Ypsilanti Citizen Education ]]>

Ypsilanti Schools accept transportation consolidation
By Adrienne Ziegler
Jun. 8, 2010   ·   3:07 p.m.

Connie Shelton, an East Middle School Teacher, speaks against the WISD transportation consolidation plan at Monday's special meeting of the Ypsilanti Board of Education. The board approved the motion to join the consolidation by a vote of 5 to 2.

"Shame on you" echoed through the audience Monday night after the Ypsilanti Public Schools Board of Education approved a plan to join a countywide consolidated...read more

Willow Run appoints new board member
By Adrienne Ziegler
Jun. 5, 2010   ·   8:16 a.m.

The Willow Run School Board looks on as Kristine Thomas, a district parent and previous board member, is sworn in as trustee on Thursday night. Thomas will take the position of Joi Jenson who resigned in early May.

The Willow Run School Board appointed a new, yet familiar trustee to the board of education during their regular meeting Thursday night.

Kristine Thomas, a Willow...read more

Willow Run approves county-wide transportation plan
By Adrienne Ziegler
May. 27, 2010   ·   2:09 p.m.

The Willow Run School District signed on to a countywide consolidated transportation plan at their regular board meeting last week.

The plan aims to save transportation...read more

Lincoln offers summer courses to area high-schoolers
By Mark Tower
May. 26, 2010   ·   7:49 p.m.

Students from Lincoln and other nearby districts are being invited to participate in Lincoln High School's Summer Academy this year, registration for which opened...read more

Willow Run terminates student services administrator
By Adrienne Ziegler
May. 26, 2010   ·   12:26 a.m.

Willow Run School Board President Sheri Washington said she didn't know if the district was going to press charges against former Student Services Administrator Laconda Hicks after the board fired Hicks during a special meeting Tuesday night.

The Willow Run Board of Education unanimously voted to terminate its contract with former Student Services Administrator Laconda Hicks Tuesday night during a special...read more

Lincoln Schools consider pilot tech program for juniors, seniors

After moving the multiage program from Bessie Hoffman, picture above, Lincoln hopes to put a new tech pilot program in the building for the high school's juniors and seniors. Photo by Lincoln Consolidated Schools

After moving the multiage program from Bessie Hoffman, picture above, Lincoln hopes to put a new tech pilot program in the building for the high school's juniors and seniors.

Cost neutral program to be offered at Bessie Hoffman in 2010

By Adrienne Ziegler
Apr. 9, 2010    ·    12:05 p.m.

The Lincoln School Board is looking at a new pilot technology program for junior and senior students that would be fundamentally different from the traditional model of education.

The Lincoln Integrated Technology Environment program will combine academics, current technology and real-world problems into a project-based curriculum for students.

The program is tentatively slated to start in fall 2010 with an initial class of 30 juniors. It will be housed in the Bessie Hoffman building. Currently, Bessie Hoffman is home to the Lincoln Multiage program; however, those students will be moved to Brick Elementary in the fall to save on transportation costs.

“It’s in infant stages," said Superintendent Lynn Cleary. "We have a fast track to get it into place.”

Linda Burkett, director of special education for the district, is leading the initiative.
Burkett presented her vision for the program at a board meeting last month. Both Burkett and Cleary envision the program as an academy that will draw students from both within Lincoln as well as other districts.

Burkett said she sees the program as a place where students will take real-world problems and create solutions for those problems. She envisions the students working closely with community businesses, developing solutions through collaboration with area experts, and putting their solutions into practice. Potential projects she suggested included developing a plan for low-maintenance landscaping for the Lincoln district, starting businesses that fill community needs or working with tech companies to develop web applications.

Eventually, the students will handpick their projects while working with their program facilitator. Facilitators will act as more than just teachers to the students in the program.

"You want it to be someone who inspires and leads and coaches the students," she said.

Burkett believes this program will appeal to students who are creative, courageous, self-directed risk-takers.

"From my perspective, you're really looking for a type of student," she said. "Some students just work on projects all on their own when they leave school everyday and school is not the place where they engage."

In addition to acquiring leadership skills, networking in the community, and learning how to work in groups, the students will also gain understanding in the core subjects like math and

"The idea is to embed the curriculum right in the problem," Burkett said. She said that anything not covered in the problem-based learning model could be taken as an online class.

Burkett hopes the program will be able to partner with businesses like Apple, Google, Ford and others so the students get a taste of real-world projects that businesses face on a daily basis.

To get the program into place by September, Burkett has planned an aggressive timeline for selecting a board of "visionaries" to develop the curriculum and credit structure, getting Lincoln school board approval, and choosing the first class of junior students for the fall.

"It’s really a work in progress," Burkett said. "It’s not a cooked cake yet, because we’ve really just started to identify the visionaries we want to work with."

Cleary said the proram will be "cost-neutral" for the district. Because older students generally drive to school, the district will not have to bus students and will save money on transportation to Bessie Hoffman. She also believes the program will draw additional students to the district, which would increase funding from the state.

Related article:
Lincoln proposes moving multiage progroam to main campus

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