Northern Michigan Partnership

About the Northern Michigan Partnership

The Northern Michigan Partnership offers elective classes to all students, grades K-12, living in the five-county area of the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District (TBAISD) and any contiguous ISD (including Manistee, Wexford-Missaukee, C.O.O.R., Charlevoix-Emmet, and Cheb-Otsego-Presque Isle). Classes are available to students enrolled in the Partnership and are taught by certified teachers and community experts.

Partnership Mission

The mission of the Northern Michigan Partnership is to provide innovative and cutting edge educational opportunities that will service all learners in our community.  All classes will be free of charge and offered to all students. The Partnership will bring together students, parents, educators and community experts to encourage and help facilitate integrated and cooperative learning. Through careful listening, observation and reaction to how learning takes place, we will create an environment that flows with the interest of the students.

Fall 2018 Classes

Classes will begin Wednesday, September 5, 2018, and will meet weekly every Wednesday until January 23rd with holiday breaks on November 21st, December 26th and January 2nd. All classes will be held at Interlochen Community School (3113 M-137, Interlochen, MI 49643).

External LinkSign up for Northern Michigan Partnership Facebook Group.

Register

 

How to Register

Following are the steps to register your student for the Fall 2018 session.

  1. Submit Registration Form

  2. Obtain Vaccination Records/Waiver

    • Confirm with your physician that your child’s vaccination records are up to date in MCIR.
    • Or schedule an appointment with your local County Health Department to obtain a vaccination waiver.
  3. Make Class Selections

  • Class schedule for Fall 2018 classes will be available in June 2018. 
  • The link for the class signup will be sent in July once the registration form has been received.
  • Each class has a minimum and maximum number of students – in the situation that your student’s class is cancelled, or the class is full – you will be contacted directly to select an alternative class or be placed on a waiting list.
  • Your student will be limited in the winter 2019 semester to the number of classes they select in the fall.

Classes

The Northern Michigan Partnership offers free non-core classes to all eligible students.  These classes include art, music, phys. ed., foreign languages, strategic thinking, life skills, and more.  

  • PDF DocumentView the Winter 2018 class schedule example here.
  • The new class schedule for the Fall 2018 classes will be posted in June. The class selection link will be sent in July via email once registration forms have been received. All classes will be assigned based on receipt of registration forms and then on a first come – first serve basis.  Current registered families will receive a one week grace period to select their classes. Students are eligible for up to four classes each semester.
  • Each class has a minimum and maximum number of students – in the situation that your student’s class is cancelled, or the class is full – you will be contacted directly to select an alternative class.
  • All students are limited in the winter 2019 semester to the number of classes they selected in the fall.

About Our Certified Teachers

Briggs, Susan

Susan has been involved in art for most of her life. She is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy, and received her B.A. in Art from Western Michigan University. Her passion for teaching, and her interest and experience in a variety of art media led her to become a certified K-12 art teacher in 2005, after a twenty year career in graphic design. In addition to teaching at NMP, Susan develops curriculum for online art classes for Gull Lake Home School Partnership, where she also taught art for seven years. Her own creative interests involve mosaic and fused glass art. She enjoys sharing her passion for all art forms with her students. 

Clone, Melissa

Melissa is a Visual Arts teacher and professional photographer living in Cedar, MI. She holds a B.F.A. in Illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design, a Master of Science in Educational Media Design and Technology and a K-12 Art Education Teaching Certificate from Saginaw Valley State University.  She has over 10 years’ experience teaching photography, drawing, painting, sculpture, video production, graphic design, social media marketing and journalism.  She currently teaches Visual Arts classes and Yearbook at Traverse City West Senior High School.

