Building a Path to Personal Success

Where in Michigan can you find…school buses driving in snow eight months of the year? A district where high school athletes have gone on to professional success? A JROTC program over 100 years old? A school system moving toward student-centered learning for all students? You will find all this and more at The Public Schools of Calumet, Laurium & Keweenaw (CLK).

track practice in snow

May 2018 Track Practice PC: CLK

The Public Schools of Calumet, Laurium & Keweenaw is the northernmost K-12 school district in Michigan and covers 419 square miles. Only one K-8 school, Grant Township, is further north in Michigan. Located on the Keweenaw Peninsula, CLK is one of 13 school districts in the Copper Country ISD which encompasses the counties of Baraga, Houghton, and Keweenaw. CLK’s elementary, middle, and high school buildings are connected, a benefit for students and staff as the district often receives more than 300 inches of snow per year. CLK also has an early college program, alternative school, virtual school, homeschool partnership program, and is piloting a competency-based learning model at the elementary school.

The 1,500 students at CLK are predominantly white, mostly from Finnish or Scandinavian descent. Due to Calumet’s remoteness and downturn in the mining industry, over half are under-resourced. According to, the district’s percent proficiency for all students in ELA, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies is at or above the state’s percent proficiency on the state assessments. Their graduation rate is 74% and nearly 38% of CLK graduates go to college within the first six months of graduation (although this number does not include students enrolled in their Early College program – see High School section below). Whether it is average class sizes of 22 or sisu (or a combination of both), CLK’s focus is on student success.

CLK’s main campus is at the edge of the downtown district and is a combination of past and present. In addition to the schools, the property contains the public-school library, many old mining buildings that are used for bus garages and storage, and is adjacent to the Keweenaw National Historical Park headquarters. The district is in the process of renovating a downtown building for their virtual learning program.

The Calumet Public-School Library is housed in the high school building on campus. When the Calumet Hecla Mining Company, establisher of the public library, left the area in the 1940s, it was combined with the school library. Securing the school building with the public library inside was a challenge not found in most districts. In addition, “We’ve had some unique challenges when remodeling and updating buildings this old,” shared Superintendent Chris Davidson. Security entrance systems were installed on the doors that lead to the classrooms and office areas so visitors coming to the library can still enter the high school and walk down the hallway to the library but do not have free access to roam anywhere else in the facility.

superintendent Davidson

PC: CLK website

Chris Davidson became the superintendent of CLK in January 2018. While new to this position, Chris was very familiar with the district. Raised in the lower peninsula of Michigan, Chris fell in love with the Upper Peninsula (UP) while working on his Bachelor’s degree at Michigan Technological University in Houghton. He left the UP to teach at Oxford High School and complete his Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from Central Michigan University. Returning to the UP in 2007, he taught at CLK’s Horizons Alternative High School for a year before serving as its principal for six years. Chris left the district for a year to serve as superintendent, K-12 principal, and athletic director for Chassell Township Schools, a small district about 30 miles south of Calumet. The Calumet High School principal position became available the following year and Chris returned to CLK. After two-and-a-half-years as the high school principal, Chris took the superintendency role upon Darryl Pierce’s retirement.

In a small school district the superintendent’s role covers many positions. As Chris shares his vision for student-centered learning, he empowers his administrators and teachers to design and implement it for the students they serve. “Like many districts in the state, it has not been our culture for teachers to take the lead or take risks and initiate change,” stated Chris. “As we move toward more personalized learning, we are changing our culture so they become more comfortable in that role.” Another area where Chris is letting his staff lead is in curriculum. The district does not have a curriculum director so he has been working with each department to align their curriculum to standards and create a scope and sequence that will span K-12. This is an important step in moving to competency-based learning (CBE).

bannerStudent-centered learning has been a topic of conversation in the district for over ten years and the district has put personalized learning pieces in place over that time. In 2011, the district was one of the first districts in the state to go 1:1 when they began using iPads. Kindergarten continues to use the iPads while grades 1-12 now use Chromebooks. But devices alone are not enough to personalize learning for every student. The district uses learning management systems (LMS) SeeSaw for grades K-5 and Schoology and Google Suite for grades 6-12 that allow students to access teacher-created content any time from anywhere.

There is a strong focus on relationships in every building, classroom, and program in the district. CLK is a Capturing Kids’ Hearts (CKH) district, and CLK Elementary is a 2020-2021 National Showcase School. CKH attends to the social-emotional well-being of both staff and students. Creating a relationship-driven district culture has led to their success in connecting with their students and developing programs that meet their needs.

