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Posted on Tue, Apr 17, 2012 : 5:06 p.m.

Lincoln OKs moving 500-plus Redner Elementary pupils to make room for multi-age program

By Danielle Arndt

Previous coverage: Lincoln Consolidated Schools to vote on elementary reconfiguration

Redner Elementary parent Amanda Steele called it “an all-out turf war.”

“They have pitted the schools against each other,” she said. “The attitudes of ‘save my school’ and ‘we’re taking your school’ have sifted into the neighborhoods. … It’s hostile.”

Lincoln Consolidated SchoolsBoard of Education voted 5-2 Monday in favor of making Redner Elementary School the new, permanent home of the Lincoln Multi-Age program (LMA). Secretary Jennifer LaBombarbe and Treasurer Greg Gurka opposed the action.

About 120 people attended the board of education meeting and 17 spoke during public comment, said Superintendent Ellen Bonter. She added some advocated for making a decision, some were against any decision and others wanted the decision postponed.


Redner Elementary School

The board’s vote essentially closes Redner school, leaving its 500-plus students to be disbursed throughout the remaining elementaries.

Most will be enrolled at Brick Elementary School, while the former Redner building will be given to the multi-age program to make good on a promise that district officials made to LMA parents seven years ago.

LMA currently has about 250 students.

The decision was not a financial one, Bonter said, unlike when many of today’s school leaders are forced to close a building to cut costs or reduce deficits.

In fact, Lincoln Consolidated does not know what the move’s price tag will be.

“Sure, we had whole teams within the reconfiguration committee that worked on these issues. But until we could bring someone in and bid it out, all I could give would be estimates in terms of what moving other programs in previous years has cost,” she said. “Right now, we needed to know what the board believed was in the best interest of all students.”

Bonter said the reconfiguration would allow the district to offer local parents more options for educating their children.

“Essentially, there are people today who are certainly feeling like they have lost something very important,” she said, referring to Redner parents. “But we are sure hoping and planning for the day when we realize what we’ve gained in a long-term and very positive sense.”

But for Steele, what Lincoln has gained is one less student — and she is certain she is not alone, she said.

“We will be leaving the district. I will not let my children be treated like they are unimportant,” she said.

Steele, a former educator, said Redner Elementary has one of the largest populations of children in the district eligible for free and reduced lunches.

According to the Center for Educational Performance and Information, 59.8 percent of Redner’s students qualify for free and reduced lunch, second only to Brick with 63.6 percent of its population qualifying. In the multi-age program, 27.3 percent qualify. And at Childs Elementary, that number is 37.9 percent.

Steele said the perception is that kids who go to Redner are the “no good kids, the poor kids, the one’s who don’t matter and the one’s whose parents are uninvolved and economically disadvantaged.”

“Well, I’m so tired of the impression that the parents are illiterate when so many of them are working two and three jobs and doing what they can ... and are at Lincoln as a School of Choice parent,” she said. “And then we undervalue their presence and their children.”

Fellow Redner parent Kasandra Bastow said she cannot afford to send her kids to another district so she is determined to keep fighting.

Bonter recognized there is healing that needs to take place now that the decision has been made. She encouraged parents to stay involved in the process and to help with the transition “so all of (Lincoln’s) programs are whole and healthy and everybody has the same opportunities for success.”

The Lincoln Multi-Age program was told it would have its own building near the district’s main campus to grow in back in 2005, Bonter said. Since 2010, LMA has been housed in 12 classrooms in the northeast wing of Brick Elementary School and has had to turn down students.

Having its own space will allow the program to grow and compete with area charter schools, said Principal Carol McCoy. LMA operates on a lottery system, has dual grade-level classrooms and utilizes the High/Scope active approach to learning where students, in essence, help choose how their lessons are delivered.

The district passed a recent capital improvement bond that was intended to include building on four additional classrooms to Brick Elementary to accommodate growth for the LMA program.

However, Bonter said when it appeared bids for the project were coming in lower than expected, the district added a few things to the list that fell within the scope of the bond. But when costs for some mechanical and electrical components totaled higher than budgeted for, the district had to again scale back its bond projects, she said, adding there now is not enough money left in the bond for Brick.

Bonter said Monday’s board meeting was very difficult. Steele added both parents and teachers openly shed tears.

“I believe we have demonstrated the capacity to deal with a tough issue and I am hopeful the community sees how we can move forward from this and face anything tough that comes our way,” Bonter said.

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



Sat, Apr 21, 2012 : 6:18 p.m.

