Today Katie Hargitt found what it will take to begin the school year for the Sullivan County community.
The saying goes if you can't play with the big dogs, then stay on the porch. Well, the union bulldogs have come off their porch, and they're ready to head back to school.
The little town that could never lost hope.
Greg Ellis, DUSC Board Member says, "The community support is like a boulder rolling down a hill. It is doing nothing but picking up more steam and more steam and more steam."
In 2013, the North East School Board voted to close the school , then they were denied a charter from the state. That's when Trine University and the Indiana Cyber Charter School caught wind of the community's story and wanted to help.
Don Williams of the Indiana Cyber Charter School says they hire quality faculty to teach the students. "We hire licensed teachers, students receive a technical package which would include a laptop, school materials, the courses that we have do have textbooks with them. Some are online, some are physical textbooks."
The school provides a blend of online instruction with the traditional classroom setting. Williams says it allows the students to tailor their own education. And that's what prompted Rochelle Smith, a parent, to take her students out of another local school and enroll them in Dugger.
Smith said, "They can move at their own pace. They can graduate at the possibility of 16 year old, and end up with an associates degree by the time they're 18."
The community does not yet have possession of the building that started the movement, but on august first DUSC could buy Union High School for just one dollar.
Ellis says community members have been fighting and will continue to fight to keep their school going, "The people of Dugger have been used to rough roads for 100 years. There's no reason to expect anything different now. Bulldog strong? That's right, bulldog strong."
The first day for Indiana Cyber Charter students across the state is August 25. Students in Dugger will also start that day whether the school is ready or not. Ellis says they will utilize other community buildings if necessary.
There will be at least one sport for both boys and girls in the fall, winter, and spring.
However, they will not be sanctioned by the IHSAA.
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