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Michigan Department of Education Partnership

Michigan Department of Education Partnership

Greetings Benton Harbor Area Schools Community,

The Michigan Department of Education has run its federal school accountability system process and as anticipated, several schools in the Benton Harbor Area Schools District (BHAS) have been identified to need continued levels of support. 

Benton Harbor Area Schools was one of fifty-four other school districts identified for this partnership. We recognize and honor the fact that many of you may be concerned with this news. I would like to clarify that this agreement is significantly different in nature to the arrangements made in our recent history as this partnership agreement will be developed under the leadership of the district Superintendent, the local School Board, and our Regional Education Service Agency (RESA). 

The district has worked well with MDE over the past year in supporting our students and we believe the communication that went out yesterday shows MDE’s commitment to our community. I personally have worked in a district with a similar partnership and am optimistic that we can continue the hard work together to make gains for our students. The work that we have already instituted this school year addresses many areas of the proposed partnership so the impact on the district’s current initiatives look to be minimal. 

Growth and getting students to perform on grade level takes time and we believe we are on the right path to move the district forward. Unlike previous partnerships, the district will retain a main voice in how we move forward and monitor student progress. The partnership gives us a sustained commitment from the state, our faculty and staff and local board,  to make continued wins for our community. 

Thank you for your continued support of our students and school. Please contact us if you have additional concerns. 


Dr. Kelvin Butts
Benton Harbor Area Schools
Web:     Office: (269) 605-1011