About Us

Cole Academy is Lansing's longest-standing charter school in the state of Michigan and received a charter through Central Michigan University in 1995. The Academy originated as an Early Childhood Center and over the years, gradually became a K-6 Public School. 


The Principal/Superintendent, Brian Shaughnessy, began in August 2011.   Stacey Johnson became Assistant Principal in August 2015. Mrs. Johnson has taught at Cole Academy since 2004.


Combining a foundation of current, research-based, balanced literacy objectives and a sustained professional development direction from Teachers College at Columbia University in New York, has  "raised the bar" for student achievement. Reader’s and Writer’s Workshops continue to be critical directions for Cole Academy.


For math, our teachers work closely with the expert curriculum coach throughout the school year to work on a constructivist/project-based (hands-on) approach to teaching mathematics. Continual professional development in math, and an inquiry-focused direction will be central to the program.  In addition, Cole will continue using representations (manipulatives), our Envision Math, and Bridges programs, as well as incorporating the MCTM, NCTM, and Common Core State Standards as guides.


Science instruction involves a State of Michigan recognized expert/consultant working with teachers and students.  Our science kits program is helping to prepare our students for the Michigan Science Standards (MSS). 


Social Studies is undergoing major revisions in the district, using an MSU Professor that is nationally recognized as an expert in the field.  This direction uses local and kid-focused issues to teach world views.


Cole Academy is working in conjunction with Okemos Public Schools providing dining services.  This streamlined approach to servicing the needs of our students with an affordable hot lunch program has been received with positive reviews and accolades.  The students are satisfied with the meals and the point-of-use system of payment through “LunchTime” (using a computer) has made lunch less hectic for all involved.  


Students in third through sixth grade each have individual IPads for school use. Students in kindergarten through second grade use both classroom IPads and Chromebooks throughout their learning day. We also have a 32-computer lab for all grades to use weekly.


Art, PE, and Health have all undergone major changes and renovations to be up-to-speed with the State of Michigan Common Core Standards and Grade Level Content Expectations in these areas of study.  These specialty areas are an important component of a whole-child learning experience.


We also partner with MSU student interns working with our students one-on-one and in the classroom.


A new gymnasium was added in Spring 2014!  An additional elementary school is currently underway in East Lansing, and will be opening in Fall 2018.  Please refer to the Cole Academy East tab on the homepage.