FWCS seeks community input on building plans - October 27, 2011

Record Number: 8143
Displayed from: Oct 27, 2011 , until: Nov 11, 2011

Fort Wayne Community Schools is asking the entire community to weigh in on how best to maintain aging school facilities. A survey will be launched today, Oct. 27, to gather feedback about the community's awareness regarding the condition of school buildings, as well as what types of repairs and upgrades they might support. Maintaining these buildings is an important component of meeting the district's goals of academic excellence, community engagement and fiscal responsibility. "Our buildings are strong anchors in numerous neighborhoods, serving as meeting places after school hours by various community groups," said Dr. Wendy Robinson, FWCS Superintendent. "With limited resources, we need to make some tough decisions about which repairs and upgrades are most important, and we want to be transparent with the community as we move forward with this process. To do that, we need to hear from every Fort Wayne resident." Robinson added that children deserve to be taught in well-maintained facilities that meet modern construction and technology standards. With the newest school building having been built in 1976 and the average age 56 years old many of these facilities lack reliable heating systems, are not energy efficient and do not have electrical systems designed to handle 21st Century technology. The district conducted an external facilities study in 2006 and an internal study this year. Options for fixing facilities were presented to the Board of School Trustees earlier this month in a public work session. That presentation, along with additional information about the facilities plan, is available on the district Web site at www.fortwayneschools.org. Working with independent research and communication firm K12 Insight, the survey is also accessible through a link on the district Web site. All answers are strictly confidential. Parents, teachers and staff who have provided the district with their email addresses will receive email invitations to participate, but the survey is open to everyone in the FWCS community. Anyone without access to a computer or the Internet may visit their local library, or North Side High School's Media Center will have computers available from 12:30-2:30 p.m. daily to take the survey online. Residents may also request a paper copy of the survey by calling 260-467-2020. The goal is to ensure community-wide participation and feedback to assist the district in making decisions on a potential building plan. The survey will be available through Nov. 11.

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.