This is something else for parents to think about and ask the Board. Now that they are dedicating a whole school to the Multi Age program, there will be less options for traditional classroom teaching for future students. Also since it has been said that Childs may not an option for these parents, leaving Brick the only place to send displaced students, there will not be enough room at Brick. The rest will be forced to leave the district or enroll their children in the LMA program. What happens when some of these students who are forced into the program do not do well with it but were doing just fine with traditional classroom teaching. Are these children going to be considered as failing since there is no other room at the other schools for them. I don't think the Board ever really thought any of this through. Keep in mind that the Board members who voted to move LMA to Redner, have ties with children at Childs and LMA. Very interesting.


Thu, Apr 19, 2012 : 1:17 a.m.

It is not just Lincoln... it is all of our schools. If you feel as though your school district is failing, you need to look at the community it is sitting within. You live there and you should help, support and stand for your local schools. The business of school should be about the students benefit, not the scores reported so your house can sell a higher price. The business of school should be a connection to the civic community it sits within, joining forces for the growth and benefit of our youth for the future. Not for parents to bark in the night on a fence about wins and loses of the sports teams. It is a bonus to have winning teams, but is even better to have pride in the area you are raising your children. No matter what, stand and defend, take action to make change for the better and resist negative slams at the cost of the many that may not have a voice. We are already living in a back deck society with less and less conversations with our surroundings. The days of the big front porch and community conversations until the mosquitoes come out are few and far between. It is 2012 and we have the ability to be positive when we have the opportunity. So have the energy to speak well of things around you. It may create a wave that makes community stick together and a force of positive change.

AC Steele

Thu, Apr 19, 2012 : 12:27 a.m.

Redner is not one year away from being taken over by the state. It failed to make AYP in 2011 which put it into phase 1 of a 5 phase plan. The state has not determined AYP for our schools this year. At the school board meeting it was stated that they expect NONE of the elementary schools to make AYP this year. In previous years Redner has had higher MEAP scores then LMA in many areas. Before the new cut scores were introduced, Redner was making significant gains. This year they did not meet state standards in special education of which Redner has a high population. That being said, the state is applying to judge academic performance by the state and not strictly by the NCLB standards. If this occurs AYP may not even be a factor. A member of the school board stated that AYP was not a factor for him, but that they made a promise to LMA for a building. As a parent, I can not believe that other parents think it is right to steal a school from these children, because that is what it is. LMA has always been able to keep their student body and faculty in tact even when they were moved. LMA is a lottery school, not a school for the gifted and I am very tired of it being described as such. I keep hearing about the LMA family and how hard it is for them. Redner is a family too. And now it is being ripped apart for no apparent reason except a "promise" that was made. We all had the chance to join LMA and many parents did not as they preferred a different education model. This is why we were given a choice. In light of these recent events, l am glad we are not part of a "family" that would support this decision.

AC Steele

Thu, Apr 19, 2012 : 12:50 a.m.

I will add that I know and respect many LMA parents and their children. I sincerely hope that most LMA parents did not realize what they were doing to the children of Redner. Their hearts are broken and they are in defeat. How can this decision be right when it has caused so much hurt and anger in this community?

Cassie Gdaniec

Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 10:54 p.m.

speaking as a former student of LMA and had to switch schools, it doesn't matter about the building being part of education. it's the teachers that matter. A building never taught me anything. Instead it was the teachers that followed with us students that made the difference.


Fri, Apr 20, 2012 : 9:46 a.m.

sorry..hit return by far as the number of people attending the is hard for many people who are single parents,have toddlers and babies in tow,and have children involved in after school activies. I think that if Redner parents had been better informed about this there would have been many more people attending such as like this last Monday's meeting. By the time Redner parents got the paper of the two options, they had already made their mind of what they were going to choose. On top of this, when Redner parents tried to voice concerns or ask questions...all that was a received were vague form letters. They still have yet to answer any questions. I do know this..there is a strong possiblity that some parents may be forced to enter their children in LMA because of the factors with Childs and Brick not having enough space and that is just unfair. Every one should have the right to choose what is best for their child. What happens if children are forced into the program and they don't do well with it but they did well with traditional classroom teaching? They may as well of not narrowed it down to 2 options because they already had their minds made up no matter what the cost or hurt they caused everyone. LMA will get to stay together but Redner kids will be dispersed throughout the school system and some parents will be forced to send them elsewhere. We are part of a consolidated system and the Board dividing one group from everyone else is not reflecting that. I think even some of the LMA parents didn't think this was the best choice. I happen to have some dear friends from that program. I just wanted the Board to look out for the best interest of my child as well.


Fri, Apr 20, 2012 : 8:20 a.m.

