Lapeer East High School to host community forum on strategic plan

lcs logo LAPEER, Michigan — Lapeer Community Schools will host a community forum on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, at Lapeer East High School to showcase components of its strategic plan for secondary education.

The event begins at 6 p.m. in the auditorium and is open to the public.

Key components of the plan include: High school consolidation, flexible student scheduling, increased access to academic rigor and the long-term plan to offset revenue declines stemming from lower enrollment.

“This is a great opportunity for members of our community to get a vision of the future of Lapeer Community Schools,” said LCS Superintendent Matt Wandrie, who will facilitate the forum. “Many members of the community, alongside members of our staff, have invested a lot of time and energy in our task forces in order to make this event possible.”

The LCS Board of Education is scheduled to vote on the Secondary Education proposal at its regular meeting on March 21.

Lapeer East High School is located at 933 South Saginaw Street in Lapeer.

53 Comments

  1. Jeanette

    No, do not like this. Like the dual enrollment but not the consolidation. Extra curriculars are and important part of High school development. Many opportunities will be lost and so will some of the students. “In school” safety will be a consern when buildings are put to the max. capacity.

    1. lapeercs

      Jeanette — Are you aware of the many opportunities that are being lost currently due to our current two high school structure? Would you be surprised to know that our district had 18 sports teams just this school year that could not compete due to lack of participation? Certainly there will be only one quarterback or starting point guard once the merger becomes a reality, but the positives outweigh the negatives. The vast majority of those opportunities in sports that are currently being lost would no longer be lost in one traditional high school.

      1. Jeanette

        The lack of participation here is do to the districts culture created in the past.do to no support of youth programs, IE charging large amount of money for the community to use its facility or not allowing use at all! Many good communities with much, much smaller high schools than either East or West with a better community involvment have none of the problems that your speak. This you speak is a poor excuse to suport your agenda, I can not fault you because this is what your are being paid to say.

      2. lapeercs

        We don’t charge a lot of money for use of our facilities. I regret that it was done in the past, but it is not being done anymore. We support the community groups that support our students. I should know, that’s part of my job. Many community groups and student activity groups use the facilities for free.

        Also, there aren’t many school districts with two high schools with only 1,000 students in each.

      3. Jeanette

        I said in the past…..LCS has set a culture that will take time to change, and if we only have one high school then what? If we grow the youth programs and then the kids and families see little opportunities, then what do you think they will do?

      4. lapeercs

        Are you concerned about the widespread lack of opportunities that we have right now in our athletic programs? 18 teams just this year that we could not field because there were not enough kids?

      5. Jeanette

        Also, our school are reporting to the State each of them, over 1100….. please do lie to push your agenda.

      6. Jeanette

        Look at the website that I provided east is at 50.5%, west is 29%, and for your information Oxford is the biggest surprize ranking in a 24.9% of overall academic acheivement,,…Look for yourself. do you want me to cut and past the report to you?

      7. lapeercs

        I’ve read the report. It’s a contextual study that factors in the socioeconomic status of students. It by no means indicates that Bendle’s scores or post high school outcomes are better than Lapeer’s or Oxford’s.

    2. Jeanette

      Actually there is,…and as an extreme. Burton has 3, and BurtonBendle 400 High school kids, it the best public performer in the area academically. They a like at the 80% high state ranked academic performer, where as Lapeer west is 24% and east is at 50% per that Web Site. The examples used on that web blog was South Lyon,Zeelan,hudson…
      …here is cut an paste that posting
      >Lapeer Community Schools $647 per student
      Zeeland Community Schools $497 per student
      South Lyon Community Schools $583 per student
      Hudsonville Community schools $540 per student

      1. lapeercs

        With all due respect. I have no idea where you’re coming up with your figures. Burton Bendle High School is not even close to being a “high state ranked academic performer.”

        Again, MDE publishes reports on this stuff every year (Top-to-Bottom list) and it’s very easy to find.

        Bendle High is ranked in the bottom 78 percent of schools. Lapeer East, as an example, is in the top 40 percent (alongside Oxford High School) and we can do much better than that.

        Also, Jeanette, Burton is not a school district. Bendle Public Schools has one high school Atherton has one and Bentley has one. They are separate school districts.

  2. sheila

    I also agree with you Jeanette, Please everyone share this on your facebook to get as many people to this meeting and to havee their voices heard.

