Parents Walk Out At Harding Informational Meeting / Open House Information

By Maureen Mespell
By John W. Davis

December 7, 2010 Updated Dec 8, 2010 at 11:55 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) -- An informational meeting to help Harding parents decide where to send their children next fall turned heated Tuesday night.

About 300 parents and students packed the auditorium at Paul Harding High School.

When the question and answer portion of the meeting was about to start, things got heated.

John W. Davis reports more than 100 parents and students walked out.

"Everybody has a fear of the unknown but our job is to make sure that there is a comfort level before the end of the school year as to what's gonna happen next year," said East Allen County Schools Superintendent Dr. Karyle Green.

The emotional process of choosing a new school seemed to get the best of many parents who attended the meeting.

"We knew that their was a meeting to plan some sort of disruption and unfortunately the people who left may not have heard some really good questions and answers," said Green.

9th through 11th grade students who currently attend Harding High School and 8th grade students who currently attend Prince Chapman middle school will have five weeks to choose their new high school.

Student Selection Transfer forms will be due by January 18, 2011.

Parents will submit their top two choices between New Haven High School, Heritage Jr./Sr. High School, Woodlan Jr./Sr. High School, and Leo Jr./Sr. High School.

District leaders said they are closing Harding and re-opening the school as the Harding College & Career Academy, as a part of the EACS redesign plan, and possible state takeover.

However, the school will not have a graduating class until 2016.

EACS will provide bus transportation for all Harding students to their new high schools.

They will also provide after school activity bus transportation.

Meanwhile, bus transportation will most likely be a two-step process.

Students will be bused from home to Harding and then get on another bus to travel to their new school.

Leo Jr./Sr. High School bus time is estimated to be between 40-60 minutes each way.

Heritage Jr./Sr. High School bus time is estimated to be between 25-45 minutes each way.

New Haven High School bus time is estimated to be between 20-40 minutes each way.

Woodlan Jr./Sr. High School bus time is estimated to be between 30-55 minutes each way.

Open Houses For Harding Students:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011
New Haven High School

Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Heritage Jr./Sr. High School

Thursday, January 6, 2011
Woodlan Jr./Sr. High School

Monday, January 10, 2011
Leo Jr./Sr. High School

Transportation will be provided to each open house leaving from Paul Harding High School at 6:00 p.m.

Parents and students will ride school buses to each open house, to show parents and students how long bus rides would be to each prospective school.

Buses will arrive around 6:30 p.m. and presentations will start at 7:00 p.m.

Return transportation will be provided.

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