Harding H.S. Transition Plan Update

By John W. Davis

December 14, 2010 Updated Dec 15, 2010 at 12:18 AM EDT

NEW HAVEN, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - "The most important thing is, parents need to be heard," said East Allen County Schools Board Vice President Rev. Stephen Terry.

Harding Parent Sharitta Holder has a message for EACS leaders.

"There is an option for the school board to request a year six for probation for Harding," said Holder.

"They would only have to ask for help from the state and submit and improvement plan to the state. I really think they're not looking at that as an option," said Holder.

Indiana's NewsCenter asked Holder what high school will she choose between Leo, New Haven, Woodlan, and Heritage.

Holder's reply was Bishop Luers.

She said she is willing to pay for tuition so her daughter is not bused across the district.

Meanwhile, the bulk of discussion about Harding High School took place during the public input section of the meeting.

The audience split up into three groups.

However, most Harding parents ended up in the same group in the Superintendent's office.

A Heritage High School parent started off the discussion when she said let's look at the positives because Harding is set to become the premiere high school in the East Allen County Schools district.

Harding parents agreed but said current 8th graders at Prince Chapman Academy and 9th through 11th graders at Harding High School with never reap the benefits.

In a nearby discussion group, another Harding parent said "it's painful now but it will be worth it."

Her son will transfer to another high school in the EACS district.

However, she believes her elementary school aged daughter will really see the benefits of the EACS redesign plan.

District leaders said Harding students have to transfer to avoid state takeover because of five years of low AYP test scores.

"The emotions are real. The perceptions they're real. So really what we need to be able to do is make a positive experience out of this," said Terry.

Harding parents and students will turn in their top two choices between January 11, 2011 and January 18, 2011.

Letters indicating high school assignments will be mailed home on January 28, 2011.

Meanwhile, the EACS board will finalized August 2011 redesign plans by February 2011.

The entire redesign plan is expected to be implemented by August 2013.

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