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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

Willow Run to explore sharing services to cut costs

The Willow Run Board of Education met at Ford Elementary Thursday night. Permission was given to Superintendent Doris Hope-Jackson to explore possible shared services with other districts. Photo by Dan DuChene

The Willow Run Board of Education met at Ford Elementary Thursday night. Permission was given to Superintendent Doris Hope-Jackson to explore possible shared services with other districts.
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Board gives permission to talk with other districts

By Dan DuChene
Mar. 20, 2009    ·    8:28 a.m.


The Willow Run Board of Education voted to allow its superintendent to explore the opportunity to share services with neighboring public school districts.

The decision was reached in a six-to-one vote, with Trustee Harold Wimberly voting against, at the board’s regular meeting Thursday night at Ford Elementary.

“This has been an issue in front of us for a number of years,” Board President Claudette Braxton said at the meeting. “We’re at the point where we really don’t have a choice.”

Braxton explained how the state had pointed to this as a cost cutting tool the district should pursue in order to eliminate its $2.7 million budget deficit. She said if the district didn’t investigate the topic on its own the state could make it mandatory.

“At least we can say we looked at it,” Braxton said.

Superintendent Doris Hope-Jackson said she wanted permission from the board to have conversations with other school districts in order to formalize a specific plan to move forward. She said no decision would be made without the board’s approval and as soon as details became available as to which specific area of service could be shared community and staff members would be brought in to the process.

“All the ins and outs would have to be worked out,” Jackson said. “Before I can bring in a committee I need to first know if the board supports me pursuing this.”

Wimberly said he would like to see the district streamline its budget more before looking to share services with other districts.

“Let’s clean house first,” he said.

Jackson explained there are some programs the school offers, such as French language classes, that the district only needs a part-time teacher for. She said recruiting teachers for the positions would be easier if the district could offer a full-time position between two districts instead of a part-time position at Willow Run.

Wimberly asked what the repercussions would be from not approving the move. Jackson said positions in the district would move to part-time without any other options.

He also had objections with cooperating with districts that may not share the same “vision” as Willow Run.

“Do we know the vision of Ypsi Public Schools?” Wimberly said. “Is it our vision?”

During the citizens’ question time after the decision had been reached, Brandon Hamann, a 17-year-old junior at Willow Run High School, said he thought the move could prove an opportunity to offer programs not currently available to Willow Run students.

“It could be an opportunity to potentially broaden our selection of courses we could take,” he said, which could give students “a better chance at getting into college.”

However, he said the move could lead to some teachers losing their jobs.

Jim Francassi, the grandfather of a Ford Elementary student, stood up and asked the board if his granddaughter’s school was going to be closed. He said he had received a survey from the school asking where he would send his granddaughter if Ford were to close.

Earlier this month the board had adopted a state required plan to eliminate the district’s deficit in five years. Among other items, the plan called for closing one elementary school this year.

At Thursday’s meeting, Jackson explained that no school had been selected yet and there would be a forum at the middle school next Thursday to discuss the matter in more detail.

“No decision has been made as of yet,” Jackson said. “We want your input.”

After the meeting, Jackson said each elementary administration was directed to send a survey home. She said she agreed with parents at the meeting that the survey she had been given at the meeting could have “scared” some parents.

Jackson said an informational letter to the parents at the elementary schools would be something that could give those parents more understanding.

Related story:
Willow Run eyes budget deficit



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