Three-year HS completion, wifi among next year’s changes

FLINT TWP. — Installing Wi-Fi connection at Carman-Ainsworth High School and Middle School is one of several exciting instructional improvements for next school year recently approved by Carman- Ainsworth Board of Education.

All was not doom and gloom in the board’s decision last week to close one elementary school to make financial adjustments for ongoing revenue and enrollment declines.

Other instructional changes to be implemented in the fall include adding more technology at elementary schools and expanding opportunities for students to learn foreign languages and computer design and to accelerate high school completion, said Superintendent Bill Haley in an staff-wide advisory last week.

In addition to a funding reduction of $470 per student this year that will not be restored next budget year, state mandates also require increased retirement system funding that will increase district expenses by $200 per student next year, and $300 per student the following year for a net loss of nearly $1000 per student over a three year period, Haley stated.

So the district has taken steps to focus its remaining resources on instructional improvements.

Wi-Fi installation at the secondary schools will be funded by a .5 mils a year Building and Site levy. It will enable a wireless data network, including Internet access, for computers, smart phones and other electronic devices.

Also qualified high school students will be given the option to graduate in three years in an accelerated program, or spend their senior year earning free, discounted college credit under dual-enrollment or AP courses to be offered beginning next school year.

And for the first time, the high school will offer computer-aided design and computer numerical control (CAD/CNC) courses which will provide hands-on training in the highly marketable skills of computer design and computerized machining.

Beginning in the fall, middle school students will be offered expanded opportunities to earn high school credits in math, foreign language and technology.

Despite having to do more with less, the board has elected changes that enhance student learning while upholding its educational guarantee that all students will minimally show one year of measurable growth each annually, Haley’s advisory stated.

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