Redefining the Classroom

WAY Academy of Flint

Mission Statement

Changing lives by creating engaging and encouraging educational opportunities for all young people

Vision Statement

WAY offers an alternative approach to education; one that encourages self-esteem, independence, and the development of 21st century global and career skills. We aim to make every young person a hero.

WAY Academy of Flint Location

817 East Kearsley Street
Flint, MI 48503

(810) 412-8655


WAY Academy of Flint, Washtenaw Location

  • Address:
    555 Briarwood Circle
    Ann Arbor, MI 48108
  • Telephone:
    (810) 265-5492
  • Website:

WAY Academy of Flint Contact Information

Madeline Black,

Management Company:
WAY - Widening Advancement for Youth
Executive Director: Beth Baker,
Executive Director: Glen Taylor,

Board of Directors:
President: Howard Buetow,
Vice President: : Precious Spencer,
Secretary/Treasurer : Angela Nelson,
Trustee: Teresa Hazard,
Trustee: Lori Wright,

LSSU Oversight Officer:
Chris Oshelski
Executive Director Charter Schools

Contract (pdf)

Celebrating First-time Events at WAY Academy West Campus!


Students took the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) MAP assessment for the second time this school year. The amount of growth made the need for celebration a must! Student growth was outstanding, with many doubling and tripling their projected targets. The entire school celebrated with an Ice Cream Extravaganza. The choices of Oreos and Chip- Ahoy Cookies, Butter Fingers, Chocolate, Strawberry, and Caramel Syrup, Marshmallows, Whipped Cream, M&M's, Sprinkles, and Vanilla and Chocolate Ice Cream, gave everyone the opportunity to create an Ice Cream Sundae of their dreams! One student when asked what contributed to their 16-point increase in Mathematics stated, "I really paid attention this year, and working with Veronica (math teacher) helped a lot." The same student also stated that they enjoyed working on the math projects.

School Garden

It has been overwhelming - the amount of excitement and pride students have expressed in getting their hands dirty. While the work has not been easy, with the guidance of teacher Stephanie Current, both middle and high school students began working diligently to establish our first school garden. Mrs. Current feels, "Students are learning how to be responsible and take ownership of something that can impact them in the future. They are learning a skill that is being forgotten in many communities. This experience will stay with them for many years."

The experience is pairing well with our Project- Based approach to learning, by providing real-world connections for the entire teaching staff to plan crosscurricular projects. We are thankful for the Don Bosco Community Group, Ready-Set-Grow, headed by Carl Thomas, for sharing the area with us. The group has partnered to share the costs involved in making the garden a point of pride for the Cody-Rouge neighborhood.

Poetry Night

Middle and high school students held the First Annual Poetry Night on 3rd of June, remembering and honoring the late-great Dr. Maya Angelou. Students read their original poetry in person, while others participated by having their poetry presented through a digitally recorded slideshow. Students were able to sit and observe audience reactions, while maintaining a sense of anonymity. Many of these students were so overcome with pride at the audience reactions that they have since created a poetry club. The club is entirely student-led and headed by middle school student, Leniya Young. English-Language Arts teacher, Kim Clark, who organized the event stated, "I have no doubt that this event created a new passion for the spoken word."

Detroit Parent Network: Creating a Network of Support for Students and Parents

Detroit Parent Network is a premier parent organization that transforms parents to make Detroit a better place to raise and educate our children.

WAY Academy is excited about their new partnership with Detroit Parent Network. Detroit Parent Network offers workshops to our students and gives them practical tools, written materials and leadership development. DPN works with our young parents to instill selfesteem and the core parenting skills that will help them to create a better future for their children. The organization has serviced 28,000 parents this year alone and is rapidly expanding.

This month at WAY Academy our researchers attended a Love and Logic training that focused on raising responsible children and identifying individualized solutions for parents. Students learned how to teach personal responsibility and respect, how to avoid enabling and begin empowering, and how to set enforceable limits. WAY has partnered with Detroit Parent Network to create a culture for parent involvement, both from our students as parents and also from the parents of our students.

Part of WAY's mission is to help parents to remove barriers in their lives. We believe that this partnership will be powerful for students moving forward. In order to gain the support of parents, it is important to be a good listener, to considerately schedule parenting workshops and to help parents remove the barriers in their lives that keep them from moving forward. Parents are better caregivers when they are able reflect and set personal goals for themselves. WAY Academy believes that families are the best advocates for their children. Improving the leadership skills of interested parents will help them give more to their neighborhoods and schools. After attending a recent workshop, one of our parents stated, "WAY's parent sessions have helped me to reduce the stress in my life and in my home. I feel more confident in preparing my children to apply for and attend college. I also feel like I have stronger relationships with the teachers here at WAY Academy than I have at any other school."

Having a powerful network of parents behind our students is essential to their success. WAY works with Detroit Parenting Network to provide small grants for parenting projects as well as internship opportunities with a small paid stipend. Parents consistently provide positive feedback regarding these workshops. With such high parental involvement and support for students to concentrate on their individual goals as parents, we are investing in the continued success of WAY researchers.

A Cirque Experience of a Lifetime

Roll right up and see before your very eyes how a woeful widget factory becomes a frolicsome funhouse in Birdhouse Factory, which ran at The Whiting in Flint, as part of the Health Alliance Plan Family Series.

Created and directed by Chris Lashua, the originator of the German Wheel act in Cirque du Soleil's Quidam, and featuring veterans of the Pickle Family and Moscow Circuses, Birdhouse Factory uses a decidedly fresh aesthetic to showcase their highflying, mind-boggling talent. Birdhouse factory has wowed audiences worldwide from a critically acclaimed off Broadway run and US tour to highly successful European tour and performances in Dubai and Hong Kong.

Assembly workers became ecstatic with aerial ambition, crane operators twist and transmute into strange and silly shapes, and gravity-defying mechanics ignite endless "oohs" and "aahs" when unexpected inspiration flies into their world. Birdhouse Factory was in part by the masterful industry murals of Mexican artist Diego Rivera, the outrageous illustrations of cartoonist Rube Goldberg, and the slap-stick style humor of Charlie Chaplin's film "Modern Times."

Researchers from the WAY Academy of Flint never experienced a cirque quite like this one! The day after this phenomenal and exhilarating performance, approximately 25 researchers were captivated as they witnessed first hand a contortionist perform on a turntable powered by unicyclists, a high-flying trapeze artist sail through the air, and a trampoline wall artist seemingly defy the laws of physics.

Working collaboratively with the cast, each researcher was given a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform themselves into high-flying trapeze artists, unicyclists and jugglers. At WAY Academy of Flint, we provide an amazing opportunity for all kids. We will continue to offer a personalized, engaging, high-quality curriculum that is project-based that inspires our kids to be creative, innovative, and successful.

Sharon L. Miller, Director
WAY Academy of Flint