The True Value of a Neighborhood School

There’s something to be said for helping your own community grow. Mount Clemens Community Schools is helping kids discover what’s possible, right here at home.

Parents love convenience, and kids love having friends to play with. These are two top reasons to consider a neighborhood school for your child. If you live in Mount Clemens, your child can likely walk or bike to school, then spend the day with kids who live close to home.

Everyone benefits from new, robust initiatives that engage kids, build relationships and promote positive outcomes, all within Mount Clemens Community Schools.

“That friend piece is so important, but so are the programs, classes and extracurriculars that kids have access to,” says David Lavender, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Human Resources at Mount Clemens Community Schools. He’s proud of the way his district is innovating — and engaging students — with new sports, clubs and electives.

“Students can learn, grow and experience high achievement in any school setting,” he says. Families of students at Mount Clemens Community Schools benefit from the convenience of having their kids close by. The kids benefit from a district that is working hard to meet the needs of the school community.

Community involvement builds skills

Educators at Mount Clemens Community Schools are making connections with community partners. “We’re helping the community recognize how good our students are as people. We are giving our kids opportunities in our buildings and with community organizations to really build leadership skills, too,” says Lavender.

A new collaboration with Anton Art Center in Mount Clemens gives students a voice in Juneteenth activities during a citywide event. A student leadership program is underway through the Interfaith Center for Racial Justice. Middle school students are producing award-winning essays at the Junior Optimist Club. And, Macomb County Clerk’s office is preparing to welcome high school interns to learn office skills and discover how local government works.

“And they can walk there. The County Clerk’s office is two blocks away, right in a downtown area that is really thriving,” says Lavender.

Parents of K-5 students will soon be able to rely on latchkey care for their children. Students who haven’t had the opportunity to participate in school sports or fun electives now have a variety to choose from, including middle school track, volleyball, basketball and wrestling. At the high school level, kids can try dance and cheer, weightlifting, wrestling and holistic wellness — and they can learn the music business in an on-site recording studio made possible by a local rapper and music producer.

Mount Clemens High School is proud to be newly approved to offer career and technical education (CTE) credits for HVAC. “We have the only functioning HVAC CTE class in Macomb County,” says Lavender. “And we will pursue more, including TV broadcasting and others.”

The more engaged students are in their school offerings and extracurricular activities, the more they can build relationships that lead to positive futures. For students, it’s the connections that count — and the fact that opportunities are so close to home.

“We start on a personal level with our kids and help them build connections with others and with their school,” he says. “In the end, this will help them experience success in a positive learning environment and, ultimately, grow as people.”

Parents are passionate, too. “I chose Mount Clemens schools because I believe in using the schools of the city I live in, first of all, but also I think the elementary school is bar none compared to other school choices. The teachers and staff have always been very friendly and helpful,” says a district parent. “I have two children, one with some special struggles. The Mount Clemens staff always made him feel welcome and not a burden. Thank you, Mount Clemens schools, for your dedication to my students.”

Expertise brought to you by Mount Clemens Community Schools. Learn more at mtcps.org.

Claire Charlton
Claire Charlton
An enthusiastic storyteller, Claire Charlton focuses on delivering top client service as a content editor for Metro Parent. In her 20+ years of experience, she has written extensively on a variety of topics and is keen on new tech and podcast hosting. Claire has two grown kids and loves to read, run, camp, cycle and travel.

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