Dennis, Michelle

Michelle has called Traverse City home for 14 years. Originally from the Dayton, OH area, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Multi-Age Spanish Education (K-12 certification) from Cedarville University. Michelle studied in Valencia, Spain as part of her college experience. She taught Spanish 1-4 at Traverse City Christian School for four years, prior to starting a family in 2007. She taught for the Traverse Bay Christian Cottage School program for two years (2006-2008), teaching Elementary Spanish. Following that, she taught Spanish for TEACH Homeschool Co-op in TC for four and a half years (2012-2016), teaching two Elementary Spanish classes, as well as Spanish 1 & Spanish 2. Most recently (Nov-Dec 2016), Michelle had the privilege of attending a Spanish Immersion course in Santa Ana, Costa Rica, where she received 40 hours of intensive classroom instruction, as well as the experience of living with a host family. Michelle is passionate about teaching Spanish in a fun and active manner that instills in students a love and excitement for learning the language and culture! In addition to teaching, Michelle is passionate about her family. She has been married to Adam for almost 15 years, and has three wonderful children – Charlie (10), Claire (8) & Henry (4).

Fehrenbach, Shelagh

Shelagh is a math interventionist at Traverse Heights Elementary School, and has been teaching with TCAPS for five years. She has been embedding STEM concepts in her classroom ever since she got her first 3-D printer in 2014, and she enjoys seeing students plan, create, and fix their projects. Shelagh also works at the district level on the math leadership team, and is passionate about studying teaching and learning to find ways to make classrooms work better for kids. Shelagh lives in Suttons Bay with her husband and three daughters.

Hysell, Tim

Tim is a proud father of three children and is enjoying his 21st year teaching Physical Education, the last sixteen with TCAPS teaching Elementary PE. Tim received his Bachelor's Degree from Michigan State University in Physical Education and Exercise Science and his Master's Degree from Grand Valley State University in Educational Leadership. Tim has served as TCAPS District Support Specialist for Elementary Physical Education since October 2006. He is passionate about teaching and motivating students and athletes to strive to improve on a daily basis. Tim enjoys coaching ice hockey and lacrosse, as well as being active in outdoor activities.

Nichols, Colette

Colette has been teaching for five years and knew since she was in second grade that she would be a teacher someday. There are few things she loves more than teaching and see each year as a new adventure where you will learn and grow together. She has a wonderful husband and is a mother to two of her favorite people, Kennedy and Xaqary. She always tries to be the kind of teacher that she would want her children to have, one that creates an environment where ideas, mistakes, and adventures are welcome. She’s looking forward to a wonderful school year together and can't wait to see all you can discover together!

Olszewski, Holly

Holly is a PreK-5 music specialist for Traverse City Area Public Schools. She has been teaching twenty years and has taught a variety of music classes and grades in that time, including middle and high school band, and elementary, middle and high school choir. She is a frequent presenter at Music Conferences throughout the state, conducting workshops in learning goals and scales, writing student learning outcomes, teacher evaluation, as well as folk dancing. Holly is passionate about helping new teachers foster student success in the arts. A strong advocate in arts for everyone, she is the region B representative and fall general music workshop chair for the Michigan Music Education Association. She is also a Fellow for the Michigan Arts Education Instruction and Assessment consortium.

Rudzinski, Elizabeth

Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art Education (K-12 certification) and a Masters in Curriculum and Teaching from Michigan State University. She’s taught for the Traverse City Area Public Schools district for four years. During that time she has taught art at Blair Elementary, Courtade Elementary, Eastern Elementary, TCAPS Montessori, Central Grade School, Cherry Knoll Elementary, and Traverse City Christian School. Prior to teaching for TCAPS she taught seven years at Grand Ledge High School. Elizabeth taught Ceramics One, Ceramics Two, Printmaking, Drawing, Advanced Drawing, and Art One. One of her favorite mediums to teach and create on her own time is ceramics.

Walters, Rebecca

Rebecca iis a 2008 graduate of Central Michigan University with a K-12 Family and Consumer Science Major and double minor of School Health Education and English.  She earned her Master's degree from the University of Illinois in 2016 in International Education. This is her tenth year at West Middle School teaching American Foods, Global Foods, Creative Living and Yearbook. She teaches at NMC in the summer for the 'College for Kids' program. In her free time, she enjoys traveling. She is the coordinator of the Japanese Exchange Program and has traveled to Japan seven times. She also enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking and playing with her dog, Malcolm.

