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New Haven High On State Lowest-Achieving School List

The school will implement changes this school year to improve academics after being on the list for two consecutive years, according to the district.

For the second consecutive year, New Haven High School was named on the state's Persistently Lowest Achieving School list, according to the Michigan Department of Education's Friday announcement.

The high school, which has about 370 students from New Haven and Macomb, Chesterfield, Lenox and Ray townships, was named after review of "student achievement over two years, academic improvement over three or four years; whether a school made Adequate Yearly Progress status over the past two years; and whether a school had a graduation rate below 60 percent for three years in a row," according to the state.

New Haven Community Schools Superintendent Keith Wunderlich said Friday the district has a 200-page plan to turn around the high school in order for it to be off that list next year and see advances in academics and student achievement.

Among the various changes, the high school will offer student mentoring, daytime and after-school support programs, tiered classes designated toward students who are struggling and more. After being on the list last year, the district also replaced the high school principal with new principal Carl Wagner, Wunderlich said.

The superintendent attributed school size as the main reason for making the list.

"We are a very small high school and, at the junior level, we may only have 70 to 90 students taking the MME exam (Michigan Merit Examination)," he said, adding a small percentage of failing students would take less prominence in a more populated district. "I think one of the biggest factors of being on the list is we are small."

Ninety-eight schools have been identified on the list.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan said in a news release, “This is important information for schools, parents, and communities to review. It provides a real look at how our local schools are doing in educating their students."

Flanagan also stated, “In order for Michigan to succeed in this competitive global economy, our schools need to step up their efforts – some, in a big way. I encourage communities to have honest discussions with their school leaders to embrace and support the changes needed to move forward.”

Schools on the list must implement redesign plans that need to be approved by the State School Reform Office in the Michigan Department of Education.

Other Macomb County districts also named are Clintondale Community Schools and Mount Clemens Community School District. To view the complete list of schools, click here.

For background on the Persistently Lowest Achieving School origins, criteria and other information, click here.

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