Gary's Dunbar-Pulaski school gets second chance after facing closure

GARY, Ind. (WLS) -- Summer break is over for several more local school districts.

But in Gary, there is some uncertainty on the first day at Dunbar-Pulaski Middle school. The school was failing and slated to close, but just last month, school officials decided they could make some changes and turn the school around.

Dunbar-Pulaski is now Dunbar-Pulaski Academic and Career Academy, serving as one citywide middle school for all seventh and eighth graders from across the district.

Close to 900 students are enrolled. Now, they just have to do well.

Parents say they just want a school that their kids can succeed in.

"They have to do better, they are not showing a good example for these kids," said Camisha Goldsby, a parent.

The Gary Community School Corporation couldn't afford to lose any more students or funding. They have another chance as Pulaski stays open, but students must do better on state tests.

More than 80 percent of students failed standardized tests last year.

"Coming into this new environment I have met with my teachers and I think I have a pretty good team, and everyone is willing and ready to do whatever it is to help our students to move on," said Vera Blount, the school's principal. CHECK

The school board closed five schools and reduced staff by 800 people. They are also now offering free breakfast for the first time.

"We're looking to partner with International Center for Leadership and Education as well as Scholastic so we can focus on literacy across all content areas," said Superintendent Cheryl Pruitt. "We know that when we move to the next generation assessment, our students need to be able to read and read very well."

Pruitt said with pooled resources and better programs, she hopes students will be a success this year.
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