COVID became the catalyst that propelled the district to move toward CBE at a faster pace. It was during COVID that most of the staff learned how to effectively use their LMS for student engagement and achievement whether online or in person. Professional development for teachers to collaborate on student-centered learning topics became more sustainable too. Monthly early release days continue to be part of the schedule for staff learning.

While the board has played a critical role in supporting student-centered learning over the years, it was during the pandemic that they started to see the vision of how competency-based learning can benefit their students. After planting CBE seeds (i.e., definition, CBE to traditional charts, books, videos, webinars, etc.) for many years, Chris received approval to pilot a CBE program beginning the 2021-22 school year. In August 2021, a coalition of staff from CLK visited Kettle Moraine School District in Wisconsin to see what student-centered learning looked like in their district. This spurred conversations in the district around competency-based learning as a model to personalize learning for all students.

This highlight features some of the innovative options CLK is providing to students as they build their own path to personal success.

Elementary School

In the fall of 2021, CLK Elementary School began a grades 1-3 opt-in competency-based microschool called CLK Engage. The program was designed to align with the district’s Portrait of a Graduate. Matt Hampton, CLK Elementary Principal explained the program by saying, “With competency-based learning (CBE), the district is meeting students where they are in their learning journey. Throughout their day, they have the flexibility to move from one “grade” to another.” Engaging with students where they are rather than keeping a lock-in-step pace for all students addresses the gaps in their learning on a more immediate basis.

teacher sign outside doorTeachers Jennifer Davidson, Heidi Koski, and Lynne Koivisto share 60 students in the CLK Engage program. Each student has a homeroom teacher but moves during the day based on assessment data in reading and math (e.g., DRA and NWEA), student behavior, and teacher input. “First-grade” students performing above grade level in reading will attend the “second-grade” teacher’s reading class while a “third-grader” needing more time to develop foundational math skills will attend a “second-grade” math class. Students move along the scope and sequence continuum in these subjects without being held back or forced to move forward because of their traditional grade level. 

Each day in CLK Engage begins with a 10-15 minute whole group morning meeting. All students also receive whole group and small group instruction from their teachers. Instruction in core subjects other than reading and math is received from their homeroom teacher and students still participate in elective courses like physical education and art. While technology is used in the classroom as a resource and for supplementary activities, students spend most of their time physically with their teachers. They can choose to demonstrate their learning through writing, typing, or recording. Place-based learning opportunities are embedded into the CLK Engage program through local field trips and “Fun Friday” activities. 

CLK Engage Students will soarSetting learning goals, reflecting upon their learning, and advocating for themselves are important components of CBE. Work binders, one tool to help students learn these skills, are where students store their completed assignments and tests. Students reflect on these assets and use a self-evaluation rubric of “I can” statements to showcase their achievement and help set goals. Standards-based report cards, another tool used to help students take ownership of their learning, are used throughout the elementary school. Students use these to show how they build on their competencies throughout the year. 

Work binders and the standards-based report cards are shared with parents at parent-teacher conferences. Along with feedback from parents, which has initially been positive, the district will be using other tools such as student growth/assessments and student confidence to evaluate CLK Engage at the end of the year. Using lessons learned through 2021-22 and the evaluation results, CLK plans to expand the Engage program to grades 4 and 5 in 2022-23. CLK Engage is also impacting the culture of the district as teachers are asking if they can try new student-centered learning models in their buildings and classrooms.

Middle School

As a past social studies teacher, special education teacher, disciplines officer, and CLK’s Horizons Alternative School principal, Joel Asiala believes all students should have an individual education plan. He is a strong proponent for Capturing Kids’ Hearts and has learned to talk with students to understand what they are going through. “Acting out is communication,” he says. “It’s my job to find out what’s behind that behavior.” In the fall of 2021, Joel became the principal of Calumet Middle School. His focus in this new role is on finding what works best for every student, helping teachers navigate these changes, and failing forward because that’s how we learn.

bannerAll three CLK Middle School professional learning communities (PLCs) focus on students. The MTSS PLC studies student behavior, grading, and the school atmosphere. The School Improvement PLC looks at test scores and where they can improve, but also at the school culture. Staff and students’ social and emotional levels are reviewed often to determine what each is struggling with so they can be addressed. In the final PLC, CBE (competency-based education), staff are finding ways to incorporate student-centered learning into the school over the next couple of years. (They are keenly aware that CLK Engage students will be coming to their building in 2024.)

