Listen Live
South Bend sign


SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The South Bend Community School Corporation is looking to downsize. They are planning to close Clay High School and have its students absorb into its other three high schools.

Consultants facilitating the plan have come up with what they would like to do as parents wonder where their child might be going to school next year. They presented a plan for what would be the district’s new boundary lines to parents on Tuesday.

The new boundaries may have a big impact on which students will have access to bussing if parents choose to send their child to a different high school than the section of the district they live in.

“It’s going to create a lot of confusion,” said Michelle Niedbalski, who is a parent of a South Bend student. “I think a lot of parents, because this is happening so quickly, I’m not sure they are really understanding what is happening and how quickly it’s happening.”

She fears that the district will be hurt by the reorganization because based on how the new boundaries would be drawn under the proposal, she says it would be closer to send her child to a neighboring school district rather than send her child across town to a South Bend school.

“It is something that will need to be thought about and the surrounding districts are probably going to benefit from a lot of this redistricting,” she said.

Scott Leopold is the HPM Director of Planning. HPM is the consulting firm heading up the plan. He said that the plan will have some growing pains to start, but he urges people to look at the bigger picture.

“I think it’s important to understand that, in creating these new boundaries for the Adams zone and all the other zones, we’re able to basically take students that are currently attending Adams via choice, and now they’ll be within the boundary,” Leopold said. Over time, if this is a system that the district and the board embraces, it will lead to shorter travel times and more efficiency.”

None of the proposals are set in stone. Parents in the district still have time to weigh in on what they think of the plan in online surveys that will be open until October.

There is also still an effort by a group of parents to keep South Bend Clay High School open. The group has appealed to the Secretary of Education to create a new school district that would center around Clay.