FWCS to strengthen high schools for all students - August 15, 2008

Record Number: 4261
Displayed from: Aug 15, 2008 , until: Sep 15, 2008

Fort Wayne Community Schools is beginning a three to five year process to transform the way high school students are educated with many of the changes taking effect in the fall of 2009. The core programs will be strengthened, students will have more access to an increased number of rigorous classes, and specialized programs of study will be implemented. The foundation of the district's high school redesign is developing rigorous coursework with real-world learning experiences and a culture of high expectations to prepare students for life after high school. The core curriculum will be more rigorous to make sure all students have access to Advanced Placement and college courses and acquire the 21st Century skills of digital-age literacy, inventive and critical thinking, effective communication and high productivity. Enhancing these core areas will lead to improved graduation and attendance rates, more students graduating with Core 40, Honors or International Baccalaureate diplomas, increased dual credits and mentor/internships opportunities and decreased failure rates. In addition to developing a more rigorous foundation for all students, each high school will have a Program of Study, a specialized program that offers students an opportunity to try a career path and develop skills that can be used in the workplace. By the fall of 2009, the following programs will be implemented: * Elmhurst - International Business (an increased offering of business programs and opportunities to connect to international business organizations) * North Side - International Studies and World Languages (an increased offering of languages and opportunities to learn about other cultures) * Northrop - Engineering (Project Lead the Way, a national engineering program) * Snider - Health/Life Sciences (increased offerings of biotechnology and medical courses) * South Side - International Baccalaureate with fine arts enhancement (expansion of the IB program and increased fine arts offerings) * Wayne - New Tech (a national program that focuses on project-based learning and encourages the use of new technology in problem solving) The details of each of the programs are still being formed by committees at each high school. The committees will seek input from business partners in designing the programs. "We are committed to educating all students to high standards and being a premier school district," Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson said. "We are on an aggressive timeline, but the time has come to change the way we teach in high school. Our students are ready for it; our community is ready for it; and with the increased rigor in elementary and middle schools, our district is ready for it."

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.