Swartz Creek talking potential restructure to traditional elementary model

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SWARTZ CREEK (WJRT) - (03/12/2019) - A switch up could be coming to Swartz Creek elementary schools.

There have been talks of moving away from the traditional K-5 models.

School officials want to stress talks are still in the early stages but Swartz Creek parents have strong feelings for both sides of the proposed change.

Right now Swartz Creek superintendent Ben Mainka says there have been internal talks about changing the structure of the area's elementary schools.

But before anything happens he wants to hear from those who'd be affected.

"We wanted to bring the conversation to the parents and to the community and say hey let's talk about this and have a conversation,” said Mainka. “What do we think is the best thing to do for our children?"

He says the changes would bring many benefits for students and their parents.

"Consolidation of resources, teacher professional development, and the ability for teachers to work together as opposed to only having one or two colleagues to work with," said Mainka, who also thought students would benefit being with more kids their age.

Some parents, like Abby Henry, agree with him and believe this will be a smart change.

"I trust the administration; I trust the educators,” said Henry. “I don't have a degree in higher education and they do and this is what they do for a living so I trust that what they are doing is making the best decision for the community."

Others don't like the idea of the change.

"I just don't see the educational value in it, I just don't,” said Lindsay Nemer. "We're so relationship based in our community that it's going to just; it's going to hinder those relationships big time."

"I'm more of an analytical person; I want to see where the change is good,” said Marie Ovesenik. “And if other districts are doing it what have they learned so that we don't repeat the same mistakes."

Mainka says the change isn’t likely to happen right away. In order for it to happen for the fall semester, the decision would need to be made next month.

"We don't have any intentions at this point of having any major decision to be made so at this point it's generally just conversation," said Mainka.

On Thursday at 6pm there will be a meeting at Dieck Elementary School providing parents with more information about what these changes could mean as well as answering questions they may have.

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