EACS University Not Affected by Referendum

By Rachel Martin

May 10, 2012 Updated May 10, 2012 at 11:19 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – The principal of East Allen University High School says the referendum’s rejection will not affect the school’s grand opening.

Richard Lugar losing his Senate nomination to Richard Mourdock wasn't the only upset in the Primary Election Tuesday. East Allen County Schools’ (EACS) referendum on the district's re-design plan didn’t pass.

INC was wondering how that might affect East Allen University’s grand opening in the fall. East Allen University, or EACS University, is an early college-high school where students can earn their high school diploma and have the opportunity to earn a college degree. EACS University will share the former Paul Harding High School building with Harding Junior High, which currently houses 7th and 8th grades.

EACS partnered with Vincennes University in December to create the magnet high school. Students will be able to earn an Indiana Core-40 diploma and 62 college credits to use for an Associates degree. Students will also be able to transfer those credits to any in-state college or university.

The curriculum will focus heavily on math, science, language arts and technology, and will include internships and project-based learning. Principal Doug Hicks says students will be required to sign a contract stating they will spend 1 ½ to 2 hours a night on homework, and will have 72 minutes of tutoring every day. The early college program will also implement the district’s Blended Learning Initiative by using the new iPads distributed to students.

Hicks says despite the referendum not passing, EACS University will open no matter what.

“It’s disappointing that it didn’t pass and that we won’t necessarily get the building that we were looking for, but it will have no affect on whether the school opens. August 14 will be our first day. We will have 119 students walk through the doors, and we will have school as scheduled,” he said.

Hicks says he’s not sure why the referendum didn’t pass, but suspects it might have something to do with the recovering economy.

“It’s hard to sell raising taxes with the economy the way it is. You’re up against a pretty strong battle when you’re dealing with that some of money,” he said. “But we’ll get through that.”

Although the building will not be overhauled into EACS University, Hicks says it will undergo some minor construction.

“We know that we’re going to have a wall taken out to create a little bit of a different commons area for our students, and we know we’re going to paint of our rooms, hallways and restrooms,” said Hicks. “And we have some decorative things we think we can do.”

Hicks says many of the students and parents have expressed interest in helping to modify and prepare the building for EACS University’s grand opening Aug. 14.

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