Michigan students will soon have the option to complete their public school education online, with the recent approval of a new statewide charter school, Michigan Connections Academy (MICA).
“Michigan has long been a national charter school leader and online learning pioneer, so we are thrilled that the Michigan legislature saw fit to bring full-time cyber charter schools to the state as part of its overall school reform agenda,” said Connections Academy President and CEO Barbara Dreyer. “We have heard from thousands of Michigan parents over the years that they want a complete virtual school option.
MICA is expected to serve a wide range of Michigan students, including those who are significantly ahead or behind in the classroom; students who would benefit from more individualized instruction or who require a flexible school schedule; and returning dropouts.
The cyber school combines Michigan-certified teachers, a standards-aligned curriculum, technology tools, an extensive selection of electives and clubs, and community experiences to create an individualized alternative to the bricks-and-mortar classroom.
Learning from home, students will work closely with a parent, or another "Learning Coach" and a licensed Michigan teacher using detailed daily lesson plans that can be personalized to meet individual student needs. Students must meet the same levels of accountability and complete the same state standardized tests as traditional public schools.
MICA has begun enrolling students for 400 openings in grades K-12 during the 2010–2011 school year, with the option to grow to 1,000 students in the subsequent school year. Informational meetings to introduce MICA and its curriculum to Michigan families will take place throughout the spring and summer in communities across the state. The school will be part of a national network of 15 Connections Academy schools in 14 states, serving more than 20,000 students in grades K–12 in 2009–2010.