Ypsilanti Citizen Education Lincoln Schools

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

Martin steps in to new district

The Ypsilanti Board of Education met Monday night, where they heard of the process new superintendent, Dedrick Martin, is proposing for creating a strategic plan for the district. Photo by Dan DuChene

The Ypsilanti Board of Education met Monday night, where they heard of the process new superintendent, Dedrick Martin, is proposing for creating a strategic plan for the district.

New superintendent wants plan for financially troubled YPS

By Dan DuChene
Sep. 29, 2009    ·    8:56 a.m.

Newly hired Ypsilanti Superintendent Dedrick Martin wants help creating a vision for the district he was hired this month to direct.

At his first board of education meeting in his new post, Martin laid out a process he will be using to create a long-term strategic plan, which includes input from stakeholders inside and outside the district.

Martin said the plan, once created, will be a road map for the next five or ten years.

“You want that road map to be dynamic, to adjust to current and changing realities,” Martin said.

To create the plan, Martin suggested bringing input from the board, staff, students, parents, community stakeholders and representatives from Eastern Michigan University. He said he hopes to begin creating the plan in the next two months, and finish it before the next school year.

“We’ll have several meetings before the process really begins.”

Board President David Bates said he was happy to see that the creation of Martin’s plan will involve a large cross-section of stakeholders in the district, not just board members and staff.

“I think it’s going to be critical to building success,” Bates said.

There are six steps Martin laid out for the process in which the plan will be completed. It starts with organizing the planning process and moves to evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the district.

“This is where we want to hear the constructive criticism,” Martin said.

From there, the process calls to set goals in strategic areas and develop action plans. Next, the process calls to develop a financial plan for those goals. He said the plan should be realistic in terms of the district’s financial situation.

Facing a $6 million budget deficit, the district administration was able to cut spending enough to lower that to $3.7 million when the board passed the budget in June. Cuts were made to pay and hours across the district, as well from other sources.

Two representatives from two different bargaining units complained of working through the reduced budgets at the meeting Monday.

Kelly Powers, president of the teachers’ Ypsilanti Education Association, said she had recently discovered a 46 percent cut to school supplies across the district. She said this wouldn’t allow schools to purchase enough paper, let alone pencils, crayons and markers.

Kevin Fortune, president of the support staff’s Ypsilanti Support Staff Association, said he was worried about the reduced budget for janitorial work. Due to a reduction in hours for district custodians, he said classrooms are now cleaned every other day. He said the situation could grow worse with the cold and flu season as the temperature drops.

“I don’t want the public or this board to think that this staff does not take pride in our work,” Fortune said. “Let’s make sure we send our kids here, to a clean environment.”

Bates told Kelly the schools had actually had an opportunity to purchase and store supplies during the last fiscal year, just before summer vacation. He said if the total purchases were added to the budget for this year, the 46 percent cut would become much smaller.

He also commended the support staff for their work getting schools ready this year. He said he said Fortune’s concerns were “noted,” and the board was forced to make some difficult decisions in the face of a $6 million deficit.

Encompassing the strategic plan in with the district’s financial status was the last element in Martin’s process before the plan is completed. He said once it is, copies will be available for the public and the whole document will be placed on the district’s Web site.

He said he would like not only the process, but the plan to be transparent and open to the general public.

Related Articles:
YPS finalizes superintendent contract with Martin
YPS passes budget deficit

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