One step in moving toward CBE occurred through a $56,000 donation that allowed the district to create three maker spaces in the building. Laser engravers, Cricut machines, 3D printers, and supplies were purchased and a plan was put into place for teachers to include them in their curriculum. During the first marking period of the 2021-22 school year, every teacher included one project where students would use the maker space. For the second marking period project, students had to present what they learned in their second maker space lesson. As they keep diving deeper into CBE, the third marking period will include a cross curricular (two subjects) project using the maker space that will allow students to choose how they will learn in both subjects. Joel explained, “For example, if the topic is pythagorean theorem, a student may build a bridge with triangles (focus on math) and then write about it in English.” Another student may choose a different project to demonstrate their comprehension of the same math and English standards. In the last marking period of 2021-22 all core subject area teachers for each grade level will collaborate on a cross curricular project for students. An example of this may be the 3 Rs – Recycle, Reuse, and Reduce. Students will choose their main subject area to apply to their project, but must also meet the standards in all other subjects.

Through this plan students learn as they work on things they are passionate about and teachers receive tools to incorporate those passions into their curriculum. As Joel shared, “We all do things we don’t like because we’re passionate about what we’re doing. I love working with kids, but I also have to do the writing and math part of the job even though I don’t really like it.” He believes maker spaces are an important component to help teachers learn how to break away from their siloed lessons and allow students to apply the standards to their passions within all subject areas. 

In addition to maker spaces, CLK Middle School offers after school programs that are taught by their teachers. Students are writing the school newspaper, learning math and practicing reading skills in a babysitting class, and selling products in the school store. They can learn about telescopes, how to use them, and can borrow them to use on their own. Each of these courses run three to four weeks after school and then a new menu of options are offered. Engagement in afterschool programs and sports went from 65% to 80% in two weeks during the first semester of 2021-22 and teachers are realizing that kids will stay after school for 1.5 hours just to learn about their subject. That realization has inspired them to look at changing their classroom structures to fit this type of learning with a goal to have every classroom using one or more student-centered learning tools. 

No matter the educational model used (e.g., CBE, PBL, etc.), the ultimate goal is to get students excited about coming to school and wanting to learn.

High School

With its many windows breaking up the brick facade, Calumet High School (CHS) is reminiscent of schools in bygone eras. Four hundred students occupy the four floors of the building. They blend the past and present as seen by working on their digital devices in the historic study hall. Many traditional classes are taught in a hands-on project-based format, and students can choose to take online, early college, CTE, work-based learning, or Junior ROTC courses. Outside of the classroom, students may participate in a variety of clubs, organizations, and athletic opportunities. The district even maintains wireless wifi hotspots that can be placed on buses so students can keep up on their work during the long bus rides to athletic events.

study hall

Historic Study Hall

The room that most resonates with the past is the study hall. The massive room shares the second floor with a high ceiling that splits the third floor into two separate wings. Over the years and many building updates, the room always remained the study hall. The latest renovation brought the room back to its original colors and design along with the wooden desks and chairs that are bolted to the floor. CLK uses the study hall for SAT testing, school presentations, and as its original intent, a place for students to study.

All the tools are in place to personalize learning for students at the high school – individual devices, a learning management system (LMS), and multiple options for students to choose from. Teachers utilize an LMS to house all of their classroom resources, including teacher made videos, which allows students to learn anytime, anywhere. Career tech programs, project-based learning courses, work-based learning, JROTC, dual enrollment, early college, testing out of courses, and numerous electives both in person and online, give students choice in their learning. The biggest challenge is flexible scheduling due to the size of the school, but the administration and staff continue to forge CLK’s path toward more personalization for students.

For the last four years Jennifer Peters has been leading the student-centered learning journey at the high school. Prior to her role as principal, she taught high school science courses for 18 years in the district. As principal, Jennifer listens to students and finds ways to incorporate their interests into their learning. She is also a proponent for project-based learning.

