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School board, listen to ACES students

Last week, News staff writer Crystal Nelson introduced us to one current and one former student of Alternative Choices for Educational Success Academy, Alpena Public Schools’ setting for students who struggled to succeed at Alpena High School.

Both students worried about the district’s proposal to close the ACES building and move those programs into a sequestered area of the traditional high school.

They worried about the loss of identity and pride at ACES as its own entity, about the ability of school officials to truly, fully separate ACES students from the rest and the possibility of trouble therein, and about the lack of some of the flexibility ACES offers, which they said offers kids a chance to fully succeed in high school.

We’ve written before that a school is not a building, it’s people and good programs that help kids become the best they can. That we believe, if done correctly, ACES can succeed inside Alpena High.

We stand by that.

However, school administrators should always put students at the forefront — even before finances — and should not dismiss ACES students’ concerns.

We urge the Alpena school board to listen to ACES students and make sure, even if the district does move ACES inside AHS, that administrators address students’ concerns and talk to the students about how they plan to address any issues.

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