FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Vice President of Communications
32 New Charter Schools Opening in Michigan This Fall: ‘More High-Quality, Innovative Choices for Students’
LANSING, Michigan (May 22, 2013) – Thirty-two new charter schools are scheduled to open in Michigan this fall, according to information compiled by the Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA), the state charter school association. MAPSA said the list of new schools will not be official and finalized until the summer.
The new schools will be located throughout the state – from Detroit to Manistee – and feature a wide assortment of educational options that meet a variety of community needs. The list of new charter schools includes Montessori schools, a public safety academy, cyber schools, a school for special-needs students and more.
There are new charter schools in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Muskegon, Waterford, Warren, Pontiac, Hazel Park, Oxford, Manistee, Beverly Hills, Center Line, Plymouth, Novi, Taylor, Garden City, Eaton Rapids and Zeeland.
“It’s enriching to see more high-quality, innovative choices for students,” said MAPSA President Dan Quisenberry. “The new schools that will be opening this fall all fill very specific educational needs. We’ll have several new schools that will be managed by proven, high-quality, professional educational providers that have excellent track records throughout the country. And we’re also seeing some very exciting new schools being founded by community members and educators who have shown they have a great plan to deliver a quality education.”
Michigan law allows new public schools to be chartered by state universities, community colleges, intermediate school districts and local school districts.
“Michigan’s system of charter school authorizing and oversight is considered a model around the country, and as we look at the new schools opening this year, we can see why that is,” Quisenberry said. “Once again, the authorizers have done an excellent job of making sure that only the best, most promising schools will be allowed to open. You’ll notice that we aren’t seeing the supposed ‘flood’ of new charter schools that some critics feared. The authorizers aren't going to charter any new school that doesn’t offer a high-quality, innovative approach.”
Some interesting notes on the new schools scheduled to open in 2013:
- Of the new schools, 27 are chartered by state universities, three by local school districts, one by an intermediate school district and one by a community college.• Montessori is a popular educational model among the new schools – there are Montessori charter schools opening in Battle Creek, Lansing, Muskegon, Warren and Waterford.
- With the cap on cyber school enrollment raised this year, three new cyber schools will be opening.
- Two of the high-quality national charter school management organizations that had been looking to open a school in Michigan will be opening their first schools in the state: Charter Schools USA (Success Mile Academy in Warren) and Lighthouse Academies (Southwest Detroit Lighthouse Academy).
Here’s a look at the 32 new charter schools:
Detroit Public Safety Academy. A high school that will open with grades 9-10 (and add grades 11-12 later), Detroit Public Safety Academy will focus on preparing students for careers in law enforcement, fire safety, emergency medical services and related fields. Chartered by Eastern Michigan University.
The James and Grace Lee Boggs School. An elementary school that will start with grades K-4, the Boggs School puts a heavy focus on community service and developing the whole child. Chartered by Eastern Michigan University.
Detroit Achievement Academy. An elementary school that will start with grades K-1, Detroit Achievement Academy has an agricultural and healthy-living focus. Among other features, the school will have its own garden. Chartered by Grand Valley State University.
Southwest Detroit Lighthouse Academy. A K-12 school, this is the first Michigan location for Lighthouse Academies, a respected national organization that offers a college-prep curriculum with a strong arts-infused program. Chartered by Grand Valley State University.
Experiencia Preparatory Academy. Located in midtown Detroit, Experiencia Prepartory Academy is a college-prep K-12 school that will teach all its students to become fluent in both English and Spanish. Chartered by Northern Michigan University.
Greater Heights Academy. A K-5 elementary school, Greater Heights Academy is a sister school to Holly Academy, a high-performing school in Oakland County. Greater Heights Academy will offer a program strong in academic excellence and character education. Chartered by Central Michigan University.
WAY Academy-Flint. WAY stands for “Widening Advancements for Youth.” The Flint school will follow the model of the WAY Academy in Detroit, offering a blended-learning curriculum to grades 7-12. Chartered by Lake Superior State University.
Genesee STEM Academy. A K-6 school, Genesee STEM Academy offers a program strong in science, technology and math. Chartered by Saginaw Valley State University.
International Academy of Lansing. Part of the successful network of SABIS Schools (an organization that manages several other charter schools in Michigan), International Academy of Lansing will start with grades K-2. Chartered by Grand Valley State University.
Great Lakes Cyber School (Okemos). A cyber school for grades 9-12, Great Lakes Cyber School will use the Connections Education curriculum. Like all cyber charter schools, it will be open to students across the state. Chartered by Central Michigan University.
Macomb Montessori Academy-Lansing. The Macomb Montessori Academy will open with two campuses under one charter – in Warren and Lansing. Both schools will be K-6 buildings that offer a Montessori education. Chartered by Lake Superior State University.