Mr. Smith there is a lot of information out there right now and the newest thing they are saying is that Childs is not an option for moving the children. Why that is I'm not sure. How true it is..I'm not sure. I do know this for a fact, many of the Childs parents do not want our children moving over there. That and the fact that even if they do move some of the children there, there will be no bussing for those families. As I understand it there is like a handful of buses that do go to Childs but the consensus is that they are not equipped to handle all the bussing that Brick does. If you do the math at can not hold the 505 children that are being displaced from Redner. While yes they will need teachers to move as well, the number of children per classroom will increase. Also if they increase the size of LMA classrooms which currently per Bonter total around 16-17 that doesn't necessarily mean they will need more teachers. I may have jumped by saying "many" but it is likely that some people will lose jobs because of this. Plus there are other staff there besided the teachers. If the Board had a lengthy discussion then why do they not even have a plan in place after all this discussion? Many people were not aware or informed of what was going on and how fast it was going to take place. They narrowed the options down and very soon after made a decision to move 505 children from their building..more than the number of children they are moving nto to the building. To dedicate a whole building that holds this many children to the LMA program is taking quite a gamble with the rest of the school system when the program(and this is per parents who have actually tried LMA)does not suit all children. As far as people attending the meeting

Mr. Smith

Thu, Apr 19, 2012 : 6:04 p.m.

Cassie, I think that's an excellent point. The building is pretty low priority, in the great scheme of things. I'm curious about melsplace's logic on Redner teachers losing their jobs. Will these 505 students suddenly be teaching themselves? Obviously teachers will also be moving as the same number of students will still need to be taught, the only difference is the venue. Additionally, the board meeting on the 16th where they discussed possible options (a meeting that not many people showed up for, I might add) had a lengthy discussion regarding the capacity of each of the buildings. It seemed from that discussion that the other buildings had more than enough capacity to cover the students from Redner.


Thu, Apr 19, 2012 : 3:04 a.m.

The problem here though is that there are many wonderful teachers at Redner that may lose their jobs to the LMA teachers. They are dedicating too much space to one program and there is no room in the rest of the buildings to house all 505 children they are displacing. It is true that a lot depends on the teacher. I will say this though..LMA students have only had a change of scenery and will be traveling to the new school together like they always have. While Redner students are being separated and sent to new buildings.


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 9:38 p.m.

I am an LMA parent and while I am happy the program will finally get a pemanent home, I am deeply saddened that it has to be done this way. All in all this is a horrible situation that was started by the previous schoolboard and the present one is just trying to correct. I for one do not envy them at all. This decision was not an overnight deal. There was quite a bit of data collected and to answer a previous comment, yes there is at least one Redner parent on the board. I am to believe that one of the contributing factors in the decision process is that Redners AYP scores have been consistently low and they were one year away from being taken over by the state, then Lincoln would have had no say whatsoever in that school. While this is a tough decision, in a major way it saved Redner and kept it part of Lincoln. As far as LMA only have 270 some students, that is 100% in part to the fact that they have been jammed in a small space and have had absolutely no room to grow. The program would have grown nicely if the space had been there. Now, there is one comment on here that refers to Lincoln as "stinkin". Obviously a 10-12 year old adolescent has created an account on here to voice things they hear their parents talking about, because no intelligent adult attempting to have a grown up descussion would resort to such infantile behavior. Next they will say that Lincoln has cooties and their dad can beat up our dad(definetely not true). In response to that statement, I would just like to say two things: 1) Good riddance, and 2) Milan, you really need to up your enrollment screening. Obviously some miscreants have slipped through the cracks. So please kids, let the grown ups talk, thank you.

Redner Parent

Fri, Apr 20, 2012 : 12:46 a.m.

It's somewhat funny - but much more frustrating - how people start throwing around information without knowing what they're talking about. What exactly does "100% in part to the fact" even mean? LMA is going to grow this coming academic year. Mainly because they are taking over Redner and many families will be swallowed up by the program because they weren't given adequate time to plan otherwise. Many families won't be able to afford enrolling outside of the district. Clear as day, LMA reports a decline in enrollment on their website. Now, is LMA not only not growing because space is limited but also declining in enrollment for the same reason? Doubtful. I wouldn't say that I envy the board but I can confidentally say that I would have worked harder to do a better job. Months spent in a small Reconfiguration Committe was simply not enough. Not to mention, the Committee is laughable because they came up with five options and the board brought their big hand down and narrowed it down to two without even going over it with the Committee.. and chose one of the choices three days later. No, our children will not be bussed an hour away or to the moon. Our district won't even bus them up the road to Child's because we're not within the right boundaries! Perhaps there will be room for 270 of us at Brick which wasn't good enough for LMA. Right now, no plans are in place.. for a school year to start in less than five months! Gain some insight or knowledge before you belittle the situation. We're not here complaining for fun. This is bad predicament to be in.. one the board chose to put us in with poor reasoning.

