It was 11am Thursday that the word came down on the Lansing State Journal website-- Sexton to become 9th grade Academy.... we knew there was a Lansing School District news conference at 10:30am for a major announcement. We'd heard the three city high schools would be reconfigured. The school district's information was confusing to say the least and the LSJ website added to the confusion with its version of what is really going on. All of us felt Sexton was shutting down and I was on the radio talking about it with Lansing State Journal high school sports editor Geoff Kimmerly.
The confusion lasted for hours-- the ninth grade pilot program is to be implemented this fall, but only for Sexton students. That's the gist of the story. The school stays in business as usual, but that sure wasn't the message conveyed this morning. In all my years on the air I can never remember anything more confusing than what the school district projected. We spent an hour reminiscing about the great Sexton teams of the past and what would happen to the Big Reds' coaches, etc.
Future suggestion-- make sure careful clarification is given on such stories. Many people are walking around town today thinking Sexton is going out of business at the end of the school year as a high school. It is not. As I now understand it, the curriculum and teaching methods for the school's incoming ninth graders will now change because of academic difficulties over the past five years. Nothing more and that's hardly a major news conference either.