EUPISD Newsletter: April, 2017

Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District


April, 2017

School News

Are We Satisfied?

This article is about satisfaction, or lack thereof.  (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction was a 1965 song by a little-known rock and roll band, The Rolling Stones.  Maybe you’ve heard of them.  They raised a controversy back then because they were struggling for satisfaction in other forms.  I used them as a means of getting you to read this article!  For at least the last decade, superintendents of our local EUP school districts have discussed the current status of educational programming.  Shrinking budgets, shrinking enrollments, shrinking scheduling flexibility, shrinking opportunities for kids, and shrinking levels of hope have led to a collective lack of satisfaction with the way things are.  We have decided to do something about it after asking ourselves some questions.

Are we satisfied with the educational opportunities we can provide EUP kids?  A state funding model based on enrolled pupils is clearly not working.  Districts have been forced to reduce programming and opportunities to the bare minimum because they simply can’t afford to offer more.  Unfortunately, our kids must compete with kids from other parts of the state that provide a much wider number of opportunities.  We can change that.

Are we satisfied with the employment opportunities in the EUP?  Census figures indicate that the EUP population is getting smaller and older.  We see it in the steady decline in our student enrollments.  In short, young people are leaving our area to seek employment elsewhere.  Our unemployment rate is higher than other parts of Michigan.  We can provide opportunities for young people to live and work in the EUP.

Are we satisfied with the economy in the EUP?  Many of our successful businesses are owned and operated by people who grew up in the EUP.  We want to expand the EUP economy by growing it right here in the EUP.  There are employers interested in locating in the EUP, but they require a trained workforce.  There are vacant storefronts in all of our communities.  What if we could provide skilled trades and entrepreneurial training for each of our graduates?  This would mean that every year, approximately 500 students would graduate from EUP schools with the skills and knowledge to live and work in the EUP.  Many of those students will still seek additional training or schooling elsewhere and could obtain gainful employment while they do so with skills learned in high school.  Those who choose to stay in the EUP would contribute to the workforce.  We can make a large, positive impact on the EUP economy.

If we do nothing, we will keep getting what we have been getting:  Very few opportunities for students; unfilled jobs in the EUP; declining enrollments; and the continued draining of youth from our area.  Every registered voter in Chippewa, Luce, and Mackinac Counties, plus Seney Township in Schoolcraft County is eligible to vote on a ballot question on May 2, 2017.  This one mill increase would raise $2.3 million to establish and operate career and technical education programs in schools in the EUPISD for the next 10 years.  This is the single, best way to improve educational opportunities for our students and help improve the EUP economy at the same time.  Imagine having 500 graduates each year with the skills to immediately join the workforce or seek additional training!  This would positively impact our job providers who are seeing a severe shortage of skilled workers and would fill jobs that are currently available in our area.  This would satisfy many of our educational and economic needs in the EUP!

Please visit for more information.


Upcoming training:

April 5: Tier 2 Check In/Out (Cohorts 1 & 2)

April 27: Positive School Climate, Day 3 (Cohort 2)


A help video for Early Warning Systems reporting in Illuminate is underway.  Be on the lookout!

New Gradebook Report

This is a new pre-built report available within Illuminate.  You can look at a roster list, by grading period, showing marks for each category and an overall grade for each student.

Gradebook Report - Student List with Overall and Category Scores  

General Education

EUP Regional History Day Results

Reading Month Activities
There were some really fun activities and reading going on all around the EUP this past month. There were a few teachers and schools that shared some photos. Take a look at this quick video.

School Improvement
Please note:  The SI Leadership Training scheduled for April 11 will now take place Thursday, April 13, from 9-3 in Conference Room B.

With many teams unable to attend last month, and in light of positive feedback from those who did, we will once again focus on the creation/enhancement of a comprehensive plan. Get ready to use the continuous improvement tools featured throughout the year to actually adjust your SIP/DIP!

We will also talk through some of the professional learning changes happening regionally, how those changes could impact your plan, and how to successfully adjust your Consolidated App to absorb that impact.

The positive effects of teams from across the region investing in school improvement leadership have not gone unnoticed; thank you for your continued commitment to increasing student success!

Reading Workshop PD
Reading Workshop: Introduction to Units of Study for Teaching Reading PD will be held June 26-28, 2017 at the ISD. Please see flyer for additional information.

Service Learning

April’s monthly service learning toolkit is now available! Look inside for some great Earth Day themed lesson and activities and a section filled with ideas for fundraisers.

