Michigan schools encouraged to take advantage of free, State-funded social, emotional and mental health program

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LANSING, Mich.  Michigan Virtual and Navigate360 are encouraging Michigan schools and districts to implement the state-funded social and emotional learning and mental health resources provided by the Michigan Cares program during the 2021-2022 school year.

There are many emotional implications from the stress caused by a global pandemic. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognizes the stress caused by this crisis and recommends people prioritize their mental health during this time. To help residents with this, the state of Michigan provided funding for the launch of the Michigan Cares program, with its lessons designed to support children in grades K-12. 

“Coming off of more than a year and a half of emergency remote learning, we encourage children, parents, and educators to make use of free resources from the Michigan Cares program that supports social emotional learning for Michigan students,” said Jamey Fitzpatrick, president and CEO of Michigan Virtual. “Thanks to the funding from the state of Michigan, the successful Michigan Cares program, launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, has been expanded to give schools and districts even more functionality and support free to schools and families through the 2021-2022 school year as we all recover from this crisis together.”

“Thanks to funding from the state of Michigan, the successful Michigan Cares program, launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, has been expanded to give schools and districts even more functionality.”

Jamey Fitzpatrick, president & CEO of Michigan Virtual

The Michigan Cares program offers educators and families — children, teachers, and parents alike — free digital lessons focused on developing mental wellbeing, social and emotional skills which have become especially important in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. The lessons help students continue to develop the human skills they’ll need both during and after crises — such as stress management, emotional self-care, developing healthy coping techniques, feeling and showing empathy, and getting along and working with others. The lessons also provide teacher self-care courses to support educators as well.

“The Michigan Cares program provides Michigan students crucial resources for social and emotional learning,” said Senator Wayne Schmidt, 37th district, and chair of the K-12 and Michigan Department of Education Appropriations. “I was proud to support funding for this program so that Michigan students would have access to these resources during the 2021-2022 academic year. I hope school districts, teachers and educators across Michigan will encourage use of this valuable program this coming year.”

“The Michigan Cares program provides Michigan students crucial resources for social and emotional learning.”

Senator Wayne Schmidt

“We’re honored to partner with Michigan Virtual and the state of Michigan to offer social and emotional learning and mental health resources for Michigan students this coming school year,” said Navigate360 CEO, JP Guilbault. “This program will provide students, teachers and parents a valuable resource to help students deal with the toll on their mental wellbeing during this challenging time as we face the continuing public health crisis.”

“This program will provide students, teachers and parents a valuable resource to help students deal with the toll on their mental wellbeing during this challenging time as we face the continuing public health crisis.”

JP Guilbault, Navigate360 CEO

School districts should sign up for the program by visiting michiganvirtual.org/michigan-cares

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About Michigan Virtual

Michigan Virtual™ (formally known as Michigan Virtual University®) provides online courses for Michigan students, professional development for educators and is the parent organization of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute®. As a nonprofit organization with more than 20 years of experience, Michigan Virtual is Michigan’s leading voice in online education. Visit us at michiganvirtual.org.

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Limited Course Capacity

We’re sorry to inform you that we have reached capacity for several of our Semester 1 and Trimester 1 courses. You’ll notice when attempting to enroll students in our Student Learning Portal that some courses are unavailable. While we are no longer accepting new enrollments for these courses at this time, many courses continue to remain open for enrollment.

With many students across the state 100% remote, demand for our online courses is greater than ever before. Because every course we offer is taught by a Michigan-certified teacher, this high volume of enrollments has created capacity issues for our teachers who provide each and every student with individual feedback.

While the Michigan Virtual team anticipated and planned for significant increases in student enrollments this Fall, the increased demand we’ve experienced has been unprecedented. As a result, we are taking steps to hire even more part-and full-time teachers to support larger numbers of student enrollments for Semester 2 as well as for Trimester 2 and 3. 

For schools that still need online learning options this year, please fill out the form at the bottom of our virtual pathways page to meet with someone to discuss other solutions. While some of our teacher-led courses are full, we may still have the capacity to help you in upcoming terms or can discuss timing to implement a whole-school or collaborative program in which local teachers from your school/district use our online course content to teach students. We also have free course content and resources available for you to use.

We know this is an incredibly stressful time for all, and we’re sorry if the courses you’re looking for are unavailable. We never want to turn away a student who wants to learn from us. Our top concern, however, is student success, and we have a policy to not take on additional enrollments if we cannot guarantee that all students will have a quality online learning experience. 

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the unusually high volume of enrollments we are receiving.