FAQ - Ivywood

FAQ

General School Questions

Who can apply?

As a tuition-free, public school, all students who live in Michigan and are in grades K-7 are encouraged to apply. To enroll in kindergarten for the 2021-2022 school year, a child must be at least five years of age by September 1, 2021. 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 approximately 500 students enrolled at Ivywood Classical Academy for the 2021/2022 school year.

Which grades does Ivywood offer?

Our 2021-22 school year will offer grades kindergarten through 7th grade, with the intent to grow a grade each school year through 12th grade.

How many sections per grade level?

For the 2021-2022 school year:

Kindergarten - 3 classes
1st Grade - 3 classes
2nd Grade - 2 classes
3rd Grade - 2 classes
4th Grade - 2 classes
5th Grade - 2 classes
6th Grade - 2 classes
7th Grade - 2 classes

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?

Ivywood will add one grade level per year through 12th grade.

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 where we will be raising money for extra items.

School Day Questions

What time does school start and get out?

Monday-Thursday 8:45am-3:45pm; Fridays 8:45am-1:45pm

Do you follow the same academic calendar as the traditional public schools?

We follow the Wayne RESA calendar for all major holidays just as surrounding Wayne County schools do. Our school calendar can be found here.

Do you have a hot lunch program?

We do not have a hot lunch program at this time. As the school grows, we will reassess this program for future school years.

Do you have uniforms? How do I order uniforms?

Ivywood does require uniforms. The school has set up a partnership with Land’s End and Educational Outfitters for school uniforms, but uniforms may be purchased from any vendor including Walmart, Meijer, Target, etc.

 Uniform Policy & Guidelines

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. 

Do you offer before/after school care for working parents?

We partner with the YMCA to offer before and after school care. This program is housed on the Ivywood campus.

Learn More & Sign Up

Staffing Questions

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 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, spent two years at Livingston Classical Academy, and is entering her third year as the Ivywood Classical Academy school leader. 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 (20), James (11), and Julia (10).

Who are your teachers?

Visit our staff directory to learn more about the Ivywood faculty and staff.

Staff Directory

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.

Enrollment Questions

When do I apply?

We are accepting applications now for the 2021-2022 school year. 

Apply Here

What do I need to enroll my child?

Because Ivywood is a public school, parents must submit state-required information and documentation for each student. 

View the application process here. 

How are children selected?

Please visit our Application Process & Lottery Information page for additional information about enrollment.

Application Process & Enrollment Lottery

We completed the enrollment documents and received a confirmation, does that mean that our spot is reserved?

No, you will receive an email within 48 hours offering your child a class placement if space is available or a waitlist placement if there are no open seats.”

If I have a current Ivywood student, are their siblings guaranteed a spot?

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. Preferences will be in writing and given to siblings of enrolled students.

What are the next steps after being selected?

Congratulations on joining the Ivywood family! 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?

Our enrollment coordinator will assist families with records requests at the time of acceptance to the academy.

Who can I connect with if I have questions about Ivywood?

At Ivywood Classical Academy, we believe it is very important for 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, or call (248) 207-1757.

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.

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, the English Language, and classical 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 Ivywood curriculum is governed by Hillsdale College and anchored around the Core Knowledge Sequence, Singapore Math, and the BCSI Hillsdale Program Guide.

Learn More

How does Ivywood support struggling learners?

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 and clubs? What electives does Ivywood offer?

Ivywood currently offers a variety of extracurricular activities and after school clubs. In additional to a variety of extracurricular activities and after school clubs, Ivywood also offers a variety of electives which include: Band {5th-7th}, Music Theory {K-4th}, Choir {5th-7th}, Art History {K-7th}, Latin {6th-7th}, and Physical Education {K-7th}.

Do you teach a foreign language?

Ivywood students study classical languages. This includes the study of Greek and Latin roots beginning in 3rd grade. The study of Latin begins in the 6th grade.

What does the homework policy look like?

Homework is a fundamental part of our general academic program. Our homework policy is 10 minutes times the grade level to determine the amount of time a student should spend nightly on homework. For example a 2nd grade student can expect 20 minutes of homework per night, a 3rd grade student can expect 30 minutes of homework per night, and a 4th grade student can expect 40 minutes of homework per night, etc.

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. Ivywood students in our grammar school {K-5} will be taught basic keyboarding and mouse skills, while students in our upper school {6-7} will be taught to type essays and become familiar with platforms such as Google Docs, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Does Ivywood have a playground?

Yes, Ivywood has a brand new playground (installed in 2019, additional equipment added in 2021) that is completely fenced in. The playground also includes a soccer field, basketball court, and open space for students to run and play.

How do I prepare for the first day of school?

The best way to prepare for the first day of school is to attend our Back to School Orientation on Tuesday August 31, 2021 (please watch our school newsletter The Vine for detailed information). During the orientation families can expect a tour of our facility, a chance to meet the faculty and staff, and for students to see their classrooms. Families will also be given an opportunity to ask any questions that they might have.”

Getting Involved

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.

Other ways to get involved