allen County High School.

Nearly 100 parents and students attended Tuesday night's Harding Open House at New Haven High School.

Meanwhile, some Parents For Quality Education In 2010 and Harding PTSA members protested outside with "No Bus For Us" signs.

Inside the high school, Indiana's NewsCenter met Harding Parent Mike Link.

He said New Haven High School seemingly had more opportunities, curriculum and activities compared to Harding High School.

Link has two sons, a 9th and a 10th grader at Harding High School.

He said he was already going to transfer his children next school, before he was told they "had" to transfer.

Link seems to be leaning towards Leo High School, but a round trip bus ride of two hours every day, might be too much for him.

"But sometimes you gotta weigh education for the ride? Which one would you rather be in... Have your kids in better education and got an hour bus ride or in a crappy school with a 15 minute bus ride. That's the question you gotta ask yourself," explained Harding Parent Mike Link.

The Harding Open House at Heritage High School will be held Wednesday night.

The Harding Open House at Woodlan High School is Thursday night.

The Harding Open House at Leo High School is Monday, January 10.

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At Tuesday night's East Allen County Schools Board meeting, parents continued to question the impact of the district's redesign plan on their children.

Monroeville Elementary School parents said do not put our kids in trailers, while you build additional space for them at the K-12 campus being created at Heritage Junior/Senior High School.

Meanwhile, East Allen County Schools Board Member Reverend Stephen Terry informed the board and audience members that local pastors are asking Governor Mitch Daniels and Indiana Department of Education leaders about the status of Harding High School.

The local pastors want current Harding students to remain at Harding, while curriculum changes are made to meet state testing standards.

Meanwhile, one Harding supporter has a different solution.

Ed Mitchell said the district should focus on raising test scores by 3% to avoid closing and to avoid busing Harding students to either Leo, Heritage, Woodlan or New Haven High School.

"By holding the students accountable, the parents accountable and the teachers accountable, we can affect the student's performance to bring it up to the necessary... to meet the state's requirement," said Harding Community Member Ed Mitchell.

Meanwhile, the ideal situation for Harding protesters would be for current Harding students to go to school at Harding next year, and benefit from the College and Career Academy.

Right now, no current Harding students will ever be allowed to re-enroll at Harding High School.




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