About 40 years ago, Lake Central and Munster formed a cooperative to support students with special needs. As the years have gone by, Lake Central’s population has grown. According to Rebecca Gromala, Director of Westlake, Dr. Larry Veracco, Superintendent, has decided that it is in Lake Central’s best interest to split from Munster and thus dissolve Westlake.
“Right now the letter that went out is just letting everyone know that the separation is happening as of July 1, 2019, [and] that Westlake will no longer exist,” Gromala said.
Even though the splitting of Westlake has been in the works for a while now, administrations of both districts are still trying to figure what to do with the Westlake employees.
“Everyone who works for Westlake, whether they are in Munster or Lake Central, is a Lake Central employee. Special education teachers working at Munster are actually Lake Central employees,” Gromala said.
Although the administrators of both districts are still handling the employee issue, the separation of Westlake should not affect the students that are in the Westlake program.
“I think they shouldn’t see any impact or difference. I do not foresee any circumstance that the quality of services that are students will receive will change at all, and that’s both districts superintendents’ primary goal,” Gromala said.
In all the years Lake Central has had a special education program, the main goal was to eliminate any difference between students with or without special needs.
“By taking away the idea of West Lake, a separate entity that provides services to students, I think that helps further that goal that there are no Westlake students, they are just Lake Central students,” Gromala said.