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What is a charter school?

Not all charter schools are the same. Although all charter schools are free public schools governed by a local board of directors, some charter school boards outsource school development and operations to third-party educational management corporations.

Branch Line School is unique in the area by offering an innovative and independently designed and managed educational approach. Charter schools operate on lower state funding than most traditional public schools, but have more freedom to determine curricula and teaching philosophies. Charter schools accept applications from all Michigan students who are eligible to attend traditional public schools. If the number of applicants during open enrollment exceeds the number of available spaces, a lottery is held.

Who can attend Branch Line School?

Currently, any Michigan student who will be eligible to enroll in grades K-8 can enter the lottery to attend Branch Line School.

Charter schools are tuition free and publicly funded.

What about transportation and lunch?

Parents are responsible for transporting their children to and from school, as well as supplying daily lunch and snacks. Snacks are fruit and vegetable only.

Our Methods

Project-Based/Activity-Based Learning

Project and activity based learning builds on children’s natural curiosity and desire to explore and discover. This cross-disciplinary, experiential learning approach is student-led and guided by specially trained teachers who help integrate academic concepts and content into real-world applications.


Branch Line School supplies the tools that are necessary for our children to become knowledgeable digital citizens. BLS’s technology integration is cross-curricular and purposeful, supporting critical thinking, sound judgment, information fluency and creativity.

Multi-Age Education

Multi-age cohorts soften grade-level distinctions and reduce transitions in a child’s education, allowing closer and deeper relationships with peers and teachers.  Multiage education supports continuous learning in which pacing is individualized to a student’s needs, interests and abilities. Students grow into leadership roles in a safe, consistent and collaborative environment.

Balanced Learning Calendar

Branch Line School’s balanced calendar will share local school districts’ breaks, but feature a 6 to 7 week summer break with frequent weeks off scheduled throughout the year to give students and staff well-deserved respite.  The balanced learning calendar supports social and emotional learning; it improves learning retention, reduces summer learning loss, creates a feeling of continuity in the school community, and provides a cadence that gives students regular, dedicated time for rest and play all year long.


Branch Line School’s assessment program was purposefully designed to support student learning in more meaningful ways than can be demonstrated by traditional grades and test scores. Our assessments require students to develop ideas, integrate knowledge and complete tasks that have real-world applications. Student progress is recorded in detailed rubrics according to the child’s individual pace. Teachers use rubrics that continually identify and respond to strengths and weaknesses.  Portfolios, student-led conferences, teacher observation and student self-assessments are the integral components of the assessment program. Branch Line School will also administer standardized tests as required by the state and authorizer and use the results as data points in measuring individual progress and school-wide performance.

Family Involvement

Branch Line School welcomes the whole family into the learning community. Parents ultimately have the most important role in children’s educational success, and Branch Line School removes the barriers to meaningful involvement and participation that are prevalent at more traditional schools. Personal relationships among parents, staff, teachers and students are crucial to sustaining a trusting learning community.  Our structured program for volunteer parent aides is a vital resource for cost-savings, freeing limited financial resources for use in other areas and provides valuable community involvement.

Service Learning

Branch Line School believes that children can make a difference in their communities. As an integral component of the project/activity based curriculum, students identify community needs and work with teachers to plan and execute projects that meet those needs. Projects have defined learning objectives that allow students to experience real-world application of academic content and understand their connection to the greater world. Service learning fosters empathy among students inside and outside of the classroom.


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