New school configurations may be in the works for East Lansing schools

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By Emily Sklar
Entirely East Lansing Staff Writer

East Lansing Public Schools may see a change in grade configurations for the 2011-2012 school year due to proposed changes by the East Lansing School Board.

During the July 18th special School Board meeting, the school board discussed various possible configurations for the elementary and middle schools in the district.

Much debate circulated around which configuration made the most sense in terms of both saving money for the district, while maintaining the best configuration for the students.

“Were trying to do something that has some traction for 20 or 30 years,” commented Rima Addiego, School Board President.

The majority of the meeting focused on the effects that different configurations would have on students. Present for comment at the meeting was Andrew Wells, Principal of Whitehills Elementary School.

Wells voiced his opinion in support of a 5th and 6th grade configuration based on his experiences both as a principal in a high school and elementary school.

“I’ve learned that the 5-6 is really a positive experience for students,” said Wells.

Wells also commented on the major issue of transitions for students. “I understand that transition can be difficult for many students,” said Wells.

He explained that in a recent conversation he had with his young daughter, she told him that there were too many transitions.

Ben Eysselinck, President of the Glencairn Neighborhood Association, sees many issues with the proposed changes made by the School Board.

“They are looking at completely rebuilding the entire school system based on anecdotal evidence,” said Eysselinck. “It seems to me that a lot of this change is being driven by the fact that they are loosing the bond money.”

No decision has been made as to the exact configurations for the 2011-2012 school year.


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