EACS Approves Redesign Plan

By John W. Davis

October 5, 2010 Updated Oct 5, 2010 at 11:17 PM EDT

NEW HAVEN, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - The East Allen County School Board approves the Redesign Plan Tuesday night, six to one.

This means six elementary schools will close, including Harlan Elementary, Hoagland Elementary, Meadowbrook Elementary, Monroeville Elementary, Village Elementary and Woodburn Elementary.

EACS officials have calculated student enrollment at those schools as under capacity.

The only board member to vote "no" was Alyssa Lewandowski.

Lewandowski told Indiana's NewsCenter the majority of people who she spoke with in her New Haven district, were against the plan.

For that reason, she voted no.

The plan is expected to save $6.8 million dollars a year. Those savings were calculated by the projected operational and staff cuts.

However, the redesign plan is still hinged on an $8.2 million dollar November 2 tax referendum vote.

That money would fund a $1.9 million dollar budget shortfall.

It would also fund:

-Full day kindergarten
-Expanded summer school,
-Alternative education,
-Improvement of student/teacher ratio
-Increased course offerings
-Increased extra-curricular activities
-Professional development.
-ARRA maintenance of effort

"First and foremost we have to look at getting the public behind the referendum and there's so much that we can do for our educational programs and by supporting the referendum," said EACS Superintendent Dr. Karyle Green.

"So that's our number one project going right now and then start working on the transition plan. We will have to look at different options in each of our area so that we can help the community, help the students through the transition plan so that we can start to make an effect next year," said Superintendent Green.

However, Tuesday's vote only approved the conceptual idea of the redesign plan.

Specifics like academic programs and the reassignment of students will be approved at a later date.

Also in that discussion, will new K-12 campuses use temporary trailers for classrooms and what school will Harding High School students attend next year.

This was not the plan two weeks ago at the last EACS board meeting.

The board was asked by Dr. Green to approve everything, including the reassignment of students.

However, the public voiced a number of concerns on how the plan would be implemented.

Only some aspects of the redesign plan will be in place by next school year.

Building projects will take more than one year.

However, the district wants the Pre-K through 2nd grade Early Childhood Academies in the Harding and New Haven attendance areas to be open by August 2011.

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