Officials hold meeting to save future of Saginaw schools - WNEM TV 5

Officials hold meeting to save future of Saginaw schools

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Several local schools have avoided the chopping block, but the future remains uncertain.

Officials united Tuesday night to discuss their goals in an effort to save the Saginaw schools.

The Saginaw Public School District said true success will come with a good partnership with the community.

"Neither school will close. Both schools will stay open," Saginaw School Board President Rudy Patterson said.

Those were reassuring words for people who did not want to see Saginaw High School or Loomis Academy close.

Patterson said it marked the start of some serious work to improve the schools.

"We know where we're weak at. So it's up to us to bring those numbers up in those areas," Patterson said.

He said a big focus is putting a plan together to improve math and science scores in the district.

On Tuesday, Patterson and other district leaders asked for members of the community to join them to brainstorm ways to address some of the district's shortcomings.

"We're on the outside. We can see some things that sometimes the district doesn't see and we have connections, a way to come in and kind of help out and fill in the gaps," said Felesia Harrel, community member.

They split up into groups to discuss improving attendance, climate and culture, family and community engagement, and reading initiatives. The topics were pinpointed by the district as the keys to academic success.

It is part of a plan the district will turn over to the state at the end of the month.

Trisha Baker, a Saginaw High School teacher, said she thinks the Department of Education's threat of closing the two schools has increased the importance of a solid community partnership.

"It brought a certain sense of seriousness and gravity to the situation that caused some people to realize it isn't an empty threat," Baker said.

The board will sit down on April 24 to go through the ideas discussed at Tuesday's meeting. They will then put together a package to focus on district success and turn it over to the state.

The state will then use the district's plan to measure the improvement of academics over the long term.

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