Excite, motivate and prepare your child in a world of learning at Arbor, Forest, and Oakland  Academies!

Room to grow

Oakland and Arbor Academies opened in September 1998 with a full program for kindergarten through second grade. Currently, kindergarten through eighth grade is offered. Oakland Academy in Portage and Arbor Academy in Battle Creek started with 25 students each and have grown to over 400 students. Arbor Academy and Oakland Academy each have received recognition for academic excellence from the Michigan Association for Public School Academies (MAPSA- school of excellence 2009 and 2007 respectively and teacher of the year 2012 and 2006 respectively) and are designated Schools of Excellence by the Michigan Department of Education (MDE 2011). This recognition and academic standing provided the opportunity to expand to areas of low-performing schools. Forest Academy(Comstock) opened in September 2011.

Arbor Academy in Battle Creek is located adjacent to the Lakeview Child Development Center (CDC). Oakland Academy in Portage is adjacent to the Oakland Child Development Center. Forest Academy in Comstock has a CDC program housed in their building. The proximity of these programs allows the academies to benefit from services available through the CDCs. One of the primary benefits is the availability of before and after-school care for students who attend the academy. In addition, the Oakland, Lakeview, and Augusta CDCs offer child care and academic enrichment programs for siblings from 2 weeks through 12 years of age. Forest CDC serves children from 4 years to 12 years of age. Even when school is not in session.  As a result, siblings can start and finish each day together at the same location for the full calendar year. Academy students and their siblings receive priority consideration for all CDC vacancies.

Our close working relationship with the Foundation for Behavioral Resources and Grand Valley State University offers your child access to the best development and curriculum resources. Growing with the academies guarantees consistent teaching methods and guidelines to maintain a safe and learning-rich environment.


We rely on teaching methods that unlock your child’s preferred learning type and help your child experience learning through all of their senses. Books, field trips, computers, learning stations, science centers, specialists, and more will assist your child in gaining and applying new skills.

Parents also impact peak performance by providing opportunities to study at home, initiating and responding to teacher and staff communication, and adhering to school schedules and dress codes. Parents are always welcome to assist with classroom activities and field trips.

Nurturing friendships

Building positive peer and staff relationships go hand in hand with academic success. We work diligently to help students develop positive relationships with each other, regardless of age, background, or abilities. The academy staff works to teach children how to resolve conflict independently with solutions that respect the needs of all involved. This learning environment fosters mutual respect and enjoyment.

Time to shine

Academy teachers creatively use curricular materials and teaching methods to ensure students reach social and academic goals. Progress is monitored daily and shared with the principal and parents on a regular basis. Weekly progress reports allow students’ needs and achievements too quickly standout. Regular, detailed evaluations also recognize individual talents, leadership skills, and team participation. Teachers continuously recognize and share outstanding efforts with students and parents to create a team approach to each child’s development.

Leaping ahead

Early success in education is a great indicator of future performance in school and adult life. The small class size, strong parent involvement, proven curriculum, and methods guarantee an equal opportunity for each child to reach his or her personal best.

Call 269 731-5796 for a tour or to receive an academy handbook and application

Pursue excellence

At the Academy, your child will join an experienced team of professionals dedicated to individual growth. Each Academy focuses on the basics: reading, language, mathematics, science, social studies, and health. Materials and methods employed by our certified teachers are proven to yield exceptional results, especially with our small class sizes. Individual progress is closely monitored and shared with staff and parents for timely student encouragement and improvement.

Each fall our students are tested and receive an individual academic growth target to be assessed in the spring. Each year our students demonstrate greater academic growth than students across the nation.

Arbor, Oakland, and Forest  Academies are the result of years of experience and study of early childhood development by the Foundation for Behavioral Resources. The mission of these schools is to provide the best fundamental education possible in an environment that fosters enthusiasm, competence, appreciation, and responsibility. The Academies are overseen by Grand Valley State University. Each is a tuition-free public school open to all residents, regardless of their current school district. Enrollment is limited.