MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WOOD) - Muskegon Heights is looking to begin a new chapter in education, but in order to do so, they need students to re-enroll in the district.
Back in April the state appointed an emergency financial manager and now a new charter school system is in place. On Saturday, the district held and enrollment fair today to try and get the numbers up.
The enrollment fair had an illusion of fun and games, but new charter school leaders were quite serious about filling the four schools in the new district before classes begin in the fall.
Regional Vice President Alena Zachery Ross said "We're going to be re-enrolling all the way up until the day school starts and once school starts."
Since the Muskegon Heights Public School Academy system was formed in the spring of 2012, enrollment has grown from 250 students in July to over 500 as of this writing. However, enrollment is still way down from last school year. In the fall of 2011, 1,400 students attended Muskegon Heights Public Schools.
"What's important is if they re-enroll, then we can have them correctly assigned into the classroom, and make sure they know who their teachers are. So as we get closer to school starting, we have those days in which they get to know their teachers and their principal." Ross said.
But even as they put pen to paper and commit to the new district, parents still have lingering questions: like uniforms, sports teams, and the quality of returning teachers.
Carlos Vasquez's daughter Summer will attend kindergarten at Martin Luther King Elementary this year. "I'm still not thrilled by it, but all we can do is see how the school year goes, and make sure she gets the proper education she's suppose to get," Carlos Vasquez said.
Kimberly Purnell has six kids in the new district and while she's supportive and optimistic overall, she says it will take some time for the new leadership to be fully adopted into the "Heights" community. "I think it's going to be a challenge," Purnell said.
80 students signed up to go to Muskegon Heights today, bringing the total to 580. 24 Hour News 8 has learned 169 former students have enrolled in other districts in the area through schools of choice.
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