Dr. Tim Brannan teaches education at Central Michigan University, so it’s no surprise that when he and his company Brandino Properties purchased the vacant Gunnisonville Elementary Building in DeWitt, he had a vision to use the property to bring innovative new learning opportunities to students. In addition to building an assisted living facility on the site and leasing space to Little Scholars Preparatory School, the 26,000 square foot building will soon become Blended Learning Academies
, a 256-student public school for sixth through eighth graders.
“We’re going t be a one-to-one school,” says Brannan. “Every student and teacher will have a learning device, that will either be an iPad or a netbook.”
The school’s digital curriculum is known as STEAM, focusing on science, technology, pre-engineering and mathematics with an added emphasis on arts and athletics.
“We’re moving toward taking [education] where the individual learning needs of each student are,” Brannan says. “We’re also extending the school year to go through the summer. There will be summer camp-like activities, so as the kids need to catch up, they can do that, and if we have some advanced kids, they can participate in some extra programs like studying alternative energy.”
Brannan intends for the Blended Learning Academies to be open for school this fall and is now taking applicants. The school will employ a staff of up to 12. Brannan also cites interaction with the on-site assisted living center as added value for students’ education.
“We are hoping that unique blend of seniors and students will be an avenue for cross-learning and activities that will allow them to help each other,” says Brannan.