9th Grade Learning Center

The Ideal Learning Experience

Each Tecumseh High School Learner...

  • Is met at their level of learning
  • Is using one of their best learning styles
  • Is learning skills and concepts with content of high interest to them
  • Understands the relevancy of what they're learning
  • Is challenged and successful
  • And looks forward to coming back each day

9th Grade Facilitators

Deborah Followell

Deborah Followell

Counselor, Grades 9 and 10
Aaron Huck

Aaron Huck

Social Studies Teacher
Jennifer LeFevre

Jennifer LeFevre

Math Teacher
Timothy Mark

Timothy Mark

Social Studies Teacher
Joel Musielewicz

Joel Musielewicz

SE Teacher

Parent Focus Group Presentations






Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What does a typical day look like for learners?

Each learner follows a weekly schedule that includes courses that they are required to take and courses they have chosen to take.

Will there be an opportunity as a parent to view my child’s work in Buzz?

Yes. Buzz recently released a feature called Parent Observer. Parents will be provided access information so they may view their child's work at any time.

Is Tecumseh Public Schools the only district using a Customized Learning model?

While TPS is leading the way in Lenawee County, we are not the only Michigan district on this path. Districts across our state and many others are making the transition as well. TPS staff members have met educators from New York, Maine, South Dakota, and California and several other states at conferences and meetings where customized learning has been in place for several years.

Countywide customized learning is one of the goals of the Lenawee Cradle to Career Partnership. The organization is a public-private network of members from the academic, business, nonprofit, and public service sectors. Members prioritize data-driven decision making and collaboration to improve the quality of education for children in our county. More information is available on the Lenawee Intermediate School District (LISD) website at https://www.lisd.us/lenawee-cradle-to-career/.

9th Grade Learning Center

Will my child receive grades in high school?

Yes, students will receive grades in high school. For several years, staff at the high school have used grading practices that report out on the standards while also offering a traditional grade. We will continue to improve the way we report out progress in regards to mastery, however, your child will still receive grades for courses at the high school and will have a calculated GPA.

For more information on assessments, grading, GPA, and transcript processes, please visit the THS Assessments tab.

Will there be options for students to have a “traditional” schedule?

When we think of a “traditional” schedule, we often refer to a rigid schedule that has an equal number of our traditional core classes--mathematics, English language arts, science and social studies. In addition, we are accustomed to additional courses commonly known as “electives.”

Your child will have the option to have a schedule that reflects the traditional course offerings. In working with you and your child, we would like to create a flexible schedule that not only allows for ample opportunity to learn the traditional subjects, but also increase the opportunity to provide extended opportunities for exploration in the common elective areas.

One thing to keep in mind is that meaningful learning happens when we integrate content into meaningful topics for study. We will continue to provide instruction in the content areas, but the schedule may reflect more opportunities for learning where the concepts are connected and not taught in isolation.

What type of schedule with Freshman learners follow next year?

Your child will be utilizing the same scheduling tool (Personalized Learning Tool) to create their schedule. The Freshman facilitators along with the building principals will use a template that is similar to those used in the STEAM Centers.

Learners will have pre-determined core subject area courses that meet the requirements of the Michigan Merit Curriculum. In addition, your child will have the opportunity to select electives from the High School Course Catalog. Some electives, such as band, choir and orchestra, will be stand-alone courses while others such as art may be embedded in project-based learning activities.

Facilitators will work collaboratively with learners to design their schedules to provide flexibility for more opportunities to participate in elective courses that support their individual learning and interests.

Will my freshman be separated from other high school learners in the building?

No. Currently, all freshman have their lockers in one general location, and that will remain the same. Freshman classes will be held on the 2nd floor and they will have access to the B-Pal just as they had previously.

Freshmen will be in classes with upperclassmen and, through a customized schedule, will have the opportunity to take enrichment and accelerated courses as appropriate. The freshman facilitators will be teaching all of the core classes and will be working collaboratively to integrate content; increasing the level of rigor for these courses.

Who are the Learning Facilitators for the 9th grade Academy?

The following Facilitators will be working with your child as they begin their High School career:

  • Michelle Vanhala and Paula Gentile, Science
  • Holly Popink and Jill Adams, English Language Arts
  • Timothy Mark and Aaron Huck, Social Studies
  • A.J. Marry and Jenny Lefevre, Mathematics

In addition to the core team, Mr. Joel Musielewicz will work with learners with special needs. Facilitators in other content areas such as Spanish, French, Art, Physical Education, and Health Education will work collaboratively with the freshman learning team.

The transition from 7th to 8th grade was tough. What will be different in this transition?

We have learned A LOT this past year. We have learned what worked and what did not work related to the transition to the new system. We assure you that we will use the information we learned to ensure the transition to high school will be a smooth one for your child.

The Freshman Academy team has worked diligently to learn about project-based learning and processes at the STEAM Centers. Through collaboration with their STEAM Center colleagues, they continue to plan and prepare for this transition.

Several parent meetings were held to discuss the 9th Grade Learning Center. The information provided at these meetings may be found on the High School page of the website.

What is required with the Michigan Merit Curriculum?

The Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) requires that learners earn 18 credits as part of their high school experience. Tecumseh High School requires an additional 5 credits, bringing the total credits required to earn a diploma from TPS to 23.

How does the Middle College fit in with the Freshman Academy?

All 9th grade learners will have the opportunity to explore the Middle College concept. Each learner will work with their mentor facilitator through the credentialing process that supports college/career readiness. Your child will go through this process at his or her own pace, depending on prior knowledge, experiences, etc.

The credentialing process walks through the skills needed to be independent and successful in the college classroom or in the workplace. These are often referred to as “soft skills,” but we see these skills as “necessary skills” for life. While your child may not decide to take part in the Middle College, they will still have the skills to be successful in the next chapter of their life.