Easy Earth Day Project Idea
Just a reminder that Earth Day is April 22nd. Here is an easy to implement project that connects students with local businesses. For even more project ideas check out the monthly service learning toolkit.

  • Partner with a local grocery store to have students decorate paper grocery bags with Earth Day messages and environmentalism facts. The stores can then use the spruced-up bags around Earth Day to promote stewardship in the community. Your AmeriCorps VISTA can help arrange the details with a local grocery store partner.

College Decision Day
We’ve all seen the NCAA’s version of college decision day/signing day. Superstar athletes sit at a table and commit to their new university and team to massive fanfare surrounded by coaches and educators. Shouldn’t we celebrate all our students who are going on to postsecondary education the same way? The Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) agrees.

College Decision Day is a way to do just that. Decision Day expands the spotlight to all students heading off to a post-secondary experience. It is a chance to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of our seniors and to also build a college going culture by showing the rest of the school that continuing to post-secondary education is something that their peers do and should be celebrated. This celebration can be done during lunch, at an assembly, at an existing senior recognition, or possibly in a more passive way like a bulletin board or photo booth.  For some examples, MCAN put together this highlight reel from Decisions Days 2015 or this promotional video [2:26].

If your school is interested in doing a version of Decision Day just email and your AmeriCorps VISTA can help with planning an event, promoting it, getting the community and colleges involved, and anything else.

This month’s toolkit includes a section all about some fundraiser ideas. FarmRaiser is one of those ideas. FarmRaiser is like someone combined a farmer’s market and fundraiser. The organization works to create partnerships with local growers and producers to create a catalogue of local and healthy products that students can sell to raise money for a cause. Since the products are all local the fundraising helps both the group doing the fundraising and the local business community at the same time.

If you are interested in starting a FarmRaiser campaign reach out, we can help make it happen.

EUP Mathematics and Science Center

Recent Events:

Pi Day 2017- The EUP Math and Science Center and Lake Superior State University collaborated to host 85 middle school and high school students from the EUP to celebrate Pi Day while participating in a mathematics competition.  For more information on this event, please see the EUP Math and Science Center Pi Day page.

Upcoming Student Events:

Trig Star on April 24, 2017

Our 2017 Trig Star event will be held on April 24 in Sault Ste. Marie.  This event will be hosted by Jeff Davis of Great Lakes Surveying and the Eastern Upper Peninsula Mathematics and Science Center. We will meet at the EUPISD (Conference Room A) at 9:15 a.m.  Schools only need to provide transportation to get students to and from the events in the agenda.  All other costs will be covered by Great Lakes Surveying and the EUP Mathematics and Science Center.  To register students for this event, please see the 2017 EUP Trig Star flyer.

Inland Seas program for students:

Young People in STEM Program

Hessel Marina Inland Seas and Department of Defense programs:

Grade 7-12 students July 12 from 4-8 pm

Grade 3-6 students sail on July 13 from 8am-noon

Registration information will be available this spring.

Professional learning opportunities for EUP teachers this spring/summer:

June 2017:  
Next Generation Science Exemplar (NGSX)

The Next Generation Science Exemplar (NGSX) is being offered through the Michigan Math and Science Center’s Network.  NGSX is a face-to-face learning environment, in which the participants in a study group draw on an on-line system that poses tasks for each session and provides rich cases, supportive materials, and scaffolding tools to guide the work.  The focus of NGSX is integrating three-dimensional learning into science classrooms, in which teachers support students in using science and engineering practices to develop, apply, and refine disciplinary and crosscutting ideas. Teachers engage in these practices and investigate classroom cases to explore how to bring these approaches into their own classrooms.  This is a five-day workshop taking place on June 20, 21, 22, 27, 28.  Registration closes on April 6.

Next Generation Science Exemplar Flyer and Registration

July 6-8, 2017: Department of Defense: Forensics and Discovery Math II
Registration link for Forensics and Discovery Math II (This registration link is the application)  DoD STEM is providing a $100.00 per day stipend to all attending teachers who are accepted.

