Wednesday, October 12th 2011

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The walls come tumblin’ down at Holly Academy

Written by Amy Mayhew
Thursday, August 18 2011

HOLLY, Michigan – The landscape of Holly Academy continues to change as work began today to tear down the dormitory that had housed female students from 1950 through the early 1990s.

The building demolition is just part of the $2 million project that will eventually leave Holly Academy with a 15,000 building expansion including a third science laboratory, a new media center, a multi-purpose room, classrooms, and additional office space.

In addition to demolishing the girls dormitory, work crews have nearly completed improvements made to the existing water main system.

“The Academy was already tied into the village water system,” Director for Holly’s Department of Public Works Brian Klaassen said. “They’re just expanding and improving on the existing system they have, and adding in an additional fire hydrant.” Klaassan said Holly Academy incurred all of the expenses associated with the work, including the funding of a member of Holly’s DPW to oversee the project.

While the demolition process will be completed within a week, the school anticipates having the new addition open in time for the 2012-2013 school year.

Holly Academy educates 788 students in grades K-8, offering students Spanish and daily science curriculum along with numerous enhancement opportunities. Holly Academy ranks tenth among all Michigan School Districts based on 2010 MEAP scores, and is fourth among all charter schools in Michigan. It is a self-managed school, authorized by Central Michigan University.


-1 #1 Holly Thursday, August 18 2011 3:40pm
Glad to see them expanding and improving. Keep up the good work.
+7 #2 Lee Thursday, August 18 2011 5:59pm
You know, I can't help but wonder why the Academy has such a large population.
Why are these students not in HAS, which also has an excellent rating? If Holly Schools were doing poorly, it would make sense, but it isn't and this is public tax dollar being deferred from our school system. No wonder HAS is in dire financial difficulty..
-1 #3 epease3088 Friday, August 19 2011 5:17pm
I am a retired teacher, and two of my grandchildren attend Holly Academy. The students take pride in their school which is modeled by administrators, teachers, para-pros and all who work there. A+

The students have the "I can" attitude and show it. If a student is having learning challenges, Holly Academy makes sure that the student gets extra help in that area of education. A+

There is a dress code for the students and teachers which promotes an emphasis on learning. The students know they are at Holly Academy to get an excellent education and develop leadership skills. A+

There are many after school activities, school events, clubs, and more which children have the opportunity and are encouraged to join. A+

Administrators are approachable and can be seen in the halls interacting with the students. A+

The parents/family members of the students are encouraged to participate in their children's education at this charter school in Holly. A+

It is always seeking to improve. A+

In my opinion, Holly Academy has the right formula for what a school should be.
+1 #4 Ryan Bladzik Saturday, August 20 2011 10:54am
epease3088, aside from the dress code/uniforms, every A+ you mentioned can be easily found in Holly Area Schools.

And, as a side note, there is not one single peer-reviewed, empirical study that supports the hypothesis that school uniforms or dress codes have an effect on academic performance in students, and only marginal effects on behavior--mostly in inner-city, gang infiltrated schools.
0 #5 Lee Saturday, August 20 2011 11:43am
Very nice compliments to the Academy..Except for dress code, I suspect many HAS teachers, parents and students feel the same about their school..Any of you want to answer epease?? Thanks..
0 #6 Lee Saturday, August 20 2011 3:17pm
Yea, Ryan, way to go!! With 30yrs behind me in the public school scenerio, I totally agree with you.
-6 #7 Sophia Saturday, August 20 2011 8:26pm
I agree with epease. Although I don't have children at Holly Academy, those that I know that go there have good atitudes and seem to enjoy school. HAS is terrible if you don't have the all A student that requires little of the teachers efforts. It is terrible when you approach an administrator with a sensitive issue and all they want to do is gossip about it.
+9 #8 bigdan888 Sunday, August 21 2011 2:04pm
All of our children attend or have attended Holly Academy. Our oldest graduated from Holly High School two years ago with high honors and is now attending University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to do something in the medical field. Our next oldest begins Holly High School this fall and will be testing out of some classes and is looking forward to taking AP classes like his older brother did. Our other two are still at the academy and are excelling.

Holly Academy is a top notch school with a top notch staff and curriculum. If I had a hundred kids, I will send them all there. This is by no means any kind of negative remark about Holly Public Schools... we know that they are some of the best in the state too and its the very reason why we chose HHS for our kids to graduate from.

