East Lansing Schools

ELPS Board of Education to Vote on Rescinding Red Cedar Reopening Plan

Friday, February 5, 2016

The East Lansing Board of Education will vote Monday whether to pull back on the planned reopening of Red Cedar Elementary School, and create a pair of “teacher leader” panels to study future programming in the District.

The Board agenda, released Friday afternoon, includes as the top agenda item:

Two Deaths in One Month Rocks ELHS, Community

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Two East Lansing High School students have died in the space of a month. Both were young women: freshman Sydney E. Zaban on January 13 and Olivia Amy Nokken on February 2.

ELHS Principal Coby Fletcher contacted ELHS parents following both deaths; both letters state that a student died, express condolences and indicate that ELHS staff is prepared to provide support to students.

Lead Persists at Glencairn School Despite Fix

Thursday, February 4, 2016

East Lansing Public Schools (ELPS) Superintendent Robyne Thompson notified parents yesterday that in spite of replacement of plumbing suspected of leaching lead at Glencairn Elementary School, water coming to one sink is still testing positive for high levels of lead.

ELPS Board Considers an End to K-5 Programming at Glencairn Elementary School

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


East Lansing’s Board of Education may be considering moving the entire Glencairn Elementary School – students and staff – into the Red Cedar Elementary School building.

Glencairn could conceivably become a preschool and Headstart school for the ELPS District.

Board President Nell Kuhnmuench called the sudden change in direction “an exciting recommendation and a very, very positive compromise.”

Red Cedar Finances on Agenda for Tonight's ELPS Board Work Session

Monday, February 1, 2016


Tonight’s Board of Education work session is the first chance for the seven trustees to discuss specific financing for the reopening of Red Cedar Elementary. The 6 p.m. meeting will be held on the lower level of East Lansing High School

The issue continues to be divisive, and Trustee Kath Edsall issued an apology last week for comments published last Tuesday, here:

Board moves forward with budget for Red Cedar reopening this fall

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The East Lansing School Board heard hours of testimony from parents, teachers and community members Monday night before approving a $564,000 budget allocation to begin the process of reopening Red Cedar Elementary school as a pre-kindergarten through fifth grade STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) school this fall. The Board also passed an amendment stating that any expenditures for Red Cedar would have to be approved by the BOE before that money is actually spent.

Leading Supporters of Re-Opening Red Cedar Explain Reasons

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

They have generally been less vocal than opponents at recent East Lansing School Board meetings and heated social media discussions, but there are numerous supporters of the movement to reopen Red Cedar Elementary as a pre-K-5 school this coming fall. ELi asked local leaders among them to share their reasoning. We relay here the comments of four East Lansing Public Schools (ELPS) Board members, East Lansing’s Mayor Pro Tem, and a former member of City Council who is a member of the Red Cedar neighborhood.

Timeline for Red Cedar School Re-Opening Released

Thursday, January 21, 2016

On Tuesday, East Lansing Public Schools administration released a timeline for the reopening of Red Cedar Elementary School. The planned schedule indicates that decision-makers will decide within the next week where the students will come from to populate the K-5 classrooms.

This schedule does not ease the concerns of two East Lansing Board of Education members who still feel the process is moving way too quickly.

Lead in Glencairn Elementary Faucet Causes Concern

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Photo of Glencairn Elementary School, courtesy East Lansing Public Schools

The Flint Water Crisis has led to elevated awareness in Michigan—and around the nation—about lead exposure and lead poisoning. Today, a letter sent home by East Lansing Public School’s superintendent Robyne Thompson is contributing to local concern. Here we report on the letter (view it here) and also cover some of what you might want to know about lead.

EL School Board Hears Complaints about Middle School Traffic

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The traffic situation at MacDonald Middle School is creating a dangerous situation for students, a parent told the East Lansing Board of Education Monday night.

Patty Bonito, parent of a sixth-grader, spoke on behalf of the MacDonald Middle School’s Parent Council, and asked the Board to help them address the problems arising from the glut of vehicles during the pick-up and drop-off times at the school.

“It is a phenomenon. It’s out of control,” Bonito said. “It is dangerous to students, a danger to crossing guards and to parents volunteering to direct traffic.”