General School Questions
Who can apply?
As a tuition-free, public school, all students who live in Michigan and are in grades K-5 are encouraged to apply. Note, we are adding the 6th grade in 2020/2021.
To enroll in kindergarten for the 2020-2021 school year, a child must be at least five years of age by September 1, 2020. According to Michigan Law, if a child is not five years of age on September 1, but will be five years of age not later than December 1 of that school year, the parent or legal guardian of that child may enroll the child in kindergarten for the upcoming school year if the parent or legal guardian notifies the school district in writing that he or she intends to enroll the child in kindergarten.
How many students does Ivywood have?
We currently have 135 students enrolled at Ivywood Classical Academy for the 2019/2020 school year. It is our hope to grow to 250 students over the next few years.
Which grades does Ivywood offer?
Ivywood offers grades kindergarten through fifth grade for the 2019/2020 school year, with the intent to grow a grade each year. We will be adding the sixth grade for the 2020/2021 school year.
How many sections per grade level?
For the 2019-2020 school, our projected goal is to have two sections per grade level, K-3rd, and 1 section of 4th grade and 1 section of 5th grade. This projection will be dependent on the numbers of actual students who enroll in grades K-5.
How many students per classroom?
Our goal is to have 25-28 students per classroom, depending on the physical size of the room.
Where is the school located?
Ivywood is located at 14356 Genoa Ct. Plymouth, Michigan 48170.
Is the location a long term home for Ivywood?
Yes, it is our plan to have 14356 Genoa Ct. be our forever home. We will be using the first floor of the building for the first year and renovate the second floor as we grow. Our hope is that we can expand the campus to a high school later down the road.
Is the kindergarten full day?
Yes, kindergarten is a full-day program.
When will you be adding grades?
At full capacity, Ivywood will serve a population of K-12 students. Ivywood will build conservatively towards a full K-12 model. In the fall of 2019, Ivywood opened with grades K-5 and will add a grade per year through grade 12. The founding members embrace the philosophy of building culture and community from the group up and desires to solidify the academic foundation in the early years before adding middle and secondary grades.
Will there ever be preschool offered?
At this time, we will not be offering a preschool. Yet, we hope to offer preschool in the future.
How is Ivywood funded?
Ivywood Classical Academy is a public charter school funded by the Michigan Department of Education. The funding will be the same as traditional public schools. We also have a fundraising campaign that we will be raising money for extra items, such as teacher supplies, field trips, gym equipment and much more.
School Day Questions
What time does school start and get out?
School starts at 8:45 a.m. and ends at 3:45 p.m. Friday we have early release at 1:30 p.m.
Do you follow the same academic calendar as the traditional public schools?
Yes, we follow the same academic calendar as the surrounding schools in Wayne County. Our school calendar can be found here.
Do you have a hot lunch program?
At this time, we do not have a hot lunch program. We surveyed our parents and did not get enough interest to make the program financially viable. We will be surveying the parents again this spring to see if there is more interest.
Do you have uniforms? How do I order uniforms?
Yes, there are uniforms. The school has set up a partnership with Land’s End for the school uniforms. You can also buy school uniforms at Walmart, Target, Meijer or like-places.
Do you have scholarships for uniforms?
Yes, we have scholarships for uniforms. If you would like to learn more about the scholarship, please email our principal, Mrs. Kooiker, at StephanieKooiker@ChoiceSchools.com.
Do you have busing?
We do not currently have busing. We hope to have busing in the years to come.
Do you offer before/after school care for working parents?
We are currently working with the YMCA to offer before and after school care. We are waiting on the YMCA's inspection before this will go into effect. We will release more details soon.
Who is the principal?
Mrs. Stephanie Kooiker is the principal of Ivywood Classical Academy.
Mrs. Kooiker began her career in education in 2007. She was awarded the 2016 MES teacher of the year and was recognized by the Florida Commissioner of Education in both 2016 and 2017 for her outstanding performance and leadership.
She has been trained in the classical education practices by Hillsdale College. Mrs. Kooiker earned her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Ferris State University. She is also a Barney Charter School Initiative (BCSI) trainer.
Mrs. Kooiker worked for the School Board of Highlands County in Florida for 10 years and spent the last two years teaching at Livingston Classical Academy. She has experience teaching kindergarten, pre-first, first grade, third grade and special education. She has also served as a special education department head.
Mrs. Kooiker is married with three children, Jillian (17), James (9) and Julia (7).
Who are your teachers?
Visit the teaching and staff page to get to know our teaching staff.
