education

Education
7:47 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Ann Arbor Public Schools Prepare for New Federal Food Guidelines

Credit Cali4beach / Foter.com / CC BY

Ann Arbor Public Schools officials continue to work with principals, PTO councils, and others to prepare schools for new federal food guidelines.  Starting in July all food sold in schools during the school day need their first ingredient be a whole grain, fruit, vegetable, or protein.  The new guidelines are designed to promote healthy eating habits for all kids across the country. 

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on steps Ann Arbor Public Schools are taking to be prepared for new federal guidelines on food sold in schools that go into effect July 1st.

SEE ALSO: Ann Arbor Public Schools Avoid Borrowing to Meet Cash Flow Concerns in December

Jenna Bacolor, chair of the district's Wellness Committee says they hope discussions now will help avoid headaches at the start of next school year.

Bacolor adds that unfortunately, the federal government and state haven't announced all of the final rules so some questions remain, particularly around exemptions for food sold through fundraisers. 

The new guidelines don't apply to food brought to schools by students.

SEE ALSO: Cash Or Credit? How Kids Pay For School Lunch Matters For Health

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Ann Arbor
2:13 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Michigan's Black Student Union says Lack of Contact from the University is Unacceptable

Credit @THEBSU/Twitter

The University of Michigan's Black Student Union says it's unacceptable that it has not yet been contacted by the university regarding seven demands presented Monday by the Union and the group Being Black at U-of-M. 

Geralyn Gaines is Secretary of the Black Student Union, which has threatened "physical actions" if its demands are not met in seven days. She says the actions will be non-violent, but declined to be more specific.

The demands made Monday include making affordable housing for low-income students available on the main campus, giving black students experiencing financial difficulty emergency scholarships, improving the university's multicultural center, and giving black students an equal chance to effect change. 

The group’s full demand:

  • We demand that the university give us an equal opportunity to implement change, the change that complete restoration of the BSU purchasing power through an increased budget would obtain.
  • We demand available housing on central campus for those of lower socio-economic status at a rate that students can afford, to be a part of university life, and not just on the periphery.
  • We demand an opportunity to congregate and share our experiences in a new Trotter [Multicultural Center] located on central campus.
  • We demand an opportunity to be educated and to educate about America’s historical treatment and marginalization of colored groups through race and ethnicity requirements throughout all schools and colleges within the university.
  • We demand the equal opportunity to succeed with emergency scholarships for black students in need of financial support, without the mental anxiety of not being able to focus on and afford the university's academic life.
  • We demand increased exposure of all documents within the Bentley (Historical) Library. There should be transparency about the university and its past dealings with race relations.
  • We demand an increase in black representation on this campus equal to 10 percent.

University Provost Martha Pollack said Monday the school is focusing on three areas: Improving the Trotter Multicultural Center, improving the climate on campus, and increasing enrollment of under-represented minorities as allowed by law. 

Gaines says the Provost's comments were "comforting," but fall short of what the Black Student Union expects from the university.

— Bob Eccles is a reporter and the host of 89.1 WEMU's All Things Considered. Contact him at 734.487.3363, email him reccles@emich.edu, or follow him on Twitter @BobEcclesWEMU

Eastern Michigan University
3:08 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Geoffrey Canada Gives Eastern Michigan University's MLK Day Keynote Address

Credit Matt Sayles/Associated Press

Educator and Activist Geoffrey Canada says the US has a national problem with educational issues which is clear through the high percentage of high school graduates that can't qualify to enter the military. Canada gave the keynote address for Eastern Michigan University's Martin Luther King Junior Celebration on Monday.

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Schools
12:09 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Ann Arbor Public Schools Avoid Borrowing to Meet Cash Flow Concerns in December

Credit Jesse f/2.8 / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Ann Arbor Public Schools planned to borrow money up to three times during the school year to address cash flow issues caused by a smaller fund balance than in previous years.  The district has now made it through two of the three months that were most likely to require borrowing without needing to seek outside cash. 

SEE ALSO: Ann Arbor Public Schools Parents Hopeful for Return of Tuition Based Pre-School

Chief Financial Officer Nancy Hoover says the planned use of $1.7 million in fund balance this school year, means they may still need to borrow money in June.
 
Hoover adds, the Washtenaw Intermediate School District helped the district avoid the need to borrow money in December by making a bill for transportation services not due until this month. The city of Ann Arbor also helped the district avoid the need for borrowing in December by quickly remitting some of the taxes they collect for the district. 

Hoover says the district's budget included spending $200,000 in interest payments which most of these have now been avoided.

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Ann Arbor Public Schools not needing to borrow money last month despite concerns about cash flow issues caused by a smaller fund balance than in recent years.

