Year-Round School in 2013, No “Saggy Pants” Parts of Muskegon Heights Charter Company Plans

Andrew Trzaska | July 16, 2012

The new Muskegon Heights Public School Academy board and management company Mosaica Education laid out plans for academic and discipline at the new district at a community meeting Monday night.

Mosaica’s president Gene Eidelman also spoke at Monday’s meeting. He shared his plans for a slightly longer 2012-2013 school year and plans for a year-round school year starting in 2013-2014. He stressed how “unfair” it was to let students forget the previous year’s material over a three-month summer then have to be tested a month after returning:

“We want to get out of this drill-and-kill preparing for MEAP,” said Eidelman.

Eidelman also spoke on the school’s methodologies regarding discipline and academics, sharing that Mosaica just received approval from the United Kingdom to operate four schools “based on [Mosaica’s] methodologies”, and stressed a “global” education.

Curriculum elements received brief coverage at Monday’s meeting. A Mosaica representative detailed specific elementary school curriculum components including Paragon, which includes a multi-disciplinary, arts and academics segment called Paragon in the afternoon.  Eidelman also noted that elementary students will start learning foreign language in elementary school as well, and Shakespeare would be learned starting in fourth grade.

Regarding a public comment on teacher salaries, Eidelman indicated teachers would have advancement opportunities based on performance and dedication.

Eidelman also announced the hiring of a regional vice president that would oversee the Muskegon Heights charter district: Alena Zachery-Ross, who most recently worked for Van Dyke Public Schools as a deputy superintendent and middle school principal.

“I want to bring the energy, I expect to be in the classrooms,” said Zachery-Ross. “We can’t have a turnaround without energy… the high expectations are for every single one of us inside this district.”

Charter board president Arthur Scott spoke words of motivation at Monday’s meeting on getting students to come back to the district:

“Word of mouth really does help individuals grow. We believe that this program that is in place will bring that pride back to the community.

Eidelman added that an “aggressive” marketing campaign including billboards and radio would be used alongside word of mouth to bring students back.

Scott also spoke upon one dress code consideration – saggy pants.

“We’re not going to have it,” said Scott.  His proclamation received huge applause.

As for a full dress code, with the possibility of uniforms, the charter board will decide with a vote in two weeks at their next meeting on July 30.

Andrew Trzaska

103.7 “The Beat” – local government beat reporter and political analyst