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Record Number: 1922
Displayed from: Nov 23, 2005 , until: Dec 22, 2005

The district’s decision to close Geyer as a traditional middle school and reopen it as a Montessori magnet program was a proactive, not reactive one. The move was made to expand the district’s magnet offerings by building on an effective and popular option - the Montessori program. Although Geyer has made academic progress, it continues to face sanctions as a Title I school. Here are some facts about the conversion: Program organization - pre-kindergarten and kindergarten will be housed at the current Bunche Elementary School site. - Grades 1-8 will be at the current Geyer site. - Kekionga Middle School’s Montessori program will move to the Geyer site. - The district has projected enrollment for the first two years of the new program: o For 2006-07, Bunche is targeted at 250-280 and Geyer at 450 o For 2007-08, Bunche is projected at the same, with Geyer enrollment increasing to 675. - The school day for grades 1-8 will follow the current length of the middle school day to meet state requirements of 360 instructional minutes. School day start and end times are yet to be determined. - The new elementary feeder pattern will be: Abbett to Lane to South Side Fairfield to Shawnee to South Side Harrison Hill to Miami to South Side South Wayne to Portage to South Side - Current Geyer students will be assigned to middle schools based on the following new elementary feeder pattern: Abbett to Lane to South Side Fairfield to Shawnee to South Side Harrison Hill to Miami to South Side South Wayne to Portage to South Side - In case those families would like to select another middle school for their student to attend, they can submit an Intra-district request. The deadline is Feb. 24 for middle school transfer applications. - The English as a Second Language program at Geyer will move to Miami Middle School. - Athletics at the Geyer facility for sixth-eighth graders will include girls and boys soccer, basketball and track; as well as girls volleyball. There will also be intramural sports and cheerleading. Facility - Pending approval by the Board of School Trustees, the name of the Geyer facility will be changed to Jeff H. Towles Intermediate School in memory of the first African-American Board president who provided exemplary leadership during the period of desegregation in FWCS. He was instrumental in developing the district’s acclaimed magnet program which continues to ensure that FWCS elementary schools are racially balanced. The Board will also be asked to consider renaming Bunche the Ralph J. Bunche Early Childhood Center. Board members will consider these during the regularly scheduled meeting at 7 p.m. Nov. 28 in the Board Room of the Grile Administrative Center. - Under study are any facility modifications that may need to be made to middle schools experiencing increased enrollment because of Geyer transfers. - The district has completed an inventory of instructional materials and equipment at Geyer that will be distributed to other schools, as well as a review of new items needed for the Montessori program.

Transportation - A tentative bus schedule has been developed and will provide routes dedicated to the Bunche and Geyer facilities. Staffing - The district is reviewing applications for the principal post for the 1-8 program with the goal of having someone on board by spring to assist in final preparations for the fall opening. - Current Geyer employees will move into other positions within the district. - Current Bunche teachers will be maintained at that facility or transferred to Towles Intermediate School. - Teachers for the new PreK-8 program will be hired in time to register for Montessori certification summer training. Budget - On Sept. 12, 2005, FWCS Board of School Trustees approved a budget of $2.7 million for this project. Monies are from the Racial Balance Fund, General Fund and Capital Projects Fund. School Improvement - Geyer as a Title I school will not exist after June 30, 2006. After that date, it is no longer subject to Title I sanctions under the federal mandates of No Child Left Behind legislation. - A new school improvement plan will be developed for both new Montessori sites.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.