Lansing's Great Lakes Cyber Academy lets students explore virtual schooling

LANSING, MI. (WILX) - In this edition of Schools Rule, WILX News 10 is focusing on virtual schooling, what it means to be a virtual school and if your students may be a good fit.

Students get online lessons through the Great Lakes Cyber Academy.

The Great Lakes Cyber Academy is in Lansing but has students from all over the state.

They adhere to Michigan's academic and schooling standards but students are able to work from home or from wherever they may be.

"We really do work with kids and we really do help them gain their education," said Heather Ballien, the Superintendent for Great Lakes Cyber Academy.

The Great Lakes Cyber Academy just started the school year. They have students in sixth through 12th grade who can attend their lessons virtually.

"It teaches them how to grab hold of their education, be in charge of their learning, learn how to learn, which is a lifelong skill that will serve them no matter where they go and what they do in life," said Ballien.

Ballien says their students are from all over the state. So, for example, if a student is training for something like snowboarding in the Upper Peninsula, they can still get their High School diploma completed, pretty much whenever they'd like to during the day.

"It's really encouraging and it's very exciting, at the same time," said Ballien.

Bellien says she's excited to have a new school year underway.

"All of the preparation and hard work to start a school year started in January and it pretty much wrapped up as we started the school year," said Ballien. "So now it's just smooth sailing, I think."

She says it does come with its own challenges.

"It can be frustrating, too, when folks may not understand the value that we provide our families," said Ballien.

She says those values, like what she says, are flexible schedules for students to still earn their high school diplomas, make all the hard work with it.

"I think for some of our students, and we're seeing an increasing population of this, it affords them the ability to fit in where they don't have to look the same as everybody else and act the same as everybody else, they can be themselves and that's a real advantage for our students," said Ballien.

For more information on the Great Lakes Cyber Academy,
click here.

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