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Posted on Tue, Jan 19, 2010 : 6:05 a.m.

Ypsilanti Public Schools considers 2 plans that close schools

By Tom Perkins

Ypsilanti Public Schools is considering two plans that each include closing two schools.

The district presented the plans to the public last week during a community workshop to seek feedback and will hold another meeting this Thursday.

The first option includes “repurposing” Adams and Chapelle Elementary Schools and moving those students into Erickson and Estabrook. One middle school would house fifth and sixth graders, while the other would hold grades seven and eight.


Chapelle fifth-graders Amelia Armstrong, left, and Morgan Austin help pick up trash around their school in May. The district is considering closing the school to save money.

File photo

The second option would “repurpose” Chapelle and one middle school. Erickson and Estabrook would house grades two through six, Adams would have grades one through six and Perry would be used for pre-kindergarten through first grade. One middle school would remain for seventh and eighth grade students.

The high school would not be affected under either plan.

Opposition to the proposals is quickly mobilizing. But school board president David Bates said the current economic conditions, coupled with the recently defeated countywide enhancement millage, are forcing the district to make tough decisions to balance its budget.

“I certainly respect and understand that people don’t want to see their neighborhood schools close, but we need to find a way to operate the schools in an effective manner with the money that is available,” he said. “That’s what we will find a way to do.”

The district is faced with the task of cutting $6.4 million from its budget before the 2010 school year, and must follow the deficit elimination plan it recently submitted to the state. The board is aiming to make a decision on the closings by mid to late March. 

The first option comes at an estimated savings of $968,000, while savings for the second is estimated at more than $1.3 million.

Superintendent Dedrick Martin said school closings aren’t an ideal solution, but they're the type of measures necessary, given the situation.

“Closing schools is not something that we want to do, but the reality is we have to live within our economic means,” he said.

Martin said neither of the options are definite. The purpose of the workshops is to solicit feedback from the community, he said.

Bates said district officials originally came up with six school closing scenarios, then presented what they thought were the best two to the community. He said after the board receives feedback, it could decide to present one of the other four options or try a different option altogether.

No matter what the feedback, Martin and Bates said school closures or repurposing are likely.

“To reach a figure like $6.4 million, we quite honestly have to look at things like closing buildings,” Martin said.

The Chapelle Elementary Parent Advisory Board is calling an emergency meeting in advance of the Thursday evening workshop. It has also started a “Save Chapelle” Facebook page, is circulating a petition to keep Chapelle open and is developing its own ideas to present to the district on how to cut the budget without school closures.


Second-grade teacher Jeanne Medley gets her classroom ready at Adams Elementary School in Ypsilanti in this 2008 photo. The school could be closed under a potential plan to save money.

File photo

Maria Cotera, a member of the Chapelle PAB, said she believes neither of the models presented to the public will benefit the district, students or community. She said other options are available, and those presented will cause parents to move their kids out of the district.

“They’re not thinking very creatively, and that’s what the problem is,” she said. “We have ideas that we think would be more attractive. If you look at the actual savings, even in the most draconian models … you still have a $5.1 million deficit. It’s penny wise and pound foolish, and no one is going to want to send their kids here in those models.”

Cotera added the diversity of schools people can send their kids to is what makes the district attractive.

“No neighborhood schools should be closed because that’s the only way we can give parents the variety they need,” she said. “The kind of students they want to attract aren’t going to be attracted to a model with a large school - we have this broad variety of schools. We value small schools, we value larger schools.”

Cotera also questioned why all schools, including Perry, aren’t on the table. Bates and Martin said several factors go into choosing which schools close, including size, proximity and how new a building is.

“Regardless of the decision we make as a district, we know it will impact students and families,” Martin said. “We will do our best not to negatively impact our families, but our economic realities mean that we need to make these cuts.”

The next budget workshop is at 7 p.m. at the Perry Child Development Center.

Tom Perkins is a freelance writer for Reach the news desk at or 734-623-2530.



Wed, Jan 20, 2010 : 11:10 p.m.

Localvoice, Public schools are, by law, prohibited from charging for educational services, so attaching fees to a "school of choice" option is out of the question.


Wed, Jan 20, 2010 : 9:37 p.m.

