Potential School Reconfiguration Concerns Some Parents in Sault Ste. Marie

Some parents in Sault Ste. Marie are concerned they are being left out of the discussion when it comes to a decision that would impact their students.

Sault Area Public schools drafted a plan that would put students in kindergarten through first grade in one school and grades two through four in another.

The plan would would add 5th grade to the middle school and 8th grade to the high school.

Katherine Rogers has a daughter in 6th grade.

“I have a lot of concerns, I speak with a lot of parents,” Rogers, said.

She’s concerned this shift would complicate the busing system, cause confusion and put her daughter in the high school way too early.

“She’s a young 6th grader when she goes into 8th grade she’s going to be 12 for eight weeks, some of the kids in the high school, the seniors, are going to be between 18 and 19 years old. I just don’t know how that is, how much interaction they’re going to have, how it’s going to work,” Rogers, explained.

Katherine says she wants the district to listen to parents before making any decisions.

“My hope is whatever change they do make is going to be made with minimal of uprooting students, minimal of upsetting them,” Rogers, said.

Sault Area Superintendent Tim Hall says that’s the plan and they want parents involved.

“We want and need the input from the community and the parents before we would ever take a final plan for the board to vote on. The hard part is it’s a change and it’s different from what our district has done any time in its history,” Hall, said.

The school says reconfiguration would help with falling enrollment rates and allow them to better allocate federal funding for at risk students.

“What we’re finding is that the percent of students with free and reduced lunch are going up in some buildings, forcing us to allocate more dollars in buildings with less students. We want to make sure those funds are used to the best of their availability,” Director of Student Achievement Amy Kronemeyer, added.

The school board will host an informational meeting at the high school Thursday at 7 p.m.