November 2018 Newsletter

School News



School districts in the Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District (EUPISD), which includes all schools in Chippewa, Luce, and Mackinac counties, plus Seney Township in Schoolcraft County, will have a ballot question on the November 6 election date to seek voter approval to renew special education operating millage.  ISDs in Michigan levy a minimum of 1.0 mil for special education programs.  The renewal would be approved for four years and will not increase taxes.

Special Education programming cost a combined $13,115,229 last year in the EUPISD.  Generally, local districts must pay for the difference between state and federal reimbursement and the actual cost of special education programming out of their district budgets.  This means local EUP districts paid approximately $6,941,194 toward special education programming last year.  Increasing the amount of regional millage collected to support special education programming would help local districts with those costs.  If successful, this renewal will allow the continued collection of $537,000 to offset special education programming costs.  This amount is not even close to completely covering the costs for special education but would improve the budgets in local districts.

Every voter in the EUPISD is eligible and urged to vote on Tuesday, November 6.


How is MTSS different now than it was in the past- what are the essential components of MTSS?  How are MTSS efforts more strategic now and how do they fit in with our state’s plan for improvement?  Wondering what current updates are happening in Michigan around MTSS?  Would you like to know how the MDE Practice Profile fits in with your district’s current MTSS systems and how it can help sustain efforts?  Please click on the link below to access the EUPMTSS Newsletter in order to gain valuable insight on how these updates/documents are related to your efforts back at your school and also related to the support provided by the MTSS professional development teams at the EUPISD.

Open Link: Link to EUPMTSS Newsletter

General Education

Upcoming Trainings for November:

Battle Creek (Cereal City) Middle School Physical Science Kit Workshop

EUP Counselors

EUPEPA Meeting

EUPSSPA-EUP Secondary Principals Association

K-6 Michigan Model for Health Hybrid (online and face to face)

Modeling Instruction in Michigan for Middle School and High School Science

MTSS Literacy Tier 1

MTSS Literacy Tier 2 & 3

NGSX (Next Generation Science Exemplar System)

Reading Recovery/Literacy Lessons/Literacy Support Training Class

Secondary Literacy Master Teacher

Strengthening Systems - School Leadership Teams-School & District Improvement (SIT) & (DIT)

Tri-County Administrators Meetings

Visual, Performing, and Applied Arts CRT (VPAA CRT)

Early College Applications

The application process for the 2019-2020 EUP Early College Program academic year has started! Eligible high school sophomores currently attending high school in the EUP who are interested in applying to the EUP Early College must register for a one-credit University Seminar class at LSSU that begins in January of 2019. Registration forms can be found by clicking on the “registration form” link at The form needs to be completed, signed and turned in to the high school counselor or principal with enough time to be submitted to LSSU’s Early College Coordinator no later than November 16, 2018.

EUP STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Battle Creek (Cereal City Science) Professional Learning Workshops

A number of districts in the EUP are participating in our MiSTEM grants, which are providing curriculum materials and professional learning for science in grades K-8. Please use the following links to register for EUP STEM Region professional learning for K-8 teachers who are implementing the Cereal City curriculum

Important Information: The first workshop for Cereal City Middle School Physical Science Kit 1 will be held on November 27 at the EUPISD.  We are very fortunate to have Steve Barry traveling up here from the Battle Creek Math and Science Center to work with us for our middle school workshops this year.  Please make sure that the teacher who is teaching with middle school Kit 1 is registered for the session (in most cases, this would be your 6th grade science teacher).  Not only will this professional learning help them to implement the curriculum, but it is also a requirement of our grant that each teacher who is receiving a kit participates in the professional learning session for that kit.  Teachers can register for this session HERE.

Next Generation Science Exemplar (NGSX)

Day 3 of NGSX will be held on November 5.  If you are not a part of our current NGSX cohort but are interested in future workshops, please email Kevin St. Onge (

November 9- How Modeling Instruction is Transforming Science Instruction in Michigan

Join us for a one-day experiential session on Modeling InstructionTM where participants will generate evidence and collaboratively transform it into empirical and conceptual models using Modeling pedagogy. Find out how Modeling Instruction is taking hold in schools across Michigan enabling students to realize the transformational vision of our new NGSS-based Michigan Science Standards.  This program is brought to us by the Modeling in Michigan Program with support of the MiSTEM Network.  Don Pata will be facilitating this workshop.  Don has been employing modeling as a teacher at Grosse Pointe North high school for 17 years and has been facilitating modeling workshops in Michigan for the last 6 years.

Lunch, SCECHs, and substitute reimbursement will be provided for this session.  Teachers can register for the November 9, Modeling workshop HERE.

