Five New Charter Schools Opening in Michigan This Year

LANSING, Michigan – Five new charter schools are opening in Michigan this year, providing a variety of educational options around the state. The list of new schools is being released today by the Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA), the state charter school association.

Along with the five school openings, 11 charter schools have been closed this year, mostly for academic or financial viability, or low enrollment. One of the schools designated as “closed” is a successful first-year school called Detroit Prep that’s simply merging with another charter school, Detroit Achievement Academy.

The number of openings and closings means that for the first time in history, Michigan will see a net decrease in the total number of charter schools – from 300 schools in 2016-17 to 294 schools in 2017-18. The number of school openings this year is also the lowest in history. Last year saw seven new charter schools open in Michigan, while only six new schools opened in 2015-16.

“Parents are demanding charter schools, and Michigan authorizers continue to offer only quality charter schools,” said Dan Quisenberry, President of the Michigan Association of Public School Academies. “There are a number of exciting new schools opening this year. Some of the new schools in the Detroit area have a strong college-prep focus, while the new school in Kalamazoo is providing an education for homeless and other highly at-risk students. These schools are each filling a void in the educational landscape, helping to set up their students for success.”

Of the five new charter schools opening this year, three are in southeast Michigan – two in Detroit and one in Harper Woods. There’s a new school in Kalamazoo, along with a cyber charter school authorized by the Ovid-Elsie Area Schools in Clinton County.

New charter schools for 2017-2018:


Cornerstone Jefferson-Douglas Academy. Part of the Cornerstone network of charter schools in Detroit, Cornerstone Jefferson-Douglas Academy employs the Cornerstone curriculum, which blends rigorous academics and high standards in a family school culture. Cornerstone Jefferson-Douglas Academy serves grades K-8 and will become the fifth Cornerstone charter school in Detroit. Authorized by Grand Valley State University.

Detroit Collegiate High School. Located on the city’s east side, Detroit Collegiate High School will open as a 9-10 school, and will eventually expand to grades 9-12. True to its name, Detroit Collegiate is a college-prep high school that employs rigorous standards and a classical approach to education. The school is managed by EQUITY Education Solutions. Authorized by Grand Valley State University.

Harper Woods

Distinctive College Prep. The focus is on college preparation right from the beginning at Distinctive College Prep, which will open as a K-3 school before adding additional grades in future years. DCP is managed by Distinctive Schools, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and accelerating the work of charter schools serving kids from traditionally underserved backgrounds. Authorized by Central Michigan University.


Kalamazoo Covenant Academy. Open to students ages 16-22, Kalamazoo Covenant Academy officially opened in May and provides a new educational lease on life for high-need students who have dropped out of other schools, mostly due to homelessness, incarceration or poverty. The school offers a flexible schedule and a year-round school calendar to meet the needs of its students. Authorized by Grand Valley State University.


Michigan International Prep School. This is a cyber charter school authorized by the Ovid-Elsie Area Schools in Clinton County, north of Lansing.

Closed schools for 2017

In addition to Detroit Prep, which has merged with another school, here are the charter schools that have closed in 2017:

  • Blanche Kelso Bruce Academy, Detroit
  • Ross-Hill Academy, Detroit
  • Michigan Technical Academy, Detroit
  • Starr Detroit Academy, Detroit
  • Woodward Academy, Detroit
  • Taylor International Academy, Southfield
  • Michigan School for the Arts, Pontiac
  • Morey Montessori Public School Academy, Shepherd
  • Academy of International Studies, Hamtramck
  • Grand Rapids Ellington Academy of Arts and Technology, Grand Rapids