Messages are written on a chalk board in a classroom at the Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village. The youth center's grand opening was Friday, June 29, 2018. Mark Felix | Flintside file photo
FLINT, Michigan—A new alternative middle school is being offered to local students through a unique partnership between GearUp Academy and the Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village. It is designed specifically to help students develop the skills they need to go on to graduate high school.
Called the GearUp2Lead Invictus Academy, the program will serve Flint and Genesee County youths in sixth, seventh and eighth grades. It is a new program by GearUp Academy, an alternative high school launched in 2016 and located on Ballenger Highway in Flint.
Each student will have an individualized Learning Plan and diagnostic tests to assist them in putting their best foot forward. Students will have the opportunity to participate in art, drama, gym, leadership training, character building, fitness and nutrition education.
Breakfast and lunch will be offered to students daily. The curriculum is a combination of the Fenton Area Public Schools Middle School Core Curriculum, GEAR Up 2 Lead Curriculum, and Why Try - Social & Emotional Curriculum.
Students will attend four “blocks” of classes during the school day from 9:30 a.m. to 3:45p.m., with an opportunity to attend in the evening from 4-7 p.m. The goal of the program is to prepare students to return to their home districts after completion of the eighth grade. GearUp Academy and Job Corps are other options offered students.
Richard Kerry Thompson, dean of GearUp2Lead Academy, said if more resources were offered at the middle school level could help drastically reduce the dropout rate among high school students.
“I believe 100 percent that these students have a high chance of surviving in the high school setting, armed with the skills, both educationally and emotionally, to be successful in high school and in life,” Thompson said.
The GearUp2Lead Invictus Academy expects to open this fall at Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village.