    1. lapeercs

      Kelly: Expand on that idea. How do you square our district’s finances without cutting academic programs for kids or going after more employee concessions? Where does the money come from to “build?”

      1. Jeanette

        By cutting our bloated administrative overhead costs,.. I read a post on facebook refering to a website the mackinaw group //affiliated with a state of Michigan website. It shows LCS is $100 per pupil higher than some other like sized schools with 2 high schools. It said if we could bring our cost down to an average. It could save us $600,000 per year. That would go a long way.

      2. lapeercs

        What do you base your statement about “bloated administrative overhead costs” on? Have you looked at the figures from the Michigan Department of Education or are you just throwing that out there without any basis in fact? Every year MDE publishes a ranking of all school districts in Michigan that is based on a set of financial data including central office administrative costs. LCS is now among the least “top-heavy” districts in the entire state. It is called Bulletin 1014.

        LCS has reduced overall administrative staffing at ASC by 36 percent since 2006. Just this school year we reduced three administrative positions down to two in our Department of Instruction.

        If you look at the recent figures released by the Mackinac Center (an organization you cited), you’ll find that our superintendent is compensated less than 180 superintendents in the state. I can assure you there aren’t 180 bigger school districts in Michigan.

        As for the rest of your post, please explain what you mean by this: “I read a post on facebook refering to a website the mackinaw group //affiliated with a state of Michigan website. It shows LCS is $100 per pupil higher than some other like sized schools with 2 high schools. It said if we could bring our cost down to an average. It could save us $600,000 per year. That would go a long way.”

        LCS has the minimum per-pupil foundation allowance. We get far less funding per student than many districts in the state and we have the added overhead costs of transporting students inside a district that stretches 225 square miles.

    2. Jeanette

      Does this $$$ include the new positions created in the past year?
      Matt bringing in his crony from his last job at dearborn HS, Mr Reed? His background differs little from our two EXISTING PRINCIPLES. He having 8 years at Milan and 2 at Dearborn Crestwood as High school principles……We allready had 3 qualified principles with only 2200 total kids right? What as a tax payer in a district with a declining enrollement, would we want you to add a forth high school principle qualited person into the mix?
      THAT IS WHAT I MENT BY “BLOATED”

      1. lapeercs

        Yes. The District saved around $70,000 by reduced the Department of Instruction by one position.

        As for the rest of your post, I really don’t know what you’re talking about.

      2. Jeanette

        CAP Score CAP Grade State
        Rank
        % №
        Milan High School Conventional Rural: overall grade D State rank 10.7%
        Grade State Rank
        ACT Composite D 11.2 %
        MME Math D 15.4 %
        MME Reading D 12.1 %
        MME Science D 12.1 %
        MME Social Studies D 11.0 %
        MME Writing D 18.1 %

        This is where Ron Reed spent 8 of his last 10 years. And Lapeer hires him to oversee our secondary program. Really……….Our school board needs to wake up!
        Is this how you spend our tax dollars. You need to fax check Mr. Wandrie before you follow along.

  3. Jeanette

    You wouldn’t seeing that you have not been here that long, and living in another community also, assuming this is Jared speaking.

    1. lapeercs

      I don’t understand it because it’s incoherent.

      Did any of the three qualified principals you referenced apply for the position?

      And yes, this is Jared. I’d love to meet you at my office or maybe for a coffee to talk about these important issues. Name the time and I’ll make it work.

  4. Don

    I find it hard to believe that we had 18 sports teams that were not fielded because of lack of participation. Can you speak to the specific 18 teams that were disbanded and not run this school year?

    That being said I am most definitely in favor of the district plan of consolidation. I have been calling for that for years. I feel being that I’m not born and bred here in Lapeer I’m not hooked on the rivalry that has so many against such a consolidation.

    1. lapeercs

      Sorry. The 18 figure was from last year. The number is 16 for this year.

      Teams we cannot currently offer:

      West:

      Boys’ Varsity tennis,
      Boys’ JV tennis
      Freshmen softball
      JV Lacrosse
      JV Hockey (varsity hockey is co-op)
      JV boys’ soccer
      JV girls’ tennis
      Freshmen boys’ or girls’ soccer
      JV Comp Cheer
      (Swimming is co-op)

      East:

      No JV girls’ golf in a decade
      No freshmen boys’ soccer in a decade
      No freshmen girls’ volleyball in two of last five years
      No freshmen girls’ basketball in last four years
      No freshmen or JV girls’ competitive cheer in last three years
      No freshmen, JV or varsity sideline cheer for last three years.
      No freshmen girls’ soccer for a decade
      No freshmen girls’ softball in a decade

      1. grumpyoleman

        Maybe we should quit wasting time and money on freshmen and jv programs that weren’t even around back when we were at peak enrollment. Too many programs are diluting the talent of the teams we have also. One AD and an assistant could probably handle both high schools at that point too.

