State rescinds Rose City Elementary’s Priority School status
WEST BRANCH — Rose City Elementary is no longer on the state’s Priority School list as one of the bottom 5 percent of schools in Michigan, according to West Branch-Rose City Superintendent Dan Cwayna.
Cwayna announced via press release Sept. 4 that the district made a request to the state that the elementary and Rose City Middle School be combined into one K-8 school during the 2011-12 school year, and the state granted the request July 1, 2012.
“As a result of combining the two schools into one, the Michigan Department of Education considers this a ‘school closing,’ which is one of the options for improvement for schools on the Priority List, and thus removes Rose City Elementary from the list,” Cwayna said.
The elementary landed on the Priority School list due to low MEAP test scores. The state notified the district of the school’s status in August.
WB-RC school board members and officials discussed the issue during their August board meeting, and also selected one of the four improvement models proposed by the state. However, the model selected, Turnaround, which would have required Rose City Principal Jill Retherford to be replaced, is no longer effective due to the state recognizing the elementary as closed.
Cwayna said Retherford will serve as principal at the Rose City School.
“This changes the need to replace her,” he said.
Schools on the Priority List must give students there an option to transfer, and provide them with transportation to the school they select. A few students chose to transfer to Surline when Rose City landed on the list, and the district will honor their decision, Cwayna said.
“Even though Rose City Elementary School no longer exists as a separate entity and is no longer on a Priority School list, the district will honor the transfer requests already approved for students seeking to attend Surline,” he said.
He added that Rose City will not stop working to improve test scores, despite being off of the Priority School list.
“School officials recognize and acknowledge that being off the list does not in any way reduce the urgency, nor the importance, of improving the academic achievement for all of its students,” Cwayna said. “The staff of Rose City School is committed to raising the academic standards for every child and making their school one that the community will continue to take pride in.”
Cwayna said he was informed of the state’s decision to rescind Rose City from the Priority List Wednesday, Aug. 29.