Ypsilanti-Willow Run school district approved for $6.5M in consolidation grant money
Ypsilanti and Willow Run school officials will receive a minimum of $6.5 million to help with launching their new, unified district this summer.
Officials asked for more than $6.5 million of $10 million in grant money that Gov. Rick Snyder set aside in this year’s School Aid Fund. Snyder said his hope for the $10 million was to incentivize schools to “come up with efficiencies they otherwise would not be able to fund.”
There will be a press conference at 6 p.m. Monday at Willow Run High School to discuss the specifics of the grant and various next steps, Washtenaw Intermediate School District Superintendent Scott Menzel told AnnArbor.com early Monday afternoon.
The press conference will take place before the regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting, which starts at 6:30 p.m. At the meeting, the board is expected to vote on one of three names for the new district: Ypsilanti Community Schools, Ypsilanti United School District or Eastern Washtenaw Community Schools.
Among the aspects of consolidation that the grant money will help fund are:
- Changing the locks and re-keying the buildings.
- Integrating the two districts’ technical systems. Right now, one district uses Macs and the other PCs.
- Hiring a consultant to provide oversee the merger.
- Staff, administrator and board professional development.
- Purchasing new athletic and band uniforms.
- Designing an early childhood family development center.
- Bridging the summer school programs from the old districts to the unified district, so at-risk students may still receive extra instruction through the summer during the transitional period.