August 21-25, 2017:

We will be integrating Math and Science Summer CRT in an effort to develop innovative curriculum around STEM.  Teachers will have the opportunity to use a project-based format to develop STEM curriculum collaboratively.  This is an excellent opportunity to work in teams to really integrate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in your curriculum!  Summer CRT for Math and Science

Math Recovery

For districts interested in hosting a Family Math Night, there are now resources available on the EUPISD site at Family Math Night Resources.  The page contains a guide with planning and preparation tips, invitation to send home to parents, and an assortment of suggested games to play during the event.  If you are looking for assistance in planning a Family Math Night, contact Julie Bazinau,

The EUPISD website now contains an Online Resources page that contains links to the websites discussed in the AVMR and MRIS courses.  If you know of any other online resources that support the professional development provided in the AVMR and MRIS courses, please send the link to Julie Bazinau,

During the 2017-2018 school year, the EUPISD will be providing Math Recovery’s newest course, Add+VantageMR Fractions.  For further information watch Fractions Course Overview video. (We apologize for the poor audio).

Special Education

S’more Reading, S’more Fun!
EUPISD, JKL Bahweting School and Lake Superior State University celebrate reading month with a camping-themed night of fun and learning.

EUP Reads celebrated its fourth annual event on March 13, 2017 at the Cisler Center.  The event was the largest in history, boasting over 537 attendees.

Many area businesses and organizations collaborated to make this event so successful.  The venue and refreshments were provided by LSSU.  The Sault Tribe provided books that were given away to each child who attended.  The JKL Parent Advisory Committee also provided prizes for drawings held during the event.

Many organizations also participated with activities for the children centered around the theme, Camp Reads a Lot.  The most popular activity was the “Floating Stick Man.”  This activity involved children drawing a stick figure on a shiny paper plate.  They pour water over the figure and it “floats” off the plate.

Organizations who provided activities included area preschools, Sault Schools, JKL, St. Mary’s, Ojibwe Charter School, the Bayliss Library, Salvation Army, Diane Peppler Resource Center, Chippewa County Council for Youth and Families, Chippewa County Democrats, DHS, Sault Tribe, Reading Recovery and ISD Speech and Language.

The event was created four years ago in response to a proposed bill in Lansing which would have required school districts to hold back third grade students who were not reading at a satisfactory level.  Theresa Kallstrom, JKL Bahweting Superintendent, and some of her colleagues formed a group to create ways to ensure students were reading proficiently.  The group wanted to assist parents who wanted to help their child practice reading at home.  They began providing parents with simple reading and writing activities they could replicate at home.

The first year over 500 people attended EUP Reads.  Since then, between 450-500 people have attended and the outreach area has increased.  Kallstrom said an added benefit is community involvement.

“It brought our community together for such an important reason,” Kallstrom said.  “Each year, we have more interest and more activities.  We also become more engaging with each year.”

Thanks to all of the staff, volunteers and organizations who made this event a success!

Early Childhood

Parents as Teachers of the EUP!
We are pleased to announce the Parents as Teachers of the EUP Home Visiting Program currently has openings!

If you refer a family for services during the month of April, you will be entered into a drawing for a $50 Walmart gift card. Please see below for more details.


Parents as Teachers of the EUP is a home-based parent involvement and education program for families with children from ages birth to five years who live within the Eastern Upper Peninsula.  The program is funded from a grant through the Michigan Department of Education. Services are at no cost to participating families.

Parents as Teachers of the EUP promotes:

  • School Readiness Skills
  • Parenting Education
  • Early Care to ensure children are ready for school

This is a FREE service available to all parents of young children!

AGE: Children birth to age five.


The intent of PAT of the EUP is to provide home based services for families in rural, isolated areas of the EUP that are not serviced by other home visiting programs.

  • Luce County
  • Mackinac County
  • Outlying areas of Chippewa County (i.e. Pickford, Brimley, Rudyard, Paradise, etc.)


Personal visits are the heart of PAT program.  Home visits are held in the family's home by a certified parent educator trained in child development.  During the visits, parents will:

  • Receive age-appropriate child development and parenting information
  • Learn to observe your child and recognize his or her needs
  • Have your parenting concerns addressed
  • Health, hearing and vision screenings for your child
  • Language, cognitive, intellectual, and motor development activities to promote growth and learning


Families are also invited to attend monthly group connections. Group connections are an opportunity to:

  • Share struggles and successes
  • Learn from other parents
  • See their child interact with other children
  • Learn about topics that interest them as parents


If needed, we link families with services available in our community for:

  • Housing
  • Economic, environmental & personal problems
  • Baby care items
  • Family Planning
  • Medical care for parents and children


Parents As Teachers is a nationally recognized research/evidenced based curriculum and program. Parents As Teachers of the EUP is an approved affiliate under the national Parents As Teachers organization. To learn more about PAT, please visit:


How can you refer a family to Parents As Teachers? There are three easy ways to make a referral:

Online:  Simply click on this link to complete a short referral form:

Print Form:

Mail or fax the referral to:

EUPISD – Attn: Parents As Teachers

315 Armory Place

Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783

Fax: 888-975-5250


Phone: Simply call (906) 259-8031 to make a referral


*Please be sure to include your contact information with the referral so we can contact you if you are the lucky winner of our drawing in April.

