Our Name Says It All....
Berrien Springs School District has an outstanding track record of creating phenomenal, unprecedented programs reaching students of all ages and abilities for its own community and beyond. Why are we called a "Parent Partnership?" Because BSPS believes that every student is unique, and that education can be adapted to fill the unique needs of students and their families.
BSPS is not just a school of choice, it is a district of choices. We realize that students are best served with a variety of choices, and support your decision to choose the type of schooling that suits your student and family best. We partner with you by providing outstanding elective educational opportunities at no cost to you, right where you are!
How does this program work?
This a free program paid for by your tax dollars and generously provided and supported by Berrien Springs Public Schools. Because BSPS is a district of choices, we offer all students an array of options. The Partnership is available to district students, homeschool students* (see FAQs below) from Berrien, Cass and VanBuren counties, and private school students who either live in-district (Berrien Springs residents) or attend one of the many schools located within the BSPS District.
Students, grades K-12, sign up as part-time Berrien Springs students through the Registration tab. According to HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Association), homeschoolers retain their status as homeschool students as long as parents provide 51% of the students' total education including all core subjects: language arts (reading, spelling, English grammar, writing, literature), arithmetic, science, history, social studies and federal and state government. The school district receives tax dollars and in turn provides extremely valuable and fun non-core (elective) educational opportunities families might not otherwise be able to enjoy.
Benefits of participating in the Partnership
The novelty of our program is that you choose how you want to benefit from what the Partnership has to offer.
- Fellowship with other students in educational and social pursuits
- Up to 2 degree based college courses, including books, free per semester for high school students, depending on grade level (see dual enrollment)
- Up to 4 valuable and exciting community project based learning classes per semester for all ages that may be too costly or inaccessible otherwise. See (Classes Tab).
- Foreign language access through Michigan Virtual and Middlebury World Languages. (see Michigan Virtual) (see Middlebury World Languages)
- Free CTE (Career and Technical Education)…exceptional county-wide vocational programs for Juniors and Seniors (see CTE)
- Access to other exciting non-core virtual classes for all ages (see Virtual Classes under Classes Tab)
- Free (student admission) to exciting field trips (see Field Trips under Classes Tab)
- Access to certified teacher support
- Greater understanding of Berrien Springs Schools and the support and diversity in the greater community.
What are my options - how many classes can my students take?
Elementary (grades K-5)
May take up to 4 of any combination of online Virtual classes and/or Community Project Based Learning classes - all descriptions found on this website under Classes Tab. The number of choices allowed for BSPS on-campus students may be limited by building guidance counselors. Students cannot take more than 1 class in the same category as defined by the Partnership (Art, Dance, Music, Phys Ed, Life Skills, etc.).
Middle School and High School students (grades 6-12)
May take up to 4 of any combination of Virtual and Community classes per semester. Students cannot take more than 1 classes in the same category (Art, Dance, Phys Ed, Life Skills, etc. EXCEPT for Music. A second group music choice (i.e. band, orchestra, choir) is allowed. The number of choices allowed for BSPS on-campus students may be limited by building guidance counselors. No more than 2 of the selections can be Dual Enrollment courses. See the Dual Enrollment tab for grade level restrictions.
Requirements and Considerations
- Students must be 5 years of age by Sept. 1st of the academic year for which they are registering, so that applies not only to Fall semester, but to Spring as well (see FAQ section below). A waiver is available, by request, for students turning age 5 by Dec. 1st of the academic year.
- Students may not be enrolled full-time in any public school, including online public academies (except for on-campus BSPS students and Berrien Springs Virtual Academy students).
- Online registration is required for every student, every semester. Fall registration does not carry over into spring semester.A copy of each student's birth certificate is required when registering for the first time, along with the Special Services form specifying if special education or therapy services were provided to the student in the past and if so, if the parent desires to continue or discontinue. We do not require SS# or vaccination records.
- Students must maintain weekly contact with their mentor teacher to verify project-based learning in all partnership classes.
Mentor Teacher Requirement
To comply with state requirements and keep our program alive and well, we require weekly certified teacher (mentor teachers) contact with every student (except public school on-campus students). Certified teachers (mostly Partnership parents and community class teachers!) will be assigned to each partnership family to establish once a week, 2-way communication via phone, email, text or community class site visits with each student. Be assured, these teachers will understand their role as simply a point of service for any instructional issues or help that a certified teacher may offer. Mentor teachers will not inquire about any of your classes or schooling other than those electives you have signed up for with the Partnership. Even though communication has to be between the mentor teacher and student, of course that can and should take place in the presence of parents when at all possible. The mentor teacher's job is to record that weekly contact is date-stamped and that project-based learning is ongoing. Questions will focus on assisting students with creation and completion of end-of-semester class projects to fulfill the project requirement of Project Based Learning. The teachers will report to the Program Director if there are any issues that arise such as poor attendance. They will also be aware of our attendance policy that all families agreed to at registration; the expectation that students attend at least 80% of classes for which they have registered, either in-person or confirmed virtual attendance.
Summary: Program Compliance
In order to remain active in the Parent Partnership a student must:
- Show good faith in maintaining 80% attendance record in all community classes for which they are registered, either in-person or confirmed virtual attendance.
- * Completion of an approved Project for each class on his or her schedule. See Project Requirements for more information.
- (High School)complete all dual enrollment classes with a passing grade. Withdrawal after the drop period or a failing grade will require parents to reimburse the school or be disqualified from the program. Rented books must be returned to the bookstore on-time or parents will be responsible for any fees incurred.
- Meet the virtual class completion goals (if one or more virtual classes are chosen) as outlined on the Virtual Class Guidelines on the virtual page of this site.
- Maintain weekly contact with assigned mentor teacher, including on-time attendance during count month