“We acted like there was a line in the middle of the class separating us all,” senior Divine Crawford said.

She was describing the first week in English teacher Rubye Richard’s AP Literature class. Seniors who came from Mumford High School and Mumford Academy sat on opposite sides of the room

“I created a seating chart that forced them to engage with unfamiliar faces and the result has been beautiful,” Richard said.

The two schools became one unified Mumford High School this year when the Detroit Public School Community District board voted to combine them. The district saved almost $2 million dollars by combining small schools at Mumford, Cody, and Benjamin Carson/Crockett Career Technical Center in their respective buildings.

Angela Prince became principal of the combined Mumford and said she thinks the merger is going very well.

“It’s better to have one person over everybody with one vision,” Prince said. “It’s just a change for everybody when you have students who are used to different ways of doing things and have to adapt.”

Senior Diamond Elliot said she thinks the schools should have been merged a long time ago. Elliot, who was on the High School side last year, said she’s building bonds with students from the Academy now that they are in classes together.

“There’s been no drama, no tension. Nobody says Blue Academy or Burgandy anymore,” Elliot said. “When we were two schools we were missing out.”