Personal Curriculum Alternative

Generally, to earn a high school diploma, a student must satisfy the requirements of Michigan's Merit Curriculum. However, the District may modify those requirements, by developing a personal curriculum for a student.  All students are entitled to a personal curriculum.

A parent or guardian of a student who has completed 9th grade (or the student if at least 18 years old or emancipated), or a student's teacher or counselor, may request a personal curriculum by calling Jennifer Barr at (810) 989-5835. 


A group that includes the student; the student's parent or guardian; and a teacher, guidance counselor, or person acting in a counseling role, will consider the request.


If the personal curriculum request is made by a student who is at least 18 or who is emancipated, or by a parent or guardian, the group will grant the request and will develop a personal curriculum for the student.


For all other requests, the group will develop a personal curriculum if the group determines one is appropriate.


For most students, the group that develops the personal curriculum may make only certain modifications to the Merit Curriculum. For students with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and for certain students transferring to the District from a nonpublic school or from out of state, the group may make additional modifications.  


For all students, a personal curriculum must incorporate as much of the Michigan Merit Curriculum content expectations as is practicable for the student;


  1. must include measurable goals for the student to achieve while in high school,
  2. must include a method to evaluate whether the student met those goals, and
  3. must align with the student's educational development plan. 


Before a personal curriculum becomes effective, the BWMCA Director and the student’s parent or guardian (or the student if at least 18 or emancipated) must agree to its terms.


Once effective, the student’s parent or guardian (or the student if at least 18 or emancipated) must communicate with each of the student’s teachers to monitor the student’s progress on the personal curriculum goals.


A student who successfully satisfies his or her personal curriculum may earn a high school diploma even if the student does not otherwise satisfy all of the Michigan Merit Curriculum requirements.


For more information on personal curricula, including what may and may not be modified, please visit the Michigan Department of Education’s Personal Curriculum webpage.