Merger plans for Elkhart’s high schools revealed in new plan

(Bill Beck/Elkhart Truth)

A new plan to improve Elkhart Community Schools going forward will be officially revealed on Wednesday.

The plans are both the same and a bit different from the original high school merger idea revealed in April, according to details acquired by the Elkhart Truth.

10th, 11th, and 12th graders would attend Elkhart Memorial High School. It would be the sole high school in the district.

Elkhart Central High School would now become home to not just ninth graders, but also some sixth, seventh, and eighth graders through a distinct middle school wing. North Side and West Side middle schools would house the majority of those students, with expansions at the schools planned as a result.

Pierre Moran middle school would become a magnet school as well as the home of the school administrative offices. The current administrative office, at the J.C. Rice Educational Services Center, would become a high school “business innovation department.”

The new plan, dubbed the “Elkhart Promise”, removes Pierre Moran Middle and Bristol and Monger elementary schools from consideration from serving pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade students going forward due to costs, among other reasons.

So where do elementary students go in the new plan? The other, roomier elementary schools. With sixth-graders going to the middle schools, about 40 classrooms open up at the elementary schools. This could open the expansion of pre-kindergarten programs.

It’s unknown what the cost of the proposal will be yet. The April plan had an early price tag of $33 million.

The Elkhart Community Schools Board of Trustees will discuss the new plan at their Oct. 11 meeting.


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