STAR Program to Close

June 16, 2020

Dear District Leaders, Families, Students, and Partner Organizations,

First, through Evenstart and then as the STAR Family Literacy Program, AAESA has provided a high school completion option for teen parents while also teaching the high school students to parent the next generation. Trying to provide education to 2 generations with the same foundation allowance as a single student took creativity, budget stretching and amazing partners. We are thankful for support from Early Head Start, Michigan Works, Hungry for Christ, Nestlings, Junior Achievement, the employees at AAESA, our local school district counselors and administrators, and many more. The AAESA Board of Education generously provided additional budgetary support in order to enable the purchase of vans to enable students and their babies to get to school.

Looking at the 2020-2021 school year, anticipating a deep cut in per pupil funding from the Michigan Department of Education, lack of grant funding from Michigan Works, and low enrollment numbers exacerbated by COVID-19, the time has come to look at a new way to serve these deserving students. I am pleased to say we have found a new partner who is ready and willing to step in and continue to serve the teen parents in Allegan County. Renaissance Alternative High School in Plainwell, under the direction of Tammy Glupker, will enroll students that would have continued on with STAR and is happy to enroll future teen parents. They are committed to providing a quality program that meets the unique needs of teen parents.

Many thanks to all who have supported STAR Family Literacy of the years.  We are proud of all the graduates who persevered and in many case were the first in their families to receive a high school diploma. The students worked hard for that achievement while learning to be their children’s first and best teacher.

If you know of teen parents looking to complete high school in an environment that will assist them and understand their unique challenges, please refer them to Tammy Glupker, Principal, at Renaissance Alternative High School at tammy.glupker@plainwellschools.org or phone 269.685.8911 or Kathy Elliott (269) 685-1189 and kathy.elliott@plainwellschools.org.

Thank you,

Laurie Schmitt, PhD

Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services