Whitko school merger causing division

A community is divided after Whitko County school board's decision to merge schools. Kindergarten through 6th grade will be at the elementary school, and seventh through twelfth grade will be at the South Whitley High School location.

Posted: Feb 2, 2018 8:17 PM
Updated: Feb 3, 2018 3:58 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- The decision to consolidate schools was made a year ago, but the decision as to which grades were going to which building was just decided in January.

Now some parents are questioning the decision of the school board.

"I guess I have some concerns on why at the December meeting, the school board looked like they were going to move the 7-12 campus to Larwill, and then at the January meeting, that got switched up by a vote of three to two. They decided to move the seven through twelve campus to South Whitley," Jerry Kreger said.

Everyone seems to be questioning the sudden switch, but they're worried about sacrifices that come with this change. "Are classes being added or taken away? Are after school programs being cut?" The superintendent said the educational program will stay the same, but with the adjustment on the way a few other things will be different.

"For next year, at least we will have some portable classrooms down there at the high school, and that was one of the things the board had to seriously look at knowing there are a few more classrooms here, but there are other facilities there at the high school like a gym and an auditorium and things that we don't have here," Steve Clason said.

Clason said only one after school program will be cut--the Clean World Association at the middle school.
The merging, as of right now, isn't a permanent one, but he said the school board is working hard to figure out what's best for everyone.

"They will continue to look at the facilities. They will continue to monitor the finances to see if when we move down there, and we find out that it's not as good as we thought it would be, I'm sure they will look at coming back here," Clason said.

Kregar said he plans to attend the work session coming up next Tuesday February 6th to see what can be changed.

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