Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some frequently asked questions about North Central Academy. If you do not see your question answered here, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 231-584-2080.
Is North Central Academy a private school?
North Central Academy is a public school academy, also called a charter school. Our operating funds come from the state of Michigan on a per-pupil basis. We receive the same amount per student as other local public schools.
There is no tuition, but parents do make an extra commitment when they choose to enroll their children here. We ask that parents commit to attending culminating events, student performances and parent teacher conferences two times per year to discuss academic progress.
What is a charter school?
A charter school is a public school district authorized through Michigan law and the Department of Education. Two of the major differences between a charter school and a traditional public school are that we have no geographic boundaries and we are a pure school of choice; our students attend North Central Academy because their parents have chosen to send them here.
Who holds North Central Academy accountable?
Like all public schools, we are accountable to the Michigan Department of Education and must abide by all laws, including participating in the state testing program. In addition, we are accountable to Lake Superior State University, which grants our charter. A representative of the university attends each of our school board meetings, reviews all of our documentation (including teacher certifications) and makes unannounced visits to check on the quality of our program. Our highest level of accountability is to our customers: our students and their parents.
Do you offer programs for students with special needs?
Our program compliments gifted students as well as students with special education needs. Our multi-age model and visual teaching methods match those of gifted learners. Anytime our students score high on initial assessments, we watch carefully and plan accordingly. We find it very easy to accommodate our gifted learners mostly because our lessons are taught using brain-based learning strategies that have been developed by watching how gifted students learn. Students are provided accelerated instruction within their classroom or receive instruction in self-contained classrooms where the NCA curriculum is both accelerated and enriched.
For students with disabilities who are found eligible under the law, services are implemented through an Individual Education Program (IEP). Special education intervention is individually designed based on the child's specific needs as identified by our educational team. The objective of special education is to provide the support services necessary for students with disabilities to participate and progress in the general education program with their peers.
Do you offer athletic opportunities?
North Central Academy is proud to co-op with Alba Public Schools for a variety of sports such as volleyball, cross country, basketball, and softball. Students also have the opportunity to join Mountain Biking, Ski/Snowboard Club, and Running Club.
Do you offer transportation?
North Central Academy is proud to offer free busing. Our goal is to offer bus stops that stretch as large of a geographical region as possible. Therefore, we have a Gaylord/Alba bus route and a Mancelona/Kalkaska bus route.
What about school rules and discipline?
At North Central Academy, our motto is: "Action Over Words, Service Over Self." Our teachers model positive behavior choices and teach students how to improve behavior by serving others over themselves. Our primary goal is to prevent discipline problems by developing good relationships with our students and creating classrooms that are need-fulfilling for students. We teach students a process for talking through their problems that promotes self-evaluation for improved behavior.
Why do students wear uniforms?
Students at North Central Academy wear uniforms daily. We have chosen uniforms because they:
- Allow students and adults to focus on learning.
- Help eliminate student or staff perceptions about clothing as it relates to status.
- Improve the safety and security of the school.
- Improve behavior and discipline in the school.
- Help develop a sense of unity.