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Mid-Michigan educators advise staying on top of schooling and important deadlines amid Coronavirus Pandemic

(WILX)
Published: Mar. 27, 2020 at 9:45 AM EDT
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In this edition of Schools Rule, News 10 is focusing on how students who are not in school can still prepare for next school year.

With the Coronavirus Pandemic, things are uncertain, but Mid-Michigan educators say it is important to stay on top of schooling and important deadlines.

After the state had to close schools because of the Pandemic, lots of students and teachers were left wondering where to go next.

But for some, online learning has always been an option.

Heather Ballien/Superintendent, Great Lakes Cyber Academy said "This is our element, this is how our students go to school everyday, this is how our teachers deliver education for our students," said Heather Ballien, the Superintendent of Great Lakes Cyber Academy. "We're looking at this as an opportunity to to help highlight that this is a viable way for our students, especially in a crisis like this to be able to extend our hand and say, 'You've got this, you can do this, you're able to continue doing great things for the kids in your communities.'"

At Great Lakes Cyber Academy and other virtual schools, students are still getting their instruction uninterrupted. It's something Ballien says traditional schools can easily adapt.

"We're really appreciate that the traditional learning community is really looking at this and giving online learning a second chance," said Ballien. "They're looking at how can they deliver online learning for their kids via the model that we're providing for them."

And what about high school seniors? Home for now, how should they be preparing for next Fall when their first college class starts?

Michele Strasz/Executive Director, Capital Area College Access Network said "We want students to know that there is help out there for them, we have a team of college advisers in 13 of our area high schools and they are all continuing to work remotely," said Michele Strasz, Executive Director of the Capital Area College Access Network. "If you're a senior in high school and you probably received a communication either from the college directly or from your high school regarding which things you should be working on."

It is now more important than ever those seniors who are off school stay on top of getting their necessary forms and registrations submitted.

"It's okay to be nervous, it's okay to wonder about what's going to happen for you in the fall," said Strasz. "But they're going to graduate and they're going to be able to move forward. Most colleges and universities have somebody who's available remotely to answer any questions that you might have."

As a reminder, the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid and college choices are still due same as every year.

The FAFSA deadline is March 1 but can still be submitted.

There is more information on what students and families need to know on the Capital Area College Network's website,

For now, Strasz recommends submitting the FAFSA if you have not already done so.

From there, she recommends logging in to your college's system to look at your Student Aid Award letter and accepting the terms. She also recommends following up with outside scholarships.

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