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Parents, teachers voice concern over student move at Calhoun ISD

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Posted at 6:58 PM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 19:35:26-04

LANSING, MI (WSYM) - — Bellevue community school teachers, parents and board members are letting the Calhoun Intermediate School District know they think students with cognitive learning disabilities should stay at Bellevue.

Calhoun ISD decided to move the four classrooms from Bellevue to the Battle Creek and Marshall area when they go back to learning in a few weeks. The ISD says they took another look at their classrooms setup after another district needed the space.

Bellevue board members are worried how those students will transition to larger districts, especially during a pandemic.

The Calhoun Intermediate School District leases classrooms from the districts it serves on a yearly basis and has leased from Bellevue for nearly 20 years.

Parents aren't happy about the move.

Deborah Jackson’s son, Sam, went through the cognitive learning program at Bellevue. She says having the program close to home really helped him grow. Jackson said, “I feel for those additional students that are still going to be coming through the same program. Now they are going to be in a totally different setting, different buildings.”

Assistant superintendent Jerry Johnson says it made since because most of the students in the program are from those areas.

“In relocating those classrooms from Bellevue to Marshall and Battle Creek, those students actually stay in their home community,” Johnson said.

Johnson says he understands the transition might be tough, especially with a pandemic, but CISD is ready to help students with the change.

“We help the student transition, to understand, become familiar and develop routine so they are comfortable so they can be successful,” Johnson said.

A route Bellevue teachers like Kayla Whitmyer wish the program would still be in the small school. She says it will be different in the school without the special needs students.

Whitmeyer, said, “Even seeing the classrooms they were in empty, it’s shaking us to our core.”