Tuition-free online charter school opens drop-in learning lab in Howell

A Michigan International Prep School student works at the Howell learning lab.

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A new online charter school now has a convenient location in Howell, giving Livingston County students an opportunity to get one-on-one attention from a teacher to enhance their learning.

Michigan International Prep School (MIPS) opened in September 2017 as a tuition-free public charter school serving students across the state. MIPS now has four drop-in learning labs, including the Howell location, which opened in September 2018.

The Howell learning lab is located at 114 W. Highland Road, at the intersection of M-59 and Michigan Avenue/Oak Grove Road, right in front of the Kroger shopping center. MIPS also has learning labs in Oak Park, Ortonville and Sandusky.

Charles Carver, the Director of Program Advancement for MIPS, said the school is an online charter school that’s open to students in grades K-12. As a public charter school, it’s totally tuition-free. MIPS currently has 495 students enrolled statewide, including several in Livingston County.

In addition, MIPS students can receive a school-provided laptop and portable MiFi device for Internet access. Students are able to access their coursework 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Cyber schools like MIPS allow students to take all of their coursework online. Online charter schools have become a great option for a variety of students depending on their situation, including students who need flexibility in their schedule because of sports or work; students who have experienced bullying in their traditional school; students who can’t attend a traditional school because of an illness or disorder; or students who work better in an online environment.

Local officials join MIPS students and staff for the school’s ribbon-cutting in September.

Carver said the Howell learning lab also lets students come in anytime for one-on-one attention from a teacher or mentor. The Howell learning lab is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. to noon. MIPS students can drop in anytime during those hours. “They can show up as frequently as they’d like,” Carver said.

MIPS also provides an alternative education program for students who have dropped out of school. Students up to age 22 can enroll, giving them a chance to go back to school to earn a full high school diploma.

Another benefit to the MIPS program, Carver said, is that students can work at their own pace. Students can work ahead to graduate from high school early, or if they’ve fallen behind in the past, they can take more courses to catch up.

Carver said MIPS has gotten an excellent reception from the community since its September grand opening. Howell Mayor Nick Proctor attended MIPS’ ribbon-cutting, and State Rep. Hank Vaupel has stopped by for a tour. MIPS has also become an active member of the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce.

MIPS is enrolling students throughout the school year, and Carver invites prospective families to stop by the Howell learning lab anytime during regular hours.

Information is also available by calling 248-289-5521, or by checking out the school’s website by clicking here.

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The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.