“Even though we don’t have to do any major construction at Monroe (Elementary School), I think people have to do some major construction in their own brains.”
— Trustee Kathy Bedikian
By BROOKE STEVENSON
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE — A move that sparked controversy among some parents has been approved by the Wyandotte Public Schools Board of Education.
In a 6-0 vote Tuesday, members approved moving the sixth grade to Wilson Middle School next year as part of a financial reduction and reorganization plan.
During the March 3 board meeting, Supt. Patricia Cole had detailed a proposal that included many changes throughout the district in a money-saving effort. The changes were proposed after it was discovered that the district would face a $3.7 million budget deficit for the next school year.
The two changes parents found most controversial were the proposed merger of McKinley and Monroe elementary schools after the closing of McKinley, and the moving of the sixth grade to Wilson.
With sixth-graders at the middle school, along with the seventh- and eighth-graders, the elementary schools will have more room for students after the merger.
President Robert Kirby, who made the motion to approve the sixth grade move, said he wanted to wait for a report from the finance committee before closing the elementary school. The committee’s next meeting is March 31.
Kirby said he still had questions on reductions and wasn’t ready to vote on the merger, but that the sixth grade move was necessary because some construction would have to be done to Wilson, including the installation of additional lockers to accommodate the new students.
While Trustee Kathy Bedikian said she understood Kirby’s reasoning, she thought the merger also should be decided soon.
“We have to move on this as quickly as we possibly can,” she said. “Even though we don’t have to do any major construction at Monroe, I think people have to do some major construction in their own brains.”
Transition committees will be formed to organize all of the student, staff and administration moves.
Trustee Michael Swiecki asked why the board should approve the sixth grade move without approving the merger.
Cole said that no matter what is decided for the elementary schools, the sixth graders will be moving to Wilson.
“There are still savings on just doing this move, but of course the (McKinley and Monroe) merger will save more money,” she said.
Cole said she hopes to have the merger issued by the board’s next meeting April 7.