16 Schools. 4 Models. 1 Mission.

16 Schools, 4 Models, 1 Mission Graphic

During the past 24 years of service, our organization has grown from serving one school with a few dozen students and a handful of teachers into a dynamic and exceptionally diverse community of leaders, educators, and families. This past school year, we served nearly 7,000 students, 900 educators and staff members in 16 unique communities. We have expanded our services to meet the growing needs of school operations and have been unwavering in our mission to put the needs of students first. 

With our growth, came reflection. To continue on our journey of serving each and every one of our students, we have refocused our organization into four distinct educational models, including classical, environmental, Montessori, and scholar. Though we have been making the shift for nearly a year now, we are excited to officially announce our focus areas to our closest partners and friends.

As a student-focused organization, we saw the need to shift our structure, so we started with the students and worked backward. We designed our systems, processes and structures to educate children through purposefully designed models that focus on students’ individual needs. Our hope is that our refocus will bring lasting value to our boards, team members, students, partners, and communities. 

The classical, environmental, Montessori and scholar models are not necessarily new to us, but how we support these models is now elevated. We are shifting our Central Office operations to wrap around each model with a full support team. Each model team has an area superintendent, curriculum director, finance manager, communications specialist, and HR generalist. By shifting our focus to these four models, we can become more intentional in supporting our unique schools. 

As we thoughtfully make these shifts, we deeply care for our people. Our people are the foundation of our organization. You – all of YOU – are why we exist. We partner with exceptionally talented and passionate individuals who have one mission – to provide a phenomenal educational experience to students in their community. We are honored to work alongside you in this journey because, for us, it is not only the organization’s mission, it is our personal mission. 

Looking forward to our best year yet,
Sarah Wildey
President, Choice Schools


Launching into the next school year with amazing professional development

We have been busy the past two weeks with conferences and professional development opportunities. We hosted our first Scholar Teachers Conference in Muskegon on June 20-21. The conference allowed teachers to collaborate and explore how to foster deep student learning in their classrooms with intellectual prep. One teacher said, “This was a great experience! Meeting other educators and collaborating really brought the ideas to life. It was a great two days and I appreciate this opportunity.”

Last week we had the first session of our Montessori Experience program! This program is designed for our new Montessori instructional staff to help them grow in their practice and understanding of both curriculum and philosophy. Over the next 12 months, they will be immersed into a series of hands-on workshops, virtual sessions and reflective readings with presenters who are certified Montessori teachers with many years of experience!

Sarah Wildey, Tony Schmid, Beth Spaman, and Sara Mooney attended the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Conference in Washington D.C. We had a wonderful time learning, collaborating and networking with fellow charter school leaders, board members and advocates.

During our annual School Leaders Retreat, we spent time doing team-building activities, collaborating and sharing best practices and resources. We asked the leaders what they were going to bring back and implement at their school. Alan Bosker said, “I will bring back a lot of work, a lot of ideas, and a lot of enthusiasm, but the most valuable thing I am going to bring back is my connections with all of the other leaders in the Choice network. I know I am among a group of thought partners that love talking about the world of education.”