- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 26, 2014

DUGGER, Ind. (AP) - Students gathered in a circle and cheered for the start of classes in a small southwestern Indiana town’s school that has sidestepped closure.

Classes started Monday at Dugger Union Community School for its first day as a K-12 charter school. The opening came after a community response to the Northeast Sullivan School Board’s vote in December to close the Dugger schools because of declining enrollment and revenue.

Summer Bonham visited the school with her two children - eighth-grader Wade and fifth-grader Ellie - for a prayer circle with about 80 students and parents before the school day started, the Tribune-Star reported (https://bit.ly/1vK7R3i ).

“It feels like a miracle,” Bonham said of the school opening. “This is the first time in a long time they’ve been excited for school to start.”

The school is affiliated with Indiana Cyber Charter School and leaders say classes will combine online learning with face-to-face instruction. Organizers were expecting some 300 students to enroll in the school about 30 miles south of Terre Haute.

Kyle Foli, board president of Dugger Union Community Schools, said many people didn’t believe the school could be kept open. Dugger has about 900 residents.

“We had our backs against the wall the whole, entire time,” Foli said. “We did it. We’ve actually done it. We are opening this school today, and it’s something I’m extremely proud of.”

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Information from: Tribune-Star, https://www.tribstar.com


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