RochesterJune 26, 2012
Avondale Academy moves, welcomes new principal
By Mary Beth Almond
C & G Staff Writer
ROCHESTER — The Avondale Academy will have a new home and new leadership for the 2012-13 school year.
The Avondale Schools District’s alternative high school will move from its current location on the corner of Waukegan and Squirrel Road in Auburn Hills to the former home of Meadow Upper Elementary — which the district closed in 2010 — at 1435 W. Auburn Road in Rochester Hills.
“The move was made because of the age of the existing facility,” said Avondale Schools Superintendent George Heitsch. “It was just time for our academy students to have a better location.”
The current Avondale Academy facility was built in 1929, and Heitsch said it is “in dire need” of renovation.
“The Meadows location was available space that could be utilized better, and it is definitely newer than what the students are in now,” Heitsch said.
While there are no immediate plans for the Avondale Academy’s current facility after it is vacated, Heitsch said administrators plan to study how and if it could be used in the future by the Board of Education. He said the district will determine if the new location would be the permanent home for the academy in 2013.
The Avondale Academy will also welcome a new principal/director for the 2012-13 school year. Fred Cromie, who currently serves as the principal of Avondale High School and has held his position there since 2002, will replace current Avondale Academy Principal/Director Chuck Granger, who will return to teach in the Avondale district this fall.
“We’re exploring some different options for increased student enrollment and revenue, so we have Mr. Cromie working on that,” Heitsch said. “And we think our virtual high school has untapped potential, so we’re going to have Chuck Granger, who was in charge of the academy, focus his attention on growing our virtual high school.”
Heitsch said Cromie will apply his “strong organizational skills” to a broad new role in the Central Office, which includes special projects and curriculum projects, in addition to leading alternative education this fall.
“It was a great opportunity to move my career forward. I’ve never been in Central Office, and I think I have a lot of skills that I can offer into that area to help move Avondale forward,” Cromie said.
In June, approximately 34 students graduated from the Avondale Academy — which offers a variety of alternative education options for pursuit of a high school diploma.
Students under 20 years old prior to the first day of school can attend the “brick and mortar” alternative high school option, which follows a traditional school hours schedule; Avondale Academy’s afternoon schooling option, which runs from 1-8 p.m.; the virtual high school, which provides students with online learning as well as teacher oversight and face-to-face visits one to two times per week to gauge progress; or a hybrid alternative option in which students can combine and use the Academy, online learning through the virtual high school and the late-day school option.
The Avondale Schools District encompasses portions of Auburn Hills, Bloomfield Township, Troy and Rochester Hills, but Avondale Academy is a school of choice. The only requirement is that students attending the Academy who live outside the Avondale Schools district boundaries provide their own transportation.
Avondale Academy will host a open house event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20 at the new location, 1435 W. Auburn Road in Rochester Hills.
For questions about the open house, the Academy or other alternative high school education options offered through the Avondale Schools District, call (248) 537-6600.
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