Whitko Schools head back to classrooms for new year

SOUTH WHITLEY, Ind. (WANE) – A district encompassing two counties and approximately 1,600 students heads back to classes Wednesday.

Whitko Community Schools opens its doors for the 2014-2015 school year.

The district has an area that includes portions of Whitley and Kosciusko counties. Four schools make up the district, including: Pierceton Elementary, South Whitley Elementary, Whitko Middle School, and Whitko High School.

Whitko Schools is in the midst of renovations and expansion. The district is set to build a brand new elementary school in Pierceton and is adding on at South Whitley Elementary. Superintendent Steve Clason said classrooms need updated and space has become an issue.

The expansion and renovations will allow for additional room for arts programs and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

The projects are expected to be completed by Fall 2015.

Currently, art and music at South Whitley is in progress and site and foundation work has started at Pierceton.

The district is also continuing with 1-to-1 technology which allows the district to capitalize on its size and community to develop personal approaches to students. The technology allows teachers to connect digitally with content to create personal learning systems for students’ needs, learning styles, and passions, according to Clason.

Parents and students can access content on their own devices or use various computers and tablets provided by the district. Last year, Whitko Schools initiated a pilot program and for 2014-2015 will rollout the entire program to students in grades 7-12.

Whitko has also improved ISTEP scores for several years. For 2013-2014, 72 percent of students passed the test, an increase of nearly 2 percent from the previous school year. And 91 percent of seniors graduated in 2013, an increase of 5 percent from the prior year.

Administrators from Whitko appeared on NewsChannel 15’s First News Wednesday morning to talk about the district, new goals, and achievements. Click the various videos above to see the interviews with Superintendent Steve Clason, Whitko High School Principal David Parker and South Whitley Elementary School Principal Donna Wiktorowski.

Monday, NewsChannel 15’s First News visited with administrators from DeKalb Central schools. Next week, First News continues with it’s “Back-to-School” series:

Tuesday, Aug. 12: East Allen County Schools
Wednesday, Aug. 13: Northwest Allen County Schools and Southwest Allen County Schools
Monday, Aug. 18: Fort Wayne Community Schools

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