It's expected to be a packed house at tonight's board meeting in the Holt Public School District. Parents angry about a new proposal to put seniors in their own building are expected to show up in full force. It's part of Holt Schools re-invention plan. Right now, 9th graders are at their own campus, but the school has decided to bring those students to the main high school, and instead place seniors in their own building. And that's not sitting too well with parents or students.
"Stop the switch"- it's the plea many Holt Public Schools families are making, trying to stop the implementation of a plan that would place Holt High School seniors in the current 9th grade building and bring 9th graders to the main school.
"They're moving forward with a huge project and they're not prepared for it properly, and they haven't prepared the public for it properly." said Larry Nassar, a Holt parent.
But Holt administrators say they're ready to make the switch this fall. They say the plan would benefit seniors, placing them in their own building that offers classes for college credit. They say 9th graders would benefit too. They'd be better prepared for MEAP and ACT tests by learning in the main building.
Larry Nassar is just one parent who says it'll hurt more than help.
"So, the seniors instead of being leaders, being the leaders of the school.. they're actually being separated, where you're not a leader because you're not around the rest of the school," said Nassar.
An online petition to stop the switch has nearly 400 signatures. And the anti- switch facebook group "Holt Community Matters" has around 500 likes and active discussion among parents. The group supporting the district's plan has just 5 likes.
We spoke with Holt School Board President John Malatinsky about the plan back in June. He says the board did ask for community input before approving the plan in April
"We had a number of meetings during the fall and winter," said Malatinsky.
But some Holt parents say the decision to implement the plan happened quietly and without a vote.
The minutes from the April 8th meeting simply says, "A majority of board members expressed support for the administration recommendation."
It's support they'll have to defend when parents make their case. The switch is part of a larger plan called "Reinventing Holt." the district's decision to close Midway Elementary has also been controversial. Tonight's meeting is at 7 PM at Holt's 9th Grade Campus.