White, Amanda

¡Hola! My name is Amanda White and I am proud to be part of the Northern Michigan Partnership. In addition to working with Señora Dennis  in the NMP Spanish I class, I teach Spanish at West Middle School. This is my fifth year teaching for TCAPS. Prior to moving to Traverse City, I spent seven years teaching Spanish at Detroit Country Day School in Bloomfield Hills, MI. I also spent five valuable years employed by the federal government before attaining my teaching certificate. I graduated from Central Michigan University with a Spanish major and English as a Second Language minor. I have also earned a Master of Arts in Technology from CMU. My husband and I have a son, Brayden (8) that attends Eastern Elementary School. I look forward to sharing my love of the Spanish language and culture in this program. I know that a second language, paired with the many talents of your children, will help prepare them for today's global society.

About Our Community Experts

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About the Community Experts

Bade, Teri

Teri is a mother of five, and has been homeschooling for 28 years. Of her five children, two (so far) have graduated from college, two are homeschooling their own children, and one is still at home. Teri received her musical training helping her husband get his degree in music from Central Bible College in Springfield, MO. She and her husband, Steve, teach youth church music – both in groups and individually. While Steve has been a licensed minister with the Assemblies of God for many years, Teri has just completed her credentialing requirements and will officially be a certified minister in March of 2018. Teri is the Director of the Food Bank at Lifehouse Assembly in Cadillac, plays keys on the worship team, and teaches the 3-5 yr-olds. In high school, she was selected twice as a violist for the Nebraska All-State Orchestra and attended Thousand Oaks Academy in 1978. She is a former member of the Cadillac Symphony, and the Sandhills Symphony in North Platte, Nebraska. Teri has taught piano and music theory classes since 1996. They have lived in Michigan for 10 years. 

Briggs, Susan

Susan has been involved in art for most of her life. She is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy, and received her B.A. in Art from Western Michigan University. Her passion for teaching, and her interest and experience in a variety of art media led her to become a certified K-12 art teacher in 2005, after a twenty year career in graphic design. In addition to teaching at NMP, Susan develops curriculum for online art classes for Gull Lake Home School Partnership, where she also taught art for seven years. Her own creative interests involve mosaic and fused glass art. She enjoys sharing her passion for all art forms with her students. 

Choate-Heretoiu, Catrina

Catrina is the lead ballet teacher at Dance Arts Academy in Traverse City, MI. She received her early ballet training with the Cecchetti Method and later with the School of American Ballet in New York City. Catrina danced professionally with Miami City Ballet, Carolina Ballet, and Miami Contemporary Dance Company. She performed many Balanchine Ballets including Agon, Concerto Barocco, The Four Temperaments, Jewels, and Serenade. Catrina holds a B.A. degree in English Literature from Florida International University and an M.F.A. degree in Dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. From 2010-2014, Catrina was a full-time faculty member with the UIUC Dance Department teaching ballet, Feldenkrais, and directing the community outreach Lecture Demonstration program. She is a Guild Certified Feldenkrais practitioner and has structured specific Awareness Through Movement lessons for dancers. Throughout her career she has taught ballet and modern dance to all levels, creative movement for children, and has facilitated expressive movement classes for incarcerated women. Catrina believes in the power of movement to enhance learning and self-development and she likes to provide the environment necessary for people to freely explore, experience, connect, and learn.

