LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The Lansing School District is responding to a new report that shows many of its schools are underachieving, landing in the bottom 5% of schools in the state.

“What you saw from the MDE report, is that many of our schools are underperforming. And we know that,” said LSD Superintendent Ben Schuldiner.

Lansing School District officials discussed a recent report that highlighted 13 of its schools, showing that they need “comprehensive support and improvement”.

The Michigan Department of Education data is now stepping in to help.

“I’ll be honest when I saw the numbers I freaked out too. And so those schools will be entered into a partnership with the state which will give additional support and resources to those particular schools,” said LSD School Board president Gabrielle Lawrence.

Education experts say it’s a better solution than five years ago, when struggling schools would’ve faced closure.

“Build in time for these schools to improve without the punitive element of closing them. So this is a much more holistic approach to try to improve outcomes for both kids and the school environment too,” said Professor of Education Policy at MSU Josh Cowen.

District officials say the pandemic played a huge role, with less class time, fewer teachers, and less funding.

LSD leaders say it has been working on a new strategic plan with MSU.

“We think about how to best support students, what are students telling us that they need, what do the test scores reflect. We are really working to identify those needs and those goals and to implement them in the long run,” said Lawrence.

The board will vote on the new strategic plan Thursday evening.

Schuldiner says they are working towards a solution.

“We agree that things have not been great in this district, it’s not because our staff is not working hard, it’s because we have had a system and structure that has been antiquated, that have been problematic, that we are fixing so that we can now get to student success.”