LCS Board of Education hears strategic plan proposal, recommendation for additional Elementary closure

Superintendent Matt Wandrie presented the District's strategic plan proposal at last night's Board of Education work session at Zemmer Middle School. The Board directed Wandrie to present the proposal, in addition to a second elementary school closing recommendation, as part of a comprehensive long-term restructuring plan.

LAPEER, Michigan — The Lapeer Community Schools Board of Education heard a recommendation on Thursday night that would, if implemented, close Maple Grove Elementary at the end of the 2011-12 school year.

At the Board’s Feb. 2nd meeting, members called upon Superintendent Matt Wandrie to make a recommendation for a second elementary school closure following this school year (the Board unanimously passed a resolution on Feb. 2nd to close Seaton Elementary School). The Board directed the Superintendent to make the recommendation as part of a comprehensive district restructuring program.

“The recommendation is just one component of the District’s long-term strategic plan proposal,” Wandrie said. “While it is a difficult one to make, it is a necessary part of a broader plan to put the District on an innovative and sustainable track moving forward.”

Wandrie said the Board of Education and administrative staff of Lapeer Community Schools have taken extraordinary steps to involve the entire community in the strategic planning process.

“While many organizations facing tough times focus on reductions, we’re committed to making those necessary cuts but focusing the bulk of our effort at innovation and improving our District for our students,” Wandrie said.

For more information on the LCS strategic planning process, visit LapeerSchools.org and click “Transitions for Tomorrow.”

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4 thoughts on “LCS Board of Education hears strategic plan proposal, recommendation for additional Elementary closure

  1. I did attend the school board meeting last week, but I am unable to attend the town hall meeting, The following are a couple thoughts I would like to be heard prior to the March 1st meeting.

    How will there be substantial savings to LCS if there is closure of simply one elementary school (Maple Grove)? We are compromising our classroom sizes in this process of re-doing the entire structure. It just does not seem feasible there will be that much of a savings to combine both high schools and then, completely fill the middle schools to beyond capacity.The thought of 9th graders and 6th graders in the same school seems totally absurd.

    Why not consider housing the Virtual School at West. There are open classrooms and a separated wing downstairs that would work well. If it draws in students that would be great. Also, it wouldn’t disrupt East, West, Community, Zemmer, and Rolland Warner. If we are not closing any of the buildings anyway, why not consider such an arrangement? This also saves a lot of the money that will come with restructuring five buildings instead of one.

    Even more disturbing to me is the fact that the comment section of this blog is not filled with comments or creative ideas from parents and those involved in the lives of our children.

    1. Michelle —

      A few things:

      1.) The Board already resolved to close Seaton Elementary at the end of the school year. The Board, most likely, will vote on the recommended closure of Maple Grove on March 1. If the Board votes to close Maple Grove, the District would operate five elementary buildings starting next school year (Turrill, Schickler, Murphy, Mayfield and Lynch).

      2.) We are not compromising classroom sizes at all. The proposal addresses excess capacity issues in our buildings currently. Consolidation (right-sizing) does offer significant cost-savings over time, but getting capacity in line with enrollment is something that should be done regardless of budget implications.

      3.) The proposed ninth grade academies in our middle schools would be housed in completely separate wings and run on their own schedules.

      4.) The proposal outlines a repurposing of West for a variety of programs including magnet and alternative high school programs.

      I hope this answers some of you questions. I encourage you to take part in one of our District’s many task forces. Thanks for commenting!

      Jared Field

  2. I do not see where making Turrill a year round school is going to help our budget problem. Lapeer had year round school in the 1980’s and did away with it so why now. Busing kids all over the county does not seem like a solution to money problems with gas, wear and tear on the buses would be way higher than it is now. Why not take one of the schools that is closing to be a focus school? I do not believe that the families if elementary kids understand this will effect everyone because teachers will be moved around as well as where your
    home school will be. Are we still going to have school of choice?

  3. Why dont’ we seek a bond issue first to add on to Lapeer East. Seems like a lot of academic opportunities will be lost affecting all of the High School kids.
    At the middle school 9th graders will not have access to the resources now offered at the High schools.
    -Like advanced curriculums classes now taken with upper classmen.
    – What about foreign langauges, and even the wood shop and metals classes?
    -What about busing for sports for practices and access to the weight training rooms.
    With the 10-12th at East will there be enough space and facilities to accomadate 1400-1500 upperclassman courses.
    -What about all of the new science and computer labs just put in at West? Will all of those emenities be easily transfered to East with the kids and is there room? Or will twice as many kids have to share half of the lab space and equiptment.
    -school library.
    -Same holds true with shop and metals labs.
    -What about having twice as many kids driving, 10-12 are drivers. Is there enough room to park considering there also will need to be twice the number of buses? What does this do to traffic in the area. Has the municipalities been notified? Safety issues, like emergency evacuations with the traffic numbers
    Seems like alot more needs to go into consideration prior setting a firm plan.
    How do you address these issues?
    Would it not be better to know that what facilities we will have in place in five years from now than reacting to quikly and creating a worse situation for the kids?

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