Foundations of Math

We just completed our first cohort of Foundations of Math in the EUP, and our group had an excellent learning experience.  We will be working with Alt+Shift to move forward with the continuation and expansion of this opportunity in the future.  Please see the Foundations of Math website for more information and contact Kevin St. Onge ( if you are interested in learning more about local implementation of this program.

Upcoming Opportunities for Students

EUP Regional Science and Engineering Fair

Between now and November 20, many schools will be holding their local Science and Engineering Fair events!  This experience is an excellent chance for students to explore ideas in STEM that interest them and gives them a chance to apply the science and engineering practices to a full-scale project that they are leading.  This year’s Regional Science and Engineering Fair will be held on Thursday, December 6, at Lake Superior State University. Please see the EUP Science and Engineering Fair web page for information and new this year is a video on “What students should expect at the Regional Science & Engineering Fair”. Each school is invited to send the top three projects from their local science and engineering fair competition, please no ties. The online registration deadline for the EUP Science and Engineering Fair is Tuesday, November 20, 2018.

Here are some things to think about and to share with students and parents as we get ready for the Science and Engineering Fair this year:

  1. The rubric has been updated and follows the standards so please review.
  2. Please review the Project Guide for safety guidelines involving human subjects.
  3. 2018 Regional Science & Engineering Flyer

FIRST Robotics

Elementary- First Lego League

Middle School- First Technology Challenge

High School- First Robotics Challenge

Special Education

Protect Your Voice- Recommendations from your School-Based Speech-Language Pathologists

With cold and flu season upon us, this is a good time to think about your vocal hygiene. Your voice is imperative to your teaching. Damage to your vocal cords and poor vocal hygiene could lead to phono trauma, swelling of the vocal folds, and vocal fatigue. In more serious cases, it could cause vocal nodules, polyps or contact ulcers. This could impact your lessons, classroom management, and daily life. Here are a few tips to improve your vocal hygiene:

  • Rest your voice, especially when ill or tired.
  • Limit intake of caffeine and alcohol and reduce exposure to smoke.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day.
  • When utilizing a throat lozenge, avoid ones with menthol or eucalyptus, since they impact hydration.
  • Avoid clearing your throat as much as possible. Instead, try to swallow or take a sip of water.
  • Focus on improving your breath support by utilizing your diaphragm and abdomen when speaking.
  • Manage the level of your voice in the classroom to reduce strain on the vocal cords.
  • Use nonverbal strategies to get full class attention (e.g., clap or turn lights off)
  • Call a student to your desk if you need to talk one on one
  • Do your best to communicate face-to-face with the student you are addressing
  • Use an amplification system
  • Reduce background noise when possible
  • Avoid whispering for extended periods of time as this can also cause increased strain

If you have concerns with your voice, consider speaking with your doctor who may refer you to an Ear Nose and Throat Specialist and/or Speech-Language Pathologist.

Information obtained from and

November 12-16 is School Psychology Awareness Week!

School Psychology Awareness Week (SPAW) was established to help key stakeholders understand the unique role that school psychologists play in improving outcomes for students, families, and schools.  This year’s theme is “Unlock Potential. Find Your Password!”  A password is a personal key for unlocking any number of areas of potential.  School psychologists assist students and staff in unlocking the skills, resources, and strategies necessary to unlock one’s full potential in school.  A “password” can help us set goals, identify action steps, communicate needs, and engage in discussions to create the connections necessary for students to develop academic and social-emotional skills.  For more information about SPAW and what school psychologists do, please visit:


Medicaid School Based Services Program

What is the Medicaid School Based Services (SBS) Program and how does it help the schools in the Eastern Upper Peninsula?

Medicaid is the nation’s public health insurance program that finances health care services to all eligible Americans. It also helps schools defray the cost of delivering some healthcare services. This is made possible through the Medicaid School Based Services (SBS) Program. If a student is eligible for Medicaid and has a direct service written into their IEP, the school district can get a partial reimbursement for those services.  These direct services include Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Social Work, Personal Care Services, and Designated Case Management Services. This money is allocated back to the school districts who participate and who comply with the stipulations that are set forth by the Medicaid SBS Program.  Last year, EUP School districts and the EUPISD received reimbursement for Medicaid SBS of $882,000.

Upcoming Training/Meeting Dates

Below is a list of trainings for November and December.  Please visit Wisdomwhere for more information and to register (if lunch is provided as part of a training, you must register at least 24 hours in advance to be included in the lunch count).

