Over the last week or so Muskegon Heights Academy has been in the news both here and in other outlets over the State appointed board that has been in control of the financial end of things for a while and locally now that the board voted to dissolve itself, who will be the board in control of the decisions, the Academy board or the Charter School board. It's in the hands of the Governor for now and while the discussion continues, both sides agree that the paramount piece of it all are the kids. We couldn't agree more.
While that part sorts itself out, we had planned a conversation weeks ago with Superintendent Rane Garcia and Communications Manager Sonya Hernandez to talk about how things are going at the school and what's to come as they start to turn the corner post pandemic and get back to the usual operations of education. One of the things that was found in the school was the curriculum and how it needed to reflect things a little differently. Some of what's been left out of history for parts of the population caused the school to say, "Hang on a second" and understandably so. In our video discussion today, we do talk about some pieces of history that even I had no idea of until I was in my 50's and that's a hole a little too big not to fill. Another issue for the school is funding. Being a charter academy, the funding isn't equal as you'd find in typical K-12 schools. There's a lot of work that goes into grant writing to seek the additional funding needed and it's a very heavy lift. Teacher retention had been a problem but has since settled down with increased wages and stability in the classroom. Even the "virtual classroom" has proven to be a positive according to Rane and Sonya as it gave parents in the district a chance to see and hear directly day to do just what was going on in the "classroom" no matter where it was. Attendance is up, parental engagement is up and all in all, it sure is a pretty positive report on things in Tiger country.
Again, we are taking no sides in the decision of which board is in charge. We have done some behind the scenes work for the Charter Academy to aid in their digital learning and we've always worked for what was offered on the projects. Our goal is to build ever corner of this community up and while difficulties arise, we believe in the end, no matter the decision of the Governor things in Muskegon Heights are definitely going in the right direction and will continue to.
Take a listen to our talk about Muskegon Heights and let some Tiger blood into your veins.....good things are happening.
One thing is for sure. As we've worked since the beginning of the Positively Muskegon blog in 2015, Muskegon Heights is making moves and heading in a good way. The "City of Friendly People" is just that. From the schools to the new business opening up, engagement in the neighborhood, kids opening candy stores out of trailers and more the story that was is now over and Muskegon Heights pride continues to bubble once again. We hold this neighborhood just as precious as any in our town and we hope too that the future of the schools there is rock solid and continues to build and grow. Click below for a link to the school website.