Same school, different district.
Mumford High School is one of 13 schools that returned to DPSCD this fall after being part of the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) for the past six years, and that has meant some changes for students and staff.
According to a Mumford Times story from May 2012, Governor Rick Snyder and DPS created the EAA to reconstruct failing schools. 15 low-performing DPS schools were taken over and placed in the new state-run school district. That experiment ended last June.
Science teacher Andrew Lapetina, PhD, said one of the hardest things about moving to DPSCD has been that many teachers didn’t make the transition with the school.
“It’s hard for me to have worked with so many teachers and then just have them gone. But it’s been really great to get to know lots of new people and we have a lot of really wonderful new staff,” Lapetina said.
80% of the Mumford HS staff are new to the school. Senior Jaylen Elliot and many other students have talked about having a hard time adjusting to the large staff turnover.
“I wish I had my old teachers,” Elliot said.
Mumford Academy, a separate school on the Mumford campus, didn’t have as many staff changes. Principal Nir Saar said his school has one of the highest retention rates of teachers from EAA schools that made the switch. His school has had some challenges adjusting to new systems, but he said, based on the history he knows, DPSCD is more student-focused now than they have been in the past.
“I think the superintendant has come in with a mindset that the most important people in all this are the students, and the most important people after that are the teachers working directly with the students,” Saar said. “I think the district has made a special effort to support teachers and students.”
Curriculum leader Jann Palmer has had experience in both systems. She said that DPSCD has had its challenges but feels the new administration is taking things in the right direction, and she knows there are opportunities that come from being in a bigger school system.
“I really feel it doesn’t matter which school system we’re in. Mumford is on an upward trend,” Palmer said.