Changes And Challenges For New School Year

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

Last school year was tumultuous for many mid-Michigan school districts. Changes to sports schedules, contract negotiations and an unpredictable state budget left many districts uneasy at the close of the year.

But come September, it's a clean slate, and Lansing schools will relish that fresh start.

"It's going to be a great year. A great year," says school board vice president Hugh Clarke.

It's the first full year for Lansing's new Pattengill middle school. Outside the building Sunday, Clarke spoke of other visible changes the district is going through.

"This will be Dr. T.C. Wallace's first full school year with the school district," Clarke says.

Dr. Wallace took over as superintendent in July. He told us then he hopes to decrease class sizes to foster better learning.

Wallace isn't the only new face students will see this year.

"We have a number of new principals, even right here at Pattengill," Clarke says, also mentioning new principals at Sexton, Everett and Woodcreek.

But amidst the positive changes, there are challenges.

The school board anticipates the new closed-campus lunch rules to rile up some students.

"It'll probably be a little rough at first, but we've got great students and staff, and they'll roll up their sleeves and work hard to get acclimated."

And though the district has a small surplus to start the year off, finances continue to be a struggle.

"Hopefully the economy will pick up and will result in more funding for K-12 education," Clarke says.

As summer winds down, school might not be on students minds yet, but it's clearly in the forefront for lansing school administration.


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