On Friday, members of one of the District’s 1-4 Priority Committee took a site visit to North Branch Elementary, inside our neighboring District to the north and east. The District’s most recent strategic plan and bond proposal calls for the use of the East Campus (currently Lapeer High School) to be re-configured as Lapeer Elementary School, housing all students in grades 1-4.
One of the jobs of the committee, comprised of community members, teachers and administrators, is to provide insight on the logistics of large elementary schools. North Branch Elementary is, by far, the largest elementary in Lapeer County and among the largest in the entire state. The school provided the committee with great insight on the academic and operational logistics of a large elementary school as well as the many inherent advantages.
NBE principal Greg Matheson led the visiting educators on a comprehensive tour of the facility, focusing not only on general structure and logistics, classrooms, specials rooms and security but details as well, including everything from flooring to bathroom locations. With Head-start students, said Matheson, NBE is home to over 1,000 students each day, some as young as two-and-a-half. “Large elementary schools are the norm in many states, but there aren’t many in Michigan,” said Field. “There are numerous advantages both academically and operationally to larger elementary schools, and we want to gather as much information as we can during this process.”
The committee will meet on Monday evening to share their insights, receive feedback and develop a list of top priorities for consideration as the 1-4 concept is developed.
The District has several other committees working concurrently, including one focused on the proposed performing arts center included in the November 2019 bond proposal. That committee took a site visit at Swartz Creek High School last week.
All committees will reconvene prior to June 24 to collect information and compile a list of top priorities.