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Events
5:54 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Weekend Watch: Seth Glier, Kronos Quartet, MLK Events and more

Soul singer, Laura Rain and The Caesars perfom at Local Blues, Local Brews at Guy Hollerins this Saturday
Credit Ingo Rautenberg/ Courtesy of the Artist

Upcoming Events for  this weekend, January 17 - 20

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Education
3:32 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Ann Arbor School Board Votes to Open 750 School of Choice Seats for 2014-15 School Year

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Ann Arbor Public Schools opening up 750 seats for school of choice students from other Washtenaw County school districts.

Up to 5% of Ann Arbor Public Schools students in the fall could be coming to the district from other school districts in Washtenaw County.  The school board Wednesday night voted unanimously to open 750 school of choice seats for out of district students. 

Superintendent Jeanice Swift says the jump in school of choice seats is one of several efforts to better fill the district's classrooms.

The district has increased the number of school of choice students attending in each of the last four years, but never has filled all of the available seats. 

To help fill the spaces this year the district is planning a marketing campaign and district officials hope having spaces in all grades except the last two years of high school will help attract families with multiple children.

School of choice applications will be accepted March third through April first.  From Friday through February 14th the district will accept applications for in-district school of choice for students who don't want to attend the school where they live.

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Education
3:26 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Ann Arbor Public Schools Catalog of Online Classes Approved

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on the Ann Arbor School Board approving the catalog for online classes available to district students through the Ann Arbor Virtual Academy, and opening one class to a limited number of students from other districts.

Ann Arbor Public Schools will offer over 225 online classes to middle school and high school students this semester. 

The school board Wednesday night approved the district's virtual academy's catalog, and also approved opening ten seats in one algebra class to students from other districts. 

School board member Christine Stead says new state laws regarding online learning are yet another unfunded mandate, but the district is working to make the best of the changes.

District officials are hoping to learn a lot from offering the single algebra class to students from other districts.  They expect to have many more online classes available to students from other districts in the fall. 

Superintendent Jeanice Swift says with the uncertainties around new state laws about online classes every district in Michigan is facing similar challenges.

The deadline for registering for online classes this semester is January 22nd with classes starting one week later.

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4:36 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Eastern Michigan's Visions Concert

Lead in text: 
Contemporary and classical ballet, modern dance, jazz and hip-hop will set the stage for “Visions: The 62nd Annual Faculty & Guest Artist Concert,” January 17 – 18, at 8 p.m. and January 19 at 2 p.m. at Eastern Michigan’s Quirk Theatre
  • Source: Emich
  • | Via: Pamela Young
Eastern Michigan University Education First
9:18 am
Fri January 10, 2014

EMU will host Graduate Open House on Jan. 11

Lead in text: 
Eastern will open its doors and welcome undergraduate and working professionals who are interested in learning more about a higher education degree during a Graduate Open House, Saturday, Jan. 11. During the open house, graduate advisors will be poised to answer questions from 10 a.m. to noon at the Student Center Ballroom, located at 900 Oakwood, Ypsilanti.
  • Source: Emich
  • | Via: Debra Johnson
Eastern Michigan University Education First
9:13 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Graduate student earns a spot on the EMU delegation to Wuhan University, China

Lead in text: 
Off stage, Alejandra Escobar is calm and reserved, but when the Eastern Michigan University graduate student performs behind the piano, she displays the kind of passion and intensity that not only won the 2013 Graduate Student Music Competition, it earned her a spot on the EMU delegation to Wuhan University, China.
  • Source: Emich
  • | Via: Linda Hass
Passion and Intensity Graduate student earns a spot on the EMU delegation to Wuhan University, China by Linda Hass, Published January 08, 2014 Off stage, Alejandra Escobar is calm and reserved, but when the Eastern Michigan University graduate student performs behind the piano, she displays the kind of passion and intensity that not only won the 2013 Graduate Student Music Competition, it earned her a spot on the EMU delegation to Wuhan University, China.
Education
9:37 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

All But One Ypsilanti Community Schools Building to Open Friday

Credit Patrik Holubik / WEMU

Problems that have forced the closure of Ypsilanti Community Schools the past couple of days have for the most part been resolved. 

Associate Superintendent Laura Lisiscki says only Ypsilanti Community Middle School - Willow Run Campus remains closed Friday as they wait for heating system parts to arrive. 

Lisiscki says district staff has been working around the clock to get buildings ready to re-open, with some staffers so focused on their work that they had to be ordered to go home and get some rest. 

Again, only Ypsilanti Community Middle School - Willow Run Campus is closed Friday in the Ypsilanti Community Schools district.

