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Big Rapids Daily News

Big Rapids Virtual School selected to receive grant

Big Rapids Public Schools is set to receive a grant for its virtual school.


Big Rapids Virtual School along with nine other schools around Michigan will get an ASPIRE grant of $5,000 each as part of being selected by Michigan College Access Network's High School Innovation Grants program.


“Michigan’s students deserve robust, equity-based post secondary guidance that prepares them for college and careers,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, MCAN executive director. “By addressing systemic inequities and employing best practices, we can help ensure that all students — especially low-income students, first-generation college-going students, and students of color — can access post secondary education that helps them achieve their career goals.”


In alignment with Michigan’s Sixty by 30 goal, High School Innovation Grants encourage schools to assess and improve their college-going cultures through a multi-year collaborative process. The schools will work collaboratively with MCAN and community partners to develop sustainable, systems-wide plans to improve post secondary outcomes for their students. This is a new grant program that builds on MCAN’s prior work with high schools.


Upon completion of the ASPIRE stage, schools will progress to the ACTIVATE stage, a 12- to 18-month period that includes an additional $10,000 in grant funding, where they will develop and execute plans to improve college-going culture, as well as create data infrastructure to measure student trends. The final stage, ALIGN, is a six- to 12-month period that includes another $10,000 in grant funding. In this stage, the schools will focus on sustaining best practices and sharing results with others in the education community.


To learn more about High School Innovation Grants or other MCAN grant programs, visit

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