What is a charter school?
Charter schools are part of Michigan’s public education system. They are tuition-free public schools founded by educators, parents, community groups, and others who have a compelling vision for a new school to serve children in their community.
Charter schools operate under a performance-based contract (the charter) granted by a public education institution (an authorizer) and are gover-ed by a local school board appointed by the authorizer. They are also subject to virtually all the same requirements as all other public schools, so charter students take the M-STEP and school leaders will report information to the Michigan Department of Education the same way that all public schools do.
Each charter contract is performance based and contains rigorous educational goals expected to be achieved. Schools that meet these goals can continue to serve kids. Schools that do not meet these goals are subject to corrective measures to help them improve. Schools that consistently underperform can be closed. OMPS was authorized for charter in July, 2017 by Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and we continue to work closely with GVSU and the National Charter School Institute to ensure our school is successful.
We are a tuition-free, public charter school and receive per pupil funding from the State of Michigan, just as every other public school does.
As a public school, requirements for admission are similar to any other public school. Enrollment is open to Michigan students in grades K-7. Kindergarten students must be 5 years old by September 1st.
What are the school hours?
Monday - Friday from 8:15am -3:15pm
HOw do we know that OMPS will be here in the future?
One of our guiding principles is to create a school that will stand the test of time. This was, and continues to be, part of our commitment to the community that supported purchasing the building from the district and bringing it back to the Old Mission Peninsula.
Our charter school authorizer also believes in establishing sustainable schools. When Grand Valley State University enters into a charter contract with a school, it is for the long-term. There are very high standards that schools must meet or exceed in order to be granted a charter through GVSU. According to the GVSU Charter Schools Office, roughly 15% of applicants are ever granted a charter. Once established, those charters typically remain in operation for many years. The average age of the schools in GVSU’s portfolio is 12 years, and approximately 25% them have been open for at least 20 years.
GVSU shares the high standards we have for our school and wants to make sure they are met. GVSU is hands-on with support and works closely with the school community to drive success. They have only closed 12 schools during their 20+ years of authorizing charter schools, and of those 12, eight were closed by the choice of the schools’ boards of directors.
We are pleased that after carefully assessing multiple factors about our school, GVSU approved our application and became our authorizer. They share our vision and see OMPS as a “forever school” for our community.
How should I explore more about OMPS?
Please contact the school by email at info@OMPSchool.org or call (231) 252-0225 to make an appointment.
What Role does GVSU Play in omps?
GVSU is our authorizer, which means that they hold the contract that allows OMPS to operate as a tuition-free public school in the state of Michigan. GVSU oversees our compliance data, ensuring that we are meeting all state reporting requirements. They continuously monitor our educational and financial data to guarantee we are providing a high quality education to your child, while keeping a close eye on our financial health. GVSU supports OMPS by providing an expert liaison, Dan Warren, who connects us with a multitude of GVSU based services such as consultation, classes, and board training. Stop by and meet Dan at our next school board meeting!
In addition, as a charter school within the GVSU portfolio, all of our teachers can attend GVSU professional development courses at no fee. This demonstrates GVSU’s commitment to continuing education and encourages our staff to continue their training.
how does enrollment work?
Open enrollment occurs annually. Class sizes are limited, which sometimes means students new to the school may be put into a lottery if there are more applicants than spots available in particular grades at the close of the Open Enrollment Period. When a lottery is necessary applicants are randomly drawn and the remaining applicants will be randomly selected to be placed on a wait list for the particular grade.
Please visit the Enrollment page to learn more.
Has EL Curriculum been tried elsewhere?
One of the reasons GVSU granted our charter was based on the curriculum we selected: one that they have experience with at other schools in their portfolio; one that has demonstrated high student achievement.
EL Education (Expeditionary Learning) partners with school districts and charter school boards to open new schools and/or transform existing schools at all grade levels (K–12), and in all settings — urban, rural, and suburban. Since their start in 1992, EL schools have grown from a small group of ten schools into a diverse national network of more than 150 schools serving 50,000 students, with exceptional results.
How does EL compare to other curriculum?