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10:50 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Eastern Michigan University cancels all classes Tuesday, January 7

Lead in text: 
Due to the continuing extreme weather conditions, Eastern Michigan University has canceled all classes Tuesday, Jan. 7. This includes all planned campus activities, lectures and events. The National Weather Service continues to report hazardous weather conditions and the coldest temperatures in 20 years in Michigan, including a wind chill warning and winter weather advisory for the Washtenaw County region. Wind chill temperatures in the region are forecast to reach 39 below on Tuesday. The University plans to be open on Wednesday, Jan. 8 for regular business and classes.
  • Source: Emich
  • | Via: Walter Kraft
Eastern Michigan University Education First
5:44 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

Eastern Michigan University cancels classes for Monday, Jan. 6, due to severe weather conditions

Lead in text: 
Due to the extreme snowfall and cold temperatures for our region, Eastern Michigan University has announced the cancellation of all classes at Eastern Michigan University on Monday, Jan. 6. This includes all planned campus activities, lectures and events. Residence halls will remain open this evening and tomorrow to accommodate students who are still moving in and who have already arrived. The University plans to be open on Tuesday, Jan. 7 for regular business and classes.
  • Source: Emich
  • | Via: Walter Kraft
Eastern Michigan University Education First
Community
1:55 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Eastern Michigan University Adding Police Officers

Credit Eastern Michigan University Police

Eastern Michigan University continues to increase efforts to promote safety on campus and off.

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Eastern Michigan University adding police officers.

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Education
1:29 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Ann Arbor Schools Looking at New Federal Guidelines on Food Sales in Schools

Credit USDAgov / Foter.com / CC BY

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on the Ann Arbor School Board looking at what they need to do to prepare the district for new federal guidelines on food sold in schools.

Ann Arbor Public Schools next month will be looking at what changes are necessary to prepare the district for new federal guidelines on what food can be sold during the school day. 

The new rules begin July 1st. 

They require the first ingredient of any food sold in schools be a whole grain, fruit, vegetable, or protein. 

SEE ALSO: Ann Arbor Schools To Roll Out Enhanced Security Measures

 

School Board President Deb Mexicotte says the new rules will put some limits on what is available, but doesn't eliminate all snacks. Mexicotte adds, that it doesn't affect food brought to school by students or parents.  The new rules also end 30 minutes after the school day so concession stands at evening events don't have to adhere to the guidelines.

Mexicotte believes the school stores, vending machines and fundraising efforts will face the biggest challenge from the new rules.  She says Chartwells has been planning for the new requirements for some time so the food available in cafeterias should be able to meet the new rules.

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Education
8:43 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Ann Arbor Schools Superintendent Developing Report from Listen and Learn Tour

Credit AAPS

While students are out of the classroom for the winter break, Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Jeanice Swift is working on a report from her  four months long Listen and Learn Tour. 

Swift attended about 90 meetings including one in every school in the district to get feedback on the common themes and patterns that are concerning the district.  Swift says her report should serve as a good outline of issues that the district needs to tackle.

Swift says she expects about a half dozen issues the district will be able to tackle immediately, while many others may take years to fully address. 

Swift says the Listen and Learn tour also served as a valuable way for her to get to know about the unique story behind each neighborhood school.

 — Andrew Cluley is a reporter and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him aCluley@emich.edu.

 

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Eastern Michigan University
2:22 am
Thu December 26, 2013

EMU Endowment Grows to Largest In School History

Eastern Michigan University's Endowment has grown from about $36 million in 2009 to about $64 million  currently, the largest endowment in the school's history. 

Last year's return on investment was over 15-percent and they have averaged annual returns of over eight percent over the last 20 years. 

Laura Wilbanks is the Chief Financial Officer of the EMU foundation.  Wilbanks says in the last few years they've limited the costs and percentage of endowment spent annually on scholarships and other gifts.  She says the actual dollars spent from the endowment however can increase as the endowment grows. 

Wilbanks says the strong investment return is a result of aggressive investments in the stock market, limited exposure to alternative investments and being dilligent on rebalancing the portfolio.

EMU also successfully completed the Invest, Inspire Fundraising campaign a few years ago.

 — Andrew Cluley is a reporter and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him aCluley@emich.edu.

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Education
2:51 pm
Sat December 21, 2013

EMU Alum and Commencent Speaker, Wesley Coller Discusses Career in the Arts

Producer Wesley Coller, who graduated from Eastern Michigan in 1999, gave the Dec. 21 commencement address.
Credit Clay Enos

This week, Bob Eccles had the opportunity to interview movie producer and EMU grad Wesley Coller, who's giving the commencement speech this weekend at Eastern Michigan University. They discussed how Coller's educational journey led to a career in the arts.

