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GP Schools Superintendent Addresses Residency Concerns

Following discussion regarding residency concerns at last week's school board meeting, Superintendent Tom Harwood shared a letter he wrote to the community addressing the issue.

Residency and enrollment at has spurred a great deal of discussion among the residents of the five communities.

Many of those involved are parents of children in the district currently and have concerns that there are many students taking classes in Grosse Pointe who do not actually live in the Pointes or the section of Harper Woods that is part of the district.

There was not disagreement at the meeting from board members about wanting only children who are residents of the six communities to attend the schools but there has been some disagreement about how to enforce it.

District officials briefly gave an overview of what goes on now to verify residency, including the higher level of proof required for those renting a home or leasing an apartment. The group wants enforcement to be given much more attention, however, and requested annual re-enrollment.

A re-enrollment was conducted five or six years ago, which cost the district between $80,000 to $90,000--something pointed out during the board meeting last week. The cost is prohibitive to doing it annually, acording to district officials.

Since that meeting, Grosse Pointe Public Schools Superintendent Tom Harwood has released a letter he wrote to the community explaining the district's dedication to ensuring only students of the Pointes are being allowed into the classrooms. 

He also addresses the changes in the housing market, the economy and to the district historically--all of which impact who is living in the district and how they arrive at school. Additionally, he addresses the portion of Harper Woods that is part of the school district.

The letter is attached to this article as a pdf file in the media area.

Bradley Coopersmith August 02, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Bill, If GPS can move to Macomb, then i figure we can redraw our school district lines. Why don't we put that on the ballot?
Chris K August 03, 2012 at 01:41 AM
This may interest some of those who have concerns about school achievement. http://gpschools.schoolwires.net/17671012394220393/lib/17671012394220393/2012/June/Work/Demographics.pdf
Bradley Coopersmith August 03, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Chris, Wow. The data is startling. The information on pages 47 - 52 was especially insightful. It really is troublesome.
Brendan Walsh August 03, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Now we're getting to the heart of the matter. This report was presented to the Board at our last meeting after we made it clear, as a Board, that we want greater data analysis to drive program and budget decisions. The achievement gap is nothing new, neither for the GPPSS or any other school across the world. The difference for the GPPSS is that as the student demographic has changed, we have double the number of students who have demographic characteristics that manifest the achievement gap. My blog, www.brendanwalsh.us , has treated this extensively. What complicates the "residency question" is NOT whether anyone disagrees that only eligible students should be enrolled in GPPSS, but rather the presumption that given this doubling of the economically population, which contributes to a pronounced achievement gap, is driven by illegal enrollment or legitimate change in community demographics. Brendan
GP For Life August 04, 2012 at 03:27 PM
The data provided by Chris K suggests only that we are descending into a culture of mediocrity. A descent that I for one won't stand for. I propose a multi-faceted approach to the subject. 1) Placement test for transfer students. You read at a third-grade level; back to third grade you go. We will no longer tolerate sloth and ignorance in our fine institutions of learning and culture. 2) Enforce residency requirements. Root out those who seek to suckle at our auspicious teats and purge them like Stalin purged those who didn't toe the party line. 3) Create a citizens action group to confront and combat Snyder's "Schools of Choice" initiative. Why we should further support communities which have not seen fit to fix their own problems is beyond me. We have prisons for that. We need to band together and tell Lansing that this won't go over without a fight. I am GP For Life and I approve this message.

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