Duneland School Corporation Timeline
1959 - Indiana passes School Reorganization Act requiring counties to consolidate school systems so that no system has fewer than 1,000 resident students or less than $5,000 adjusted evaluation per student.
Oct. 1959 - Porter County Circuit Judge Goldie Burns establishes the Porter County School Reorganization Committee
July 1961 - Porter County Reorganization Committee disseminates plan to consolidate Jackson, Liberty, and Westchester Township Schools.
May 1962 - Voters in Westchester, Jackson, and Liberty Townships vote down the proposed Duneland Schools consolidation by 12 votes. Westchester was the only township to vote in favor of consolidation, while Jackson and Liberty both defeated the measure by strong numbers. Reportedly, only 25% of registered voters participated.
Apr 1963 - Indiana Commission on General Education announces it may close 100 small Indiana high schools for student population below 100, including Jackson Township High School, which has 68 students.
June 1963 - Jackson Township considers consolidation with Washington Township and New Durham Township in LaPorte County.
Nov. 1963 - Jackson, Washington, and New Durham consolidation voted down in all 3 townships.
May 1964 - Voters in Jackson, Liberty, and Westchester Townships and 7 sections of Pine Township defeat proposed Duneland Schools consolidation. Defeated by 967 votes. Reportedly, only 32% of registered voters participated.
Nov. 1964 - Pine Township voters approve consolidation with Michigan City School district.
Feb. 1965 - Michigan City and Westchester Township Schools officials meet to discuss splitting Pine Township students between the two school systems.
1966 - Bailly Elementary and Westchester Jr. High (grades 6-8) open; Thomas School closes
1968 - Additions to Bailly, CHS, and Central Elementary completed
Mar. 1968 - Liberty Township advisory board and trustee contact Westchester Township to discuss potential school consolidation.
July 1968 - A consolidation study completed for Westchester Township advises against consolidation due to 1) “acceleration of maximum use of (current) school facilities” creating a need for a new building program; and 2) an inevitable increase in Westchester Township taxes (Liberty’s would actually decrease).
Nov. 5, 1968 - Westchester, Jackson, Liberty, and Pine Townships vote in favor of Duneland Schools consolidation. First election in which the vote needed a total number in favor as opposed to each township approving the measure.
First School Board issues to confront in December 1968:
- School year - the 1969-70 school year is set at 178 teaching days from Sept. 3 to June 9.
- Substitute teacher pay - for remainder of 68-69 school year, will follow Westchester’s pay schedule, as it pays higher
- Teacher vacancies - for remainder of 68-69 school year, new contracts will use the wage scale currently used at the school building in which he/she teaches
- Transportation - need to consolidate ownership of school buses within the Duneland School Corp. In Liberty and Jackson, many buses were privately owned.
- Age of admission - Liberty and Jackson had a birthday cut-off of Dec. 31 to enter kindergarten (age 5) or 1st grade (age 6), but Westchester used the Sept. 1 cut off. They decided to allow all school year 68-69 kindergarten attendees to enter 1st grade in 69-70 no matter what age, but if a child didn’t attend kindergarten, they could not attend 1st grade unless age 6 by Sept. 1. There was a lawsuit about this when a Liberty girl turned 6 on Sept. 5 in 1969 and was not enrolled in kindergarten because it had not been required by Liberty schools at the time (only a private kindergarten held at Liberty Bible Church was available at the time).
- Special Education - classes offered to students in Jackson and Liberty but take place in Westchester.
Jan. 1, 1969 - Consolidation goes into effect, but the schools will not actually be consolidated until the fall. Jackson and Liberty Township Trustees, William Mathe and Dr. E.W. Griffith respectively, become members of the Duneland School Board.
1970 - original high school building torn down for new auditorium, swimming pool, and classrooms
1971 - Liberty Elementary School completed and opened; Liberty Middle School opens in old Liberty High School building; CHS Speech and Debate program begins; Central Elementary closes and building is attached to CHS
1972 - Brummitt Elementary School construction complete; opens in the fall.
1973-1984 - Al Castronovo takes over leadership of the CHS Trojan Guard; during his tenure, the Trojan Guard won 4 state championships, a national championship, played in the Orange Bowl parade, and played at a Presidential inauguration.
1976 - WDSO first airs
1979 - 1st CHS mid-year graduation takes place for 50 students
1983 - Liberty Center High School building is torn down; Liberty Elementary gets an addition; new Jackson Elementary built; old Jackson Township School torn down and contents auctioned.
1996 - Duneland residents approve building a new high school
2000 - last high school class to graduate at CHS building on Morgan Ave.; classes begin in the fall at the new CHS building even though construction is not yet complete
2002 - loss of tax revenue from Bethlehem Steel bankruptcy causes cutbacks; the O’Keefe family begins the 9/11 Never Forget Project at CHS
2015 - CHS celebrates the 125th anniversary of its first graduating class