I am so pleased to see such investment in the Ypsilanti Public Schools! Our city has much to overcome, and it seems more and more each year. The point to think creatively should be reconsidered. It has been proven, time and time again is a short solution. How about considering the idea of charging a fee for families that utilize the School of Choice option? Many, many of our neighboring districts utilize this resource. Also, revamping the School of Choice option within the district lines can save money in transportation costs. Currently, students are bussed all around our city. Maybe if a family chooses to participate in the School of Choice option that family should be required to get their child to that school. This is common practice elsewhere. Also, our schools would be more racially balanced, as well as free/reduced lunch students. Finally, there is opportunity to make more cuts in administration! Our public school system has been top-heavy for many, many years. Our administrators have been some of the most well-paid in the county for a long time. Don't be fooled by those who have come out of "retirement" and remain employed.


Wed, Jan 20, 2010 : 8:43 p.m.

YpsiLivin: Regarding WCC offering the same service as RCTC: While WCC does offers the same classes. and while it is true WCC is open to 15 year old 10th grade (or higher) students, they must pass the Compass Test at a certain proficiency or take remedial courses until they pass the Compass before they can take the regular classes (Students would have to pay for those classes). Many of our students are not prepared to do that, and many would have trouble with the night classes (the day classes are full). Even if all of our students were qualified and chose to go to WCC, space is limited and most spaces are full day and night. We have had inquiries from WCC to rent some of our spaces at night. We have a computer lab and use a program called KeyTrain that helps each student improve her/his skills in reading & math so they can pass the Compass when they go to WCC (This program gives them real-life problems and situations in thier RCTC field). I'm guessing maybe one third of our students could pass it going in to their senior year, the rest need to take advantage of our lab. WCC is not a good option to replace RCTC. The bottom line is that WCC would not be an option for well over half of our students, probably more, even if they had room. One other point, RCTC is not "duplicating services offered elsewhere". Even though WTMC is on the WCC campus, it is not popular with much of WCC and WCC was never intended to replace high schools. WCC also offers many of the academic classes we offer at all the local high schools, but students only take them when their schedule won't allow them to take it in their district (due to a conflict with another class) or if a certain class isn't offered for a year due to low enrollment. Districts don't pay for students to dual-enroll in a class offered at the local high school (with no scheduling conflicts). Most students who are dual-enrolled have completed all the classes in a subject area (like Calculus in their junior year) and take a class at WCC that is not offered at their high school. Bob Wilkinson Director, RCTC


Wed, Jan 20, 2010 : 4:35 p.m.

I think the point is that closing Perry will distribute the pain across multiple communities not just focus on the communities served by Chapelle and Adams (and we know who they are). More importantly closing Perry will not disrupt students who are already attending an elementary school. This year's kindergarten students will simply move into their school of choice, and next year's crop will go to kindergarten at a neighborhood elementary school like kids across the nation. The wonderful things that are happening at Perry can be duplicated at any one of the neighborhood schools; Pre-K, Montessori classrooms, etc. Perry is about an approach to teaching, not a building. Moreover, as I said before, Perry is currently underutilized. Please, people, desperate times call for desperate measures, and we need to think outside the box. And by the way, Chapelle is at or near capacity (375), I don't know about Adams, but its capacity is 425 and if its anywhere near that we are talking about 700-800 children that will need a place to go. They will have to go to either Eriksson or Estabrook, which will lead to serious overcrowding, and impact ALL of our children's educational experience. The more privileged students with greater resources, will simply go out of district. Closing elementary schools, is bad for Ypsi, bad for kids, and bad for our reputation. Closing Perry would mean giving up on a citywide kindergarten model, a nice "extra" in flush times, but it would not actively damage the integrity of the entire system, as would closing HALF of our elementary schools.


Wed, Jan 20, 2010 : 2:11 p.m.

I'm sure RCTC is well run, but I'm also sure that WCC could accommodate all of the students from Ypsilanti, Lincoln and Willow Run who would like to attend. With regard to WCC's admissions criteria, WCC is open to students "at least 15 years of age and in the 10th grade." WCC runs a high school right on campus so I also have little doubt that the College is adequately prepared to deal with high school students. Every one of the program areas you list is covered by WCC. At some point, you have to admit that RCTC is duplicating services offered elsewhere. The question is: Do the taxpayers need to pay for two programs that offer the same services or could we get by with one if we had to?


Wed, Jan 20, 2010 : 1:08 p.m.

