In a few short years, the Grand Valley State University Charter Schools Office has come a long way, from an initial 350 student to more than 32,000 students, from three buildings to 60 buildings, from a simple idea to a sophisticated mission.
- October 5, in a speech before the Michigan Legislature, Governor John Engler proposes several school reforms, including the creation of charter schools.
- January 14, Governor Engler signs charter school legislation into law, making Michigan the ninth state to enact a charter law.
- At the request of Grand Valley President Arend D. Lubbers, the university’s Board of Trustees commits to chartering schools.
- June 1, Grand Valley Board of Trustees authorizes first three schools, serving a total of 350 students.
- J. Patrick Sandro, former Superintendent for Grand Rapids Public Schools, is hired as director of the Charter Schools Office (CSO).
- Grand Valley Board of Trustees approves nine schools, all located within a 75-mile radius of the university’s Allendale campus.
- GVSU’s first two high schools are chartered, Black River Public School (K-12) in Holland, MI and Byron Center Charter School (K-12) in Byron Center, MI
- Academic year ends with 25 Grand Valley-authorized charter schools and a combined enrollment of 7,508 students.
- In recognition of his work for charter schools, GVSU President Arend D. Lubbers receives the annual Plachta Award, from the Michigan Association of Public School Academies.
- Former State Treasurer, Mark A. Murray becomes Grand Valley’s third President. In honor of his support, University Preparatory Academy, a K-12 school authorized by Grand Valley, names its elementary campus in Detroit, Michigan after him.
- J. Patrick Sandro, GVSU's charter schools director since 1995, retires and the J. Patrick Sandro Education Scholarship endowment is established to honor his passion for children, leadership, and commitment to education.
- Former Chelsea Public Schools superintendent Edward D. Richardson is named Special Assistant for Charter Schools. Under Richardson’s leadership and Murray’s vision, the Charter Schools Office shifts its focus from opening new schools to ensuring student performance.
- Charter Schools Office implements a customized Web-based solution, allowing staff to file, track, and maintain information regarding legal compliance of its academies.
- With financial support from the university, Grand Valley authorized charter schools implement student growth assessments using Northwest Evaluation Association’s Measure of Academic Progress.
- Grand Valley Board of Trustees approves an authorizing resolution to designate University Preparatory Academy as an urban high school academy, creating the first in Michigan. GVSU was the first and now only authorizer to have an “urban high school academy” in the state of Michigan.
- Thomas J. Haas becomes Grand Valley’s fourth president. His vision for the Charter Schools Office is to create learning opportunities through board, staff, and administrator trainings.
- The CSO develops a Comprehensive Performance Review (CPR) plan that evaluates the success of each school by considering multiple areas of performance.
- February 12, Michigan State Board of Education Superintendent Flanagan commends Grand Valley’s CSO for closing two charter schools that did not meet required performance standards.
- December 19, the CSO opens its competitive application process and receives 78 charter applications confirming continued interest in Michigan in establishing new charter schools and opportunities for choice.
- GVSU’s first charter school, Excel Charter Academy opens a highschool in Grand Rapids, Grand River Preparatory High school with its first graduating class scheduled to graduate in 2012.
- March, the CSO moves to the renovated Grand Rapids Bicycle Company building, which helps fulfill its mission of providing exemplar training opportunities, seminars, conferences, and meetings for charter school board members, staff, and administrators.
- April, President Haas appoints Tim Wood, former superintendent of Saugatuck Public Schools, to direct the university’s Charter Schools Office.
- Tim Wood has taken Pres. Haas’s vision of creating learning opportunities for schools’ boards and staff and put that into place with Professional Development seminars and by creating partnerships within Grand Valley and in the surrounding community.
- Authorized the first virtual charter school in Michigan, Michigan Virtual Academy.
- Launched MI-School.net, a public website developed by the GVSU team designed to help Michigan residents learn more about their schools and communities as well as how communities and schools impact one another.
- GVSU Board of Trustees approves five current GVSU charter schools as designated Schools of Excellence. Schools are: Arbor Academy, Black River Public School, Detroit Merit Academy, Oakland Academy, and Vanderbilt Charter Academy.
- GVSU opens three new schools.
- GVSU Board of Trustees approves William C Abney a current GVSU charter schools as designated Schools of Excellence.
- GVSU opens seven new schools: Evergreen Academy, Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies Elementary, Madison-Carver Academy, Cornerstone Health School, Faxon Language Immersion Academy, Escuela Avancemos!, and Lincoln-King Academy.
- The CSO hosts its first annual National Authorizer Workshop, highlighting charter school authorizing best practices.
- GVSU Campus Visit program begins for GVSU charter school students.
- GVSU Detroit Center Opens
- The CSO hosts Funders' Luncheon, connecting potential new charter schools with funding sources and buildings for their schools.
- GVSU opens nine new schools: Covenant House Academy Detroit (Central), Covenant House Academy Detroit (East), Covenant House Academy Detroit (Southwest), Covenant House Academy Grand Rapids, Detroit Achievement Academy, Southwest Detroit Lighthouse Charter Academy, Success Mile Academy, Taylor Preparatory High School, and University Prep Science and Math Elementary School Miller Campus.
Page last modified November 22, 2013