Despite prep school struggles, Lansing hopes a Promise will help kids make it to college

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By Jasmine Seales
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

According to the website Start Class, all four of the Lansing high schools, including Eastern High School, Everett High School, J.W. Sexton High School, and alternative school Woodcreek Achievement Center are preforming poorly on test scores, with all four schools producing lower than average math proficiency skills and reading skills compared to other Michigan high schools.

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Graduation rates have also decreased during the 2014 graduation year at both Woodcreek Achievement Center and Eastern High School. All four schools are also falling behind Michigan’s average graduation rate.

Though graduation rates are not high in the Lansing School District, the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce is helping to give an incentive for teens to graduate with the Lansing Promise scholarship program.

The Lansing Chamber president Tim Daman granted presented the Lansing Promise program a check for $65,206 on the morning of July 11, boosting their total donations to more than $83,000, and over $1.1 million total in this year’s total donations to the program.

The Lansing Promise is a program that is available to high school students who live within the Lansing School District, and attend either Everett, Eastern, Sexton, or Lansing Catholic Central High School. Students can use awarded scholarship money for either up to 60 credits at Lansing Community College, $5,000 towards the cost of attending Michigan State University, or up to $1,400 per semester to attend Olivet College.

Former Detroit high school principal Gail Russell-Jones says that providing scholarships for students is extremely beneficial for them to graduate and get to college, especially when many students come from low income households. When students see that going to college is more of a benefit than a risk, it helps push them even further.

With the Lansing Promise alone, 600 Lansing high school graduates have gone to college at either LCC or MSU, with three out of every four doing a second year at LCC, and 86 percent continuing on at MSU.

Though statistics show the harsh statistics of Lansing School District high schools, students and parents alike take pride in their schools and school systems. It’s not just about grades in the standard fields of study either, a school needs to prepare the youngsters for real life with real skills, they also need to prepare them for the real dangers of life, being comfortable with taking an STD test or doing your taxes properly are very important areas to focus on along with all the math and physics.

“My son goes to Everett, and he absolutely loves it there! The staff really cares about giving a good education to the students, and they pay close attention to students who are struggling. The extra curricular activities are also amazing,” said parent Rose Adams.