A medium-sized suburban school district covering 12.5 square miles, the East Lansing Public Schools includes most of the City of East Lansing and small portions of Lansing and Meridian Townships. The school community has over a 100 year history, and is well recognized for its quality relationships with parents, the City of East Lansing, and Michigan State University. The school community benefits from over 2,000 parent and community volunteers. One of the outstanding demographic advantages in the community is its rich cultural diversity, reflecting people from over 60 countries. Many residents are leaders in the disciplines of education, government, and science. The community residents hold high expectations for excellence in public education and actively collaborate with the District to accomplish this goal.
In 2005-2006, 3,469 students were educated in six elementary buildings including the 4 (K-4) buildings, 2 (5-6) buildings, one middle school (7-8) and one high school (9-12). Using the Michigan Department of Education definition, the average class size in the elementary buildings is 22, at the middle school 24, and at the high school 21. Approximately 92% of ELPS graduates go on to colleges and universities. The average pupil/teacher ratio for the District is 22. Some 237 teachers are employed with approximately 72% holding advanced degrees. Many of the teachers are highly experienced and have achieved state and national recognition in their fields.
ELPS is at a very challenging moment in its history. It has a strong community reputation for excellence and it understands that unrelenting external environmental threats bear huge impact on the capacity of the District to achieve excellence in its internal environment. The internal culture has experienced a number of challenges that pertain to leadership changes at the Board of Education and Administration levels, curriculum development, technology advancement, and the changing environment of having to do more with fewer resources. There is a sense among the key stakeholders that the District must be more intentional and proactive about its future: a major step in that direction has been to articulate a shared vision of the future and a strategic plan. Two demanding challenges will be capacity, and the daily leadership and discipline to align the many parts or elements in the system. Such reality will require resolute leadership at every level in the organization.
The ELPS 2007-2011 Strategic Plan holds promising Vision, Mission, and Belief/Value Statements, along with critical issue areas having goals and strategies that address present and anticipated internal and external environments. The strategies are intended to build on internal strengths and address internal weaknesses, and position the District for assessing external opportunities and threats.
Carmelita Murphy, OP, of LEAD, Inc. led and facilitated the strategic planning process over four formal sessions. The final document reflects the ideas brought forward through surveys, focus group, and Board members, administrators, principals, teachers and parents in the strategic planning sessions.
We invite and welcome you to be a part of our future.