@Edward Vielmetti: As a former Realtor, I am well aware of land contracts, however most land contracts have a balloon payment at the end of three or five years. What MIA wanted was for YPS to hold the risk of MIA making payments for 20 years, with no guarantees that the group would continue to make those payments and no balloon. In addition, while the district would assume the risk, MIA wanted to make some drastic changes to the building. I will say this again: the Board of Education made the right and responsible decision by not assuming that risk. I live a few blocks from Chapelle, was active in the PAB when my son was there and have loved that school. But, folks, let's realize that we are talking about the survival of the district as a whole. The district's administration has already taken a 3 percent pay cut this year. The BoE has, over the past few years, trimmed as much as it can without directing affecting the classrooms. And, while Chapelle and Adams are built to hold 400 students or more, do they actually have that many in their schools right now? I doubt it. While I will be sad if Chapelle closes, I have to support survival of the district. Those who are not familiar with the RCTC skills programs should study up. They are NOT funded solely by YPS and offer worlds of opportunity for all kinds of students. Despite No Child Left Behind, the reality is that not every child is equipped to go to college, either intellectually or financially. (And what would we do without plumbers and electricians and auto mechanics and the like? Civilization as we now it would falter, trust me.) RCTC lets kids who are good with their hands learn a skilled trade and become productive members of society. For students who want to attend college but have to pay their own ways, the skills they learn in RCTC can make that dream possible faster and with more of a comfort level in their living arrangements than without those skills. As for Perry, well, my younger son had a wonderful experience there in the 1990s and my granddaughter is having a wonderful experience there now. While I'm sure one size does not fit all, I think the way things are done at Perry have benefited many more children than its hurt. Right now, with the state legislature giving the education of Michigan's children less priority than it so clearly deserves, we just have to hold on until times change. I know the BoE of YPS is doing the best it can with a bad situation and sitting around pointing fingers and sniping isn't going to help anyone.


Wed, Jan 20, 2010 : 11:02 a.m.

Wow Sandy! I'm sorry you misread my comments as thinking that "my" school is better than others. My goal here is not to argue with one specific poster. Just to bring up the merits of Chapelle as a whole community and it's effect on the school district as well as the neighborhood that it sits in. There is no need for personal attacks. Other posters have brought up the benefits to Chapelle as well..are you attacking them? or do you have some issue with me in general..if so please leave it off these boards, as they don't follow guidelines. If you are upset because I asked you questions about what your neighborhood was like after they closed George, then I'm sorry for asking those questions. I'm not saying that one school is better than another, saying that closing any schools at this point and moving 800 kids into two schools should not even be an option. Closing Chapelle will not only have an effect on the entire school system, but the neighborhood that it is located in. An effect that frankly in the long term, Ypsi or it's school district, can't afford right now. We need to be thinking of other solutions.


Wed, Jan 20, 2010 : 10:42 a.m.

We do worry about the kids that will move out of the district as a result of this change, as should the administration, because fewer kids means lower enrollments, and lower enrollments means more budget woes. Ypsi schools already suffer from a bad reputation in the region (fairly or unfairly) and I believe closing any neighborhood schools (Chapelle, Adams, Estabrook, Eriksson) will only add to that. Personally, I am in favor of keeping the integrity of our remaining neighborhood schools in place, as it is the only thing, in the long run, that will attract new parents to our district, and help alleviate our budget woes. This does not mean fighting for Chapelle and only Chapelle, though I do think, like @hypsi, that Chapelle is a very special place. Yes hard decisions need to be made, but closing Chapelle and Adams should not be the ONLY options on the table. What about Perry? What about moving to a K-5 system in the neighborhood schools? What about applying to the millions of dollars in federal funds available for the development of Magnet schools (Adams and Chapelle, would be perfect for this). These are all CREATIVE ideas not "slash and burn" tactics.

Sandy Castle

Wed, Jan 20, 2010 : 10:26 a.m.

@hypsi, It's a sad time when anyone's neighborhood school closes. To imply that "your" school is better than anyone else's is arrogant. I hope you don't pass your dramatic and negative dealings in this matter onto your children. It will adversely affect their experience if their school does close. Everyone thinks their school should remain open, most people don't believe teachers are paid enough for the job that they do, most people would prefer to have transportation and maintenance provided by people they know. The fact is the money is no longer there to maintain these things. Cuts have to be made somewhere. I have to say I'm not worried about the hypothetical kids that may move to this district, I'm worried about the kids that are already here. Do I believe that the superintendant contract was a bad agreement? Yes. But I don't believe there's enough money there to make a dent in fixing the budget deficit so other actions must be taken to take care of it. Work with the district with reasonable ideas and keep your emotions out of it because as @Missypsi says, you are going to be a part of the change, even it means you take your kids out of the district, so be part of the solution. And when you do that, think about all of the kids in the district who love their elementary school, just as yours love theirs.