Does Ivywood have certified teachers?
Yes, Ivywood Classical Academy has certified teachers. Every public charter school teacher must be state-certified, the same as at traditional public schools. In many cases, charter school teachers are even MORE certified. Not only do charter schools use certified and highly qualified staff, but they also submit to periodic audits by their authorizers and the state to ensure their compliance.
When do I apply?
We are accepting applications now for the 2019/20 school year. Open enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year will start 2/24/2020.
What do I need to enroll my student?
Because Ivywood is a public school, parents must submit state-required information and documentation for each student. The checklist outlines your state's requirements, plus additional information for your child’s success at Ivywood Classical Academy.
Step 1: Compete the Ivywood Classical Academy application
Your application will include state-required information: student residency questionnaire, home language questionnaire and emergency contact information.
Step 2: Provide state-required documents*
- Child’s proof of age
A copy of the student's official birth certificate or other reliable proof + birth affidavit must be provided to verify age eligibility.
- Most recent immunization records
If you choose not to immunize your child, you will need to provide a waiver certificate that can only be obtained from your county health department.
- Prior Academic Records
*Note, an Ivywood enrollment specialist will connect with you about turning in the documents above when you submit your application.
How are children selected?
Enrollment applications are accepted in the order they are submitted. You will receive a confirmation email once your application has been processed. Students will be enrolled on a first-come, first serve basis during the open enrollment period. If Ivywood receives more applications for enrollment than there are spaces available, students will be placed on a waiting list. The enrollment application will act as a placeholder for your child’s seat at Ivywood Classical Academy.
We completed the enrollment documents and received a confirmation, does that mean that our spot is reserved?
Yes, the enrollment application will act as a placeholder for your child’s seat at Ivywood Classical Academy.
When is kindergarten round up?
We are having Kindergarten Round-Up events starting after the first of the year. More details about the dates will be coming soon.
If I have a current Ivywood student, are their siblings guaranteed a spot?
The Academy Board may establish a policy providing enrollment priority to siblings of currently enrolled students. If the Board has a sibling preference policy, during the next re-enrollment period, the school must also request that the parent or guardian indicate whether a sibling(s) seeks to enroll for the upcoming academic year.
How does the enrollment lottery work?
Ivywood will not need to hold a lottery for the 2019/2020 school year. For upcoming years, if Ivywood receives more applications for enrollment than there are spaces available, students will be selected at a random selection drawing.
After the first year, a lottery, or random selection drawing, is required if the number of applications exceeds the number of available spaces.
The school shall notify applicants not chosen in the random selection drawing that they were not selected and that their name has been placed on the official waiting list for openings that may occur during the academic year. Students shall appear on the official waiting list in the order they were selected in the random selection drawing.
What are the next steps after being selected?
Congratulations on joining the Ivywood family! Your next step is to complete the enrollment information that is mailed to you. The welcome package contains forms that will need to be completed before the start of the school year.
After the forms are completed and submitted, your child will officially be an Ivywood Classical Academy student. Also, watch your email and social media platforms for exciting updates and announcements about the school.
How do I obtain copies of my student's records from the previous school?
As a parent/legal guardian, you may request copies of the student's most recent report card or unofficial transcript, IEP documentation, birth record/certificate and immunization record or waiver from their file at their previous school.
Who can I connect with if I have questions about Ivywood?
Being one of the first families to attend Ivywood Classical Academy, it is very important for all of us to maintain consistent two-way communication. We will do the majority of our corresponding via email and phone. If you have immediate questions please email IvywoodClassical@ChoiceSchools.com.
Curriculum and extracurricular activities questions:
What is classical education?
Classical education embraces the concept of educating the whole child and the notion that children are more than their standardized test scores.
Classical schools are unique among school choice options for three main reasons – a virtuous education, a content-rich curriculum, and a traditional classroom environment.
Similar to students in a Spanish immersion school, students at Ivywood will be immersed in a virtue education community within and beyond the school walls. We believe this educational philosophy is transformational and promotes a love of lifelong learning.
Moral character does not come from a flippant approach to teaching character as a means of discipline or when it is convenient. Children need an intentional, consistent and constant teaching of virtue that is why at Ivywood, high academic achievement, personal discipline, moral character and responsibility will be consistently reinforced through the study of subjects in the classical tradition.
A classical education delivers real content. Students learn about historical events, characters, stories, fables, myths, scientific facts, and mathematical proofs They read whole literary works in great depth, and they learn to approach books both with moderation to learn and courage to question.