Mr. Penny

Thu, Apr 19, 2012 : 9:45 p.m.

Mr. Smith, look at scores again, Redner scored higher than Brick on most areas. Child's has yet to be identified as an option.

Mr. Smith

Thu, Apr 19, 2012 : 5:45 p.m.

I agree regarding your comments about "stinkin". People with that attitude are part of the problem. In response to Mr. Penny's concern about "not having the luxury of knowing where the children will be going next year", let's be reasonable here. It's not as if they may suddenly be bussed an hour away, or sent to the moon. Clearly, they'll be going to Brick or Childs, since those are the only two options. I would make a sizable wager that they'll be moved to Brick. Both schools are performing as well if not better than Redner in terms of testing, so I really don't see that such a move would vastly and negatively affect the quality of education for the students moved into them.

Mr. Penny

Thu, Apr 19, 2012 : 3 a.m.

They corrected nothing & many of the same board members remain, but in different seats. They failed 505 children. They have no idea what this will cost, yet they spent months gathering information? You would be fired from your job if you preformed like this. They have grossly misused their power. I'm glad your children know where they'll be attending school in the fall. Mine and many others don't have that luxury. I have more than one child in different buildings and they desperately want to stay with their friends, but staying is a chance we can't take. My childrens education is worth more. I'm sure if you were in my shoes you'd do the same.

Mr. Penny

Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 8:29 p.m.

Bonters has asked Redner parents to advise her with the move. Maybe she will ask them to pay for it too...


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 5:17 p.m.

As graduates and life long members of the community, my husband & I are disheartened on many levels to say the least. First, to those of you who constantly have a negative outlook, and proceed to call us "STINKIN LINCOLN", you are dead wrong! Schools do have some issues, BUT, for the most part, they are what YOU make of them! We both have done very well in life, have went far in our studies and are successful business owners. YOU have NO right to put that label on everyone! Secondly, we are disturbed by the financial decisions that the district continues to practice. If you do not know the price tag of a move that is vital to the district, why would you do it? It continues to baffle us as to why a district would cater to such a small handful of parents and take the risk of losing many more. Our children do attend the Lincoln schools and are probably in the higher status'. However, we have also taught them what school should be like and have set high expectations for them! Instead of running from problems, we as concerned citizens need to be more proactive and encourage the board to do the same, especially in all financial situations. Charter Schools are NOT the only answer!


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 6:20 p.m.

I do agree with this. The stinkin' Lincoln term is definitely not a fair term. I too am a Lincoln graduate as well as many members of my family. I was proud to graduate from Lincoln. Charter schools are definitely not the answer. I hate to say it but that is only running from the problem. It doesn't fix anything. That way the Board can continue to do whatever they want. I believe they have no problem in people leaving the district because then they are not held accountable. We need to all come together and let the Board know that we are watching them very closely. The more outcry they hear from the community the better. The only way anything will change is if we stick around and let them know they are on notice.


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 3:19 p.m.

The LMA program was moved to Brick elementary several years ago. Part of the bond that was passes allowed for the expansion of the school by building four classrooms to house the future growth. The district also made special improvements to the current area. In July the Superintendent stated they realized they did not need the extra addition and that the program would be moved to Model Elementary School for the 2012-2013 school year. Model Elementary is a school that houses the kindergarten and preschool. This school year it was decided to form a reconfiguration committee to place the LMA program after it was already stated whey would be moved to Model. The vote that was passed was in favor of moving the LMA school of approximately 274 students into to Redner building. The School Board at this time does not have a plan as to where the 505 students will go as well as the new, incoming first grade classes. They also do not know the actual cost for this move. The current 2011 MEAP scores were brought into the discussion, and Redner is in the next step of the AYP phases compared to the other schools. It is likely that all Lincoln Elementary Schools will not make AYP this year. Michigan has applied to change how schools are rated and if this is approved it may change the standards in all schools. A board member stated he was not using MEAP scores as a factor but the fact that they promised the LMA program a building of their own. Another board member cited the smaller playground equipment and bathrooms at Model as an issue. LMA is a Highscope model that works very well for some children, but not all. It is based on the Highscope Perry Preschool Project. Many parents did not want this program and now may be forced as Brick cannot house 505 more and Childs is a walking school that not all students can attend at this time. It is sad for all.


