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Posted on Mon, Dec 3, 2012 : 5:50 p.m.

Dexter High School to accept limited School of Choice students

By Danielle Arndt

Dexter Community Schools will open up the high school to out-of-district students interested in participating in the district’s International Baccalaureate program in 2013-14.

Dexter High School 2004.JPG

Dexter High School

File photo

The district will accept up to five 10th-graders as School of Choice candidates, starting after the holiday break in January.

These students will be accepted with the intention that they will join the International Baccalaureate (I.B.) program as juniors next fall.

Dexter Superintendent Mary Marshall said district officials made the decision to open up these seats in order to be eligible for a portion of Gov. Rick Snyder’s “best practice” funds.

Marshall said the I.B. program is new and therefore has some availability. Dexter accepted its first cohort of students into the I.B. program in September. The district is offering it to just juniors and seniors. Students can take a few I.B. classes or sign on for receiving a full I.B. diploma, Marshall said.

There were 25 students this fall that signed up and went the full I.B. route.

Dexter schools opted not to participate in the Washtenaw International High School, an I.B. program that opened in the former East Middle School in Ypsilanti in 2011. Seven school districts in the county currently send students to WiHi for I.B. diplomas.

Students interested in the School of Choice openings and in learning more about Dexter’s I.B. program can attend an information night at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 10 at the high school media center, 2200 N. Parker Road.

Dexter schools will begin accepting School of Choice applications on Dec. 10. The application window will close at 4 p.m. Jan. 8.

  • Download an application here.

Applications must include a current transcript and a copy of the student’s most recent report card in order to be eligible for a seat.

Contact I.B. coordinator Kim Lund at (734) 424-4240 with questions or for more information.

Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at



Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 1:23 p.m.

Let's hear it for the outrage over the implementation of the IB program at Dexter Community Schools. Let's see if we can't turn this outrage into effectively eradicating the removal of the IB program that serves only 25 students out of 1,200 that attend DHS. This will take, as noted by Katie Bell, the removal of the current trustees on the Board of Education. It will also take more citizens and taxpayers to pay attention to what the BOE is doing with the district's finances. Pay attention people!! It's much easier to stop a program from being implemented than it is to get rid of it after the fact. These are your tax dollars being squandered. What can you do? Become involved, attend board meetings, email the trustees with your concerns, write editorials, speak up and be heard. Until more taxpayers do, it will be business as usual with the BOE. It really does take a village to make the change. The district can hardly afford any more of this type of folly at the whim of but a few.

J Shawn Letwin

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 3:28 a.m.

Evidence...Really? As noted from the memorandum by Mary Marshall for recommendation of the DEA contract (link is Salary: One time payoff if revenues exceed expenses. Which has happened every year. Insurance: Management of funding: DCS to provide funding equal to 09-10 costs plus 5% Fund balance to be used by teachers to:...give members a one-time payment, mitigate raise in rates... When you have paid 0% of the $14,500 premium, then I concur you are paying more... AP: Gradually eliminate stipend over 4 years... IB: New positions for coordinators at 1.5FTE I agree that pay to play was not instituted to directly offset the IB program. But when the IB program cost are what they are (for a duplication of an existing program in which 25 of our students could have joined), then the money for new expenses has to come from somewhere and somewhere expenses need to be reduced. And when we could have expanded physical education opportunities for all of the Dexter students and still have gotten $180,000 from the state, one must question the logic of that decision. Really now, how many kids from other districts are going to leave there school in the middle of the year and come to Dexter for the IB program at the high school? I don't jump to conclusions either, nor whither from the "...I am a teacher, I am a board member so you must believe me." I just report what is available to anyone who reviews the information available on the Dexter School website. I don't try to put the truth out, I do put the truth out.

Debora Marsh

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 : 1:08 a.m.

I'm a teacher at Dexter High School and I just want to say that many of the comments on this article are not true. Specifically I'd like to address the fact that one comment indicated that teachers have received a raise of 5% every year since 2009. This is not true. We have not received a raise and we have had to pay a bigger and bigger percentage of our insurance each of the past three years, which, when you look at the bottom line--it's actually a pay cut because we have not received a raise. Additionally, we have not raised pay to play to offset costs of IB--there is no proof of that and when you look at the actual cost of sports you'll find that the pay to play barely touches the real cost of the sports programs. Finally, the statement that "a few teachers in the high school needed to find a different way to pad their paychecks" implies that teachers who teach IB get more money, but there is no schedule B for IB so teachers who teach IB are not making any more money than they would teaching non-IB classes. AP teachers still receive a stipend for teaching AP classes--at least teachers who have been teaching AP since the AP program began. If anyone is getting paid extra it is those few teachers and not IB teachers. I guess I just couldn't read these comments without at least trying to put some truth out there--if you're reading this--please look at all the evidence before jumping to conclusions. Debora K. Marsh Dexter High School English Department Chair Director of Debate and Forensics

Katie Bell

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 8:18 p.m.

