Volume 6 No. 8
Arbor Preparatory High School and Detroit Edison Public School Academy Girls Basketball State Champions.
Photo from: ATAP Pontiac Facebook page
On May 12, 2022, the Bay Mills Community College Charter Schools Office (BMCSO) attended MI Charter Day at the Capitol. Bay Mills Community College was proud to see three of its authorized schools in attendance and featured.

Arbor Preparatory High School girls basketball team was recognized for their achievement of winning a Division 3 state title. Arts and Technology of Pontiac (ATAP) was selected to showcase their school with a science experiment and dance team performance, as well as ATAP student, Promise Williams, singing the National Anthem to open the program. In addition, ATAP Superintendent Septembra Williams was part of the program as a finalist for Administrator of the Year. Ojibwe Charter School (OCS) was also selected to showcase their school with a demonstration of how to make a red willow dreamcatcher and how to play a game of hoop and spear. OCS also played a hand drum song to conclude the program.

It was a wonderful day at the Capitol, BMCSO looks forward to attending again next year!
ATAP Student Promise Williams Singing the National Anthem
ATAP Superintendent Septembra Williams - Administrator
of the Year Finalist
Ojibwe Charter School Showcase School
Peruse through course offerings at any school and you will find the usual, math, biology, literature, social studies, etc. What you may not find is music education. This month, Bay Mills interviewed six music educators from our schools about the importance of music education. This is what they had to share:

Music helps students communicate. “Music, in its essence is expressing emotion,” Sophia Canella of American Montessori Academy told us. Jessica Gibson from Keystone Academy agreed, “It assists with the development of social skills. You have to be able to communicate with music.” Many of these teachers have played either internationally or with international artists, and as Brendan Hieshetter of Richfield Public School Academy said, “Music is a universal language – you can’t dislike the person you’re performing with.”

Music also builds self-awareness. Jessica Gibson explained, “You must be physically aware of how your body is working. How can you adjust yourself to sing better?” Darrius Washington from David Ellis Academy added there is a kinesthesia to music that helps students with coordination and sensory understanding.

Ultimately, music supports other subjects. Gibson added, “What you learn about teamwork in band, you have to apply to soccer.” Bruce Horn from Madison Academy explained, “It’s a discipline that reaches all disciplines.” He shared an example of a theory of scaffolding: giving students the skills to follow techniques that translate to the same activity a student in math class needs to learn. This idea of technique scaffolding teaches students to breakdown ideas and make connections. Darrius Washington explained something similar, how music made him learn to love math and how he witnesses students translate music skills into other subjects. 
Amanda Valdez from Star International Academy has been challenged with embracing technology in the classroom. For example, Valdez will take TikTok songs her students like and provide an overview of the musical technique behind them. She described it as “drawing them into the fold that way. I think technology - if you don't embrace it, it's a very hard uphill climb.”

Though initial investment into music can be expensive, Valdez argues there are still creative ways to start: “We have a bucket drumming ensemble for kids. You can find ways for kids to participate and engage in music by singing [or] by playing nontraditional instruments until you can find the budget to [expand].” Regardless, Valdez believes, “every child can be successful in music as long as we make sure that they have access to it throughout their education in some way. They learn to sing along with their ability to speak. They learn how to have rhythm – it's intrinsic to who we are as people. It’s part of a child's well-rounded education.” Clearly, music will benefit our students because as Sophia Canella says, “There's so much that spans beyond just learning quarter notes and half notes.”
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 23,660 students.
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.