One area of personalized learning at the high school can be found in the Industrial Arts programs. The Fabrication Lab is housed in the basement of the building and boasts equipment that is used in modern manufacturing. Students use the drafting/CAD equipment, Haas CNC Mill, CNC lathe, 3D printers, laser engraver, and more as they work on individual projects to demonstrate their learning. In addition to learning the different ways to use the CNC mill, students learn how to fix it. The Fabrication Lab is accessible for any teacher/class in the district to use so their students can go from idea/concept to prototyping and testing. The Copper Bots, Calumet’s robotics team, and the CAD class work together to machine and print parts for the robotics team’s robots. Besides the learning that occurs in this process, the team gets the needed parts faster and cheaper.

women welders

Women in Welding PC: CLK website

Welding is one of the Industrial Technology programs in the manufacturing cluster of electives at Calumet High School. The district offers a repeatable one-semester class called Industrial Arts. The class is open to all high school students and offers an artistic, as opposed to an industrial, approach to metalworking and welding. “The Industrial Arts class is incredibly popular with our female students and gives them the opportunity to work in a field that is typically male dominated,” shared Jennifer Peters. Students design their project, cut the parts, and build their projects by welding the parts together.

One tool the students enjoy using is the Lincoln Torchmate CNC Plasma cutting system. “Programming the plasma cutter can be difficult, but students have learned to do so fairly quickly,” shared Corey Suomis, lead instructor for the Industrial Arts class. Corey and Rob Bohlsen are certified Industrial Technology teachers at CHS. Together they have developed courses that allow students to fluidly move between the wood shop, metal shop, and fabrication lab to design and build unique projects. Through these projects, students learn the latest in design technology as well as many other skills in the process. Student projects (welding, woodworking, and machining) are entered in SkillsUSA or MITES competitions and have won many awards.

The North Star Battalion, Calumet’s Junior ROTC (JROTC) program is one of the oldest in the nation, founded in 1917. Not to be confused with a military recruitment program, JROTC is a character and leadership development program. Their mission is to motivate young people to become better citizens. Under the direction of two instructors, one a retired Army Major and the other a retired Army 1st Sergeant, students serve their community as they learn about themselves.

One-quarter of CLK high school students participate in the JROTC program. “A cross-section of our students join JROTC. For some students, there is no other program or club in the district that meets their interests,” explained Chris Davidson. This program is both curricular and extra-curricular. Students enroll in elective classes that expose them to challenges like rappelling, rock climbing, and cybersecurity with a curriculum that builds the capacity for the students to become better citizens and leaders. They can also engage in activities outside of school. JROTC recently partnered with the robotics team to work on projects using vexilar kits purchased through the Department of Defense. Cadets, as they are known, perform at local events, serve as 6th-grade camp mentors, run events to raise money for young mothers and suicide prevention, and organize a yearly Veteran’s Day program and dinner.

Of the 90-100 students per year in the program, about 33% of the cadets stay all four years, moving up the ranks and taking on leadership roles. The JROTC program uses all rooms on their half of the third floor and consists of classrooms, a student officers’ office, and instructors’ office. Students are required to maintain their uniforms and many compete in events like drill team competitions and JLAB (JROTC Leadership & Academic Bowl) where they have received many awards.

High school students taking one or a few online courses in their schedule can go to the Online Learners Lounge in the building. This room has comfortable seating and a more relaxed atmosphere than a traditional classroom. Whether a student is taking core or elective courses not offered in the district or is catching up in a course, a teacher is available who can assist them in their learning.

Over 50% of students in each grade enroll in the CLK-GCC Early College program every year with an average of 35 students staying through their fifth year.


For eight years, Calumet has had an agreement with Gogebic Community College (GCC) for their early college program. Calumet teachers are hired by GCC and teach at the high school. Students in the CLK-GCC Early College program complete their first two years on campus at the high school. They are given more flexibility during their junior and senior years with M/W/F or T/TH classes. When they don’t have class, they are not required to come to campus, just like college. In their 5th year, students have the option to take Gogebic Community College courses at the Ironwood or Houghton campuses. About 50-60 students (over 50%) in each grade enroll in the early college program every year with an average of 35 students staying through their fifth year. Students can earn any associates degree offered by GCC with the most popular being nursing, engineering (GCC works with MTU), and welding. The district does not offer AP courses as there is more interest in early college than AP. Students interested in Career Tech programs participate through Copper Country ISD.

In addition to these offerings, the high school is intentional about moving toward CBE. One of the high school PLCs focuses on competency-based learning. One key component to CBE is to give students more voice and choice. As an entry point into CBE, offer student choice opportunities during the monthly half-day professional development day. Students explore something new and choose from a variety of 2-hour long seminars. The topics for the seminars are suggested by students and are facilitated by teachers. The competency-based learning PLC continues to discuss ways each teacher can incorporate more voice and choice into their classroom as well and is in the process of developing performance assessments for competencies in each subject area.

