Volume 4 No. 3

This holiday season, the 5th grade class at David Ellis Academy West in Redford took their Christmas card decorating to the next level by not only coming up with creative and innovative designs, but by building their own closed circuits to make their cards light-up.
Students created paper circuits for their cards, which is a low-voltage electronic circuit that is created on paper or cardboard using conductive copper tape, LEDs and a power source such as a coin-cell battery. This activity taught the students the basics of electricity and how circuits function. Using science and math, they had to troubleshoot, investigate, practice patience, focus on the task, and use complex thinking. This fun and festive day gave students the chance to be creative with art and learn about science!
This activity was part of David Ellis' STEM program. The STEM program, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, emphasizes hands-on activities within a regular curriculum that aid in teaching students about core subjects. Previous STEM activities at David Ellis included teaching Kindergarteners about the color wheel and the different needs and parts of plants. On Halloween this year, 3rd graders built their own pumpkin catapults and engineered different candy towers and structures as part of the program.
Jessica James is the District STEM Coordinator for David Ellis Academies. James taught for 15 years before transitioning to the STEM Coordinator in 2019, teaching grades from 1st to 10th grade. This new position has allowed James to create a risk-taking culture that encourages teachers and students to explore new ideas and possibilities through the STEM program.
"I wholeheartedly believe integrated STEM education is vital to our students" said James. "It is student-centered, requires higher level thinking skills, problem solving, and improves retention. It builds resilience, teamwork, and encourages knowledge application along with adaptation."
David Ellis Academy West is a tuition-free public-school academy located in Redford, Michigan and is home to over 750 students ranging from preschool to eighth grade. Students are offered a wide range of sports, clubs, and after-school activities like basketball, cheerleading, yoga, theatre, science fair, robotics, and garden club. Parents can take advantage of the before and after school latch key services, all-day Montessori based kindergarten, and special education resources.
David Ellis focuses on preparing students to be the leaders of tomorrow and providing students with a safe and supportive environment. To maximize students' academic achievement and reduce the risk of students dropping out, David Ellis provides an innovative educational environment that meets the educational, social, emotional, physical, psychological, and individual needs of each student.
To learn more about David Ellis Academy West, visit their website at:

The Bay Mills Community College Charter Schools Office recently held its annual Holiday Card Contest. Holiday Card submissions were received from 9 schools and grouped into grade ranges (K-3, 4-6, 7-8, and 9-12) for each school that submitted. First-place winners received a $25 gift certificate, second-place winners received a $15 gift certificate, and third-place winners received a $10 gift certificate, winners were selected from each grade range for the schools that submitted entries.
"The creativity that the students put into their cards is nothing short of amazing!" said Mariah Wanic, Assistant Director of the Bay Mills Community College Charter Schools Office, "The CSO staff looks forward to receiving Holiday Card Contest entries every year."
Congratulations to all of the winning participants!

Interested in gaining educational experience? Or are you looking to add to your resume? Consider becoming a charter school board member for a public school academy authorized by Bay Mills Community College Charter Schools Office!
At Bay Mills Community College, we support a quality education to urban, minority and/or poor children.
Bay Mills will provide all of our academy boards with pertinent training so that they are able to make choices that are in the best interest of the students that attend their academies .
Our public school academies are always looking for new members that bring a range of skills, experiences and desire to help the Academy students to excel academically, as well as having the goal of advancing the mission of Bay Mills.
Some requirements of the position:
  • Engagement with the goals of the Academy
  • Enthusiasm to be an ambassador for the Academy
  • Willingness to fulfill the obligation of a board member, as well as continue to uphold the standards of being a board member
Board Member Qualifications:
  • Citizen of the United States
  • Resident of the State of Michigan
  • Submit materials requested by the College Charter Schools Office such as:
    • Public School Academy Board Member Appointment Questionnaire
      • Must include authorization to process a background check of the nominee
      • Submit annual disclosure of conflicts of interest
Members of the Board of Directors shall include:
  • At least one parent or guardian of a child attending the school
  • One professional educator; preferably a person with school administrative experience
Members of the Board of Directors shall NOT include:
  • Any member appointed or controlled by another profit or non-profit corporation
  • Academy employees or independent contractors performing services for the Academy
  • Any current or former director, officer, or employee of a management company that contracts with the academy
  • College officials or employees 
All Academy Board members shall serve in their individual capacity, and not as a designee of any other person or entity. If it is found that a person is serving as a representative or designee of another person or entity, they shall be deemed ineligible to serve as a Director of the Academy Board. They shall be removed from office in accordance with provisions found in the Resolution or Schedule 2: Bylaws.
Note that a Director serves at the pleasure of the College Board, and may be removed with or without cause by the College Board at any time.
Working with an Academy is the perfect opportunity to advance your career interests, expand your knowledge on education and help children receive a quality education that will last a lifetime. Apply to become a board member today!

For more information or to receive an application, please contact Megan Ringuette, Bay Mills Community College Charter Schools Office Compliance Coordinator at 906-248-8419 or mringuette@bmcc.edu.
About Bay Mills Community College Charter Schools
Bay Mills Community College began authorizing charter schools in the year 2000 and now authorizes 46 schools serving approximately 22,000 students. Fall 2015: 22,729 and Spring 2016: 22,257
Our Mission: To ensure a quality education for urban, minority, and/or poor children by improving and expanding educational opportunities through innovative oversight methods. To provide academy boards with the necessary support and training so that they may make educated decisions that are in the best interest of the students that attend their academies.