Wed, Jan 20, 2010 : 10:10 a.m.

We ARE a part of the process. That's the point. We are also part of the change.


Wed, Jan 20, 2010 : 9:44 a.m.

"Be a part of the process, or not, change is coming and it's better to work with the district than against." My opinion is that this change will cause people to move out of the district or to pull their children out of the district and look for other ways to educate their children.


Wed, Jan 20, 2010 : 9:35 a.m.

Rosie - thank you for pointing out that Forest Ave is at George School now. So just roll over and let the Admin keep making the big money and let the children suffer? How much was the new superintendent (that has no superintendent experience) again? "Under the contract, Martins annual salary will be $140,000, plus benefits. His package includes a $300 monthly stipend for a car and a $75 monthly stipend for a cell phone, a laptop computer and a $2,500 annual bonus if he completes his doctoral dissertation. The district will also pay $800 a month for up to four months to cover temporary housing." Your going to replace close to 800 kids into two other schools? How is that going to be a "good" experience? How is having huge classroom sizes going to be a draw for people to want to send their children to of the goals that the superintendent was planning on addressing during his term, was to boost student enrollment..large class sizes? I'm sure people will be lining up to enroll their children for that. Overreacting? Sorry but for what is good for your children, there is no overreacting. Everyone wants the best for their children and to fight for that..well that is not overreacting. There is a big difference between George which is located on (correct me if I'm wrong here) a 4? 2? lane road, where kids have to walk across a overhead bridge to keep safe, on Ecorse...then Chapelle that is located in the middle of a quiet neighborhood. Chapelle also borders and shares the same fields as the baseball diamonds, Recreation park, the senior center, and Rutherford Pool. Which all has been a draw for people to come live/move to the area. Who wouldn't want to move somewhere where within walking distance, you have an elementary school, two parks, baseball diamonds, a pool, and a senior center (that also doubles as a community center)...take the school away and what do you have? No draw for families to live there. I also agree that there is a black/white divide and Chapelle has been of the few schools that addresses this issue..speaking from experience here, which was one of the best experiences a child can have. Chapelle has always been that way, from when my brothers went there in the 1970's to present day. The families (Black and White) that surround this school have been the same families that have been there for generations and still are sending their children to Chapelle School. It will be a sad day for the surrounding neighborhood when Chapelle school closes it's doors.

Sandy Castle

Wed, Jan 20, 2010 : 8:55 a.m.

There was no backlash in the neighborhoods, nobody moved because of it, no sign of decrease in property values due to the move, nothing. You are all overreacting. Face facts, there is NOT enough money to be found cutting admin in the school district. This isn't Ann Arbor. Pay cuts for teachers, privatization of services, yes. Those are things that can be looked at, and money saved by negotiation. It only makes sense to fill the schools to capacity, close the excess schools, and perhaps determine if sales of those properties are necessary. Yes, teachers will probably be laid off. It's unfortunate because we have some really awesome teachers in this district and I do believe they're underpaid. I also believe my husband is underpaid, since he just took a 4% pay cut working for Washtenaw County, but these are the times. Be realistic. There is no "good fight" here in being selfish about "your" school. Everybody believes "their" school should stay open. Be a part of the process, or not, change is coming and it's better to work with the district than against. But that's only my opinion.


Wed, Jan 20, 2010 : 12:57 a.m.

"localvoice" I am totally with you on the idea to take Ypsi elementary schools back to a K-5 system. We loved the teachers at Perry, but totally hated the enormous size of the school, and the fact that we never felt integrated into the parent/teacher community (because we were only going to be there a year). The transition from kindergarten to 1st grade was made more difficult by the switch in schools. Moreover, ALL of my daughter's friends from Perry ended up going to Estabrook, while we chose Chapelle, which meant that our daughter had to make friends all over again. This wasn't really a problem for her, but it could have been. We know at least two families with young children who didn't like the citywide kindergarten system and chose to send their children to schools in Ann Arbor. I am absolutely certain that had Chapelle been an option for kindergarten, they would be in the district right now.


