Trombly pre-K tuition program to return next year

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published April 12, 2021

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GROSSE POINTES — The Trombly pre-K tuition program will return for the 2021-22 school year.

At the March 22 Grosse Pointe Public School System Board of Education meeting held at Brownell Middle School, the school board voted 5-1 for the program.

Trombly is located in Grosse Pointe Park. The school closed as an elementary school at the end of the 2019-20 school year. The Trombly Early Childhood Center opened in September 2020 and was intended to be a one-year pilot program.

President Joseph Herd, Treasurer Colleen Worden, Secretary Christopher Lee and trustees David Brumbaugh and Lisa Papas voted in favor of the measure. Board Vice President Margaret Weertz voted against the measure. Ahmed Ismail was absent.

Herd amended the motion to include establishing a working group that will be charged with coming up with a plan to decide whether or not the Trombly program will continue after the 2021-22 school year.

“I think the big concern is not necessarily wanting this ECC so badly. I think the community is concerned about what’s happening with this building,” Weertz said. “Our administration needs to find a purpose for this building that satisfies our community. I think we need to address that.”

The pre-K tuition originally started in the Barnes School building. As the program grew, the pre-K tuition program expanded across the district’s elementary schools.

According to school district documents, the Trombly ECC had three pre-K classrooms with full capacity under COVID-19 conditions. The pre-K tuition program has an annual enrollment period in January. When the pre-K enrollment started in January 2021, Trombly Early Childhood Center was listed as a pre-K tuition option along with Barnes and Monteith, Ferry and Richard elementary schools.

Based on enrollment forms, Trombly has 60 children enrolled in four classrooms for next year, and Trombly parents placed deposits down with their enrollment. The district administration believes that approving the Trombly pre-K program for another school year will be the best use for the building and will keep the building occupied for 2021-22.

Trombly also hosted the Head Start program for the 2020-21 school year. Head Start is a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-funded initiative that provides preschool, socialization and family support services to low-income families and children with special needs at no charge. Head Start is not run by the district; it’s operated through Wayne County.