Charter schools extend the privilege of choice to all families. They provide options for parents and students in pursuing their ideal educational experience. Charter schools are open to all children free of charge who are eligible to attend traditional public schools in the state of Michigan. Charter schools are governed by a local Board of Directors and are required to meet and often exceed the standards of its Authorizer and the State Board of Education.
2. How are charter schools governed?
Charter schools are governed by a Board of Directors appointed by the Academy’s Authorizer. Bylaws of the Board of Directors outline its role and responsibilities. Some charter schools employ an education service provider/management company to provide executive leadership and management services. Other charter schools choose to go it alone with the Board and Academy Director.
3. What are the benefits of sending my child to a charter school?
Children attending charter schools benefit from small class sizes, high academic standards, and innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Charter schools are organized by a founding group that is passionate about the basic tenets of the curriculum. Enthusiasm for the school is contagious. Board members, staff members, parents, students, and community members are attracted to the charter school because their interests coincide with the charter school’s educational program and special themes. Charter schools have to be responsive to parents’ concerns because they operate in a free market. Parents literally make the choice to send their children to the magnet or theme school. Parents also typically transport their children to school, which means that parents have a stronger connection and more active communications with the faculty and staff.
4. Why should I send my child to a charter school managed by MIChoice?
MIChoice works diligently to carry out its mission to empower every child with knowledge, skills, character, and a strong work ethic, so that each one is able to achieve the American Dream. MIChoice believes that every child is capable of accelerated learning and achieving excellence in their own academic endeavor, and that by providing children the choice of a superior educational experience they will be well prepared for active citizenship within their own communities. MIChoice works closely with the contracted School Board and staff to ensure that the Academy’s goals and vision are carried out to the fullest extent possible.
In addition, every state-certified, highly qualified instructor that MIChoice employs receives intensive training on the correlation between differentiated instruction and the importance of holding oneself accountable for the academic success of students under their care. The goal of achieving and maintaining parental satisfaction requires that each MIChoice employee take the education and safety of their students to heart, and their strong partnerships with parents and guardians help to ensure student success.
5. How do I enroll my child in one of MIChoice’s charter schools?
Parents or legal guardians are invited to contact the school of choice to learn of their enrollment process and obtain an enrollment application. Students will be accepted and assigned to classes on a first come, first served basis. If a particular grade is full, students will participate in a lottery process at the end of the official enrollment period or will be placed on a waiting list in the order enrollment applications are received.
6. Who is eligible to enroll at the Academy?
Any student eligible to attend public schools in Michigan is eligible to enroll at the Academy. To enroll in kindergarten, your child must be at least five years of age on December 1st of the school year of enrollment. MIChoice does not discriminate against any student on the basis of ethnicity, national origin, gender, or disability. Charter schools are public schools and all children are encouraged to attend one of our Academies.
7. What does “full service” mean?
MIChoice is a full service management company, which means we provide all of the resources necessary to each of our schools to ensure a successful, efficient and meaningful operation. This ranges from marketing to finance, to teacher development and staffing, and everything else in between. Our team of highly skilled professionals is available 24/7 to successfully assist our contracted schools with any issue that they may face. We are committed to not only meeting our contracted requirements, but also in exceeding them in every way possible.
8. Do you test for Kindergarten readiness?
No. MIChoice Boards do not attempt to categorize students at such a young age. Teachers meet students where they are and create individual student learning plans so each student can excel individually and as a whole. MIChoice kindergartens are academic kindergartens which require students to demonstrate proficiency in academic skills to be promoted to first-grade.
9. What materials are required for enrollment for the first time?
- Birth certificate: The child’s birth certificate is required for enrollment at all grades.
- Immunizations-Kindergarten: Parents of students entering kindergarten must present proof that at least one dose of the following immunizations has been received:
- MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella)
- DPT (Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus)
- Or TD (Tetanus and Diphtheria)
- Hepatitis B
- Certificate of hearing and vision examination after age 3 and before entrance into Kindergarten
- Religious exemptions may be honored upon completion of the proper state form 5. Immunizations-Transfer Students: All new students must satisfy the same immunization requirements. Parents must present proof that immunizations have been received.
- Record Release Form: A parent is required to sign a record release form at the time of registration.
- Emergency Care Information: An Emergency Care Information Card must be filled out completely and filed in the office for use in emergency situations. Please list emergency contacts in the event a parent is not available. Correct telephone numbers are essential. Parents/guardians are expected to update the card as changes occur.
10. How can parents get involved in our Montessori schools?
Parents are always welcomed in the school community. Each volunteer goes through a background check before volunteering in a classroom with students, they also go through volunteer training in which a Montessori video is shown. Parents are taught about the approach teacher’s use and are given ideas on how to engage children in order to create responsible children. Volunteers are given Montessori ground rules so they are able to understand the universal rules within a Montessori classroom. Parents can volunteer weekly, monthly, a few times per year, or whatever works best with their schedule. Parent volunteer’s can give spelling tests, practice math facts, do art projects, etc. If parents don’t want to be in the classroom there are plenty of volunteer opportunities in the office.
11. What kind of training do teachers participate in?
New teachers will attend a New Hire Orientation, be assigned a mentor within the school for the first three years, and have the ability to select meaningful professional development seminars offered in the area to enrich their personal instructional toolbox. All teachers attend a two-week training session prior to the start of the year. This extensive professional development provides valuable time to collaborate with colleagues, learn specific skills to become a highly effective teacher, work to develop the individualized culture of the school, and become familiar with the policies, procedures and process required for the consistent and smooth operation of the Academy.
12. What does MIChoice’s character education program include?
MIChoice schools believe that education involves more than academics. Our character education program seeks to teach students the importance of good choices and to nurture positive character traits. Each month, classes focus on a specific trait: respect, responsibility, cooperation, compassion, integrity, good judgment, perseverance, courage, and citizenship. Studying individuals who have exemplified these traits throughout history and exploring these qualities during the school day through literature, music, and group activities. Character education involves every student, staff member and parent, and also includes student-run assemblies and family events at school. Our program has proven successful in creating a positive school culture in which students are given the tools and language to solve problems peacefully and accept each other’s differences.
13. What makes a MIChoice managed school different from schools managed by other management companies?
Everyone at MIChoice is passionate about transforming the lives of our students and becoming a contributor to each child’s lifelong success. MIChoice, along with its sister company Choice Schools Associates’, boasts a strong portfolio of student achievement that is a living testament to the benefits of children attending the schools that are operated under our oversight.