Lets all get along people.
+3 #9 Lee Sunday, August 21 2011 4:53pm
Dan, because I ask a simple question and people offered opinions, does not mean that any of us don't get along..I was curious as to the success of the Academy with Holly Public Schools also getting such high marks; people gave their right or wrong here.
+5 #10 Dayne Sunday, August 21 2011 6:51pm
so you know first hand that HHS offers programs that well prepare our children for post high school education. the rainy day fund is almost down to zero,that means if budget cuts are in the magnitude of millions of dollars again, the things to go will be our bright,energetic young teachers,and along with them will be some of the best programs HHS has to offer.we can do the math -400 kids attending holly academy instead of HAS equals $3 million looks like my child will survive his high school career without draconian cuts in the programs we take advantage of. will future classes be able to say the same?
0 #11 epease3088 Sunday, August 28 2011 7:42am
All our area schools can use the support from our community whether it is donating supplies, talents, skills and/or time for to help educate our children. If we stand behind our schools, we shall share in their successes. Think positive, set goals and move forward.
-2 #12 Mark Wednesday, August 31 2011 12:54pm
Our daughter attended Patterson Elementary from K-5. This year whe will attend the Academy. I found Patterson to be a fantastic school. The staff and faculty were top of the line in my opinion. I'm proud to say that our daughter did very well at Patterson. Heowever, we decided to send her to the Academy for her middle school years for every reason stated in previous posts. Everyone I know that sent their child to the Academy reports great academic success in post middle school education.
0 #13 jburgee Tuesday, October 11 2011 9:29am
Quoting Ryan Bladzik:
epease3088, aside from the dress code/uniforms, every A+ you mentioned can be easily found in Holly Area Schools.

And, as a side note, there is not one single peer-reviewed, empirical study that supports the hypothesis that school uniforms or dress codes have an effect on academic performance in students, and only marginal effects on behavior--mostly in inner-city, gang infiltrated schools.

Read this:
There's your peer review. I've worked in public schools for 14 years. I can tell you. School uniform clears up TONS of issues. Do your homework. :)
-4 #14 jburgee Tuesday, October 11 2011 9:38am
I do have to say... That since I've been working in the public schools for over a decade, I promised myself I would never put my own kids in the system. I've seen everything from non-performing schools and teacher to indoctrination being taught what to think versus how to think. Due to financial issues I couldn't put my son back in parochial this year. I really wanted to because I'm so unimpressed with public education. That being said, that does NOT reflect HAS, just the systems I've directly worked in, which is somewhat diverse in south east Michigan.

I've heard so many good things about Holly Academy and by word of mouth that Holly Schools are pretty decent except the middle school to which I can only say I've only heard what other's have told me. I have no opinion of my own on HAS itself since I've not been in the system here. So, reluctantly, I put my son into Holly Academy.

I have to say, I'm very impressed with how they run the school, the teachers dedication and passion for the students and the support provided. Holly Academy truly is a treasure for Holly.
0 #15 Ryan Bladzik Tuesday, October 11 2011 10:35am
Thanks for the article, jburgee. Is that a an actual research study, or just a term paper? I found it posted online, but couldn't find it published in any peer-reviewed journal (at least not one indexed by Proquest).

I just ask because there are a lot of unsupported or uncited claims or opinions in that paper. The author only sites one peer-reviewed journal, 3 articles surrounding one research study, and relies on the conflicting interpretations of that single study. The author clearly sides with one interpretation, but offers no other empirical research to back his claims. If nothing, I would call both perspectives inconclusive, especially if it is only a term paper analysis.

The other citations are from the New York Times, Education Today and NEA today, which undergo no scholarly peer-review.
0 #16 Janet Leslie Tuesday, October 11 2011 11:16am
How I love the discussion of school uniforms! While I cannot offer a credible study of the matter, I can offer my personal experience.

I attended public schools without uniforms K-7, and private schools with uniforms 8-12. My grades fluctuated neither up nor down with the change in dress code. There were social cliques in both environments, and in both environments it was very clear who were the haves and the have-nots. If I noted any difference at all, it would be that the students' relationship with teachers was very collegial in the schools without uniforms, and very adversarial in the schools with uniforms. The uniforms did seem to inspire an us vs. them mentality.

In the end, the quality of my education always came down to the quality of the curriculum and the quality of the instruction, neither of which were affected by the dress code.

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