Dennis, Michelle

Michelle has called Traverse City home for 14 years. Originally from the Dayton, OH area, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Multi-Age Spanish Education (K-12 certification) from Cedarville University. Michelle studied in Valencia, Spain as part of her college experience. She taught Spanish 1-4 at Traverse City Christian School for 4 years, prior to starting a family in 2007. She taught for the Traverse Bay Christian Cottage School program for two years (2006-2008), teaching Elementary Spanish. Following that, she taught Spanish for TEACH Homeschool Co-op in TC for 4 ½ years (2012-2016), teaching two Elementary Spanish classes, as well as Spanish 1 & Spanish 2. Most recently (Nov-Dec 2016), Michelle had the privilege of attending a Spanish Immersion course in Santa Ana, Costa Rica, where she received 40 hours of intensive classroom instruction, as well as the experience of living with a host family. Michelle is passionate about teaching Spanish in a fun and active manner that instills in students a love & excitement for learning the language and culture! In addition to teaching, Michelle is passionate about her family. She has been married to Adam for almost 15 years, and has 3 wonderful children – Charlie (10), Claire (8) & Henry (4).

Dunphey, Tina

Tina has been studying American Sign Language for the past seventeen years and was an interpreter for seven of those years. After having their third child, she decided to be a stay at home mom and youth minister at their home parish, St. Philip Neri in Empire. Her husband, Mark, is the middle school and high school religion teacher at St. Mary School in Lake Leelanau. Tina continues to share her passion for sign language and Deaf culture by tutoring youth who have interest, teaching all three of their children sign, working with special needs children and their families to develop effective communication through sign and remaining active within the Deaf community.

Hafner, Katie

Katie lives in Leelanau County where she home educates, tends a patch of land and writes in her diary. She believes that art-making builds bridges between the imaginal realm and the material world, and is committed to a lifelong practice of making art that is personal and alive.

Heretoiu, Bogdan

Bogdan is a native of Romania, a land of old folk tales, heroes, and wondrous highlands. He has studied Theater and Film Directing in Europe, and Film Production in USA. He produces documentary work and teaches Screenwriting, Cinematography, and leads specific Storytelling lessons based on brainstorming and following the creative path of ancient oral traditions. As for Martial Arts, he started his training at the age of thirteen in Okinawan Goju-Ryu (a Karate style known for its speed, elegance, and efficiency) and soon after, he complemented it with the study of Aikido - The Art of Peace. He teaches kids and adults in an exploratory way, focusing on the connection between people and conflict resolution with minimal damage to either part involved. Each practice session is a journey of self-discovery. Both in Storytelling and Martial Arts, we observe and cultivate mutual respect, tolerance, and compassion. All along, we all have fun!

Huebner, Julie

Julie is a licensed floral designer and is currently studying to become a master gardener through Oregon State University. She enjoys sharing her passion for nature and beauty with others. She has taught numerous classes in Illinois as well as the Traverse City area. Julie is a mother to five children, and has been homeschooling for 12 years. She loves to foster a love of learning with children by hands-on learning and exploring our amazing world!

Human Nature School

Learn the knowledge of the Naturalist, the skills of the Survivalist, and the attitude of the Caretaker. By weaving simple, nature-based practices into our daily lives, we can develop powerful connections to nature, ourselves and each other. They are teaching nature connection; encouraging the blossoming of each student’s soul; and guiding students toward service, leadership, and stewardship.

Lindell, Lars

Lars has enjoyed cooking since he was a young boy. His first few jobs were in food service. After high school, he joined the U.S. Army to see the world and experience its many cultures and cuisines. After serving in the military for eight years, he attended The Gros Bonnet Culinary Academy in Honolulu to hone his talents and to better himself as a chef. He is currently working at Hermann's European Cafe in Cadillac for a Certified Master Chef, one of 57 in the United States. In his spare time, he caters parties and events and creates delicious dishes with his wife and children. Lars enjoys teaching kids and adults alike, how to cook and how to enjoy food and life. 

Morgan, Christi

Christi has two Bachelor’s degrees and two decades of experience in education and social work fields. Through a vast array of experiences as a caregiver, counselor, coach, teacher and program director – she’s worked in facilities such as childcare centers, schools, residential treatment programs and individual homes. Christi loves her profession, but being a parent has been her most rewarding job. Christi loves homeschooling her children and spending time as a family. The Morgan family enjoys watching movies together, board games, playing sports, swimming in Lake Superior, camping adventures … They hope to be able to have more adventures and follow husband/dad (Jeff Morgan) filming across the globe.