Covenant House Academy Grand Rapids. A sister school to Covenant House Academy Detroit, the Grand Rapids location will offer academic and vocational programs to homeless, runaway and at-risk students in grades 9-12. Chartered by Grand Valley State University.
Oakland Scholars Charter Academy. Part of the popular and successful National Heritage Academies network, Oakland Scholars Charter Academy will serve students in grades K-5. Chartered by Bay Mills Community College.
Jefferson International Academy. A K-5 school, Jefferson International Academy will offer a globally focused education. The school is managed by the Hanley Harper Group, which manages several other charter schools in Michigan. Chartered by Central Michigan University.
Waterford Montessori Academy. The school will open as a K-3 building, and will offer the Montessori curriculum. Chartered by Saginaw Valley State University.
BATTLE CREEK AREA
Battle Creek Montessori Academy. Located in Springfield, the Battle Creek Montessori Academy will offer a Montessori education to grades K-8. Chartered by Ferris State University.
Nexus Academy of Royal Oak. This will be a sister school to the Nexus Academies in Lansing and Grand Rapids, both of which opened last year. Nexus Academy is a high school that offers a blended-learning approach, combining classroom and online instruction. Chartered by Central Michigan University.
LifeTech Academy. This is designated as a cyber school, and will be serving grades 9-12. Chartered by Eaton Rapids Public Schools.
Tipton Academy. A K-5 school, Tipton Academy will feature a strong academic program with a heavy emphasis on fine arts. This school is managed by the Romine Group, which operates several other popular charter schools in Michigan. Chartered by Lake Superior State University.
Momentum Academy. This K-5 school will feature a curriculum that’s heavy on math and ELA. Momentum Academy is managed by the Romine Group, which operates several other popular charter schools in Michigan. Chartered by Lake Superior State University.
Lakeside Academy. A Strict Discipline Academy, this will be a residential school serving students in grades 6-12. Chartered by Kalamazoo RESA.
Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy. This is a cyber school for grades K-12, with the curriculum and educational services provided by K-12 Virtual Schools. Chartered by Manistee Area Public Schools.
Muskegon Montessori Academy for Environmental Change. Located in Norton Shores, this school will blend the Montessori curriculum with a strong environmental focus for grades K-8. Charted by Ferris State University.
Oakland FlexTech Academy. Novi’s first charter school, this will be a sister school to the popular FlexTech High School in Brighton. This high school offers a blended-learning, project-based curriculum, and will appeal to students seeking a flexible schedule (elite athletes, students who work during the day, etc.) in a high-tech environment. Chartered by Central Michigan University.
Deer Trail Academy. The school will be operated by Crossroads for Youth, an area nonprofit group, and will be a Strict Discipline Academy, a type of charter school that serves students who have been through the legal system and other at-risk youth. Chartered by Central Michigan University.
Kingsbury Country Day School. Kingsbury Country Day is a successful private school that will be reopening as a K-8 charter school. Chartered by Saginaw Valley State University.
Branch Line School. A new school started by a group of community members and educators in the Plymouth area, Branch Line will serve grades K-7. Chartered by Saginaw Valley State University.
Sarah J. Webber Media Arts Academy. A K-8 school (which will later expand to K-12), Sarah J. Webber Media Arts Academy offers a curriculum that features strong academics blended with radio, TV and film production classes. (NOTE: The school’s location is not finalized; if a Pontiac site can’t be located, the school might locate in Detroit.) Chartered by Lake Superior State University.
Taylor Preparatory High School. This college-prep high school is part of the PrepNet network of schools, which also includes Grand River Prep and Wellspring Prep in the Grand Rapids area, and Arbor Prep in Ypsilanti. Chartered by Grand Valley State University.
Success Mile Academy. This will be Michigan’s first Charter Schools USA facility. Success Mile Academy will serve grades K-6. Charter Schools USA currently manages 48 charter schools in five states. Chartered by Grand Valley State University.
Macomb Montessori Academy. Along with its sister campus in Lansing, this school will offer a Montessori education for students in grades K-6. Chartered by Lake Superior State University.
iCademy. A cyber school serving grades K-12, iCademy is a sister school to Innocademy, a charter school in Zeeland that offers a year-round school calendar. Chartered by Lake Superior State University.
The Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA) advances quality education through choice and innovation. MAPSA has been the unified voice of the public charter school movement in Michigan since 1996. MAPSA represents more than 131,000 students, 6,000 teachers, dozens of authorizers and more than 50 education service providers working in 276 public charter schools in the state. MAPSA assists the state’s public charter schools in their mission to deliver achievement, choice and accountability through advocacy, communications, technical assistance and professional development services. For additional information, please visit www.charterschools.org.