In 1995, Northern Michigan University determined it would authorize public school academies (PSA). At one time, NMU contracted with six PSAs. Currently, there are ten charters, following the closure of the Oasis Academy in 2002. It must be noted that it is not the responsibility of the university to administer the schools, but instead to contract with the PSA for oversight purposes per Public Act 362 of 1993. The university appoints a charter schools officer to perform the oversight functions as needed. NMU is not seeking any additional charter applications at this time. The State of Michigan determines the number of charter schools allowed to operate.
Each PSA has its own unique history, geography and demographics in order to prosper as a charter school of NMU. A very brief history of each school follows. More information about each PSA can be found on each school's Web site.
- The Bahweting Anishnabe School, located in Sault Ste. Marie, opened as a K-6 tribal school in 1994, under the sponsorship of Sault Ste. Marie Band of Chippewa Indians. In 1995 NMU chartered the Bahweting Anishnabe School as the Bahweting Anishnabe Public School Academy, with grades K-7, grade 8 was added in 1996. The school was renamed the Joseph K. Lumsden Bahweting Anishnabe PSA in 1998 in honor of the former tribal leader. The school has dual status as a PSA and a Bureau of Indian Education school. The enrollment has continued to increase yearly with additional facility expansion. The enrollment is approximately 516 students.
- Northern Michigan University’s Board of Trustees approved Burton Glen Charter School as a Public School Academy in 1999. It is one of three NMU PSAs managed by the National Heritage Academies for the general operations, curriculum, marketing, human resources and site development. Burton Glen Charter Academy is located in Burton. The school opened at its current location in a new building in October 1999 as a K-5 building. The school has expanded to a Y5-8 building in subsequent years with an enrollment of approximately 726 students.
- East Shore Leadership Academy, located in Port Huron, opened as a K-5 school in 2014, under the authority of a charter agreement with Northern Michigan University. East Shore added Grade 6 in 2015, with the intention of expanding to a K-8 school. East Shore Leadership Academy is proud to be recognized as one of the first schools implementing Stephen Covey’s The Leader In Me. The Leader In Me schools receive national recognition for their emphasis on developing leadership in young children. The enrollment at East Shore is approximately 155 students.
- Experiencia Preparatory Academy, located in Detroit, opened in 2012 as a K-10 school. Experiencia Preparatory Academy focuses on applied learning within the Detroit community, using business and organizational partnerships. Experiencia Preparatory Academy is the first public charter school in Michigan with a bilingual campus, bringing students from different backgrounds together to collaborate, develop strong relationships, and learn from one another as they explore new learning opportunities. Current enrollment at Experiencia is approximately 330 students.
- Francis Reh Public School Academy, located in Saginaw, opened in 1997 as a K-9. Northern Michigan University became authorizer of Francis Reh Academy in 2014. On July 23, 2015, the NMU Board of Trustees approved a resolution to allow the Francis Reh Board to acquire an additional site to expand the current grade configuration to include grades 10 through 12. Current enrollment at Francis Reh is approximately 469 students.
- George Crockett Academy, located in Detroit, opened in 1998 and was authorized by Northern Michigan University in 2014. George Crockett currently holds a K-12 charter, serving 328 students in grades K-8. The academy serves a substantial population of at-risk youth in a safe, nurturing environment. North Central Association (NCA) accredited through AdvancEd, George Crockett Academy provides a comprehensive K-12 educational program designed to meet the emerging needs of today’s urban family.
- The Hannahville Potawatomi Reservation is located approximately 15 miles west of Escanaba near Wilson. The Hannahville Indian School was first established on the reservation in 1975 for Native Americans in the area. In 1995, the school became NMU’S first charter school and was named the Nah Tah Wahsh Public School Academy. The school has dual status as a Michigan PSA and a Bureau of Indian Education School with grades K-12 on site. The enrollment is approximately 179 students. Its facilities have expanded throughout the years.
- In 1994, Tri-High School was established as an alternative high school in a consortium agreement between three public schools. The purpose was to provide an environment that would best meet the needs of at-risk youth between the ages of 15 and 19. NMU approved the Tri-High School as a charter school in 1997 and the name subsequently changed to North Star Academy in 1998. North Star Academy moved from Ishpeming to Marquette in 2005 and added Polaris Middle School to the charter as a 7-8 middle school. In 2007, sixth grade was added to Polaris. The enrollment is approximately 280 students.
- South Pointe Scholars, opened in Ypsilanti in 2011 as a K-6 school. One of three NMU PSAs managed by the National Heritage Academies for the general operations, curriculum, marketing, human resources and site development, South Pointe Scholars is founded on academic excellence, moral focus, parental partnership, and student responsibility, South Pointe Scholars is a school that can lead your child to a lifetime of success. Current enrollment at South Pointe Scholars is approximately 798 students.
- Northern Michigan University Trustees approved Walton Charter Academy as a public school academy in 1999. It is the third school that is managed by National Heritage Academies, which provides general operations, curriculum, marketing, human resources services and site development. Walton Charter Academy is located in Pontiac. The school opened with a new building in 1999 as a K-5 elementary. The school has continued to expand its population and is now a K-8 facility with approximately 803 students.