Holmes Elementary School
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

The principal of Ypsilanti's Holmes Elementary School says the first day of the new year went off great.  The school has shifted to a balanced schedule which means the end of the long summer vacation.

Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti Community Schools Superintendent Laura Lisiscki says the district's first year included plenty of challenges and achievements.

She says the district focused on its core values in making advances in cultural proficiencies, project-based learning and partnerships with institutions like Washtenaw Community College. 

Marjorie Ziefert
Eastern Michigan University

An Eastern Michigan University professor has been honored for her efforts in social work.  The Michigan chapter of the National Association of Social Workers gave Marjorie Ziefert a Lifetime Achievement award.    


Boaters Can Take Responsibility for Mitigation of Environmental Harm

Mark Schauer
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Democratic Candidate for Governor Mark Schauer says his roots are here in Washtenaw County.  Schauer addressed the Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Regional Chamber at Wedsnesday's headline lunch.   


Michigan lawmakers have given initial approval to a school budget that boosts spending by 4 percent and prohibits the state from replacing its standardized test next year with one developed by a group of states. The bill approved 4-1 Tuesday by a House-Senate conference committee is expected to win final legislative approval this week.

Andrew Cluley

Ann Arbor schools parents are being asked to take an online survey to help the district better serve their children.

The survey asks for input on issues such as access to school leadership, how the district can improve parent engagement, how schools are operating, and how their child's needs are being met. 

link to the survey

Eastern Michigan University's student athletes recorded the second-highest average grade point average in school history during the winter 2014 semester.

With a 3.145 GPA, the Eagles also topped the 3.0 mark for the ninth straight semester. 

Of EMU's 21 athletic teams, 15 had average GPA's of 3.0 or better, and 36 student athletes scored 4.0 GPA's.

Read more online:

A southeast Michigan public school teacher has been reinstated after his removal from the classroom while district officials assessed his lesson plan on African-American history and racial segregation laws.

The Monroe News reports hat Alan Barron was placed on paid leave last month after he showed an eighth-grade history class at Monroe Middle School a video of how white entertainers once used black face paint to imitate blacks.

An assistant principal sat in on the class.

A new fellowship brings Eastern Michigan University and The Historic Ford Estates together in the name of historic preservation.

One student will have the chance beginning this fall to study at the Henry Ford Estate in Dearborn and the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores. 

The fellowship comes with a $6,000 stipend from the estates, and another $6,000 from the university.

Find more on EMU's Historic Preservation program online:

Google is partnering with Eastern Michigan University to ensure small businesses and non-profit organizations have the tools they need to thrive in the online world.


A 20-year-old Detroit area man is suing University of Michigan's Board of Regents after he was charged out-of-state tuition at the school's Dearborn campus. Hussein Berry filed the class-action discrimination lawsuit Wednesday in federal court in Detroit.

The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education Monday night approved a plan for reconfiguring the district's elementary schools that has Holmes Elementary moving to a balanced calendar next year.

Estabrook Elementary is tentatively scheduled to go to year-round school the following school year.

Superintendent Scott Menzel says the board also talked about establishing a "Young Fives" program,  a developmental program for kindergartners who'll be five years old by December 1st.

Ypsilanti School Board Trustees
Bob Eccles / 89.1 WEMU

The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education is considering three options for re-configuring district elementary schools, a move tied to plans to offer a balanced calendar at one school building next school year.

 The board Monday night was briefed on the options, which include three options.

       LANSING - A report by a private foundation finds the well-being of Michigan's white children slightly below the national average while black children significantly lag the nation.

wikimedia commons

YPSILANTI  – Ford Motor Company, Crain’s Detroit Business and Bearclaw Coffee are among the best-run businesses in Michigan, according to students in the Eastern Michigan University College of Business.

Those businesses and 11 others were honored during an Academy-Award style event Friday, March 14 at the EMU Student Center. Ford won in the large business category, Crain’s won for medium-sized businesses and Bearclaw Coffee earned top honors for small businesses. Ford also won in the manufacturing category.

Bob Eccles

Student count day appears to have shown a substantial rise in the number of students in Ypsilanti Community Schools.  

