General School Questions
Who can apply?
As a tuition-free, public school, all students in who live in Michigan and are in grades K-5 are encouraged to apply.
To enroll in kindergarten for the 2019-2020 school year, a child must be at least five years of age by September 1, 2019. 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 will Ivywood have?
Ivywood is chartered to have a maximum of 250 students in its first year, with the intent to grow every year.
How many grades will the school have?
Ivywood will offer grades kindergarten through fifth grade for the 2019/2020 school year, with the intent to grow a grade each 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 will the school be located?
Ivywood will be located at 14356 Genoa Ct. Plymouth, Michigan 48170.
Is the location a long term home for Ivywood?
Our plan is to make this 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 will be a full day.
Is there any consideration for other grades outside of K-5 during year 1?
We are currently chartered to start the 2019/2020 school year with grades K-5. Unfortunately, we are unable to add other grades at this time due to our contractual agreement with our authorizer for the first year of operation.
I see that Ivywood will start as a K-5 school. 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 will open with grades K-5 and 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?
For our first year, we will not be offering a preschool. We hope to offer preschool for the 2020/2021 school year.
How will Ivywood be funded?
Ivywood Classical Academy will be a public charter school funded by the Michigan Department of Education. The funding will be the same as traditional public schools. We are also launching a fundraising campaign.
School Day Questions
What time will school start and get out?
School will start at 8:45 a.m. and end at 3:45 p.m. Early release Friday will end at 1:30 p.m. We will also have before and after school care.
Will we follow the same academic calendar as the traditional public schools?
Yes, we will follow the same academic calendar as the surrounding schools in Wayne County. Our school calendar can be found here.
How will lunch work?
We are in the process of obtaining quotes for a vendor for the school meal program that will offer full price, reduced price and free meals based on income eligibility. Free and Reduced lunch applications will be available in August. Pricing for meals will be determined when a vendor is chosen to provide the meals. Students are also welcome to bring their own lunch.
How will reduced lunch work?
Parents will be able to apply for free or reduced meals in August. Prices for these meals will be determined when a school meals vendor is selected.
Will there be uniforms? How do I order uniforms?
Yes, there will be uniforms. The school has set up a partnership with Land’s End for the school uniforms.
Do you have scholarships for uniforms?
Yes, we will have scholarships for uniforms. If you would like to learn more about the scholarship, please email our principal Mrs. Kooiker.
Will there be busing?
For our first year, there will not be busing.
Will you offer before/after school care for working parents?
Yes, we will be offering before and after school care. We will release more details soon.
Who is the principal?
After an extensive search and evaluation of multiple candidates, we are pleased to announce the selection of the new principal for our school - Mrs. Stephanie Kooiker. The search committee believes Mrs. Kooiker is the best qualified and most appropriate candidate to guide our Ivywood students and staff.
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).
How are you going to attract talented teachers/staff?
Choice Schools Associates, as the primary employer of all administrative and teaching staff, has actively been engaged in many recruitment events, including school job fair events to recruit teachers familiar with the classical model of education. Additionally, teachers from other traditional and charter models have expressed interest. To date, nearly 70 applications have been submitted and at least 20 more inquiries have come following various fairs. The success of the instructional approach is reliant on talented, professional teachers. Teachers will be empowered and well supported in doing what they do best – teach. This approach is appealing to some of the best professionals in the career.
Will Ivywood have certified teachers?
Yes, Ivywood Classical Academy will have 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.
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.
- Review the school supply list
- Review the school calendar
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 have events planned on June 23, July 12, July 24, July 30, August 5, August 20 and August 22. All of these events will include details about kindergarten. We will also have events throughout the summer.
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 will contain forms that will need to be completed by August 22, which will also be our open house.
See the enrollment application checklist above. 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.
If I can't make the info hours, how do I obtain more information?
We will be live-streaming the events on Facebook. If you can’t attend or watch the events, we invite you to call us at (248) 207-1757 or email us at 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 will Ivywood be different than my local traditional public schools?
At Ivywood, high academic achievement, personal discipline, moral character, and responsibility, focuses valued by the community, will be consistently reinforced through the student of 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 curriculum, all students at Ivywood will be 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 will be intentional in meeting the needs of each student, which will lead to above-average academic achievement. Ivywood will provide increased capacity for demonstrated demand.
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 will Ivywood support student's with special needs?
As a Michigan public school academy, Ivywood will be held to the same standards as every public school in Michigan. Even though a classical curriculum is rigorous, Ivywood will work to meet the needs of the individual students that attend each day. Ivywood will use 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 will develop 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 will be expected to volunteer in the school for various programs and support their student’s learning while at home.
Will Ivywood participate in extracurricular activities (sports, music, etc.)?
Yes, the activities are yet to be determined, but we plan to offer music and sports.
What foreign languages will 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.
Will there be field trips?
Yes, our school will have trips for the students to enrich their experiences. We are still developing a plan for what types of trips would be good at each grade level.
Will students learn computer skills?
The students at Ivywood will use technology less than typical public schools. Use of technology during the Grammar phase 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 Logic phase, the use will increase as a tool to produce writing, then in the Rhetoric phase, the use will increase again as students research topics and ideas to defend and integrate their knowledge.
Will there be an outdoor play structure/space?
Yes, our plan is to have an outdoor play structure/space for our students.
How do I prepare for the first day of school?
We will provide a list of school supplies as well as a school uniform guide. A list of needed school supplies will be available after July 15. Ivywood students will be expected to wear uniforms. Our school has developed a partnership with Land’s End.
How can we help support Ivywood?
We are so happy you would like to help support the vision of Ivywood. You can find us online at www.ivywoodclassicalacademy.com. 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 info hours in the upcoming weeks with more information about classical education and Ivywood as a whole.