Tue, Jan 19, 2010 : 11:57 p.m.

And how, exactly, will my child have "a wonderful experience" at either Eriksson or Estabrook, when, if YPS follows through with Option I (closing Adams and Chapelle), approximately 700 children will have to be absorbed into two already full schools? The 800lb gorilla in the room here is the complete absence of a plan to place the children at Chapelle and Adams if both schools are closed. The second option offered up by YPS isn't much better: turn Adams, a troubled school by any estimation, into a K-6 elementary and (presumably) absorb Chapelle children into a building that will be adding two additional grades. I'm sorry, but this is a recipe for disaster. Moreover, this option will worsen an already serious black/white divide in the Ypsi school system, and, I should add, in the community as a whole. Ironically Chapelle seems to be the one place where this divide is being addressed, which is why we think its worth fighting for; not just for our child's sake, but for the sake of all of us. If we lose this fight, then at least she will have gained an important lesson in civic engagement, and the lengths that people will go to to protect and preserve the last few remnants of democratic culture that we have...


Tue, Jan 19, 2010 : 11:44 p.m.

The former George building now houses the district's alternative program, known as Forest Ave. school.


Tue, Jan 19, 2010 : 11:25 p.m.

Sandy, your comments are nice and allude to not fighting the good fight in keeping a cherished school open, when there are other cuts that could be made elsewhere. Like from the admin level? Do you really think the board is going to keep teachers from Chapelle or Adams if they close these schools? What about the neighborhood, how did the closing of George affect your neighborhood? The housing market? People leaving the district? What is being done with George School now? Do we really need more charter schools...because that's what happened to George..does it still exsist, because I can't find any information on the George Multiage Academy from a more current year then 2001. How about the tax base? Did people move after the closing? Did crime increase in your neighborhood? Did your community not feel as connected? Just a few questions..hoping for an answer.

Sandy Castle

Tue, Jan 19, 2010 : 9:50 p.m.

My children attended George Elementary, one child all the way through and the other for 1st and 2nd grade. It's not the school, or the building, or even the location, that makes elementary school special to our children, it's the teachers and the staff. As a parent who went through her children's elementary school closing, I can assure you that your attitude towards the change will have more affect on your child than the change itself. So when the district prepares to do what it sees as necessary, please don't invest too much of yourself into the situation and thereby making this a negative experience for your child. I was very unhappy when I learned that George was going to be closed and I worried about not having that "neighborhood school". Once George closed, my daughter went to Erickson Elementary. Erickson and the staff there, made up of a number of the familiar teachers from George, welcomed the George children and there was never a problem because alot of thought and care for our children went into the process. We LOVED Erickson and all our fears were for naught and my daughter had a wonderful experience there.

Carolyn Work

Tue, Jan 19, 2010 : 8:43 p.m.

I believe the school board ought to look at each and every budget in the Ypsilanti district and at the increase in compensation and reduction of services. I understand that this is a very sensitve issue. These suggestions are not made lightly. The school district (with the exception of the years that we offered one less high school hour and had no specials due to the deep recession of the 1980s) has systematically reduced the "time on task" that our students have been exposed to. Professor of Community Education Jack Minzey wrote in an educational journal article in 1981 that compared to 1964 our students were graduating with a "time on task" equivalance of the end of the sophomore year. Since then we have cut our school year to 170 student days. We have the shortest number of days of any public school district in the surrounding area as reported by the Ann Arbor News recently. Is it a suprise that our test scores are not what we would like them to be? As professional educators who care about how students are educated in Michigan, and particularly in Ypsilanti, we need to remember that these children and young adults are our future. Dr. Minzey included a handwritten note with a copy of his article saying that "time on task" is more important to the educational process than intelligence. Please look carefully at all the plans that have been suggested for the immediate budget problems but also look long term at how we can balance all parts of this process so educational opportunity for our students is not sacrificed.


Tue, Jan 19, 2010 : 8:35 p.m.

Mr. Wilkinson, Thank you for the helpful information! One slight correction, though. 'Twas not I that suggested RCTC be closed, but YpsiLivin. I know better.


Tue, Jan 19, 2010 : 8:07 p.m.

That should be might..sometimes my fingers move faster then I need them too :]


Tue, Jan 19, 2010 : 7:55 p.m.

