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Article of Interest - Summer School

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Bridges4Kids LogoGovernor Granholm Announces Launch of Michigan’s First Statewide Online Summer School
Office of the Governor, April 2, 2004
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Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced the launch of Michigan Virtual Summer School, a program developed by Michigan Virtual High School (MVHS) to offer the state’s high school students a more flexible option for participating in summer school courses. The new online summer program gives Michigan’s high schools the opportunity to expand current traditional summer school offerings to more fully address students’ remedial and enrichment needs.

“Students across Michigan are hungry for the chance to advance their education in high level math and science courses,” said Granholm. “We can’t afford to let cost, or distance, or the length of the school year limit their desire for learning.”

The idea for an online summer school gathered momentum after MVHS partnered with the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP) to survey its membership about current summer school practices and needs. The survey showed districts with summer school programs are limited by cost and staffing needs, and often cannot offer more than a few basic remedial courses to their students. Nearly half the survey respondents said their district does not offer summer school, mainly due to cost and difficulty finding staff.

“More than 200 MASSP members responded to this survey, which shows secondary school principals have a strong interest in summer school,” said Jim Ballard, MASSP executive director. “Michigan Virtual Summer School has been developed with input from the Michigan high schools it will serve and has many elements that could help schools meet the financial and staffing challenges the survey identified.”

Among those elements:

• A complete catalog of credit-recovery and enrichment courses helps schools expand or add a summer curriculum.

• MVHS provides certified teachers (90 percent are Michigan certified) who are subject matter experts and supply extended student support during the summer, reducing a school’s summer staffing needs.

• A “virtual summer classroom” could significantly reduce facility and operating costs.

• Schools have the choice of having students participate from home or the local library, in a facility of the school’s choosing, or a combination of both.

“Our survey with MASSP revealed that small, rural districts have the greatest difficulty providing a summer school program for their students, which could place them at a disadvantage,” said Bob Currie, MVHS executive director. “Online summer courses could help even that playing field, allowing more students to graduate with their class or advance – better prepared – to the next grade.”

Registration and enrollment for Michigan Virtual Summer School 2004 began April 1, 2004. According to Currie, expected enrollment is 2,000 to 3,000 students. MVHS does not directly grant credit or diplomas and works in partnership with local Michigan school districts. Parents who are interested in online summer courses should contact their local district or high school. Parents, students and school officials can find more information at www.mivhs.org.

Michigan Virtual High School is a project of Michigan Virtual University, a private, nonprofit corporation established in 1998 by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to expand online learning opportunities to Michigan citizens.

    

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