MASA Feature program, as well as the district’s virtual learning and standardized testing centers. (Speaking of a walk, CFI is also the home of the district’s Senior Walking Program.) College on Campus, perhaps the most popular program of all, is a partnership with four colleges and universities that allows students to take college-level coursework with professors on site, without having to leave Lapeer. Students can receive $5,000 worth of college credits for around $500. Because of the district’s campus structure, transfer buses between buildings is provided at no cost to students. CFI Director Matt Olson says opportuni-ties for innovation abound in the facility, in large part because students and staff have the flexibility to use non-traditional means to reach diverse groups of learners. 16 MASA LEADER • Spring 2015 “Our superintendent has given us the freedom to be a true research and development center for the district,” said Olson. “Each program has its own approach. To see all these ideas and innovations, borne of ideas from our staff, students, and commu-nity, come to fruition is nothing short of inspiring.” Innovate; synergize Lapeer Community Schools Superintendent Matt Wandrie had a big idea and a building just big enough to hold it. Wandrie never considered shuttering the 1960s-era facility since the cost savings involved in the 2014-15 high school consolidation were not tied up in operations. “We looked at it as an opportunity to bring an assortment of district and community-based programs together under one roof,” said Wandrie, now in his fourth year in the district. “You would be amazed at how seemingly divergent disciplines can compliment each other, creating outcomes that are positive for all students. And we’re just getting started.” What he describes is synergy, a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Olson sees evidence of it every day. “Synergy is a powerful force that brings great educational minds together in one place,” said Olson. “Even though we repre-sent different levels, schools, and subjects, we have developed an excellent building culture all our own. It’s amazing the ideas a middle school science teacher can bring to a high school alternative classroom, or a college professor can bring to a senior capstone program. There’s no limit to it.” In the future, there are plans to expand offerings to include training in specific in-demand trades. Thanks to an invest-ment from Baker College, one of our College on Campus partners, the old metal shop will soon make room for a shiny new CNC milling machine for metal fabrication. “Historically, public education has been slow to change, slow to recognize trends and adapt; we can’t wait around for change to come to us,” said Wandrie. “We fundamentally believe that students deserve to be treated as individuals, with unique needs and goals. The one-size-fits-all approach is no longer welcome here.” Jared Field, a former journalist and New Media Manager, is the Director of Communications for Lapeer Community Schools. He can be reached at 810.538.1638 or at email@example.com. What Can MECU Do For You? Since 1942, Michigan Educational Credit Union has served the unique financial needs of educational employees and their families. We feature some of the best rates available anywhere, with less fees and fewer minimum balance requirements than most financial institutions. Find out what we can do for you and your staff today at www.michedcu.org. Livonia 734.261.1050 Plymouth 734.455.9200 Ann Arbor 734.761.7505 Brighton 810.494.6000 Royal Oak 248.399.7473 Macomb 586.566.5599 www.michedcu.org This credit union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration.
MASA Leader - Spring 2015
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