During the course of our historic transition toward unification of East and West High Schools, many questions have been brought to our attention. We have put a lot of effort into our approach to disseminating information and quelling fears about this change, but we also understand that every change is accompanied by anxiety.
A good rule of thumb with respect to rumors is this: if it sounds ridiculous, it almost certainly is. Unfortunately, some misinformation has been passed off as fact in recent weeks and it has become necessary for us to set the record straight on the following myths about the consolidation:
MYTH #1: Students will be limited to participation in only one sport.
FACT: This is false and against one of the basic operating principles that we abide by in our organization: Our desire is to expand opportunities for all students.
MYTH #2: Only upperclassmen who want to drive to Lapeer High School will be able to.
FACT: We have ample parking spots at the high school. The rumor that only upperclassmen (or seniors) would be able to park is false.
MYTH #3: Students will be prohibited from wearing Lapeer East and West clothing.
FACT: Students who want to wear East and West gear to school next year are free to do so. We are encouraging students to wear Lapeer High School gear moving forward, but the idea that the District would prevent students from wearing this type of clothing is completely false.
MYTH #4: There will be portables at Lapeer High School, Rolland Warner and Zemmer.
FACT: The current campuses at all three sites have adequate space for the District’s 6-12 population. There will NOT be portables at any LCS site.
MYTH #5: All Advanced Placement (AP) courses will be housed at the Center for Innovation – West Campus (CFI).
FACT: Our AP program will not be housed exclusively at CFI-West (current West High School) as has been rumored. There will be AP courses offered at the Lapeer High School campus, Center for Innovation – West Campus and the Zemmer Campus.
MYTH #6: All teachers will be teaching “on a cart”
FACT: There will be far fewer empty classrooms at the East campus starting this fall as the facility will operate much more efficiently. Very few teachers will travel between teaching stations.
MYTH #7: Class size will increase as a result of the consolidation.
FACT: We have contractual obligations that determine class size based on previously determined norms. Just as an example, when we closed a pair of elementary buildings two years ago, the average class size at the elementary level actually decreased.
MYTH #8: There will not be enough space in the cafeteria at Lapeer High School.
FACT: The East campus was designed to hold 1,600 students. Lapeer High School will house no more than 1,500 at any given time. The cafeteria will undergo an extensive renovation over the summer and will be a more-modern and more-efficient space. Students will not have to dine and dash. This renovation is being paid for with funds from a separate food service fund.
MYTH #9: One high school means fewer extracurricular opportunities for students.
FACT: We are adding teams, clubs and considering the addition of sports not currently offered. Many people are surprised to find out that the District has not been able to field numerous teams at lower levels for many years due to low participation numbers. For example, we did not offer 18 teams in 2013-14 due to declining numbers. For example, Lapeer East didn’t offer junior varsity football and the entire Varsity Boys Tennis season was cancelled at West. We are adding clubs and teams in 2014-15 and actually expanding opportunities.
MYTH #10: The District isn’t saving money by repurposing West High School because the facility will remain open as the new Center for Innovation.
FACT: The cost of keeping a building open is modest. The savings derived from consolidation come mostly in the form of lower personnel costs. Further, the cost of maintaining and expanding opportunities for students pales in comparison to the cost of operating two comprehensive high school programs.
MYTH #11: Students will miss out on extra curricular activities because of the 7th hour.
FACT: No practices or club meetings will begin until 3:30 allowing ample time for after school choices that aid our students academically. Over 520 middle school and high school students have already signed up to take a Zero or Seventh Hour class.
MYTH #12: We’re spending money on an athletic complex that will only be used once or twice a week.
FACT:No School District operating money has been used to construct the Athletic Complex — 100% of the funds used to build the Complex are either from fundraising activities within the community or from District Capital Improvement funds which by law are only allowed to be used on District buildings and facilities. The facility and complex will be used on a daily basis for practices, competitions and for community events.
One thought on “Mythbusters: East-West High School Consolidation”
Love seeing how you nip these rumors in the bud. I wish other districts would follow your lead. Communication and transparency is key.