FWCS continuing to offer honors courses after parent input

The FWCS Board of Education said the district will evaluate all honors course curriculum

Posted: Mar 2, 2018 3:13 PM
Updated: Mar 5, 2018 9:01 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) Fort Wayne Community Schools will continue to offer honors classes.

The district considered integrating honors classes into other classes to help everyone meet graduation requirements.

However, dozens of parents and students spoke up against the move during Monday night's school board meeting.

Late Friday, the board announced it will in fact keep the honors classes in place.

"I cried. I was overjoyed," said Jennifer Matthis, mother of three FWCS students, two affected by the new Graduation Pathways.

She was one of dozens of people who spoke Monday night, trying to convince board members to keep honors classes at all five high schools.

Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson suggested integrating honors students with other classes so they can offer more classes to meet new graduation requirements.

However, Friday the school board said honors classes will stay at FWCS.

"The honors classes is what is good in Fort Wayne Community Schools. It's good for everyone. It's a choice to have every level learner to have a chance to lift up and raise," said Matthis.

Late last year, the Indiana Board of Education approved the new Graduation Pathways requirements.

The tougher rules will begin with students in seventh grade now.

Dr. Robinson told the board Monday they need to start the new curriculum next year so these students will succeed.

Parents told the board Monday they would pull their kids from FWCS if honors courses went away.

"I was going to leave. I sat there with my husband and did a 'What are we going to do?' This was our plan forever."

"My parents had already meetings lined up with Leo High School for my sisters to attend there, but they cancelled that meeting," said Snider High School senior Kyleigh Armstrong. Armstrong has two younger sibling affected by the new pathways.

"This is something that attracts to Fort Wayne Community Schools. It's what attracted us quite frankly," said Noah Smith, who has three students in FWCS, including a seventh grader.

He suggested one way the school can help students complete some of the requirements are already in the district.

"Why not have those senior honors kids work with the ninth grade academic kids in things like Math, Social Studies, English and Science? Physically just sit in the classroom with them," Smith said.

The board said it hopes parents and students will continue to be part of the conversation as it works to implement the new curriculum.

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