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 6:59 p.m.

It is true that the original bond did have the four classroom addition listed as Child's Elementary. It has been explained that it was changed to Brick after the move was made there. The article clearly states that the plan was to move LMA to Model which would not displace an entire school. I love the idea of an all kindergarten building, but the students who come in, for the most part, are new. They move to one of the Elementary schools afterwards. This results in not only the Redner children being displaced, but all a few hundred kindergarten students, many of which who would have attended Redner last year. Parents are told siblings get to attend the same school. Where do the siblings go when there is no longer a school?

average joe

Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 5:35 p.m.

Although it is a mute point now, building four additional classrooms onto Brick was not part of the 2010 Bond proposal. It was however part of the Bond proposal at Childs. I believe the extra rooms at Brick was a ' verbal promise' to LMA, but was not in the pre-vote proposal. The original Bond info is still on the LCS website.


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 3:51 p.m.

Very poor decision making here. I know someone whose children were in that program at Perry and it did not work for them. I remember the Board Member who said this. It sounds like he had his mind made up a long time ago. There was not much thought put in this decision. If there was they would already have a plan in place on where to house the other children. They are yet to even come up with a plan. It really bothers me that the Board is making such wreckless decisions with the children's future. They have truly made a mess of things. While it is good that they offer this program as an option..that's how it should option. I think that by dedicating a whole building to the program that currently has 274 children..when the building hold over 600 is a huge mistake for the district.


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 2:58 p.m.

As far as I'm concerned dedicating a building that holds over 600 to a group of 274 is just not using school funds properly. While the Lincoln Multi Age program parents have every right to have this program for an option, this program does not work for every child. In fact I know parents whose children did not do well with the program. It should only be an option. Not something that you dedicate a building to for 274, displacing 505 children. This and the fact that they made a decision with absolutely no plan in place as far as finances and where those 505 are going to be placed. There will not be enough room at Brick or Childs so some children may be forced into this program. This is not the standard of teaching that many prefer and to try and promote it like the Board is doing is not in the best interest of the school. I have been in this community for many years and I have never seen this much division in the community. All they have accomplished here is dividing members among our school system. We are a consolidated school system and we can't work together when they are removing children from a building and displacing them with other children(a sum of children that is less then the ones they are displacing). Not much will change for the LMA children as even though they have moved previously they are still remaining together. The only difference for them will be location. Redner students are being split up and possibly they will be forced to have a completely different way of teaching.


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 7:40 p.m.

I think there will be plenty of room at Brick and/or Childs (if Childs lets any "outsiders" in) once all of the fed up families go to another school district or charter.

Mrs. Castle

Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 2:10 p.m.

"I believe we have demonstrated the capacity to deal with a tough issue and I am hopeful the community sees how we can move forward from this and face anything tough that comes our way," Bonter said. Really, Bonter? All you have demonstrated is that you and your team are inadequate. How could a decision of this magnitude be reached after such little deliberation? Information was poorly distributed to the families affected. Information was poorly researched and studied to reach this conclusion. Get real. This is outrageous and unbelievable. I only hope that third parties get involved to help the Board rectify the situation.. because the Board alone clearly cannot handle this.


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 2:48 p.m.

Agreed totally. They still at this point have no plan in place on what will be done with the children they are displacing. There are no answers. It's just like the article says. Ellen Bonter says it wasn't a financial decision. Well I have a problem with a decision of this magnitude that has no plan in place which to me spells disaster. No plan means they have nothing figured out financially and no ideas on where the children will go or if they may possibly be forced into a program they didn't sign up for in the first place because there isn't enough room to place them at Brick. Unfortunately there are many parents also saying they don't want our Children at Childs. We were told at a meeting that it could possibly cost $40,000 to $50,000 to make this move by Ellen Bonter herself. While she doesn't give a $ figure here, she did at the meeting. This is really scary and truly juggling with our childrens education and school funds.

concerned too

Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 1:17 p.m.

Can someone please explain why Childs is not an option? If the school is not at capacity, why can't Redner kids be split between Brick and Childs? What is this gold gate thing?? Could part of this be more about fixing Redner and their low meap scores? I know there are many dedicated Redner parents and teachers and I respect their feelings immensely.


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 7:37 p.m.

"Could part of this be more about fixing Redner and their low meap scores?" I think you nailed it. It's a way to get the "scores" up.

Dan Shields

Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 12:26 p.m.

