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 takes $35 million bond issue to voters in May

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Funds slated for technology, renovations, expansions

By Adrienne Ziegler
Mar. 24, 2010    ·    12:44 p.m.


Lincoln Consolidated Schools is asking voters to approve a $35 million bond extension during a special election on May 4.

The funds will be used to upgrade technology for students and teachers, make “critical” renovations to buildings and infrastructure, add four new classrooms to Childs Elementary, renovate the auditorium, add an additional 1000-seat performance arts center, bring athletic facilities into compliance with Title IX standards and purchase several new buses.

“We have some critical needs we have address, particularly at the high school, ” said district Superintendent Lynn Cleary. “We want to provide an environment for the kids to learn and to be competitive in the real world.”

If passed, the bond would not raise taxes. It would extend a previous bond set to expire in 2015. The bond would be extended to 2030.

Cleary said upgrading technology is one of the main goals of the funds generated from the bond. Classrooms will be updated with modern presentation systems, audio and visual enhancements, interactive whiteboards, wireless internet access and computers.

“Those are the things that our students are deserving of,” she said.

She also said Brick Elementary will be completely renovated, with everything from new walls and rooms to upgraded technology.

“On the inside, it will be a brand new school,” she said.

Over the past two years, the district performed a series of public forums, input sessions, surveys and building-by-building needs assessments to determine exactly what they needed to keep facilities up to code and improve learning opportunities for students.

Cleary said by passing the bond now, the district hopes to take advantage of current low interest rates and several federal programs that will provide millions of dollars of savings over the life of the bond.

“We need to act now and act quickly,” she said.

The district also hopes to make some green energy improvements that will make the buildings more efficient. Utility companies have pledged to provide rebates for some of these upgrades.

But some district parents are not convinced that the plans for the bond issue and other recent cost saving measures have been communicated clearly by the board.

Rebecca Donovan has three children in the Lincoln district, with another one soon to enter school. Although she’s a proponent of the bond and any improvements the district would make, she also feels the district has not been clear on where and how they’re going to spend the money.

“First and foremost, I want to make sure my children are being represented in it too, and being cared for,” she said. “Everything is so vague, and I’d love to know exactly what things are going where.”

Earlier this year, the board approved moving the Lincoln Multiage program at Bessie Hoffman to Brick Elementary, which would save the district $250,000 in transportation costs. The expansion of Childs Elementary is written into the bond to accommodate the students displaced when the program moves to Brick, and to make room for additional students in the future.

Donovan, who currently has two children at the school, said she loves the Multiage program, but worries the move will jeopardize what she considers a “jewel of the community.” She said the board hasn’t been clear about how the move will affect all the district students, and how the bond improvements will play into the move.

“There’s a lot of information that keeps flip-flopping. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of research to back it,” Donovan said.

Cleary said a detailed list of planned improvements should be available on the district Web site later today.

Neighboring districts have passed similar bond issues over the last several years, including Ypsilanti Public Schools, which passed a $49.1 million bond in 2007 and Milan Schools, which passed a $49 million bond in 2009. Cleary said the district needs these additional funds to remain competitive against other districts.

“Our neighbors are all doing renovations, and our Lincoln kids deserve the same type of environment for learning,” she said.

If the bond passes, the improvements to the district will be completed over the next three years.

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