The EACS Summer of Change: Harding & Elem. Schools Closing

By Peter Ambrose

June 10, 2011 Updated Jun 10, 2011 at 10:26 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - The East Allen County School district, as we know it, comes to an end after today when the school year ends.

Administrators will begin implementing their re-design plan ths summer, which means closing schools and shuffling students in an effort to cut costs and boost test scores.

Harding High School is the most high-profile school to shut down. The nearly 40-year old building will be converted to a magnet school and re-open in 2012 with new students.

Current students will be transferred to other high schools, which prompted a lawsuit by a group of parents. No ruling had been made on that yet.

The re-design plan also calls for the closure of 7 elementary schools.

Harlan, Monroeville, New Haven and Village elementaries are expected to shut down this year, followed by Meadowbrook, Hoagland and Woodburn likely next year.

All of those students will be re-assigned as East Allen officials plan to eventually create large K-through-12th grade campuses at Heritage and Woodlan Jr.-Sr. high schools. Woodlan is expected to take 4th through 6th graders this fall. Kindergarteners through 3rd graders will join the school in 2012.

And as EACS prepares for these big transitions, seniors will transition out of their high schools this weekend.

Harding's graduation ceremony will be held tonight at the Scottish Rite Center in downtown Fort Wayne.

Heritage, New Haven and Woodlan will hold their commencements in their gyms tonight. Leo High School's graduation ceremony is scheduled for Sunday at the Memorial Coliseum.

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