      2. lapeercs

        Grumpy —

        How would having freshmen and sophomores on freshmen and JV teams dilute the talent on varsity? Don’t the best players play varsity regardless of their class?

      3. grumpyoleman

        Never said it diluted varsity. The kids could play a different sport and strengthen those numbers so they actually have enough kids for practice. Or they could move some of those kids up to jv and varsity where they may not play but would gain valuable experience in practice. Probably wouldn’t hurt to look at the coaches and find out why nobody wants to play for them.

      4. grumpyoleman

        If you look at most of those programs they are girl programs that probably did not exist In the early 80′ s and if they did the only had jv and varsity programs. I know why they exist now so no condescending reply is needed on that issue. And the majority of those boys programs didn’t have jv teams back then either or didn’t exist.

  5. Luke

    Can someone tell me how many high schools in the state are grades 10-12? Also, how many middle schools are 6th-9th? If I have read this correctly, I simply cannot agree with 6th – 9th. My neighbors 5th grader goes to Turrill and rides the bus with middle schoolers. She has told her parents that everyone on the bus cusses. So to add insult to injury, we will have 6th graders being influenced by would be H.S.freshman. Different maturity level at those ages. Keep them in a separate wing all you want. The social learning happens on the bus.

  6. Robert Skouson

    When a school district goes from 9500 students (10+ years ago) to 5900 students, then tough decisions must be made. I think that there is too much school “brand” loyalty and that people fail to understand that you can’t keep doing things the way they have been done. It is obvious that changes need to be made in order to go forward.
    No plan will be perfect with everyone, but times have changed and Lapeer schools must change as well.

    1. lapeercs

      Robert —

      Your point is well-made, but I just want to correct your enrollment figure. LCS never had 9,500 students. We topped out at 8,766 in 1980-81. 10 years ago we had approximately 7,300. Today we have closer to 5,800. Although, declining 1,500 students in that time period is really, really significant.

      1. Jeanette

        Just wanted to remind you guys that we are talking about the High schools. Ten years ago lapeer East had 1113 and Lapeer West had 1072,. lets see,.. thats 2185 total 9-12 graders in 2002-3. If you want to go back to 1992-3, (20 years ago) Lapeer East had 1159 students 9-12 and West had 1094. This was total student population of 2253. So you are obviously misrepresenting the figures.!!!

        Side by side total grades 9-12 student population for Lapeer.
        1992-1993 2253 students – 20 years ago.
        2002-2003 2185 students – 10 years ago.
        2012-2013 2245 students CURRENTLY REPORTED TO MSHAA

        LIES, LIES, AND MORE LIES.
        FACT CHECK PLEASE! http://michigan-football.com/f/allteams.htm
        IN THE LAST 20 YEAR THERE HAS BEEN NO ENROLLMENT CHANGE IN OUR HIGH SCHOOLS. OTHER THAN EXPECTED FLUXUATIONS.

      2. lapeercs

        “Jeanette” —

        Why do you have such an aversion to official figures?

        You honestly think there are eight fewer high school students in the district today than there were 20 years ago?

        District enrollments:

        2003-04: 7,394
        2007-08: 6,764
        2011-12: 6,050
        2012-13: 5,869

        One point that I’m certain you overlooked is that the MHSAA now counts Community High School in their numbers.

  7. Jeanette

    Yes, because that is the facts as reported to the State, and MSHAA.
    They, unlike you…don’t have an agenda!
    People who read this….Check for yourself. IMPORTANT for grades 9th-12th only. It is our k-12 that is loseing the kids to Chatfield, Private and homeschool.
    If guys keep pushing your agenda this will have the same affect to our high schools. (or school)

    1. lapeercs

      “Jeanette” –

      What happens to the high school population when much smaller classes from the middle school make it to high school?

      Then what happens when classes, smaller still, from our elementary schools get through middle school to high school?

