Two Lansing schools make state’s list of lowest achieving, Superintendent: “We’re encouraged”

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – There are more than 800 public schools in our state and 116 of them ended up on the state’s list of lowest achieving schools.

While many of the schools on the list are from the Detroit area, Attwood Elementary School and Gardner Middle School in Lansing were listed as well.

Two low-achieving schools is better than nine, at least in this case, but Lansing school officials hope that number will turn to zero.

But Lansing Schools Superintendent, Yvonne Caamal Canul said while the idea of schools closing is a concerning issue, the numbers that came out Thursday, bring optimism for the future of the district.

“We’re not relieved, we’re encouraged when we see that all the hard work that we’ve been doing for the last four-and-a-half, five years on making sure that our schools students are achieving, that our graduation rates are up, that our kids are feeling comfortable in school,” Canul said. “All of that is very encouraging that we’re on the right path.”

It’s the first time both Attwood and Gardner made the priority list, which was released by the Michigan School Reform Office.

To get off it, certain criteria needs to be met, such as meeting math and reading requirements and having 95 percent participation when it comes to taking the M-STEP test.

Canul said plans for the two schools to meet those requirements, are moving in the right direction.

“The only grade levels that we have at Gardner right now are 4th through 8th, so we feel that we can do a much more focused attention with 4th through 8th graders at that school,” Canul said. At Attwood, we were watching the data as well and we’re going to implement a turnaround plan at that school coming up, this is a planning year for that.”

She said with changes being made to things like pacing the curriculum, there’s a bright future for the district and its students.

‘We have a great plan with the Pathway Promise, we’re moving forward with our bond project, we have no intention of closing any schools, and today’s data just confirmed for us that in fact we won’t be closing any schools in Lansing.”

About half of the 116 schools on the list are in Detroit’s district or will become a part of the district next year.

Governor Rick Snyder made it clear, none of those schools can close until 2019 under state law.

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