Horizons Alternative Education School

Horizons Alternative High School, located in Mohawk, MI focuses on the individual student and their learning. The program began in 2005 in a former K-5 building where the program is still housed. There are four classrooms, a computer room, weight room, gymnasium that also serves as the cafeteria, student workroom, student relaxation room, and food pantry. The program averages 50 students per year, keeping class sizes around 12 to 15. Students receive a Calumet diploma and have the same graduation requirements as the high school. Horizons was the first official Green School in the UP (2008-2009).

In the building, there are four core classroom teachers, a resource room teacher, and a credit recovery mentor. In addition to staff, a counselor comes once a week and a volunteer “Grandma” works with 1-2 students each year, going to class with them and helping them with notes and assignments. To round out the family atmosphere at the school, a certified therapy dog is there to comfort students when they need it. The staff takes pride in working with the students who attend Horizons. Most of the ideas for improvement come from this close-knit staff. The teachers, along with the secretary, a Horizons’ graduate herself, work very closely with students to make sure they make it to school every day.

student muralWhen students arrive by bus each morning, teachers meet them at the door with a smile and fist bump. They know first thing if a student is having a bad day or what kind of mood they are in through this greeting. At the beginning and end of every day, students meet with their mentor in homeroom. In the morning, they go over goals for their day and report their stress level on a scale of 1-10. At the end of the day, they reflect on the day and discuss what will occur the next day. “We really become family. The time we spend together and how we spend it allows us to get to know each other well,” shared Darren Kinnunen, Principal at Horizons. Prior to his role as principal, Darren spent 10 years as the CLK elementary social worker. For the last five of those years, he worked one day a week with Horizons’ students. When the principal position became available, he decided to take on the challenge of merging his social work skills with administration. Darren expressed, “I love all the opportunities it gives me to connect with students.”

The family atmosphere here is present beyond homeroom. Students may bring their babies with them to class because staff would prefer they attend class rather than quit school altogether. Online courses help solve attendance issues when they are unable to make it in. Students take ownership of the facility and learn responsibilities, just like one would at home. One example of ownership happens at the beginning of each year. Students work together to create a mural that represents what Horizons means to them. The mural is painted on one of the walls and remains there for five years. Every year students also give back to the community through community events like their yearly Halloween carnival.

workroomThe students have a workroom as one would see in the workplace. The room has two 3D printers, a laser engraver, a copier, a 36” printer, and work tables. It is “owned” by the students and not used by staff. This ownership is demonstrated by the cleanliness of the room, printers not out of paper, filament always in the 3D printers, and machines turned off when not in use. Students learn how to use the equipment on their own and are growing in their learning faster than when the school tried to offer a class in the room. Because students are in charge of their learning, true personalized learning is occurring. Students come to the room to work on school-related projects or personal items like phone cases, fidget spinners, and pieces for their cars. The room is not only beneficial for learning but is a place for students to come to calm down and work through issues going on in their lives. Another room students go to when they need to get out of the classroom is the relaxation room where they can work on classwork or relax by playing pool, reading books (students chose to move the library there), or listening to music.

Every student has access to a computer to use in the building and can take one home with permission and classroom teachers use Google Classroom to create and house their course content. The goal is to flip all classrooms where students will get all their work done in the building and not have homework. Friday afternoons are an opportunity for students to have more voice and choice. Credit recovery is available for students who need the extra time to master content, and students in Friday Club Time earn elective credit from a variety of options. While the topics change each week, students have been able to mushroom hunt (and make tea from them), learn how to play frisbee golf, take a guitar or cooking lesson, play basketball or ice hockey, rock hunt, or build skills in the gaming room for their eSports team. In addition to finding a new hobby or career interest, this time has allowed students and staff to get to know one another on a different level than the typical teacher-student relationship in the classroom.

Students have demonstrated their learning through an interactive website they created for people who want to identify rocks at the Gratiot River Mouth. This language arts/science project is ongoing as students seek to create other websites for different rocky areas of the peninsula. Project-based learning like the website is one component the staff is using to move toward competency-based learning. Another place-based learning opportunity is the annual school trip to Copper Harbor. Students write grants during their English class to fund the trip. They also create a budget and plan the activities for the day. Past activities have included biking, hiking, kayaking, fishing and berry picking. Every year the day is packed full of learning, excitement, and relationship building which re-affirms Horizons push for continued experiential learning.

food pantry

Food Pantry

A local organization called 31 Backpacks created a food pantry in the building instead of providing backpacks for students to take home. While 31 Backpacks fills the pantry, the room is not monitored by anyone from the organization or the Horizons staff. Again, the students self-regulate, taking just what they need so that there is enough for everyone. Items in the room include local fresh food, canned goods, boxed food, and frozen items like hamburger and other meats as well as personal items and even clothing.

