Volume 4 No. 8
Early this year, Superintendent Lisa Leimeister heard from colleagues in China about the severity of the coronavirus and the impact it had on the schools. Taking into account the strong possibility of it coming to the United States and causing statewide shutdowns, Leimeister started to plan what measures would be necessary to ensure the safety of the students at State Street Academy. In early March, she was already meeting with staff to brainstorm how to transition from in-seat learning to virtual learning if the school had to shut down.

On Friday, March 13th, State Street closed due to the pandemic, but their team was prepared. Throughout the weekend, the teachers worked nonstop to prepare packets of curriculum and packages of food for students to be distributed the following Monday. Packets were sent to students with notes attached and customized for students who required extra attention. Leimeister was overwhelmed with pride for her team who handled the situation efficiently and effectively.
 
In order to bring clarity amidst the confusion and challenges of COVID-19, Leimeister established a four-phase plan to ensure a smooth transition and accommodate those who needed assistance to continue learning from home.


 
Phase One: Info Gathering
State Street reached out to families to assess who would continue to participate virtually.
 
Phase Two: Student Accessibility
Of those families, a survey was sent out to see how many needed Chromebooks or internet access.
 
Phase Three: Training
In order to take the pressure off the parents, teachers reached out to parents and set-up virtual conferences to address any questions and to teach them how to use classroom software.
 
Phase Four: Full Implementation
Teachers recorded lessons and sent information to students on how to access their virtual meeting rooms for class. In order to allow the teachers to focus on the lesson plans, each teacher was assigned a support person to help keep track of classroom needs like attendance, technological issues, and keeping students engaged in virtual learning.
 
Though the first priority of the semester is to continue education, Leimeister wanted to find ways to help students feel included and seen by their teachers. Each school morning, Leimeister works to provide a sense of normalcy through leading her students virtually through their morning routine: the Pledge of Allegiance and their school STAR pledge. She continues the video with a small lesson that focuses on positivity and ways to keep connected during these difficult times. Afterwards, these messages are restated in Coach Creguer's live PE session (also through Facebook). 

The theme of the workouts is '15-minutes of Fun', where the focus is to boost their immune system by getting aerobic exercise. Coach Creguer is joined in each video by his three sons, neighbor, and his neighbor's twin boys. Together, they stay motivated and enjoy working out as State Street Academy staff and students join in remotely. The workout videos have reached over 1,000 people, catching the attention of friends, neighbors, and other schools!


 
Authorized by Bay Mills Community College in 2000, State Street Academy is home to students grades PK-6 and located in Bay City, MI. The school's small class sizes ensure a safe and nurturing environment for students.
 
Learn more about State Street Academy by visiting their website:
ANSWERING QUESTIONS DURING THESE UNCERTAIN TIMES
The impact of COVID-19 on schools have left teachers, parents, and students with uncertainty. Additionally, information about how schools are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly changing. 

In an effort to counteract confusion, Bay Mills Community College Charter Schools Office has partnered with MAPSA and the Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers to help provide answers. Here is a link to frequently asked questions and other resources to help keep you up to date on any official action taken. The page is updated daily at 1PM EST.
 
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.