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My Town Greenville: Volunteers needed for Holiday Shop Dec. 16-18

My Town Greenville: Volunteers needed for Holiday Shop Dec. 16-18

GREENVILLE, Mich.—Baldwin Heights Elementary School is in need of volunteers to help pull off its Holiday Shop for students.

From Dec. 16 to Dec. 18, children may shop for gifts in the media center.  This year’s items will be priced from $0.50 to $10 with 80 percent of the items under $4. 

Volunteers are needed to help students budget their money, shop with younger students and to help run the shop.  For additional information or to sign up, click here. 

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: Schools awarded new grant to improve arts programs

My Town: Schools awarded new grant to improve arts programs

GREENVILLE, Mich.—School arts programs in Greenville and Kalamazoo are getting a financial boost from a new program.

Greenville Middle School and Loy Norrix High School in Kalamazoo are two of 43 schools in the state to get a grant of up to $1,200 from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and Michigan Youth Arts.   The funding will be used toward buying or repairing classroom materials used for the arts, including visual arts, music programs, writing and media arts. 

“Applicants from across the state requested a total of $128,000 in grant funding, which exceeded well beyond our expectations, said Marianne Dorais, executive director of Michigan Youth Arts. “While this highlights the success of the program’s debut, it also shines a light on the increasing need for funding within arts education classrooms.”

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.

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