A classical classroom prioritizes the authority of the teacher, and there with their expertise and responsibility to deliver it to students. Students are not the passive recipients of knowledge, but active participants in the discussion, incorporating the Socratic method of engaging dialogue
between the student and the teacher.
Regardless of backgrounds, experiences, economic status or other variables that create uniqueness among students, all will be part of a shared community of learning.
Watch the video to see why bringing an authentic classical curriculum to our community is such a gift - http://bit.ly/BCSIVideo.
How is Ivywood different than my local traditional public schools?
At Ivywood, high academic achievement, personal discipline, moral character, and responsibility, are consistently reinforced through subjects in the classical tradition. The emphasis of our research-based and proven curriculum is on the core disciplines of math, science, history, language arts, and foreign languages. Our curriculum is relevant to all students, regardless of their current position on their path to knowledge. Beyond the curriculum, all students at Ivywood are trained in study skills, such as time management, organization, and note-taking, which are essential for building a foundation for further academic pursuits. Extracurricular options comparable to area schools will complement the curriculum. Our team is intentional in meeting the needs of each student, which leads to above-average academic achievement.
Tell us about the curriculum.
The curriculum at Ivywood is anchored around the Core Knowledge Sequence. A description of the approach is available at the Core Knowledge website and a more in-depth look is available by downloading the Core Knowledge Sequence. We supplement the Core Knowledge sequence with Singapore Math in order to fully prepare our students in mathematics. The Singapore Math Approach aligns well with the classical approach and has proven to be very effective. Singapore Math provides some sample lessons and materials on their website that allow you to review some of the student and teacher books.
How does Ivywood support student's with special needs?
As a Michigan public school academy, Ivywood is held to the same standards as every public school in Michigan. Even though a classical curriculum is rigorous, Ivywood works to meet the needs of the individual students that attend each day. Ivywood uses a Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) to meet the instructional needs of the students. If a student qualifies for additional programs and or services, the special education team at Ivywood would develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Ivywood develops programming that is appropriate to meet the individual needs of the student.
My child is advanced, how will Ivywood work with them?
The classical model of education places significant emphasis on the role of the professional teacher. Embracing the Socratic method of instruction is a reinvigoration of how instruction was delivered 100 years ago. Yet, modern innovations, such as student intervention strategies, support the curriculum in a way that allows for accelerated student success. While most models of instruction embrace differentiated learning models, Ivywood approaches this on a personalized level. The curriculum is such that it flows fluidly to support each student where they are in the moment, engaging students in the instruction and “Inspire Wonder.”
Do the students take state tests?
Yes, our curriculum is not standards-based, but we intend to cover the required standards. Our school will not teach to the [standardized] test, we expect to prepare students for them.
What is expected from parents? Volunteer hours?
Parents are expected to volunteer in the school for various programs and support their student’s learning while at home. We don't have required volunteer hours but would appreciate any volunteer hours you would be willing to give.
Does Ivywood participate in extracurricular activities (sports, music, etc.)?
Yes, we plan to have extracurricular activities when our students start middle school, but they are yet to be determined. In the future, we plan to offer music and sports.
What foreign languages are be offered?
The study of Latin begins in the sixth grade.
What does the homework policy look like?
Homework is a fundamental part of our general academic program. The homework policy will be determined by the school principal. General rule of thumb 10 minutes per night, per grade. As an example, 5th grade would be about 50 minutes.
Are there field trips?
Yes, our school has trips for the students to enrich their experiences. Field trips are determined by the teachers.
Do students learn computer skills?
The students at Ivywood will use technology less than typical public schools. Use of technology during the elementary will be minimal, except for some of the state-mandated assessments and assessment preparations, then during each subsequent phase, the use of technology will increase. During the middle school years, the use will increase as a tool to produce writing, then in the high school years, the use will increase again as students research topics and ideas to defend and integrate their knowledge.
Is there an outdoor play structure/space?
Yes, we have an outdoor play structure and fenced in area to run and play for our students.
How do I prepare for the first day of school?
The best way to prepare for school is to talk to your student(s) about the new, exciting learning that is going to take place at Ivywood. As parents, you can prepare by purchasing school supplies and uniforms. But, it is our expectation that parents don't overstress about preparing to start at Ivywood. We hope it is a smooth and easy transition.
How can we help support Ivywood?
Please like our Facebook and Instagram at Ivywood Classical Academy. The best form of support is through word of mouth and sharing the school with your friends and family. We will be hosting events throughout the year with more information about classical education and Ivywood as a whole.