Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a few questions we get asked the most.

Charter schools are tuition-free public schools. In Michigan, they are typically referred to as public school academies or PSAs. All charter schools must be authorized by a state university, local community college, an ISD, or school district in which the charter school is located. They must undergo a rigorous application and review process before they can become authorized.

With more curricular and managerial freedom than traditional public schools, charter schools can devote more energy and resources to implementing high academic standards and helping students achieve educational excellence outside of the current education models. Charter schools are able to tailor the education model to the student, helping them reach their maximum potential. 

Copper Island Academy will have a new school facility, located at 52125 Industrial Dr. N. in the Houghton County Memorial Airpark Development. The school is located on a 22 acre parcel with wooded acreage and wetlands.

Any student who lives within the state and meets the charter school’s age requirements may enroll at a charter school. If enrollment exceeds capacity, a random drawing must be held to determine enrollment.

No, Copper Island Academy will not charge tuition. If authorized as a charter school, Copper Island Academy will receive funding from the state based on the number of students enrolled. Charter schools receive less overall funding than traditional public schools, so most charter schools supplement the per pupil funding by pursuing grants and donations.

No. Copper Island Academy was developed to better meet the educational needs and wishes of local families. It is not a prep school; rather, our goal is to prepare students with the skills, knowledge, and attitudes to obtain success in any life pathway they pursue.

No. Copper Island Academy is not a religious school. As a state-funded school, Copper Island Academy must maintain separation of church and state. Students with diverse backgrounds are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Charter schools adhere to the same requirements as other public schools in Michigan and, as a result, must align teaching to the state standards. However, interested families and teachers have expressed concern that the standards and “teaching to the test” promote only surface level learning for students. We prioritize deep, meaningful learning and mastery of essential skills and concepts and have adopted Marzano’s Critical Concepts as a result. By adopting the Critical Concepts, we ensure that students develop essential knowledge and skills, but neither teachers nor students feel overwhelmed with the need to rush through the content. This also allows greater time for the many activities and experiences that other public schools have had to eliminate in recent years.

We are hopeful that school will resume as normal in the fall. However, if Covid restrictions remain in place, we will be under the same guidance and requirements as other public schools within the state of Michigan. Covid safety plans will be developed in accordance with the requirements and with the input of our school community. It is our goal to provide as much normalcy as possible for students.

Midday busing will be provided for half-day kindergarten students.

A morning bus option is also being evaluated by the Friends of Copper Island Academy foundation. If viable, morning buses will pick students up at central locations (Mohawk, Ahmeek, Allouez, Kearsarge, Calumet, Laurium, Hancock, Traprock, Lake Linden, Hubbell, Dollar Bay, Houghton, Chassell, Atlantic Mine, South Range) on or near the main highways. To help offset the busing expense, monthly bus passes will be available for purchase. Families who are unable to purchase a monthly bus pass will be eligible for a bus pass scholarship. 

We also plan to set up an online network that parents may use to coordinate potential carpools with others in their area. Latchkey services will be available to accommodate families in need of an earlier dropoff or later pickup time.

If you are interested in receiving email updates, investing monetarily in the school, or assisting in committee work for the development of the proposed charter school, please email or complete our Get Involved form here.

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