School Restructuring Plans Approved

By: Sherene Tagharobi Email
By: Sherene Tagharobi Email

The state has approved the restructuring plans for Lansing Eastern High School and Waverly Middle School.

Both are on a list of the lowest-performing schools in Michigan, and facing a possible state takeover without some quick and major improvements.

Taunya Sims has an eighth grader at Waverly.

"In her math, she needed help and didn't really know how to go by asking teachers for help," Sims said.

That'll be easier now, Sims says, that Waverly's restructuring plan has been approved. The state labeled it a persistently low achieving school and gave it one chance to devise a turn-around plan. The school said okay, we'll lengthen our school days by 28 minutes and offer a ten-day summer program among other things.

"We're really hopeful that we'll be targeting students that need extra assistance," said Waverly Schools Superintendent Debra Jones.

Across town, Eastern High School was in the same boat. Its restructuring plan -- also approved monday -- calls for a flexible schedule so students can catch up on credits, or get ahead.

"Students will be able to start school as early as 6:50 in the morning and could stay as late as 3:30 in the afternoon," said Principal Sue Land.

It also offers expansion of its International Bacculaureate program and a mandatory 30-minute academic advisory period every day.

"Research tells us students who connect with even one person in high school are more likely to graduate," Land said.

Waverly Middle School's plan will focus on what administrators there and at Eastern say is key to any child's success -- math and reading.

"As they become more successful in high school, the idea of going on to post-secondary education becomes much more real to them," Land said.

As for Sims, she still has two younger kids who'll also attend Waverly.

"It's going to benefit my entire family," she said.

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