The Old Mission Community Connection Group (OMCCG), formerly the Focus Group, needs everyone to attend the TCAPS school board meeting on Monday, Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. in the Ida Tompkins Building at 412 Webster Street, Traverse City.
At the meeting, Superintendent Paul Soma will present his recommendations to the school board on the three low enrollment schools, of which our beloved Old Mission Peninsula School is one. The OMCCG has been working hard on ideas for alternative scenarios (see below), not only to save our school and the community center that it is, but also to help the school district in general.
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OMCCG IDEAS FOR ALTERNATIVE SCENARIOS:
- Adjust McKinley Rd. district line and have Eastern Elementary be a walking only school.
- Pursue a .6MIL for Peninsula Twp. Summer 2016, with the stipulation that upon passing; TCAPS amends the OMPS property deed with “Should OMPS be closed, the land will be sold to the township, the library or Land Conservancy for $1” OR “This land may solely be used for educational and/or land conservancy purposes.”
- Renovate Central Grade School with priority. TODAY surrounding schools have room to absorb 649 students. Central neighborhood and businesses will get behind you to make this happen.
- Connected with above, relocate TAG to OMPS through Central Renovation.
- Relocate IB to centrally located Traverse Heights.
- Close Eastern through Central Grade School renovation. Students go to bordering remodeled TH IB, or remodeled OM (TAG).
- Rebuild Interlochen K-8, partnering with Interlochen Public Library & incorporating Blair. INCREASE district-wide head-count via Benzie, Buckley & Kingsley with Star Wars-like marketing – a showcase school!
- Relocate TCAPS Admin. Offices to vacant TCAPS building.
- Relocate 6th ( 6th – 8th?) back to elementary schools, have one middle school (West), move TCAPS Admin. To empty East Middle School building.
- Omit elementary world language program, $400K/year savings.
- Implement temporary attrition / hiring freeze strategy for non-teacher positions. Currently 34 non-teacher positions posted; hours*pay, not including benefits = $230K+.
- Engage & support district-wide PTO fundraising campaign; each year different initiative, i.e. curriculum.
- Independent Barney Charter School – Traverse Classical Academy at OMPS (retains property values, provides community school, could attract home schoolers, saves $400K/year from TCAPS budget, removes approximately $1M+ of TCAPS funding based on 171 current head count.)
A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers like the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, and magazines like Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So of course, I started my own newspaper. Because the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the Old Mission Peninsula. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb