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My Town: Schools awarded funding to take students to art hot spots

My Town: Schools awarded funding to take students to art hot spots

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—Thousands of students interested in Michigan’s cultural hot spots will now have a set of wheels to get there.

Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs this week announced the recipients of its latest round of grants for its Arts & Culture Trek grant program.  The organization is awarding $60,000 to 161 schools across the state, to pay for field trip transportation.  Each grant is worth up to $500 and must be used between Jan. 5, 2015 and March 29, 2015.

"A record-breaking number of Michigan K-12 teachers applied for an Arts & Culture Trek Grant this year, and the vast majority of recipients were awarded the full amount they requested," said Marianne Dorais, Executive Director of Michigan Youth Arts. "From Detroit to Kalamazoo to Flint to Marquette, this program will serve thousands of students from 42 counties across the state."

My Town: Diocese of Grand Rapids hires school recruiters

My Town: Diocese of Grand Rapids hires school recruiters

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— The Diocese of Grand Rapids has hired two more people to ramp up enrollment for its Catholic schools.

Dan Plachta will serve as an admissions enrollment field consultant, guiding the diocese’s 29 schools in outreach and recruitment. While supporting current students, the diocese plans to focus on traditionally underserved groups who could take advantage of school tuition assistance, which is quadrupling to $1,000,000.

Plachta is an alumnus of Blessed Sacrament School (now All Saints Academy) and Catholic Central High School in Grand Rapids.

“As a graduate of Catholic schools in the diocese, Dan brings a personal passion for the importance of Catholic education in West Michigan,” said David Faber, superintendent of Catholic schools.

My Town: Diocese of Grand Rapids boosts tuition assistance; deadline nears

My Town: Diocese of Grand Rapids boosts tuition assistance; deadline nears

The Diocese of Grand Rapids is boosting tuition assistance for students, but time is running out to apply for it.

The deadline for applying for first round funding is Nov. 22.  The first round of grants will be announced in early February and distributed in early fall.

Bishop Walkowiak recently announced the Diocese is more than quadrupling tuition assistance, from $240,000 to $1 million each year.  The funding boost, made possible through donations and diocese scholarship accounts, is part of a three-year effort to make Catholic schools affordable to more families.  According to Private School Aid Service, even after all tuition assistance is distributed, Catholic school families still need $1.2 million a year.

Grand Rapids Public Schools Presents We Are GR School Choice Expo

Grand Rapids Public Schools Presents We Are GR School Choice Expo

Grand Rapids Public Schools We Are GR School Choice Expo

School of Choice for Teachers

School of Choice for Teachers

Thanks to Schools of Choice programs in Michigan, students are afforded the opportunity to choose a school environment that best meets their learning needs. These programs also offer our state’s educators opportunities to teach in environments that are best suited for them. Just as some teachers flourish in a traditional school, there are those who prefer teaching at a virtual public school, such as Michigan Connections Academy, the school where I teach.

I work with an incredible team of teachers – they are state-certified, specially trained in online learning, recognized as Highly Qualified under the guidelines of the No Child Left Behind Act—and live in Michigan. In fact, even though we teach in a virtual school, more than 60 teachers travel to the school’s office in Lansing every day to lead online instruction for more than 1,700 students across Michigan in grades kindergarten through 12.

Nexus Academy of Grand Rapids Awarded AdvancED Accreditation

Nexus Academy of Grand Rapids Awarded AdvancED Accreditation

Nexus Academy of Grand Rapids, a “blended” tuition-free public high school for students in grades 9-12, has been awarded accreditation from the national accreditation commission, AdvancED. The accreditation report praised Nexus Academy of Grand Rapids for its ability to: effectively use technology to align student schedules based on needs; provide students with immediate feedback on assignments; and to operate the school in an efficient manner for student success.

“Receiving the AdvancED accreditation demonstrates our commitment to excellence and the high quality of our school,” said Dan McMinn, Nexus Academy of Grand Rapids principal.

Schools Featuring Optimal Flexibility Hold Informational Events for Michigan Families

As families continue to seek school options featuring greater flexibility and control for their children’s education, Michigan’s leading virtual and blended learning schools – Michigan Connections Academy, Great Lakes Cyber Academy and Nexus Academy’s three campuses in Grand Rapids, Lansing and Royal Oak – have scheduled a variety of information events throughout October.

Interested families are encouraged to attend upcoming events to learn more about how virtual and blended learning works, meet teachers and familiarize themselves with the schools’ award-winning curriculum.

“We have seen a huge change in our son’s self-confidence and motivation to learn since