DOLLAR BAY, Mich. - Dollar Bay-Tamarack City Area Schools will take over operation of a nearby alternative high school and open the enrollment process so that students do not need permission from their assigned district to attend, according to The (Houghton) Daily Mining Gazette.

B.R.I.D.G.E. Alternative High School in Hancock previously was operated by the Copper Country Intermediate School District and is intended to serve students who struggle in a standard school setting, The Mining Gazette reported. B.R.I.D.G.E. stands for Becoming Responsible Individuals Dedicated to the Goals of Education, according to information at the intermediate district website, and serves seven area conventional public school districts.

Although the intermediate district reported a $112,000 deficit at the school due to declining enrollment, Dollar Bay Principal William Rivest told school board trustees at a recent meeting that a switch to allowing students to attend without permission from their assigned district could boost the numbers, according to The Mining Gazette. The increased enrollment would bring more funding to the district, Rivest said, according to the report.

Superintendent Jan Quarless said the Dollar Bay district will begin to promote the new enrollment policy publicly, The Mining Gazette reported.

Rivest said he understands there is a perception that B.R.I.D.G.E. students are "troubled," but said that's not the case for all students, according to The Mining Gazette.

"There are some very bright kids," Rivest said, The Mining Gazette reported. "There are some very nice kids."

The (Houghton) Daily Mining Gazette, "DB-TC Schools takes on B.R.I.D.G.E.," April 27, 2010

Michigan Education Digest, "Alternative education under pressure," March 13, 2010