ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Families and teachers are angry over the decision to shut down Allen Park Community High School.
There are two major issues here.
First, families are upset at how the situation was executed. Second, people are worried about what will happen to the children in the program.
That’s why a Change.org petition is now in motion, hoping to keep the school open. In the meantime, students are wondering what they will do next year.
Citing declining enrollment and budget concerns, Allen Park’s School Board voted to shutter the Allen Park Community High School, which offers alternative education for high schoolers.
“It has saved students who wouldn’t have graduated, but it’s also done more than that,” said teacher Val Tomich. “It’s saved lives.”
The school features a smaller class size and more individualized attention to help struggling students. Alumni of the school started the petition to keep the school open and, so far, more than 1,600 people have signed it.
“If you want to help better the community and want these students to thrive, why would you take away a help center?” said alumni Shawn Porter.
Porter was a struggling high school student who was already working after school and had a series of deaths in the family. Without the community school, he says he would never have graduated.
“They gave me confidence in myself,” said alumna Brianna Schultz, who started the petition. “They gave me a sense of independence that I knew I could do it without anybody holding my hand, and I did walk across that stage in 2013 by myself, with honors.”
The district intends to put pre-K programs in the school’s existing facility. About 50 students don’t know where they will go to school next year.
Calls and emails to the Allen Park School Administration were not immediately returned.