    1. Jeanette

      If your only consern is saving $$ and your job. Then the approach your talking makes sense to you. But as parent and a member of this community, paying you to play on socal media and defend our, (as we talked earlier) “BLOATED ADDMINISTRATION COST” is a waste of this districts money!!

    2. lapeercs

      If you don’t want to cut programs for students, how would you pay maintain two traditional high schools with declining enrollments? How would you address the budget deficit?

  8. Jeanette

    Did you miss something ?…. “BLOATED ADMINISTRATION”. Things like this activity. We would not even be discussing this if our district was not so top heavy…..One princpil to oversee our two small middle schools.
    not to mention the multiple assistant princle, and …….dean of students. These people did not even exist 4 year ago, before adding a not needed middle school.

    1. lapeercs

      “Jeanette” —

      According to the Michigan Department of Education, LCS is FAR from a top-heavy school district. Far, far from it.

      But let’s say we went to your plan, would that come close to offsetting future deficits tied to declining enrollment? The truth is, it wouldn’t come close to covering even one year’s deficit. What else would you cut?

  9. Jeanette

    Yes, same savings year over year.
    Since there alot less kids in the middle schools, I would look to combining them first. and adjust the configeration to just 7-8 grade. Convert Zimmer to part of the West complex to house all that good stuff along with the community ed, things your doing with secondary education. Maybe 6 graders back to elementarys or maybe 6th grade campus at shickler, like there was 30 some years ago.
    There are other ways than distroying our middle schools and high school!

  10. Linda

    You are not even giving us a illegitimate answer on combining schools. In all, you’re lying to us just to combine schools. I have multiple friends who have tried to put their children in our elementary schools, but have been rejected due to “being full”. Now they are doing school of choice out of our school district. If we are so poor, why did we build 2 middle schools if we had such low numbers in kids? Its ridiculous. Imagine how these kids feel right now knowing that they wont have the fun at East vs West games and the fun in rivalry. Also, putting 9th graders in middle schools is utterly dumb! They are not middle schoolers, they are teenagers who should be in the high school, being with the sophomores and juniors and seniors for somebody to look up to. To see what they can achieve with hard work. Not surrounded by pre-teens who just care about drama. Think, they’re are a lot more students than what you think. You think that combining schools is a great idea, but you’ll find out the hard way that is is an utterly, terrible idea. Lastly, you’ll spend more money adding more onto East, spend a lot of money on new uniforms. You think you’re saving money, but in reality your spending a lot more money than what you think you will.

  11. Nicole

    I, too disagree with a HS consolidation. Have you been in the halls during class change at either HS?? It is VERY crowded right now!

    Another point I’d like to make is that the state pays the respective districts the same per-pupil amount for those students participating in the off-campus online program. Maybe it is just my experience; however the staff eagerly provides students with that informational packet, whether or not it is truly beneficial to the student.

    Smaller class sizes are critical for education, and assessing a slightly larger out-of-pocket fee for travelling sports teams is far better than crowding the school’s hallways and classrooms even further!

    1. lapeercs

      Of course. I’ve been at East and West on numerous occasions during hall-passing time. We just have a difference of opinion. In truth, I don’t think East has ever had fewer students in the building than it has right now. If it has, it’s not by much. Back in the mid 1980s there were 1,250 or more students in that building.

  12. Mike

    You want to start talking about saving money? What’s the answer on passing a sinking fund to fix up buildings in the district and then turning around and closing the buildings that you spent our hard earned tax money on. You wonder why bonds don’t get passed.

  13. Aaron

    Does anybody know the actual 9-12 enrollment in both East and West? Further, what is the corresponding enrollment in each school’s grade 1-4?

    1. lapeercs

      From most recent count (Feb. 2013)

      9-12 enrollments:

      East: 1,033
      West: 998
      Community: 93
      LVLC: 55

      HS Total (9-12 with virtual): 2,172

      In our middle schools, we have 1, 312 students.

      Currently we have a combined 2,342 in E-5, Kindergarten and grades 1-5.

  14. not a fan of this plan

    We choose Lapeer as a place to live because we liked the smaller high schools. With working in Warren and Auburn Hills we made the choice to drive so that our children we not lost in big mega high schools. Private schools here we come. Remember Board we as parents have choices we can make. Please do not let the Supt destroy our district when he doesn’t even have his children in our schools. If it’s the right thing to do; then make the decision when the numbers make sense.

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