Concord Academy of Petoskey (CAP) opened in the fall of 1994, first as a tuition-free private school (Concord Academy). In April 1995, it began operations as one of the first public school academies in the state of Michigan. Originally intended to be a K-6 charter school, it opened as a K-8 school in response to an outpouring of public interest. CAP began its first full year of operation in 1995 as a Public School Academy at newly leased facilities on Mitchell Street in Petoskey. Enrollment had grown to 190 students in grades K-8 and 50 students in grades 9-12. In a very short span of time, CAP had grown to become a complete K-12 school. The original staff of ten teachers grew to twenty-two staff providing instruction and support in the second year. Central Michigan University authorized our original charter.
The original mission of the school, to integrate a strong academic program with daily fine arts instruction, is as alive today as it was at the school's beginning. Subsequent to the school's successful beginning, two other schools modeled after Concord Academy opened in Boyne City and Antrim County. While Concord Academy of Petoskey was the original Concord Academy in northern Michigan, the two other schools adopted aspects of Concord Academy's curriculum plan, etc. Those schools operate and function independently of CAP.
In July 2000, Concord Academy Petoskey partnered with Lake Superior State University (LSSU) as its new charter authorizing entity. The school moved in 2001 into its newly built school facilities at 2468 Atkins Road in Bear Creek Township near the Petoskey border. LSSU reauthorized the charter school contract with CAP in 2005 and again in 2010.
Concord Academy Petoskey operates with its own instructional plan that has been continuously updated and realigned with Michigan's changing academic standards. Concord Academy Petoskey is recognized as a one-school district. Over the course of time, Concord Academy has remained true to the original mission and instructional plan, while continuing to update and refine the curriculum and instructional methods. The board of directors, in conjunction with Lake Superior State University, adopted a comprehensive set of school policies and administrative guidelines in 2005.
In June 2011, Concord Academy-Petoskey earned distinction as a conversion School of Excellence. It turned in its charter contract as a Public School Academy and was awarded a ten-year contract by LSSU as the ninth public School of Excellence (SoE) in the state of Michigan. CAP is one of only two K-12 Schools of Excellence in the state and the only School of Excellence in northern Michigan.