Superintendent Supports Repositioning Plan

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

It's time for a change in the Lansing School District --- so says its superintendent.

"Repositioning is the way to go and we are on that road," Lansing Schools Superintendent T.C. Wallace said.

Wallace presented his final recommendations for repositioning the district and they mirror those of the task force.

"Basically he's embraced in totality the recommendations of the repositioning committee," Committee Chair David Hollister said. "He's broken them into short term, medium term and long term goals."

And divided them into plans for elementary, middle, high school and district-wide changes.

In the short term, Wallace proposes changes inside the classroom to curriculum, accountability and student achievement.

"The building facilities those are in the long term," Wallace said. "Both the elementary schools and the secondary strict discipline academy... those will take time."

The plans for new buildings, Wallace said, will only be in the district's future if the funding and the support are there.

"We do qualify it by saying resources have to be available," he said. "The community has to want new schools and be willing to support millages for new schools."

Hollister said support from all stakeholders will be key in this process.

"It's going to take a united front from parents, teachers, administrators, and the community," he said.

Lansing Teachers Union president Jerry Swartz said he embraces the repositioning idea, but still has some questions.

"The reconstitution issue is still present here," Swartz said, "and there is no basis this would work in high schools."

The School Board will have questions too as they move forward.

"We'll sit and see what's doable and what's not doable," School Board President Hugh Clarke said. "There are some things that aren't doable right now."

But what everyone agrees on, is it can't be business as usual in district anymore.

"We have to do some things that effectuate change," Clarke said. "That probably means you have to do things that are unpopular, but if you don't take a chance, you don't know."

Clarke said special work sessions will be scheduled to see which parts of the repositioning plan the board will support, and which parts get tossed.

A final vote could be held within the next 30 to 45 days.


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