Just last year, Holt High School sent seniors on their own while freshman joined everyone else. The North Campus holds college class for seniors and the South Campus, or the Main Campus, holds class for the freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. Holt Public Schools Superintendent David Hornak said this change was beneficial to all students of high school age. Prior to this change, ninth-graders had their own building, separate from grades 10-12. “Moving the ninth-graders to the senior high helps them to engage in high school experiences for preparation of high-stakes standardized testing and provides resources to keep students on a path to a successful future,” said Hornak.
It’s 7 p.m. on an early October evening and tensions are high as parents, teachers and students fill the school board meeting room at Holt High School’s North Campus. After several minutes of discussion, Executive Director of Curriculum and Staff Development Dr. Ruth Riddle addressed the growing crowd. “Based on our internal data, we projected being down about 50 students and we’re right on target with our budget projections,” she said. According to information gathered from MISchoolData.org, which publishes student count rates, there were 5,803 students in Holt Public Schools during the 2013-14 school year. The district saw a loss of 87 students in the next year, dropping to 5,716.