Redistricting meeting tonight for Plymouth Schools

PLYMOUTH — The public is encouraged to attend a meeting on the re-districting of the Plymouth elementary school population Dec. 12.
Dr. Jerome McKibben, McKibben Demographic Research, has been reviewing the data concerning enrollment for the entire Plymouth Schools. He will be giving a final report at the meeting Monday night at Menominee Elementary at 6:30 p.m.
To comply with federal mandates, school districts must maintain a balance of race/ethnicity, numbers of students who qualify for free and reduced services, and students who qualify for services due to placement in ELL classes for those with limited English speaking and/or writing skills.
The actual re-districting, if warranted, could affect the student population of each of the four elementary schools in the Plymouth system. Students in grades kindergarten through fourth grade attend one of the elementary schools and then all converge into Riverside Intermediate for grades 5-6.
The demographic study will also include projections of students from private schools that are within the school district.
According to Plymouth Superintendent Dan Tyree, the re-districting that will be in place for the 2012-13 school year will not affect many students.
Tyree said, “Literally, only a few students will be affected by this other than those presently going to Washington Elementary.”
Washington will be converted into the Discovery Academy for project-based learning. At an earlier meeting, McKibben said that 129 current students who reside within walking distance would be reassigned to Washington and the rest of the students would be assigned to other elementary schools. Enrollment for additional students at the Discovery Academy will be by application. The application process is open to any elementary student no matter where they live. The Discovery Academy can service 75 students per grade, according to current Washington Principal Michele Riise. The mix of students accepted would be based on a number of criteria including those used for determining re-districting.
McKibben was hired approximately five years ago to perform a similar study of enrollment projections, boundary modifications, and demographic analysis and migration for the Plymouth Schools.
Board to meet
The Plymouth School Board has scheduled a regular meeting for Tuesday, Dec.13 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting time differs from the usual time of 7 p.m.
The board is expected to consider the retirements of Rodger Smith, assistant superintendent; Monty Pedan, PHS foreign language teacher, and Tillie Kain, Riverside Intermediate teacher. If approved, all three retirements will become effective on June 30, 2012.
Other agenda items include: ENL and Migrant report; Riverside 1:1 Computer Initiative; consideration of proposed course changes; report of GED and Adult Basic Education; report on ACT/SAT Scores; and a follow-up report on a previous graduating class.
Consideration will also be given to the scheduling of the first board meeting for the year 2012.
Meetings are held in the Administration Office Board Room on Berkley Street. They are open to the public, but comments are limited to agenda items.