Hey Tom, You mgith want to add this to your main article? Every little bit can help make a difference... Emergency Meeting will be at Chapelle Elementary at 6:00 P.M. on Wednesday, Jan 20, 2010. Childcare provided.


Tue, Jan 19, 2010 : 7:34 p.m.

Closing two more schools on the backs of elementary students hasn't worked in the past and it will not work now. PCDC was a jewel in our city decades ago. Educationally speaking, the gap between kindergarten and first grade is vast for many reasons. Also, if you ask within your community, many, many families will not send their children to Perry for various reason, then they get comfortable in other elementary schools, never to attend YPSD. Why is it that closing Perry and moving to K-5 schools is NEVER an option? Also, we have two middle schools in our city, but less elementary schools. We have lost Fletcher, George and Ardis, but still function with East and West. If closing two schools is the only option, as our district seems to think, then consider closing Perry, making all elementary schools K-5 and close one middle school. Also, why is the high school always off the list? I'm sure there are options there. For a district that claims to be "Strong from Start to Finish" the administration sure seems to neglect the "start" with these cuts. Closing elementary schools is no way to lure students to the Ypsilanti Public Schools. It's just a short cut to an extremely brief relief from a huge, lurking issue.


Tue, Jan 19, 2010 : 4:44 p.m.

Ypsilistener: Responding to your suggestion that we close RCTC: 1. RCTC has been "moved" when the Hewitt property was sold; this included some programs to Ypsi High and Fletcher and the administration to Ypsi High. It (the Culinary program) was "moved" again this year when Fletcher was closed (It has been relocated to Ardis). Both of these moves were caused by buildings being sold by the District and RCTC was relocated into available space. RCTC is a consortium of the Ypsilanti, Lincoln and Willow Run school districts and has it's own separate budget. Closing RCTC would not save Ypsi Schools any money, it would only reduce important options for students. You question "how can YPS justify operating a separate (read: expensive) vocational education program when a community college that specializes in occupational and vocational education is literally down the street?" This was an option I explored last fall when we looked at relocation options for the Culinary program (due to the sale of Fletcher). Space is simply not available at WCC; they would have to open new sections - at night - and not many of our students would actually qualify to take such a class because they are not yet ready to meet WCC's admission standards. We justify our operation by the fact that we take ALL interested high school students and we prepare them for employment in eight different areas and we also prepare them to meet WCC's admission standards. We even prepare them to articulate credits at WCC which saves them dollars. Each school district pays tuition for their students that attend RCTC for half of their scheduled day and the tuition is significantly less than half the state aid the district receives. So, if RCTC is closed, we significantly eliminate important options for students and end up paying more because those students would have to take six high school classes instead of three (RCTC classes are three hours long). RCTC is a viable and economically sound program which prepares our students for college, employment and life after high school. I love discussing RCTC and am glad to do so with anyone with any questions. Bob Wilkinson RCTC Director 734-714-1275


Tue, Jan 19, 2010 : 4:17 p.m.

Really Chapelle School..Out of all the elementary schools, why this one? Do they mention class sizes, report cards of the schools, or anything else as a reason? I guess I'm a little biased having gone through Chapelle school myself, but it was one of the most diverse schools that I was lucky enough to experience. Not to mention my great grandfather helped build part of it. Chapelle school is one of the reason we are thinking of moving back to the area. We are losing our sense of neighborhood and sense of community if this school gets closed. Surely there has to be other ideas of what to do..this should not even be an option. What is a neighborhood going to do with en empty school sitting in its mist, it would just attract vandalism, squatters, affect property values even more then they already are, and cause more people to move out of the district, thus making a larger money problem. it won't just be a school budget problem, but a neighborhood problem as well. C'mon YPS, you can think more creatively then this!


Tue, Jan 19, 2010 : 2:30 p.m.

@Malorie Perry child development is on Harreit st.west of hamilton on the citys "south side"


Tue, Jan 19, 2010 : 2:27 p.m.

