Ypsi-Willow Run board to vote Monday on keeping New Tech program, elementary schools intact
The unified Ypsilanti-Willow Run Board of Education is expected to approve Monday keeping both districts’ elementary schools and the New Tech program intact for next year.
If the board votes in favor of the proposed resolution Monday night, children in pre-K to fifth grade in Ypsilanti and pre-K to fourth grade in Willow Run will not see a change in their daily routines come fall.
Angela J. Cesere | AnnArbor.com
Trustees also are expected to vote on maintaining the New Tech program. However, committing to continue the New Tech program does not necessarily mean Ypsilanti’s New Tech High School will remain open, said Washtenaw Intermediate School District Superintendent Scott Menzel.
Menzel made the facility recommendations to the board in December. He and other members of the WISD are serving as facilitators and advisers to the new district during the transition period per a partnership agreement.
Currently, Ypsilanti Public Schools has a separate high school, located on Ellsworth Road, for its New Tech program, while Willow Run also has a New Tech program that is housed out of its traditional high school building.
“They’ll have to decide down the road what the location will be,” Menzel said.
Project-based learning is at the center of the New Tech model. Learn about the other elements of the model here.
“Making these decisions early doesn’t signal that everything within those buildings will remain status quo,” the background/rationale on the proposed facilities motion states. “Rather it is an acknowledgement that the new cradle to career system will require time to implement and that the programmatic changes within those facilities can still proceed while the district focuses on the larger question of educational programs and facility usage for students in grades 7-12.”
The board also will vote on the new district’s continued participation in the county’s secondary options programs: Washtenaw International High School, the Early College Alliance and Widening Advancements for Youth (WAY).
At a visioning session during the winter break, according to meeting minutes, the board expressed its support of the facilities recommendations Menzel brought forward. However, President David Bates and Treasurer Anthony VanDerworp added they would like to see enrollment and capacity data for the early childhood and elementary school buildings prior to making a decision.
VanDerworp also suggested renaming the secondary options programs “Centers of Excellence.”
The unified Ypsilanti-Willow Run board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Willow Run High School, 235 Spencer Lane.
The board will handle Willow Run business first, followed by Ypsilanti business and then business for the joint district.