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|Plymouth-Canton Educational Park|
Salem High School
46181 Joy Rd
Canton, Michigan 48187
Canton High School
8415 Canton Center Rd.
Canton, Michigan 48187
Plymouth High School
8400 Beck Rd.
Canton, Michigan 48187
|Established||1970: Salem High School|
1972: Canton High School
1974: Phase III (Canton North)
2002: Plymouth High School
|School district||Plymouth-Canton Community Schools|
|Number of students||6,128 (2007)|
|Color(s)||Red and White (Canton)|
Black and Silver (Plymouth)
Blue and White (Salem)
|Mascot||Chiefs (Canton) |
The Plymouth-Canton Educational Park (commonly PCEP or "The Park") encompasses three public secondary schools—Salem High School, Canton High School, and Plymouth High School—in Canton Township, Michigan, United States within Metro Detroit. PCEP is located on a 305-acre (123 ha) campus.
PCEP is part of the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools District, serving portions of Wayne County and Washtenaw County, including City of Plymouth, Plymouth Township, and parts of Canton Township, Salem Township, Superior Township, and Northville Township.
The original Plymouth High School was built in the early 20th century on the northwest corner of Main Street and Church Street, opposite from present-day City Hall in present-day downtown Plymouth, Michigan. The district deemed the facility to be outdated by the 1960s for high school use. The facility was closed as a high school after the 1969-70 school year and used exclusively for 9th grade in 1970-71 and 1971-72.
When the first new high school opened in the present-day Plymouth-Canton Educational Park, the original Plymouth High School was converted into a middle school, dubbed Central Middle School (in conjunction with the previously constructed East and West Middle Schools). Central Middle School remains a landmark in downtown and closed after the 2014-15 school year.
Originally planned to simply remain Plymouth High School, the school's name was changed to Plymouth-Salem High School after Canton opened. Although the school district serves much of rural Salem Township, Salem residents were not necessarily exclusive to Plymouth-Salem.
Plymouth High's colors of red, white, and blue, were split up, with Plymouth-Salem retaining blue and white, and the eventual Canton High School teams taking the red with white. Plymouth-Salem retained their "Rocks" mascot; supposedly named for the large unmovable boulder that sits outside the school. It is a tradition for students to spray paint this rock for school events and to celebrate important sports victories. The rock was moved during the renovations in 2008.
Salem is divided into two main sections, North and South. The north side contains the swimming pool and the Gloria Logan Auditorium, and a two-level gymnasium on the south side, divided by a wide central hallway leading to the east entrance of the school. A staircase leads to the second-floor corridor near the entrance to the auditorium. The west side contains three floors of classrooms, as well as the cafeteria on the southeast side of the first floor. Administrative offices are located on the northeast side of the first two floors. The center of the second floor is dominated by the school library, and also features the studio for radio station WSDP. Stairwells on the north and south sides, referred to as the North Tower and South Tower, respectively, provide access to all three floors, and an elevator provides access for students unable to use the stairs.
One of the more distinctive features of the school building was its large ramp at the North Mall, which provided direct access to the second floor of classrooms. What made this ramp unusual were the three steps placed at the bottom of the ramp, purposely making vehicle access impractical. The ramp was demolished in the early 1990s, and the North Mall was revamped to provide a more appealing façade, while the South Mall was eliminated in favor of an expanded cafeteria. The school underwent renovations from 2006 to 2008, and went through renovations for more office space in 2011.
In 2002, with the opening of the new Plymouth High School as part of the PCEP, "Plymouth" was dropped from Salem and Canton's name. Individually the high schools are known as Salem High School, Canton High School and Plymouth High School.
In addition to the formal online school resources, the school's parents, coaches and boosters proudly and voluntarily contribute content related to their group and team activities at "Salem Rocks".[clarification needed]
Opened in August 2002 and constructed southwest of Salem High School, the new Plymouth High School was designed by the architecture firm French Associates. The students selected to be Plymouth High's first senior class, the Class of 2006, were polled during their 6th grade year to come up with the school's colors and mascot. Their selection, the Predators (after the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League), was met with opposition from some parents who associated it with sexual predators. As a result, the school decided to use the generic "Wildcats" nickname, while still using the saber-toothed tiger logo of the Nashville Predators. Plymouth's school colors were to be purple and white (a combination of the red and blue of Salem and Canton), but they were changed to black and silver.
