Kingsbury becomes self-managed school

Lisa Halushka takes on role as Academy Director. Photo provided.

By James Hanlon
Leader Staff Writer
Kingsbury Country Day School is taking over its own management, beginning this month. Previously, the public charter school located at 5000 Hosner Rd. in Addison Township had employed Charter School Partners, a company based in Brighton, to handle its management responsibilities.
After 60 years as a private school, Kingsbury became a public charter academy in 2013. To help navigate the transition, Charter School Partners managed the administrative end of things: budget, financing and curriculum development – the kind of things a superintendent might do in a larger district.
Now the school is shifting those duties internally. Lisa Halushka is taking the lead as she steps into the new role of Academy Director. After 30 years as a lawyer and 16 as a Professor of Law and Assistant Dean at the Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, she decided “there is no better place to be an educator than here at Kingsbury.”
Halushka is no stranger to Kingsbury, having served as the president of the Kingsbury School Board.
She noted that the school is doing very well. The Michigan Department of Education recently designated Kingbury as a “Reward School,” a distinction for the top 5 percent of schools in the state. Kingsbury also scored a 99.12 in the Michigan School Index System. The index provides a value ranging from 0-100 for each school based on: student growth, proficiency, attendance rates, advanced coursework completion and staffing ratios.
“We plan to continue inching those rankings up from 99.12. I don’t know how much farther we can go,” she said.
The K-8 school is planning for multiple scenarios to be ready to go in the fall, depending on the Department of Education’s guidance. Whatever happens, “We’ll make Kingsbury feel very much like Kingsbury always has.”
Halushka anticipates close to 340 students with the incoming kindergarten classes. “Certainly parents are recognizing the value of the education, because we’re just about fully enrolled for the fall.”
Founded in 1952 by Carlton Higbie, a successful financier and industrialist, and his wife, Annette, Kingsbury began with just 13 students when it opened its doors as an independent private school in September 1953. Its mission is to “provide students the time and space needed to authentically develop social, emotional, and academic skills.”
The curriculum includes the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme and an environmental science program.

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