Morgan, Jeff

Jeff is an award winning Director, Producer, Union Cinematographer and Editor with two-decades of world-wide experience in the fields of feature films, documentaries, commercials, and corporate videos. Jeff has taught kindergarteners through adults the art of filmmaking and loves to share the love of all arts, including martial arts with others. Jeff has studied Martial arts forms such as: Maharlika Kuntaw, Kashima Shinryu, Kenjutsu, Jujitsu, Muay Thai, Aikido… He loves play fighting and practicing sports with his kids, camping with his family, building, drawing, playing saxophone, playing games, reading, and of course watching films.

Newton’s Road

Newton’s Road works with regional partners to leverage the unique characteristics of Northern Michigan’s natural surroundings, knowledgeable workforce, and rich legacy of community involvement to champion, support and increase access to outstanding learning opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM Education). They believe that celebrating and investing in STEM Education excellence is essential to the success of individual K-12 learners as well as to our region’s overall economic outlook. Today more than ever, it is critical that we work together as a community to coordinate regional resources in order to meet the challenges presented by the rapidly evolving global economy.

Pancoast, Amy

Amy is a homeschooling mom of three and has been homeschooling for six years. She has had a love for music since a young age and has been involved in choirs, worship bands, music competitions, vocal lessons, and song writing. She is passionate about building a child's confidence through music and helping learning concepts stick by making it entertaining through song. 

Potter, Sara

Sara is the owner of a marketing firm in Traverse City which specializes in marketing for small, woman-owned businesses and non-profits throughout the United States. She has worked as a Job Skills Trainer and ESL Teacher for adult refugees at the African Community Center in Denver, as well as working as a Lead Preschool Teacher at Primrose Schools for two years. She was Lead Teacher at Treetops Preschool off and on for several years, as well as Director of Camp Sylvan at Treetops for two years. She has volunteered to teach ESL to adults in Detroit, as well as volunteered to run 'Storytime and Crafts' at a Barnes and Nobel bookstore in Chicago. She has always homeschooled her son, JJ, and enjoys writing curriculum and encourages creative expression in her lessons. Sara currently volunteers with Outreach Uganda and Friends for Life of Otsego County. 

Preneta, Julie

Julie resides in Leelanau County where she works as, among other things, a farmer. With her husband Nick, an artist, they spend their days growing and creating and allowing their children to do the same. She has a BA in agro-ecology from Green Mountain College and a lifetime spent working on organic farms, in restaurants and food service. As a former preschool cook and current mama she knows what gets the young ones excited about helping in the kitchen - their stomachs and their hands. She’s excited to share a love of kitchen fundamentals and fun making. 

Tuthill, Julie

Julie has been home educating for 20 years. She is a homeschooling mom of three boys who enjoys working with students in a cooperative environment. Whatever the subject, teaching to their interest, meeting the students where they are, and inspiring them to be excited about learning is her specialty. 

Zivkovich, Jim

Retired teacher from Utica Schools (41 years) – with the final 13 years teaching physical education to elementary school students. Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Bowling Green University and then a Master’s in Education from Wayne State University. Coordinated Jump Rope for Heart and Blood Drives for the school through the American Heart Association.

Frequently Asked Questions

Enrollment Questions

What is the residency requirement for enrollment?

Students living in the five-county area of Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District (TBAISD) and any contiguous ISD (including Manistee, Wexford-Missaukee, C.O.O.R., Charlevoix-Emmet, and Cheb-Otsego-Presque Isle).

What paperwork is required for homeschool student enrollment/registration?

Enrollment requires a PDF Documentone page application, birth certificate, and vaccination records or waiver.

Are vaccinations required?

No.  A waiver can be obtained from the County Health Department.

Can students enroll in a virtual school and the Northern Michigan Partnership?

