"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever does.” 

- Margaret Mead


Important Announcement

The YPS Administration presented its "re-alignment" plan on Thursday night (March 18, 2010). They propose that the district adopt "Option 2" the plan they initially presented to the community in January.

Option 2 calls for:

  • Perry Kindergarten will change to K-1
  • Chapelle Community school will close
  • East Middle School will close
  • Estabrook and Erikson will be converted into 2-6 schools
  • Adams elementary school will become a K-6 school
  • West Middle School will be renamed
  • Alternative high school located at Ardis (a former elementary)

Please attend the School Board Meeting on Monday, March 22, to voice your opinion about this plan


Mission Statement

Save Ypsi Schools is a coalition of parents, teachers, alumni, community organizations, and citizens who want new solutions to our continuing budget problems. The old solutions have not worked in the past, and will not work in the future. Though we may differ on how to resolve our current crisis, we believe that closing neighborhood schools is not the answer, because it hurts our children, our neighborhoods and our community. Studies have shown that students in small schools have “higher attendance and graduation rates, fewer drop-outs, equal or better levels of academic achievement (standardized test scores, course failure rates, grade point averages), higher levels of extra-curricular participation and parent involvement, and fewer incidences of discipline and violence” (http://smallschools.cps.k12.il.us/research.html). We can no longer lay the burden of the State’s broken system for financing public education on the backs of our children.


contact us at: sosypsi@gmail.com


Goals:
  • raise awareness of the critical importance of our public schools to the broader community of Ypsilanti
  • generate and focus broad-based community support for preserving all four remaining Ypsilanti neighborhood elementary schools as critical to a thriving public school system
  • investigate all options to retain two middle schools in Ypsilanti
  • raise awareness of the many advantages of smaller schools in serving the needs of children, documented by extensive research 
  • promote sensible alternatives to school closures in response to the ongoing financial crisis caused by chronic declines in school funding
  • encourage the Ypsilanti Board of Education to submit a Deficit Elimination Plan to the State that is responsive to the needs of Ypsilanti’s children and centers on the retention and improvement of all neighborhood schools in the District. We will support the District in any way possible if such a plan is submitted to the State.
  • support creative approaches by Ypsilanti teachers to help avert school closings, and  work to insure that they will continue to receive the long-term support that they deserve and require to make Ypsi schools the best they can be

What you can do:

  • Go to School Board Meetings
    Tell the Trustee’s that closing our neighborhood schools is no way to solve our fiscal problems. We cannot lay the burden of the State’s broken system for financing public education on the backs of our children
    School Board Meeting Schedule and Agendas: http://www.ypsd.org/bded/bdmeetings.html

  • Go to City Council Meetings
    Tell our council members that closing more neighborhood schools is bad for our community

    City Council Meeting Schedule: http://www.cityofypsilanti.com/bd_city-council

  • Write/email/call members of the Board of Trustees
    Tell them that they should only approve a Deficit Elimination Plan if it includes a pledge to retain and improve the educational quality of all neighborhood elementary schools in the District.

  • Write/email/call your state legislators
    Tell them that Proposal A has negatively impacted local schools and damaged the educational mission of districts across the state. Ask them to pledge to support an initiative to recall Proposal A. To learn more about how Proposal A has impacted local funding for education, see the WISD School Financing Crisis powerpoint presentation in our resources section.

  • Talk to your friends, neighbors, business associates, church groups, and clubs
    The more people that contact our Trustees and attend the School Board Meetings, the better.

  • Sign our petition online (petition coming)

  • Distribute our fact sheet (download coming soon)

  • Volunteer to be a “neighborhood leader”
    Neighborhood leaders will coordinate with their neighborhood associations to get the word out about our efforts. Send an email to sosypsi@gmail.com to volunteer.

  • Volunteer to be a “parent leader”
    Parent leaders will coordinate with the Parent Teacher Organizations at their schools. Send an email to sosypsi@gmail.com to volunteer.

  • Volunteer to be a “student leader”
    Student leaders will organize their friends to write letters, send emails and speak out at Board Meetings. Send an email to sosypsi@gmail.com to volunteer.

  • Volunteer to be a "community leader"
    Community leaders will organize within their churches, labor unions, and other communities of interest.
    Send an email to sosypsi@gmail.com to volunteer.


The YPS School Closing Plan:

YPS is currently proposing two school closure options in response to a budget shortfall. "Option I" proposes closing two elementary schools, for a "savings estimate" of $968,000. "Option II" proposes closing an elementary school and a middle school for a savings estimate of $1,309,000.
Both plans would:
  • increase student population at the remaining elementary schools by approximately 20%

  • substantially increase the number of teachers working under a single principal

  • fundamentally undermine the "School of Choice" system
    • by reducing or eliminating parental choice of elementary schools
    • by eliminating parental choice of middle school

  • create a single 7th & 8th grade school twice as big as what we currently have

  • lead to further declines in enrollment and revenues, quickly eroding any projecting savings and ultimately losing YPS money in the long run

  • be bad for the broader community
    • as neighborhoods lose their schools
    • the reputation of YPS is further eroded as a failing system
Both plans represent a lack of vision regarding the long term health of Ypsilanti Public Schools, looking instead for a "quick fix" that will come nowhere near saving the money needed to balance the budget, and nowhere near to justifying the widespread, varied, and near-term and long-term costs.
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