Curriculum is primarily developed by certified teachers for WAY, and is aligned to education standards established by Common Core, Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations, METS/ISTE, as well as other national sources. Please see the below narrative for further information and citations.
WAY Mentors and Experts (our teaching stafff) carry teacher certification. WAY staff are primarily based, and therefore certified, in Michigan. The small amount of WAY staff that are based outside of Michigan are certified in their respective states.
Statistics as of 11/6/12:
- Total Number of Teachers = 72
- Highly Qualified Teachers = 72
- ESL Certified Teachers = 2
- Reading Certified Teachers = 4
- National Board Certified Teachers = 1
- Teachers Working Out-of-Field = 0
WAY virtual learning environments are monitored 24 hours per day, 7 days a week by live personnel. Researchers can instant message any staff member who is online in the learning environment for assistance, regardless of position or specialty.
At the middle and high school levels the WAY Program provides the following student-teacher ratios:
Six students to one certified teacher who acts as the learning coach/online mentor. Students are arranged into these learning groups (our version of a traditional 'classroom') of no more than 6 students for every teacher. (6:1)
Sixty students to one team leader, a certified teacher who acts supports each student by conducting regular home visits; maintaining a good relationship with the student and their family members; assisting with the identification of local resources that are available to support the student's learning such as internships, community projects, and social services; and overseeing all aspects of the student's education. A close traditional school equivalent to a WAY Team Leader is an Assistant Principal/School Counselor (60:1)
One online expert (Highly Qualified teacher evaluating coursework) day in all core and elective content areas per ten students, evaluating coursework and providing additional feedback. (10:1)
* Overall average of students to certified teachers is never lower than 6:1
Annual teacher turnover rate is 3%.
The current district and intermediate school district program implementations of the WAY Program for high school aged youth are showing an average retention rate of 85%. This retention rate is defined as the percentage of students who begin the program and remain in school with the WAY Program or have graduated from their local district through the WAY Program.
Ethical ConductWAY Staff follow a strict code of ethical conduct as defined in the Employee Handbook, and outlined in extensive detail in the documents below.
Anti-Discrimination PolicyIt is the policy of WAY that no person be denied admission to the program or any WAY affiliated school or be denied participation in, be denied benefits of, or be discriminated against in any curricular, extracurricular, student services, recreational or other program or activities, shall not be abridged or impaired because of the person's sex, race, religion, national origin, ancestry, creed, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sexual orientation or physical, mental, emotional or learning disability as required by state and federal statutes. This policy also prohibits discrimination as defined by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (sex), Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (race and national origin) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (handicap). Address all inquiries or complaints regarding this policy to: Bethany Rayl, Regional Executive, WAY (Widening Advancements for Youth), 369 Main Street, Belleville, MI 48111, phone 313-444-9292.
Non-Sectarian PolicyWAY will be nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies, employment practices, and operations.
Academic IntegrityAt WAY, our program is based on student's personalized mastery of academic subjects. Inherent in this premise is the belief that one cannot master any topic, academic standard, or skill if the work is not one's own.
Guidance and Support
We realize that young people need guidance and support to help them adhere to high standards of integrity. To this end WAY employs many tools:
- Teacher Oversight: Through frequent interactions and personalized project development/assessment, teachers can recognize each student's unique writing style. Teachers will identify any irregular patterns in performance that may require further investigation.
- Parental Involvement: WAY encourages parents to talk to their young people about the importance of academic honesty. WAY and its partner schools expect and rely upon parents to enforce the highest standards of integrity and to support their young people's efforts to maintain those standards.
- Individual School Codes: Our partner schools document their academic integrity policies for students and parents and ensure that violations of academic integrity result in appropriate disciplinary action. We expect students in WAY program schools to read these policies and practices and practice academic honesty at all times.
State AssessmentsAll students in the WAY program and WAY affiliated schools are required to participate in all state and district mandated assessments, and are administered by the local district in accordance to their internal policies.
Attendance and Participation Requirements
All students in the WAY program and WAY affiliated schools are required to log into the learning environment every day, including weekends and holidays, and make contact with their mentor. If a student cannot be in touch with his/her mentor for more than a day (24 hours), they must inform their mentor through email.
Anti-Bullying PolicyIt is the policy of WAY and its campuses to provide a safe and nurturing educational environment for all of its students. This policy protects all students from bullying/aggressive behavior regardless of the subject matter or motivation for such impermissible behavior. The document below details our adopted Anti-Bullying Policy.
Parent and Student ResponsibilitiesStudents and parents are all important partners in the WAY Program. Below are the parent and student agreements, which lay out the shared responsibilities of each stakeholder group in supporting student success.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)WAY Program is compliant with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. The complete FERPA compliance document is linked below.
Students shall be considered Michigan students and thus qualify for free access to the WAY curriculum if any of the following criteria are met:
- Be enrolled in a Michigan public school, or
- Be enrolled as a homeschool student with a Michigan public school district, or
- Be enrolled in a Michigan private school and whose legal guardian is a Michigan resident, or
- Be the child of a parent who is stationed at a Michigan military base (the legal guardian must be the person who is stationed at the Michigan military base).
- WAY will enroll students through age 19. Students must complete their course before age 21.
Exceptional education students who have not earned a standard diploma remain eligible for educational services through the end of the school year in which they become twenty-two years old. (IDEA 97-300.121(a))