The campus covers 305 acres, much of which encompasses athletic fields. Students can have classes in all three academic buildings, even though each student is assigned to one "home school" from which he or she is to graduate from and play sports for. Students are permitted 10 minutes passing time to walk among their classes. There has been criticism that it is unsafe for students to walk through several inches (centimeters) of snow, but the superintendent still gives snow days as rarely as possible. State Law, however, does require that passage between buildings be halted in the event of lightning, though this has happened only twice since the beginning of the 2008-09 school year. One advantage to the 3-in-1 idea is reduced cost: there is only one auto shop (at Canton), one culinary arts facility (at Salem), two darkrooms for photography (one at Salem, one at Canton), one varsity football field (at Canton), two swimming pools (at Salem & Canton), two soccer and football fields (at Canton and Plymouth), one Robotics Shop (at Canton), one orchestra complex (at Canton), and one band complex (at Plymouth).
For most of its history, the campus has contained Canton High School and Salem High School, with a great rivalry built between the two neighbors. For many years the campus operated under block scheduling, seen as an innovative way to allow for longer periods of uninterrupted teaching time. After many years, The Park resorted back to a traditional schedule with 6 classes per day and 2 semesters of classes per year. Currently, The Park is considered a "Closed Campus", meaning no student may leave during the school day without a pass from the office.
Prior to the summer of 2006, the Cady family barn was also a part of the campus. It has since been moved to the Canton Township Cherry Hill village area next to a historic home. Included on the campus grounds is also a small strip of forest that backs a nearby neighborhood. Various trails are scattered throughout the wooded area. An Artesian well can be found in the wooded area, and is visited by earth science and ecology classes yearly. A creek that is part of the Rouge River watershed runs through the campus, separating Canton High School and Phase III, which are to the north of the creek; Plymouth High School is located to the south. Environmental science classes held at the park regularly take water samples to monitor water quality from this creek.
The Park has over 130 active sports teams and over 96 active clubs and organizations, including a radio station, Marching Band, and FIRST Robotics Team. All three Science Olympiad teams qualified for the state level competition in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2016, 2017, and 2018. Also, Plymouth's 2007 Novice and 2009 Varsity Quiz Bowl teams won the championship in the tri-county area. Additionally, The Park's FIRST Robotics Team, Lightning Robotics, won the FIRST World Championship in 2017.
There are many clubs dedicated to different languages, cultures, and lifestyles, such as the African American Student Association, Spanish and Latino Students' Association (SALSA), Asian Pacific American Club (APAC), Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Polish American Club, Indian-American Student Association (IASA), French Club, Muslim Student Association (MSA), Middle Eastern Student Association, Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), Secular Student Alliance, and the Diversity Council. An annual Celebration of Diversity (COD) is held by some cultural clubs for support and recognition.
PCEP's radio station, WSDP 88.1FM The Park, has won numerous awards, including the Michigan Association of Broadcaster's annual 'Station of the Year' prize, which it has won nearly every year in the past decade. The station was started in 1972 at 89.3FM. Bonny Dore, Mary Phyl Godfroy, John Seidelman and Jeff Cardinal were the first faculty advisors. Multiple radio air talents, program directors and even station managers started their careers at WSDP.
The Park also has a Debate Club, a Model United Nations Club, a three Mock Trial teams, a FIRST Robotics Team , a Distributive Education Clubs of American chapter, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) chapter, and an Investment Club, among other clubs geared towards educational incentives. The Park's National Honor Society and Robotics Team have been recognized by the American Cancer Society for their efforts in supporting and running the community fundraising walk for cancer cures, Relay for Life.
In particular, the DECA organization  is popular among the marketing students at the Park. DECA prepares students to become leaders in their fields, whether it be marketing, finance, hospitality or management in high schools and colleges all over the world. The DECA organization brings together students from all three schools at PCEP and their chapter made it all the way to nationals in 2007-08, 2008-09, and 2010-11.
The theatrical side of the performing arts program at the park consists of two groups: The Park Players, based at Salem High School, and The Second Stage Players, based at Canton High School. Any student who attends PCEP can audition for shows produced by either group.
The performing arts program began with the formation of what is now the Park Players in 1970 by Gloria Logan, a drama teacher at Salem. The first three productions were staged at Central Middle School. The first production staged in Salem Auditorium was Fiddler on the Roof in 1971; as a tradition, a revival of Fiddler has been staged on the 10th and 20th anniversary years of the auditorium (1981 and 1991), while the most recent revival was staged in 2000, the 30th anniversary of the Parkstage two fully produced, faculty-directed In the 09-10 school year, Second Stage Players produced two mainstage productions, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" in the fall, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) in the spring.
The Park Players have staged over 85 productions, including Neil Simon's "Proposals", "Footloose (musical)", "Hello, Dolly!", "Jekyll and Hyde", and "Smokey Joe's Cafe". During the 2009-10 school year, the Park Players celebrated their 14th anniversary. They performed three stage productions: Noises Off as their fall play, Sweet Charity as their spring musical, and Check Please/Check Please: Take Two as an in-between production.
The Park also has a Spoken Word Club and a Puppetry Club.
There are two orchestra classes. The lower orchestra is called Concert Orchestra, while the upper one is called Symphony Orchestra.
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