School Spotlight: Bradford Academy

Bradford Academy Snapshot

Students Served: 1500+

Grades Served: Preschool – 12th grade

Year Established: 2002

Managed by Choice Since: July 1, 2011

Authorizer: Bay Mills Community College

Charter Renewal Date: July 1, 2016
Charter Granted for: 8 years

Preschool-12th Grade Principal – Cheryl Paull
5th-8th Principal – Oronde Kearney
Preschool-4th Grade Principal – Justin Hauser
5th-8th Grade Vice Principal – Gary Stevens
Preschool-4th Grade Vice Principal – Sara Fields

Free and Reduced Lunch: 86%


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Bradford Academy is not just a school, but a family. A family that believes academic excellence and student achievement is not a hope, but a reality.

When you step through the doors of Bradford Academy, you become part of their family. A family that serves all students, no matter where they live geographically. A family that strives for academic achievement. A family that celebrates successes and accomplishments, big or small, together.

When asked to describe the family environment at Bradford Academy, principal Cheryl Paull said, “The best part about being in the Bradford Academy family is that our family sticks together. We share a true commitment to one another’s success. We hold one another accountable and we pull together when one of ours is in need. We are a TRUE family.”

Holding true to its family values, Bradford Academy works each day to serve its community by offering transportation for students near and far. By providing busing throughout the cities of Detroit, Redford, Oak Park, and Southfield, Bradford Academy ensures that all students have access to a world-class educational opportunity by attending a tuition-free school of academic excellence.

“Busing has served as a great resource for families to use so they can get their children to and from school. Working families are able to get to work on time. It has also given families who couldn’t attend Bradford because of transportation restrictions the chance to send their children here,” explained Justin Hauser, vice principal.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The strength and commitment of Bradford Academy truly lies within its academic achievements, financial stability and growth in student enrollment. Prior to to this year, authorizer, Bay Mills Community College had renewed the Academy’s charter contract either yearly or every fourth year. Most recently, Bay Mills approved and renewed Bradford Academy for an additional 8 years which will begin on July 1st. The 8 year renewal is one of the most extensive renewals given out by Bay Mills Community College and is also the longest renewal in Bradford history.[/perfectpullquote]

bradford academyThere is no wonder that the charter contract was so extensive. Bradford Academy continuously outperforms the state’s expectations of academic performance year after year. In the most recent Beating the Odds Document put out by the Michigan Department of Education, Bradford Academy was ranked number 3 out of 30 comparable schools in their surrounding area. (2013-14 Beating the Odds Individual School Lookup Tool) Bradford Academy was also named a Michigan Department of Education Reward School and is the top performing non-selective school in Southfield, Michigan.

Additionally, the Academy follows the Michigan Merit Curriculum, offers AP, Honors and online courses, provides dual enrollment opportunities, and uses Career Cruising, a self exploration and planning program which helps students to reach their maximum potential.

During their tenth year of operation in 2012, 100% of their senior class applied to a college or university. The students accredited Bradford Academy as one of their primary influences toward their decision to enroll in college. Most recently, two students received full ride scholarships, William Small will attend Notre Dame College and TaMarion Johnson will attend the University of Minnesota. Read more about William and TaMarion here.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”16″]When asked how Bradford Academy helped William to achieve this success, he responded, “When everyone told me no I took their “no” and turned it into “yes” because I was determined to make my dreams come true. It was God and hard work that made my scholarship possible.”[/perfectpullquote]

All of the positive things happening around Bradford Academy has not stopped them from reaching even higher! This year, the Academy implemented Bulldog Acceleration/Smart Time to allow time within the school day for staff to assist with increasing individual student academic achievements. In addition, the Bradford Academy family would not be complete without mentioning its dedicated, selfless and motivating teachers. Honoring a teacher of the month has allowed the Academy to celebrate the successes and accomplishments of not only their students but teachers as well.

There is no doubt that Bradford Academy strives to instill the qualities of character, excellence, creativity and service into our students as they become prepared, global leaders. By focusing on positivity and celebrating achievements, both big and small, each member of the Bradford Academy family contributes to the individual success of each student.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”16″]”I am proud to be a Bradford Academy Bulldog because every day our students and faculty never cease to amaze me with their hard work, dedication and determination to make academic excellence their top priority. The classrooms and hallways are filled with the buzz of learning, the love of family and the hopes to make everyone’s dreams come true.” – Cheryl Paull, Principal[/perfectpullquote]

How Bradford Academy teachers differentiate instruction within their classrooms in order to meet students’ needs…

bradford academy kindergartenSarah Fields, Kindergarten Teacher

I am always encouraging my students using positive reinforcement.  I am constantly reminding them of how smart they are and the potential they have to grow into amazing learners.

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csanbornCaitlin Sanborn, 4th Grade Teacher

Since we teach a diverse student body, it is important to get to know each student as an individual and adapt instruction and assessments to meet the needs of each student. In my classroom, I accomplish this in a variety of ways. With instruction, I use a variety of teaching methods day to day including whole group, small group, one on one, collaborative groups and peer to peer. Many students benefit from working with a partner or group and I often will pair students of differing abilities to work together. Not only does the student who is struggling respond well to learning from and working with a classmate, but I find that my students who need an additional challenge learn how to better communicate and assist others while deepening their own understanding. I also find that with many students, using music, video clips, art or thinking maps helps them to more deeply understand concepts. I therefore incorporate these into my teaching as much as possible. I often have students create their own songs, poems or art to demonstrate their thinking and understanding. During instruction and work time, I make sure to circulate my room and check in with my highest need students frequently while monitoring the class as a whole. Finally, I make sure to give directions and objectives several times both verbally and in writing and refer back to them during our lesson.

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vcephasVinette Cephas, 8th Grade English Language Arts Teacher

If one should visit my 8th grade ELA classroom, it would be uncommon not to see my students’ needs being met through differentiated instruction. My students read literature that is on a topic at their levels and are still able to share their knowledge on the subject. To aid them with understanding the concept of vocabulary, my students can choose to respond in webs, create a picture dictionary, construct crossword puzzles and have their peers solve them, or they can input their vocabulary into and review them through online games at this website.  

Within writing, my students select their own writing response from teacher-created essay prompts and they are able to choose the type of presentation for their response. It can be in the form of a video recording, a podcast, radio show, a  letter, a journal entry, an essay, or a e-storybook. Students also have the option to do pen and paper collaboration projects, or share and peer edit via Google Docs their online collaboration projects. Having laptops has meant that my students can view language arts video clips that address their “individual” writing weaknesses and aid them in correcting them, especially when producing a writing piece.

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SGrahamShannon Graham, High School Technology Teacher

Teaching by using differentiated learning is part of my teaching philosophy. I truly believe that students learn differently , have different interests, and this generation needs multiple stimulation to keep their interest. In all my classes I use various instruction. An example for my business law class is my students do mock trials, act out crimes and civil lawsuits and also teach by doing so. My students also love learning by watching court shows so they can see the law in action. In my marketing class, I use a lot of current events to drive instructions, like the Super Bowl. The lesson entailed class discussions, Internet research, commercial watching, and also analyzing articles on how to market during the Super Bowl.  So much differentiation in just one lesson!