Looks like an IB supporter is too chicken to make a comment, other than to vote the comments on this article DOWN. Hmmmm.

J Shawn Letwin

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 5:04 p.m.

A few facts are missing from this article (i.e. press release). 1-This action was taken over 2 weeks ago. 2-Dexter is only doing this so that it is eligble for an addtional $180,000 of state funding (gaming the system). Just as Dexter gives the teachers an annual (since 2009) raise of 5% each year (5% of $14,800-yr 1, 5% of 15540-yr 2, etc.) so Dexter can say the teachers are paying a portion of their premiums to get more funding. 3-Dexter had the chance to offer additional physical educational opportunities to get the same $180,000 of additional funding but chose not to. Yet Dexter chose earlier in the year to make being a Dexter athlete cost prohibitive while at the same time Chelsea completely eliminated any fees 4-Dexter voted last night on adding several MORE courses for the IB program that only serves about 27 students. 5-The Dexter Squall has a well written editorial against the IB program. 6-This is not a news article, it is a press release from Dexter as Dexter games the system to get $180,000 of additional funding. 7-The following is pasted from the Dexter Schools IB webpage. "It is a program that the teachers created: Interest in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme started as a grass roots movement among high school teachers discussing ways to improve college and career readiness of DHS students." Why don't ALL of the Dexter kids deserve classes to improve their college and career readiness instead of just 27 students in the IB program? Maybe a few teachers in the high school needed to find a different way to pad their paychecks when it was determined that the tri-mester scheduling system resulted in almost $1 Million dollars in inefficient scheduling of teacher resources. $1 million in salary equates to being able to hire about 40 teachers if the scheduling had been efficient as a taxpayer would expect it to be. The highly touted trimester system was scrapped after just 4 years! The Dexter Difference!


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 4:41 p.m.

Why would anyone choose to goto school in Dexter?


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:16 p.m.

It is my understanding that at this time the numbers remaining in the IB program in Dexter are much less than reported. This would appear to be a final gasp of air to save the program. They should cut their losses while they can and move on. WIHI is a much better alternative for those interested students.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 1:05 p.m.

Even with 30 kids, which is closer to a typical class size, I doubt IB will ever be anything more than a financial drain. My kids will never join. Who wants to be stuck with the same 25-30 kids all day, every day for two years?? Might as well be back in kindergarten. I agree with Rick Northrup. Its time for the board to step up and close the IB program. Let those 25 kids join the Washtenaw program if they want it so badly. My bet is only a few would actually leave.

Just Be Nice

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 12:21 p.m.

What a waste of taxpayer money.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:51 a.m.

The IB program should go away along with Mary Marshall,,,,,,,

Mackinac Straits

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 3:21 a.m.

The IB program at Dexter has been a disaster. After a multi-year push to approve it and register students, the District has only 25 kids in the program. It was estimated by the proponents at the time of approval upwards of 1/3, or more, of the 1,200 students at Dexter High School would sign up in the full IB program. The failure of the IB program has severe ramifications for the District. IB has blown a hole in the District's budget, costing over $500,000, 5 times the $100,000 initial estimate. The District has forced the athletic department to gap the short-fall with a doubling, or even tripling the pay-to-play fees. In addition to the financial problems, the IB program has created scheduling issues, forcing the District back on to semesters, after recently moving to trimesters. The IB program also makes it impossible for kids to participate in band, which is imperiling one of the premier programs at Dexter High School. Now, after years of resisting a School of Choice program, the District suddenly does an turnabout. The school has resorted to giving "plus" GPA points for students in an attempt to entice more participation, to the disadvantage of the rest of the school population. This too has failed to attract students. A program of improving outcomes for Dexter students could have been pursued at much less financial and strategic costs by expanding the already in-place AP and accelerated course offerings. In the real world, the Dexter IB program would have been terminated for failing to meet its goals and greatly exceeding its budget. Its time the School Board, as stewards of the scarce resources of the community and our students, do the same.

Katie Bell

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 12:26 p.m.

Outstanding comment, Mr. Northrup. As a representative of, I can tell you that we were contacted by parents from Dexter who vigorously objected to Dexter's application to IB before the school was authorized. Their concerns, all of which you listed above, were dismissed and ignored by the School Board. You have a tough road ahead of you, but getting rid of IB is possible. It will involve electing new Trustees who possess common sense and fiscal responsibility with concern for ALL of the students, rather than a faux-designer label. Couer d'Alene , Idaho, recently completely voted IB out of its district (2 DPs and a PYP). It can be done. But IB has what we like to call a "poison pill clause" which requires a school to finish out rising seniors. The time to call for a phase out of IB by 2015, is now.


Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 2:49 a.m.

Bad idea.