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Elkhart Superintendent Haworth discusses goals for 2017-2018 school year

ELKHART, Ind.-The first school bell of the year will ring for thousands of kids across Elkhart this morning. Thursday marks the first day of the new school year.

ABC 57 News sat down with Superintendent Dr. Robert Haworth ahead of the first day.

Over the summer, teachers and staff did a lot of preparation. The district is reinvesting in professional learning communities for teachers.

"We had over a quarter of our staff members engage in a professional learning opportunity this summer," Haworth said. "Hopefully they're going to be able to bring that back and infuse it into our school corporation," Haworth said.

Some students going back today can expect new changes.

Mary Beck Elementary formed a new partnership with IU South Bend.

"It's going to increase Pre-K opportunities for students in Elkhart as well as provide opportunities for IU South Bend students," Haworth said. 

The $6 million renovation project to Beardsley Elementary is about to be completed. The Boys and Girls Club of Elkhart now have a new facility inside the school.

Haworth has three main goals on his mind that he hopes to achieve this school year.

"We have an 'Elkhart Promise'," Haworth said. "We will know every student by name, but not just by their name, but figure out how do we build individual learning plans for each one of our students," Haworth said.

The superintendent also hopes to surround students with highly effective staff and continue to provide professional development for teachers. He would also like to collaborate with more organizations in Elkhart, like the Boys and Girls Club.

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