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MSD talks independent study, but no parameters yet

by MACKENZI KLEMANN - mklemann@wabashplaindealer.com

The Metropolitan School District of Wabash County school board plans meet with consultants next month to learn more about options for an independent study that the board has decided to pursue instead of Phase II for the “Studies for Advancement.”

That was the informal decision reached by the board on Tuesday at the end of a lengthy public work session. But the board was unable to reach a consensus or provide an outline regarding the scope of the study or the topics that will be covered.

A few ideas were pitched, including the possibility of creating a cooperative STEM school similar to what the Heartland Career Center is for vocational programs.

More marketing to attract students from neighboring school districts was also discussed, but administrators told the board that in the past this strategy has failed to bring in many students and is not worth pursuing if it means hurting the school corporation’s relationship with neighboring districts.

The board remains divided when it comes to the study.

Members Gary Fadil and Todd Topliff opposed the board’s decision in December to withdraw from Phase II of the “Studies for Advancement,” which would have come at no cost to MSD. Both men stated on Tuesday that they will question the cost of any independent study going forward.

Board President Kevin Bowman said he views paying for an independent study as an investment for MSD. He was joined by fellow board members Matt Driscoll and Todd Dazey in voting to withdraw from the “Studies for Advancement” last month. Those three said on Tuesday that they’d like to leave last year’s discussions in the past and move ahead with the current plan, which includes a meeting with consultants tentatively scheduled for the first week of February.

No consultants have been hired at this time.