Area Coordinators’ Meeting and Workgroup: 11/21, 12/19

Check-in, Check-out: 11/13

CPI Full Certification: 11/06, 12/04

CPI Re-Certification: 11/29, 12/10

Curriculum Access Team (CAT): 11/14

Educational Benefit Review: 11/02

General Education/Special Education Staff Meeting: 12/03

OT/PT Workgroup: 12/07

Secondary Positive School Climate Systems Support: 12/04

Specially Designed Instruction: 11/27, 11/28, 11/30

Statewide Autism Resources Training (START) K-12 Intensive Training Series: 11/07, 11/08, 12/12, 12/13

Strengthening Systems: 11/29

Youth Mental Health Committee: 12/10

Regional Data Systems/Instructional Technology

Illuminate Assessments for Battle Creek - Cereal City Science Kits

Assessments are now available in Illuminate for the Cereal City Science Kits (K-7).  Log into Illuminate and follow this link to see them for your grade-level.

Illuminate Report Cards

Standards-Based and Traditional report cards are set for Q1 in Illuminate.  Remember that attendance is now calculated using half-days.

New secondary report cards are available in Illuminate for the upcoming quarter end.  There are templates based upon four or five grading periods per semester as well as enough lines for 7, 11, or 13 courses.

Please reference the EUP Help Guides tile in Illuminate for information related to GradeBooks and Report Cards.

Reports Student Growth & Student Learning Outcomes

M-STEP data has been refreshed in Illuminate to show Student Growth Percentiles.  These measures are used to determine the SGP Multi-Year Rating for teachers (See the report here).  The SLO, Student Learning Objectives Growth Summary and Roster, report is also available in Illuminate if your district is using pre/post assessment data in Illuminate as a measure.

REMC Classroom Makers Training

This event will focus on educators, specifically Michigan classroom teachers, that have integrated making into their teaching practice.  The day will allow attendees to explore maker-centered tools and trends, gain valuable resources and connect with maker-minded educators. Staying true to the spirit of the REMC Classroom Makers project the day will offer plenty of hands-on opportunities.

Registration deadline is December 20, 2018 in Wisdomwhere.

REMC 22 Lend-Items Library

Remember that REMC 22 (EUPISD) has a library of classroom materials that can be reserved and checked out.  If you need account access to the library, please contact Marianna Ripple or Genny Kaunisto.

Data Management Team Meetings

If you deal with data in Illuminate (Illuminate Leaders, Secretaries, Counselors, Administrators, Teachers), please join the Data Management Team.  Meetings are quarterly and deal with all areas of using Illuminate: report cards, GradeBooks, transcripts, demographics, special education, reports, and behavior.  Your input and experience are important, so consider being a part of the team.  If you have questions, contact Marianna Ripple.  Register for meetings in Illuminate.

Early Childhood

New Requirements for Criminal Background Checks

Federal laws passed by Congress in 2014 impacted Child Care Licensing in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Guam. In order for Michigan to continue to receive federal funding to meet the health and safety standards and subsidize childcare for low-income children, Michigan had to make several changes to the childcare system to become compliant with federal law. The most significant change that took place under PA 116 is the background clearance requirements that went into effect this year. Licensed childcare centers and in-home providers are obligated to meet the requirements of a Comprehensive Background Check including: Fingerprint (FBI/MSP check), NCIC Sex Offender Check, Central Registry Check (CA/N), and Disciplinary Action Check.

All current and future staff working in early childhood settings (i.e. GSRP, Head Start, Early Head Start, and tuition-based preschools) must be fingerprinted under the new comprehensive background requirements. In addition to classroom staff, any ancillary staff (speech, occupational, physical therapists, social workers, etc.) providing services to children in licensed childcare facilities must undergo a comprehensive background check.

We continue to work with local early childhood programs and War Memorial Hospital (for ancillary staff) to ensure compliance regarding the new criminal background changes. If you should have any questions, please contact Alicia Lawlor at

Essential Practices in Early Literacy

The Early Literacy Task Force (ELTF), Michigan Association of Intermediate Administrators (MAISA), Clinton County Regional Educational Services (CCRESA), and the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) are providing a Training of Trainers for the Preschool Essential Instructional Practice in Early Literacy. The Training of Trainers series involves four days of training in which participants learn about each of the ten Essential Instructional Practices, participate in activities regarding adult learning practices, and receive materials in order to replicate the training locally.

A team of local professionals representing the EUPISD, Head Start, Great Start to Quality (childcare), and Lake Superior Start University will be attending the training this month in Mt. Pleasant. Upon completion of the four-day training series, the EUP group of trainers will plan and deliver a minimum of three training opportunities in the upcoming year for teaching staff, childcare providers, home visitors, librarians, and parents. More information regarding training dates to come next month.

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