The Brighton Area Schools has a very successful online program that is giving students an alternative to the traditional classroom setting and now is beginning to provide extra revenue for the school district.

The program this fall took a step forward by being selected to operate the cyber program for Total Performance Hockey, which is based in Wixom. Some 49 of Total Performance’s student-athletes are taking a full load of online courses for the fall term. Superintendent Greg Gray says the addition of the students will likely bring in around $373,000 of extra revenue to the district, although some of that will be offset by expenses the district must incur — including the cost of purchasing the courses and a Chromebook - a small laptop computer — for each student. The student-athletes are all taking six classes per day, and that means Brighton will be able to count them as full-time BHS students when head counts are taken. The enrollment determines how much state per-pupil aid each district receives, which in Brighton’s case is $7,631 — the minimum. Gray says the reason the Brighton Area Schools got the nod to provide the cyber service to Total Performance was because of the program’s “excellent reputation”: He tells WHMI that getting the TPH student-athletes enrolled is a “win-win” for both sides.

Brighton High School 11th and 12th grade Principal Henry Vecchioni oversees the program and is in charge of enrollment. The person who tracks the individual students is Lynette Daig, who was honored last year by the Michigan Virtual Schools as a cyber school “Mentor of the Year”. Additionally, The program has two full-time mentors working with the TPH program, plus two part-time mentors at BHS who are required according to state cyber school rules to meet regularly with the online students. Last semester the Brighton Area Schools Online Program drew 320 students, most of them part-time, since students can take anywhere from 1-6 courses. Although the number enrolled for this year’s fall term is only about 200, Vecchioni says that figure typically balloons for the second semester. Vecchioni says the online program is beneficial to many students for a variety of reasons, whether they be related to health, transportation or convenience. The program — now in its eighth year — accepts qualified students in the 6th through 12th grade. (TT)