Ingham ISD Rejects Hawk Nest Homeowners’ Request to Join ELPS District

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Alice Dreger for ELi

Hawk Nest Neighborhood sign

The boundaries for the East Lansing Public Schools (ELPS) district will not be expanded, despite a petition from a group of homeowners in Hawk Nest neighborhood asking the Ingham Intermediate School District (ISD) to make the entire neighborhood part of ELPS’s district.

Although the entire neighborhood lies within the boundaries of the City of East Lansing, part of the neighborhood is in the East Lansing school district and another part in the Lansing district. In some cases, neighbors on the same street live in different districts. Some students in the Lansing district portion attend school in Haslett, Bath, and Okemos through Michigan’s Schools of Choice program.

The ISD effectively rejected the petition at last night’s meeting, stating that this kind of transfer—particularly without consultation for the districts affected—would be unprecedented.

In the past, the ISD had only changed boundaries when one or two houses had been affected by boundaries. In those cases, both districts had been in agreement.

In this case, the petitioners, who said that they did not fully understand the complex process, had not consulted either district.

In rejecting the petition, ISD members explained that the petitioners could appeal after they had consulted with Lansing and East Lansing districts and after they provided more information on the children involved, including their ages and desires.

ISD members assumed Lansing would not endorse the move.

Members of the Hawk Nest neighborhood who spoke said that Mayberry Homes built their neighborhood and advised families on the Lansing side that once the neighborhood was complete, they could simply petition to join ELPS. That seems not to be the case.

Community members argued that they wanted their children to attend the same schools to continue cultivating their friendships within the neighborhood. Some also said East Lansing was more accessible for dropping kids off or bussing them to school.

Correction: An earlier version stated, “Currently, part of the neighborhood is in East Lansing and another part in Lansing.”

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