Why was the decision made to merge the two high schools?
Due to ongoing concerns about declining student enrollment, and the fact that Kennedy HS is two-stories, non ADA accessible, and has a failed pool heater and pump, compromised boiler system, and it is a challenge to offer all of the robust high school electives that the districts wishes to offer, the district decided to merge the two high schools.
Why was the decision made to close Kennedy and not Truman?
Kennedy HS is the older of the two schools, the building is two stories without an elevator for wheelchair-bound students, has a failed pool heater and pump, a failing boiler system, and has less functional capacity than Truman HS.
How is this merger good for students?
The merger will allow the district to offer students greater access to core and elective classes, and greater sports and other extra-curricular opportunities with a more efficient staffing model on one campus, rather than splitting the programs between two half-full high schools.
How will this affect our athletic teams?
The merger will allow the entire athletic program to be strengthened relative to our downriver league districts as we double the number of potential athletes for each sport we offer. In addition, the district will have larger numbers of combined students which will allow us to offer some sports that we have been unable to offer in recent years.
How much will the merger of the schools save the district money?
The merger is projected to save the district between 1.8 and 2 million dollars as a result of the closure of Kennedy High School. These savings come in the areas of personnel, facilities upkeep, and utilities savings.
What curricular improvements will the district be able to make as a result of the merger?
The district is in the process of performing a comprehensive review of all of our high school curricula and staff are working on redesigning the high school into career pathway academies that will help make core and elective courses more relevant for all of our high school students.
Will any teachers lose their jobs as a result of the merger?
A few teachers will lose their positions as a result of the merger, but only in the areas where there is redundancy. By planning ahead and working proactively to compress these areas through attrition, over the past 18 months in anticipation of this merger, the district has already completed some of these reductions. Most notable of these personnel reductions that have already been addressed are combinations are the areas of the band director position and the ROTC lead and support instructor positions.
What other employee groups might lose positions as a result of the merger?
Other reductions will come in the areas of administrative, clerical, custodial, and coaching staff positions and a few others that have yet to be determined.
With double the number of kids at Truman High School next year, will the kids be safe? What supports will the district have in place?
Yes, the students will be safe and supported next school year in the merged high school. The district will be moving additional personnel who are currently working at Kennedy HS over to Truman HS. The district will be moving guidance counselors, social work, assistant principal, and security guard positions over to Truman HS to support the social and emotional needs of all students.
Will the high school merger affect the bus pick up times for high school students?
Some of the bus routes will need to be adjusted to ensure even and efficient bus coverage throughout the district for next school year. Some of the pick-up and drop-off times might change as a result of these adjustments, but if they do, they will only change by a small margin.