Frequently Asked Questions

What type of students are the right “fit” for virtual?

• Student is willing to communicate with staff and peers, with or without help from parent/guardian. 

• Student is self-motivated and self-disciplined or responds well to a schedule driven by parent/guardian or teachers. 

• Student has great time-management skills or parent/guardian can provide that daily structure for them. 

• Student will log into their classes and submit assessments daily. 

• ALL Students can thrive in the virtual classroom with great support from their guardian and teachers!

If you would like to know if online school is right for your student, please complete this survey.

Are there events that require my student to meet in-person?

Yes. State testing in Michigan does require that students, in grades 3-12 meet our staff at a designated testing location to complete the MStep, PSAT and SAT. It is an enrollment requirement that all families agree to attend state testing. Field trips and Graduation ceremonies are optional, but encouraged, for families.

How much time will my child be required to be on the screen during the day?

Online schooling does require a lot of screen time. In total, students are expected to spend 6.5 hours a day at a minimum working on their schooling. However some of this time is spent offline, away from the screen competing worksheets, art projects, or physical activity. Students should expect to spend 4-6 hours on their computer each day as a part of the total 6.5 hours. This screen time will include completing lessons, attending live sessions with teachers, completing work, etc.

Can we enroll with Uplift and then leave when brick and mortar schools become “safe”?

"You may dis-enroll your student from Uplift, with proper documentation, whenever you see fit. Michigan law requires students to attend school through the age of 18. In order to dis-enroll your child from Uplift you must have your student fully enrolled in another public or private school (and that school must send a legal records request to Uplift) OR choose to homeschool and submit that request to Uplift in writing. However, we strongly recommend that you wait until the end of the school-year, or at least end of the semester, before making such a change. This will ensure your student has no additional disruption to their education, coursework, and/or credits.

Is Uplift a virtual/online school?

Yes, Uplift is a fully virtual, public charter school in the state of Michigan. Everything your student does is 100% online with the exception of in-person state testing once per year. We serve students, in the state of Michigan, grades Kindergarten through 12th.

Where does my child complete their school work?

Students complete their schoolwork at home on a computer. Some grade-levels and courses may require offline/printed work, such as Elementary courses and Art Electives.

My child doesn’t have a regular daily schedule. Is it OK for them to attend Uplift?

Studies show that students need routine and schedules and we find that is especially true in the virtual environment. It is important that you work with your student to build a daily schedule that best meets their schooling needs. If this means that each day looks different, that is OK. Our staff can help your family design a schedule that works best for you and your student.

Is this program the same as Homeschool?

No, Uplift is NOT a homeschool program. Uplift is an online school. Homeschooling is when a student is taught at home by a parent, guardian, or tutor with a purchased curriculum or workbooks. Homeschooled students are not required to take Michigan educational assessments or prove regular attendance. Online schooling is schooling from home but with certified teachers and high-quality support, using a curriculum that meets the Michigan Merit Standards for Graduation. Online schooling is public schooling and therefore funded by state aid. Online schools, like Uplift, are held to the same standards as traditional brick-and-mortar schools. Therefore, online students must take Michigan State Assessments, meet graduation requirements and prove regular attendance.

My student is experiencing bullying in their current school. Is Uplift a safe place for him/her?

YES! Uplift is a bully-free zone. Many Uplift students have come here because they have or know someone who has experienced bullying. Uplift proudly educates our students about bullying and how to report it safely. Uplift ensures our students abide by our zero-tolerance policy. Together, we work hard to create a school culture that shares a love and respect for each other that is unprecedented.

What if my student is LGBTQIA+

Uplift is a fully inclusive environment for students that are at any stage of discovering who they truly are. We love all students equally and encourage them to love themselves and each other, too! Although the state requires we use the student’s given name on all official records, we allow students to use their preferred name in the school system, on their email address and as their screen name in any live session they attend. Our students feel truly safe to fully be whoever they are, without judgment or scrutiny.

There are so many virtual schools in Michigan, why should my child attend Uplift?

What sets our school apart from others is that we have built a family atmosphere. We meet the needs of every student by working with them where they ARE and in many cases that goes beyond just academics. We strive every day to serve our students and their families to the very best of our abilities. At Uplift, your student is not just another name or number on a roster.

How much support will my child receive?

Our program offers an abundant amount of support. Your student will have support from their classroom teachers, advisory teacher, special education teacher (if applicable), counselor, and administration. These added layers of support allow us to meet with students 1:1 and provide social hours, study halls, and career webinars.

Are you a non-profit school?

Uplift is a publicly funded charter school in Michigan, not a private or "for profit" school. This means the Michigan Department of Education has full oversight of Uplift and all money spent. Financial records and budget information, including all expenditures, can be found on Uplift’s website under the Budget and Transparency link, as well as the “Schedule, Agenda and Minutes” section, under “Our Board."

How much does it cost to attend Uplift?

Uplift is a completely free, public school option.

Where can I learn more about Uplift?

To learn more or to enroll your student, please visit us at https://www.uplift-mi.org

What assessments do you use to measure student growth and progress?

We use the NWEA assessment in reading and math three times a year (fall, winter, and spring). The NWEA testing helps teachers uncover areas of strength in each student and also helps to highlight areas that students need to focus on for growth. Since students take the test three times a year, it is also a great way to see how far your student grows in a school year. These tests are administered online and are a requirement of being a student at Uplift.

What do class sizes look like? Elementary, Middle, High

In the virtual world, classes work a bit differently than you may be used to. Students may be in a class with dozens of peers or only one. However, there are typically no more than 25 students in a live session (Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc.) at a time, unless they are school-wide assemblies.

We would love to attend Uplift, but we do not own a computer.

That’s okay! We are the only online school in Michigan that provides EACH qualifying student with their own computer. That means if a family is enrolling two students, each student will have their own school-issued computer to use during the time they are enrolled with us! It is the responsibility of the family to keep their computer safe and cared for. Damages and replacements are the responsibility of the parent/guardian. Families are expected to find a substitute computer, to use if needed.

My child has an IEP. Do you serve students with IEPs and what accommodations do you provide?

Yes, we absolutely serve students with IEPs. We have state certified, highly qualified special education teachers. Each student with an IEP is assigned a special education teacher to work with closely and meet with them on a regular basis as outlined in their IEP. Any student requiring related services (OT, Speech etc) will be provided these services free of charge, in a fully virtual setting.

Do you offer sports, a band, or a choir?

No, Uplift is solely virtual, so we do not offer a sports, band, or choir program. However, Uplift does provide a plethora of clubs and social sessions.

Will my student’s credits transfer to another school and is Uplift accredited?

Students attending Uplift, as with any other public-school in Michigan, earn credits that are transferrable to other institutions in the state of Michigan. If the student is transferring to a non-Michigan school, it is best to check with that state/institution on if they accept credits from Michigan schools. Uplift utilizes the Accelerate curriculum which is accredited by Cognia (formerly AdvancEd) and WASC.

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