Parents worried about students of all levels with possible FWCS curriculum change

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – More than 100 FWCS parents, students and graduates showed up at Monday’s school board meeting. Their concern: honors courses are being eliminated.

The district is proposing more integrated classes to try to meet new graduation standards set by the state. Fort Wayne Community Schools is proposing a more rigorous curriculum starting in fourth grade until graduation.

Part of the proposal would do away with honor-titled classes in lieu of integrated classes with a higher standard. Some parents said if that happens, their kids will find a new school district.

“Honors classes gave me the drive to care about my own education, and the education of my peers, to stand before you today,” A Snider High School student told the Board.

Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson presented a proposal to the school board Monday. It’s in response to a current bill going through the General Assembly to make make Core 40 the only diploma, and new Pathways graduation standards that include taking post secondary education placement tests.

The curriculum won’t only be getting more rigorous in high school.

“It does have to start at the elementary school,” FWCS Spokesperson Krista Stockman said. “So we can get those students prepared so when they enter middle school they’re prepared for more rigorous classes maybe even taking algebra by seventh grade.”

However it is the high school changes that brought the board room to capacity.

Although the proposal gets rid of honor classes, a graduate could achieve honor distinction by doing more specific work in the class.Teachers would have to be trained to take on classes with so many levels.

Parents of all types of students are concerned.

“I worry that putting [my daughter] in a class with students who are way more advanced than her is going to put her back to where she doesn’t want to raise her hand, she doesn’t want to be engaged,” one mother said.

“[My kids] are never pushed to their abilities,” another parent said. “The only thing that’s kept us in this district is the honors-designated classes.”

If this plan is implemented it will be the administration who will decide. It will not be something the board votes on. A decision would be made as early as next month. Changes could come next year, but the whole plan is a multi-year process.