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3% of Students in Plymouth School High Ability, State Wants 5%

November 2, 2011
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11/03/11 The Plymouth School Board heard a number of reports during their regular meeting on Tuesday night. Among those were Maintenance and Facilities, High Ability, and Title I.

Menominee Principal Michael Dunn, who is also in charge of the High Ability program corporation-wide, said they currently have 3 percent of the students in the schools identified as high ability. He said, “The State would like to see that number at 5 percent.” The grant funding for the program from the state was decreased by $1,000 this year, going from $39,000 to $38,000.

Dunn said they received state approval for the grant on October 30.

Speaking on the topic of Title I funding was Washington Elementary Principal Michelle Riise said the amount of Title I funding is based on student population, personnel involved in program, and parental involvement.

To qualify, a school must show need based on the number of students qualifying for free and reduced services. At this point Jefferson Elementary has an enrollment of 324 students with 65 percent of those qualifying for free and reduced services. Approximately five years ago, Washington Elementary did not qualify for Title I since their enrollment of qualifying students was below 50 percent. Now, out of the 358 students, 81.2 percent qualify.

Both Menominee and Webster Elementary could lose Title I support if their qualifying enrollments decrease. Currently Menominee is at 54 percent and Webster, 53 percent. Enrollment at Menominee is 370 and at Webster, 328. Riverside Intermediate has an enrollment of 603 with 50 percent of students qualifying for free and reduced services.

According to Superintendent Dan Tyree, the number of qualifying students in each school has become unbalanced. A demographer will be reviewing the data for the corporation in an effort to formulate revised redistricting. Public meetings to hear the findings and recommendations of the demographer will be held on November 16 and December 12. Both of those meetings will be held at Menominee Elementary.

 

The board held a hearing on the adoption and additional appropriation of bond proceeds, adopted the final bond resolution, and approved the form of continuing disclosure undertaking. The corporation is seeking to sell bonds of $2 million to proceed with renovations at Plymouth High School for the New Tech School of Inquiry. The New Tech program is due to begin in the fall of 2010. The vote by the board to proceed was 4-0-1. Board member Todd Samuelson abstained from the vote.

It was noted that the sale of the bonds will be on or about November 10.

 Carol Anders Correspondent

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