New Branches and Choice Schools Associates Partnership

Dear Students and Parents,

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce the partnership between New Branches Charter Academy and Choice Schools Associates, a full service, family-owned management company based right here in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The decision to partner with a management company is not one that we took lightly. In our many conversations with members of the Choice Schools’ team, we have gained confidence and trust that like us, they will always do what’s best for kids. The Board of Directors and Choice Schools are committed to working together to keep New Branches’ strong traditions that make us unique, while we stabilize our school culture and move forward into the future. The spirit of our school community is alive and well.

You may be thinking, “How does this change affect my family?”

  • The primary role of Choice Schools between now and June 30 is to provide operational support to New Branches. This means that Choice Schools will be taking a close look at our systems to ensure both accuracy and efficiency.
  • Many of you have asked what New Branches will be like next school year. Our partnership with Choice Schools brings great hope for the future. It is our intention to make New Branches the best school it can be, and will be looking to you for your feedback in making this happen.

With this change, Mr. Rashid Johnson has decided to resign as School Leader effective Friday, May 1. We are very thankful for his hard work during his time at New Branches and celebrate our successes under his leadership.

Rest assured that your child is in good hands. In addition to New Branches’ first-class professionals, we are excited to announce Mrs. Terry Larkin as your new principal.

Terry comes to us from Choice Schools Associates where she has worked in several different roles for more than a decade. She joined the Choice family as a 5th and 6th grade teacher at West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science where she taught for five years. She went on to serve as their elementary school principal before transitioning into her role as Chief Personnel Officer for Choice Schools. Mrs. Larkin has missed her relationships with parents and staff and is excited to be part of the New Branches Family now and in the future.

While today is Mrs. Larkin’s first day, she has already reported back that she feels incredibly welcomed by the staff, students and parents. She is eager to get to know each and every one of you and will be planning a meet-and-greet event for later this week. Please watch for further communication to be sent home with your student tomorrow.

We hope this news brings you joy and reassurance that our commitment to your child is stronger than ever. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.


Ryan Julian
Board President