Granholm Announces Launch of Michigan’s First Statewide Online
Office of the Governor, April 2, 2004
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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
“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
• 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
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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