(The Center Square) – Three new public charter schools will open their doors to Michigan students this fall. Another cyber school will open in Grand Rapids.
The announcement of the new schools was made Thursday by the Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA), the state charter school association.
“Even in the best of times, it’s a massive undertaking to open a new charter school,” MAPSA President Dan Quisenberry said in a statement.
“There were obviously a host of additional challenges this year, but each of these schools persevered,” Quisenberry added. “If we’ve learned anything over these past months, it’s that parents need quality school options. These new schools will certainly help in that regard.”
The four new schools are as follows:
- Center Line Preparatory Academy, Center Line
Authorized by Central Michigan University. Center Line Preparatory Academy will open as a K-9 school, and will add one grade every year until it’s a K-12 school. The school will be jointly managed by National Heritage Academies and its sister company, PrepNet. NHA is one of the most successful K-8 charter school management organizations in the country, while PrepNet manages several high-achieving high schools in Michigan. Center Line Preparatory Academy will be only the second charter school in Michigan to be jointly managed by the two companies, allowing students to spend their entire K-12 career in one school.
- Fostering Leadership Academy, Redford
Authorized by Grand Valley State University. A K-8 school, Fostering Leadership Academy serves an at-risk student population and will offer individualized instruction through the use of trauma-informed education practices. The school will feature small class sizes, restorative justice practices, on-site support services, clinical therapists, and no student suspensions.
- Michigan Preparatory Virtual School, Grand Rapids
Authorized by Grand Valley State University. A cyber school that will enroll students from around the state, Michigan Preparatory Virtual School will serve grades 7-12 and will be managed by PrepNet. The school will offer a rigorous curriculum that includes 20 advanced placement (AP) courses for high-schoolers.
- Sigma Academy for Leadership and Early Middle College, Highland Park
Authorized by Saginaw Valley State University. The Sigma Academy will open as a K-10 school and will add a grade every year until it’s a K-12 school. The school has formed a partnership with Cleary University’s Detroit campus, which will allow students to earn college credits while they’re still in high school. The Sigma Academy will have a broad-based program that offers athletics, performing arts, robotics, STEM programs and more.
MAPSA also announced the closure of five Michigan charter schools, including Detroit Collegiate High School, Detroit; Evergreen Academy, Kalamazoo; Global Preparatory Academy, Roseville; Lakeside Charter School, Kalamazoo; and Saginaw Learn to Earn, Saginaw.
The net loss of one school means there will be 293 charter schools in Michigan this year, according to MAPSA.
“All five charter schools that are closing this year were due to low enrollment, and the decision to close was made by each of the respective school boards,” MAPSA Vice President of Public Relations and Media Buddy Morehouse told The Center Square.
“Charter schools are accountable to both their school boards and their authorizers for both academic performance and financial viability,” Morehouse said.