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School Board to Study Committee Findings Tonight

West Bloomfield Schools will officially look at the community's interest in enrollment, facilities, and transportation.

For the first time as a group, the West Bloomfield School District Board of Education will consider findings from the ad hoc committee formed to investigate the possibilities of consolidating schools and others on Monday night.

(6 p.m. at the Media Center of , 4925 Orchard Lake Rd.) a demographer hired by the district to assist the School Enrollment and Facilities Project committee is expected to present the board with focus group findings taken from late March to late April.

Shannon Bingham of Colorado-based Western Demographics, working with a local architecture firm, was brought on address problems the district faces due to declines in enrollment and state funds, among other areas of concern.

The six different focus groups, surveyed to include thoughts from "community leadership" (civic, business, and clergy), parents and leaders from the north end of town (Gretchko, Roosevelt, and Scotch elementaries), south end of town (Ealy and Sheiko elementaries), Doherty elementary, both middle schools, and staff, are just a piece of the puzzle that the SEAF committee has worked to build. However, results do shed light on what could be future board action, if not the opinion of the community.

A complete list of focus group findings can be found at westbloomfield.k12.mi.us, including cumulative results available as well. Highlights according to the survey results include:

  • A total of 36.8 percent of those polled would choose consolidation of underutilized buildings as a first priority out of five options in order to better-economize the district. As a second priority, 32.3 percent would consider consolidation.
  • A total of 71 percent of those polled do not believe the administration needs to be housed in a stand-alone building. Eighty-one percent agreed that consolidating the should be considered.
  • A total of 41 percent of those polled do not believe that school children have a right to a bus ride when they live in the district and in areas that are too far away to walk to school in a timely fashion. Thirty-eight percent agreed that school children deserve to be bussed.
  • Along the same lines, a total of 41 percent of those polled are not satisfied the current levels of bus services in the district. Thirty-eight percent agreed that they are satisfied with bus services.
  • A total of 42 percent of those polled agreed that the community is ready to support a school closure, while 38 percent disagreed.

What do you think of the SEAF project?

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