FAQ: Frequently

Asked Questions

Learn more about how the Flint Cultural Center Academy will transform education for area children.

When will the Flint Cultural Center Academy be open?

The current schedule calls for the construction of the school building to be finished in July of 2019, in time for the school to open in the fall of 2019.

How many students will the school serve?

In the school’s first year, we expect to enroll a total of up to 300 students from kindergarten through fifth grade. The following school year, as the fifth-graders advance, we would add grade six, then grade seven in year three, and grade eight in year four. At that point, we hope to enroll a total of up to 650 students each school year.

Who would be eligible to apply?

In the first year, students living in Michigan and preparing to enter kindergarten through fifth grade would be eligible to apply.

How will students be selected?

In the first year, we will accept applications for students entering kindergarten through the fifth grade. Charter schools are open enrollment. Any Michigan student who wishes to attend is able to do so on space availability basis.

Each year, the school will determine how many seats will be available in each grade. This information will be publicly posted, as well as the enrollment process, and the beginning and ending dates for the enrollment process. If fewer students apply than there are seats available, all are admitted. If more apply than seats are available, seats are granted using a random selection process (a lottery). This random selection will be done at a meeting that is open to the public and conducted by an independent third party. Students who did not get a seat in the lottery are placed on an official wait list and are notified if seats are available later.

Once enrolled, students do not have to apply for the second year and may re-enroll without going through the lottery, if the appropriate grade level is offered. Siblings, children of those working at the school, and children of board members may receive enrollment priority.

What is the purpose of the Flint Cultural Center Academy?

Flint Cultural Center leaders wanted to create a new charter school that would build on the assets of the Cultural Center institutions: The Flint Institute of Arts, Flint Institute of Music, Flint Public Library, Flint Repertory Theatre, Longway Planetarium, Sloan Museum, Applewood and The Whiting. A school that builds on the assets and expertise of the Cultural Center will create a learning opportunity that doesn’t exist anywhere else in our region. It will provide an immersive experience for students who want an education that’s grounded in the arts and sciences.

The development of this school will also highlight the excellence that is present in our community and highlight the spirit of innovation and commitment to excellence that exists in Flint.

What do you mean by “an immersive learning experience?”

In addition to receiving high-quality classroom instruction, students will participate each school day in activities and programs at one of the Cultural Center institutions. These unique learning experiences will engage students in science, as well as the fine/performing/visual arts, in ways they otherwise might not encounter. Just as important, those activities would reflect and reinforce the learning taking place in the school classroom setting. The result will be a cohesive, engaging and stimulating educational experience.

What are the goals of the Flint Cultural Center Academy?

  • Create a school that is unique and highly effective, a school that combines great classroom instruction with daily instruction delivered by experts on campus, resulting in a culture of creative, curious and inspired learning — students will be learning at every point of the school day, whether they realize it or not.
  • Create a school that seeks to set new, quantifiable norms for student academic growth, engagement and community impact.
  • Develop school programs that complement and enhance existing Cultural Center partnerships and outreach.
  • Leverage the extensive investments that have already been made on campus — the facilities and amenities, the expert educators and the common and shared services that are already in place. Much like the basis for the original community school program — identify and take advantage of the capacity that exists and look for ways to increase the return on investment to the community.
  • Create a school that serves children and families in such a way that it becomes nationally recognized as an example of the excellence that is possible in Flint, Michigan.
  • Create a program that is self-sustaining and will not require any financial assistance from the campus institutions.

What type of curriculum materials will be used?

We have partnered with EL Education, a national nonprofit organization specializing in K-12 education, to create a curriculum and culture that supports student engagement, achievement and character development. EL provides a structure and practices that will allow us to develop a school culture based on respect for all, learning driven by engagement and inquiry, and staff learning based on the EL Core Practices. EL provides a process for developing a school that does whatever it takes for every child to achieve their best, and be their best.

EL’s award-winning literacy program will form the foundation of the core curriculum. For more information, please visit eleducation.org.

What will be taught at the Cultural Center institutions?

  • We are planning a music program that will offer three periods of instruction provided by Flint Institute of Music staff per week for every student and will prepare students to form an orchestra by fourth grade.
  • We envision each student connecting at least one social studies and one science lesson per week to resources at the Sloan Museum and Longway Planetarium.
  • In addition to art being taught specifically to each student twice a week by Flint Institute of Arts staff, we want to integrate art and drama into core classroom lessons as well.
  • Both print and digital literacy will be taught on a weekly basis to each student through the resources at the Flint Public Library.
  • Tremendous seasonal and topical learning experiences will be provided through The Whiting, Flint Repertory Theatre and Applewood Estate.

Will the Cultural Center institutions provide instruction to Academy students at no charge?

No. The Flint Cultural Center Academy will reimburse the Cultural Center institutions for all services and materials utilized while providing instruction to FCCA students.

Will the Flint Cultural Center still provide educational programs and field trips for students in Flint and the region?

Yes. The partnerships and commitment to the Flint Community Schools and other regional schools will not be affected. The Cultural Center institutions will continue to offer high-quality educational programming for students throughout the area.

Will this school compete for students who would otherwise attend Flint Community Schools?

We’re not seeking to compete with any other school or district. We simply want to offer an exceptional learning opportunity for students who want an education that provides hands-on experience with the arts and sciences. It would be another way to put all that the Cultural Center institutions have to offer to the very best use — educating kids.

Who will operate the school?

The school will have its own board of directors, principal and teaching staff.

Who’s paying for the school?

The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation is providing the funding to build, furnish and equip the school.

What can you tell us about the school building under construction?

At roughly 78,000 square feet, the school will feature 27 classrooms, a gymnasium, cafeteria, multiple collaborative learning spaces and enclosed walkway between the school, the Flint Institute of Music and Sloan Museum.

Will money from the county-wide Arts Millage be used for the school’s construction and operations?

No. Millage funds will be dedicated to supporting the operations of the Flint Cultural Center Corporation, Flint Institute of Arts, Flint Institute of Music, Flint Public Library, Flint Repertory Theatre, Longway Planetarium, Sloan Museum and The Whiting. The millage is targeted at sustaining existing educational partnerships with schools in our area, as well as providing the high-quality programs, shows and services that county residents have come to expect from the Flint Cultural Center.

How will the school’s operations be funded?

As with all public schools (traditional and charter) in Michigan, the school will receive funding from the state for each student who attends. The FCCA will also seek grants and donations to enhance student learning opportunities.

Will Special Education students be eligible to attend?

As open enrollment schools, charters cannot discriminate based on a student’s disability status. Charters are subject to the same requirements as all other public schools when it comes to serving students with disabilities, and must educate all students in accordance with their IEP, 504 plan, in the same way that every other public school does.

Will the FCCA teachers be certified?

Charter teachers must be certified in the same way as all other public school teachers. The Michigan Department of Education has a good online resource to explain the most up-to-date laws and policies regarding teacher certification.

See: https://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,4615,7-140-5683_14795—,00.html

Where can I get more information on enrolling my child?

The official application period is February 11, 2019 through April 26, 2019. Please check back in early February for more information. You can also inquire about enrollment here.