Libraries "Dwindle"

What are we going to get? We don't know.

Students at Lahser High School report that the "media center" of that school is often "off-limits" to students during their lunch breaks, and also during times when meetings are being held in that room and when no adult is available to supervise them.

I've also been told that the school's library has an inadequate collection of reference and other materials. That students are ofter not allowed to use the school's computers. Why is that?

The Bloomfield Hills School district is the largest employer located within Bloomfield Township. There are plenty of adults at Lahser High school, and it seems reasonable that at least one of them can take a shift in the media center to make sure students have access to computers and materials.

The failed 2010 high school plan did not include a media center or library on designs shared with the public. As you recall, that version of the mega school included a "sky bridge" and a new central administration building.

But no Library or Media Center?

We need to know what we are going to get BEFORE we agree to pay for any upgrades to existing buildings, renovations or construction.

The "hybrid" plan, "schematically designed" by expensive consultant FNI, has an ambiguous area designated as a media center, but also a "commons" and a
cafeteria." We know that the plan includes "learning communities" and will embrace the twin concepts of "team teaching" and "collaborative learning." It includes an elaborate Performing Arts Center and sports facilities. 

I'm concerned that this really isn't a "school" at all.

I'm not sure we are ready to abandon traditional classrooms and a well-stocked library/media center for our high school students. 

Just where are we headed?

Will the International Academy be renovated in this same way? If not, why not?  The IA performs very well....with traditional classrooms.

I find it ironic that the Bloomfield Township Library Board has just announced a "partnership" with the BHSD. Does the BHS Board of Education plan to use township facilities for BHS students? Such a "blending" of taxing authorities with different boundaries is often a "bad deal" for some taxpayers, and a boon to others.

A boon to the ones who don't pay for it. The BHSD enrolls students from over a dozen municipalities other than Bloomfield Twp.

How do we KNOW what we are going to get?

The FACT is, we don't. Once money is awarded to the school district, the trustees have great latitude as to what they can do with it.

Editor's note: The FNI unified high school schematic does have a spot designated as a library.

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Emily Eichenhorn January 19, 2012 at 01:48 PM
One of the best ways to know what we'll be getting is to participate in the abundance of public input opportunities that exist. For a complete schedule of the many town hall meetings being held over the next month, go to the district website.
-Elizabeth- January 19, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Going back to the summer 2010 presentations by the architect (TMP), they talked about having a media center above the office overlooking the commons. The 2010 plan you are referring to was the ground floor and so did not show the second floor media center. The current plans developed by FNI include both the first and second floors and clearly shows a media center, interestingly enough in about the same place, above the office and overlooking the commons/cafe. The plans developed by FNI shows many different locations where students can eat. These are the same areas where, at other times in the day, students can collaborate on class projects, find a spot to research on their lap top and where presentations can take place. So it is a multipurpose flexible space as opposed to the current hallways which are used for ingress/egress and lockers. There is a lot of information out there, but I agree with the comment above that the town hall meetings are a great way to get information, ask questions and provide input. Here is a link to the schedule: http://www.bloomfield.org/files/hs_transitionplan/community_meetings.pdf Here is a link to the invitation: http://www.bloomfield.org/files/flyers/RobTownHallCommunity.pdf
Ann January 19, 2012 at 04:43 PM
As Jenny knows, the IA educates a self-selecting group of highly qualified students who have chosen the same rigorous program. The public high school neither can or should offer a single program to only the students it chooses. On of the reasons our school system is strong, and therefore desirable to home buyers, is that it offers a comprehensive education. But I am delighted to know that Jenny would support a millage for a new facility for the International Academy. That is a great proposal, and one I hope she will champion.
M. Belden January 19, 2012 at 06:32 PM
I agree with all the previously made comments, and would also add that perhaps the reason students may be prevented from using the Lahser media center at times is because the media centers in our current high school buildings are nearly the only usable space for pulling groups together to work collaboratively - whether they be students, staff members of parents. Collaboration is how people work and learn today, and we are sadly lacking in facilities to allow and encourage such interaction.
Alexandrea Franklin January 20, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Jenny, Did it ever occur to you to pick up the phone to call Charlie Hollerith and ask him to provide answers to your questions, rather than needlessly sowing seeds of doubt and fear in the minds of the general populace? Do your homework!


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