South Bend Community School Corporation

South Bend Community School Corporation

Darden Elementary School will return to full virtual instruction until winter break. 

(You can read the full letter from Principal Patty Karban to Darden parents below.)

Dear Darden Families,

After consulting with Dr. Cummings, we have made the necessary decision to move Darden Elementary to all virtual learning, starting tomorrow, December 15, through Winter Break.

Zach Herndon/WTIU News

Over the last month, half a dozen school districts in the WVPE listening area have returned – or plan to return – to full-time virtual learning for some students. Some of those districts are now working to mitigate any learning gaps that may emerge from students not being in the classroom.

Jerry Thacker, Superintendent of the Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation, said research indicates students in virtual programs are more likely to become disconnected than their peers in in-person classes.

WVPE News Stock Photos

Middle and high school students in the South Bend Community School Corporation will return to full-time eLearning on Monday, Nov. 30, but they will still have access to free meals and WiFi.

Meal kits with five breakfasts and lunches will be available for curbside pickup beginning the week of Nov. 30. Pickup will be from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays at the following locations: 

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Back in September, the Citywide Classroom partnership between the City of South Bend, enFocus, and the South Bend Community School Corporation received 1.8 million dollars of state funding to expand student internet access during the pandemic. 

Next week, the partnership will begin distributing over 2,000 at-home internet packages and about 2,000 WiFi hotspots to students with limited broadband access, which City of South Bend spokesperson Caleb Bauer said is about 15-30 percent of students in the district. 

Zoom via YouTube

The South Bend Community School Corporation approved a return to an in-person learning option at its board meeting Monday night. All schools will phase in offering in-person classes as an option. Students who choose to attend in person will start back on staggered dates from Oct. 5 to Oct. 15.

WVPE News Stock Photos

The South Bend Community School Corporation is scheduled to vote on whether to return to in-person learning at its board meeting later today. 


As of last week, the board had approximately 4,500 responses to a survey on how students want to proceed, with 77.6% of respondents electing to return in-person.


Several other school systems in St. Joseph County have already returned to an in-person learning option, including the School City of Mishawaka and PHM.


In a virtual board meeting Wednesday night, South Bend school leaders introduced plans to return to in-person learning. Chief Academic Officer Brandon White and Assistant Superintendent Rene Sanchez proposed that students be divided into three priority groups. 

The first to return would be students enrolled in career-technical and special-education programs. The second would be students entering a new school building, or pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, sixth grade and ninth grade students. 

Today officials with the South Bend Community School Corporation and the City of South Bend announced that $1,800,000 has been obtained from the Governor's Emergency Education Relief grant to provide home internet or cellular internet for two years for the city's most at-risk families. A study done prior to receiving the funding showed that almost 30% of households in the school system were unconnected. The grant will provide discounted broadband connections and thousands of mobile WiFi hotspots. 


Today the South Bend Community School Corporation released information on how fall sports will be handled. 

Screenshot of Zoom meeting

Officials from the South Bend Community School Corporation are reconsidering their reopening plan after hundreds of teachers and parents expressed their concerns over the past week. School Officials discussed alternatives to their original plan during a meeting Monday night.

Justin Hicks / WVPE Public Radio


Voters passed the South Bend Community Schools' $220 million referendum during Tuesday’s primary. The unofficial vote results were posted Wednesday afternoon by the St. Joseph County Clerk’s office.

(Justin Hicks/IPB News)

More than a dozen school districts in Indiana are asking voters to approve funding for construction projects, general operating costs, or both, during the June 2 primary. 

School districts across the state are asking voters to approve a total of 18 referendum questions. A referendum allows schools to collect a certain amount of property tax funding above the property tax caps put in place by lawmakers in 2008.

South Bend Schools Use WiFi Buses to Keep Students Learning

Mar 26, 2020
Map by: South Bend Community School Corporation


For the last week or more schools across the country have been closed. Many students have been taking their classes online, including some students in South Bend who get the internet for those classes from a school bus.

South Bend Community Schools got some of their buses outfitted as WiFi hotspots so they could be deployed during snow day elearning this school year. When school was closed for the coronavirus, the buses were ready to roll.

WVPE News Stock Photos

The South Bend Empowerment Zone shared some future plans for its schools and teachers at a meeting Thursday. One plan that would remove some teachers from the union was met with opposition.

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File


Any kindergartner enrolling in South Bend Schools next year will need to have a blood lead test done.

Kids going to public schools already have to have certain vaccines and the district recommends that kids have physicals, and eye and dental exams. The lead test is a new addition made possible by a state provision. 

Sue Cullen is the School Nurse Manager for South Bend. She said the test before kindergarten should catch kids that haven’t been tested before.

The main entrance of Washington High School in the snow.
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio


The South Bend Community School Corporation board likely won’t partner with a new charter from Purdue University coming to the city. A recommendation on Monday night’s school board agenda would take an innovation agreement off the table for the coming school year.

The South Bend Community School Corporation is holding two community meetings today to discuss a possible innovation school within Washington High School. 


Community education advocates gathered Saturday to discuss the Purdue Polytechnic Charter High School coming to South Bend.


Purdue was granted a charter by the state to open a Purdue Polytechnic charter high school in South Bend. There are two Purdue Polytechnic High Schools operating in Indianapolis. 

What’s up for debate is whether or not Purdue will partner with South Bend Community Schools to make the charter an innovation school that would operate within Washington High School as a STEM focused program.

The South Bend School Board is holding a public meeting Thursday night to begin the process of filling a vacancy left by District 4 trustee Dawn Jones. Jones left the position to be South Bend’s city Clerk.

The South Bend Schools new superintendent met with parents, teachers, and community members Wednesday morning for the first “Talks with Todd.”

“Talks with Todd” are an opportunity for anyone to share issues or ideas with South Bend Schools Superintendent Todd Cummings.

Fourth Graders Show Teachers How To Launch Weather Balloon

Aug 1, 2019
Annacaroline Caruso

Fourth graders from the Concord school district launched a weather balloon Wednesday morning so teachers in other districts can recreate the same experiment in their classrooms. 

Students learned about the atmosphere, weather patterns, and math for three months in preparation for the launch.

The South Bend Community School’s Empowerment Zone chose a leader for a new position as chief Wednesday morning.

The Empowerment Zone is a relatively new system for the school district.

South Bend Schools held an informational meeting Tuesday to help parents and students navigate new school assignments and graduation pathways following the approval of the Focus 2018 redistricting plan in December.

In what resembled a college fair, parents and students visited with representatives from each of the district schools to learn more about programs available to elementary and middle school students in South Bend.

South Bend Schools Approve Focus 2018 Plan

Dec 19, 2017

The South Bend School Corporation passed the Focus 2018: Design for the Future school plan yesterday with a unanimous vote. South Bend residents filled the meeting room for another opportunity to  voice concerns before school board members voted on the much scrutinized plan. Many parents expressed concern about how quickly the plan would make drastic changes across the school district.

Barbara Anguiano / WVPE


The South Bend Community School Corporation held a listening forum yesterday where residents had an opportunity to give feedback to school leaders about the proposed Focus 2018 school plan.