We were very fortunate to have been featured in Sunday’s Lapeer County Press. In case you missed it, here’s the article written by Ms. Krystal Johns:
ELBA TWP. — “If we’re going to be a district that believes in the power of choices, we’re not going to look down on others for their choice,” said Lapeer Community Schools’ communications coordinator Jared Field.
That’s the spirit behind a new partnership between LCS and the homeschooling community in the area. Beginning in the fall, LCS will be devoting its Cramton building on Lake Nepessing Road, where Lapeer Community High School is currently housed, to offer electives and enrichment courses to homeschooled students.
In a mutually-beneficial partnership, the school district will offer classes to fill potential gaps for homeschooled kids in grades 6-12, including a full-size gym, an art room and more. Students who are participating in the program will also have virtual learning opportunities as well as the chance to use the dual enrollment options to earn college credits simultaneously with their home-based high school level education. In return, the district gets to claim those students, in part, in their district counts.
The program is not simply integrating homeschooled students into traditional classrooms, but instead keeping the integrity of the homeschool environment. The classes will be taught by homeschool parents who are certified teachers or community experts in a variety of areas, kept to very small class sizes and will not be daily. Class examples could be art, music, choir, physical education, outdoor education and service learning, clothing construction, foods and nutrition, and other elective-type courses.
“It’s been an interesting road to get here,” said LCS director of innovation Matt Olson. “It’s going to look different from traditional school. We’re pretty excited about it.”
The district has hired Michon Periso, a mother with 20 years of homeschooling experience, to help coordinate the program.
“I’m very excited about this partnership,” Periso said. “I think it really makes Lapeer a place where the community and people outside the community can look and say, ‘They are strong in education.’”
Neither Periso nor Olson could give an estimate about how many homeschool students there are in the Lapeer area, but there are three main homeshcool cooperatives, and several smaller ones as well. It’s a sizable population, though — probably more than many would think.
The partnership is still being worked out, so it’s a learning experience for all involved, but they all seem confident that it will be beneficial for everyone.
“The greatest thing about it is everybody is willing to learn. I have been really encouraged by the cooperation of the public schools and their willingness to really make it a homeschool program, not a public school program,” Periso said. “It’s all to enhance the homeschooling experience, and I think it’s a win-win.”
There will be meetings for anyone interested in learning more, at noon and 7 p.m. June 16 at Hunters Creek Community Church, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. June 17 at Hillside Discipleship Church, and at 3 p.m. June 18 at the Marguerite deAngeli Library. You can also contact Periso at email@example.com or by calling 810-358-6243.