So what has changed in the way the schools are divided? When I went to school there the elementary schools were just divided into grades. Does it really matter what building they are in? Wouldn't the same teachers be moved to teach the classes they were teaching before? I don't get why so many people are upset about this, its not like they are making kids go to different districts.


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

The problem with this is they are replacing 505 children in a building with a program that consists of 274 children. It is a mulit-age program that involves classrooms with combined grades. This isn't for everyone and to dedicate a building that holds over 600 to 274 children is not using school funds properly. The main problem is they have no plan in place for where the other 505 children are going to be placed.


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 12:18 p.m.

>> 59.8 percent of Redner's students qualify for free and reduced lunch FInally someone is talking about the elephant in the room. LMA does not represent the demographic of the school district, yet the district's elementary school future is being based on its practices. Based on history, this superintendent won't be around when this decision comes back to bite the district's behind. Just curious, for those board members that have school aged children, what school do they attend? Any chance it is in the school that isn't affected by this decision?


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 3:37 p.m.

I agree with this totally!! Wow you hit the nail on the head! Great question at the end of your comment too. You are completely correct. The vote was 5-2. The 5 that voted in favor to move LMA to Redner do not have ties with children from Redner. They do in fact have ties with children from the other schools. How fair is that? The Lincoln Board of Education has become very unpopular these days. Not just with this move but also with their poor planning concerning spending.... such as with the Bond money for Brick. They have yet to have a plan in place for where the children will be placed. Yet they want to have this implemented by the start of the next school year? Ellen Bonter said at a meeting that in her estimation it would cost $45,000 - $50,000 to move LMA to Redner. Notice she doesn't give a $ amount in this article. Where are they coming up with this money? She said that part of the reason for the cost would be due to the fact that LMA uses tables instead of desks and so on. much money are we going to keep spending on this.


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 12:16 p.m.

"The district passed a recent capital improvement bond that was intended to include building on four additional classrooms to Brick Elementary to accommodate growth for the LMA program. However, Bonter said when it appeared bids for the project were coming in lower than expected, the district added a few things to the list that fell within the scope of the bond. But when costs for some mechanical and electrical components totaled higher than budgeted for, the district had to again scale back its bond projects, she said, adding there now is not enough money left in the bond for Brick." Sounds like poor planning to me. I am deeply saddened to see Redner closed and will be removing my children from the district. The only reason we didn't move before was because we loved the Redner family. It amazes me that the school board is putting so much faith in this program that they can justify displacing hundreds of Redner students. I have spoken with educators outside of the district and they can't believe what the Lincoln school board has done. They think this is a horrible mistake and expect the program to fail. If the board wants to increase enrollment they need to look at the real issues as to why people are leaving. It has very little if nothing to do with the elementary schools. Families don't want to invest time in a district if their children won't be attending the middle and high school.

average joe

Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 5:28 p.m.

It has very little if nothing to do with the elementary schools. Families don't want to invest time in a district if their children won't be attending the middle and high school. Perhaps they need to work on the below 5% SAT college preparedness rate.


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 3:30 a.m.

Thankful my kids found a homes in our charter schools! First visited Lincoln schools back in 2001. Wasn't impressed then, even less impressed now.

Mr. Long

Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 12:29 a.m.

It sounds like the Lincoln Consolidated School District is turning into the Hunger Games! Every student will have to fight for their right for a quality education! My money would be on those kids from Brick and Redner! May the reaping begin! Why is there so much division in socio-economic status between these schools. Just read an article on this site from 2008 and many of the same things were being said! That was four years ago and still no positive changes? Another article says 20% of the district left last year? I feel bad for you folks in Lincoln but I am sure you would all be welcome in your surrounding districts!

Mrs. Castle

Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 6:13 p.m.

There really is division in economic status. It almost appears to be a part of the plan. Redner is being torn apart and it has much ethnic diversity and many families of low economic status. Are they the easiest to take down? Is it part of the plan to push these people out so that the numbers for Lincoln might increase as the Board would like? This feels an awful lot like discrimination.

Mrs. R

Tue, Apr 17, 2012 : 11:47 p.m.