No.

What are the age requirements for enrollment in the Northern Michigan Partnership?

Enrollment is open to students who turn five years old by September 1, or those who will be five years old by December 1 may register with a parent signed waiver. Students less than 20 years of age as of September 1 may enroll in the Northern Michigan Partnership.

Is this a charter school?

No.

Is this a public school?

Yes, but any homeschool students in this program are still considered non-public school students.

Questions About Classes

What are the important dates for the Northern Michigan Partnership?

  • Last Day of Winter 2018 Classes: June 6, 2018
  • First Day of Fall 2018 Classes: September 5, 2018
  • Count Day: October 3, 2018
  • Thanksgiving Break: November 21, 2018
  • Christmas Break: December 26, 2018 and January 2, 2018
  • Last Day of Class: January 23, 2019

Where do the classes meet on Wednesdays?

Interlochen Community School – 3113 M-137, Interlochen, MI.

How are class offerings decided?

The partnership committee will review class suggestions made by families, create a recommended class schedule, which will then be submitted for approval by the school district.

When are classes held?

All classes are virtual with an optional class meeting on Wednesdays.

How are instructors selected?

Instructors will be interviewed and evaluated by the partnership committee with final approval by the school district.

Who are instructors?

Instructors are experts in the community who will be teaching classes but may not possess teacher certification.

Who are certified teachers?

Certified teachers are individuals who possess teacher certification and oversee the classes and collaborate with the community experts.

Are certified teachers required for every classroom?

Yes.

Who are community experts?

They are experts in the community who are skilled and passionate about their specific discipline and want to share what they know with our students. They collaborate with the certified teacher in each class.

How are community experts selected?

Community experts are interviewed and evaluated by the Partnership Committee with final approval by the district.

Are background checks required for certified teachers and community experts?

Yes.  To ensure the safety of all students, a thorough background check will be required of all certified teachers and community experts.

How many classes can each student take?

Students may sign up for one to four classes under the Partnership.

Is there a class size limit?

Typically, class size is determined by the certified teacher and community expert.

Is there any testing required in the classes or by the school district?

No. 

Are students assigned letter grades?

Letter grades can be granted upon request. Otherwise, students are assigned pass/fail grades. Courses are available for credit toward a school diploma and grade progression.

Will attendance be recorded?

Attendance is kept by Partnership staff. To maintain the integrity of the program, we need to demonstrate an overall excellent rate of completion of classes taken by our students. Students who fail to participate will be dropped from the class but not the Partnership. Failure to consistently participate in any of the classes chosen jeopardizes continuation in the Partnership.

Are parents allowed to be in the classroom with their child?

Yes. Any person attending a class four or more times over the school year will be required to complete an iChat background check.

Does the Partnership provide computers for the students?

Yes.

Who substitutes for certified teachers or community experts? 

Substitutes from the district’s substitute teacher provider will be assigned if a certified teacher or community expert need to be absent. 

Miscellaneous Questions

Will parents need to remain at Interlochen Community School while their children’s classes are in session?

Every elementary student must have a parent, or an adult designated by the parent, on site and ready to assist the student if a need arises.  Secondary students may be dropped off.

What is available for siblings under the age of five?

Supplemental optional programming provided by parents is available for preschoolers.

Will extracurricular activities be available to students?

Learning, Enrichment & Academic Program (LEAP) classes will be available for a fee just like they are for non-homeschool elementary and middle school students. In addition, parents can create extracurricular activities on their own.

How is the Partnership funded?

The per pupil foundation grant received by the school district from the State for students attending Partnership classes funds the expenses incurred in the Partnership.

Do I need to use a certain curriculum at home?

No. The curriculum you choose for your core classes or any other class is entirely up to you. The school will not inquire about your homeschooling.

How is discipline handled?

Discipline will be handled by the parent or responsible adult on site.

How are snow days determined?

The Partnership will follow the TCAPS school closing policy.

 

 

FAQs updated April 13, 2018