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.
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.
The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education Monday night approved collecting school taxes in the summer rather than in the winter.
Board President David Bates says summer tax collection is nothing new for district residents. The Ypsilanti and Willow Run districts had been collecting taxes in the summer prior to the consolidation.
Bates says summer tax collection means the district has to borrow less from the state while awaiting state aid payments, which in turn saves taxpayers money because the district is paying less in interest on money borrowed.
The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education Monday night approved placing the question of whether to collect taxes in the summer rather than the winter on the agenda for its first meeting in December.
Superintendent Scott Menzel says a summer collection is something the board approved seperately last year for the Ypsilanti and Willow Run school districts.
Menzel says there are benefits to a summer tax collection, including needing to borrow less money from the state to keep things going until the district's state aid payment is received.
The board also approved a one-month extension to interim Technology Director Matthew McCarty's contract.
McCarty is leaving the district, and the extension will cover the period from November 1st through his last day with Ypsilanti Community Schools - December 6th.
And the board had a budget presentation from CFO Scott Johnson, who pegged the district's estimated 2013-14 year-end fund balance at $7.3 million - about $300,000 less than budgeted.
The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education has adopted a resolution asking the state legislature to change the laws on the open carrying of firearms to specifically prohibit the practice on school property.
Board President David Bates says students need a safe environment to thrive, and staff need safe schools to properly do their jobs.
The resolution adopted Monday night is similar to one adopted last month by the Rockford, Michigan school board.
Also Monday night, the Ypsilanti Community Schools board approved a six-month contract with Margolis Companies for snow removal services.
The program that offers students from low-income families the chance to enjoy a free or reduced cost lunch has not been affected by the partial federal government shutdown - yet. WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.
Ypsilanti Community High School lost its first-ever football game to Milan in a contest that took a couple of days to decide. Friday night's game was suspended in the third quarter due to lightning, and continued Saturday afternoon. The final score: Milan 13, Ypsilanti Community High 6. The Grizzlies scored on a 34-yard pass from Mike Caldwell to Jalen Maxwell. The extra point attempt failed.
The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education tonight will consider tweaking the start time for classes at its meeting tonight. The district planned to have each student to spend seven-and-a-half hours in school every day, but it's being proposed to reduce that by fifteen minutes.
Currently, classes at Ypsilanti Community High School are set to begin at 8 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m. Under a proposed change, the high school would let out at 3:15 p.m. instead. Ypsilanti Community Middle School would have the same bell times. Classes in district elementary schools would start at 9:10 a.m. and let out at 4:25 p.m, rather than 4:40 p.m. The school day at Ypsilanti New Tech would run from 7:50 a.m. to 3:05 p.m.
Ypsilanti Community Schools Superintendent has some problems with a new proposed evaluation system for public schools teachers and administrators. The Michigan Council for Educator Effectiveness presented the recommendation to Governor Rick Snyder and lawmakers earlier this month. The recommendations could be considered this fall and put in place by 2015.
Ypsilanti Community Schools Superintendent Scott Menzel says performance should be judged on the building level not the performance of individual teachers.
The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education Thursday night approved entering into a contract with the state that will allow the district more time to pay off debt and remove Ypsilanti Community Schools from the ranks of Michigan's "deficit districts".
The district has $18.8 million in state aid notes from the former Ypsilanti and Willow Run school districts that are due August 20th. The state will give the district 13 years to pay off the debt.
The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education has approved pay ranges for non-instructional staff. Some employees could earn bonuses up to ten percent of their pay, based on their performance. The board last night approved a pay structure for employees such as paraprofessionals, instructional assistants, occupational and speech therapists, psychologists and social workers. WEMU's Bob Eccles has a full report.
The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education Monday night approved sending a letter to state Treasurer Andy Dillon asking for an extended period of time to re-pay its debt. WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.
An organizational meeting this morning wraps up eight months of intense work and preparation for the creation of the Ypsilanti and Willow Run School Districts. Bob Eccles has a preview of today's first-ever session for the new Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education.
The unified Ypsilanti-Willow Run School Board Thursday night discussed changing the names of several district buildings. As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, the potential changes aim to better reflect the mission of each facility within the new Ypsilanti Community Schools.
A principal has been named for Ypsilanti New Tech High School beginning with the creation of Ypsilanti Community Schools on July 1st.
Kelly Mickel most recently served as Health and Wellness Facilitator with Willow Run New Tech High School. She has a bachelor's degree in Physical Education and Health from Eastern Michigan University, along with a masters degree in Educational Leadership.
Mickel fills a position left open when Cory McElmeel accepted the position of principal at Ann Arbor's Skyline High School.
The unified, Ypsilanti-Willow Run school board continues the march towards the July 1st, official launch of the district merger. As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, the board on Thursday night took care of some contract business.