This is a very sad situation. My daughter attended Redner for 4th and 5th grade. We moved to the area a few years ago. I was not even told about the LMA program. I definitely would have chosen to send my daughter to LMA if I would have been given the choice. My daughter had an excellent 4th grade teacher at Redner. She was a gem. However, her 5th grade teacher was a nightmare...perhaps the worst teacher I have ever encountered in my entire life! I must admit that the principal, Mr. Northhrop was very helpful when I contacted him about my problems with her teacher. He did eventually accept my request to have her switched to a different classroom after the teacher called me screaming and yelling. I just recently became acquainted with LMA. My daughter is at Lincoln Middle School right now, and I wish with all my heart that LMA went all the way through high school. I would definitely send her there. The program, as well as the staff and principal are among the best in Washtenaw County...comparable to some great Ann Arbor schools. Everyone I have encountered at LMA are kind and caring, and the curriculum is outstanding. This is not coming from someone who is unfamiliar with education. I actually have a Master's in Elementary Education, and my husband teaches in education at a local university. I wish that this change would have been more gradual for the Redner families. It would have been nice if they would have been introduced to LMA before this was thrown on them. I am sure that if they visited the school they would love it just as much as I do! Redner parents....I understand your angst, but I would suggest you give LMA a chance. I truly believe you will love it. And remember, this is not the fault of LMA or Redner. LMA lost their home a few years ago as well, and everyone at the school feels for you. Peace.

Mrs. Castle

Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 5:50 p.m.

I appreciate your understanding. It should be noted that many Redner families have given LMA a chance. Many have looked into the program or been enrolled in the program in the past. We are at Redner for a reason. It is the school we have chosen for our children. Our choice is being ignored right now and no matter which way it is spun, it just isn't right.


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 3:23 p.m.

No offense but this program should not be shoved down people's throats by the Board. I also know parents whose children this program did not suit, so to dedicate a whole building to the program and displace 505 students with it is totally gambling with our school system. Especially when you don't even know what the demand will be for LMA. It's ok to offer it but they need to quit pushing it on people. I believe too that some of the families are very kind and caring. I am friends with some and will remain friends but that is why we should all have a choice. The only thing the Board is accomplishing here is dividing a community and gambling with school funds. I fault the Board for creating this problem. It's nothing personal with the LMA families. Although at the meeting many were trying to push it on people. I had a Mom who kept talking in my ear while the Board was voting trying to convince me of her program when she knew my child was being displaced. I thought this to be very insensitive. Complaining about how the LMA children have had to move...well they've all made the move together. The only thing that's changing for LMAis the scenery. Our children at Redner will be dispersed among the system and separated. I'm wondering how LMA children will fair when they actually have to be blended with everyone else at the Junior High level. Or for that matter if those families will even remain with the system or go to Charter Schools. I'm not trying to offend anyone. It's just I'm trying to say we have a right to our choice too. I know many people who haven't had their children in this program and they are on the Deans list in College. Everyone is different. We are a Consolidated School District where the Board shouldn't be creating this much division in the community.


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 2:06 a.m.

@ Mr. Penny - haha! It would be nice to see the gates of Child's open, but for some reason they seem to be protected. Too many Child's parents marking their territory to let anyone else near that place.


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 1:38 a.m.

Mrs. R.- There truly is no plan right now! We got an email today stating that they are going to START discussing where our children will go. We are not moving as a whole school into a new building like LMA has been afforded in the past. We may or may not be able to enroll or enter a lottery for Brick, LMA or Childs. Childs was not even an option until we started asking questions as to why it is not an option when there are 6 empty classrooms and the lowest class size in the district! There is no given opportunity for our children right now, no automatic consideration for LMA. We are being turned upside down, our teachers will be displaced or laid off as well. People keep saying it is the same as it was for LMA but it is not even close- please offer us a building to move into as a school, we would be happy to move into Model! And Mr. Penny- the gates at Child's elementary may finally open to the rest of the district.... We will have to wait and see!

Mr. Penny

Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 1:27 a.m.

Please lets not forget the 71 students that will displaced either way. There is not enough room in these schools to accomodate all of the children. The dirty gates (Samuelson) that protect Childs will have to open soon.


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 12:10 a.m.

From the sounds of it, a lottery is used to determine who is in the LMA program so not all Redner students would necessarily be in it.

Mrs. R

Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : midnight

kcchiefsfan, I understand how you feel. My husband and I attended college and worked while raising our 3 children. Believe me our children have had their fair share of free lunches. However, the Redner parents do have a choice. They can choose to send their children to has always been an option for matter what their economic status is.


Tue, Apr 17, 2012 : 11:51 p.m.

Mrs. R - the current Redner children won't be attending LMA, so they don't have to worry about "giving LMA a chance" - they are being kicked out of their buiding to accomodate the children that can pay for their lunches with the money their parents earn from their one and only jobs, not the two or three jobs like the poor Redner and Brick children.


Tue, Apr 17, 2012 : 11:35 p.m.

