State Superintendent joins Michigan’s leading online education board of directors

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LANSING, Mich. — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Michael F. Rice has joined the Board of Directors of Michigan Virtual. Rice was appointed state superintendent in 2019 and is the fifth top school chief in Michigan to serve on the Michigan Virtual Board since its inception in 1998.

“Having Dr. Rice join the Michigan Virtual Board of Directors is a wonderful addition,” stated Board Chair Brian Broderick, Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools. “His professional background in public education and deep personal passion to serve all students regardless of their zip code will strengthen our commitment to providing all students with innovative learning options.”

Michigan Virtual partners with more than 500 districts in the state of Michigan to provide online courses and supplemental programs for Michigan students and professional development for educators. It is the parent organization of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute. Michigan Virtual is governed by a 16-member board of directors representing business and education communities. Michigan Virtual’s mission is to advance both learning and teaching through research, practice, and partnerships.

“For more than 20 years, Michigan Virtual has played a valuable role in partnering with Michigan schools and school districts to share online professional development and online learning experiences, with a commitment to quality and innovation,” Rice said. “Michigan Virtual has provided significant leadership during the pandemic and has made available many free resources and support services to students, parents, and educators. I look forward to a strong, ongoing partnership with Michigan Virtual.”

Prior to his start at the Michigan Department of Education, Dr. Rice served 17 years as a local district superintendent: 12 years as superintendent in Kalamazoo, Michigan and five as superintendent in Clifton, New Jersey. Dr. Rice began his career in public education in the Washington, D.C. Public Schools, where he taught high school French and founded and coached an award-winning speech and debate program. He graduated from Yale University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with honors and from New York University with a master’s degree and doctoral degree in public administration, also with honors. 

In addition to Rice and Broderick, the Michigan Virtual Board members are:

  • Amanda Wagenschutz, (Vice-Chair) Executive Director of Employee Experience Delivery for Consumers Energy  
  • Darrell Burks, (Secretary/Treasurer) CPA, Former Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Prentiss Brown, Attorney, Prentiss M. Brown, P.C.
  • Robert Filka, CEO, Home Builders Association of Michigan 
  • Jamey FitzpatrickMichigan Virtual President & CEO
  • Brendan Guenther, Chief Academic Digital Officer at Michigan State University
  • Daniel Kiblawi, Former President and CEO of Egelhof Controls Corporation
  • Kevin Miller, Superintendent, St. Clair County Regional Educational Service Agency 
  • Michael Shoudy, Executive Director, Michigan Education Association
  • Deborah Snyder, President, St. Clair County Community College
  • Rossi Ray-Taylor, President & CEO, Ray.Taylor and Associates, LLC
  • Stephanie Teasley, Research Professor, School of Information, University of Michigan
  • Jeff Williams, Director, Community Data and Research Lab at the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy in Grand Valley State University
  • Wendy Zdeb, Executive Director, Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals

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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.