Unique Lansing area school, senior living experience teaches with purpose

You may begin to wonder why these goats are at a school, or why a school is sharing a roof with a senior center…it’s all one big coincidence.

“With these distinct groups, they all compliment one another,” says Tim Brannan, Chief Administrative Officer of Blended Learning Academies.

For Brannan, it all started when he needed to find a quality senior living facility for his father, and when he couldn’t find it, he opened one up himself. It’s called Gunnisonville Meadows Assisted Living and today, it’s home to 20 seniors and counting. But it’s not just any senior center.

“Instead of just waiting for that next transition in their life, they’re thriving, they’re going out to local area football games,” says Brannan.

Brannan’s efforts don’t stop there, through his work, he says he’s also helping to solve another problem.

“The Greater Lansing Area has a large amount of high school dropouts, so we started a public school academy for kids, who don’t necessarily fit a traditional high school model,” says Brannan.

And that’s how Blended Learning Academies came to life, nearly 100 students are enrolled and it’s located right next to the senior care facility. Brannan says, each student is set up with an individual plan specific to their needs, meeting the same outcomes and objectives required for a traditional high school, just done in an alternative way.

“We blend in technology, we use iPads, we use laptops, we use interactive televisions,” Brannan.

On top of all that, the building also holds a dance studio, preschool, and if you’re still wondering where the goats fit in, they’re used to teach a different lesson.

“A lot of kids these days think that their food comes from McDonald’s or Meijers, and so we wanted to show the students that hey you can raise your own crops you can raise your own livestock,” says Brannan.

From goats, to seniors, to an alternative way of learning, Brannan says while all separate things, all three work seamlessly together.

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