They have a new superintendent, new curriculum and a new five-year plan in the Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System. Administrators say that's a formula for academic success.

“We are moving forward,” says school superintendent Rane Garcia. "We know exactly what we are going to do and how we are going to change the academic success of this district.”

Parents, students and staff gathered Wednesday, Aug. 9, for an enrollment and kickoff party on the lawn outside Muskegon Heights Academy on Sanford Street.

Many say they are optimistic and even confident Muskegon Heights is on the right track.

Instead of one of the state’s underperforming districts, they expect Muskegon Heights will make significant academic improvement this year.

“I think things are looking up for the Heights,” says Lucy Purnell, who has grandchildren in the district. “It is getting better and the people seem to be coming together more now -- and the students are enthusiastic about going back to school so I think everything is going to be all right.”

Classes start in less than two weeks for children in the Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System.

The first day of school is August 21.

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