I think this is a very poor decision on the part of the school board. I have kept my daughter at Redner, even with other options, because the teachers have been excellent and the principal is great. Shuffling all these students around will make it easier for families to leave the district. The better option would have been to put the multi-age at Model (all kindergarten building), and put the kindergartens in each elementary building. I also have a problem with a program with students of clearly higher socioeconomic backgrounds displacing kids who have greater needs. I hope the district reconsiders this decision or Lincoln may also be working on a merger with Ypsi and Willow Run.

Mrs. Castle

Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 5:45 p.m.

Either of those options seem like they would be much better than the current! LMA at Child's or dispersing the kindergarteners amongst all buildings (LMA and Childs already have kindergarteners) just makes more sense.


Tue, Apr 17, 2012 : 11:50 p.m.

What is wrong with moving the LMA to Child's? My understanding is that they have space there and an ability to add on to the building. I, personally, liked that the kindergartners were eased into the school routine by being in their own smaller building.


Tue, Apr 17, 2012 : 11:09 p.m.

My child used to attend Redner Elementary, but, like 269 other families, we left skid-marks from Lincoln Consolidated and joined Milan. This has been the best decision we ever made and the difference in the school districts is like comparing apples to oranges. You CAN afford to make the switch to another school district - you just need to find a daycare where the school bus will pick up your child and bring them back to the daycare. Stony Creek Daycare is an excellent daycare and, latch-key programs are also available. Don't give up and leave your child in Lincoln (Stinkin') schools when your child could receive an excellent education ten miles down the road! Lincoln stopped providing quality education "four-score and seven years ago"!


Thu, Apr 19, 2012 : 1:05 a.m.

Wow... and teach you children to RUN AWAY instead of stepping up and supporting your local school. Just because 269 other families jumped over the cliff... My son went through Brick, Lincoln's Junior High and Lincoln's High School.Daughter also came through Lincoln High School. My son is studying PA at Central on a lacrosse and academic scholarship. He played Varsity football four years at Lincoln and won 3 games total. He learned a realistic work ethic, the team concept and not to just RUN AWAY when things are tough. My daughter was offered full ride on Choral studies and is out this December with a double BA/BS. My only request to your weak sense of being and those like you, is that if you are going to leave.... leave and keep your mouth shut:)


Thu, Apr 19, 2012 : 12:24 a.m.

Wow... and teach you children to RUN AWAY instead of stepping up and supporting your local school. Just because 269 other families jumped over the cliff... My son went through Brick, Lincoln's Junior High and Lincoln's High School.Daughter also came through Lincoln High School. My son is studying PA at Central on a lacrosse and academic scholarship. He played Varsity football four years at Lincoln and won 3 games total. He learned a realistic work ethic, the team concept and not to just RUN AWAY when things are tough. My daughter was offered full ride on Choral studies and is out this December with a double BA/BS. My only request to your weak sense of being and those like you, is that if you are going to leave.... leave and keep your mouth shut:)


Tue, Apr 17, 2012 : 11:05 p.m.

Although my oldest son is currently at Brick, I think this is going to help make our decision for next year much better. It's doubtful that Lincoln has a plan for next year since it isn't a week before the new school year starts, but it's looking like my children will be going elsewhere.

ypsi mom

Tue, Apr 17, 2012 : 10:45 p.m.

I'd like more information about how the school lunch rates fit into the discussion - it certainly seems to be implied in the article. Was this a decision point for the Board? Also, I don't think this can be overstated: "Having its own space will allow the program to grow and compete with area charter schools."


Wed, Apr 18, 2012 : 3:08 p.m.

The problem with this statement is that we are not a charter school and shouldn't be operating like a charter school because we are a Consolidated School System. The program may not grow to fit the capacity of the building. What will they do then. This is definitely not the traditional way of teaching. There are many schools who prefer not to even offer this and they are doing just fine. This is not to say that it shouldn't be offered but don't push it on people like they are doing. I'm sure there is a hidden agenda here with funding too. To displace 505 students and have no certainty or to not have thought the numbers through on if they will even fit is very irresponsible on the Board's part. Children are coming home very upset because the Board has no answers as to what will happen with them. This is no way to treat children in any way shape or form. This is why there is so much division in the community right now.


Tue, Apr 17, 2012 : 11:06 p.m.

The entire district should be competing against the charter schools, not just the LMA program.

Mr. Penny

Tue, Apr 17, 2012 : 11:05 p.m.

The lunch rates fit in because it brings up the fact that most of the finacially disabled students and familes are being lumped together, rather than rezoning the schools. It is discrimination, ypsi mom.

average joe

Tue, Apr 17, 2012 : 10:12 p.m.

'In fact, Lincoln Consolidated does not know what the move's price tag will be.' Nothing like making an informed decision....