Open enrollment begins for Gateway to Success Academy

SCOTTVILLE — The Gateway to Success Academy in Scottville will be accepting applications for its first year of classes during an open enrollment period starting this month.

Gateway to Success Academy will provide education for students in grades six through 12, and offer class sizes at a one-teacher-to-12 student ratio. Open enrollment will last from Monday, Feb. 15, until Friday, March 11, and there will be space for 135 students for the 2016-17 school year.

As a charter school, a public school which operates independently of the school district in which it is located, Gateway to Success Academy is aimed at providing an alternative style of education compared to the traditional public school model of teaching.

Specifically, the administration is gearing the school toward what is called project-based learning. Project-based learning focuses more on working with hands-on projects in a group so students receive more context with what they are learning. It also means teachers providing more context for what the students are learning.

Although the small school will not have sports teams, music or physical education classes during its first year, school administrators say the alternative approach to teaching students may be very attractive to parents who have watched a child struggle in the past in a more conventional classroom.

Applications are available at Families also can pick up enrollment documents by going to the primary Gateway to Success office in Ludington or by attending one of the school's enrollment events in the West Michigan area. Two such events will take place at the Pathfinder Library in Baldwin. The first will be from 4 to 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 15, and the other will last from 9 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Feb. 20.

School officials are not expecting the student limit for classes to reach their caps in the first year, but they are still encouraging families who are interested in the school to register as early as they are able. Spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis during open enrollment and any remaining spots will be subject to a lottery process.

Gateway to Success was created by several area educators when a previous charter school, Journey High School, was shut down at the end of the 2014-15 school year. Proponents of the new school say they hope the new academy will fill a gap in education in the West Michigan area and allow students who are struggling with traditional schooling an outlet more in sync with their learning style.

For more information, call (231) 845-0922.