Lapeer Alumni Association strongly endorses high school consolidation

At the Feb. 21 meeting of the Lapeer Community Schools Board of Education, Lapeer Alumni Association President Dick Sullivan notified the Board of the position of the Association on the proposed consolidation of East and West High Schools.

The Board of the Lapeer Alumni Association voted unanimously in support of the consolidation, as laid out in the District’s strategic plan, at its most recent meeting.

Sullivan was a member of the Board of Education just after the District ushered in the two high school model in 1974. Six years later, the District’s enrollment peaked at nearly 8,800 students in 1980. The current enrollment is just more than 5,800 students. Sullivan said that tough decisions have to be made when circumstances demand them. 

“What happened then is no longer applicable today,” said Sullivan, a retired attorney. “I think the board is making the right decision to create one school … I think we did the right thing at that time, now this is the right thing to do.”

Sullivan told the Board that the merger would present the community with a great opportunity to return to its roots.

“What the Alumni Association is saying is that we need to create the one school, bring the community together and make it a unification of the school,” Sullivan said. “It should be Lapeer High School.”

LCS Superintendent Matt Wandrie will address the Alumni Association at its next luncheon on March 12 at the Elks.

“The relationship we have as a district with our alumni association is one that we very much enjoy,” Wandrie said. “It’s a unique relationship and we look forward to engaging the association in this exciting discussion.”

7 Comments

  1. Jeanette

    Totally false, Mr.Sullivan his own self said it has been a battle between him and his wife. Someone so old and having no children remaining in the system is out of touch with what competitive schools now offer. One trend, smaller schools as seen needed to compete against smaller charter schools. Do to our very poor leadership we stand to loose many more students in our community schools. Chatfield in now planning on adding a 9th grade, do to the 9th grade blunder sending students back to the middle school. Mr Wandrie made mention that the previous masterplan showed that this community wanted 6-8, reason not to send 6 graders back to elementary, but failed to show that the very same masterplan showed that community wanted 2 hs of 1250 students// NOT ONE CONFIGURATION OF 2200. IDIOT!

    1. lapeercs

      A couple things:

      Can you tell me the ratio of two-high school towns consolidating versus one high school town breaking off into two in this state?

      Are you familiar with the litany of factors that have led to the decline in enrollment in the District? For instance, what would “poor leadership” have to do with fewer babies being born every year for the last decade? What would “poor leadership” have to do with the declining population of Lapeer? What would “poor leadership” in the District have to do with people leaving the area to find jobs in other states?

      Please point me to where you’ve seen any proposal from the District to operate one high school with 2,200 students. We don’t even have 2,200 students between East and West right now, let alone two years from now. Further, the East complex has a capacity of approximately 1,600. Our population of 10-12 graders was 1,599 in the February count taken two weeks ago.

      Also, how could we send ninth graders “back” to middle school when they are already there as 8th graders?

      Finally, your assertion about Chatfield is false. They do not have space to add ninth grade.

  2. blake

    I’ll try, Let me try to explain,… $$$ wasted in our schools with our last bond.
    One thing to make clear. Declining enrollments has absolutely nothing to do with leadership!
    You guys do what you want and you are not a leader of anybody other than the school board.
    If we don’t have 2200 right now then we are very close to that. I had kids in east when there was 8th graders there. Then there was close to 1400 and there was portable classrooms there. You guys weren’t around then but believe me, it was very very crowded. I was always told its capacity is 1500. Have you been in those halls between classes? Obviously not, its terrible now, with only 1100.
    Your question about 9th back to middle school, because their allready there. Is just a stupid sarcastic responce that is not very profesional sounding comming from a school offical.
    And don’t be so sure about Chatfield, it is much more realistic than what you plan on doing at East.

    1. lapeercs

      I apologize if that came off as sarcastic. I am simply pointing out that we would not be pulling anyone out of high school, but simply keep kids in their MS buildings for ninth grade (incidentally our district’s best facilities) and giving them equal access to high school rigor and extracurriculars.

      To your comment on wasted money in our schools with the last bond: For the sake of argument, let’s say a bunch of money was wasted in buildings that are now closed. What could we do to fix this now? Keep half empty buildings open because we upgraded the lighting in the gym? Let’s say you’re a superintendent and you know there’s a chance your board might vote to close a school in the next year, two years or even three. Are you going to not replace ceiling tiles, fix a leaky roof or replace a HVAC unit? It’s still a school full of students who deserve the best environment we can provide them with.

      Please clarify your school board comment. I don’t follow.

      On enrollment: We are at approximately 2,000 students plus 100 in the alternate program (housed separately) right now, today. I don’t doubt for a minute that East was crowded back then. We had many more students at that time. And yes, I have walked the halls at East during hall passing time several times this school. I wouldn’t describe the school as being terribly overcrowded, as you say, since East’s student population has gotten smaller every year for many years. Even if I use the capacity number you cited, East would be 467 students under capacity right now — even before you price in the enrollment declines moving forward.

      Capacity: As I’m sure you know, capacity figures are based on a number of factors including physical size of the facility and how it is utilized. If the new high school is a 10-12 building, as has been proposed, that enrollment figure right now, two years from the slated consolidation, is just less than 1,600. That does not include high school students who, at various times throughout the day, would be taking advantage of the virtual program, the dual-enrollment program, Ed Tech, and other programs at the West complex.

      As for Chatfield: Respectfully, the rumor posted by the other commenter is baseless. Call Chatfield first thing Monday morning and ask them if they are even considering a high school program (or even ninth grade). I can assure you the answer you will get is a definitive no. Certainly it’s easier to post rumors, but it would only take two minutes to call Chatfield and ask. LCS has a good relationship with Chatfield School. They encourage their 8th graders to attend our freshmen orientations and many do.

      Are you on the facilities task force or any of the other task forces?

      Jared

      1. blake

        I meant, the only ones following COLT is the board. Most of your teachers talk behind your back and do not like Wandrie. Most people here do not want this for their kids and I do not either! Did not move here 20 year ago to have “big city school” . 2000 9th-12 is just to large. I think all of the good things you are doing can be done without the consolidation. I have seen and know folks that have gone to your task force and I will not waste my time. My last child will more than likely go east or south of this district if this happens, and others are saying the same. If you lived here and you loved your kids, then you just might feel the same.
        Jared, at least, thanks for the time.

      2. lapeercs

        Thank you Blake. Reasonable people can disagree. I just want to do my part to help people understand the logistics before they arrive at an opinion. You are right, 2000 in 9-12 would be too large. This is why that grade would be housed in our middle school buildings.

        Times are tough and tough decisions have to be made. We can’t print money like the federal government.

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