District Prepares For Day One

By: Meaghan M. Norman Email
By: Meaghan M. Norman Email

The shuffling won't stop until school is back in sesson.

"We have an unusually large number of retirements so we're trying not to overstaff and yet have the right number of staff to match the students that arrive," said Jerry Swartz, the president of the Lansing Schools Education Association.

74 teachers and 19 administrators in the Lansing School District took the state-offered retirement package. This has left a hold that the district says won't get filled.

"Those will be replaced based on student need. If we lose a projected 500 students like we expect then we won't need to replace all 74," said Stephen Serkaian, the spokesman for the Lansing School District.

The teacher shuffle will continue until all the students who plan on attending are enrolled. The district set up its mobile enrollment center again this year. But, the fluidity within the district doesn't help.

"Sometimes you find families catching up at the last minute and they may still be in the transition period right now, trying to figure out do I start at school A and move to school B or do I go ahead and make the leap to school B," said Swartz.

One change happening with fewer anticipated students and a greater number of retirees --- three principals will be doing double duty.

"Three of our principals will be doubling up and assigned two building to save roughly $300,000. We'll see how it goes," said Serkaian. "They understand every dollar is necessary in order to teach our kids and keep the money in the classroom where it belongs."

The six schools that will be a part of the of the shared school system are: Lyons, Attwood, Forest View, Dwight Rich, Wexford and Woodcreek.

Serkaian said the principals are excited and ready for the challenge and the next phase is to create a strong support system for these principals.

Staffing is still being hammered out and parents won't know exactly how many students will be in class with their children but these are adjustments the district says will happen within week one. Meanwhile, it says there is sufficient staffing for the start of school.

The Lansing School District has a mobile enrollment center making its rounds this week.

Wednesday, September 1 --
8 a.m. - 12 p.m., Gier Community Center, 2400 Hall Street;
1 p.m. - 5 p.m., Lansing Police Department South Precinct, 3400 S. Cedar St.,

Thursday, September 2 --
8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Ingham County Health Department, 5303 S. Cedar St.
(Vaccinations will also be available)

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