Volume 5 No. 12
Pontiac, Michigan is home to the Life Skills Center of Pontiac. Catrina Lee, Site Leader and Building Operations Coordinator, has witnessed the evolution of the school over the past several years and believes that Life Skills Center brings something special to the community. In addition to a strong academic focus, the school is making building life skills a top priority. According to Ms. Lee, “Students are taught to be prepared for life after high school, in whatever capacity that looks like.”
Life Skills Center’s mission is oriented around a whole-person approach. The pursuit of each student is the basis for rigorous efforts in areas like school preparation over the summer, or tailored approaches to students’ needs. Ms. Lee says Life Skills Center welcomes all different types of students, “We make sure that not only do we have all the resources that we need, we make sure that we are human to them. They see us as someone they can have a relationship with.”
This focus on prioritizing each students’ needs was the beacon of motivation that has helped Life Skills navigate the COVID-impacted school years. “Through individualized and self-paced program work, teachers give students actionable goals,” Ms. Lee shared.
Because of that motivation, Life Skills Center created moments they are proud of, like the parking lot graduation for 2021 seniors. “Families came, students had their cap and gowns, we had the speaker play Pomp and Circumstance. People were coming down the street, honking their horns in solidarity,” Ms. Lee described. This outpouring of warmth from the school made a profound impact on students and their parents, displaying how grief and joy can run on parallel tracks and how both are worth honoring.
Right now, Life Skills Center is doing their best to bring as much normality as possible to the classroom. Parental involvement has increased, and the school is getting good feedback from community outreach they have continued to do throughout the year. Their work is far from over, but as Ms. Lee says, “We can still flourish in the situation we're in.”
Great job, Life Skills Center!
The Life Skills Center of Pontiac was authorized by Bay Mills in 2004. To learn more about the school, visit their website here.
During the fall of 2021, the National Charter School Resource Center (NCSRC) will engage in an exciting, first-of-its-kind effort: the National Charter School Facility Survey. This survey will collect data from a nationally representative sample of brick-and-mortar charter schools, asking school leaders for information on the conditions and operations of their school facility, facility financing and access, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their facility operations and financing.
This principal effort is designed to appraise the nationwide state of charter school facilities and identify shortcomings in the facility landscape, especially given the challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. NCSRC will analyze the data and share a report on the findings with the public and policymakers to help charter schools better meet facility challenges.
NCSRC is working with charter school support organizations and charter school experts across the country to collect data for this survey. If your school has been selected, a member of the survey team will contact you.
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.