EL Education K–5 Language Arts curriculum has received the highest review score ever given to a K–5 ELA curriculum by EdReports! Out of a total possible score of 696 points, EL Education K–5 Language Arts earned 668 points, making it the highest-rated K–5 ELA series ever reviewed by EdReports. The nationally-acclaimed comprehensive core curriculum combines lesson materials and text study to challenge students to think critically about real-world topics. Considered ‘the Consumer Reports of instructional materials,’ EdReports is an independent nonprofit that reviews K–12 curricula for standards alignment and quality.
Does OMPS offer special Ed services?
Yes, OMPS has a certified special education teacher on staff and provides special education services to any student who requires them. We work in partnership with TBAISD to provide appropriate services for all learners in special education support services such as Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech/Language Therapy, Social Work, as well as, a School Psychologist and Teacher Consultants. Special education teachers partner with regular classroom teachers to reach every student.
What if my child is behind in reading?
At OMPS we will collect reading data very early in the year. If a student is behind in reading, our intervention team will create an IRIP (Individual Reading Improvement Plan). We will utilize the power of the TBAISD team and their award-winning action plan to devise appropriate interventions based on the student's needs. Data will be collected and analyzed at specified intervals to monitor the student's response to the prescribed intervention. Interventions will be adjusted based on data analysis by the intervention team.
how do you integrate socio-emotional skills?
The EL Education model focuses on student excellence in three areas: Mastery of Knowledge and Skills, Character, and High-Quality Student Work. Socio-emotional skills are integrated throughout the day. Students will learn to become effective learners by developing the mindset and skills for success (initiative, responsibility, perseverance, collaboration). They will also work to become ethical people by striving to treat others well and stand up for what is right (empathy, integrity, respect, compassion). Finally, our students will contribute to a better world by putting their learning to use to improve the community around them (citizenship, service).
How do you monitor the curriculum?
We are teaming with EL Education who will provide instructional coaching throughout the school year. These sessions will provide consistent monitoring and allow us to ensure implementation of the program as designed. We will be assigned a dedicated coach who will be on call when we have questions, and will provide virtual/on-site visits. The Director of Academics will serve as both a supervisor and an instructional leader. She will be visible within the building and she will provide coaching support and connect staff with the materials they need to be successful.
who are the omps staff?
OMPS had a tremendous response from high quality certified teaching candidates interested in being a part of our school. We knew we needed to bring on board spectacular instructional staff to create the desired learning environment for the new school. Our team of educators believe in our mission and vision and choose to make OMPS their home! Click HERE to meet our talented crew!
HOw does omps support their staff?
Our staff are supported in a variety of ways. Thanks to the generosity of the Old Mission Peninsula Education Foundation (OMPEF), OMPS is working closely with EL Education to provide ongoing high quality professional development with both materials and face to face training. EL Education’s transformative professional development is a cornerstone of the EL Education model. EL Trainers are known for their skillful delivery of powerful professional development. EL’s Language Arts Curriculum is supported by professional development that engages teachers and leaders in the same deep reading, thinking, and writing that they will expect of their students. OMPS staff also receive high quality training in Math in Focus, our math program. This math program was recently used in the region with impressive results.
Are the teachers certified?
Yes, Old Mission Peninsula School Teachers are certified and registered with the State of Michigan.
What standards are the teachers & students held to?
Similar to traditional public schools, we are aligned with the Michigan Academic Standards and our students will take the M-STEP test.
do you have bussing?
The school does not have a traditional bussing option, but starting on the first day of school, September 4, 2018, the Bay Area Transportation Authority (BATA) added a new public bus route, Route 16 on Old Mission Peninsula that serves residents and visitors of Peninsula Township and provides service during Old Mission Peninsula School hours. Please visit the BATA Bus page for more info.
Do you offer hot lunch?
Hot lunch will be provided again this year by Chef Theresa Corcoran. This school year, due to Covid-19, lunches will be delivered to the classrooms. Children will be eating lunch in their classroom, and outdoors when there is an opportunity to do so.
Do you have "specials"?
Yes, we have recruited certified teachers in physical education, music, and art. Our vision is to continue to expand special offerings as the school grows.
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