18 New Charter Schools Opening in Michigan This Fall

August 21, 2014 8:00 pm

15629399-mmmainMichigan will welcome 18 new charter schools this fall, offering a variety of innovative curriculums and programs across the state. The list of new charter schools was compiled and released by the Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA), the state charter school association.Scroll down to see if new charter schools are opening up in your area!

“Parents deserve quality educational choices for their children, and we’re going to see more quality choices this fall,” said Dan Quisenberry, President of MAPSA. “When you look at the list of new schools, you see innovation at every turn. There are new schools that are partnering with colleges, offering programs that will let students graduate with both a high school degree and college diploma. There’s a new Montessori school in Roseville. There’s a school in Detroit that has a social justice focus. There are several new schools offering online and blended-learning curriculums. There’s a new National Heritage Academies school in Livonia, and we’ve seen how successful that program is. Each of the new charter schools fills a very specific niche, offering programs that aren’t available in the community. All of this is very exciting to see.”

Quisenberry also notes that of the 18 new schools, 14 will feature high school grades.

Eleven charter schools will also be closing this fall, meaning a net gain of seven new schools. That brings the total number of charter schools in Michigan this fall to 303 (there were 296 last year). About 141,000 students were enrolled in charter schools in Michigan last year, representing 9.3 percent of the state’s school-age population. That total is likely to top 10 percent this year.

Michigan law provides for charter schools to be authorized by state universities, community colleges, intermediate school districts and local school districts, with the authorizer providing oversight and accountability. All charter schools operate on a performance contract that requires them to meet certain well-defined academic goals. Of the 18 new schools this year, 14 are authorized by state universities, two by local school districts and one each by a community college and intermediate school district.

Quisenberry pointed out that charter schools are the most accountable of all public schools in Michigan. In addition to following all the same rules and regulations that traditional public schools follow, charter schools are subject to an additional set of accountability standards.

“What we need to work toward now is genuine accountability for all public schools – charter and traditional,” Quisenberry said. “All schools need to follow the same high standards, we need equity in funding, and we need a fair and easy-to-understand A-F letter-grading system for schools, so that parents can see how they’re doing. We grade students; why not schools, too?”

The schools being closed by their authorizers this year are Detroit West Preparatory Academy, Catherine Ferguson Academy and Casa Richard Academy in Detroit, Dr. Charles Drew Academy in Ecorse, HEART Academy in Harper Woods, Alternative Path Academy in Flint, Threshold Academy in Orleans (near Ionia), Deer Trail Academy in Oxford, Hinoki International Academy in Livonia and Wavecrest Career Academy in Holland. Northpointe Academy in Highland Park is technically closing, too, but the school is merging with George Washington Carver Academy in Highland Park.

New charter schools for 2014-15:

WAY Michigan
A cyber school for grades 6-12, this will part of the WAY (Widening Advancements for Youth) network of charter schools. Authorized by Central Michigan University.

Pathways Academy
The focus of this school is to serve students in grades 7-12 that are pregnant and/or parenting. Authorized by Detroit Public Schools.

Detroit Delta Preparatory Academy for Social Justice
A college-prep high school, its goal is to prepare students for college and a possible career in the field of social justice. Authorized by Ferris State University.

Schools for the Future Detroit
The focus of this high school is to take students who are at least two years behind academically and prepare them to graduate on time. Authorized by Ferris State University.

New Paradigm College Prep
This school, managed by New Paradigm for Education, will start as a K-2 school. Each classroom will be considered a different college, with students learning about the core values their college represents. Authorized by Grand Valley State University.

Insight School of Michigan
A cyber school, this will feature curriculum and services provided by K12 Inc. Authorized by Central Michigan University.

Blended Learning Academies Credit Recovery High School
A blended-learning high school, this will feature classroom instruction, online learning and a project-based curriculum. Authorized by Ferris State University.

Canton Preparatory High School
This is a high school managed by PrepNet, which manages several other high schools in Michigan.  Authorized by Grand Valley State University.

Innocademy Allegan Campus
A K-5 school, it will focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math). Authorized by Lake Superior State University

Jackson Preparatory and Early College
Located on the campus of Jackson Community College, this is a school for grades 6-12 that will eventually expand to a 13th grade, so that students graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree. Authorized by Jackson Community College.

Grand River Academy
This school, for grades K-8, is part of the popular and successful National Heritage Academies network. Authorized by Grand Valley State University.

Covenant House Academy Muskegon
Part of the Covenant House Academy network, this high school will serve at-risk, homeless or struggling students. Authorized by Grand Valley State University.

East Shore Leadership Academy
A K-5 school, this will feature an extended school day and school year, and will offer a leadership focus. Authorized by Northern Michigan University.

Regents Academy
This will be an online school authorized by the Redford Union school district. Regents Academy is the first charter school authorized by Redford Union Schools.

Oakland-Macomb Montessori Academy
A K-8 Montessori school, this will be managed by Choice Schools Associates, which manages several other Montessori schools in Michigan. Authorized by Ferris State University.

Early Career Academy
This high school is partnering with ITT Technical Institute. Students will have the opportunity graduate with both a high school diploma and associate’s degree from ITT. Authorized by Grand Valley State University.

Alternative Education Academy of Ogemaw County
Managed by the West Branch Community Schools, this will be an alternative education high school. Authorized by COOR ISD.

Global Tech Academy
A school for grades K-5, this school will feature a strong focus on technology and world languages. Global Tech Academy has a year-round schedule and began classes on Aug. 18. Authorized by Eastern Michigan University.

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