Volume 5 No. 8
COVID-19 has made it a tricky assignment for schools as they put the health and safety of their students and faculty as the top priority. But at Great Oaks Academy in Warren, Principal Williams believes what could have been a deterrent to learning became a story of teacher excellence and record attendance this past school year. Choosing a hybrid model, where grades were divided into A and B groups, students rotated in and out of the school; Group A going in on Monday and Tuesday, and Group B going on Thursday and Friday. When not in school, teachers kept in contact with students, holding them accountable to logging in and attending class. Great Oaks managed to have the highest attendance rate of the past seven years. Williams says this is due to the resilience and creativity of Great Oaks teachers. “Teachers are really giving their all this year turning this and every opportunity into a success story; that has really impressed me this year,” Williams continued. With rotating teachers assigned to students and variations between K-5 and 6-8, Principal Williams thinks Great Oaks did a stellar job of adjusting to the student’s needs.
Principal Williams sums up his educational philosophy as the following: “Every child deserves the right to learn and they are going to reach whatever you expect of them.” Williams quotes Henry Ford’s mantra, “'Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” This has certainly proved to be the case and as a result, Williams stands firm in his conviction, “I believe in the students. That they can learn no matter what level students come in.” Most students graduate from Great Oaks and then go to Centerline Preparatory Academy, Fitzgerald High School, Renaissance High School, or Cass Tech High School. This philosophy is the motivation behind Great Oaks Academy’s concentrated efforts to prepare their students for high school and beyond.

This summer, Principal Williams is holding meetings for kids and parents and equipping them with materials to make sure students retain key concepts over the summer months. Williams stresses the importance of using online tools and working through the packets, “This summer will be like a bridge to the next school year.” In this way, students will be set up for success, whatever the situation for schools may be in the fall.

Great job, Great Oaks Academy!
Learn more about Great Oaks Academy by visiting their website:
 The “Charter Schools Week” at the Capitol this year, organized by MAPSA, was held virtually and made into a full week of celebration. Beginning Monday, May 10, MAPSA promoted resources to coordinate meet-and-greets with local legislators to help build schools’ relationships with elected officials. Then, on Tuesday, MAPSA live-streamed a short program from the Capitol steps, inviting legislators and unique speakers to share the importance of standing up as an advocate for MI Charter schools. The event was posted to Facebook so any MAPSA supporter could safely participate. On Wednesday, MAPSA encouraged schools to write letters to their local lawmakers. Schools were provided with templates to print or handwrite. The goal on Thursday was to flood social media with charter pride, using the hashtag #CharterLead. The week ended with a virtual, much like the one they conducted last year, in order to announce and celebrate the 2021 Charter School Administrator and Teacher of the Year awards. Bay Mills Community College Charter Schools Office was proud to participate and sponsor MAPSA’s 2021 Charter Schools Week.
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.