A Holt Rams JV baseball player waits to bat at their game against Dewitt April 24. Four of the coaching staff—between JV and Varsity—have left the team mid-season.

Holt baseball lets go of four coaches mid-season — but why? Answers are elusive

A recent spring break trip has resulted in the exit of four varsity and junior variety baseball coaches at Holt High School. “Effective immediately, the Varsity and JV coaches and our assistant volunteer coaches have been placed on administrative leave,” superintendent David Hornak said in the announcement of investigation sent to parents April 12. The investigation lasted until April 18, when Hornak sent out another letter to parents. “As a result of our investigation, for various reasons, three of the four coaches are leaving the program, effective immediately,” Hornak said. “Assistant volunteer coach Mark Roche was invited to return but declined.”

Head varsity coach Nathan Potts, junior varsity coach Joe Murphy and volunteer pitching coach Bob McHenry were the coaches asked to leave the program, Hornak said.

Front of Eastern High School

Poverty in Lansing affects city’s high schools

All across the nation there has been a 260 percent increase in the number of students in highly concentrated poverty school districts, whose poverty levels are 40 percent and above. School districts in this category are at high risks of childhood well-being and positive opportunities. High poverty school districts in Michigan have doubled from 120 in 2006 to over 240 pre-kindergarten through 12th grade schools in 2012. In Lansing, once you step out of comfort of downtown and the capitol building, many of the surrounding neighborhoods are plagued with at least some level of poverty. The poverty doesn’t stop there, as majority of the Lansing schools are located in highly-impoverished areas.

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C.W. Otto’s future still uncertain four years after closing

On Thomas Street in North Lansing sits a massive empty building, resembling a factory more than what it actually is: a former middle school. In 2013, the Lansing School District shuttered C.W. Otto Middle in a move district Chief of Operations Teresa Szymanski says was due in part to declining enrollment. The number of students at Otto had fallen sharply in recent years, from a peak of nearly 1200 in 1993 to less than 600 in 2012, according to Public School Review. She said the decline, which mirrors a dip of over 13,000 in Lansing’s population from 1990-2010, made closing the school the district’s best option. “I wasn’t here when that decision was made, but I’m sure it had to do with ‘right-sizing’ for building-student population,” Szymanski said.

FIT4MOM gets Meridian Township moms moving

Fit4Mom is a workout program designed for women going through all stages of motherhood. This group meets in Meridian Township on the corner of Jolly and Hagadorn Roads. These women meet for classes where they workout, plan mom’s night outs, play groups and where they discuss community events.

Percent of students that take and pass their AP tests in Lansing public high schools, and their college readiness index score according to U.S. News

Lansing public high schools struggling to make students college-ready

The Lansing Public School District has gained an outstanding reputation for their high schools from some. But others say the academics are as poor as Detroit Public Schools. Michigan State University academic advisor David Williams has worked in East Lansing for over 5 years, and currently has children in high school. Due to the reputation of the high schools in the Lansing area Williams sends all three of his kids to Okemos High School. Williams said the academics and environment of some public high schools isn’t something that allows students to grow and progress positively academically.

Lansing public school buses line up outside of Eastern High School on March 15, 2016. Photo by Taylor Skelton

‘It is an option that I wish more parents would explore:’ Homeschool community succeeds in Lansing

 

About 24 years ago, Kim Winter and her husband started Lansing’s largest homeschool support group, Christian Home Educators’ Support System (CHESS). Years later the organization has grown to serve nearly 300 homeschooling families in the greater Lansing area. CHESS focuses on helping parents and training them to be better teachers for their children. Additionally, they provide co-op meetings and enrichment days for students. With a home school community like Lansing’s, Winter says there are frequent opportunities for students to engage with each other.