Horizons’ “student-first” approach is what keeps students coming to school. The staff believes that students’ needs like clothes, hygiene, and food need to be met before they are ready to learn. This approach also includes daily social-emotional check-ins for both students and staff. The stress level charts (the 1 to 10 scale) create a common language that everyone in the school understands. While stress reporting is currently done verbally or on a Google form, the school is building an app with Dr. Guy Hembroff, associate professor in the College of Computing, and director of the Health Informatics graduate program at Michigan Tech University. From their phone or Chromebook, staff and students will be able to report their stress level and choose the reason for the stress from a dropdown list. The reason they chose will then give them a list of resources (e.g., use the food pantry to take items home) to help them deal with the stress. The ultimate goal of the app is to help students develop skills to manage their stress. From meeting personal needs to providing learning that is personal to each individual student, the family at Horizons is building a path to personal success for every student.

CLK Virtual Programs

upva logoStudents have multiple options to personalize their learning through CLK’s virtual programs. Students can enroll in the district’s Upper Peninsula Virtual Academy (UPVA), Keweenaw Family Discovery Center (KFDC), or through one of their partnerships. Students access their online course content where and when it works best for them. The KFDC and partnership programs also have optional extended learning opportunities within the district and community.

UPVA is a partnership with Gladstone Area Schools and meets the needs of students from Michigan’s entire Upper Peninsula who cannot or do not want to come into the traditional school building to learn. As student learning preferences differ, the school uses a variety of online course content including Lincoln Learning, Edmentum, EdOptions Academy, Michigan Virtual, and BookShark. Students can choose to take core or elective courses and enroll full- or part-time. Every course has a content-certified expert teacher and each student is assigned a local mentor who monitors their progress and grades.

Connecting with students and building relationships are at the core of UPVA. Regular communication is key to the success of every UPVA student. All UPVA staff, not just the mentors, regularly talk with students using many different forms of communication. Through this continual lifeline, UPVA students are inspired, nurtured, motivated, and empowered to build their path to personal success.

The Keweenaw Family Discovery Center (KFDC) is an online learning option for families who want to be more involved in their child’s education. Students attending KFDC have access to the online course content offered through UPVA including BookShark Virtual, a literature-based homeschool curriculum developed for students from pre-k through high school. In-district designed curriculum is a blend of virtual and hands-on opportunities, with the virtual component being housed in Google Classroom. For in-person activities, parents remain at the facility or community location with their child and are responsible for their individual needs.

These hands-on, non-core courses are offered M/W and T/TH in the UP Virtual Academy building and in the community. The facility includes rooms for sewing, music, maker space, game play, and woodworking. Once renovated, the building will have a kitchen for cooking classes and a large area to learn rock climbing and other physical fitness. Families can use the library where a large contribution of books from Finlandia University is housed.

KFDC classes are open to all CLK K-12 students, although enrollment is mostly from UPVA and homeschooled families in Houghton, Keweenaw, and Baraga Counties. Approximately 50 students attend hands-on opportunities on a daily basis. Class sizes range from 2-14 students with an average of five students per class. Certified teachers oversee all classes which are taught by community experts. Scheduling begins with a spring survey to measure course interest with enrollment occurring in July and community experts designing curriculum in July/August. Course offerings are further defined during the first two weeks of class which is the drop/add period. KFDC provides professional development for community experts and opportunities to work with certified teachers on course development.

CLK students, as well as students residing within Copper Country Intermediate School District, can also enroll in one of UPVA’s partner programs. These partners offer elective extended learning options for all CLK students.

The Public Schools of Calumet, Laurium & Keweenaw welcomes students where they are by providing options and opportunities for all students who knock on their door. The district respects their heritage and history while providing updated technology and programs to further their students’ learning. As they commit to more personalized learning through CBE, this close-knit family is building a path for all students to be successful in their learning. More about CLK’s student-centered learning focus can be found in this Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute case study.

Author: Lisa Sitkins, President and CEO, LSS Connections and Consulting LLC, January 2022