Superintendent Scott Menzel says unaudited numbers from Wednesday's count showed 4547 students in class - 55 more than in the fall.  

It's possible some students who may have been out sick or not in school for another legitimate reason could be added to the total.  

Similarly, not all the students counted Wednesday may be the "full-time equivalent" students the state uses to determine funding for school districts.  

It'll be several weeks before the official numbers are known.  

Wednesday's count represents 10 percent of the funding equation, while the fall count represents 90 percent.

Critics of the Education Achievement Authority want to not only stop the spread of the reform effort but also want it out of Detroit, that was the message Tuesday night at a community forum on the issue hosted by the Ann Arbor Education Authority.  

Ypsilanti Community High School Chamber Singers
YCS Courtesy photo

The Ypsilanti Community High School Chamber Singers sang for the Board of Education Monday night.

Ann Arbor Superintendent Jeanice Swift's Listen and Learn report did a good job of capturing community thoughts on the district according to Parents and Teachers at a meeting at Forysthe Middle School Thursday night. 

As Ann Arbor Public Schools look to quickly move forward with improvements Superintendent Jeanice Swift is checking that she heard the community correctly during the Listen and Learn tour. 

Swift says the community has a hunger for action steps to follow.

Kim Carver has had students in the district previously and a son coming to Forsythe Middle School next fall.  Carver likes the positive vibe and the lack of defensiveness.

Forsythe teacher, Dan Ezekiel is extremely impressed with the report that he believes does a good job boiling down the input of 2,000 people that participated in the fall.

Swift will hold Listen and Learn follow-up meetings at Ann Arbor's four other middle schools next week.

For more, view the video summary of the Listen and Learn report


The Ann Arbor School Board has approved a package of program enhancements designed to attract more students particularly to underutilized schools. 

The changes include co-locating Roberto Clemente and Ann Arbor Tech High; a K-8 science, technology, engineering, arts, and math program at Northside Elementary; and new pre-k programs at Allen and Thurston Elementary. 

Superintendent Jeanice Swift says the next step is creating committees of staff, students, and community members to develop the detailed action plans for each new program. 

School board president Deb Mexicotte says the programs are designed to keep costs down but it's still a calculated risk that the new options will attract more students. 

The programs are designed to respond to some of the most common concerns raised by community members during the Listen and Learn tour.

There has been positive community feedback about the Pre-K programs at Allen and Thurston and the STEAM program for Northside Elementary.  Several Roberto Clemente supporters however told the board they have concerns about what will happen when they move into the same building as Ann Arbor Tech.

OyamO to Receive 2014 Shirley Verrett Award

Jan 29, 2014

Playwright and University of Michigan professor OyamO is being honored tonight by the Women of Color in the Academy Project with the 2014 Shirley Verrett Award. 

The award celebrates faculty members who support the success of female students and faculty in the arts.

Gloria Thomas is Director of U-M's Center for the Education of Women. She says OyamO was nominated by the School of Music, Theater and Dance.

Thomas says OyamO is being recognized for his commitment to students, along with his ability to look past racial and ethnic differences to understand human life. 

The award is being presented to OyamO tonight at Stamps Auditorium on Michigan's north campus.

The University of Michigan
University of Michigan

The University of Michigan Tuesday canceled classes for the first time in 36 years.  School officials based the decision on the extremely low temperatures forecast, and the danger they pose to students traveling across campus to attend classes.     University of  Michigan spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald says other parts of the university, such as the Health System, remained open. The cancelation of classes was a departure from Michigans's controversial decision earlier this month to remain open during a similar cold spell.

University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute / University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute

A University of Michigan program that sends engineering students to China has picked up one of the highest honors in international higher education. 

The University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute has won an Andrew Heiskell Award from the Institute of International Education. 

Eastern Michigan University

Sub-zero temperatures and  frigid wind chills have once again forced school districts throughout the region, including Eastern Michigan University, to cancel classes on Tuesday, Jan. 28

A complete listing for Washtenaw, Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe, Oakland and Wayne Counties will be updated here.

Listen to 89.1 WEMU for latest developments throughout the evening.