If your school/agency would like brochures, flyers, or posters please contact Heather Mitchell, Early Childhood Administrative Assistant, (906) 259-8031


Please contact Jessica Savoie, Early Childhood Supervisor,, 632-3373, x5142 or Cara LaFaver, PAT Supervisor,, 632-3373, x5113

Cooperative Technical Services

M-STEP Testing

As M-STEP testing approaches, please keep in mind that devices should be regularly shut down/restarted so that the testing client and other important updates can be installed and available.

Maker Materials Available for Check Out

Maker materials are available for check out; these materials can be used with staff in order to spark their interest and gain insight into using them in the classroom.  In the spirit of the maker movement, I have created a resource page of information, activities, and links for using the materials right out of the box.  See the list of maker materials available here.  Contact Marianna Ripple ( for information and registration.


We have created many new courses in EduPaths. If you haven’t checked in lately, take a moment and see what is new and available for SCECHs. Try this free professional development portal with access to bite-sized courses.  Watch the Introductory video, and if you have questions, contact Marianna Ripple.

Human Resources

Retirement Planning Seminar by M3 Investment Services, Tuesday, April 4, 2017 (Today), 4:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m.
M3 Investment Services are the new reps for the Legend Group and will be servicing the EUP.

During these times of budget tightening it is important for both employers and employees to understand basic financial literacy as they make decisions impacting retirement.

It is never too early to begin planning for your retirement. At M3 we are working collaboratively with school personnel to help make intelligent, informed decisions about retirement planning.

M3 Investment Services will cover an overview of investment options currently available to school employees as well as information on:

  • Social Security and retirement
  • Importance of utilizing 403(b) & 457 savings plans as part of the retirement plan
  • Understanding your pension
  • Investment strategies to reach your goals

Spouses are welcome and encouraged to attend, Food will be provided. No cost to attend.

To be sure there are adequate handouts, please RSVP to Steve Gordon at or 632-3373 x-5120

Student Loan Payments
We know when we are stressed financially, it takes a toll on our health and quality of life. To help you improve your student loan situation and overall financial well-being, our region through the Eastern Upper Peninsula ISD continues to partner with IS Loan Solutions, an advisory company.  They will educate you and provide options, including loan forgiveness and refinancing, that may help you lower, or even eliminate, your payment. To date, your colleagues who have hired IS Loan Solutions are saving an average of 84% on their monthly student loan payments.  We encourage all employees with student loans to find out if this voluntary benefit can help you.

Click this link, enter Registration Code: eup1 and learn more about your options.

Some of you may be able to lower your payment through the program, Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF is not Teacher Loan Forgiveness*). For those of you who won't benefit from PSLF, refinancing may work for you.

If PSLF makes sense, you will be able to:

  • Immediately lower your monthly student loan payment
  • Reduce your student loan obligation
  • Significantly lower your cost to earn additional degrees
  • Receive a personalized 10-year loan forgiveness plan outlining your projected tax free savings

After registering and answering a few simple questions, if PSLF does not make sense, you will be directed to their refinancing option.  Do not refinance your loans until you find out if PSLF makes sense for you FIRST.  Doing so will make you ineligible for future student loan forgiveness.

For those of you who registered with IS Loan Solutions in the past and were told you would not benefit from PSLF, login to your MyISLS portal and you will be directed to the refinancing option.

Financial Peace of Mind after Working with IS Loan Solutions

"We aren't millionaires and with three kids every dollar counts. I have a lot more financial peace of mind after working with ISLS. My student loan debt was such a huge stress hanging over my head and I just resigned myself to paying on it forever. What choice did I have but to just chip away at it as best I could? I am grateful that my HR Department shared the information about ISLS and provided us with a better solution."  Adam Rex, School Social Worker

Questions or trouble logging in? Call 1.866.831.5564, email or visit their website at for more information and success stories

*In 2007, Congress established the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program to help full-time employees of nonprofits reduce their student loan burden and incentivize them to stay in public service.  PSLF is available to all full-time employees in the district regardless of your position so long as you are on school payroll. This will not work for staff employed through PESG.

Please write or call with your comments, suggestions, and/or concerns.

Dan Reattoir –