APS opens to Schools of Choice students

ALPENA — Alpena Public Schools is once again allowing students from outside school districts to join its district.

The district Board of Education on Monday voted to continue accepting Schools of Choice students through Sections 105 and 105(c).

Section 105 permits school districts to enroll students who reside in other local school districts within the same intermediate school district. Section 105(c) allows enrollment of students who reside in school districts located in contiguous ISDs.

“This allows us to open that window legally for those students who choose to come to Alpena,” APS Superintendent John VanWagoner said.

In the 2018-19 school year, students from Alcona, Hillman, Posen, Rogers City, and West Branch-Rose City schools all attended APS through the Schools of Choice program.

The district has around 120 students who come to Alpena each year, so it’s a positive thing for the district, VanWagoner said.

“We get a lot of students especially that we’re just closer to the border where they’re at, especially if you get kids that just live across the county line at Alcona County and Sanborn’s (Elementary) a lot closer than going all the way to Lincoln, for instance,” he said. “You have some of the same with some that live out close to Hubbard Lake might go to Lincoln rather than here.”

Forty Alpena students went to Hillman and Posen in the 2018-19 school year.

“I think fortunately, especially with our distance, we don’t get as much as other places do, but we do have some parents that choose our district with the different options and opportunities that we have,” VanWagoner said.

VanWagoner said Schools of Choice is also positive financially for the district — Michigan schools are paid by the state based on enrollment — and a great opportunity for students to participate.

In other business

The Alpena Public Schools Board of Education on Monday also:

∫ elected Gordon Snow as president, Steve Donajkowski as vice president, and Mike Barnett as treasurer for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

∫ appointed Stacey Parr as the Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District liaison and Tom Hilberg as the alternate liaison.

∫ appointed Mike Barnett, Snow, and Donajkowski as the Michigan Association of School Boards voting delegates.