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Commencement
8:56 am
Fri December 20, 2013

EMU Winter Commencement Saturday at Convocation Center

Eastern Michigan University's winter Commencement ceremony takes place Saturday afternoon at the Convocation Center.

EMU's Director of Media Relations, Geoff Larcom  tells WEMU News that EMU's graduation numbers are up slightly from last year, when 1,715 students made the trek across the stage. More than 1,800 students are expected to graduate Saturday.

Larcom adds that the percentage of students graduating from Eastern has been in the high 30% range over the past ten years or so and that EMU has a graduation and retention program in place to help bring those numbers up.

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Education
1:03 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Ann Arbor School Board Hears Preliminary Report On Additional High School Options

Credit AAPS

The Ann Arbor School Board hopes to find alternative options to make the district's high schools even better for a broader range of students.  A group of high school leaders have studied more than a half dozen programs including magnet schools, blended classes, new technology programs, and others.  They plan on presenting the school board with two or three concrete program ideas in January or February. 

School Board president Deb Mexicotte says they hope the upcoming election year could help make some additional high school options possible thanks to additional funding.

Superintendent Jeanice Swift says there are some common themes of more personalized learning approaches and choices in all of the programs reviewed.  She says the goal will be to find options that balance increased costs with attracting additional students.

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on programs being studied for increased options for high school students in Ann Arbor Public Schools.

Education
2:42 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

YCS Board urged to adopt 'Solutions not Suspensions' Pledge

The Ypsilanti-based Student Advocacy Center of Michigan wants the Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education to adopt a pledge to use student suspensions and expulsions only as a last resort. 

The "Solutions not Suspensions" pledge asks the state to roll back its discipline code so that it's in line with the federal Gun Free Schools Act.  It also asks districts to prioritize keeping kids in school and investing in preventative efforts. 

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Education
8:58 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Ypsilanti Community School Board Approves Graduation Requirements

Ypsilanti Community Schools Trustees (l-r) Dan Raglin, Celeste Hawkins and Tony VanDerworp study a presentation at Monday night's meeting.
Credit Bob Eccles

Click here for a report from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education Monday night approved graduation requirements that include senior projects designed to pique students' interest in  what they might like to do after graduation. 

Board President David Bates says senior projects are a lot of work, both for the student and for the staff who assist them, but the effort is worthwhile.

Bates says it's a chance for seniors to show what they can do with an Ypsilanti Community Schools education.

Ypsilanti Community Schools graduation requirements also dictate that students earn 23 credits, including 4 Math and English credits and 3 Science and Social Studies credits. 

Staff who put the requirements together worked to find a "happy medium" that will allow seniors from the former Ypsilanti and Willow Run districts graduate.  Their previous requirements didn't match up perfectly.

11:08 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Eastern Michigan University undertakes broad effort to improve student retention and graduation rates

Lead in text: 
Effort includes special initiatives to improve outcomes for single parents and men of color
The program, overseen by the office of the provost, is an extensive, campus-wide effort that seeks not only to improve student outcomes at Eastern but contribute nationally to understanding what support strategies work for two specialized groups: men of color and single parents.The plan, which was presented to the EMU Board of Regents Tuesday, focuses on five areas that research has shown to have significant impact on degree completion and retention.
EMU Eagles
8:30 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Eastern Michigan University Names Creighton as Head Football Coach

Chris Creighton
Credit Drake.edu

Eastern Michigan University has named Chris Creighton as its head football coach. Creighton comes from Des Moines, Iowa's Drake University, where he led the Bulldogs as their head coach for the past six years. He becomes the 37th full-time head coach in EMU's 122-year history.

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Dream Act
11:17 am
Tue December 10, 2013

EMU Student Government Pushes for In-State Tuition for Undocumented Students

Clerk Eden Zimak watches as Student Body President Desmond Miller signs Senate Resolution 100-09 to formally state that the student body of Eastern Michigan University supports our Board of Regents in the decision to grant in-state tuition to undocumented students.
Credit Courtesy photo / EMU Student Government

Eastern Michigan University's Student Government wants undocumented students living in Michigan to qualify for in-state tuition rates. 

Under the current system they must pay out-of-state rates that cost $15,500 more per year.

EMU Student Body President Desmond Miller says that's not fair.

The University of Michigan and Washtenaw Community College have already changed their policies to allow qualified undocumented students to pay in-state rates. 

EMU's Board of Regents plans to discuss loosening the qualifications for in-state tuition at tomorrow's meeting.

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