LAPEER, Michigan — Starting with the 2014-15 school year, Lapeer will be a one high school town. On Thursday night, the Lapeer Community Schools Board of Education unanimously approved the merger of East and West High Schools. The new school will be Lapeer High School.
The proposal, one facet of the District’s four-year strategic plan, will consolidate the 10-12th grade student populations at what is currently the East campus. Part of the original proposal called for the housing of ninth graders at the District’s current middle school buildings. After several community engagements, LCS Superintendent Matt Wandrie recommended the Board consider options for ninth graders at a later date. The current West High School complex will be utilized as an innovation center for students, for alternative education and dual enrollment.
The planned merger is the culmination of more than a year’s worth of planning to at-once expand the District’s academic programs for students while addressing long-term structural issues plaguing the community – lower birth rates, declining population and reduced funding due to current and projected enrollment declines.
Board President Mike Keller told more than 100 people in attendance that the plan isn’t like others in the past, when members decided what students could do without. This plan is about choice and innovation.
“This plan isn’t just about cutting our way out … we have a good plan,” Keller said. “The option of doing nothing should not be on the table.”
Wandrie, whose contract with the District was extended by a unanimous board vote, reiterated that the success of the plan is tied to one guiding principle: putting students in front of great teachers.
“Our plan will create opportunities for all types of learners,” he said. “”We have shrinking resources, but we’re positive we have the people in our organization to navigate through this trying time.”
For more information, visit LapeerSchools.org.