History & Boundary Information
Mishawaka Schools began in 1834 in a small frame building with a stove in the middle of the room. By 1840, the first public schoolhouse was built. Records from 1860 show 251 males and 259 females (510 total) between ages 5 and 20 within the corporate limits of Mishawaka.
The Board of Education was established in 1873. By 1877, tuition rates were established for “foreign” children, children from out of the city limits. The first graduating class of Mishawaka High School was in 1878. In 1879, the School Board recommended to the Town Board that they levy a special school tax of $0.25 on each $100.00 and a levy of $0.25 on each poll for school use.
In 1947, Penn Township and Mishawaka Schools considered consolidation. This was voted out by township trustees. By 1949, Mishawaka citizens requested a 5-man school board and for that board to include a woman.
IUSB student teachers in 1968 began participating in the elementary school student teaching program. This program is still in place today. Also in 1968, many discussed a merger of School City of Mishawaka (SCM) and Penn-Harris-Madison (PHM) School Systems. It was mutually agreed consolidation would be postponed indefinitely.
A merger with PHM was approached and delayed again in 1970. In 1971, SCM adopted an official seal, the first in its 127-year history. The circular seal has an open book representing learning, with a wheel symbolizing progress. Circumscribed are the words “School City of Mishawaka”.
Residents formed a group in 1973 called “Friends of Mishawaka Education”. Its purpose was to ensure that each student of School City of Mishawaka received the best possible education. Also in 1973, PHM and SCM pooled resources to provide a joint special education program. Joint Services was disbanded in 2015 and is currently known as “Exceptional Learners” at SCM.
In 1976, for the first time in SCM history, two women were serving on the school board. The current hybrid school board was established in 2011: consisting of three elected members, one member appointed by the mayor and one member appointed by the city council.
The School Board voted to close Emmons Junior High School in 1981 and for Emmons to become an elementary only school. Emmons Junior High closed in 1983 along with Bingham School and all ninth graders were moved back to the high school. John Young Middle School and Beiger continued as the two junior high schools until 2002 when Beiger became an elementary only school.
Source: Early Mishawaka School History by Betty Berger Hans. Copyright 1982, by Betty Berger Hans.