THE SCHOOL

WHY WE’RE DIFFERENT – VIDEOS & TESTIMONIALS

WATCH NOW: Branch Line 2016-2017 Learning VIDEO

 

Branch Line School is a different kind of charter school.

We are a proud learning community, introduced to Livonia and nearby communities in Fall 2013—one that inspires children to become lifelong learners in a nurturing, intimate environment. Dedicated teachers engage children in challenging, project and activity based learning experiences supported by innovative technology.

Small, multi-age classes ensure that each student receives personal attention and progresses at a developmentally appropriate pace. Our focus on social awareness and family involvement fosters a community of thoughtful learners.  The result is a secure and ethical young person ready to succeed in high school and beyond.

Our Mission

Branch Line School will guide students in an individualized, small school atmosphere that cultivates intellectual freedom, respect for others, and service to the community in order to produce critical thinkers and informed global citizens.

Our Vision

BLS will create and sustain an environment of respect, integrity, and meaningful learning. These guiding principles provide a framework encompassing a holistic vision that will enable students, families, teachers and leadership to maintain a common and relentless focus on educating each child as an individual learner.

I. Students will become critical thinkers through active participation in the learning process.

II. Students will gain the knowledge to become informed global citizens through service learning projects and community involvement.

III. BLS will provide students with experiences and tools that allow them to achieve academic success by constructing knowledge in a meaningful way during thematic units and projects.

IV. Students will be encouraged to develop intellectual freedom.

V. All community members will exhibit respect for others.

VI. Branch Line School will provide students with multiple opportunities for authentic and meaningful service to the community.

VII. Students will use a variety of technological tools in an authentic manner to ensure technological literacy

At a glance

  • Free public charter program serving Kindergarten through 8th grade
  • Small class sizes, 18-20 max
  • Our balanced-calendar = our program provides more frequent, extended breaks throughout the school year with a six week summer break to increase student learning retention. We are proud of this program and its focus on student learning.
  • Multi-age classes
  • Project and activity based, experiential learning curriculum
  • Community-based program with integrated service learning
  • Small school atmosphere = total preschool through grade 8 enrollment of approximately 140 students
  • Technology enhanced learning
  • Extended-day program, operated by our community partner, the Livonia YMCA and held on our campus
Branch Line School is a GREEN SCHOOL

Branch Line School is a
GREEN SCHOOL!

Parent Testimonials – What our community says about Branch Line School:

“It is difficult to articulate just how glad our family is to have found Branch Line. This is a school that operates on a bedrock of kindness and respect, and it shows. From the moment our children walk through the door in the morning and are greeted by the staff with such cheerful warmth, to the end of the day when they come running out, eager to tell us about their day, we know they have been loved and respected for the individuals they are. They do not receive the copious amounts of homework that has become commonplace in many schools, yet the academic progress they have made at Branch Line with its project-based curriculum, incredible teachers, and multi-age classrooms is nothing short of amazing. Every child is born with a spark of curiosity but Branch Line truly helps ignite and transform it into an extraordinary education. We could not be more pleased or grateful.”  – Mother of a Junior Explorer (Kindergarten), Explorer (1st/2nd grade) and Investigator (3rd/4th grade)
“Branch Line School has been a wonderful fit for our family. The small class sizes have allowed for our two children to receive a great deal of attention as they learn at their own pace. They are learning valuable life lessons as they research projects that incorporate their interests and present their findings to the school community. The teachers are engaging and take the time to teach students to work through conflicts respectfully. The school really works as a community to develop responsibility and resourcefulness in the students.”  — Mother of an Investigator (3rd/4th) and Innovator (7th/8th grade)

“I’m overwhelmed by how much my son has grown at Branch Line School. Academically, he is reading at high school level and begging to go to the library for more books. Socially, he partakes in peer mediation and has become more aware of how words, not just actions, can harm another person. He is becoming a better, and a more well-rounded, version of himself. It is because of the small class sizes and the attention to my son as an individual; tailoring his learning to his interests and his needs, that has given him this confidence and a growing maturity. I can really see how Branch Line School is preparing my son to meet the challenges in his life by teaching him to own his education and behavior. Thank you, Branch Line School!” — Father of an Innovator (7th/8th grade)

We knew Branch Line School would be the right alternative school choice for our middle-school aged girls.  Even though it was still green in its existence, we had faith in the mission of the school.  It is very important to us that our daughters be respected as learners and individuals.  We feel that could only happen in a small, loving environment like BLS. They have had wonderful experiences being leaders in their classrooms and engaging with kids throughout the lower grades.  Every adult in the building greets them with a smile.  We know these opportunities and relationships are unique to BLS and we are grateful to be part of the community.” — Mother of an Innovator (7th/8th grade) and Branch Line Graduate

“Miss Molly’s preschool program helped me to be a better mom: the respect she showed to our kids was a huge insight to our parenting skills and ultimately to our family dynamic. I realized how much comes when I take a step back, truly allowing their independence and individual choice to shape their unique learning. I will always be grateful to her for the unending patience and love she showed both of my children!” –Mother of former Pathfinders (PS)

This is long – but it’s been on my heart and I wanted to share. School is getting ready to start all around our beautiful State. Labor Day weekend used to be such a source of worry and anxiety at our house. Not any more – and I’m SO very thankful. We started school back on August 15th – this is because we attend a school that has a balanced calendar. Branch Line School is a true answer to prayer for our family. It flipped our opinion of school upside down. My kids LOVE school – I LOVE school again. I love it so much that I started working there, and it is (hands down) the best job I have ever had – it’s my passion – and I get to do it everyday.  This school answers every single problem that we had in public school. Class sizes are SMALL – that means no more than 20 kids in a class. Having multi-age classrooms (2 grades each) helps my kids in so many ways – but two of the most important ways are sociability and critical thinking. My boys are taught on their INDIVIDUAL LEVEL. They learn independently – in their own way – from amazing teachers. Project/activity based learning is included in every subject. In fact, most projects encompass more than one subject at a time. It’s true real-world learning. It allows my sons to choose what they are interested in, which boosts their learning potential exponentially.  No desks, and alternative seating options in every classroom. Breaks AND play time for ALL kids – even the 7th and 8th grades. Now, “play-time” obviously looks different for older kids – but it DOES exist. Homework is almost non-existent – unless a kid doesn’t finish something during school hours. Our 7-8th grades usually have a small bit of extra work to do at home – but they need to practice for high school. My 7th grader will spend 15-20 minutes on homework a night – if he finishes everything else in school – that is UNHEARD of. In traditional school grades 1-4, he would have up to 3 hours of homework a night – not kidding.  The school operates on THREE rules – be kind, be respectful, be safe. That’s it. There are no confusing rainbow colored behavior charts. Problems are talked out – kids are taught how to resolve issues before they become overwhelming – a skill I wish we could teach our whole world right now. This basically eliminates the breeding ground for bullies. I’m not exaggerating here – this place exists AND works. Respect is not earned – it is a right of all people. This is played out everyday at school – adults in the school are expected to respect kids too – it goes both ways.  With all this said, Branch Line is not for everyone. It is a true life change when it comes to education. I’m very happy that my kids won’t experience the hardships that come with the typical middle-school years. They LOVE learning again. They were excited to go back to school – even when it was almost a month earlier than their friends. BLS has challenges too, but those are always opportunities for the school to grow. No school is perfect – it can’t be. This place is as close to perfection for MY family as we can get.  We have options as parents when it comes to school – and it took me a long time to see that. I would love to answer any questions you might have. – Mother of an Investigator (3rd/4th) and Innovator (7th/8th grade)

 
 

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