students decorating journals

teachers and students during Character Strong



Like any school, our main purpose is to provide students with the academic courses they need for graduation. We provide multiple options and paths for student success. Our teachers utilize project-based teaching practices in a small-class environment.  We focus on "leaving a legacy" and being the best version of yourself. Aspire Academy has an opportunity to do things differently that allows students to take ownership of their education and be successful learners. Aspire Academy is a unique opportunity for unique students.

We empower our students to learn through a nurturing environment where they feel safe, supported, and celebrated. We create positive student/adult relationships by providing mentoring, academic advising, and personal counseling.

All students are assigned to small learning communities led by mentor teachers. We call this our House Time. Students have been utilizing this time to stay up to date on their grades, volunteer for school beautification projects, and explore and discuss topics that impact their lives. Topics may include success, judgment, distractions, community awareness, and much more. Students are then given time to think about the video’s message and consider how it might relate to their lives and community.

In order to maintain a safe and positive climate for our students, we use a registration and intake process that allows us to assess both the appropriateness of our school for any potential student and the impact that student might have on our school. During that process, we are working to determine if Cedar Street is a good placement for the student.



Aspire Academy offers a variety of programs to fulfill the requirements of the Michigan Merit Curriculum. We accept Freshmen through Seniors and beyond when needed.  Our online curriculum is provided by Edgenuity. 

Options for programming for students include the following:

  1. Flexible Schedules – Students may take in seat classes with teachers, online courses in a classroom setting, or a mix of the two.  Our online curriculum is provided by Edgenuity.

  2. Tech Center in conjunction with the Van Buren ISD is an additional opportunity for students and available both in the AM and PM.


Our alternative educational programs are designed to serve area teens, 9th through 12th grade, who, although they have near grade level academic skills, are having difficulty being successful in a traditional school setting. These students have needs that are not being met by the services available to them in a traditional general-education school setting and are usually not eligible for Special Education services. Teens from Paw Paw and surrounding districts may apply.


The following guidelines are for students who wish to apply for enrollment at Cedar Street:

  1. Students must be Michigan residents.

  2. Students under the age of 16 on September 1 of the school year must have their resident district’s permission.

  3. Our online curriculum requires that students have reading, comprehension and math skills close to their grade level.

  4. Students must provide current contact information for family and emergency contacts.

  5. Students must provide information releases as appropriate for Cedar Street to gather background information such as behavior, attendance and academic history.

  6. Complete the Online Enrollment

School officials wishing to refer students to Cedar Street are asked to help us by following a process that allows us to give all students who enroll the best possible opportunity for success. In order for us to maintain the climate necessary for our population of at-risk students to heal, grow and learn, we must carefully review all applicants to be sure we will be able to meet their needs…and to be sure they will fit safely into the culture of the building. It’s important that we make this determination before the student and/or the parents are given the impression that the transfer/enrollment will take place. When we find that Cedar Street is not a good option, we are sometimes able to offer other suggestions based on the background we’ve gathered.