@Ypsilistener, I'm not under the impression that Ardis is empty. I'm under the impression that if the YPS board had been realistic about what Ardis was worth along with their chances of selling it in this economy, the building would have been sold when they had a viable offer for it on the table. YPS has simply shifted fringe programs from one "repurposed" school building to another when what they need to do is get rid of buildings. The school district has contracted in a way that leaves very little hope that it will expand again and using buildings "in the hope of generating new revenue for the district" is well outside the district's mission. The purpose of the public school system is to educate children, not generate revenue. RCTC has been shifted at least three times in the past decade. RCTC could be eliminated in favor of having those students take vocational education classes at Washtenaw CC. How can YPS justify operating a separate (read: expensive) vocational education program when a community college that specializes in occupational and vocational education is literally right down the street?


Tue, Jan 19, 2010 : 2:15 p.m.

YpsiLivin, the MIA couldn't come up with the money to buy Ardis, even after YPS accepted their offer. So, they lowered their offer and asked that YPS take payments, since they don't believe in taking out mortgages. Accepting that offer would have put YPS in the position of taking on way more financial risk than any public entity should assume and, as responsible representatives of the community, the Board of Education chose not to do that. For which I, for one, applaud its sound judgment. Malorie, no, the Perry Nursery School on Packard is a private school and not part of any public school system. Perry Child Development Center is a nationally-renowned school for all the kindergarteners in the school district of Ypsilanti. It has been featured on CNN and is generally considered an excellent school throughout education circles in the U.S. It is a Kindergarten Cluster Program school offering unique opportunities for children to begin their education in a positive way. I highly recommend it.


Tue, Jan 19, 2010 : 1:46 p.m.

Is Perry Child Development Center another name for Perry Nursery School (Packard Road)? This is a fairly small school and I wonder how they would fit first graders in without an addition. There is usually a waiting list for this school which specializes in single parent and low income families (and does an AMAZING job may I add). I'm just wondering how negatively this school would be impacted if they had to take on a whole new grade of students. (Sorry for so narrowly focussing on the one school, but it is an important one to me.)


Tue, Jan 19, 2010 : 12:55 p.m.

I am guessing once again that the kids who are special needs at Estabrook will get the shaft. They had 1-5 grades in one class at one time. I had to fight to try to get the lower grades and upper grades separated. Their solution to start was to put the upper students in a old teacher office as a classroom which was not much better then holding class in a large closet. Finally after I took pictures of this they got their own classroom. I am willing to bet it will be back to square one again. I am so glad we moved and my daughter is no longer going to Ypsilanti. They treat special ed students like second class citizens.


Tue, Jan 19, 2010 : 12:54 p.m.

I am guessing once again that the kids who are special needs at Estabrook will get the shaft. They had 1-5 grades in one class at one time. I had to fight to try to get the lower grades and upper grades separated. Their solution to start was to put the upper students in a old teacher office as a classroom which was not much better then holding class in a large closet. Finally after I took pictures of this they got their own classroom. I am willing to bet it will be back to square one again. I am so glad we moved and my daughter is no longer going to Ypsilanti. They treat special ed students like second class citizens.


Tue, Jan 19, 2010 : 12:31 p.m.

@YpsiLiving: You are under the mistaken impression that Ardis is still empty, despite being told otherwise. And if you look further into the plan, the district is not necessarily closing two more buildings, but using them differently and more efficiently, while hoping to provide new services which will increase district revenue.


Tue, Jan 19, 2010 : 12:17 p.m.

So the board refuses a sale offer of $2.3 million for Ardis in order to sell Fletcher for $2.2 million, when they could have sold both Ardis and Fletcher and gotten $4.5 million for the pair. That's using your head. Now, we'll get two more (empty) school buildings to have and to hold in addition to the one (Ardis) they could have sold two years ago.

dading dont delete me bro

Tue, Jan 19, 2010 : 10:19 a.m.

"how new a building is?" both chapelle and adams went through major internal renovations this summer...why bother putting major $$'s in if they're going to be closed or sold?!?! -dading!

Emma Jackson

Tue, Jan 19, 2010 : 10:03 a.m.

A note of clarification: Ardis is no longer empty. The building houses the RCTC Hospitality Program, Adult Education and the county wide COPE program. These programs were previously housed in Fletcher School, which was sold to EMU in the summer of 2009.


Tue, Jan 19, 2010 : 8:54 a.m.

Close the schools and sell the buildings. The YPS school board should also remember the botched sale of Ardis. It's still empty with no buyers in sight. A viable potential buyer got turned away because the board was convinced they could get more. I'll bet dime to donuts that when the building finally does sell it will go for much less than what the MIA offered. Sell the buildings and get them off the books.