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WAY program offers Northwest students chance to earn diploma from home
From Mlive.com

Northwest Community Schools has a new way for students to earn a high school diploma.

Under the Widening Advancements for Youth program, or WAY, students can do their school work at home on an iMac computer provided by the district and will get to keep the computer if they graduate.

Team Leader Aaron Bulgrien said the WAY program is not for every student but for those who are self-motivated and can work independently.

'This is a great option for students who are either bored with traditional school or basically can'€™t do well in the traditional school setting,'' Bulgrien said.

Cari Bushinski, the district'€™s director of curriculum and instruction, said instead of taking classes, the students, called researchers, will do projects with the help of mentors, team leaders and online experts and earn credits instead of grades.

'€œIt'€™s totally based on their interest, but there is a lot of support,'€ Bushinski said.

The district received a $121,500 grant to launch the program last school year but decided to hold off.

Bushinski said the district received a $40,000 grant this school year, but that is enough to get the program running. She said she hopes to start with 15 students and increase the enrollment to 60.

WAY is for students ages 15 to 19 who live in the Jackson area. An informational open house for students and parents is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday in the media center of Northwest Elementary School, 3757 Lansing Ave.

For more information, call Mary Jo Heckaman at 817-4739.