"Closed" Harding H.S. Would Have Avoided State Takeover

By John W. Davis

July 26, 2011 Updated Jul 26, 2011 at 11:38 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Harding High School showed enough academic progress in 2011 to avoid state takeover.

That is if it had not already been closed and slated to be converted into a College & Career Academy in 2012.

Indiana's NewsCenter attended the East Allen County Schools Board Meeting Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, 2011 ISTEP test results for individual test scores were released Friday, July 22.

An ISTEP Results line item was listed on the agenda but district leaders told us they were not ready to breakdown the numbers.

However, East Allen Superintendent Dr. Karyle Green gave "kudos" to all East Allen High Schools for marked ISTEP improvements.

According to the Indiana Department of Education, High High School's ISTEP scores improved by 5.5% in 2011.

Those gains moved the once failing school from a "F" probation grade, to a "C" academic progress grade.

However, when we broke down the numbers, only 38.7% of Harding students passed the ISTEP test.

Indiana's NewsCenter was eager to speak with district leaders about why Harding's scores went up and if the school learned any new best practices this past school year.

However, district leaders declined to comment until ISTEP results are presented to the East Allen County Schools board in three weeks on Tuesday, August 16.

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Meanwhile, district leaders were eager to discuss their plans for the Woodlan and Heritage attendance areas.

According to the East Allen Redesign plan, Woodlan and Heritage High Schools are supposed to be converted into K-12 campus.

RQAW Project Architect Mark Beebe is leading the renovations.

Beebe said converting to one K-12 building at Woodlan and one K-12 building at Heritage would save the district money.

"We know that there's some budget concerns with this project. We want to also make use of some existing space that's under utilized today," explained Beebe.

Beebe said energy costs would be lowered and renovations would incorporate technological updates.

"So within the existing facility we know that there is some space we can make use of and incorporate the K-12 program within some of those spaces," continued Beebe.

Meanwhile, architects still need to figure out how much money their plans would cost.

They also need to present final plans to the East Allen School Board and community members.

Major construction is not expected to begin until 2012.




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