Huron County is home to many excellent schools, including high schools. We reached out to Brian Keim, Superintendent at Laker Schools in Pigeon to learn more about Laker High School.
Q. What does a typical day look like for a high school student at Laker High School?
- A typical Laker HS student reports to school for classes at 7:50 AM. Some will head off to college or career classes at the Huron Area Tech Center (HATC), while others will remain for coursework here. Our HS schedule is a "modified block" format, which is unique to this area. It is a 6-period day, but periods 1,2,5, and 6 are standard 50-minute classes that run all year, while periods 3 and 4 are 90-minute classes that run for 1st semester, then change to two new classes for the 2nd semester. This gives our students the benefit of taking 8 total courses within a school year, but still have the relaxed pace of a 6-period daily schedule. Lunch is divided and takes place before or after 4th period.
Q. Can you tell us about college classes as well as the STEM and robotic classes being offered?
- Laker HS is a big proponent of dual enrollment college classes. We have typically had around 20% of our graduates leave with around 20 college credits. In addition to the cohort classes that are offered at HATC, we have also partnered with Mid Michigan Community College to offer college courses here at Lakers, including College Spanish and College Biology. We recently renovated our Science labs and had them designed to meet college specifications, so our students will be well-prepared for STEM opportunities at the next level. We also provide multiple robotics programs, including FIRST and VEX Robotics, a Science Olympiad robots team, and an Underwater ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) team. Laker High School also offers unique classes like: forensic science, anatomy, lab science, wood shop, theater, creative writing, psychology, sociology, and Senior Strategies. The Senior Strategies class helps prepare students for college life and living on their own, and each year, they either do several small-scale community service projects or one big project. Last year, they put together an awesome Job Fair for the whole high school and invited other high schools to attend as well.
Q. What sort of after school programs and athletics are offered at Laker High School?
- Lakers has many extracurricular offerings for a school our size. In addition to the STEM programs above, we offer football, basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, cross-country, golf, wrestling, track, soccer, archery, dance club, choir, marching and concert bands, violin club, theater, FFA skills and leadership teams, Academic Games, QuizBowl, NHS, student council, Rotary Interact (volunteer service club) and more.
Q. What makes Laker High School different from other schools in the area?
- Laker HS has always enjoyed strong community support, but this has been especially evident in the past few years, with our community members approving multiple Sinking Funds and Technology Bonds to make significant and unique improvements to our facilities. We have the area's only college-spec science lab, a state of the art student dining area with a modern college cafe feel, a unique schedule that provides more elective course options than other schools, and the area's first 1:1 technology program, which now includes both iPads and Chromebooks. We utilize a Student Responsibility Center (SRC), which has helped to reduce discipline referrals by 70% over 7 years. We have adopted a school-wide, year-round eligibility program that holds our students to high standards in sports and other extracurricular programs. We also have a student rewards program, which features quarterly Pride Assemblies with prize drawings and student recognitions, and we offer a comprehensive tutoring program before and after school with transportation provided at no cost to the family. We also provide free admission for Laker students to all home events. We have a home on campus that houses foreign exchange students each year. Finally, we recently hired a Student Support Specialist to help instill "soft skills" in our students and provide opportunities - job shadows, field trips, college visits, and internships - that will prepare them for life beyond high school.
Laker Schools was also recently featured in an article on bridgemi.com that described a partnership between Scheurer Hospital and the school that helps provide vital and necessary healthcare services to its students. In 2014, only 28% of school districts in the state of Michigan had access to any type of school nursing services. The partnership between Laker High School and Scheurer Hospital began in 2012 and has since provided a number of services benefiting student’s health and wellness. To read the full article, click here.