Ypsilanti

ycschools.us

The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education will have a much different look following Tuesday's election, and there are a couple of reasons for that.

For one, the board will be comprised exclusively of women.  The five men serving on the original board were not elected. 

And only two incumbents will be returning - Maria Sheler-Edwards and Dr. Celeste Hawkins. 

ycschools.us

Voters Tuesday chose to return just two of the incumbent Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education to the panel.

 

One of them was Maria Sheler-Edwards, who says the district needs to "stay the course."

“We put some great programs in place,” Sheler-Edwards says, “we have a balanced budget this year, and we need to make sure that we continue being financially responsible, bring up our achievement and stabilize our enrollment.”

Bob Eccles

The union representing teachers and support staff in Ypsilanti Community Schools is out with its list of school board candidate endorsements.  Only one of them is an incumbent.

Ypsilanti Community Schools Education Association President Kelly Powers says the endorsed candidates have a "great vision for the future of our district."  She says they "also see some of the concerns that are there and will address them in an appropriate manner."

ycschools.us

Enrollment in Ypsilanti Community Schools is down from a year ago, but that does not come as a surprise to district administrators.

 

Superintendent Laura Lisiscki  says count day enrollment came in at about 4,300 students, right around what the district budgeted for. 

That's compared to 4,542 students last year. 

Lisiscki expects this year's numbers to go up once adult education and preschool numbers are added.

Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority's plans for increased bus service continue to move forward.  The authority expanded service this summer on 19 routes, and additional enhancements are planned next summer.  The budget for the authority's fiscal year that started this week includes a focus on vital equipment purchases.


ReImagine Washtenaw
ytown.org

Connecting Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, Washtenaw Avenue is the busiest street in the county.  An effort to give this corridor a more pedestrian friendly make-over is now five years old.  Most of the progress made so far is only on paper, but is expected to produce long term results.


Bob Eccles

Some help is on the way for Ypsilanti Community Schools students who want to go to college but can't afford the tuition.  The Ypsilanti Promise scholarship program is similar to the Kalamazoo Promise.

 

It would pay for college at Washtenaw Community College or Eastern Michigan University for students who graduate from Ypsilanti Community High School. 

Karen Gabrys chairs the committee setting up the scholarship program. 

Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority Route 46
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Taypayer funded improvements to the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority started rolling out a month ago.  


DTE Energy
Courtesy Image / DTE Energy

Last winter's harsh weather left many states with limited natural gas supplies.  While Michigan wasn't among them, DTE Energy says it's planning a new pipeline to ensure a Michigan never runs short of natural gas.  It's called the Nexus Pipeline and will track right through Washtenaw County.


Bob Eccles

With the start of classes just a few days away,  Ypsilanti Community Schools would still like to hire  five to seven more bus drivers.

 

The Washtenaw Intermediate School District handles transportation for Y-C-S students. 

Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority Route 46
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority has rolled out its first service upgrades funded by the new transit millage.  On most routes service hours are extended, but Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township have an entirely new route. 


ycschools.us

The principal at Ypsilanti's Holmes Elementary School says they're making progress toward climbing out of the bottom 5 percent in the state's top-to-bottom rankings of schools.

 

The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education got an update from Charles Raski and other school staffers at Monday night's meeting. 

miwats.org

Whether walking or biking, if you've ever tried to  cross the Huron Street Bridge over I-94, you know how dangerous it can be.  Those dangers have been recognized and now the Washtenaw Area Transportation Study is looking for solutions.  WATS is seeking public input for a better bridge design. 


Bob Eccles

Cameras are everywhere these days.  On building corners, utility poles, cell phones, you name it.  And starting this fall, you'll also be able to find cameras in Ypsilanti Community Schools district busses.

Superintendent Laura Lisiscki says putting cameras on busses is being done for the safety of everyone on that bus.

 "It's just about making sure that we understand that it's just one more tool in the toolbox for keeping kids safe in this day and age," Lisiscki says. "That's it."

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Three schools in the Ypsilanti Community Schools district are classified as "priority" schools:

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.

Patrik Holubik

Summer vacation is over for kids attending Holmes Elementary, where a balanced calendar, or year-round school, is now in place.

Students start classes at Holmes today, and teachers reported last week to get everything ready for them. 

Ypsilanti Community Schools Superintendent Laura Lisiscki says she's had very positive feedback from parents.

Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority ramps up service in a few weeks.  The changes are the first improvements funded by a new .7 mill transit millage.


Patrik Holubik

School starts Monday at Holmes Elementary School, where a so-called 'balanced calendar' is in place.

Ypsilanti Community Schools Superintendent Laura Lisiscki says Holmes is the only building switching to year-round school this year.  But will the rest of the district eventually follow?

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. 

ytown.org

If your kid is skipping school in Ypsilanti Community Schools and the Lincoln Consolidated School District, you could be held legally responsible.

Ypsilanti Township has passed an ordinance that holds parents in the Ypsilanti Community Schools and Lincoln school districts legally responsible for their children's chronic truancy.

Under the law, parents of children aged 6-13 who accumulate 10 or more unexcused absences can be punished with fines or jail time.

wikimedia commons

Residents of an Ypsilanti Township home from which neighbors complained the strong odor of un-burnt marijuana was emitting have been ordered to quit growing medical marijuana in their basement.

Attorney Tom Lavigne of the law firm of Cannabis Council represents owners of the home at 1397 Crestwood. 

He says the residents were not doing anything that doesn't fall under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act.
 

Bob Eccles

The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education last night approved a 2014-15 budget that anticipates the district losing 275 students.

Former Superintendent Scott Menzel says the budget also accounts for changes to the amount of foundation grant money the district will receive from the state.  He says the budget is relatively conservative, "knowing that there are still some things we won't know until the fall."

Among the issues yet to be determined - how many teachers the district will have on the payroll.

TheRide.org

Next month we'll start to see some of the improvements promised by the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority with approval of its .7 mil transit levy.

AAATA says it will begin offering extended hours on many routes starting August 24th. 

It will also start a new route with hourly service between the Ypsilanti District Library and the Ypsilanti Transit Center.

Find a complete listing of transit improvements coming in August online:

ytown.org

If you'll be driving in the Ypsilanti area Saturday morning, plan on dodging street closures necessary to hold the annual Color Run.

Streets will be closed at 7 a.m. with the 5-K race and walk scheduled to start at 8.  Among the affected streets:

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